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Title: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 06 February 2016, 00:44:02
It is the eve of the 32nd Century and mankind looks back on yet another unquiet age.

For decades, the Exiled Star League Defence Force has waited, plotting in secrecy against the Republic and her allies.

"The Day" will come.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cjc1tqt8WFY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cjc1tqt8WFY)

***

Der Tag is the outgrowth of my own grappling with the major events that were happening in the BTU as i was growing up. I had read the novels and digested old websites for years as a kid and I was certain events were building to a crescendo.

Following the Twilight of the Clans and the Fed Com Civil War, I felt I was sure I knew where things were going to go.

Turns out that I had the right idea...if I was a Word of Blake Precentor.

This is not an I-Hate-The-Jihad story. I admit; i didn't get the Jihad at first, but it took years for enough of the books to come out for me to understand it. When I did, they really just showed me i was reading the wrong books. All the hints and details; the plots, the logistics, the secret armies; they were there to see, plain as day...if you knew what was going on. Now I can see that not only does the Jihad make sense; it was inevitable and a damn good story.

See, me and the Wobblies; we had it figured: This is the Star League Reborn, y'all! It's all beer and whiskey and songs from now on! We are going to sort some stuff out! First, we take care of this Clan nonsense and then a byzantine power struggle for a more sensical system than this rotating First Lord nonsense!

So when next thing I know the 2SL is history, cause...reasons...and suddenly there is this Darkage stuff...I was confused. But I wasn't upset. I figured; yeah, well the core of the game has always been the madmax stuff...this is that returning to it's lostech roots...except lostech now includes Omnimechs and Battlearmour...Cool! I was less than thrilled with the execution. Micheal Stackpole's little essays frankly enraged me.

Now i knew just how WOB must have felt (though I didn't know it at the time).

But I got over it for the most part. Classic Battletech and the follow-on products helped me forget the Darkage was even on the horizon in the timeline I cared about. But that basic seed of confusion never left me; all those little hints I thought I was following, those ideas of mine that Stackpole was so sure were really his; why disband the Star League? And above all. How did this vaunted age of peace and prosperity come about before the age of Clicky-Tech? How did you make the BTU *do* that?!

Over time, as I learned more about the Jihad, I added other questions; what was WOB really up to? what were they thinking? Less "Who is Devlin Stone?" and more "What is *he* thinking?", How did the logistics of a huge secret army work?

To this day, for all those questions; I have one solid answer: To the last point.

Quite well, in the BTU.

To the point; whoever trained and organized the WOBM, did their job extremely well. WOBROM was almost incredibly competent.

To this day though...I am not certain about the whole taking down the Clans aspects of the WOB's secret armies...nor have I ever been totally satisfied with why they just happened to have troops and intelligence assets staged all over. Part of some post 3rd-transfer coup de main? We'll never know for certain and I've never been great at the whole prophesy thing.

What I do know is that when the 2nd Star League disbanded; they were both angry and non-plussed. So what if they weren't the only ones? Why *were* they the only ones?

***

So here is the AU Summary;

A Star League needs an SLDF. The Comguards were still the heroes of Tukayyid, but they were always going to be the phone company's army and after the schism; everyone who knew anything knew they couldn't be trusted, not completely.

The ELH? Too few and not suited to cadre duty for a real army; also: too high-profile to break-up. Morgan's Lions? Too much FedCom troops, even after picking up strays after huntress. Great in the former FEDCOM, less elsewhere.

And the Nova Cats were...Clan...

The 2SL needed an army and they built one in secret, and not by half measures; this was to be the SLDF reborn afterall.

---As a note here, this kind of expenditure behind the scenes also provided me with a concrete reason to disband the 2SL; politics never cut it for me, but money does. The *expense* of the Star League was mentioned in it's dissolution, but the 2SL should have, to me; been a money-maker in trade deals, not a net-loss. But I digress.

When the 2SL disbands and the Jihad kicks off; this army exists in Prototype form and they decide, naturally; to oppose WOB, in order to earn the right to re-establish the Star League once more. These are TRUE BELIEVERS in all the best of the Star League, with enough awareness of history and enough ignorance of politics to believe that they can avoid enough of the mistakes of the past to matter.

They fight in the Jihad; little changes in the Jihad; the Wolves and Falcons play less and the SLDF-in-Exile provides a counter-point and sort-of contrast/competition to Stone's Coalition. My Devlin Stone is a bit more human; more flawed, more of a figurehead; a guy who knows better, but doubts himself in the classic Stackpole mould, which I hate so much, and gets swept along by events until he believes his own press. Ultimately he does what he does for a mix of love and idealism. Who is Devlin Stone? He's Micheal Stackpole's Everyman; a Victor, a Kai, ect. An incredible hero made human with the flaw of self-doubt.

Having two forces, but much more net opposition on the table means that there is less tight, effective coalition building, but the results and timelines change little. There is just a lot less of different factions getting forced into boxes. Small details change; like the Donner Bombing; never happens. That leads to more strong leadership in play for the middle and final stages of the Jihad. But when it comes to Terra it's a confused mess as everyone piles in and it's clear they need a supreme commander to sort things out and coordinate. Devlin Stone is the man everyone is *least unhappy with*.

The fight for Terra goes on much longer; WOB is better prepared and more dug-in. Several key battles turn out differently, but a lot of new battles have to be fought; there are more serious obstacles in the Middle East, more difficult city-fighting; there is a huge Russo-European campaign and a lot more Castle's Brian need to be cracked open. Fill a box with your military nightmares and dump it on Terra; that what we're looking at.

There is a lot of personality conflict between the officers of the SLDFiE and Stone's camp; Stone earns a lot of credit and support the hard way, but the SLDFiE's Commander; McKenna makes sure some of the hardest jobs go to his men and women, because they are most suited for them and that is how he thinks.

McKenna is an atypical BTU personality; he's very competent, but without the supporting political and *people* skills most of the major leaders have. He is where is he by fluke of being available, expendable and temperamentally suited to the job. If the 2SL had really needed an army to possibly wipe out the Clans, keep the peace by intimidation and fight dirty little wars, he'd be a tragic hero in days to come. Instead he's the last man you'd want in charge of an army like this, dealing with these kinds of leaders in the middle of the Jihad; you couldn't dream of a person better-suited to rub people like Stone, Victor and Phelan Kell the wrong way. He's the sort of person who would have been relieved for political reasons or assigned a handler in any National army in the BTU. As is, he's the top guy in the whole SLDFiE. Think MacArthur in Korea, Patton in 1945 or Montgomery in Ireland, but with much less people skills; almost the anti-BTU leader. He's militarily effective, ruthless and pragmatic. Socially inept and politically intolerable. His success as a leader derives from his lack of ego; (he knows what he doesn't know and delegates effectively; thus avoids serious errors), a sense of compassion that seems come out of nowhere and the tendency for people to be relate to leaders with flaws and foibles.

At the end of the fighting for Terra, a lot of people are uncomfortably aware of just how capable the SLDFiE still is and are wondering; "what now?"

By this stage, it's clear; there will be no 3rd League and that puts the SLDFiE out of a job. The SLDFiE is often seen as a rogue army at worst and an army with a nation attached; a geo-political abomination at best. Issues of political franchise and crime and punishment in the SLDFiE's secret canton worlds horrify Lear's Idealists and most of the major leaders sign a petition asking the SLDFiE to turn their equipment over to the RAF and disband or integrate into the RAF under their control.

Neither outcome is acceptable to McKenna and his SLDFiE and for the next 20ish years, you have a cold war.

This follows a lot like the period of peace and prosperity we see in the canon timeline, you have;

-widespread demilitarization
-civilian disarmament
-territorial acquisition by the republic

But; with the threat of the no-longer-exiled SLDF and their own nascent 3rd League of mixed supporters, R&D in the Republic goes into overdrive in an attempt to maintain superiority. So that by 3100, the RAF is larger than their canon high-water mark and their have equipment not seen until 3145/3150 in the canon timeline.

Politically Stone/Lear have pushed a hard line on the forging a better world front; most people in the republic and their close allies are full of koolaid on that one. But many in the RAF, especially the Spec-Ops and high command know that some form of confrontation with the SLDF is inevitable. Politically; policies vary from "Carthage Must Be Destroyed" rhetoric to "Peace at Any Price" and all points in between.

If you're interested in the Clans in this timeline; here is what you need to know; 1) The Wars of the Reaving kicked off years earlier and are called "The Clan Civil War". Things went very badly for the Society and the only thing that saved the Jade Falcons was being so far away from the action and the  sheer depth of the scientist conspiracy. 2) Most Clans have decided that as of the early 3060s the lesson to learn from conflict in the IS and the homeworlds and the long the supply lines in between is to strengthen their navies and thus while most of the IS has abandoned Warship development/production; the Clans have been stepping it up. 3) Cultural and political pressures have very much fractured the Clans as a whole. 4) Cool Trivia; the 2SL's "New Model Army" was designed originally for two purposes; recreate the deterrent capability of the Hegemony Royal Army units as a mechanism for lasting peace and to wipe out the Clans just in case the lesson of the Jaguars didn't stick. On that note; the SLDF looks on surviving Smoke Jaguars somewhat like how the Clans would look at surviving Wolverines; it's how they have chosen to read the directives left over and passed down from the annihilation of CSJ.

Back in the Inner Sphere, the 3rd League has initiated a plan known as "Operation: CENTURY"; a covert operations program aimed at undermining the Republic and intended to last up to one hundred years. For various reasons, things are ready to kick off wildly ahead of schedule right around when the SLDF meets their troop strength goals in 3100.

Which brings us to; Der Tag, or "the day" in English.

My aim here is to bring a tone to BT reminiscent of the years preceding the first and second world wars, combined with a political climate which is fractious and less post-Roman Empire and more like post-empires entirely; with political alignments such as the Republicans, Nationalists, Royalists and Revolutionaries; it's like the Spanish Civil War in that sense.

The key touchstone of the AU is the concept and the overtone of the inevitable resumption of conflict, thus: Der Tag; the way German Soldiers would talk about the war to come prior to WWI. While in general, the rest of the Inner Sphere above a certain level feels more like the end of the Jihad was less a peace and more a temporary armistice, much like how some people felt at the end of WWI. Everyone knows it can't last forever and that "The Day" is coming.

***

This thread will be where I discus and update background information for the AU. In time I want to add details like technical readouts (All the Galaxy's Fighting Vehicles), custom weapons (The Bench Rest) and Organizational and campaign details, like snippets from an Osprey Book (Peregrine Press Publications). but I'd like to leave this for the fluff and background.

Tomorrow, I'd like to add details of the different operative Political Alignments, the various power blocs and provide an AU-Update for what the current situation is for each faction on 31 December, 3099.

Thanks for reading.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 06 February 2016, 10:06:43
* to clarify; None of these political alignments have anything to do with any real-world or historical political camps. In a few cases; I just liked the names and worked them in to enhance the feel I'm going for.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=regl4vTld5E (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=regl4vTld5E)

Political Alignments

Republican: Ideological Supporters of the Republic; it's goals and ideals.
Nationalist: Seek to establish, maintain or enhance a national identity or goals.
Isolationist: Seek to avoid external conflict or relations.
Royalist: Seek to reclaim the lost glories of the First Star League and cling to the promises of the Second.
Contemplative: Seek to establish a new national or cultural identity or goals.
Revolutionary: Directly involved in attempting to establish a new order, in the Machiavellian sense, usually through violent means.
Militarist: Actively engaged or seeking to become engaged in conflict in order to secure certain goals.
Neutral: Dedicated to neutrality, at least ostensibly.

***

Explanation of Blocs

Central Powers: The Republic and their staunchest allies.
Terran Pact: Secret Alliance of those actively opposed to the Republic
Star League-in-exile/The 3rd League: Members of the eponymous 3rd Star League.
League of Non-Aligned Powers: Nations loosely allied to maintain independence and freedom of action in the face of more powerful forces.
Andurian Pact: Mutual Defence Pact among former FWL holdings; the reborn FWL in a military sense. Aiming to become a political alliance in order to regain the lost power and prestige of the lost FWL. recognixed mainly inside it's own borders. Beyond that, everyone just thinks of it as the "Free Worlds League".
New Clans: Those Clans which have opted to forge a new destiny for themselves apart from either the invasion, the cursader/warden dynamic or the homeworlds. The New Clans, unlike the True Clans are not a community per say or as yet.
Continuation Clans: Those Clans which have recommited themselves to conquest of the inner sphere.
True Clans: Those Clans which reject the tainted attitudes of the spheroid clans as a whole and seek to stay ideologically "pure"
Independent: powers not otherwise aligned to a particular bloc

***

Alright! Next time, we'll see who fits where! Spolier; the Republic are considered Republican.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Kasaga on 06 February 2016, 12:23:25
I like your idea so far.  This is one of the reasons why I have kept reinventing the Dark Storm Legion timelines.  Trying to better work it out.  I had written the first two stories prior to the Jihad and the invention of the AMC so I changed it and eventually got to where I am with the reborn Hegemony-in-Exile.  If you would like any help or to bounce ideas off of let me know.  I am willing to help whenever I can.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: DOC_Agren on 06 February 2016, 17:17:21
Ping
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Dragon Cat on 06 February 2016, 19:12:04
Ping ping
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 06 February 2016, 20:16:25
Thanks guys! Anyone want to see what the Usual suspects are up to?

We'll look at a quick sketch of the important extant factions; their political alignment, which if any power bloc they belong to and what their relations with the 3rd Star League, such as it is, are like. Outside the 3rd League, with the exception of the Clans, people pretty much talk to eachother at the very least. As you'll see, the 3rd League is so ostracized that some nations do not even maintain or permit direct diplomatic links.

Republic of The Sphere

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjbUu5MaEEg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjbUu5MaEEg)

Alignment: Republican
Bloc: Central Powers

Sketch:

The Republic came out of the war strong in territory, popular and with an experienced military, swollen with a diaspora from across known space. But they made a lot of enemies with their policies during and after the war.

Relations:

Officially Neutral, maintains diplomatic links, covertly hostile. At the end of the War, the SLDF was presented with a petition signed by Devlin Stone, Khan Ward and every House Lord demanding that the SLDF either disband and turn over all equipment to the RAF or integrate under RAF control. Popular history records that Lord Protector McKenna "Refused to accede to the request." His exact words, however, were more along the lines of "Go ****** yourselves."
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 06 February 2016, 20:19:20
Federated Suns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iteRKvRKFA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iteRKvRKFA)

Alignment: Republican
Bloc; Central Powers

Sketch:

The Federated Suns lost heavily during the war; suffering loss in territory to secession and hostile action on all her borders and then suffered still more politically after the war in ceding more territory to build the republic. Politically the Federated Suns sees the Republic as a dangerous investment that has not yet paid off; if they pull out now they gain nothing and suffer more, but if they stay the course; they may win a brighter future in the end.

Relations:

Passively hostile, refuses to recognize. No diplomatic links.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 06 February 2016, 20:21:16
Lyran Commonwealth

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kw-_Ew5bVxs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kw-_Ew5bVxs)

Alignment: Republican
Bloc: Central Powers

Sketch:

The Lyran Commonwealth was dragged into the Central powers by reluctant leaders who needed Republican Support to rebuild their shattered economy after the war. This has come at the price of a Military divided between staunch Republican supporters and veterans and subversive nationalists coordinated and kept in check by Hiemdal.

Relations:

Actively Hostile to SLDF military forces; officially recognizes the SLDF as renegade and equivalent to pirates. Trade Links maintained, Diplomatic relations through ComStar only.

Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 06 February 2016, 20:26:07
Draconis Combine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ylyqoxh-cXk

Alignment: Officially Republican in fact Nationalist, Contemplative and Revolutionary by turns
Bloc: Officially Independent, Functionally a Terran Pact Member

Sketch:

Most realms saw things improve towards the end of the war, but in the Draconis Combine, things seem to be worse and worse every day. The real decline started at the end of the war when The Coordinator ceded Kuritan worlds to the Republic. This one move effectively set back Theodore Kurita's reforms and the support for them almost 40 years overnight. The one bright spot is that during the war the SLDF pursued a private war against the Black Dragon Society and they have yet to recover. The bad news is that everyday conservatives and regressives have stepped in to fill the void.

Relations:

Officially Neutral, does recognize the legitimacy of SLDF forces as a fiat accompli to the presence of Clan Nova Cat, maintains diplomatic links. Unofficially cooperative and practically allied through Clan Nova Cat.

Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 06 February 2016, 20:28:20
Capellan Confederation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYb9sRLUDyM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYb9sRLUDyM)

Alignment: Nationalist
Bloc: Terran Pact

Sketch:

The war left the Capellan Confderation a damaged, angry nation; but one which had suffered a "Small Injury" in the machiavellian sense. Lacking WOB to take it out on, many Capellan leaders were almost relieved at the Republic's anexation of world's historically claimed by the Confederation as it gave the people someone to direct their anger against. In the aftermath of the war; the Confederation remains strongly united and pure of purpose; the reclaimation of their ancestral lands. Xin Sheng has weakened after the Jihad, however and the pro-chinese pressure from the government has lessened noticeably.

Relations:

Officially Allied.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 06 February 2016, 20:30:20
"Free Worlds League"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu1aQvm5MrU (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu1aQvm5MrU)

Alignment: Contemplative
Bloc: Andurian Pact

Sketch:

The Jihad saw the general dissolution of the FWL under internal and external pressure; the aftermath has forced the beginning of a reunification in the face of further loss of territory to the LC and CC. The current state of affairs sees the FWL more divided and less powerful and corrdinated than ever before.

Relations:

Passively hostile, but does recognize the 3rd League as a Fiat Accompli, diplomatic relations maintained through several indirect means.

Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 06 February 2016, 20:32:19
Taurian Concordant

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4zlufbOFOo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4zlufbOFOo)

Alignment: Nationalist/Militarist
Bloc: League of Non-Aligned Powers

Sketch:

The Taurian Concordant waxed and waned during the war; they won a lot of territory from house davion, establishing a firm buffer zone, but lost the Fronc Reaches and The Calderon Protectorate. Many Citizens are disenfranchised with the government and unconvinced the trade was worth it.

Relations:

Passively hostile, refuses to recognize. No diplomatic relations
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 06 February 2016, 20:34:23
Calderon Protectorate

Alignment: Nationalist/Contemplative
Bloc: Independent

Sketch:

The vagaries of war kept the Calderon Protectorate free long enough to make it tough enough to survive on it's own. But at this stage, they have exhausted their allies and are living next door to a larger parent state, no longer diverted by the larger war and desperately in need of a way to distract the populace.

Relations:

Officially Neutral, though some subtle feelers have been put out through the 3rd leauge consulate. Privately, many in the SLDFiE high command favour Calderon-Martins as a candidate for Director-General or even first lord. A few would even like to see him spend some time in the SLDFiE's School of the Galaxy program. The Protectorate is an important trading partner.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 06 February 2016, 20:36:09
Fitvelt Coalition

Alignment: Isolationist
Bloc:League of Non-Aligned Powers

Sketch:

Centuries of neglect came home to roost when most of the FedSuns outback seceded during the war. The FedSun's current leaders are at a loss, even with the war over, as to how to deal with he situation. It's debatable if the Coalition is better off now than before, but whether it is or not, at least for now; the Fitvelt Coalition is a fact of life.

Relations:

Officially positive, practically neutral, in reflection of the limited abilities of the Coalition and more about tweaking the nose of the Federated Suns than anything else. Trade is open and relations are positive.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 06 February 2016, 22:17:37
SLDFiE's School of the Galaxy program.

As an aside; School of the Galaxy is like "School of the Americas". I also considered "School of Humanity" and "School of the Future". But "School of the Galaxy" Seemed to hit the right note between generic and sinister.

It's a place where the 3rd League takes in people it might make future allies and paramilitary leaders out of. All the basics of Interstellar leadership and political indoctrination, plus extra circulars like "How to Coup" and "insurgency/counter-insurgency".
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 06 February 2016, 22:20:12
Magistracy of Canopus

Alignment: Republican/Nationalist
Bloc:League of Non-Aligned Powers

Sketch:

The Magistracy had a very bad war. Contrary to popular opinion, the WOB mainly pulled out because the Magistracy simply made itself totally uneconomical to occupy in the face of the wider war. The result is a devastated nation, doing whatever it can to pull itself up by the bootstraps.

Relations:

Officially Positive, despite a hostile history with the proto-SLDFiE pursuing drug and human-trafficking rings inside Canopian Space. The Magistracy received favoured trading status and has been allowed to hire various support assets for remediation at different times, as well as recieving SLDFiE Support in rebuilding the MCAF in return for vigorous pursuit of slave trading and drug trafficking within the Magistracy. Diplomatic relations are active and prosperous, with civil rights a key issue.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Kasaga on 07 February 2016, 03:57:37
Nice I like how you are fleshing out your background.  I will be releasing a Field Manuel to go along with my story which I hope will fill in the gaps some for those that are following me. 
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 08:47:03
Nice I like how you are fleshing out your background.  I will be releasing a Field Manuel to go along with my story which I hope will fill in the gaps some for those that are following me.

I'm not there yet, but that's the direction I'm leaning in. Bravo!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 10:15:40
Fronc Reaches

Alignment: Contemplative
Bloc: League of Non-Aligned Powers

Sketch:

The current status of the Fronc Reaches seems to be a compromise between the two founding powers; the MOC and TC, that's basically been allowed to go on too long due to external factors like the Jihad. We're left with a state with far too many assets for it to protect with both the MOC and TC providing troops on loan to defend the territory.

Relations:

Officially Hostile, but does recognize the 3rd League. No diplomatic relations. Hostility stems from 3rd League Diplomatic Corps initiatives to have the Fronc Reachs reabsorbed by the MOC and TC.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 10:18:10
Marian Hegemony

Alignment: Nationalist
Bloc: Independent

Sketch:

The Marian Hegemony came out of the Jihad broken on the wheel of events, but they have moved quickly to avoid be swallowed up as either a republic protectorate or through FWL predation.

Relations:

Officially Neutral, functionally positive, good trade relations, SLDF Advisors serve with the MHAF and the structure of the SLDF is based partly on the MHAF. After the war, 3rd League remediation efforts were noted throughout the Hegemony by the public in neighbouring nations. Officially recognizes the SLDF and 3rd Leauge as legitimate. 3rd Leauge Diplomats and SLDF forces were instrumental in securing the non-aggression pact between the Marians and the Niops Association before the later's formal induction into the 3rd league.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 10:19:39
Rim Collection

Alignment: Isolationist
Bloc: Star League-In Exile/3rd League

Sketch:

The Rim Collection benefited greatly during the Jihad from their informal alliance with the SLDFiE. They gained economically from supporting the SLDFiE and were spared much of the destruction they would otherwise have suffered.

Relations:

3rd League Member State. Relations generally positive with other member-states, relations with the 3rd League itself and the SLDF in particular very positive.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 10:21:04
Tortuga Dominions

Alignment: Militarist
Bloc: Independent

Sketch:

Piracy Prospered during the war and despite seeing hostile invasion several times; the Tortuga Dominions made out well.

Relations:

Officially hostile, recognizes the 3rd League as a direct threat. Pirate bands on Tortuga have one of two outlooks; digging in for what they see as the inevitable SLDF assault and forsaking the support and assets Tortuga offers for less dangerous climes. The overall attitude among most is that a train is coming in and they are about to be under it.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 10:24:33
Alfirk

Alignment: Isolationist
Bloc: Star League-In Exile/3rd League

Sketch:

Alfirk was basically a lost colony with contact with the rest of known space only through ComStar and basically a quietly-kept secret. During the War the SLDF inherited it for all intents and purposes and used it as a staging area; building it up as an emergency fallback position for a worst-case scenario. As a result Alfirk society was basically transformed during the Jihad, culminating in it's foundation as a 3rd League Member state at the end of the war.

Relations:

3rd League Member state. Relations guarded; many citizens of Alfirk basically saw the coming of the SLDF as a occupation and the reforms that followed as an act almost hostile in it's aggression. This is changing slowly over time, as more and more citizens come to either accept these rapid changes as their fate, or see the advantages of membership in the 3rd League. A minority of Alfirk citizens are fanatical supporters of the 3rd League and dedicated adherants of it's tenants. The so-called "Historians" movement looks on Alfirk as leading a blessed existence; having missed almost all the major conflicts of the last 400 years and now having stumbled into the protective embrace of a comparatively egalitarian (so it seems to them) and very prosperous alliance and it's very capable armed forces.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 10:28:21
Chainelane Isles

Alignment: Isolationist
Bloc: Star League-In Exile/3rd League

Sketch:

A one-time vassal state of Clan Diamond Shark, the Isles became a default 3rd League member state at the end of the Jihad. The Isles had been living under a loose state of terror, which is only slowly relaxing. The overall feeling had been that total and oppressive clan occupation was only a matter of time. Falling under the auspices of the 3rd League and SLDF-driven nation-building has allowed the Isles a period of reformation which would otherwise have been impossible. Oddly, given the choice; the Isles have become a leading source of recruits petitioning to join the 3rd League's Clan Member states.

Relations:

3rd League Member State. Relations stilted as a result of the high degree of restructuring required for Member-Statehood. Governments are only marginally functional, but trade is good. SLDF forces are welcomed, but have to be especially cautions of theft and corruption from civilians and municiple government and law enforcement.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 10:30:37
Jarnfolk

Alignment: Nationalist
Bloc: Independent

Sketch:

The Jarnfolk have been expanding their trading empire; seeking to avoid conflict with the Diamond Sharks by staying out of their way for now. No one really knows how the sharks would react to honest competition. What's changed is some development with the Jarnfolk clan's ship building capability; it seems to have expanded recently with number of obviously newer hulls and new technology, with LF-batteries sticking out like sore thumbs. Where they got this tech is unknown, but they are known to have had contact with WOB, ComStar and the 3rd League.

Relations:

Officialy Neutral. Recognizes the 3rd League in a "call yourselves whatever you want; so long as your money is good" sort of way. Relations spotty, but known to have stepped up intelligence gathering activities along with trading.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 10:32:42
Hanseatic League

Alignment: Nationalist
Bloc: Independent

Sketch:

The Hansa have been expending their trading range; they have made contact with the home-world clans and are attempting to fill the void left by the diamond sharks, while at the same time, they have learned to curb their aggressively competitive nature and made a semblance of peace with the sharks. The Hansa lack the technological sophistication of the Sharks, but are becoming more prevalent in the former FWL and spin-ward periphery. Good intelligence indicates that the Hansa have a limited source of new jumpships. The Hansa have contacted the League of Non-Aligned Powers with interest in membership. They are interested in trade and technological exchange.

Relations:

Neutral. Recognizes the League and is happy to trade when possible.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 10:34:34
Auximite Providence

Alignment: Isolationist
Bloc: League of Non-Aligned Powers

Sketch:

The Auximite Providence has only recently re-entered the interstellar stage with their entrance into the League of Non-Aligned Powers. They have little technology or infrastructure, but are primarily focused on art, agriculture and theology.

Relations:

"Neutral". Refuses to recognize the 3rd League or trade.

Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 10:37:54
Coreward Confederacy

Alignment: Nationalist
Bloc: Independent

Sketch:

The confederacy is a decent-sized deep-periphery realm, highly xenophobic and crippled by bureaucracy. technology is primitive; roughly Terran-Alliance levels, but they have recently upgraded their sole Jumpship refit-facility to full-functionality. They cannot build jumpships, yet, but they can now repair and maintain all they have. Unfortunately the facility is compromised by over-staffing and miss-management.

Relations:

Officially Neutral, but refuses to recognize the 3rd League or trade.

Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 10:40:15
Niops Association

Alignment: Royalist
Bloc: Star League-In Exile/3rd League

Sketch:

There wouldn't be a Niops Association today if it were not for the 3rd league. Never mind they wouldn't be as free, happy and productive as they are either. The old regime is long, long gone and most of Niops citizens are happy not to have to take part in government if they don't want to; verses the old system where it was mandatory based on your intelligence. The culture is extremely technocratic and many would rather work than fight or govern.

Relations:

Firm Royalists. Relations excellent. Trade prosperpous. Extensive R&D centre. Vulnerable geographically, but as militarilly secure as possible.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 10:43:50
Fiefdom of Randis

Alignment: Royalist
Bloc: Fiefdom of Randis

Sketch:

The Fiefdom of Randis espouses values that make it a good fit for the 3rd League and once the Brotherhood was assured they would a) not be required to disband as a military order, b) not be required to sit down and become politicians and bureaucrats and c) allowed to continue their mission as they see fit within the broad framework of the 3rd League; they were enthusiastic signatories.

Relations:

Practical Royalists; the 3rd League stands for the same kind, if not *the* same values as the Brotherhood. Relations are only hampered by the extremely hands-off nature of government in the Fiefdom, but trade is good, as are most of the nascent industries; mainly due to the Brotherhood view of such things: "first; do  no harm, Second; do good, Third; make all the money you like." The trick now is keeping the Brotherhood from biting off more than they can chew.

Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 10:45:51
Malagrotta Cooperative

Alignment: Militarist
Bloc: Independent

Sketch:

The Cooperative is a small pirate kingdom, located in a former FedSuns holding. But calling it a "kingdom" is probably over generous; it's more of an anarchistic collection of small fiefdoms and bits of turf, often used by various pirate bands as a base of operations, calling the region a nation. To their credit; the locals try and maintain a semblance of organized government, but they are basically at the mercy of their own privateers once hired to drive off the other pirates.

Relations:

Official State meaningless; functionally hostile. No trade or relations.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 10:57:33
Star League-in-Exile/3rd League Holdings

Alignment: Royalist
Bloc: Star League-In Exile/3rd Leauge

Sketch:

The Second Star League didn't really have an army; it had the Com Guards, it had the Nova Cats, it had the ELH and it had Morgan's Lions and the Black Watch and it could maybe count on a few loan outfits from member states, if it wasn't raining out. Thankfully; the Star League had friends and they had a plan. This plan was to find a suitable merc unit that wouldn't be missed; test them with a dangerous and difficult mission they needed done anyways and then if they survived have them form the cadre for a new and very real SLDF. And if they didn't make it; they'd try something else; maybe pay the Dragoons to train their troops, but I digress.

Answerable only to the First Lord; like the real SLDF, with all the right trappings that made the original admired and feared and *just so*. And "McKenna's Marauders" AKA; the Studies and Observations Group; an unbonded outfit specializing in dirty jobs was just sitting there, so...High-jinx ensued and then the Jihad happened. So here is the role-model Second League SLDF Division; not exactly what anyone wanted, but with representation of all the specialists that made the original SLDF such a force to be reckoned with; warships and even Nukes and Gas (But don't tell mom!). With two more Divisions on the way (one Cavalry, one Infantry); they are being Paraded, inspected and approved years later by this entourage of dispoable SLDF muckety-mucks on their secret training world and they get the word; on parade no less that the jig is up and the Star League is no more.

What? But we have this army:...Ah well, nothing to do for it; you're out of a job, we'll fax you the details when we get around to it; bye! Then a few hours later, they get the word that WOB has decided to start the party anyway and well then; the fox is in the henhouse...And well; all those troops were *just sitting there anyways* looking all sad and dejected, without any purpose in life. So Commander McKenna does what any good leader would do and finds some work for his bored soldiers; "Hey boys, what say we go paint some rocks white? And I know just where we can get the blood." And the rest, as they say; is history.

Relations:

The eponemous army with a nation; by necessity McKenna built a nation to support the army he was building for the SLDF out of abandoned periphery worlds, a mixed bag of luck, a lot of refugees from the Inner Sphere's wars and a ton of cash. Prototypically Royalist and Pragmatic to a fault. Diplomacy is hampered by the fact that there are more SLDF officers wandering around with Plenipotentiary power than there are actually professional displomats in the 3rd League Diplomatic Corps and that is just how what passes for Government in the 3rd League likes it. They know that sooner or later; they will need at least a figurehead dictator to stand with the other leaders of the known worlds.

Right now McKenna fills that roll by default as Lord Protector, but no one is entirely comfortable with the situation; least of all McKenna, who has twice had to be arrested and dragged in chains to assume dictatorial powers of state. Certain interests in the 3rd League are looking into "alternatives", but so far it seems the prospect of a "Leige Lord Generational Training and Selection Program" is enough to baffle even the master trainers of the SLDF. Investigations continue, however.

Past experiments have shown that representative democracy just doesn't work well enough to compete with generational royal houses at the interstellar level, sad as that is and even at the small-empire level, it can be difficult; reference the coup-in-being that the SLDFiE came home to one day in the middle of the jihad. The tale of Seth Marcus; his rapid rise to power and even more rapid destruction of the picture-perfect constitutional republic which had been set up in the Canton-Worlds, would take a too long to tell. Suffice to say the experience burned the SLDFiE's high command and led to the current and much international reviled Laissez-faire government with it's service-guarantees-citizenship system.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 11:03:44
Raven Alliance

Alignment: Nationalist/Contemplative
Bloc: New Clans

Sketch:

The end of the Jihad saw the newly-formed Raven Alliance consolidating their position and generally focusing on infrastructure. Mothballing half their fleet for several years freed up the manpower and expertise needed to complete the transition of the clan to the periphery nation and bring the local industries up to speed; actually managing to build warships in their new home and even "On the run", with several hulls being laid down in clan space and completed in the Alliance, with the skeletal hulls used as "Jump Barges". Today's Raven Alliance is a specialized industrial powerhouse; one of the few places left in the inner sphere (barely) which is capable of producing jumpships in numbers after the Jihad.

While the Alliance has benefited in security, wealth, technology and education and the Ravens have found a secure home; the Clansmen are left wondering what their new identity means to them; do they still hold the conquest of the inner sphere as their ultimate goal? Do they still wish to be part of the greater clan community? can they still call themselves "Clan" and what does that mean? overall; what should their next step be, as a people? Right now the Ravens are occupying themselves with ship building and by refitting their fleet back to full operational readiness; the Khans hope by the time it's ready they will know what to do with the largest war fleet in known space.

Relations:

Respectful, but distant; the Ravens tend to see things in very concrete terms and those terms are; Hulls. They have more ships than the SLDF, but the 3rd League is the only power with advanced warship technology, which threatens to make their entire navy obsolete. Both sides would benefit from trade, but the Ravens would rather see other, less competitive powers benefit from any such arrangement.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 11:06:46
Ghost Bear Dominion

Alignment: Nationalist
Bloc: New Clans

Sketch:

Thanks to their absorption of the Kungsarmee, the Ghost Bears possess the strongest Touman of any Clan in the Inner sphere. In the wake of the Jihad, they have redefined what it means to be Clan; they consider themselves the first of the "New Clans". The Ghost Bears have dedicated themselves to an ethic of strength, protection and quiet self improvement, rather than conquest, competition and rancor; moving beyond the mantle of Wardens.

Attempts to reinvigorate the sundered Tseng Bloodhouse have so far been slow and show little sign of success, but efforts persist. The Ghost Bear Scientist Caste is deeply disturbed by the potential such genetically-targeting viruses represent and study into bio-warfare and defence has garnered resources marked for other mouths since the end of the war.

Relations:

Resentful and shunning; the bears were personally stung by McKenna's refusal to disband the SLDF and incorporate it into the Republic at the end of the Jihad; forcing the Bears to loan out several Galaxies they would have rather used elsewhere like common mercenaries. The Bears see the SLDFiE as a disgrace to the proud roots they share and far from the quiet, honourable professionals they revere in their ancestors.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 11:09:41
Hell's Horses

Alignment: Contemplative/Militarist
Bloc: New Clans

Sketch:

The Hell's Horses saw themselves through the Jihad with their empire intact and their Touman swollen, but heavily committed. They have a lot of work to do to hold onto their worlds and face diverse threats; hostile neighbors, long-range attacks, insurgency, assassination and counter-intelligence. The fighting in the home worlds during the Clan Civil War hurt them badly and their full emigration to the inner sphere cut them off from numerous sources of supply. As a result their worlds are becoming heavily industrialized and fortified as they attempt to rebuild, consolidate and build their strength.

It's very lucky given all this that of all the Clans; the Horses possess the most flexible military; so they are also the best suited to deal with all these challenges. The Horses are also the most practical of the Clans; given to ruthlessness, but fully aware of their position politically and geographically; they'd drive on Terra if they had the strength for it (because they feel like they have the tactical capacity for it), but they lack the raw strength they would need and are far, far from having what they'd need to do it alone and they know none of the other Spheroid Clans will go in for it with them at this time.

Relations:

Officially neutral, but respectful; the Horses see much in common with the SLDFiE; they feel like the 3rd League's New Model Army was based on their clan. The Horses actually maintain some quiet diplomatic relations with the 3rd league and trade with the League itself, rather than just the sharks; principally ammunition. The 3rd League doesn't look at the Horses the same way as the Falcons and the Wolves, but more like the Ghost Bears; they seem to be trying to build something, not just destroy.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 11:11:24
Jade Falcons

Alignment: Revolutionary
Bloc: Continuation Clans

Sketch:

The Jade Falcons have been in the inner sphere for 50 years now and have basically learned nothing during that time; they are very much the same clan in spirit that invaded in 3050. The Falcons lost worlds, power and face during the jihad and they still want to, and think they *can* conquer the inner sphere single-handed. Their home world assets basically ceased to exist in the Clan Civil war as it was discovered that the root of the scientist conspiracy lay with them.

Relations:

Officially hostile, but the falcons are hostile to everyone, so I wouldn't take it personally.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 11:20:18
Diamond Sharks

Alignment: Nationalist
Bloc: Star League-In Exile/3rd Leauge

Sketch:

The Diamond sharks were abjured following the events of the Clan Civil war which followed the revelations of Operation Munin. It was decided that the Mercantile nature of the Sharks meant they were tainted by their under castes as some others had been. As well, their dealings with the inner sphere cast further doubt on the Merchant Clan,  but the final nail in the coffin was that several of the homeworld Clans had been working for years to become more self-sufficient in line with their view of Kerensky's vision and they simply no longer needed the Diamond Sharks as they once did; so they were abjured along with the spheroid clans; the Falcons, Wolves, Horses and bears, while others were annihilated.

The Sharks were better equipped than most to execute a movement of their entire people to the inner sphere, but that didn't mean it was easy. arriving during the Jihad; the Sharks needed allies and living space. They sided with Stone's coalition and the SLDF, back when that was a combination you could have on the same team, and secured a number of scattered worlds and trading rights on others. At the end of the war, when there was a falling out between the SLDFiE and the coalition, the Sharks sided with the 3rd League because they offered the Sharks real security and more autonomy than the Republic offered. But mercantile though the Sharks are; they are not mercenary and have become full members in the 3rd League; paying their own way in the alliance.

Relations:

3rd League Member State; a status the Diamond Sharks enjoy and use to the fullest extent; trading far and wide as 3rd League factors and independents. The sharks also make passable diplomats for the 3rd League as well. Initially a marriage of convenience; the 3rd League has been good to the sharks and they have taken to the alliance with all the passion of the newly converted; but they exercise their favoured nation status to trade with anyone who will trade with them.

How they deal with competition is still enough of an open question to bear pondering, but the Sharks seem to show a marked aversion and distaste for pirates and privateering, which is heartening given their own overwhelming naval power. Their manufacturing power have been enhanced as well; no longer dependant on mobile factories; the Sharks now have access to their own shipyards and permanent manufacturing facilities; these are focused for the time at producing trademark Clan Omnimechs and parts which sell astonishingly well in the Inner Sphere and environs; notably the Timberwolf, Warhawk and Dire Wolf.

Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 13:36:06
Wolves

Alignment: Nationalist
Bloc: Continuation Clans

Sketch:

The Wolf Clan was in brutal shape following the Jihad; the worst of the remaining invading clans. Too-weakened by hostile action and the devastation of their breeding program, even for self-deception; the wolves have concentrated on avoiding fights and holding onto what they can since the end of the Jihad. As a Crusader Clan thei remain a proud, but broken force. They would sill dearly like to invade the Inner Sphere once again, but barring a confluence of fate or scientific break through; that isn't in the cards for the time being.

Relations:

Officially Hostile, but as a practical matter; too weak to turn down any offers of trade or diplomacy; none of which have offered any great boons, but every little bit helps.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 13:39:37
Wolf-in-Exile

Alignment: Officially Republican, actually Contemplative/Neutral
Bloc: Independent/Central Powers depending on the day and how it may or may not benefit them

Sketch:

The Wolves-in-Exile profited greatly from the Jihad; it left them with their material and moral position strengthened, silenced the last of their political critics and at the same time cemented their own political autonomy.

Relations:

Officially neutral,  but in fact extremely resentful. The pride of the WiE was deeply wounded by the blunt insult issued direly to their Khan and others in the wake of the SLDFiE's refusal to disband. The Wolves in Exile have refused any overtures of trade or diplomacy with the 3rd League itself. However they retain close and cordial ties with the Diamond Shark and Nova Cat Clans.

This feat of political and mental acrobatics is managed in view of the fact that the 3rd League's member states retain their autonomy, especially in the cases of the three Clans. So even while the two traditional allies of the WiE have their Toumans carried as an active part of the SLDFiE; they retain their own trade, diplomatic and political autonomy within the League; so the Wolves see no reason to shun their long-time allies, especially when they share so many common touchstones in their recent past. It was the Sharks and the Cats who reached out to the wolves after their exile, for instance.

It is notable however that the Wolves in Exile continue to regard the Blood Spirits as poor relations and have so far rebuffed their overtures. Likewise; continued good relations with the Sharks and Cats shows no sign of leading to any sort of rapprochement with the greater 3rd League.


Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 13:46:33
Blood Spirit

Alignment: Royalist
Bloc: Star League-In Exile/3rd Leauge

Sketch:

The relationship between the Blood Spirits and the 3rd League goes back to before the 3rd League existed and starts on the battlefield. Back when it was just known as "SOG"; Mckenna's Marauders dropped onto York as part of operation Munin in order to test the capabilities of the Blood Spirits to see if they were likely to pose a threat to the inner sphere.

They accoutered themselves honourably as opponents and guests and were granted SafCon to leave after the trials were complete. The Blood Spirits used the supplies they won and the disruption of SOG's arrival to their advantage and made great gains against their own clan enemies on York.  The Marauders for their part left with a positive impression of the Spirits as the kind of people they could probably deal with.

Years later, near the end of the Jihad when McKenna was casting about for allies to join the nascent 3rd League, with the Diamond Sharks and Nova Cats already on board; the Blood Spirits were at the top of the list to be actively sought out. Knowing they'd been left in a poor state, a relief fleet was dispatched, which arrived just as fate was closing in on the Spirits in Clan Space.

The offer from the 3rd League was obvious to the Khans of the Spirits as the only one they were ever going to get: their only chance at a future; at survival; at being part of something where they could play a meaningful part and just maybe the chance to actually make a grab for the destiny they had long been denied as inheritors of the original Star League.

Word of the Spirit's choice spread like wildfire and assured their abjurement, with annihilation by the star adders soon to follow. The SLDF relief force jumped into the Coleen system just in time. The evacuation was hurried and encompassed several worlds, but what was left of the spirits managed to get out just before the hammer fell and the Star Adders ended up assaulting dummy positions and worlds held only by skeleton Solahma troops.

Relations:

Staunch Royalists; but the Blood Spirits have a huge chip on their shoulder. They are well aware that they owe their survival to the strength and charity of others and they remain the junior of the 3rd League's three clans. They are further hurt by their rebuff from the Wolves in Exile. As a result the Blood Spirits are a little over-motivated in terms of drive and morale. They consistantly push too hard, but they will also volunteer for anything and will trial against the other two clans for almost anything no matter the chance of success. Interestingly, their migration to the holdings of the 3rd League has made them much less isolationalist as they push to prove themselves.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 13:50:06
Star Adder

Alignment: Militarist/Nationalist
Bloc: True Clans

Sketch:

The Star Adders came out of the Clan Civil War as the most powerful of the homeworld Clans and led the drive to reaffirm traditional Clan values and beliefs. They founded the True Clan's Purity Movement with an eye to a return to the fundamentals of Kerensky's vision; as such they reject association with those Clans they see as tainted in any way.

Relations:

Officially hostile; the Star Adders see the 3rd League as a poor reflection of the past, rather than a move to the future; yet the SLDFiE also serves to remind them of all they have lost. It's a bad combination, politically and diplomatically speaking. By contrast; having a core history of facing the Star Adders as part of Operation: Munin, the SLDFiE has a great deal of respect for the Star Adders as a military force.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 13:53:50
Cloud Cobra

Alignment: Nationalist/Contemplative
Bloc: New Clans

Sketch:

The Cloud Cobra's survived the Clan Civil War because they fell back on their faith and it was that faith that also made them a target in the later days of the civil war. Even after putting down the scientist's secret armies; it was clear the Cobra's were tainted by their religious interests. They held onto their worlds, but were shut out of the True Clans movement and were thus forced to redefine themselves as a New Clan. The Cloud Cobras are baffled by these changes; to themselves they feel as though nothing has changed, but the universe has shifted around them, leaving them feeling isolated; cloistered in other words.

Relations:

Officially Neutral; but maintaining positive relations with all three of the Royalist Clans. The 3rd  League has sent delegations to several of the Cloud Cobra's diets and has assisted with escorting delegations from sphere-ward.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 13:55:32
Coyote

Alignment: Nationalist
Bloc: True Clans

Sketch:

Clan Coyote got dragged through the mud by their scientist caste during the Clan Civil war, but they were appropriately contrite about the whole matter and fought like hell to put down the Society. They still have a lot to prove to their fellow True Clans and as such they are even more fanatical, ideologically than the Star Adders.

Relations:

Officially Hostile; no relations.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 13:58:41
Nova Cats

Alignment: Royalist
Bloc: Star League-In Exile/3rd Leauge

Sketch:

The Nova Cats fought with the Coalition during the Jihad, but they looked at the SLDFiE like a ray of renewed hope and that kept them from forming tighter bonds with Stone and the Republic than they otherwise might have. They were deeply demoralized when it became clear that the SLDFiE's bid to form a renewed Second Star League in the closing days of the war, would never come to pass. After the War; they were the sole active coalition member to refuse to sign the petition to disband the SLDFiE and were one of the first signatories of the 3rd League and accordingly one of it's first full member states.

Relations:

Idealistic Royalists; the Nova Cats are True believers in the best ideals of the Star League. This has paid off for them in the ceding of their Irece prefecture holdings; independent of both the Combine and the Republic, both of whom had designs on the worlds and would have rather seen the Cats evicted following their support for the SLDFiE and their decision to opt out of their own place in the republic.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 14:03:17
Steel Vipers

Alignment: Revolutionary/Militarist
Bloc: True Clans

Sketch:

To say that Clan Steel Viper took the discovery of The Society...poorly is a drasic understement. That they blamed the taint of contact with the inner sphere for the corruption of the scientist caste across multiple clans is also self-evident. In reaction; they kicked off the Clan Civil War as those Clans which had stayed in the home worlds, or failed in the invasion went to war with those who had maintained contact with the Inner Sphere or seemed to bear evidence of "lower-Caste tampering".

This comparatively organized start soon flew apart at a high rate of speed as the True Clan Movement came to the fore and the Steel Viper's own purity was called into question. The Vipers suffered badly in this crucible-like act of contrition and only their clever employment of limited tactical superiority in Naval and ground engagements saved them. Even so their Touman is a shattered remnant and they are hurrying to rebuild.

Relations:

Officially Hostile; no relations.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 14:08:53
Escorpion Imperio

Alignment: Revolutionary/Militarist/Isolationist
Bloc: New Clans

Sketch:

The Goliath Scorpions had seen the writing on the wall long before the discovery of the Society and the Clan Civil war and were already planning a move to somewhere in the deep periphery. Their reconnaissance activities, bringing them into contact with WOB and dark caste forces. Eventually they decided to invade and subjugate both Neuva Castille and the Ummyaad Caphiliate, renaming themselves the Escorpion Imperio or the "Empire of the Scorpion". A New Clan; the Scorpions could see that few of their brethren had any real interest in establishing anything like the original Star League and so they decided to do it themselves.

Relations:

Openly positive; the Scorpions like what they see in the 3rd League and have ever since SLDFiE Elements showed up on the eve of the Jihad to collect the Eridani Light Horse in an attempt to short-circuit the plans of the WOB as part of Operation: Reindeer Games. Conversely they do not like what they see in the Republic and relations and trade have been positive since Project: Safe Deposit/Roadshow and it's Field phase; Operation: DragonFire/Vril, just after the Jihad.

From Corregidor Ancorage the SLDFiE had a full master document for all the registered Exodus-Era SLDF Caches in the Inner Sphere and periphery. The Escorpion Imperio had a long list of suspected Brian Cache locations. Under Project; Safe Deposit/Roadshow. resources, assets and experise were pooled and the spoils divided with the result that there are less than 3-dozen locations left in situ in the Inner Sphere and 32 in the Clan Homeworlds and these are too closely guarded or too close to a guarded location to be investigated. Both sides benefited from the influx of badly-needed materiel and the even sharing of data enhanced historical and military knowledge in both realms. The experience led to much closer ties at all levels as well and left the Seeker movement fulfilled and very well traveled.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 16:01:42
Stone Lions

Alignment: Revolutionary/Nationalist
Bloc: True Clans

Sketch:

Clan Stone Lion was formed from the loyal, "pure" elements of tainted clans left in the home worlds following the Clan Civil war. The other, remaining Clans abhored the waste of having then annihilated, but were unwilling to consign them to the dark caste or take them as bondsmen at he risk that they were mistaken over their ideological purity. The result is a diverse mixture of warriors from different backgrounds. Clan Stone Lion has been somewhat disruptive to the Clan eugenics program, but they do appear to be ideologically pure Clansmen, even if they tend to be somewhat disorganized.

Relations:

Officially Hostile; no relations.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 16:08:32
The Dead.

Those factions which no longer exist in fact, or as a matter of practicality.

Circinus Federation: Destroyed during the Jihad. Territory annexed by the Lyran Commonwealth, FWL Remnants and Marian Hegemony.

Lothian League: Conquered by the Marian Hegemony

Ilyrian Pallatinate: Conquered by the Marian Hegemony

Clan Fire Mandril: Heavy Losses in the Clan Civil War, remnants absorbed

Clan Ice Hellion: Mostly annihilated (small-a) in the Clan Civil War, Remainder suffered various fates; absorbed and rieved.

Clan Smoke Jaguar: Mostly Annihilated by the Inner Sphere/2nd League. Survivors joined Republic in secret at a later time or became bandits. Two major warships remain unaccounted for. Still remain under 2nd League "Kill or Capture" orders.

ComGuard: Devastated during the Jihad. Remnants joined SLDFiE and RAF









Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 18:06:17
Minor Powers

ComStar

Alignment: Officially Neutral, Functionally Republican
Bloc: Officially Independent

Sketch:

A shadow of their former power; ComStar survives running HPGs in most realms. They still claim neutrality, but are functionally a puppet of the Republic and one without much real power even then. ComStar is an almost ideologically pure secular organization now, but they miss their old power.

Since the Jihad, ComStar has received a small boost in power and prestige as various realms have invited them back in to run, repair and maintain the HPG networks. But doing so has put ComStar deeply into the Republic's pocket, as much of the production infrastructure and science behind HPGs, what little does still exist in a functional sense, remains in Republic hands.

Relations:

Officially Neutral, functionally hostile. Relations resemble those between the order and the Federated Suns or Wolf's Dragoons during the 20s and 30s.

***
Word of Blake

Alignment: Revolutionary
Bloc: Independent

Sketch:

Scattered remnants survive in hiding and exile, post-war. No one is exactly sure how many, who or where they may be. Two decades later WOB remains a bogey man in the collective consciousness.

Relations:

Offically Hostile, No Relations. The SLDFiE maintains a bloody-minded vendetta against surviving WOB personnel when encountered. While it is possible for those who served with the WOBM and Protectorate Militia to pass through 3rd League Counter-Intelligence' "Broadsword Enema" process and retain their lives and freedom, in practice few do.

The official policy is similar to that pursued with extant Smoke Jaguars; any surviving WOB elements are to be killed or captured.

ComStar and later WOB maintained 5 hidden worlds. Of these; only two: Jardine and Odessa (The Ruins of Gabriel) were confirmed as neutralized during the war. Despite some pretty impressive efforts, it is not known whether any of the others have since been found.

***
Brotherhood of Cincinnatus

Alignment: Revolutionary
Bloc: Terran Pact

Sketch:

A secret society within the Lyran Commonwealth, increasingly co-opted and used as a cat's paw by the 3rd Leauge in the years following the Jihad.

Relations:

Actively positive. The Brotherhood and the 3rd League share a number of goals in terms of exalting the Lyran Commonwealth and were more than willing to see it happen at the expense of others; in this case the Republic and their former Lyran holdings. Following Operation: Century, certain key facts about the Brotherhood and it's members were passed to Lyran Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence organizations, as well as directly to the throne on Tharkad, and the movement was neatly excised from Lyran Society.

***
The Arc-Royale Defence Cordon

Alignment: Officially Neutral, Effectively Republican and Nationalist
Bloc: Officially Central Powers, but in practice; semi-autonomous.

Sketch:

Officially, the ARDC no-longer exists; unofficially, it serves as a kind of shadow-government and military in the Lyran Commonwealth; receiving massive covert and passive materiel and political support from the Republic. During the Jihad, the ARDC and it's alumni were among Stone's most ardent supporters and despite the crippling of the Kell Hounds during the assault on Terra, the coalition-within-the-coalition came out looking like heroes, as per normal.

Today the ARDC is something of a clearing house for RAF intelligence assets, Republic-approved mercenary activities and units; contrast this with Galatea and the region itself is something of a retirement centre and rest area for Devlin Stone's old allies that do not choose to take an active part in the Republic or RAF.

Relations:

Officially Neutral, but functionally operates as the training centre for the Republic's reserve forces. The 3rd League maintains a hiring hall on Arc-Royal, from which the Crescent Hawks were recently hired. As is now known; they were a plant and the SLDF has been using them as double agents ever since.

***
The Northwind Highlanders

Alignment: Officially Neutral, Practically Republican
Bloc: Officially Mercenary, Effectively Central Powers.

Sketch:

The Northwind Highlanders actions during the Jihad were extremely suspect. When SLDFiE Forces arrived to liberate Northwind; all ground forces were intact, but all aerospace and naval assets were missing and the Highlanders were too tight-lipped to explain in any detail what had happened to them, save to claim they were under WOB blockade. While the local HPG had been destroyed with surgical precision, allegedly from space; SLDF experts always held it look more like ground-based demolition. Civilians on Northwind corroborated claims about the HPG, but seemed certain that the naval blockade was still in effect. There was never any direct evidence found of a WOB Blockade, but there was a false-flag attack during the war with WOB troops making a combat drop from ships bearing Highlanders IFF.

Devlin Stone vouched for the Highlanders though and supplied them with ships to get into the fight, though how he could practically do either was never explained at the time; everyone just accepted it. Another sign of the man's staggering charisma. Post-War, the Northwind regiments kept on for a time as mercs by name, but were just marking time until they could join the RAF. After centuries of fighting for their own identity; the Highlanders of the post-Jihad seemed oddly quiescent to be absorbed into the RAF. By 3090, however Northwind itself was once again raising mercenary forces for hire on the open market, but their service record so far has been strictly Republic Approved and they refused several lucrative offers from House Liao.

Overall, besides the five full regiments absorbed into the RAF, the Mercenary Highlanders boast an incredible seven additional regiments (mainly Mech), all founded with sponsorship from interests based in the Republic. These are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Kearny, The Hussars, The Fusiliers and the 1st and 2nd Highland Regiments. All are fully equipped with battlearmour infantry, Aerospace fighter cover, assault dropships and jumpships.

Relations:

Officially Hostile as Republican troops, but previously officially neutral as mercenaries registered through the Arc-Royal Mercenary Commission. Though it should be noted that prior to their absorption into the RAF; the Highlanders accepted no contracts with anyone, especially not the 3rd League.

***
The Mercenary Trade, in General.

Alignment: Neutral, in general
Bloc: Anyone who pays, but somewhat independent as well

Sketch:

The Mercenary Trade took a big hit during the Jihad, loosing many storied units to military action and a great deal of prestige for being seen as very much on the loosing side due to widespread support for WOB.

Post-War, things got worse. Outreach was a memory and mercs had a choice between going unbonded, using the Republic-Approved hiring hall on Arc-Royal or the sketchy, but more independent Galatea. Without the Dragoons and the AMC to guide the trade any longer, smaller commands have been more free to make their own way and the trade is better now for smaller units than it has been in hundreds of years, but bigger commands have suffered.

In the last decade, the influence of the revived, ComStar-backed Mercenary Review Board on Galatea has grown, along with the usefulness and attraction of the world once known as the "Mercenary's Star."

As part of their efforts to curb the trade as a means to enhance the status quo and encourage non-violent conflict resolution, the Republic has done their utmost to discourage the mercenary trade, but ironically; their demilitarization efforts have made even poorly equipped, trained and led mercenary troops a financially and politically-attractive proposition and since 3090, the trade has flourished.

Relations:

The 3rd League both hires mercenaries in their own right and despite past conflicts; allows private individuals, cooperatives and corporations to do the same. This is a practical necessity, as the Canton Worlds remain mostly unsettled and bandits, criminals and even pirates and privateers remain a fact of life, despite the very heavily militarized nature of the nation. Things are getting better in that regard though and the 3rd League itself now hires many fewer Money-Soldiers than private concerns, simply because the necessity to do so has waned.

Those units the 3rd League does retain are mainly long-service outfits. This benefits both parties, but is also a necessity as employment with the 3rd League tends to taint bonded units in the eyes of the Central Powers nations for years afterwards. Though it must be noted that Snord's Irregulars recently left 3rd League employ after many trouble-free years and returned immediately to Republic service.

Nor is the 3rd League blind to the dangers of hired soldiers. 3rd League Intelligence reports that the Crescent Hawks, hired out of Arc-Royal and employed in pirate hunting and local defence reserve duties, are in fact a Republic Plant. Since this revelation, the Crescent Hawks have been used as unwitting double agents by the SLDFiE. Whether or not this fact is known by Republic Intelligence is debatable.

Issues persist with the 3rd League's transplanted and restive upper class; as most choose not to serve in the SLDFiE in any form, they have no political franchise, but also have more time to devote to earning money. Hiring of mercenary forces as private security has risen steadily in recent years as a result of leftover animosity from the failed coup during the Jihad and building resentment and paranoia. Together with other groups of "Civilians" (there exist various civilian groupings and subcultures, which choose to not take part in SLDF service at any level and thus; never attain Citizenship), these are known as the "dispossessed masses" and led by the upper class, these groups have been hiring forces of their own as well. 3rd League Intelligence doesn't know if any of this is due to Republic agents provocateur, or if any support derives from backing by the Central Powers, but as of 31 Dec 3099, the SLDF expects to have to fight some form of asymmetrical campaign against mercenary forces hired by the aforementioned parties, sometime in the next 5-8 years. It's a sticky situation as there is often at least some reasonable need for private troops to protect civil assets, but at the same time, it is a known fact that many of the groups hiring these troops are starkly against the political regime which dominates the 3rd League's Canton Worlds.

During and after the Jihad, a number of Mercenary units chose to enlist in the SLDFiE, wholesale. Those with a connection to the original SLDF were permitted to bear those colours anew and the rest were simply absorbed, retrained and employed, with their histories intact and members together as much as possible. The example of the Eridani Light Horse is different, because the ELH were 2nd League SLDF troops at the time of the Jihad; following Operation: Reindeer Games, the ELH became a part of the SLDFiE, whole-hog and were later joined by such other troops as could be saved from the fires of the Jihad. A better example is the mercenary "Screaming Eagles", now once again known as the 250th Battlemech Division ("Screaming Eagles").

Many wonder at the story of Wolf's Dragoons. All but destroyed during the Jihad and facing a market afterwards denuded of employment, with no home and much of what made them who they were lost, losses and leadership failures having crushed morale, the Dragoons were in sad shape. Deeply in debt and with no way to pay it off, the Dragoons were faced with four options; Join the RAF, become a literal part of the ARDC (Which amounted to something similar, but with the added bonus of House Steiner as a master as well), be re-absorbed into Clan Wolf-in-Exile or take the offer of membership in the nascent 3rd Star League.

As a Member-State of the 3rd League, the Dragoons enjoy nearly-complete cultural autonomy, their traditions are recognized and their military forces fight as part of the SLDF; The 1st Strike Division (Wolf's Dragoons). Today, Wolf's Dragoons enjoy their own territorial enclave and bicameral representation on par with any other Member State in the Government of the 3rd Star League. The one limitation, which still chafes at the few remaining old-guard Dragoons; is that they cannot simply go and fight who they wish to, when they feel like it. The 3rd League War Department has a simple solution to this; 1st Strike Division and it's attendant Brigades (A-E, ect) deploy more often and more widely than any other element of I Corps. Their deployments are also shorter, which helps maintain the image of the mercenary culture which the Dragoons carry as their "Regimental Identity". In the SLDFiE; being Dragoon, or even Clan is treated much alike to being in a unit with a "Scottish" or "German", or any other "Regimental Identity". There are simply some traditions which are required to maintain the unit's peculiar and distinct esprit de corps. That the SLDF is simply willing to allow these traditions to be taken much farther in some cases, is seen merely as a matter of practicality.

Mercenary Contracts in the 3rd League are held by either the SLDF, itself or directly by the government of the 3rd League (this may include a municipal government as well!). Contracts are administered by the SLDF Mercenary Liaison Department and it's various local provisional detachments. Currently, there are no Mercenaries on SLDF Contract. The following troops are retained on "State" Contracts, directly with the 3rd League and supplement SLDF forces where needed. The various "Department" ("State", province, region, territory, world, ect) and Municipal Contracts are only closely monitored by the SLDF MLD.

-Blazing Aces (Anti-Bandit/Pirate)
-Knights of St. Cameron (SLDF augmentation)
-Crescent Hawks (mobile local defence reserve/anti-piracy)
-Kraken Unleashed (Cadre and SLDF Augmentation)
-Medusans (Anti-Piracy operations/Border Patrol)
-Snord's Irregulars (Recently dismissed following contract completion, assignment was SLDF Augmentation)
-Corey's Cavalry (Local Defence Augmentation)
-Periphery Star Guard (Local Defence Augmentation)
-Ross Ronin (OPFOR Cadre/Local Defence Reserve)
-Wilson's Hussars (Local Defence Augmentation)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 February 2016, 18:09:45
Okay, that's the background; you AU-Update, if you will.

I'm not sure what I'll post next, but I feel like doing some weapons and a Technical Readout.

I have a lot more odds and ends for fluff as well.

I'd be thrilled to hear what people think about Der Tag so far.

Oh! And if there is something specifically you want to see that I haven't posted yet, or hear more about, let me know.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: snakespinner on 09 February 2016, 00:59:20
Interesting so far, especially the politics. O0
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 09 February 2016, 09:36:21
Interesting so far, especially the politics. O0

Originally because I was less interested in the mainstream and more in the side notes and conspiracies, I tried to keep most of the main line events intact, then I just filled in some more "chinking" to support those big stones in a way that made sense and made sense within the context of an AU where we add another substantially powerful faction.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 09 February 2016, 23:34:48
So, how about the Star League Anthem?

This is mentioned a few times, usually in regards to being played by the ELH, but how it sounds is never mentioned.

The Star League feels to me like the kind of nation/state/organization/empire which would go for a classical work, with lyrics added. A lot of national anthems use music lifted from pre-existing sources; pop songs of the day, bar ditties and what we call "Classical Music". Very few are totally original.

So in Der Tag, the Star League Anthem is set to "Ode to Joy", or if you prefer; the "Drink Milk; Love Life" song...What? That was only in Canada? How sad...

The design of the SLDFiE was based heavily on concepts derived from western armies of the 1950s-1970s, especially those which fought counter-insurgency campaigns during this time period. Initially, I just went with it because Airmobile Infantry and Bush Wars were really interesting to me, but later I asked myself; if I was building an army for the Inner Sphere in this time period, what did I want?

Well first of all; it's going to be somewhat designed by committee, somewhat a form over function press-on of the original SLDF, somewhat modified by the people training, organizing and equipping the army itself and also influenced by other armies found in the BTU in this time period...but what would it's mission be?

Well, the SLDF will need to be really, really good at fighting dirty, little wars, because the history of the BTU is full of those. Peacekeeping only gets you so far. And the SLDF will also need to be practically very good at dissuading the various powers in the inner sphere from starting anything on a large scale. Finally; the SLDF; "New Model Army" will need to be able to smash anyone who decides to turtle for whatever reason. So; we need an army which is good at asymmetrical warfare and good at defeating really well-fortified and tenacious defence troops. Between those two points, hopefully we take care of the rest.

The unit we pick to cadre this mess are specialists at the dirty jobs of the BTU; insurgency/counter-insurgency, urban warfare, ect...so patterning the Lyrics of the Star League Anthem off of Rhodesia has a certain symmetry to it in a few ways, IMO

***

Rise, O voices of The Star League,
Man's Great Bounty May we share.
Give us strength to face all danger,
And where challenge is; to dare.
First Lord, Guide Us, in Your Wisdom,
Ever of Thy grace aware,
Let our hearts beat bravely always
For the Stars within Thy care.

Rise, O voices of The Star League,
Bringing her your proud acclaim,
Grandly echoing through the mountains,
Rolling o'er the far flung plain.
Roaring in the mighty rivers,
Joining in one grand refrain,
Ascending to the sunlit heavens,
Telling of her honoured name.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Kasaga on 11 February 2016, 16:53:48
oh wow you even have an anthem for the Star League.  You have thought this out pretty extensively so far.  Keep up the work.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 12 February 2016, 16:16:15
oh wow you even have an anthem for the Star League.  You have thought this out pretty extensively so far.  Keep up the work.

Thanks! Trying to anyways.

Lets take a look at some doctrine now.

Here is a Wiki Link to the Principles of War as practiced and understood today, in the real world (TM)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principles_of_war (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principles_of_war)

Here are the original Star League Defence Force Principles of War, as original cited in the SLSB. They refer to them as the Principles of Command, but we know what we're looking at; these are not quite guidelines for leadership, so much as warfighting in general and they are sourced in-universe from; "A Primer to Tactics and Strategy": 34th Edition, edited by General Aleksandr Kerensky, SLDF Press, 2742

1.Objective. Always keep a clear goal in mind. Without it, the lives you lose are meaningless.


2.Offensive. When given the chance, attack and remain on the offensive for as long as possible. The enemy is weakest when backing up, and so are you.

3.Unity of Command. Always know who is above and below you in the chain of command and what they are doing. It will not only help you in times of trouble, but it will also give you a better sense of how your mission fits into the overall picture.

4.Strength. Never willingly enter battle at a numerical disadvantage. Even the sloppiest army can defeat you if it is bigger.

5.Economy of Force. Do not waste your effort and supplies. Use just enough of your force to inflict the maximum amount of havoc on the enemy in the minimum amount of time. Save the rest of your strength to exploit your gains or protect yourself from counterattack.

6.Maneuver. Learn the value of maneuverability. Being able to speed across the battlefield in a coordinated wave of force can overwhelm the toughest opponent with a minimum of bloodshed.

7.Surprise. The element of surprise effectively doubles your force.

8.Intelligence. Information is like eggs, the fresher the better. A good guess might win a battle, but a bad one can eventually lose a campaign.

9.Simplicity. If a plan looks messy on paper or in a computer simulation, it is too complicated to succeed. The best plans often turn out to be ones drawn in the dirt and explained with a few hand gestures. A good solution applied with vigor immediately is better than a perfect solution ten minutes later.

10.Maintenance of Morale. Instill pride and sense of duty, worthiness, and loyalty into your soldiers. Keep them informed, rested, and happy. Officers should visit the front often, not to meddle but for personal contact with the troops.

11.Administration. This is the dullest, most mind-numbing of chores, but doing it properly is infinitely better than facing the enemy without ammunition.

12.Mercy. Be firm and win the day, but once the fighting is over, treat your prisoners with respect and courtesy. Not only is it the correct and moral thing for a soldier of the Star League to do, but once enemy soldiers hear of your merciful treatment, they might also be more willing to surrender.

***

Absorbing the job before his team, Then-Brevet-General McKenna knew from the patterns of history that to simply try and remake what had once been would be a disaster; for all the SLDF stood for, accomplished and meant as a symbol; just doing their best to re-create the force circa-24-hours before Stefan Amaris launched his coup would be both impractical and a waste. While people had not changed in over 50,000 years, let alone less than 400, the known worlds were a different place now than then; the current operating environment and the mission had both changed.

The problem was that the mission-statement had not.

The Purpose in Being for the SLDF was almost naive in it's simplicity; ensure the supremacy of the Terran Hegemony (which no longer existed), defend the Star League from existential threats (which was open-ended enough to baffle and disturb a socially deaf pragmatist like McKenna) and perform other such Peacekeeping and support duties as proved necessary.

The Clans represented an existential threat, but applying fuzzy logic could expand that definition to encompass almost any threat the First Lord of the Day chose. McKenna knew first-hand and by avoidance just how easily missions like Peacekeeping, domestic operations, counter-terror and other asymmetrical missions and operations other-than war could descend into expensive and unpopular quagmires. He'd arranged it often enough himself.

Another person would have rebelled at the unreasonable expectations, or subverted them. Not McKenna; he just followed the strictures of the mission statement to it's logical conclusion and extrapolated what he'd need when he got there.

The structure and organization of the New Model Army was almost predestined by the selection of SOG as it's cadre and progenitors, but to that point the mercenaries, while doctrinally adept; had yet to really put pen to paper; relying instead on a mix of institutional knowledge and a position-by-merit system which was in a word; Darwinian.

It was the hope of McKenna and his staff that by doing so now, they might produce a guiding light for future generations of soldiers who they knew would be extremely put-upon. In this way, they sought to influence the organizational culture and outlook of the army they were building and thus, they laid out their own Principles of War.

Such was hardly unusual in the successor states and beyond, where each great house (excepting the Federated Suns and Lyran Alliance, which still shared a system) had their own set of  principles; elemental, certain, absolute and each subtly or severely different from the next. So too the major periphery states and some of the Clans (Some clans preferred a model more alike to what SOG practiced; you know it basically naturally, or you do not long retain your position. Upright; for instance).

The Principles of War of the New Model Army were thus:

Objective
Maneuver
Surprise
Simplicity
Information
Logistics
Superiority
Frightfulness
Annihilation
Geometry
Improvisation
All-Arms

Of these 12 principles; Objective, Maneuver, Surprise and Simplicity were unchanged from the original SLDF's Principles of Command and would have been familiar to most schooled military leaders of the Inner Sphere and beyond as well. Keen observers could pick out influences from Sun Tzu, Clauswitz, Kerensky and others, with very little imagination.

Information comprised intelligence, communication and security of same.

Logistics had to do with matters of supply, maintenance and administration.

Superiority was taken as a fact in evidence of the late SLDF's effectiveness and made a virtue of always maintaining the upper hand in at least one of technology, numbers, skill or one of the other Principles.

In Frightfulness the SOG-Heritage of the New Model Army was on full display. McKenna and his inner circle sought to impart an intimate familiarity with Terror to their new SLDF. Frightfulness was a principle applied at every level; from the bearing of individual soldiers to basic tactics, on up to the assault upon the psyche of the enemy population and their leaders, all was balanced with the idea of unbalancing the mental equilibrium of opponents and replacing it with a sheer, unreasoning, paralyzing fright.

Annihilation was just simply an expression of the value of inflicting casualties and material friction on the enemy. It was inculcated to soldiers of the New Model Army from the very beginning that their job was to hurt people and break things; to get at the enemy any way they could and cause the maximum amount of wound, death, pain and destruction in the shortest time and all for the purpose of making conflict with the SLDF of the 2nd League a totally unpalatable proposition. "War is cruel." The posters said; "And the Crueler you can make it, the faster it will end. Long wars are never fruitful."

Geometry applied to matters of space and time in planning, as well as task-organization and organizational structure (shape) and how these ideas inter-related and produced a desirable outcome on the battlefield. In this way, it was hoped SLDF soldiers would come to understand the organization and structure of the larger force on a basic level; make it make sense to them why a given unit was "Shaped" how it was, employed how it was and how it moved and fought and covered ground.

The Principle of Improvisation was a core SOG value that had saved time and lives over and over again.  Getting this principle into the heart of the new SLDF's planning and leadership culture was deemed essential from the start. The New Model Army was from the outset a force which valued skills over drills and leaders were judged partly on how they could adapt their force to the situation on the ground, at every level, without the aid of an iron-clad set of drills and doctrine, which would set them into a narrow way of thinking about every situation.

Lastly All-Arms was emphasized as a holistic, or cross-disciplinary approach to problems at all levels. Soldiers and leaders were taught from the outset to utilize the capabilities of diverse forces. This was inculcated at the lowest possible levels; taking the original concepts of combined arms to their natural conclusion with things like air support, security troops and fire support available as an organic part of all formations. McKenna had seen during his time with the Hell's Horses that the strict adherence to trade-loyalty practiced in some armies was the inferior way to go and close co-operation of different forces, under the same cap-badge was superior.

While overall the attitude would forever remain that leaders (and indeed; soldiers) were more born than trained, it was felt that ideas such as these would ensure the minimal wastage of talent among recruits passing through the cadre system.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 15 February 2016, 10:54:11
State of Warships in Der Tag

As stated earlier; the Jihad plays out very close to Canon in Der tag. There are a few exceptions and of course, peoples perceptions after the Jihad and their thoughts regarding the conflict are different. i indeed to show this in a few ways as we go on.

One of the differences is that having one major near-space power with a large warship fleet (the SLDFiE) alters how the various local powers feel about their warships after the Jihad. Whatever their status; no one is just going to be able to let their hulls rot; it is literally a matter of life and death of the state. A lot of people are pretty certain (more so than in the canon) that pocket warships have made warships at least obsolescent, economically, if not obsolete militarily. But this belief in Der Tag is less a technical/historical/military one and more an emotional belief, because the cash-strapped nations of the Inner Sphere *need* it to be true after the Jihad; the Federated Suns *CAN NOT* afford to bebuild their warship program. The FWL states *CAN NOT* practically do this...the Dragon; that's iffy; With the Snow Raven and Ghost Bears, the sort-of have to, but it's going to hurt them *Badly*

Keep in mind also; we're moving up the clock in a lot of ways in Der Tag by 50 years or so. Most nations invest in research and modernization vs rebuilding their armies as a response to the Bogeyman of the 3rd league. But most of the Dark Age and later events; like the Kurita invasion of Fed Suns Space? There will never be the strength, even by 3150 to make that happen; because even by that late date, the money and effort is going to SDS and the Kuritan navy.

The Lyran Commonwealth actually benefits from forking over worlds to the republic; they don't have to rebuild them. They can at least look at a limited warship program; not because they can afford it, so much as they cannot afford not to.

The Confederation...yeesh...

Okay, so without further adieu;

   Federated Suns

New Avalon-Class Lucian Davion, Melissa Davion
Fox-Class Admiral Michael Saille, New Syrtis, Brest   

Okay, so major changes would be; the Suns get the Melissa Davion back. Good, because those Fox Corvettes are terrible defensive assets. Note; "New"-Avalon Class, it's an updated design. The Fox has been updated slightly as well.

   Lyran Commonwealth

Tharkad Class Invincible
Mjolnir-class Yggdrasil
Fox-class Robert Marsden and Katherine Steiner

Projected: Commonwealth Cruiser Block-III?

Everything you're looking at here has been modernized. I wouldn't expect LF batteries across the board, but those Upgraded Fox-Class in the FedSuns are patterned on the Lyran Model, which is superior. The Suns cut a lot of corners on theirs. the Lyrans would have as well, but just didn't think of as many shortcuts as the Suns did.

And yeah; no BSG reference here: The Lyrans are going to need a overhauled Invincible; they can't afford to not have it. Most of the Warship budget has gone to rebuilding the invincible and it's become a huge symbol. if they loose it again, for keeps, it would crush morale, so no expense has been spared.

The Lyrans would like to scrap their Foxes in the next five years or sell them to the suns; they just aren't what they need right now. They are working on an update to the Commonwealth-Class, mainly because they save a lot of time and money by starting from an extant design, no matter how old and the Tharkad and Mjolnir Classes are too far to reach.

   FWL states

Thera-Class Delos and Santorini
Zechetinu-II Class Haptopoda
Agamemnon-class Menelaus
Eagle-class Galahad and Lancelot

Shortly after the Jihad, the FWL states were forced by the republic to consolidate their fleets under a joint command. Fixing the Santorini's KF drive was part of the price for this. The FWL States Navy is operationally almost useless due to the fractured and uncooperative chine of command. the Republic hand-crafted a system granting every FWL state a say in Warship operations, which leads to command by committee system, which in turn leads to a Navy that on a good day manages to train and maintain itself, but that doesn't have a lot of good days.

the FWL States Navy is stretched to the limit maintaining and running it's warships. They would like to mothball several of them to keep the rest running, but so far infighting and the way in which individual Andurian pact members have come to identify with certain ships makes this impossible.

   Capellan Confederation

Impavado-Class Xizang
Fen Haung-Class Hyung, Aleisha Kris

Planned: Soyal Block-II, additional Fen Haung? design study for a lighter ship class.

The Capellan Confederation benefited greatly from 3rd League Assistance post-war. One of Sun-Tzu Liao's main drives was to use industry, including military to drive the recovery of the confederation.

The CCAF Warship fleet would be in better shape if they had chosen to simply by a Yard station and Orbital Factories from the 3rd League, but instead they took the longer path in learning all over again how to build and maintain such facilities on their own. While this has been in progress, they have also developed an updated design to the ancient Soyal-Class Cruiser.

In the universe of the AU, no one outside the Confederation is quite sure what the hull-strength of the CCAF Navy really is. The God's eye-view tells us the CCAF is going with a fleet of assault dropships and PWS as escorts and focusing other efforts on capital ships. The CCAF is nearly ready to debut a four-ship fleet with the first of their Soyal-IIs acting as the flagship for a formation of the Xizang, Hyung and Aleisha Kris. CCAF Fleet doctrine is, at current to keep all four ships together for mutual defence and concentration of force.

***

The Draconis Combine has a much larger fleet than the rest and will take some time in the telling, so I'll leave that for later.

Thanks for looking!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 16 February 2016, 22:32:15
           Draconis Combine

Yamato
Ryu-Class carrier Mount Niikitaka
Narukami Block-III
Essex-class Sabre Cat
Inazuma-Class Winds of Heaven, Amber Lotus, Winds of heaven
Tatsumaki-Class Lair of Mighty Wyrms
Kyushu-Class Dieron Star, Draconis Rift

Alright, so what happened here? Well, this isn't far off of Canon; the Sabre Cat is still in DCMS hands, because the Black Dragons are basically the organizational equivalent of a dried grease stain by 3085. I think the remainder of the lighter ships are canon.

The Dragon doesn't look at the Federated Suns as a serious threat at this stage; instead they have the Snow Ravens and the Ghost Bear Dominion on two sides...and they're pals...Now the Snow Raven fleet is so big and so capable by 3100 that even after 15 years of good effort, there is no reasonable chance of the DCMS fleet opposing them effectively; so Kurita strategy is to build a fleet which can hold off the Ghost Bears and keep them from thinking they can get away with being too much the grouchy bear. It's a rather optimistic strategy, as we'll see; basically based on making any Military adventurism by the Bears too expensive to contemplate. There is a lot of realpolitik in this, but it's also sewn with fatalism. The high planners of the DCMS don't think they can keep from upsetting the bears through some means forever; this strategy is aimed at maximizing the chances that the Ghost Bear Dominion will seek redress at the bargaining table, instead of the sand table.

The Narukami Block-III program is the heart of this concept. Almost a low-tech version of the SLDFiE's Ericsson-Class Space-Going Monitor, the Narukami is heavily armed and capable, but more mobile. In contrast to the CCAF's strategy of concentrating their hulls for the purpose of mutual support and maximum effect, DCMS ships are mostly dispersed. As the Narukami-IIIs come on line, they will relieve the other lighter ships of their difficult and stressful secret patrol duties and free them up for more family-friendly escort duties for the big battlewagons. The Narukami is an ancient design, but having had the Block-II hulls on hand until recently means that DCMS experts and technical facilities are familiar with the details of the design. so upgrading the blueprints and putting them back in production made sense. Plan-A was buying ships from the Snow Raven Alliance, but they took those overtures badly and by 3099, relations have only just normalized again. There are currently six Narukami-IIIs nearing completion at various sites across the Combine and it is unknown if more will be built as the effort has severely taxed the economy of the Combine over the past 15 years.

Now, about those Battlewagons. At the end of the Jihad; the Combine had two large factory ships in the 2-million-ton range, built on pre-existing hulls, with Diamond-Shark assistance. These two assets kept the Dragon's industrial capacity on life support through the later Jihad and in the years following. But keeping the Yamato and Mount Niikitaka in this state indefinitely was never in the cards. Without a pressing and current need for mobile guerrilla industry capability or the Sharks unique culture/business model in play, Factory Ships quickly proved uneconomical. Even when refitted with the capacity for 1G-steady acceleration production, the Dragon wasn't anywhere near getting their money's worth and that was without considering the threat of the nigh-unstoppable threat of the Bears Leviathan-II-Class on the border. Deployment of the Leviathan-III-Class Tseng and confirmation of Raven Leviathans in the early 90s sealed the fate of the Combine's unique spheroid factory ships.

Modifications were ruthless; both the Yamato and the soon-to-be-Rechristened Ryu were transferred to appropriate facilities and the add-on factory models wholly amputated, leaving both ships in a skeletal keel and engines-state for several years as they were stripped and rebuilt. Impressively; the factory modules of both ships, operating in zero-G mode operated almost continuously throughout the operation; producing both a portion of the components required for the conversion of their parent ships, as well as other industrial products required by the Combine economy.

The result is a remarkably effective and well-made pair of ships, as well as the new and impressive Chandrasakar Kurita orbital industriplex. Given both ships have been in some stage of modification or construction for most of their 50-year existence, most of it quite extensive, so this has permitted most of the attendant flaws of both ships to be remedied and the typically poor workmanship common to Jihad and later production standards is nowhere in evidence. While precise details are hard to come by, both ships are well-armed and very well protected, perhaps moreso than necessary. The Yamato masses a full 2.5 Megatons, in common with the new "Uncle Chandy" complex (Also making it the largest warship in existence) and Mount Niikitaka weighs in around 2 million tons. Both ships suffer from a lack of cargospace and thus require frequent tending from support ships, though each carries plenty of of fuel  and a profusion of drop collars, especially the Mount Niikitaka.

The two ships form a small, but powerful battlegroup, escorted by a small fleet of the best pocket warships in the Draconis Navy, roaming Kuritan space in secret. At present, reproducing and even repairing either ship would be practically impossible with the Combine's current economic state and so each represents an asset too powerful not to employ, but too important to loose.

         Republic

Aegis-Class Auspicium)
Lola-III-Class Triumphus
Essex-Class Abundantia
Newgrange-Class Yardship Mercy
Faslane-Class Yardship Harmonia, Lustitia, Necessitas, 4th unknown ship

Republic Naval Strength is about where we left it in Canon; they maintain these three warships, though they do not exercise them very much for political reasons and prefer to keep them out of sight. They are thought to maintain a number of additional hulls, refit and mothballed at the still-impressive Titan Yards facilities, but no-one is quite sure how many or which class.

What is known for sure is that Republic capacity to rapidly train crews for these ships is very limited. i will say that they do not have access to the CSV Bordeaux, Dante-Class. That ship and it's crew sided with the SLDF at the end of the war.

   Calderon Protectorate

Quixote-Class Redemption

Following a series of political Hijinx and other such nonsense, somehow the former Taurian Quixote ended up in Protectorate hands. In canon, she basically rots as I understand it, due to the Protectorate being unable to maintain her. In Der Tag, the Protectorate sort of does a Rent-to-own on a small 3rd League yard and a few small orbital factories. These use these to produce a trickle of home-build ships and maintain their small fleet, including the Quixote.

In common with all 3rd League Yard-Stations, it has the machinery to build anything, but the Protectorate lacks the spare capacity between refitted jumpers and droppers and maintaining the Redemption. Institutional experience and expertise is slowly building, but anything like a Protectorate warship program is a dream.

   WOB

Sovietskii-Soyuz Class Vigilant Guardian
Vincent Mk.39 Blade of destiny
Thera class Corinth
Agamemnon Hipplolyta
Zechetinu-II Class Opilione
Newgrange-Class Yardship (modified) Erinyes

These ships are officially unaccounted for, along with the canon MIA Divisions, at the end of the war. Anyone who knows where these ships are, isn't talking; but all of these would be excellent candidates for the Republic Ghost Fleet, but even just these five ships, especially the Thera would represent a near-impossible task for the Republic Navy to man.

I can tell you that none of these are in SLDF or ex-coalition hands. Either WOB remnants still have them, they are adrift somewhere, or the Republic has them mothballed and squirreled away somewhere.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: snakespinner on 17 February 2016, 03:55:55
It would be interesting if the Republic had those WOB warships.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 17 February 2016, 09:08:01
It would be interesting if the Republic had those WOB warships.

There is an excellent chance they do have *at least* those and they are likely serviceable as well. What keeps everyone from marking it down as "Likely" is what even 15-20 years later, people are still afraid enough of WOB that no one wants to count them out. If they confidently said; "Those ships are in RAF hands", they might relax a little and no one wants to let themselves relax.

Those MIA Divisions? Still MIA, those other hidden worlds? Even with access to charts going back centuries, even the SLDF has no idea where the rest of them are and they have been looking since the end of the war.

Officially, Republic Intel doesn't know where those ships are and cannot count them out.

From the God's eye view; 3rd League Intelligence does not know where they are or what shape they are in either.

It's supposed to be deliberately creepy.

I actually need to edit things as well to add the Erinyes to the WOB list. Note also that I need to add Yard Ships to the Republic fleet as well. Even if the Republic is using them as industrial assets; capability matters more than intent and they would be potent fleet support assets if employed that way.

Thanks for your interest!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: snakespinner on 18 February 2016, 01:53:14
Also looking forward to seeing CGB fleet list.
I don't think the DC's fleet will likely deter the clan at the moment. O0
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 19 February 2016, 00:31:07
Also looking forward to seeing CGB fleet list.
I don't think the DC's fleet will likely deter the clan at the moment. O0

Great! Cause They were the first of the New Clans I profiled in this way and here they are.

Before I get into that though; No, you are right: No fleet the Combine can field has any great likelihood of dissuading the Ghost Bear Dominion from doing whatever they feel they have to and the days of friendly gestures; like returning captured warships after the first Combine-BG war are over with. Relations between the Bear and the Dragon are decidedly icey; as a matter of fact the Bears could almost make a national identity out of isolationalism if left to their own devices. Thankfully they are still interested in the experiment of being a "New Clan" and integrating with the natives RasalHaugians (RasalHaugers?). Unfortunately that process isn't far enough along by 3100; if it was then the DC strategy would be on the right side of a fair chance.

As it is?

Look; with the investment in the other two Leviathans, plus the other ships they lost in the War, the Bears basically had their fleet gutted during the Jihad in order to simply do what they feel like they had to do. And even though rebuilding a third time would crush their economy; they are willing to do so. It's generally best for everyone not to poke the bear.

So, without Further Adieu...

      Ghost Bear Dominion Warship Fleet, Circa Dec 31, 3099

Leviathan-II Class Rasalhauge
Leviathan-III Class Tseng, Jorgensson
Leviathan-Prime Class Tyr Miraborg
Leviathan-I Class Thunder Bear
Leviathan Heavy Transport Naglfarg
Night Lord Class Ursa Major
Volga Class Ursine Boatman
Carrack, Den Mother, Yggdrasil, Rhune Ark, Freeman

As you can see; the Ghost Bear Fleet is built around their Battlewagons and they have a few.

Again, it is worth noting in my AU timeline that societal pressures are different. In Canon; there is no fleet, besides the Ravens to Challenge the Bears and the Ravens are still, or again; allies by 3150 when we first hear the Leviathan-III Class. In Der Tag; the Ghost Bear finish the War, in the Terran System, fully aware in the worst way that they are not the biggest kids on the block; shortly after the war ends, the Coalition tries their gambit to get the SLDFiE to disband and it fails. But a huge part of the reason that it does and McKenna is able to tell them to go take a flying leap, is that he has the most powerful fleet save the Snow Ravens and most of it is in good shape and in the Sol system. The SLDF is able to complete operations in a timely manner and evacuate in good order, under the guns of the remainder of the Coalition, because the Bears cannot face them down or oppose them with any chance of success.

Thus in Der Tag; the Bears face a credible threat, from that day forward; their warship program is not going to continue in a vacuum (lol) for 80ish years.

In Der Tag, however, up to that stage; the Jihad plays out much as it does in canon; so the Bear's fleet gets pasted. What wasn't destroyed recently in the titanic foul-up that was the Novacat trial for the Rasalhauge, is basically taken off the board, save five vessels; Rasalhauge, Ursa Major, Ursine Boatman, Den Mother and Yggdrasil. In other words; trumping the Bears and whatever assets the Coalition still has floating about in Sol isn't that lofty a task.

Having lost most of their lighter assets; the Bears rebuild around a core of Leviathans. Despite loosing two thirds of the class; the Leviathans proved their worth during the Jihad and they have a great deal of faith in them for many reasons. For escorts; they *will* be relying on PWS and assault dropships though through at least 3125.

Outside the Leviathans; they build two more Carracks, because being able to move supplies and troops in a brisk, efficient manner is going to be key to their survival; that they make good fleet tenders helps as well. It's also a necessity, as jumpship production is basically non-existent at this time in Dominion space. It's warships and dropships; not even wartime losses in jumpships will be start to really be replaced until the early 3100s. Until then, it's mainly the Carracks and the Ursine Boatman porting the Ghostbear Touman around until Naglfarg gets launched in mid 3099.

As for the heavy hitters; Ursa Major is the odd man out; the rest of the combat fleet is a Leviathan for every season; two of the Bear/Raven collaboration III-Models joining Model-II Rasalhauge, The Tyr Miraborg, built on plans stolen from the Clan Homeworlds by the Raven Watch as a Leviathan-Prime and finally; one built to the original plans as GBDS Thunder Bear. Naglfarg is supposed to alleviate the Bear's transportation difficulties all on her own by reviving the original Heavy Transport configuration as a permanent solution.

The rest are a sort of experiment-in-waiting; only the Model-II is really a combat-proven design in a way which is objectively true for the Bear's situation; the Prime saw action in the Homeworlds, but under very different circumstances and not in such a way that the Bears can really place the two ships as points of data on a line. The Model-III is the latest, incorporating lessons learned from the Jihad and the Bears are reasonably sure that this is the best configuration available. The problem is that the recent SLDF Advanced Warships are mainly an unknown quantity; it's not so much that the bears doubt they can incorporate the technology into their fleet, as the question: "Is it worthwhile to do so?". With the Model-II serving as the control, the Prime as data from "Another Lab" and the Model-IIIs as the best guess, it's bizarrely the Model-I, never before produced in whole form which is the most experimental. Note that the term "Block" is not used, as each model of the Leviathan represents a true variation; a different "model", not a progressive development of the original design.

The long-term plan is to test each subtype in combat; determine which is best and which best suits the needs of the Dominion and then convert all but Naglfarg to that standard. Two side benefits to this process have been the familiarization with a generation of labour-castemen and native Rasalhaugians in cutting-edge, large-scale orbital/vacuum construction projects; both the rebuilt Ghost Bear Fleet and the facilities to support it. The other benefit has been the beginnings of the development of still-theoretical "Omni-Warship technology". Barely off the drawing board, the idea is barely a physical concept, but the potential is there for the Bears to initiate their own revolution in military affairs in Naval Warfare and technology.

The weaknesses of the Bear fleet, however (lack of smaller ships means too much area to cover for the remainder of the fleet, difficulty supporting extended fleet ops and simultaneous planet-side operations due to the lack of available support ships) are manifest.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Smegish on 19 February 2016, 01:31:57
Well, the lesson here is never anger the bears enough that they gather the whole fleet together to come say hello...

SIX Leviathans is a battlegroup that should scare the pants off just about everyone.  :o
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: snakespinner on 19 February 2016, 03:16:58
I think the Leviathans need some training.
Visiting the Combine and having a friendly fight would not hurt. >:D
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 19 February 2016, 09:17:57
Well, the lesson here is never anger the bears enough that they gather the whole fleet together to come say hello...

SIX Leviathans is a battlegroup that should scare the pants off just about everyone.  :o

Yeah, but if you do that then the rest of the Dominion is going to be undefended at that level, which is part of the issue; forcing the bears into a defensive posture, because their fleet is based on a few huge ships; they lack smaller ships to perform other missions.

FYI, those Leviathans began to be laid down in the late 3060s.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 22 February 2016, 23:26:06
Before I go any further, I need to deal with the Society and the Wars of Reaving.

I have not read that book yet. I have it, I just never found the time and when I first heard of the event, having wondered WTF was going on with the Clans during the Jihad, I realized it was something big. I also realized that it wouldn't fit with my AU, as-is. But it still sounded really cool and I wanted to minimize the breaking changes.

But first; To summarize, because this is a large-ish post; SOG: The Solution To; and Cause Of; all of humanity's existential threats...Except for the Jihad...They have an alibi for that one.

***

Flashback to the old Fasa-Wizkids-FanPro transition days; one of the big things on the horizon, following the partial repudiation of the great refusal was the renewal of the Clan Invasion, we all know why that didn't happen *now*, but at the time, that was one of those big events I thought I saw coming that felt like it would be great.

While reading the Twilight of the Clans books, a particular passage jumped out at me; a company of SLDF/Lyran tanks; Alacorns or Challengers, was in a blocking position, awaiting some Smoke Jaguars on a planet, somewhere. They show up with two Kodiaks and the Company Commander remarks or thinks that, "This will be good practice for when we take down the Ghost Bears." Now there are problems with that statement; the Bears are Wardens at this time period, why antagonize them? But also a tantalizing detail; people aren't sure this whole thing is going to work. Tend to forget about that little detail.

At least *some* people in the various task forces/SLDF/Coalition think they may have to take down more than just the Smoke Jaguars to make this whole thing stick. Possibly, all the Clans.

In making my AU, I had these two fragments, amongst others; a renewed Clan invasion and this underlying idea that the whole TF Serpent idea might fail to sway the Clans.

I figured; the Clans are not stupid; naive doesn't quite do it justice either (it's a titanic understatement at some points in the BTU history)...but I prefer my protagonists to have some variety. Myopic 2-D facades get boring fast; it's more fun if you run into people who can actually learn from their mistakes. This isn't a kids cartoon show, afterall. If I am going to have someone do something irrational over time; I like it to be because they are human, or because they are crazy. I prefer my Clanners human...slightly crazy, but human.

A renewed invasion is going to feel like their raison d'etre, but there will be people who are going to be on the side of; "Whoa; lets stop and think; this may be too big a job for us right now, maybe we need to rethink our lives" and people who are going to to be like; "Pffft! They are not Clan, Quiaff? We will not allow spheroid inferiors to turn our whole culture against us."

There are going to be incredible discussions happening at every level; emotional and philosophical arguments will rock the Clan Coucil Chambers and in the heart of every warrior will be the question; "What does it mean to be Clan?" And being Clan; many will feel they already know the answer, one way or the other. Trials will be rife and occur at every level, up to between the Khans themselves.

These are big, resonating questions that can touch all of us; defining our own identity; what it means to us and how, or if we can redefine it, within a new paradigm... and do we have what it takes to mould our world in such a way to make *it* fit *our* identity?

But this great debate also seeks to frame current events in a more practically useful way for the Clans; is this just a clash of cultures or a continuation of the narrative of the Clans as an expression of human evolution and societal development in a Darwinian framework?

But nothing happens in a vacuum; while this is going on the political and military leaders will be asking themselves similar questions. They will be under immense pressure to have those answers and for them to conform to the political pravda of the time. But; this is my AU, there will be pragmatists; men and women who need to *know* what is going on in the homeworlds.

Anything the IS does now is dangerous, anything could upset the great debate, one way or another and they don't even know it's going on.

Eventually; someone has to say: "Better to bring it on ourselves now, while we are strong and know for certain, than to live in a vacuum, convinced in our own safety and have the Clans fall upon us at a time of their choosing."

This is an idea which reflects a grasp of both the military and political realities of the times; it is the ultimate in hoping for the best and preparing for the worst; it is Anastasius Focht's idea.

The general good will and prosperity of the inner sphere must be allowed to continue and grow for as long as possible; as such, there can be no serious hint of any unease with the notion that there has been a final and comparatively cheap and peaceful solution to the Clan Problem.

As such, no house, or Star League unit, no matter how trusted or elite can be trusted with this mission, you need someone who won't be missed, who a lot of people would just be glad to see gone. Thus; disposable, thus; mercenaries. At this time, the unit at the top of the list in terms of a balance of competence and expendability is called The Studies and Observations Group. They aren't the bravest, or the best shots; but they know their tradecraft and they are exactly as loyal to their contract as their employer is. They are the top of the heap for unbonded units in the Mercenary Trade.

They also just got done killing Star League troops in the Capellan Civil War (lasts longer in my AU). Contracted for their unique talents by the St. Ives Compact; up until the last day of the war, SOG has been prosecuting the most painful insurgency campaign to be endured by a major power since the fighting in the periphery preceding the Amaris Civil War. They have a record of successful long-range/duration deep penetration missions and come with a recommendation from ComStar's ROM. SOG's Special Forces troops and Striker Cadre fought in Operations Bird-Dog and Bulldog; clearing the way for Star League Troops; training the locals and making successful uprisings against the Smoke Jaguars possible. Then they were ambushing and mortaring the ELH in St.Ives. They have that unique sort of bloody-minded indifference that is the definition of professionalism in mercenaries.

So, this is Operation Munin; SOG will infiltrate the Clan Homeworlds and OZs and conduct a reconnaissance-in-force with the following objectives:
1. Determine the current capability of the Clans to renew the invasion in a successful manner.
2. Determine the intent of the Clan leaders and warriors to do this, if any, following the refusal.
3. Establish among the Clans an impression of prowess and respectability of spheroid military forces. reinforce the cultual legitimacy of the Refusal.

In order to accomplish these objectives;
1. SOG will be temporarily granted the right to call themselves members of Star League Defence Force.
2. Assets from the SLDF (ComGuards) and Star League Diplomatic Corps will be attached with plenipotentiary powers and as advisers.

So, this is sort-of a spheroid take on the Dragoon compromise; not wiping out the Clans in a campaign of cultural genocide (WOB! *cough!*) and not ignoring the potential problem.

Op; Munin comes off; not even close to without a hitch; but it works out. SOG even manages a supply drop/mail run and a no-hard-feelings handshake with the ELH on Huntress and protecting the Star League embassy.

What this does to the Clans psychologically is manifold; for many, this confirms every fear they have been nurturing that the Inner Sphere is going to come and wipe them out. For others; the conduct of the Studies and Observations Group helps them accept spheroids as peers who can engage the Clans on a cultural level in a way which they can respect.

The Ilkhan at this time is a surpassingly stoic and reasonable individual in my AU. I do not know his/her name yet. The ilkhan decrees that at this time the future is unknowable to the Clans. He chooses to see Op; Munin in a diplomatic framework; for how else would you communicate with a people like the Clans? This combination of talk and fight really works for the Clan-Sphere dialog on a level which plugs into cultural mores on both sides. The Star Adder's Upsilon Provisional Galaxy wins the trials to be sent to the Inner Sphere on a similar mission. But; following the Loose-Small/Win-Big principle; the Clans will undergo a military build-up. Using information from the Upsilon Reconnaissance; the Clans will build forces which will be the equal of a renewed and successful invasion or resistance of the Inner Sphere. And whichever course of action proves necessary will be pursued. Should neither prove necessary; then will follow the next step in the Clan's Darwinian Eugenics program. They will cast their Toumans against eachother in trials until they are reduced to a sustainable corps of only the strongest, best warriors before re-examining their destiny again.

This conversation is taking place while Op; Muinin is still going on; SOG is hopping around the homeworlds; talking and trialing with Clan Forces when they trip over an unmarked outpost in a remote system. They issue communiques and Batchalls, but receive no response until being fired on by Planet-to-space weapons. SOG attacks in earnest, what they suspect to be some kind of large Dark Caste enclave and face advanced Clan equipment. The action is noticed by Steel Viper forces in the system and a full Galaxy, supported by the massive warship Perigard Zalman moves to interdict the ongoing battle.

Both sides hastily evacuate and the unknown forces are unable to fully sterilize the facility. This is; you guessed it: The Society, revealed years early. This incidents prompts the Society to roll the dice and their forces reveal themselves all over the homeworlds, just as the Ilkhan's balancing act has been completed. But they are far under strength and out of position; most of the traps and tricks are not ready. Most of their strength is in hidden armies and Dark Caste forces; not the larger suborned Clan units.

It's a brutal surprise attack; glitched warships helpless, HPGs down, Nukes and EMPs everywhere. But no fancy viruses yet; they are ready, but still held in secret, secure locations. Not in the hands of the troops who will deploy them.

All the Clans in the homeworlds are savaged. But not a patch on the Wars of Reaving in Canon. The Clans wobble, but they don't go to a knee; they bounce back. Revealing themselves early has cost the Society dearly in terms of security and they loose most of their covert assets and facilities in the counter-attack. The Clans react badly to this betrayal by their scientist caste and they all conduct brutal purges. Having the history of the society back to it's inception following the attacks keeps them from jumping to the wrong conclusions, but an attitude of better safe, than sorry prevails. Even the abjured clans; the Nova Cats and the Diamond Sharks (3060 in my AU) conduct purges when they learn of the Society through their watch.

In the aftermath, with the Society broken, but too many having fled to parts unknown, their erstwhile allies abandoned; the Clans need no excuse to rebuild and then build-up. The employment by the society of a limited number of Warships leads directly to a Grand Council-mandated census of all Clan Naval Caches and finds many ships missing; the rest are to be restored for better safe-keeping in active service or scrapped if unrecoverable. Following the Clan Civil War; The Watch will be greatly reinforced with more personnel and funding in all the extant clans.

Following these events, the massive infiltration and manipulation of Clan Jade Falcon by the Society is discovered by Watch assets after the fact; the Falcons are abjured; chased out the homeworlds and their survivors absorbed. Another marathon Grand Council session follows; it is decided that all the Clans with extant OZ holdings are suspect of un-clan-like contamination by the inner sphere; the Wolves, Hell's Horses, Snow Ravens and Ghost Bears are abjured and suffer the same treatment as the Falcons. This is the beginning of the Clan Civil War.

It rapidly becomes a purity contest; Clans arguing and fighting over who is more pure, more-Clan than Clan. It's a more civilized conflict than the Wars of Reaving, but the trials are endless. This is what occupies the Clans during the Jihad in my AU. The aftermath is that all the Clans still in the Homeworlds are left with Skeletal Toumans of elite warriors, even as Upsilon returns following the Jihad; they return to a home totally unlike that which they left. The Scorpions are gone and the Ice Hellions and Fire Mandrills have been mostly wiped out.

By the time the Jihad is over, the Clan Toumans are shattered. They are having good luck getting their warships back online and having kept their fleets mainly out the trials in order to not risk such valuable assets, so things are good there, but in terms of ground troops; they're pooched for decades. Without the Clan Civil War, they could have waited to hear back from Upsilon, who returns like the parents at the end of a Kids-left-alone-for-the-weekend movie and then steam-rolled most of the inner sphere, but instead; here you have it.

Militarily; the Society did some damage to the breeding program with their nukes and sabotage, but the Great Blood Chapel is intact, though it will slow down rebuilding the Toumans. The Clans now have access to all the tech the Society has been developing/holding back, but some of it (like protomechs) they see as inherently tainted. Things like the Elstar program may or may not have more room to grow here.

The Hell's Horses and Snow Ravens manage to see their abjurment coming, but the Wolves still manage to be surprised (HOW CAN WE *NOT* BE THE PUREST CLAN?!?!) and suffer almost as badly as the Falcons. They do get away with a few assets though. The Bears are already gone from the homeworlds by this time and have just been keeping it a secret and the Scorpions have already decided as of the Great Debate to go their own way.

After all this; the themesong still remains the same, the words themselves have hardly changed: Clan intent is to undergo a major buildup and rebuilding program and re-examine the potential of the inner sphere as an existential threat or conquest. By the time they are ready, with armies to do either though, it will be at least the early 3100s, possibly into the darkage era in Canon.

But this time, not only will the revolution *not* be televised; there will be no pre-invasion trials; all of the remaining homeworld Clans will take part, or else.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Shadow_Wraith on 23 February 2016, 03:17:58
 O0  Nice take on the Clans for your AU! 
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 23 February 2016, 11:22:30
O0  Nice take on the Clans for your AU!

Thanks, I just think the Clans should be both a credible threat and less cartoon-villainy and more serious about how they are going to practically either survive the Inner Sphere or conquer it, all without becoming tainted by it.

Later on, I have some cool tech to roll out for the Clans which will keep them on the cutting edge, even as IS tech continues to advance and the more high-tech powers begin to produce it.

One thing I noted more and more was that as the timeline advanced, there was so much ClanTech available to the IS, that I wondered how that must make a Clan Player feel; sure they were getting a bit of new stuff, but nothing like the 3050 divide we saw in the Invasion. In WoR, we learn that the Society has been holding things back for...reasons I'm not clear on.

From the Current Perspective, we can see how the Clans in the 3050s and into the 60s continue the Paradigm of Superiority on the Battlefield that characterizes the original SLDF, more or less. That gets eroded as time goes on. In Der Tag; locally-made Clan Tech is supposed to be the great equalizer and the RAF and FedSuns pursue this capability doggedly; it is supposed to compensate for the smaller armies. The other powers all buy what they can from the Sharks.

The SLDF measures their upgrade level not by the benchmark of 3050, but by Clan Tech; by Dec 31 3099, approximately 1 in 3 Mechs, Ground Vehicles or Fighters is built or modified to Clan-Spec.  In the Infantry; the backbone of the SLDF, Clan Tech is omnipresent in small ways. They plan to have their entire force up to Clan Standard, save when IS equipment is the same or similar, by 3105-3115 at the latest. They can also produce and understand Clan Tech to a degree, but their advancements tend to go in directions the Clans would never waste time on, like upgraded artillery and NARC systems.

By contrast; the post-Civil War Clans in Der Tag, are interested in direct battlefield advancements; things that will make individual units more effective. Especially stuff that can be Omni-Pod mounted. What this means in practice is the beginning of Clan Equipment that is just *better*. Not yet an revolution in Military Affairs, better; but the goal is to provide their Warriors with kit that makes their form of warfare more practical again.

Since we've been talking Warships, what this means in that context is rebuilding their yards and refitting their fleets. The Clans have a lot of ships that were either boondoggles from day-one or just are not suited for the shape of modern warfare. These will need to modified to become more effective. But, bear in mind; the Clan context for what characterizes Modern Warfare derives directly from Upsilon's Recce mission and their own limited experiences fighting the Society. This grants shades of building to fight the last war, but it's better than ships designed to fight in the 2700s.

The 3rd League SLDF was originally organized to be able to fight the Clans, Tukayyid-Style, but as a secondary mission to fulfilling the needs of the Inner Sphere powers. This is the army they took to war in the Jihad. That sounds crazy, but remember this is in a post-Munin Context. I never did tell you what Op: Munin found, did I? having the operation come off is not the same as completing all objectives to an absolute standard. What SOG found was that the Clans were divided on the subject; the 2nd League read that as a continuation of the manageable aggression seen since Tukayyid. It wasn't seen as a big enough issue to contemplate something like cultural genocide and building an army to make that happen. That trickled down to the planning group for the New Model Army as; The Clans will be a low-priority mission.

Also; to be clear: Yes, the Planning Group was looking at SOG as SLDF Cadre before Op: Munin.

Post-War the SLDFiE have used the same TO&E, reorganized and built an army to fight the RAF.

One thing the Clans have learned from is Tukayyid; they have not adopted the tactics of the Inner Sphere wholesale, or much at all really, but they do train and innovate ways to counter them.

This is a better, smarter Touman concept than found in 3050; it looks similar, but it's organized and equipped better. What you are still going to find, if they finish building it is a sub-warship mix that is mostly Mechs and Battle Armour, supported by the minimal number of vehicles and enough Aerofighters to do the job of providing air cover and support. This is a very Mech-Heavy, Omni-Heavy Force. The RAF in this time period is also very Mech-heavy, but they have a different mission from the Clans. In building and organizing to fight them, the SLDF have put a lot of effort into Infantry, vehicles, artillery and air power. They have plenty of Mechs, but not nearly as many as they could have, if they diverted more resources. The mechs they do have are well-made (mostly) and high-quality designs (they think). This has sort-of worked out as the demographics of the 3rd League produce a high number of good soldier and leader candidates, most of which would go un-utilized if the SLDF followed a Mech-Heavy model. There are some other economic issues which dictate the SLDF's manning system, but for now we'll leave them. Lets look at some numbers;

***

RAF and SLDF Dec 31, 3099 and Clan (potential invaders) Planned Future Touman.

***

In Mechs, the RAF has a 300-500% Superiority over the SLDF (3-5 times), of middling technological advancement, some of these being MODs in certain formations. The Clans will have (if it works out) an additional 125-275% superiority over the RAF in raw numbers, mainly Omnis and  about 60% being in the heavy and assault class.

In Super-Heavy Mechs, the RAF owns the show; with the Ares, Posidon, Orca and Omega designs, which they can field in company-sized formations, whereas the SLDF only has the Behemoth, in Lances. RAF superiority is deffinite, but hard to put numbers on, as they shroud their super-heavy mechs in a great degree of secrecy.

The SLDF has a super-heavy industrial mech as well, but also a telling superiority in Super-Heavy Tanks, of which the RAF has very few, mainly Gulltoppers. Aside from Gulltoppers in WiE service, the Clans employ no super-heavy units.

The SLDF has between a 200-350% superiority in fixed-wing assets of all kinds over the RAF and just their Aerofighters top the Clan forces by 200% or more.

The SLDF enjoys a marked superiority over known RAF naval assets, but gives up over 100 hulls to the Clans, though their fleet trends heavier and they employ Advanced Warship technology, which the Clans have no idea of.

It could be estimated that the SLDF enjoys a 1000% superiority over the Clans in conventional infantry and theirs are better equipped by a great margin, but despite having a large number of Battle Armour formations; both the Clans and the RAF enjoy roughly a 200% superiority in numbers of powered suits estimated to be in service.

The Clans employ very few artillery systems; the odd Naga or Bowman here and there, A few Tubes in garrison clusters and solahma formations. the odd fortress dropship. Mainly, they fill this role with air power. The RAF has a larger number of systems, but prefers the Arrow-IV, Thumper and Sniper over the Longtom. The SLDF has massive artillery assets at all levels and will rely on them to level the playing field in area where they are weak. I couldn't put it to numbers, but it wouldn't even be worth the Clan's time to catch up. The RAF probably could, but their systems won't be as advanced and it would cost them dearly in other areas.

Neither the RAF or Clans have any equivalent of the SLDF's LAM and CAAN assets. The RAF has some equivalence in dedicated Special forces units. For the Clan Watch, it is too early to tell.

Lastly; Combat Support assets; The RAF has come to rely on Dropships for most heavy supply movement and boast sporadic specialist units attached to larger command; a major task force might have a battalion of mixed engineers, per say. The Clans have significantly reinforced their transport, resupply and recovery capabilities, or at least they will. They are more likely to use impressed labour castemen, prisoners or untrained solahma in engineering roles, or just skip over the problem with a combat drop. The New Model Army was built like the Kell Hounds; from the support echelon-up.

Hope you enjoyed this look at the state of the Clans and general military capability on Der Tag. Next we'll look at what shape the Clan Warship fleets are in, continuing with the Hell's Horses.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 23 February 2016, 16:52:24
        Hell's Horses Fleet, Circa 31 Dec, 3099

Congress-class Buchephalus
Potemkin (Clan)-class Armageddon, Steel Shield, blood horse
Lola III-class Black Knight, gold knight
York-class Stampede
Cameron-class Sleipnir
Volga Class mount Olympus
Vincent mk.39-Class Lancer
Potemkin (SL)-Class Beer Sheba
Lola-III (SL)-Class Old Knight
Aegis-Class Destrier, Chevalier
Bug Eye-Class Paint

The Horses are the last Clan to be driven from the Home Worlds, but they could see the writing on the wall long since. A lot of other Clans look at the Horses as impure for their embrace of combined-arms tactics, their limited success in the Inner Sphere was merely a pretext.

The Horses managed to recover six warship from their caches which they could get to and get working fast enough to be useful. Aside from the two upgraded Aegis, the rest were all ships which had lain in deep reserve since the formation of the Clans. As such; they have never been upgraded to modern Clan standards and the Horses will need to do that if they intend to keep them in service, which they certainly do.

The Potemkin would have been very welcome during the evacuation, even with recovering dozens of dropships and jumpships from the various Caches. This allowed the Horses to get out of the Homeworlds in better shape and faster than they otherwise would have.

In the Inner Sphere, that Bugeye will help the Hell's Horses keep tabs on their neighbors and the Watch will be glad to have it, you can be sure. For the number of worlds they control, the Horses are rather well set-up in terms of a fleet.

The biggest handicap the Horses have is that as of their punting from the homeworlds, they have exactly zero yards in their occupation zone, so since they will need those warships in order to survive, is going to be a high priority in the near future.

***

A word on Clan Naval Caches.

I used a RAT I made up with some help from Vition2. I then rolled a D100 through a die-roller program to randomly assign additional ships from the caches. I allowed a certain number of rolls based on what I thought I could imagine each give clan recovering.

These caches would have included at least Jumpships and Dropships and possibly small craft as well as Warships, so you can figure on each clan recovering 5-15 DS and JS per warship.

The known Caches are depleted by Dec 31, 3099. Everything usable as more than scrap and parts is history. You might cannibalize perhaps 2-5 more warships by combining parts of the most common types to make one functional ship, but that's just not economical right now and the remaining homeworlds and near-homeworlds clans are now scrap-mining the Caches. A lot of what should have been there when the census was completed was not and not all of it can be accounted for by the society. It is likely that the society and/or dark caste recovered and re-mothballed numerous ships and hid them elsewhere or are using them away from prying eyes.

Between the time the Census was conducted and all of the Clans began pulling hulls out of them in earnest, additional ships had gone missing. Mainly from other clans, especially the Scorpions, scooping the best candidates.

Not all the Caches were found. Some of them appear to have been...mislaid...the clans either lost the location, entered it incorrectly initially, hid it intentionally, even from themselves or someone else moved the cache after it was established.

It is likely that at least 2-3 Clans did not report all their census finding in terms of hulls and Caches to the Grand Council. It is entirely possible that at least one or more homeworld Clan retains a secret cache of good, usable hulls they cannot, themselves restore at this time.

It is fair to say though, that officially and as far as is known; Any further Warships will have to be built more or less, in order for the Clans to field them after 3100.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Shadow_Wraith on 23 February 2016, 21:52:56
 O0
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: snakespinner on 23 February 2016, 23:25:22
The Cameron class for the Hells Horses is that supposed to be Sleipnir Odin's horse or a spelling mistake.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 23 February 2016, 23:34:17
The Cameron class for the Hells Horses is that supposed to be Sleipnir Odin's horse or a spelling mistake.

Spelling mistake, thanks!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 24 February 2016, 11:17:42
So...About those Jade Falcons...

The Falcons were the First of the Clans to be punted from the homeworlds in the opening shots of what would become the Clan Civil war. They didn't see it coming and were somewhat roughly handled; they didn't want to go afterall. They managed to savage the Ice Hellions and pack up a few key facilities, but things did not go well and the Falcon fleet was left in a battered state.

Initially this left them in a poor position, but the Falcons, having brought the largest warship fleet in Op; Revival were in a better spot in terms of having some support already in place. They Possessed a few orbital facilities which could at least service warships and were able to restore the Dark Nebula Facility in short order.

Sometime during the early 3090s, the Falcons executed a covert mission with the aid of their more capable Watch services back into Clan space to recover several Warships from a Naval Cache in the homeworlds and two along the exodus road.

         Falcon Warship compliment, circa 31 Dec 3099


Aegis-Class Chaos Sailor, Red Talon, Blue Talon, Jade Talon
Fredasa-Class Swift Bait
Night Lord-Class Emerald Talon
Black Lion-Class Jade Aerie, White Aerie
Cameron-Class Turkina’s Pride
Congress-Class Raptor
Cameron-Class Falcon's Pride
Aegis SL-Class Razor Claw, Laser Beak, Rocksteady

To-date, only the Congress and Cameron have been rebuilt to Clan standards, but just being able to do this in the OZ proves the Falcon's capabilities beyond doubt.

The Aegis-class have begun to be recalled, with the Clan-spec ships going first to the Dark Nebula facility for a significant refit. What this new Aegis model will look like when it debuts is anyone's guess, but three ships have so far gone in for overhaul and two have emerged. The Falcons are keeping them under wraps so far though and pursuing a triage policy when it comes to upgrading their remaining original Aegis-Class.

The Falcons had to have a long sit down with what was left of their scientist Caste after the evacuation and the purges. Simply put; what was before is no more; the scientist Caste are now watched like hawks and are working hard to prove their loyalty and win back the trust lost to them by their collusion with the society.

***

A note about Peregrines. I would really liked to have tossed in a Peregrine or three amongst all the Clans in their recovered Warship fleets, but as it is, I have no indication as to their capabilities or specs, so though best to wait out on that.

Here's hoping for TRO: Golden Century! (Also; Storm Giant mechs and Rhino BA!)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: truetanker on 26 February 2016, 22:46:31
I now want to be in your Der Teg Hells Horse clan....

I just love them, 3 Potemkins and some serious drop transport!  O0

TT
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 29 February 2016, 22:52:36
Warship Assets, Novacat Touman, SLDF

-Vision Naval Pursuit Star
Vincent Mk.42 Class Far Vision
Fredasa-Class Future Triumph
Lola-III-Class Growler
Lola-III-Class Ranger
Lola-III-Class Rover
York-Class Anna Rosse
Carrack-Class True Path

-Transcendent Naval Cruiser Star
Congress-Class True Vision
Aegis-Class Path of Honour
Aegis-Class Vision Quest
Aegis-Class Principle
Riga Block II-Class First Claw
Carrack-Class Perilous Vision

-Mystic Naval Assault Star
Black Lion-Class Severen Leroux
Aegis-Class Chronicle
Aegis-Class Principle
Aegis-Class Remembrance
Black Lion-Class Night Paw
Carrack-Class Void

-Merchant Fleet
Carrack-Class (Merchant) Far Star
Carrack-Class (Merchant) Enlightened Path
Carrack-Class (Merchant) Nebula
Carrack-Class (Merchant) Glory Road
Carrack-Class (Merchant) Pathfinder
Carrack-Class (Merchant) Guiding Vision
Carrack-Class (Merchant) Bright Star
Carrack-Class (Merchant) Faithful rite

It is well worth remembering that the inspection required of 1st SLDF-SOG, prior to their acceptance as SLDF troops, intentionally did not extend to naval forces. If it had, the inspection would have been scheduled for years later.

Warships were considered integral to the operation of any modern expeditionary force from the mid 3060s-onward, as demonstrated by the ELH experience in the Capellan Civil War. As such it was always intended that the SLDF should have it's own Capitol Ships. These were provided initially by Clan Novacat and the ComGuard, mainly by happy coincidence. This fact of life rather highlighted the issues common people and their leaders alike had with the new SLDF; no matter where you came from: "They weren't *us*". And when it came to naval power, "they" had some very big guns.

So naturally, the New Model Army project had to include naval forces from the beginning and indeed, this resulted in most of the sunk cost, as it was modeled (mainly by necessity) as an infrastructural program, rather than a capital one; you couldn't simply *buy* major warships on behalf of "Parties Unknown". That was how periphery rebels and pirates had acquired so many of their warships during the age of war and later.

The result of this was that by the dawn of the Jihad; the SLDFiE had access to more support facilities and support units for a major warship fleet than it did anything like a space-worthy hull.

New Model Army extra-planetary capabilities had been built from the group up. First in modifying and modernizing the motley assortment of dropships and jumpships SOG had acquired and had inflicted upon it in the initial equipment dump to fit-out the New Model Army. Then later in developing their own facilities to build and service the droppers and jumpers they would need, with an eye to a warship program in it's infancy by the time of the dissolution of the 2nd Star League.

The earlier "Pitcher Plant" Incident, following Op; Munin had done a lot to speed up the warship time-table, once it was finally done with, but even after evacuating the so-called "Pitcher-Plant" system, the Proto-SLDF still had no serviceable warships, though it did have a wealth of expertise on the subject and a proliferation of what would eventually prove workable hulls and salvage.

When war suddenly came, the SLDF, now officially "In Exile"; was already in the midst of Operation: Reindeer Games, following the revelations of Col. Donner; and aware, in specific circles, that something was in the wind, but uncertain what. With measures already under way to gather the Eridani Light Horse and no successful contact with SLDF forces on Tukayyid (At the time; 1 RBMR, Royal Black Watch Regiment, 472nd ComGuard Division "Invader Galaxy", Fury units and others), warning orders to dispatch forces for a link-up under-fire with Clan Novacat had already been issued.

While Task Forces: Dancer, Vixen, Blitzen and Rudolph were already on the way out, or coming back; Task Force Dancer, a much larger force consisting of the strength of the SLDFiE's Combat Naval Assets and including the majority of The Galactic Marine Corps, then in existence was still organizing, however. The delay was inevitable as it was already known from SLDF Naval Intelligence that they would be sailing into the teeth of the Word of Blake Jihad. As it was Task Force Dancer, managed to get away from their staging area at Ardennes before the remainder of the Op: Reindeer Games Task Forces were able to be formed and dispatched.

Arriving in the Irece Prefecture; contact was quickly made with Clan Novacat forces and an understanding reached.

Typically for the 'Cats, the Jihad had been forseen in some symbolic form by one of their warriors and the opening shots of the war found The Clan, disillusioned by the dissolution of the Star League, but on high military alert. With the revelation of the survival of some part of the Star League and their place (however tenuous and suspect) within a greater whole once more, it took only McKenna's simple soldier's words to convince the NovaCats to support a breakout of remaining SLDF forces on Tukayyid.

This campaign was the first taste of war for many soldiers of the SLDF, but also WOB's first taste of 1st SLDF-SOG; as the main force of the Division combat-dropped into the administrative and service-support areas for their forces on planet. While SLDFiE Ground Forces fought a major battle against WOB on the dusty world, Clan NovaCat laid into WOB fleet assets throughout the system, closely attended by what was then the majority of the SLDFiE's combat naval assets. From this point forward, no NovaCat Fleet assets would ever be without support and escort from either Fleet Marine Force ships or SLDFiE Navy assault dropships.

The final extraction of the Furies and Killer Bees was opposed with tactical nuclear weapons and supported by orbital bombardment, but ultimately the mission had to be labeled a success with the evacuation of the majority of Invader Galaxy and all known survivors of the 1st Royal Battlemech Regiment, The Royal Black Watch Regiment and the SLDF support forces on-world. The Furies however were reduced to a handful of survivors, alongside the Killer Bees. That 1st SLDF-SOG was willing to spend so much in lives and rescoruces to fulfil what was only an implied promise from a part of the SLDF the publicly-acknowledged forces never even knew existed did a lot to cement the loyalty of the remaining SLDF units and bought a lot of credit with Clan NovaCat as well.

As a result; The NovaCats knew, almost from the outset of the Jihad that they were not alone and the cause they had suffered abjurement to support was not wholly dead. While the Cats would ultimately choose to adopt a pragmatic wait-and-see approach to the idea of a Star League-in-Exile, they refused to commit heavily to any other alliance during the War.

From Operation: Reindeer Games onwards, NovaCat fleet assets enjoyed the services of the SLDF in the form of additional escort and support elements. While the most prominent of these would be the Newgrange-Class Yardship SLS Resolute Bay, translating to NovaCat space and a pile of work before the end of the year, it was the attentions of SLDF FleetCom and the dark navy-blue ships and fighters of the Galactic Marine Corps, in particular which were most widely noticed and appreciated by the Cats. It is thought now that this added escort strength saved over a dozen NovaCat ships during the Jihad: there are numerous instances where a timely capital missile strike on a Blakist ship, screen-launch or fighter sweep seems to have made enough difference to see a NovaCat ship limping away, rather than rapidly expanding as a ball of gas and metal fragments.

The arrangement doubtless benefited the SLDF as well; the NovaCats were attentive teachers for the SLDF's inexperienced ship crews and NovaCat ships were at least as protective of their escorts as their escorts were of them.

This has manifested today in what is an open mutual admiration society between the NovaCat Fleet and the Galactic Marine Corps and the elaborate ceremonies and bonds of comradeship with draw the NovaCat fleet together with the main strength of the SLDF.

Facing the new century, the NovaCat's are one of the few Clans in any bloc still deploying anything like a true Naval Star; the NovaCat Fleet operates as a distinct and separate force, within the Touman; not slaved to ground forces as in other Clans. If the capability grows in the future, the Khans would like to see medium-sized warships assigned to each Galaxy as dedicated assets, but for now the three Stars of the NovaCat Warship Force are needed more as  flexible assets protecting their worlds in the Irece Prefecture (their 3rd League Holdings enjoy SLDF Fleet protection). The Entire NovaCat Warship fleet relies heavily on mobile HPGs and Lithium-Fusion Batteries, but these are not yet universal in all their ships.

Vision Naval Pursuit Star normally operates broken up into pairs of warships which are regularly shuffled and exchanged between sub-groups. These patrol teams range throughout the Irece Prefecture and along major trade routes.

Trancendant Naval Cruiser Star is the Rapid-Reaction Force; assigned a tighter patrol area; this Star is moved around more for security purposes to keep from being ambushed and destroyed early in any preemptive strike by hostile forces.

Mystic Naval Assault Star is the Clan reserve Naval Strike Force. Kept mainly in the prefecture capital system; Mystic Naval Assault Star trains constantly in case they are needed.

The Cat's early expulsion from the Homeworlds kept them from salvaging any additional hulls, but they were gifted with two from different sources by the 3rd League; a Riga from the Pitcher Plant boneyard and a Clan-Upgraded Black Lion from Operation: Vril.

At the end of the War, SLS Resolute Bay returned to service with the SLDF Fleet support flotilla, but the Cat's continue to have access to these and other FleetCom assets and regularly train alongside the SLDF Fleet and the Galactic Marines' Blue Ships. In practice; getting wounded ships to the Canton Worlds is logistically difficult and getting any kind of Fleet assets to the Irece Prefecture is dicey operationally and politically, so long-term the Cats would like to acquire a Yardship of their own, but this, along with a Potemkin and other, smaller fleet assets are likely to remain on the Cat's wishlist for a while yet.

The Cat's boast a large fleet of Carracks however; three original/upgraded models and eight delicate merchant-grade ships. The milspec ships sail with the three Naval Stars as tenders and the merchants are allowed to sail anywhere but the republic and the FedSuns as free traders, though it has stretched the Cat's badly to provide any escort at all, following the dropship drawdown at the end of the war; essential to get the Warships back up to full capability and only now being reversed. Even so; the Cat's will be short of Dropships and Jumpships until at least sometime in 3103. It is fortunate then that so-called "Cat Cruises" Remain popular taskings for SLDF FleetCom forces, despite the difficult passage to the Irece Prefecture.

Being more prosperous, the Cat's were quickly able to purchase more stations to add to the gift set given to them when they officially joined the 3rd League and they have no issues supporting the fleet they currently field and have not-inconsiderable spare capacity as well. While they have no interest in a World Tree-Class Yard like the Sharks maintain, their other factories, habitats and smaller yards have done a lot to get their Clan and their protectorate back on their feet.

Most NovaCat production capacity has lain fallow these past few years as the Yard over Irece finishes work on the SLS Sabretooth; a Leviathan-Prime Class ship to be the Clan's newest warship and the first built in the Inner Sphere. A powerful message; when Sabretooth slips her moorings sometime in 3101, she will have established that the NovaCats can do anything they set their minds to and will have done much to balm perceived past failures and errors in judgement. Producing Sabretooth has stunted the recovery of the Irece economy and the civilians are looking forward to more contracts for labour in the coming years, with less spent on resources and elite workers for a prestige project and more access to consumer goods.

Of the three Clans in the 3rd League; Civilian petitioners to the NovaCats are least common and this has hurt the Clan; still seen as occupiers by some within the worlds surrendered or ceded to the Cats at the end of the Jihad by the Combine. The ways of the NovaCats continue to set them apart from the people they protect; while the Dianmond Sharks offer adevnture and the Blood Spirits offer camaraderie, NovaCats mysticism remains difficult to buy into for many spheroids, though a strong attraction for some. The Novacats posted double-digit shortfalls in their Scientist, Technician and Labour-Castes for the 4th year in a row in 3099.

I now want to be in your Der Teg Hells Horse clan....

I just love them, 3 Potemkins and some serious drop transport!  O0

TT

Ah; four. Four Potemkins; the 4th is an SL-tech ship which is space-worthy, but not-yet upgraded to Clan-specs ;)

Glad you're liking it truetanker!

Thing with all the Potemkins in Clan hands is that some of them don't need all those drop-collars unless they intend to take-off again. We already know the Falcons have an upgraded Aegis on the table; expect someone to have a prototype Potemkin refit as a dedicated warship (or yardship!), sooner rather than later.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: truetanker on 29 February 2016, 23:11:14
Oh wow, ok.

I can totally dig it...

So 3x Lola III's eh... I like!

TT
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 29 February 2016, 23:42:21
Oh wow, ok.

I can totally dig it...

So 3x Lola III's eh... I like!

TT

Yeah, contrast them to the Bears; they came out with a very well-rounded fleet, no?

That Cameron though; that's their big battlewagon. And yet zero established yards as of 31 Dec, 3099.

Now, how about the biggest fleet in known space as of Der Tag?
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: snakespinner on 01 March 2016, 02:28:39
The Nova Cats are doing well.
And now with a Leviathan.
I can enjoy that. O0
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 01 March 2016, 22:54:17
Clan Snow Raven Naval Forces; Order of Battle, current as of 31 Dec, 3099

-Ice Storm Naval Star

Levithan-II-Class Butcher Bird
Cameron-Class Ice Storm
Conqueror-Class Ark Royal
Congress-Class Magpie
Whirlwind-Class Drake
Vincent Mk.42-Class Muninn
Conqueror-Class Black Squall

-Conqueror Naval Star

Leviathan-III-Class Unkindness of Ravens
Conqueror-Class Conqueror
Cameron-Class Kerensky’s Hope
Sovetskii Soyuz-Class Storm Crow
Thera-Class Raven’s Nest
Liberator-Class Sharp Shooter
Whirlwind-Class William Adams

-Windshear Naval Star

Leviathan-II-Class Windshear
Conqueror-Class Stacked Deck
Cameron-Class Blizzard
Samarkand Block II-Class Hunting Club
Vincent Mk.42-Class Hunnin
Lola-III Class Cold Hunter
Sovietskii Soyuz-Class Avalanche

-Eden Rose Naval Transport Star

Potemkin-Class Bonaventure, Eden Rose, Epimethius, Treachery and Wild Swan 
Volga-class Scavenger

-Grand Aerie Naval Support Star

Newgrange-Class Grand Aerie, Winghaven, Fiddler's Green
Potemkin-Class Snowflake, Rook
Bug Eye-Class Hawkeye, Copernicus

-James McKenna Naval Reserve Assault Star

Night Lord-Class Snow Raven
McKenna-Class James McKenna
Texas-Class Mountbatten
Farragut-Class Northern Sky
Black Lion-Class Black Fire
Pinto-Class Deep Voyager
Pinto-Class Sandman
York-Class Corvidea

-Cosmic Corvus Naval Pursuit Star

Fredasa-Class Black Beard, Star Sabre
Congress (SL)-Class Cosmic Corvus
Vincent Mk.42-Class Final Hurdle
Vincent Mk.39-Class Trois Pistoles, Barret's Privateer

-Merchant fleet

Carrack Transport-Class Nestling, Venture Star, Traveler
Potemkin-Class Von Luckner
Volga-Class Tenacity

-Clan Snow Raven Strategic Naval Reserve

Aegis-Class Morning Violence, Blue Lancer, Tombstone, Lord Death, Black Justice
Sovietski Soyuz (SL)-Class Red October, Navy Cross
Lola-II-Class Collier Seaman
Congress (SL)-Class Punisher
Lola-III (SL)-Class Kiel Maiden
Davion-Class Nightsword
Baron-Class Bermuda
Naga-Class Ratha

Here it is folks; the biggest, more powerful fleet in known space on Der Tag. For sheer number of hulls, nothing can match the Snow Ravens; though the SLDF FleetCom comes close, they lack the depth the Snow Ravens have.

So; we already have the who and the what; to lay "where" to rest, we have to look at the Raven exodus and how it conjoins with their abjurement. Even before Op: Munin; the Snow Ravens were sniffing around the Outworlds Alliance and preparing to return their Clan wholesale to the Inner-sphere. Activating their reserve naval stars and hull-mining their Naval Caches in secret was a big part of this; efforts went as far as tugging derelict hulls into place to mascaraed as usable hulls which were being reactivated: this kept the Snow Raven efforts from being revealed too soon.

Any workable jumpcore was refurbished alongside every space-worthy dropship hull; for the next few years; that is all any ship is to the Snow Ravens: a jumpcore or a drop-hull. Boot-strapping warships consisted of waking up the reactors and jump cores and getting the station-keeping drives online. As many dropships as were practicable were then filled with personnel, supplies and equipment, welded to the hull and jumped---in convoy---along the route to the Outworlds. Once there; the hulls were emptied and cached again in deep space outside the OA Borders for many years and the cargo stockpiled in camps and staging areas. Efforts were such that the yards at Lum were so badly taxed that they could be neither destroyed or removed to any great extent; quite simply the yards were operating at maximum capacity up until three days before the Steel Vipers seized the deserted facilities. However; the Ravens were kind enough to leave behind a sleeper program and were able to keep a record of all production and refit activity at Lum until roughly 3079.

By the time the vote comes down to abjure the Ravens; the enigmatic Naval Clan have been keeping the lights on with Solahma and skeleton lower castemen for several years and the other Clans gain very little in material terms from their abandoned holdings.

Getting into the How; in Der Tag; the *Raven-Alliance* is more of a literal title, even before the Jihad than it is in Canon at any point up till 3150. The union of the Clan and the State is formal, amiable and complete; having the Clan basically become the military of the Alliance maintains the fiction the Alliance Civilians require in order to be both safe and ideologically pure in their nature; "Oh no! We don't build warships for the *Alliance!*, We build them for the *Clan!*; it's simply a part of their culture and they use their strength to protect us, not for territorial gain like the corrupt successor states. We build unarmed jumpships and and merchant dropships for the *Alliance*; to sell our quilts and candles abroad."

The Raven Labour, Technician, Merchant and Scientist castes enjoy many of the benefits of pre-Raven Outworlds citizens. Alliance Civilians even retain the right to vote on representatives, up to the President. The main difference is that the Snow Ravens now form the semi-autonomous military of a Government they also take part in as equal partners. Because this lifts responsibility for their own defence from traditionally pacifistic Outworlds citizens, it creates a kind of moral welfare the civilian population is very happy with, even with the massive temporal power the Ravens wield. Meanwhile; all military and paramilitary forces of the Alliance are now formally controlled and integrated with the Clan Touman.

What does this all mean? Well it makes for a lot of happy Outworlders on both sides; the civilians, alongside the growing under-castes of the Clan are happy to work and work hard in exchange for enhanced living conditions, freedoms and social supports and the Outworlds Military forces, long occupying a difficult to explain position in the Alliance have a happier existence as part of the Clan. They get much more respect and understanding and prefer this to the often confusing reverence/revulsion paradigm faced by armed forces in the Alliance, prior to the coming of the Snow Ravens.

Since the arrival of the Snow Ravens, the Alliance has advanced technologically by leaps and bounds and the common man has benefited. Industry and infrastructure have rapidly improved and this is all without figuring the material assets of the Clan itself. The bottom line is that in only a few short years, the Raven Alliance has conjured itself onto the scene with all the support and industry they need to build and maintain a powerful military, very much to the taste of the Ravens. It's worth noting that aside from the induction of a comparatively larger number of young alliance citizens into the various Castes; the Clan-based ground forces of the Touman have not expanded at all outside the Order of Battle extant in 3060; while most Galaxies and Clusters have expended to their Table of Organization and Equipment limits; no new Galaxies have been formed, not even provisional ones.

It's worth noting though that the Ravens now boast all Five Alliance Air Wings as independent formations, alongside the 1st and 2nd Long Road Legions, Avellar Guard, Alliance Borderers and Grenadiers. Under the Ravens, these formations have all benefited greatly with upgraded technology and higher morale. the Air Wings especially have been welcomed as kindred spirits by the Snow Ravens.

So that explains the how; even prior to the Jihad in Der Tag; the Ravens benefit from a muscular military industrial complex; well supported by the people of the Alliance and the former AMC.

So what about the why? The Draconis Combine may be trying to have a Warship Navy again, but it's so far behind the Ravens as to be laughable. The Federated Suns is just in sorry shape; so why do the Ravens bother in the Der Tag AU? They could save a lot of cash, resources and personnel (even with the induction of vast numbers of Alliance freeborns) and roll that into infrastructure, good will projects, ect.

it would be temping to blame this too on the SLDFiE and the 3rd League, but frankly the Ravens don't care about those noisome upstarts; they may be their closest competitors in terms of hull strength, but Clan Snow Raven is looking beyond mere military strength to personal survival and cultural evolution. The Snow Ravens see themselves as pursuing not just Kerensky's great experiment, but the next stage of societal evolution. They realize that in the context of a Galaxy with other Clans in it who are *very* concerned about ideological purity and staying true to the founder's vision that this makes them public enemy number one. The Ravens know first hand that True Clans plan to return and that the Snow Ravens will be the greatest ideological threat to them. The RAF or the SLDF might be able to stop the combined might of the Clans militarily and even survive themselves, but they can not stop the idea that is The Clans short of totally cultural extermination.

The Snow Ravens *can* challenge the other Clans on an ideological level, which the Inner Sphere has been proven incapable of in the eyes of the Clans in the Der Tag AU.

As such the Snow Ravens see their fleet and empire in the form of the Raven Alliance as key to their survival when The Clans return. Whether or not The Clans directly attack the Raven's first, or not; the Snow Ravens see themselves as needing to maintain the Terran Hegemony standard in Naval Strength; the goal is a fleet able to stand against the combined might of all the homeworld Clans at once, and prevail.

***

That's the background, now lets look at the foreground; The CSR Fleet.

The Snow Ravens deploy three "Naval Stars"; flexible formations, filled out by different kinds and classes of ships, but each built around a core of a newly-built Leviathan and one or more Conquerors. These three un-specialized Stars are the main strength of the fleet and able to handle any given mission. These formations have two main strengths; the firepower and resilience of their Leviathans and the versatility of the formations as a whole; each is able to fulfill any mission, save fleet reconnaissance and in common with all CSR Naval stars are well provided with escorts in form of PWS, Assault Dropships, Fighters and even combat small craft.

Eden Rose Naval Transport Star is a strictly military formation; not a merchant-caste franchise. The mission of the Eden rose Star is to move heavy ground forces around the map. They were integral to efforts during the Raven migration to the Alliance and boast some of the best pilots and navigators in the Snow Raven Touman.

Grand Aerie Naval Support Star is the service-support backbone of the fleet, which is otherwise supported by stars of tender dropships. It's three Newgrange Yardships can provide most of the serious maintenance and repair needs of the fleet, but fall short of accommodating the massive Leviathans the Ravens have begun deploying in the last 10 years. While the accident last year with CSRV Butcher Bird (inadvertently collided with and destroyed the CSRV Nest Mother, a Carrack-Class Ship) proved that while the Newgrange-Class has no difficulty servicing a ship pulled up alongside, it's a far cry from taking it inside it's repair bay hold and taking advantage of all the internal equipment and repair systems the Newgrange possesses. The Snowflake and Rook make excellent heavy tenders and haulers to support extended fleet operations and the Two Bug Eyes; Hawkeye and Copernicus, now heavily refit provide advance reconnaissance and electronic intelligence to the Raven Alliance as a whole. A solution to full maintenance for the Leviathans outside a static yard remains hypothetical for the Ravens.

Whereas the three undifferentiated Naval Stars are flexible formations, capable of performing a variety of missions; James Mckenna Reserve Naval Assault Star is either a hammer for smashing opposition into atoms or a spear for thrusting deep into the heart of an enemy. Built around a hard core of progressively older, but still potent battleships and their escorts; the Black Lion-Class Black Fire seems like an after-thought, but may serve as a game-flush in certain situations. This formation's designation as "Reserve" is thought to be more operational than strategic; not to be piddled away in general operations, but saved for vital counter-attack and penetration missions, or as a final resort against a heavy assault delivered against the key worlds of the alliance itself. The two Pinto-Class escorts are from a boneyard discovered as the remains of a Periphery-uprising era rendezvous in deep space outside the Alliance borders by Raven explorers seeking potential systems for colonization, basing and exploitation.

Cosmic Corvus Naval Pursuit Star is the Snow Raven's main patrol formation and equipped with lighter ships. It normally operates it's ships separately, but making frequent rendezvous. Of all the front-line formations, it is most in need of modernization for it's busy ships and the addition of the newly-built Star Sabre has only served to highlight the obsolescence of Cosmic Curvus, Trois Pistoles and Barret's Privateer; all of which were from the Raven's oldest Naval Caches and have been untouched since their reactivation.

The Raven's Merchant caste, though blessed with a useful and competitive fleet, has been over-shadowed by canny Outworlds traders in the last few decades and their influence with the Clan has actually waned, though it shows signs of recovery in the last five years. The Carracks and Volga are all Merchant-Crewed, but the Potemkin-Class Von Lucker is a Warrior-Caste ship on onerous merchant detail. The Warrior-Crew allow it to "self-escort", but it's here because it simply isn't required elsewhere and the Ravens need the added shipping capacity over their regular jumpship fleet. Furthermore the ship was delivered directly to it's current duty from from clantech refit at the Quatre Belle yards where it was rechristened, some suspect; rather suggestively. It is theorized that during wartime, Von Lucker could serve as a commerce raider, without impacting fleet support duties. Though why the Ravens could be this clever and at the same time; this unsubtle is itself a mystery.

The Clan Snow Raven Naval Reserve is a large collection of mostly outdated ships, held in a ready-reserve status. While all the Clan's Aegis-Class vessels currently lay in this collection, the rest are varying degrees of obsolescent and obsolete. Many of the smaller hulls come from the deep-space boneyard and other unspecified near-space locations. These have received limited upgrades to their small-scale weaponry and armour, where needed for repair and supply line purposes, but are otherwise mostly in original, restored condition; ready to be employed on 24 hours to 3-months notice. The remainder are Star League-Vintage ships from the Raven's post exodus caches and more modern, but the Aegis are something of a mystery. It is thought their relegation to the Clan reserve is from a combination of personnel shortages and a perceived lack of faith in the potential and performance of the aegis in modern fleet engagements. Whether or not the ravens will pursue any further upgrade programs on any of their older ships, or consign the Naval Reserve to mothballs, remains to be seen.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 02 March 2016, 09:31:43
Wolf Clan Warship Complement, Circa 31 Dec, 3099

McKenna-Class Mckenna's Pride
Black Lion-Class Stealthy Kill
Sovetskii Soyuz-class Dire Wolf, Lone Wolf
Cameron-Class Bloody Fang
Congress-Class Rouge
Liberator-Class Jerome Winson, Victoria Ward
Vincent Mk.39-Class Vindicator

The Wolves got hammered badly in the Home Worlds; as the Clan of Kerensky, they truly did not expect to be abjured and were able to save little of their holdings in the Homeworlds. One coup they did manage was to hijack the McKenna's Pride and get away clean with it, leading the navies of the Home Clans on a merry chase, giving the rest of the clan a chance to escape, with the picked crew eventually slipping away entirely.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: snakespinner on 03 March 2016, 03:02:38
Borrowing(stealing) the McKenna's Pride, that should get a lot of clansmen upset. O0
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 03 March 2016, 08:43:29
Borrowing(stealing) the McKenna's Pride, that should get a lot of clansmen upset. O0

They weren't thrilled, that's for sure. But they were already willing to wipe the Wolves out, if necessary to drive them from the homeworlds, so it's not like it could get much worse.

***

Clan Wolf-In-Exile; Extant Capital Naval Forces, Circa 31 Dec 3099

Potemkin-Class Full Moon

CWiE has pretty much the same war they did in Canon; loosing most of their warships in the process. Post-War, they benefit from Lyran and native fleet support facilities; what's left of them, but they are forced to put their faith in PWS and have been building them at as fast a rate as being rabid Republicans will allow.

The Wolves in Exile, *could* especially with Kell Hound help build a more expansive fleet support base and could have even been producing warships themselves by now, but politics; needing to keep the Lyrans and Devlin Stone happy have prevented this.

Full Moon is in good shape though and the Lyran Commonwealth is secretly really happy to have her and the Wolves in Exile around, as it allows them to draw-down more of their own troops; which in turn keeps the Republic happy, while at the same time benefiting from having more allied military forces within their borders. They aren't half as worried about the WiE being clan as they put on.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 05 March 2016, 11:43:40
Capital Naval Assets: Clan Blood Spirit Touman, SLDF; Circa 31 Dec, 3099

Carrack-Class Karianna Schmitt
York-Class Stooping Kite
Aegis-Class Exsanguine
Aegis (SL)-Class Admiral Raeder
Potemkin (Clan)-Class Ironsides
Congress (SL)-Class Red Dreams

When the 3rd League was in it's infancy and the SLDFiE was casting about for allies, the Blood Spirits were on their last legs with hostile, more powerful Clans closing in from all sides.

The situation had not been exactly sanguine when The Spirits were reconnoitered during Op: Munin and things had gotten worse from there. The disruption of the unexpected intercession of supposedly Star League forces had allowed the Spirits to displace and hide more of their dwindling assets, but the Adders and Vipers had been closing in ever since.

The 3rd League had reason to believe from their own projections and intelligence from the Scorpion Watch, that the Blood Spirits had had enough and would take an out if it was offered to them, but any kind of coordination beforehand would be impossible as the Scorpions reported the loss of the last spirit HPG in march of 3077.

Operation: Rope was launched in mid 3083 with the hope of bringing the spirits into the fold and included significant Warship assets along with additional hulls from SLDF Logistics Command in order to make sure of getting all the Spirits away.

When the Task Force jumped into the York System in early 3084, they translated into a scene of chaos. The Adders were in the process of finally closing the noose on the Spirits with a combination orbital bombardment and massive ground assault and the SLDF forces had jumped in behind them at a pirate point discovered during Op: Munin.

The Task force deployed and laid into the shocked Star Adders heavily damaging a number of ships with Naval Gauss fire in the first few moments of the engagement. finding themselves in a totally unexpected situation they knew nothing about; the Adders began recovering what troops they could and jumping out of the system.

The 1st Cavalry Division deployed onto the world as communication was established the Blood Spirits and fought to contain the Star Adder and Steel Viper Forces on York, while discussions continued. Still suffering from their Losses on Terra, 1st Cav was at far from full strength and lacked the ability to simply crush the Adders and Vipers and instead had to be content to keep them away from the spirits and worry away at them.

For their part; the Blood Spirits were of the opinion, generally that they were in no need of rescue and indeed the Khans took the intercession of SLDF forces as an unwanted and hostile act and ordered their forces to attack their would-be saviours. While the anemic Blood Spirit Touman rose to the wishes of their leaders, all communication was lost for about three days, while SLDF forces on York and in space dueled with both the Spirits and their Star Adder and Steel Viper Adversaries, who had also fallen to fighting amongst themselves.

Early on the 4th day, communication was restored; The Blood Spirit Leadership had fallen to a coup in the form of various trials of grievance, possession and refusal and the new leadership desperately wished to Join the 3rd League and be evacuated. All fighting between the spirits and the SLDF ceased and they turned their combined forces on the remaining Star Adders and Steel Vipers, while ships were dispatched to signal the other Blood Spirit vessels and forces in hiding elsewhere to rendezvous at York.

The Blood Spirits were in rough shape from top to bottom; most of their industry was gone and what was left was crudely hacked out of it's foundations and hurriedly loaded on dropships; much of the lower castes were intact, but basically reduced to disposed refugees and the Spirit Touman was a shadow of itself. Task Force Rope ended up filling every dropship and drop-collar and most of the cargospace available elsewhere; almost more salvage from the fighting was recovered than operational Blood Spirit military assets, but enough of the people were there to matter.

The Spirit Navy had been scattered and reduced to a mere three warship hulls, a handful of nomadic jumpships in hiding and a few dozen operational dropships. Not all of the jumpships and dropships could be located in the York System of elsewhere and it is though some must have been lost or joined the dark caste out of desperation. While the Invader-Class CBS Red Raven managed to link up with the rest of the clan in early 3092, the remainder of the Clan Blood Spirit fleet unaccounted for when TF: Rope jumped out of York has been written off.

While CBS Exsanguine had been hiding in the work system, out of ammunition and  looking for it's shot at a death ride, Stooping Kite and Karianna Schmitt had been hiding in other systems and it took some weeks to contact them and bring them in, meanwhile the Star Adders and Steel Vipers were regrouping.

The inevitable happened on 24 March, 3084 when a Steel Viper Task Force, led by the impressive CSV Perigard Zalman, jumped into the York System. All extent material recover operations were halted and SLDF and Spirit forces attempted to sabotage or destroy what was left as the last dropships fought to claw their way up, out of York's gravity well.

Battle Group Continuation of Politics attempted to keep the Perigard Zalman and her escorts at range, dueling with long-range accurate NGR fire, while the Task Force's most recent arrivals' jump cores struggled to build a safe enough charge to jump and the last of the Blood Spirit genetic legacy was transferred to the holds of the CBS Karianna Schmitt.

At combined barrage from the dreadnoughts Kongo and Continuation of Politics disabled the Perigard Zalman's jump and interplanetary drives as their flanking claw maneuver with Arizona finally bore fruit. The Vipers formed a Pickett around the Zalman with their other damaged ships just as the Star Adder's jumped in. The three small ships nearest to them were unfamiliar designs of light displacement and they rolled in to attack. Three minutes into their attack runs, the CSA Bright Lance and Journey learned what the Word of Blake had over Terra; it is most unwise to an Ericsson-Class Space-Going Monitor by it's size; as both the Lola-III Class ships were erased by combined fire from the Roberts, Monadnock and Dictator while the farther Zheleznyakov menaced the Adder dropships.

Before any further action could take place; Admiral Al Kalivicchi signalled the task force to jump and the 3rd League ships left the Adders and vipers behind. Badly wounded and with their LF batteries mostly expended; they chose not to pursue.

***

Clan Blood Spirit warships made little impact in the final battle of York; badly damaged and low on ammunition, the entire Spirit fleet would remain in dry dock until the early 3090s once they finally returned to friendly space.

Since then, the 3rd League has done as much as possible, without alienating the Novacats and Diamond Sharks to rehabilitate the Blood Spirits as a 3rd League Member State. This has included assigning them three warships from Operation: Vril, by way of the joint Scorpion/SLDF project: Roadshow and the basically standard "Giftset" complement of starter-orbitals. These the Blood Spirits have put to good use rehabilitating their shattered fleet; the CBS Admiral Russel Nga will begin post-refit shake-down trials next year as a Conqueror-Class Ship and the Brand-New Night Lord-Class CBS Spirit of York will launch sometime in 3103. Upgrading their two Star League-fit ships remains a low priority, but both will complete upgrade of their secondary weapons to Clan-Spec early in the new year.

For their own part the Blood Spirits have proven productive allies and remain eager to establish their worth among their brother-Clans in the Inner Sphere. Their dearest wish is for the likes of the Sharks to acknowledge that they have paid their debts and earned a place beside them.

While the Spirit's technical contributions to the 3rd League cannot be ignored (Their Blood Lasers alone, almost won the Novacats over in one move) their greatest contribution has been their throughput of acclimatized refugees ready to become 3rd League citizens. Following the Jihad; the 3rd League continued the tradition began with the New Model Army of building a nation out of people displaced and disillusioned by the politics of the inner sphere. This almost destroyed the program before it began as these populations ghettoized and began fighting amonst themselves. Ever after much more effort was put into assimilation and "population-alloying"; the coup of 75 again proved their was much work to be done at home and power-blocs outside the SLDF's preferred individualist model were still dangerous.

Following the Jihad, the SLDF took in over 200 million of refugees with them from all over the inner sphere over 15 years. The Blood Spirits, when they arrived assigned themselves a role as guardians, allies and advocates for these huddled masses and their education programs churned out more and more effectively assimilated refugees than any other measure before or since.

It is not a shock then that of the three Clans in the 3rd League, the Blood Spirits continue to have to the highest numbers of petitioners to join all of their castes each and every year.

What is a shock is how quickly the Spirits were able to get their own breeding program up and running again with zero outside assistance. With resettlement complete by 3086, the first totally new trueborn Sibkos graduated in autumn 3097 with a pass rate that speaks for quality over quantity and a faith in their new freeborn foundlings. Up till this point; very few Sibkos had been around to recover from York and only a few dozen occupied Iron Wombs were still functional when they were evacuated.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 06 March 2016, 04:41:16
I've just started reading this and will take a look later when I'm not feeling ill but DAMN you've put a LOT of thought into this!  This is really good and I look forwards to sinking my teeth into it and reading later on today :)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 06 March 2016, 16:11:48
I've just started reading this and will take a look later when I'm not feeling ill but DAMN you've put a LOT of thought into this!  This is really good and I look forwards to sinking my teeth into it and reading later on today :)

if you like this, just wait till I start posting Order of Battle.

But thank you very much! I've been working on this and loving it for a while, so I am really glad that other people can enjoy it too! I hope you get a real charge out of it.

A lot of the fluff is a result of me applying my own "If-Then" logic to events. The weakness here is that I am what you might call "Neuro-diverse" if you were being really PC; I have a form of Autism. What that means is that what makes sense for me in terms of human behaviour, may not makes sense to anyone else. Normal human behaviour and decision-making rarely does make sense to me.

I am trying to componsate on the BG-side with doing two things; sprinkling randomness here and there to simulate "Fuzzy logic" and remembering always that people will always prefer to do what feels good and not what is smart.

Another note i'll make is that it seems like I'm placing a lot of emphasis on warships in Der Tag, as if they are the hinge upon which the AU turns; they are not. The critically poor ideas and policies of the republic are the axis of the story; with the wrinkle of a counter-weight to the republic. But I wanted to start with a Strategic overview and discussing warship complements was a good way to continue that, without getting right into the opening shots of Der Tag.

Warships are strategic weapons; so are WMDs. No one knows how many of what kind anyone else has access to.

Want to look at the Escorpion Imperio next?
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 06 March 2016, 16:26:31
Well you're doing an amazing job, there's obviously a lot of research and thought put into this TL, i'm curious about the SLDFiE's naval strength but the Scorpio sounds great! :)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 March 2016, 09:36:27
Well you're doing an amazing job, there's obviously a lot of research and thought put into this TL, i'm curious about the SLDFiE's naval strength but the Scorpio sounds great! :)

I really appreciate that Marauder648. And your spaced-out cat. I love your spaced-out cat avatar.

SLDF FleetCom has less than the Snow Ravens on average; fewer hulls and/or lighter weight. I'll do them last. I'm hesitant because none of the specs for the ships are on paper in any way. The SLDF is supposed to possess "Advanced Warship Technology" I have some idea what that means, but no rules-backup. If you combined all three Clans and FleetCom, the Raven's are badly out numbered, but the SLDF has a lot more territory to cover and it's scattered all over the place. In any direct conflict, the Ravens could easily count on tactical superiority.

***

Escorpion Imperio, Naval Assets, Circa 31 Dec 3099

The Imperio assigns it's warships directly to it's Galaxy formations, in five "Battlegroups" and a Fleet Reserve. Tau, Rho and Chi Galaxies are currently without Warship assets. The Goliath Scorpion Fleet has been radically re-organized to better serve a defensive role in the new Imperio.

-Alpha Galaxy, Einherjar Battlegroup

McKenna-Class Lei Kung
Congress-Class Bernlad
Vincent Mk.39-Class Black Sting
Potemkin-Class Coterie

-Beta Galaxy, Fire Wheel Battlegroup

Nightlord-Class Atropos
Lola-III-Class Sagitta
Lola-III-Class Newfoundland
Potemkin-Class Karttikeya

-Gamma Galaxy, Wild Hunt Battlegroup

Farragut-Class Warhammer
Lola-III-Class Auriga
Potemkin-Class Encaladus
Carrack-Class Collerane
Congress SL-Class D'Jinn

-Delta Galaxy, Southern Cross Battlegroup

Du Shi Wang-Class Swift Strike (Formerly Quicksilver Mongoose)
Essex-Class Fencer
Potemkin-Class Prometheus
Volga-Class Andromeda

-Mu Galaxy, Wolfpack Battlegroup

Cameron-Class Hephestus
Aegis-Class Corona Austrina
Vincent Mk. 42-Class Ambush Predator
Potemkin-Class Cornucopia (Formerly Osis Pride)
Black Lion SL-Class Gun Fighter

-Fleet Reserve

Newgrange-Class Yardship Strongarm
Newgrange-Class Yardship Masterwork
Newgrange-Class Yardship Mary Ellen Carter
BugEye-Class Evening Star
BugEye-Class Sun
Tracker-Class Gotcha
Aegis SL-Class Reforger
Sovietskii Soyuz-Class Hunter's Lance
Mako-Class Cutty Sark

The Scorpions have naturally benefited greatly from Operations: Vril and Dragonfire. Lacking established infrastructure for Warships in the Nueva Castile worlds, they have been forced to upgrade primitive jumpship servicing yards and build from scratch. As such, much of their take from the raids on Clan Naval Caches came in the form of hulls which were cannibalized to provide spare parts if they were not immediately capable of a return to service.

So while totally adequate warship production and service capabilities are decades away, the Scorpions boast a fleet of fully functional warships and a healthy stockpile of spare parts. While the later is irreplaceable, it is generally felt that barring an invasion of Imperio Space by the Homeworlds Clans in the next 20 years, the Scorpions should be in a good position.

However, it might be fair to say that the Scorpions got the pick of the litter out of the joint SLDF-Imperio endeavour; adding a fully functional Farragut and the former Quick Silver Mongoose to their fleet. The addition of the Coterie and former Osis' Pride however were coups that are owed to the Scorpions alone; the Coterie won in fair trial of annihilation from the Ice Hellions and the Osis' Pride an opportunistic capture by marines from the Atropos. Both have been returned to full service with parts from the hollowed-out Clan Naval Caches.

Benefits to the rest of the Imperio Militar del Escorpión have been more pronounced however; with equipment flooding in from Caches all over know space; the Scorpions now face a manpower shortage in filling out all the potential slots they might have to fill. As it is; they have re-cached many mechs, fighters, tanks and even dropships and jumpships, following refurbishment, but now deploy eight healthy Galaxies.

That almost all this equipment is obsolescent or obsolete goes without saying, but in a situation where the Scorpions find themselves almost bereft of fully-functional modern Clan manufacturing facilities; the fruits of Vril and Dragonfire have been a boon.

Shortages in battle armour plague the Scorpions at this time; as the Elemental Sibkos and productions capacity for battle armour have not kept up with the influx of other units into the strictly-organized formations of the Imperio Militar. The Scorpions have not been eagre to admit larger numbers of native Castilians into the trials for higher caste membership; preferring to rely on their own Sibkos for the foreseeable future. Over the next ten years, the Scorpions plan to found one more Sibko than the year before, each and every year in the hopes of expanding their strength enough to withstand the coming of their former brethren, when the day comes.

With this in mindl one of the greatest prizes of the Clan Civil War for any Clan may turn out to be the absorption of the entire 87th Scorpion (Formerly Mandrill) Airborne (Red Skies Cluster). Integrating this formation into the Touman and expanding it to five Super Nova Trinaries has allowed the Scorpions some uncharacteristic variety in their strictly regimented Order of Battle. This came at a time when the Scorpions were in serious danger of stagnation in their military thinking and the  expansion and experimentation in the Red Skies Cluster has spread to the rest of the new Imperio Militar in the form of new and different Super Nova formations; previously a rarely used concept in Scorpion military organization. That this serves as a means to rapidly expand the military capacity of the Imperio, while reducing pressure on the over-taxed Sibko system to produce yet more qualified officer-candidates.

The 87th Scorpion Airbone has expanded to Smallcraft Lander and vehicles operations, deploying VTOLs from high atmosphere, daring Mech Combat drops, parachute infantry jumps and a very close dropship-ground troop cooperation. That the Cluster still boasts a comparatively huge number of battle-armour equipped elementals and a stunning four stars-worth of Khirgiz Heavy OmniFighters makes them a powerful asset for offensive and defensive operations. Possibly the most incredible aspect of the former-Mandrill's integration into the Goliath Scorpion Touman is that it worked out so well. Now almost three generations into their absorption and the Cluster yet maintains their military identity, while they have embraced the Scorpion variation of Clan Culture.

The Seekers have naturally been exalted for their role in strengthening the Clan and naturally it hasn't been just war machines they have gathered; but ancient artifacts and priceless data as well. Just the same, the completion of their mission and the end of the Seeker movement can now be seen on the horizon and the Seekers themselves, even as they occupy honoured and elite positions with the the Imperio Militar have been first in asking; "what's next?"

Tau, Rho and Chi Galaxies being without Naval support is an issue unlikely to be solved any time soon. The Khans made some enemies in keeping the Fleet Reserve together, rather than sharing out Reforger, Cutty Sark and Hunter's Lance as the core of the naval support of the three junior Galaxies in the Imperio Militar, but the argument that they are more useful as unattached trouble-shooters and escorts for the three Scorpion Yardships has the weight of good military sense behind it.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: snakespinner on 07 March 2016, 16:20:25
The Scorpions are very effective in this AU.
Once they re-establish manufacturing and orbital facilities they will rule. O0
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: truetanker on 07 March 2016, 20:23:59
Are the Widomakers around? Or have they been absorbed

TT
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 08 March 2016, 02:21:18
The Scorpions are very effective in this AU.
Once they re-establish manufacturing and orbital facilities they will rule. O0

Pardon me Snakespinner, you missed an "if" in there.
Are the Widomakers around? Or have they been absorbed

TT

Long gone and recently joined by the Ice Hellions and Mandrills. Note that the Steel Vipers are still around though.

The timeline diverges with the birth of the key OCs in the early-mid 31st century. Everything before that is as-per.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 08 March 2016, 06:03:07
Interesting to see the Scorpions doing so well, I assume they got out of dodge early and now have one eye constantly over their shoulder should the Homeworlds come a calling.  I'm surprised the Scorps don't get in contact with the Ravens and Bears and form their own power bloc.  Between them they probably have the numbers to stave off all but the most serious of assaults and the Bears and Ravens share the same kind of sensible outlook in regards to their culture and what they are building.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 08 March 2016, 09:07:18
Interesting to see the Scorpions doing so well, I assume they got out of dodge early and now have one eye constantly over their shoulder should the Homeworlds come a calling.  I'm surprised the Scorps don't get in contact with the Ravens and Bears and form their own power bloc.  Between them they probably have the numbers to stave off all but the most serious of assaults and the Bears and Ravens share the same kind of sensible outlook in regards to their culture and what they are building.

Well, basically; the scorpions decided after or during the Clan Civil War that what the Clans were working towards wasn't really much like the Star League, or really much like anything they wanted to be a part of and they began making their preparations. Getting in touch with the 3rd League made scooping Caches a plausible option, but it didn't take long before they could tell they weren't going to make the cut in the Purity-Playoffs.

The Scorpions, Ravens and Bears are all considered "New Clans", but they are less Nationalist than either of those two and very isolationalist, The 3rd League is a lot closer to the ideals of the Star League than the rest of the Clans, for instance, but the Scorpions would still rather got heir own way and have rebuffed all overtures of membership.

Not that the 3rd League tried super-hard; they are good allies and League membership would mean defending the Imperio worlds to the death. With the time table for Operation: Century moved so far up and the precarious position of the Imperio, geographically and strategically; another front to fight a war on does not appeal.

For their own part; the Ravens and Bears are equally disinterested in mutual defence, but they are a more open society, both. The New Clans are more of a loose category, than anything like a fraternity or alliance.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 08 March 2016, 09:31:24
Ahh I see! Okay makes sense :)  Also I did a thing whilst bored at work.  Hope you don't mind :)



The SLS Northern Sky, soon to become the CSR Northern Sky was an antique and possibly the last example of her kind in existence.  The ancient Farragut class battleship had been found at Deep Space Naval Reserve 014/B along with a pair of equally archaic Lola II class destroyers and a very long in the tooth Naga that had barely avoided being scrapped.

The Farragut was a prize worth refitting though, one did not turn their nose up at a 1.6 megatonne battleship, even if she was centuries old and had been in mothballs for an additional 300 years.  The SLDF technicians who had put the old ship into mothballs, far from jump points, drifting with her compatriots in the Oort Cloud of the system they were found in.  The ancient ship now hung off the port side of the Grand Aerie, surrounded by tugs and slowly being moved into position to be accepted into the huge Newgrange’s docking bay.

“You’re not going to like this, but she’s going to be one hell of a job to get active.”
Chief Technician Williams nodded, ignoring the Outworlds use of contractions with practiced ease. “I am aware of this Piet Hein, but this ship is vital to the defence of the Outworlds Alliance and will be a welcome addition to the fleet.  The Khan and Council require we do our duties to the best of our abilities.”

“I get that, but look at the list of what we’ve got to do.  Three hydrogen seals have corroded due to solar radiation, the reactor’s going to have to be replaced completely, we just don’t have the parts for it, same for the secondary and tertiary plants.  The hull’s sound but the men are going over her to check to see if the armours gone brittle and if it has we’ve got enough plate onboard for replacement parts and can forge our own.”

“Wait..the teriary reactor must be replaced quiaff?”
“Er..Aff!  I know you wanted to bring it online but some coolant must have been left in it when she was mothballed, its corroded and weakened the structure over her years of sleep.”
“Understood, we will have to charge her batteries and link them to this vessel..”
“Already on it, I’ve got some of my teams adjusting our fittings on power cables so they interact with hers, once she’s docked we can then replace the batteries and should have power within 12 hours once she’s docked and the capacitors are charged, pressurisation will take another four hours at least, assuming we don’t blow any seals.”

The tech nodded “I will leave this in your capable hands Piet Hein..”
“Please just call me Piet, or Mr Hein if you must.”
“Of course, please alert me when the ship is pressurized and we can begin the repairs.”
“Oh this is just the start..do you want me to tell you about the wiring?”
“…neg..I do not.” Chief Technician Williams groaned, she knew it was going to be a long day.

True to his word the Northern Sky had power within 12 hours and then the serious work of repair could begin.  Clan and Spheroid technicians swarmed over the massive ship, checking systems, wiring and the hull.  It was a refit that would take months, with dozens of teams running round the clock shifts.  Six of the warships Gauss rifles had to be removed in a time consuming operation whilst other work crews were removing the archaic large lasers and replacing them with more modern defences as well as installing point defence anti-missile systems and of course the computer core had to be completely replaced.  By the fourth month of the refit the primary reactor was online with the secondary on standby but the tertiary reactor still needed to be completely removed.  Ongoing work to adjust the fighter bays to the Raven’s base five saw the fighter compliment drop to 35 but another dropship collar was added and the Harjel system was fully installed.  The blown seals for the hydrogen tanks proved problematic, and resulted in one full engine being removed to allow their repair to take place which was ‘fun’ as no one had worked on an engine mounting like this before.

By month six all three reactors were running and the hangar bays and an enlarged control bridge for the CAG had been installed.  The primary bridge had also been relocated deep into the centre of the ship.  Work crews were also altering the primary walkways and doors to allow easier access for Elementals and the marine’s quarters were altered to take the larger troops and their battle armour.  The crew quarters and grav-decks were also being worked on, but this time by an Alliance interior design company of all things much to the confusion of some of the Clanners. 

The structural alterations to the crew passageways took another two solid months but the refit was nearing completion, the air group was being assembled and a trio of Nagisawa Class dropships had joined the flotilla surrounding the Grand Aerie, already earmarked for the battleship once her refit was complete.  Even as the final coat of paint was being applied to the exterior hull the ships crews were boarding her.  After nine months of near constant work the CSR Northern Sky was finally ready to depart.  There would be at least another month’s worth of trials and crew familiarization before she finally jumped out to join the Reserve Star which despite its name was the hammer of the Alliance.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 08 March 2016, 17:47:43
Awesome! This great Marauder648, thank you!

Couple things; not wrong. This could fit in fine as part of Der Tag, but bear in mind that if the Ravens couldn't get Northern Sky Operational-enough to jump, they would have really, really been hurting for another battleship, or they would have left it. 9 month though? That's way faster than building a new Nightlord from scratch. and almost an order of magnitude faster and cheaper than another Leviathan

Not being jump-worthy means it was "Tugged" Ryan Cartel-style all the way from the homeworlds to the Alliance by 3-5 really big Jumpships; Star Lords or Monoliths. Not impossible, but it speaks to the priorities of a Clan basically fleeing the Homeworlds while the getting was good. You're looking at potentially a large number of vacant drop collars that could have been filled with hulls on that trip.

And yes; "Reserve" Is a word with many subtle layers of meaning in the military and some are quite sinister.

All in all; excellent. I am very flattered. Thank you again.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 09 March 2016, 00:44:44
Clan Cloud Cobra Warship Assets; Circa 31 Dec 3099

Lola-III-Class Cataclysm
Potemkin-Class Wisdom of Ages, True Sight
York-Class Brimstone, Nebulous, Protector
Sovietskii-Soyuz-Class Damascus, Budapest
Sovietskii-Soyuz (SL) International
Samarkand-Class Beijing
Aegis-Class Consequence, Inquisitor
Cameron-Class Liscense
Carrack-Class Merchant Blind Faith, Divine Vision
Carrack-Class Transport Maker
Fredasa-Class Hell Fury, Perditions Flame
McKenna Class Second Coming
Black Lion (SL)-Class Crusader
Essex (SL)-Class Trenton
Congress (SL)-Class Philidelphia

Just a quick look at what the Cloud Cobras are fielding in terms of warships these days. They're going with a mass Naval Reserve now and assigning ships on an as-needed basis to whatever missions come up. Yes, they got Beijing running; starting a few years earlier helped: the tipping point for the reactor and drives was that recently.

***

The Cloud Cobra's fought through the Civil War and helped put down the scientist's armies, but the other Clans still decided that their spiritual bent was a contamination of the Clan ideal. In the fighting of the purity wars that followed; the Cloud Cobra's held unto their worlds, but they were shot out of the New Clans movement and have found themselves excluded; enjoying only limited trade and relations with their nieghbours.

They have grown close with the Escorpion Imperio, but it's very clear that the New Clans will not tolerate them forever. When their former brethren come, it will be at the head of their warship fleets and the Cloud Cobras are determined to be ready.

The Cobras have a smaller fleet than they otherwise might have; they recovered a number of Star League-Vintage ships from their last Naval caches along with dozens of dropships and jumpers, but haven't taken the time to upgrade them. Even the original close-in weapons are still in place in many cases; only being replaced as they fail or parts come up short. Instead the Cloud Cobras have thrown their effort behind SDS systems and infrastructure.

As a result, the Cobras are one of the few Clans with a sufficiency of yards and orbitals to support their fleet, along with a growing defence network to enforce the continuing Cold War with the remaining Home World Clans.

Clan Cloud Cobra has put their lower castes on notice however; the day will come when the Home World Clans come to annihilate them for their unique culture and there is much work to be done. The remaining Brian Caches must be emptied and the equipment scrapped or restored and production of weapons and Sibkos stepped up.

Having enough yards to go around has meant the Cloud Cobras are now able to embark on the beginnings of the first serious new-build Naval Program in the Homeworlds; in the next five years, they will launch a Night Lord, a Conqueror and two Yorks and the keel has been laid on the Leviathan-Prime-Class Fortress of Faith.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 09 March 2016, 01:03:45
Ahh I didn't know she could not jump.  She must have been in worse condition than I thought.  I had her just being put into mothballs and left at a gravitationally stable point and save for a few errors hadn't decayed that much.  With a Newgrange's work crews on her 8 - 9 months is viable to get her going if the mothballing process was well done, but she's obviously in worse condition so double it easily.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 09 March 2016, 08:59:46
Ahh I didn't know she could not jump.  She must have been in worse condition than I thought.  I had her just being put into mothballs and left at a gravitationally stable point and save for a few errors hadn't decayed that much.  With a Newgrange's work crews on her 8 - 9 months is viable to get her going if the mothballing process was well done, but she's obviously in worse condition so double it easily.

You're the guy who wrote that lovely bit of fiction; you tell me: could she be made jump-capable quickly? Enough so to be boot-strapped?

Well, that's the decision point, right? If she could jump with droppers and support a crew during the journey, it's no probelm, anything less than that; it's a burden. That said; 1.6mt warship may be a burden worth bearing.

The Raven's bootstrapped a lot of warships just to get them to that point and sent them on their way in convoys with yardships along, whenever they could be spared, just in case something happened.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Shadow_Wraith on 09 March 2016, 10:40:26
 O0 very nice updates!   
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 09 March 2016, 18:16:29
O0 very nice updates!   

Thanks Shadow Wraith! The Coyotes are up next!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: mighty midget on 09 March 2016, 22:04:18
I'm quite enjoying all the work you've put into this, thanks for sharing it with the crowd.  One question though, so far I've counted 8 or 9 different Newgrange YardShips mentioned.  They were very rare in canon, are you using Exodus-era caches as the source for them?
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 10 March 2016, 01:58:52
I'm quite enjoying all the work you've put into this, thanks for sharing it with the crowd.  One question though, so far I've counted 8 or 9 different Newgrange YardShips mentioned.  They were very rare in canon, are you using Exodus-era caches as the source for them?

Yeah, a bucket-load are said to have gone with Kerensky (and why not; they could haul massive amounts and sizes of stuff!), so these are Clans recovering the survivors from caches. The SLDFiE has access to at least one from a different site; "The Pitcher Plant System".
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 10 March 2016, 09:12:05
Coyote Clan Warship Assets; 31 Dec, 3099

Carrack Merchant-Class Solar Blaze
Liberator (FRAM)-Class Spirit In The Sky
Vincent Mk.43-Class Relentless Pursuit, Spirit Guide, Stalking Paw
Potemkin (FRAM)-Class Midnight Star, Morning Star
Cameron (FRAM)-Class Blood of The Coyote
Essex (FRAM)-Class Wind Runner
Lola III (FRAM)-Class Courage, Honour of ages, Shocker
Nightlord-Class Great Coyote Spirit
Sovietskii-Soyuz (FRAM)-Class Howling, Steel Fang
Sovietskii-Soyuz (SL)-Class Full Moon
Texas (FRAM)-Class Ancestral home
York-Class Broken Sea
Aegis (SL)-Class Sharptooth
Volga (SL)-Class Den Mother
Baron (FRAM)-Class Coyote Wisdom
Fredasa-Class Medicine Man (formerly hellion's pride)

The Coyotes can be said to have had a "Good War" in the 3060s, less so in the 70s and 80s, what with their central position in the Purity Wars that followed the Civil War, the Clan was left weary and badly stretched from their efforts.

But the Coyotes learned from their experiences; gained territory and resources and also profited politically.

This shows in their alliance with the Steel Vipers (any real Coyote or Viper fans; feel free to school me if this is really against character), their continued position as power brokers in the Grand Council and the joint Viper-Coyote FRAM (Fleet Refit And Modernization) program.

While other Clans have expended vast resources on layered defences, massed offensive warship power and  expensive, but non-combat fleet support assets; the Coyotes and Vipers have debuted a series of standardized refits and upgrades to their warship fleets to make individual ships more effective. Ironic, as they no longer deploy their ships alone.

The FRAM program aims to make ancient warship designs more viable in the modern age; added anti-fighter defences and antimissile systems; bigger fuel bunkers and improved armour; sub-capital weapons in key positions even some technology reverse-engineered from spheroid sources: all combine to produce warships which are more capable, tougher and more useful to the Clans in the current operating environment they find themselves in.

Other, more extensive modifications have also been projected, drawn up and even employed; such as the progressively updated Mk.43 Vincents now coming on line which are slightly larger and much more capable in the modern approximation of the Corvette role as understood by the Clans.

FRAM has been a concept bandied around the Clans for centuries, but a lack of perceived need for further modernization of adequate, if dated hulls meant that most major refit programs were of older hulls to totally different configurations, such as with the York and Liberator-Class; a "Go-Big or Go-Home" approach with dominated Clan Naval capital project thinking for almost two centuries and one based somewhat on conditions which were fundamentally artificial.

The fighting in the Clan Civil War reignited the idea in several quarters, but it was the fleet actions in the York system where Steel Vipers and Star Adders met the battle lines of the SLDF FleetCom head-on which gave the concept fresh impetus.

While both Clans took different lessons from the series of engagements over a several-month period; the Coyotes, in typical fashion proved able to wisely benefit from the experience of others. It was the Coyotes who reached out to the Vipers; already working on a practical FRAM program with added resources and an offer of sharing facilities. It was this which finally got a real qualitative upgrade program off the ground for the Clan Warship Fleets for the first time since the Exodus.

It cannot be over-stated that previous to this almost any and all updating of Star League ships (short of total-rebuilds) was done as required by logistic and organizational concerns; new secondary weapons because vintage Large Lasers are hard to come by. Double Heat Sinks; because the single-capacity matrices were literally disintegrating and production was geared to the improved freezers. Better armour because the old stuff was succumbing to metal fatigue and it couldn't be had in quantity. Harjel; because the Sharks were good salesmen. ect.

While this could easily result in ships which had to be reconfigured into radically different visual forms (New heatsinks will get a ship to this point quickly; just look at a Mk.39 and 42 Vincent side by each) it did almost nothing to alter the way these ships sailed and fought, or to correct any of the flaws that even the Amaris Civil War had revealed.

The Coyotes have been judicious in their application of resources to the program and both Clans have benefited, but the Coyotes have unquestionably made the most of it. Following a triage system, all but the last applicable ships from the Coyote and Isorla Caches have been put through the FRAM Program and the remaining hulls, still relevant to the program, but requiring much more work will begin rotating through the joint Coyotes/Viper yard network after a brief refit and re-tooling of the yards themselves, to be completed late next year (3100).

In contrast; the Vipers prioritized certain Classes and individual ships over others and their fleet is now a mess; a hodgepodge of hulls at different points in their lifecycle progression from original Star-League configuration to FRAM-ships and all points in between, with resources yet diverted elsewhere. The Adders, it must also be noted, have forsaken any sort of major upgrade program for the time being, even while monitoring the Coyote-Viper program (for a modest contribution, of course) and instead have fed a desperate drive to restore, repair, crew and field as many hulls as possible at all costs. It is actually surprising that the Adders have allowed even one of their ships to be upgraded and this following a series of Trials by the Captain responsible for the ship in question.

Operationally; the Coyotes favour their Warships as a Clan-asset, deployed as needed from a few shuffling, large, informal formations patrolling their holdings. Warship deployment is currently managed by the Khans directly, as advised by a coterie of the senior Coyote Star Admirals and Star Commodores. Naval Stars are assembled according to the needs of a specific mission, rather than assigning warships individually and directly. It is now considered unacceptably wasteful and rash to assign single warships to any missions, no matter how important, following the needless loss of two newly recovered hulls during the Purity Wars against the Hell's Horses and Jade Falcons.

The Coyotes have benefited along with the Vipers from joint efforts to expand Naval Production, refit and Service capabilities and several new yards have been built in key Coyote systems in recent years, even though no new building program is yet on the horizon.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 10 March 2016, 13:57:11
Makes sense that Kerensky would want to take as many Newgranges as possible with him.  They are mobile habitats and carry an inordinate amount of cargo.  When the Pentagon was being settled I can imagine Newgranges and Potemkin's acting as living habitats for the majority of people whilst work crews set about estabilishing the new colonies.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 11 March 2016, 00:35:23
Makes sense that Kerensky would want to take as many Newgranges as possible with him.  They are mobile habitats and carry an inordinate amount of cargo.  When the Pentagon was being settled I can imagine Newgranges and Potemkin's acting as living habitats for the majority of people whilst work crews set about estabilishing the new colonies.

Well, the fluff seemed to indicate that a lot left with Kerensky, but up till now the Clans haven't needed that kind of major fleet support; even using Warships in inter-clan fighting has been rare. Looking at fighting other factions in a more full-up form, even if somewhat ritualized is going to require that kind of asset. And there isn't going to be enough to go around.

Most will have been cannibalized or scrapped outright and not all Clans will see the value inherent in such a massive manpower and resources sink.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 11 March 2016, 04:27:59
The FRAM refits make a lot of sense, the Clan's fleet was filled with ships built to operate in massed squadrons, the SLDF never came at you with one destroyer, it came at you with 8 with a heavy cruiser leading them, supported by at least one battleship and its escort group.  The depleted Clan fleets still had those ships but not the numbers and doctrinally used them as single units despite being part of a Star. A ship then built and designed to be part of the greater whole is forced to operate alone and suffers as a result. 

Overhauling the fleet, altering the designs and improving upon them makes perfect sense.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 11 March 2016, 08:44:29
The FRAM refits make a lot of sense, the Clan's fleet was filled with ships built to operate in massed squadrons, the SLDF never came at you with one destroyer, it came at you with 8 with a heavy cruiser leading them, supported by at least one battleship and its escort group.  The depleted Clan fleets still had those ships but not the numbers and doctrinally used them as single units despite being part of a Star. A ship then built and designed to be part of the greater whole is forced to operate alone and suffers as a result. 

Overhauling the fleet, altering the designs and improving upon them makes perfect sense.

Spot on and thank you.

We also know from the meta-game that a lot of the 2750-vintage ships just aren't very well designed, especially for a Jihad/WoR combat context (and that's *still* building to fight the last war!). Likewise, 3057 didn't do much to improve most of them. I've already toyed with the idea having the Falcons look at refitting their Aegis, but this is a much more extensive program, while not going the York/Liberator/Conqueror route.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 11 March 2016, 12:42:09
Clan Star Adder: Warship Assets. Circa 31 Dec 3099



Command Keshik

   McKenna-Class Soverign Right

Quasar Keshik

   Nightlord-Class Absolute Truth

Alpha Galaxy

   Monsoon-Class Cold Slither

Beta Galaxy

   sovietskii Soyuz-Class Nygaard

Gamma Galaxy

   Black Lion-Class Adm William S Preston

Delta Galaxy

   Liberator-Class Constantineau

Epsilon Galaxy

   Aegis-Class Ares might

Upsilon Galaxy

   McKenna-Class Nightscales (Former Cage's Pride)

Alpha Naval Reserve Star

   Aegis-Class Stellar Serpent
   Lola-III-Class Warlock
   York-Class Exodus Avenger
   York-Class Exodus Ranger
   Essex-Class Tuhantepec
   Volga-Class Cho Polu

Beta Naval Reserve Star

   Lola-III-Class Yodan
   Vincent Mk.42 Pegasus
   York-Class Exodus Crusader
   Carrack Transport-Class Black Adder
   Sovietskii Soyuz-Class Divine Conquest
   Volga-Class Pompeii   

Gamma Naval Reserve Star

   Potemkin-Class Renown
   BugEye Snake-Eyes
   Vincent Mk.42 Centaur
   Carrack Transport-Class Go Forth
   Naga-Class Naga
   Lola-III (SL)-Class Cam Rahn Bay
   Volga-Class Kintore

Patrol Duties 31 Dec 3099

   Whirlwind-Class Flashing Snake
   Essex-Class Eagle
   York-Class Pack leader
   Lola-III-(FRAM) Class Cameron's Flame
   Lola-III-Class Zerostroyer
        Lola-III-Class Hagar
   Fredsa-Class Arcadian Asp
   York-Class Exodus Sentinel

Drydock

   Newgrange-Class Lathe of Heaven
   Essex-Class Necromancer
   Sovietskii-Soyuz (SL)-Class Star Hammer
   Fredasa-Class Vicious fang
   Carrack Merchant-Class Montgommery (Conversion to Transport Configuration)

In Work

   Leviathan-I-Class Jormungandr
   Conqueror-Class Sea Serpent
   York-Class Return
   York-Class Short-Stop
   Liberator-Class Buckstop

Kappa, Mu, Xi, Omicron, Rho, Sigma and Tau provisional Galaxies all lack organic warship support

***

The Star Adders are the Re-eminent Clan in the Homeworlds; they lead the Grand Council and provide the Ilkhan. Among all the Clans, only they could Challenge the Snow Ravens on anything like an equal footing.

The Star Adders have a complex Warship Organization with some ships attached as organic assets to the frontline Galaxies, and some detached on dedicated patrol duties on a rotational basis among the lighter ships. And three separate Naval Reserve Stars, which despite their names are mainly administrative formations.

Thanks to the penetration of the Star Adders by the Scorpion Watch, an unusually detailed picture of their fleet is available, including which ships are in drydock and what is coming together on the slips.

The Adders  had a number of ships heavily damaged fighting in the York System, but their position and generally good Delta-V (due to luck more than anything) allowed most of the fleet to refuse decisive engagements and power out of the FleetCom fire baskets at the Costs of Bright Lance and Journey, two newly recommissioned Lola-III Clan-tech ships.

For years the Star Adder Yards were swamped with wrecked ships and older hulls being refurbished and they are only now digging themselves out into the light of day. The spare capacity to produce the beginnings of a balanced fleet has had to be built and established separately from the drydocks and has been starved of resources until recently.

The Star Adders take the concept of a renewed invasion seriously, but they haven't taken the time to bother with a massive fleet-refit program or a build up of support ships like some other Clans. Instead they have focussed on front-line realities. Any invasion of the Inner Sphere will mean facing at a minimum the disunited Ghost Bear, Diamond Shark, Nova Cat, RAF, SLDF and possibly Snow Raven Fleets, along with whatever the Great Houses have left. To this end, the Star Adders have completed the best possible survey of all remaining Cache sites, tagged unusable hulls for scarp and cannibalization and removed all usable hulls to secure sites for refurbishment.

There may yet be Society, or otherwise unknown holdings out there, but the Star Adders have ensured that all remaining Naval Caches are expended in the home worlds and their own fleet is the result. Notably patch-work but strong in hulls, the Adders have been solely pressed to man all their ships and support them and this showed at York. Things are getting better now, but full fleet readiness (full manning, complete maintenance, basic modernization, ect) is at least 10-20 years away. The Adders may now, at great cost approach the Snow Ravens in hull strength, but really have little idea what they now field and operate on projections. Were they to face the Snow ravens on new years day, they would be devastated as it stands now and the Snow Ravens would still be the largest fleet in the Galaxy. That's just do to the manning issues alone. never mind the outdated nature of so many Star Adders hulls and the exhausted maintenance situation.

The Star Adders have a hell of a fleet, but they will now need to work hard to build what many other clans already have; the means to support and field it far from home.

Current Fleet operations are geared to support the patrol duties, now requiring nearly twice as many ships as in 3060 to be effective. Rotation is brisk and contact with Dark Caste, Society Remnants and other, irregular contacts still occur. The real reason for the stepped-up patrols though is a building paranoia in the higher echelons of the Clan, having lost several assets, attempting reconnaissance of the 3rd League's Canton Worlds, the Star Adders worry if the SLDF hasn't taken on the mission the Word of Blake Militia and Shadow Divisions were ostensibly built for, prior to the Jihad.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 12 March 2016, 06:39:13
So...I've been updating this pretty regularly and now I'll be gone till next Sunday. Just so no one thinks i'm dead or whatever.

Beachhead
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 12 March 2016, 07:11:47
Interesting take on their fleet's doctrine, a mix of stars and individual sailings.  THe fleets big but its disjointed and in dire need of the FRAM upgrades too.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 20 March 2016, 09:03:09
Interesting take on their fleet's doctrine, a mix of stars and individual sailings.  THe fleets big but its disjointed and in dire need of the FRAM upgrades too.

Exactly what I was going for; and that's just the material side of things, never mind manning, maintenance and training concerns.

You're right of course, but the Adders don't see it that way; they see their best bet as naval dominance through having the maximum number of deployable hulls. A major refit program contradicts that.

We'll do the Stone Lions next.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 20 March 2016, 09:54:43
Clan Stone Lion; Warship Assets, Circa 31 Dec, 3099

Lola IIIC Anathema and Red Knight
Aegis C Pride Alpha
Congress Seapike
Carrack Transport Firehold

Clan Stone Lion was assembled from bondsman captured from other Clans during the Purity Wars.

The True Clans found themselves burdened with a large number of ostensibly dedicated and loyal individuals from ideologically suspect backgrounds which Clan Culture required them to take into their own confidence as warriors and lower castemen. Forming a new and Separate Clan was a clever way to keep these individuals close, in order to watch them, while avoiding the waste of Reiving them and retaining their strength as potential allies.

Ideologically, we now know the Stone Lions to be that special breed of fanatic that is only found among the newly converted, but at the time, the whole enterprise was seen as a very precarious; these Clansmen could be Society Sympathizers, or simply guilty of harbouring revisionist sympathies afterall. Ultimately though, the True Clans would retain very few Bondsman from the Abjured and Annihilated Clans.

Part of the reason for the mistrust in which the concept was held was he reigning belief that to be taken seriously as a Clan required Warships and as such required the Grand Council to allocate Warship assets and support capability to what might have ended up being a nest of vipers in their midst (an no offense to the Steel Vipers, of course).

Finally, a token force was assembled and allocated to the Stone Lions of the Lola-III (Clan) Red Knight and Anathema, as well as the former Mandrill Carrack Transport Firehold, along with a small yard. The Stone Lions have since managed to recover and fit-out a Clan Aegis Cruiser, now the Flagship; Pride Alpha and the Congress (SL)- Class Seapike.

Stone Lion Naval Strength remains trivial in comparison to other Clans, but would still pose a threat to any Innersphere or periphery power of varying severity. At the moment, while comparatively strong in manpower (four light Galaxies is strong compared to their other assets) they lack for infrastructure, manufacturing and even training facilities. The Stone Lions know they will need to establish themselves better if they wish to be more than the "periphery kingdom of the homeworlds" and that will have to mean warships. At the moment their single small yard is fully taxed supporting their tiny fleet; Anathema and Red Knight still suffer serious technical issues even decades after their recoveries, up to random power losses and Seapike is little better. The Stone Lions are currently working on building a large yard over Tokasha, but have suffered numerous setbacks and shortfalls in technical skill from a lack of Technicians and Scientists to work the various issues that arise.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 20 March 2016, 10:45:50
Welcome back! Seems like the Lions are going to eventually grow into real hardline Clanners, a Smoke Jaguar reborn almost.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 20 March 2016, 13:20:52
Welcome back! Seems like the Lions are going to eventually grow into real hardline Clanners, a Smoke Jaguar reborn almost.

They brought it on themselves. This is where this kind of thinking inevitably goes.

This is me aping Larry Hamma in story-telling.

I don't have a script; I don't have an outline; I have characters (in this case factions) I expose them to stimuli and write how those characters would react to those stimuli. The Clans have always been prone to this sort of thinking and this is where it goes. You'll have individuals who push back and this kind of thinking eats them up.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 20 March 2016, 15:59:12
Clan Steel Viper, Warship Assets, 31 Dec, 3099

Leviathan Prime-Class Perigard Zalman
Carrack Merchant-Class Pride of new kent
Vincent Mk.43-Class Coiled Serpent, Champion's Honour
Whirlwind C-Class FRAM class Constrictor
Essex C-Class martial legacy
Lola IIIC-Class Snake Pit (FRAM), Anaconda, Rancor
Lola III-Class Forevermore, Gladiator
Cameron (FRAM)-Class Zalman's Endevor
Cameron C-Class Coiled Vengeance
Potemkin C-Class Ophidian, Serpentes (FRAM)
Potemkin-Class City of Dresden
Nightlord-Class Dark Asp
Aegis-Class Destructor
Aegis C-Class Linesman
Texas (FRAM)-Class New Mexico, Erin Go Bragh
Liberator (FRAM)-Class Void Serpent, Envenomed Blade
Newgrange (FRAM)-Class New Delhi Sunrise

In Drydock

Volga (SL)-Class Ancient Serpent undergoing FRAM refit
Davion-Class Shadowsword, undergoing modernization and asessment
Congress-D-Class Mysterious Stranger Undergoing full FRAM and Clan Upgrades

Under Construction

+Leviathan Prime-Class
+new Steel Viper Heavy/Battle Cruiser, specifics unknown
+Black Lion FRAM-Class Windy City
+un-named large 2.5mt yardship, further details unavailable.

***

The Steel Vipers have been through three major Fleet Re-Organizations in the last 35 years; from their initial arrangement of Naval Stars, to their warships marauding as singles and pairs of ships to their current Grand Fleet organization.

Naval Stars proved too inflexible to meet the demands and opportunities of the Clan Civil War and the Purity Wars that followed, but disjointed small task forces suffered badly during both conflicts and later during the Blood Spirit evacuation.

The Grand Fleet is the answer the Steel Viper Khans have settled on, for now. It is a circling of the wagons so to speak to husband valuable resources in a few select locations. The idea is to carefully manage their warship assets until enough hulls are available to provide for a small number of Naval Stars and a large number of small, well-supported task-forces, but the Vipers aren't there yet; not by a long shot.

The Steel Vipers have benefited greatly from the joint FRAM project with the Coyotes; extensive damage to most ships from the Purity Wars and the fighting in the York System should have put them farther along in the program; upgrading ships brought in for repair, but other pressures mandated that most of these were imminently required on active duty and so patched back up into any workable configuration and re-launched. The Vipers are committed though and the FRAM Program will continue.

Other wise, the Vipers are being remarkably taciturn in their ship building programs; they are building an resource-sucking sistership to Perigard Zalman, yes; but also have laid the keel and installed the engines and other major systems for the largest warship ever built in the homeworlds; an un-named 2.5mt yardships, which will be able to support any ship the Vipers or anyone else can build. The Vipers learned a hard lession from the repeated crippling of Perigard Zalman during the Purity wars; such assets are potent when in working order, but a lodestone if they cannot be supported. Several other Clans are contributing to the project in order to gain access to the completed plans for the support of their own Leviathans, but so far, these have been kept for the use of the True Clans, alone.

During the war, New Delhi Sunrise had been forced to be torn out of storage, still mostly mothballed herself and barely functional in order to effect emergency repairs, but proved woefully inadequate to the Perigard Zalman's full needs. Having to use the ancient ship three more times on similar missions proved the need of such assets in the Viper Touman beyond any doubt.

There is also a well-grounded project, quite far-along, for a new class of proprietary Steel Viper heavy cruiser or battlecruiser. No name has been seriously connected with the project yet, but Snow Raven Watch assets were able to learn it has features in common with the Mjolnir-Class before the overhaul of the Lum complex prior to the beginning of the Yardship project discovered and disabled the monitoring devices and subroutines in the Viper systems.

It is suspected however that this new design is quite radical, as the Vipers are also building a FRAM-version of the Proven Black Lion Class right alongside her on the Lum slips, as insurance should the new design fail in some way.

"Battle Cruiser" has often proven a loaded designation, however, so this makes pinning down in what way the new ship might be radical difficult to do. The only real proof that it is is that the Vipers are building a design of ancient pedigree literally right next to it.

As a whole, the Viper Grand Fleet trends lighter; with large numbers of smaller ships, such as the Lola-IIIs and these serve as dedicated escorts to the larger ships within the fleet. The handful of large battleships, of which Perigard Zalman is the Queen, counter this somewhat. The Fleet is mainly kept together, hidden in a few key Viper Systems. It would make a potent offensive instrument, but right now, even the Vipers admit it isn't an operational organization, so much as an administrative one. Direct naval support to the Clusters is by PWS and Assault Dropships, but Warships may still be loaned out for short missions, if well escorted.

One might summarize that the Vipers are currently too unwilling to loose hulls to be willing to actually use them in any meaningful way. That will not last for long, however.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 20 March 2016, 16:45:53
Capital Naval Assets, Diamond Shark Touman, 3rd League

   Diamond sharks

Spectral Diamond Naval Star

Sovietskii Soyuz C-Class Nagasawa
Black Lion (SL)-Class Tigershark
Samarkand Block-II Class Feeding Frenzy

Black Diamond Naval Star

Fredasa-Class Swift Strike
Essex C-Class Sharon
Aegis C-Class Bloodlust
 
Blue Diamond Naval Star

Essex C-Class Tracey
Lola IIIC-Class Space Hunter
Nightlord-Class Terror of The Deep

Red Diamond Naval Transport Cluster

Leviathan Heavy Transport-Class Big Kahuna
Potemkin C-Class Posiden, Titanic, Tsunami, Red Tide, Kraken
Carrack Merchant-Class Starswimmer, Devourer, Blackray
Robinson Transport Block II-Class, Zanzibar

Gold Diamond Navl Support Star

Newgrange-Class Megamouth, Pelican
Baron-Class Ramora
Volga-Class Bold Venture, Speculator
York-Class Wingsign


Under Construction:

3x Conqueror
Un-named Destroyer-Escort Class
2x Carrack Transport

***

The Diamond Sharks; with their extensive merchant caste, including vast transportation assets were possibly the best able to cope with a sudden abjurement. Transporting their entire Clan, or as much as could be got at, to the Inner Sphere was a process which should have been disturbing to witness for their former Brethren and their new Neighbors for it's speed and relative ease. Any force which could move that much in people, supplies and infrastructure that quickly and that far, could just as easily do so for an army.

Following their exile, the Sharks re-organized their fleet. Traditionally ordered around administrative groupings of ships, with the Potemkins concentrated for ease of support; the new arrangement removed the cargo haulers from the Sharks three Naval Stars, leaving what remained as dedicated combat formations. The Transport assets were concentrated in the so-called "Red Diamond Naval Transport Cluster", even while Spectral Diamond Star was stood-down for lack of hulls.

The Sharks brought their two best Newgrange-Class out of mothballs and hurriedly evacuated them to the the inner sphere when they were Abjured, but recovered little else.

The Jihad was kind to the Sharks; deploying two combat stars and keeping the transport assets concentrated in powerful, well-escorted convoys kept losses to a minimum. the Diamond Sharks conducted target of opportunity actions against any WOB forces they encountered. The Sharks chose to rebuff Chandrasekhar Kurita's overtures for the most part; suspecting him of duplicity aimed at reducing the Sharks' potential as competition and instead until the later days of the war pursued a policy of securing their trading worlds and continuing their mercantile operations. The Re-organization of the Fleet and convoy maneuvers made this possible.

The Sharks followed a wait and see approach to Stone's coalition once they appeared, while also maintaining and enhancing relations with the SLDFiE which had began during the early days of the New Model Army project. The Sharks aimed diplomatically to profit by any alliance and the outcome of the war as much as possible. In the end, it was determined that they would benefit more as founding 3rd League Members than Republic allies and the Sharks have been happy and prosperous since, with little need to regret their decision.

The Sharks received several warships by way of the Operation: Vril and the Pitcher Plant Boneyard after the war and have put these into service. Appropriately the Feeding Frenzy and Tigershark originally came from caches once controlled by the Diamond Sharks and these two have been used to rebuild Spectral Diamond Naval Star.

It would be impossible to ignore the recent launch of the Heavy Transport Big Kahuna, but the Sharks' ship building program has been about more than making big, flashy statements of ability and expertise in order to enhance buyer confidence in the ability of the Clan to project power and deliver the goods, but not a lot more until recently. True; the York-Class wingsign is a new build as of 3091, but in the projects on the slips, the Diamond Sharks clearly have a brighter future in mind and a serious ship-building program is in evidence.

The Program has delayed refitting Tigershark and the venerable Black Lion-Class will only go into drydock next month and at a FleetCom facility at that.

Down to brass tacks; the Diamond Sharks are building three Conqueror-Class ships as an investment in bringing their Naval Stars up to a more respectable strength. While the Sharks have had a lot of contact with the Snow Ravens recently and in the past, no technical assistance is in evidence and it is suspected the Sharks have had the plans for some time. Two more Carracks have been laid down as well, although it is thought these will finish as upgraded Transport-models, not the stripped-down Merchants currently in service. The Sharks lost two of those during the Jihad and one after and seem to have lost faith in the sub-class as a viable option for reliable commerce in uncertain situations. It may be that as these new ships come on-line, the older Carrack Merchants will be withdrawn to have their armour and weapons replaced, at least in a limited fashion.

Most interestingly is the Sharks' totally-new Destroyer-Escort project. The aim is to create a class of small warship which is made for escorting larger warships in battle and transports on the Sharks' commerce runs. The new class is to be fast, well-suited to long forays away from home, low-maintainace and possessing potent point-defence systems; anything else is pure speculation at this point, but rumours that they were to be built using Advanced Warship technology appear to be just that and the new hulls will lack full turrets and other features of the SLDF's new breed of warship.

While the project has yet to produce a finished prototype; the Sharks plan to build the new class in large numbers.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 21 March 2016, 05:39:03
Interesting, the Adders are finding out the logistical PITA that having such a monster like a Leviathan is to refit and repair whilst assumedly slowly upgrading everything they can to FRAM levels.  But they like the other Clans of the Homeworlds are being held back by the lack of facilities to do so and instead the refits are more haphazardly done rather than in blocks, a ship gets refitted when there is yard space rather than any seeming schedule.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 21 March 2016, 09:06:30
Interesting, the Adders are finding out the logistical PITA that having such a monster like a Leviathan is to refit and repair whilst assumedly slowly upgrading everything they can to FRAM levels.  But they like the other Clans of the Homeworlds are being held back by the lack of facilities to do so and instead the refits are more haphazardly done rather than in blocks, a ship gets refitted when there is yard space rather than any seeming schedule.

Thanks! I'm aiming for this ring of realism!

Because BT comparatively ignores support units, you need to ask yourself how important a Yardship really is? The SL got by with newgranges, but they could take anything up to a Mckenna (Not another newgrange). It begs the question; what if you break your bigger-than-a-mckenna ship? And also, how long did the SL sit on their warship laurels with the McKenna, before the Clans picked up the torch with the Leviathan? You have to wonder; if you build a bigger warship, do you *need* a bigger yardship, in case you break it?

Overall, I don't think we're sure how important Yardships are in BT.

In Der Tag, the Vipers went out butt-kicking with the Perigard Zalman, but were not nearly successful and were left with a disabled ship four times. Simply because they didn't have the element of suprise the first time, other Clans were able to prepare for the Perigard Zalman, as opposed to fighting an information black hole, as well as a heavy battleship.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 21 March 2016, 11:03:12
To me the Btech capital ship yards have looked something like this.

(http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f252/CanisD/Shipyard/Board/TwinBerzerks.jpg)for the largest of ships or something akin to this - http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/e/e7/Telgorn_Shipyard.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20060429122615  For smaller yards (where destroyers etc are made)

Whilst the huge yard at the top there is not only a place where ships are made but also an important naval base and command center, and we can assume that these kinds of facilities also existed and that the SLDF didn't put all its eggs into Castle Brian's and ground based control centers.  We know that Terra for example had a sky full of shipyards and defense stations, not just M9 Pavaise but manned orbital platforms akin to them and that whilst the Titan yards were the largest shipyards in the Sol system and indeed Human space, we don't know what they were. Was it a name for a series of docks, slips, grav-decks and other assorted parts clustered together, or was it a large complex like the one seen above?

Now we know that the Btech universe has some large yards

See (http://www.sarna.net/wiki/images/c/c9/Lola_I-II.jpg)

For example and the Newgrange can is not just a mobile repair yard she's also what we'd call something like an AOR, a mobile replenishment ship.  They could sit behind the lines (probably in a systems Oort cloud or something) and have ships come to them to be repaired or for resupply, or even R&R, with the crew's having a few weeks on their massive grav-decks.

I would also expect that the Newgrange didn't exist as a singular class and that there may have been smaller ships of the type or dedicated alongside repair and replenishment ships with the Newgrange being the final iteration and evolution of the form and being the first, and last to be able to take ships of any size, which was a limit on the previous classes as they could not dock battleships and instead had to do slower alongside repairs (possibly with some kind of extending gantry arrangement?)

The closest I can think of is something like the RN's Fort Victoria Class ships off the top of my head.

But because of their immense size the Leviathans require a specialised yard not only to make them, but that yard must also be there to repair them and those kind of immobile yards are vulnerable to attack or sabotage, whilst Yardships have the simple advantage of being mobile and able to hide. 

Kind of like in Babylon 5 where most Earth Force personnel could go their entire career without seeing a Explorer class starship, most civilians would never see a Yardship unless it was being built, launched or had to come to a world for a reason.  They'd probably be off in deep space as they are basically a deeply important strategic resource.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 21 March 2016, 14:18:37
I've made a couple designs for some truly huge stations, but I think realistically something like Titan Yards would look more like what you posted; sprawling complexes built-up organically over centuries.

And that's leaving out impossible-categorize installations like Gabriel. So I don't think the rules yet fully support this, even though its more realistic.

The stuff I built was more drop-in plug and play separate stations you could just have live in a given area.

But as I'll get into later; i think you can go to some delightfully dark places with yardships ;)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: truetanker on 21 March 2016, 18:35:21
Why not a Supersized M-9 Pavise?

TT
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 21 March 2016, 18:56:41
Why not a Supersized M-9 Pavise?

TT

Well "Super-Size" is a limited concept with a ceiling of 2.5MT and facilities of the scale we hear about from time to time.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 21 March 2016, 22:03:31
Alright, this is it; SLDF FleetCom.

So the CSR Navy boasts 62 warships of all types by my count. Fleetcom has 69 and the Snow Ravens have a pretty accurate idea of this (helps to have at least a decent *Naval* Intelligence service). The Ravens have more cruiser-battlecruiser weight ships though and fewer support types (Yardships, surveillance ships, ect). I still stand by that the Snow Ravens have the stronger fleet. That Thunderers are around the 2 Mt mark and Leviathans are 2.4 may help with this.

SLDF FleetCom, Naval List; Warships, only. Circa 31 Dec 3099.

Dreadnaught Squadron      
      
   Battle Division 1   
      
      Thunderer-Class Dreadnaught Jutland
      Thunderer-Class Dreadnaught Katyn Forest
      Thunderer-Class Dreadnaught Roanoke Island
      
   Battle Division 2   
      
      Thunderer-Class Dreadnaught Continuation of Politics
      Thunderer-Class Dreadnaught Kongo
      Thunderer-Class Dreadnaught Arizona
      
Carrier Battle Group      
      
   Enterprise-II-Class SuperCarrier Shinano   
      Dante-Class Frigate Vlad Tepes (Former Bordeaux)
      Congress-Class Frigate Principe Eugen
   Potemkin-Class BattleCarrier Ise   
      WagonWheel-Class Frigate Crusader
      Lola-Class Destroyer Escort Athabaskan
   Potemkin-Class BattleCarrier Bonaventure   
      WagonWheel-Class Frigate Algonquin
      Davion-Class Destroyer Escort Haida
   New Syrtis-Class Fighter Cruiser Lexington   
      Essex Class-Destoryer Escort Samar
      Lola-Class Destroyer Escort Huron
   Conqueror-Class Battlecruiser/Carrier Oriskany   
      Naga-Class-Destoryer Escort Yalu River
      Essex-Class Destroyer Escort Samuel B Roberts
      
BattleCruiser Squadron      
      
   Stefan Amaris-Class Fast Battleship Liberator   
   Black Lion-Class BattleCruiser Uganda   
   Black Lion-Class BattleCruiser Ontario   
   Kimagrue-Class Pursuit Cruiser Hood   
   Kimagrue-Class Pursuit Cruiser Murmansk   
      
Survielance Squadron Pieces      
      
   Flying Dutchman-Class Surveillance Ship Pieces   
   Flying Dutchman-Class Surveillance Ship Flemming   
   Flying Dutchman-Class Surveillance Ship Maskirovka   
   Flying Dutchman-Class Surveillance Ship Donovan   
   Flying Dutchman-Class Surveillance Ship Greatest Intelligence   
   Flying Dutchman-Class Surveillance Ship Burning Eye   
      
Battle Division 3      
      
   Mckenna-Class Second-Class Battleship Triumph   
   Farragut-Class Second-Class Battleship Atom Smasher   
   Texas-Class Second-Class Battleship Ranger   
   Monsoon-Class Second-Class Battleship Canada   
      
Naval Academy Force      
   Monsoon-Class Training Battleship Athena   
   Tracker-Class Training Ship Orca's Pride   
   Bonaventure-Class Training Ship Skald   
   Riga-class Training Ship Bagration   
   Wagonwheel-Class Training Ship Merlin   
      
Fleet Support Group      
      
   Armstrong-Cyldebank-Class Mobile Drydock Portsmouth   
   Faslane-Class Yardship Lazarus   
   Newgrange-Class Yardship Resolute Bay   
   Newgrange-Class Yardship Glomar Explorer   
   Potemkin-Class Fleet Tender Cyclops   
   Carrack-Class Fleet Tender Dragon Sea   
   Carrack-Class Fleet Tender Bermuda   
      
Galactic Marince Corps Assets      
      
   Potemkin-Class Assault Carrier Iwo Jima   
   Potemkin-Class Assault Carrier Okinawa   
   Potemkin-Class Assault Carrier Inchon   
      
Monitor Floatilla Passaic      
      
   Ericsson-Class Space-Going Monitor Passiac   
   Ericsson-Class Space-Going Monitor Abercrombie   
   Ericsson-Class Space-Going Monitor Kalamazoo   
    Ericsson-Class Space-Going Monitor General Wolfe   
      
Monitor Floatilla Roberts      
      
   Ericsson-Class Space-Going Monitor Roberts   
   Ericsson-Class Space-Going Monitor Monadnock   
   Ericsson-Class Space-Going Monitor Zheleznyakov   
   Ericsson-Class Space-Going Monitor Dictator   
      
Escort Squadron Taffy      
      
   Brooklyn-Class Light Cruiser Brooklyn   
   Essex-Class Destroyer Escort Surigao Strait
   Ericsson-Class Space-Going Monitor Africa   
   Quixote-Class Frigate Admiral Byrd   
   Ericsson-Class Space-Going Monitor Argentine   
   Lola-Class Destroyer Escort Flower   
   Pinto-Class Destroyer Escort MacKenzie   
   Pinto-Class Destroyer Escort Atlantic Guard   
   Pinto-Class Destroyer Escort Newfoundland Ghost   

Fleet Transport Division

        Potemkin Block II-Class Troop Cruiser Edmund Fitzgerald

***

Having seen this now, it's worth noting that RAF Intelligence best estimates put SLDF FleetCom at between 18 and 34 warships;

3-5 Thunderer-Class

4 bugeyes

4-6 cruiser-battlecruiser ships

5-7 monitors

3-12 other, lesser hulls

***

This completes the warships extant in Der Tag (enough, don't you think?) And includes all hulls in Commission in SLDF FleetCom. They have no more Viable hulls coming from Vril or Corregidor and aren't expecting anything to come up from other sources. Any further *found* warships would be a real surprise at this point.

What might be on the Slips? What happened to the lead ship of the Thunderer-Class? In order; I haven't decided (overall production is something I will likely deal with eventually) and; "Oops."

More to Follow.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 25 March 2016, 00:04:09
So the first thing that jumps out is; where did those ships come from?

I basically dropped another Clan Snow-Raven Strength fleet into my AU, after already presenting some pretty buffed up fleets.

So let's review why warships are still a big deal in Der Tag.

Back-track to the late 3050s to the mid 3060s; back when Inner Sphere realms were, if we take later in-universe account literally; bankrupting themselves in order to produce warships as the final expression in interstellar power. I was never really sure if these were to resist the Clans if and when, or to maintain the status quo with their nieghbours. Later we have the Jihad where we watch "The GDP of entire worlds disappear in moments". but bear in mind that in Der Tag; the New Model Army Project is founded in this era where the Warship is King. Even very reasonable, conservative officers in the open SLDF are saying; 'we need our own warships, just to operate in the Inner Sphere.' So there is the Drive.

After the Jihad; the Great Houses have, to the delight of the Republic; fully embraced the theory that PWS make warships obsolete; partly because it's an emotionally attractive idea, partly because it's an economically viable strategy and partly because there seems to be some evidence to back it up.

The SLDFiE (soon to loose the 'iE" except in particular, unfriendly circles) isn't in the same boat; post-Jihad, their economic, logistic and industrial position grows stronger every day from a solid base. While far from untouched; they have had a good war and their yards; built from generous member state tithes of the Second League are intact. They look at PWS more as an adjunct to warships than a replacement and the economic drives simply aren't there to do to their warships what the houses are forced to do; rather the drive is to use ship-building to nurture orbital and near-space industry and know-how. They are going to look at the evidence of the Jihad and point out how many warships in service at the time are terribly designed form a modern stand-point and at how nukes, escorts and other factors influence capital-scale warfare; they come to a different conclusion.

Because they lack the conditions the IS finds themselves in, they decide that a healthy and effecting warship fleet is the way to go and they continue the programs they have had going on since the later 60s.

As explained earlier; the Clans are deciding at the same time that they need warships as active parts of the Touman in order to operate more freely. They need more useful, larger fleets in order to support extended operations at a distance and defend themselves from other powers with warships.

No matter which aspect of Clan Culture you adhere to, you are going to need warships.

If you are in one of the Continuation Clans; you will need Warships to hold onto your OZs against the home-world clans to your rear and to support and spear-head operations against the Inner Sphere. The Continuation Clans are perhaps most aware of the obsolescent nature of their ships from observing war in the inner sphere up close and personal.

If you are one of the True Clans than Warships are a fact of life for you; whether it was the recent fighting against the Society, The Clan Civil War or just taking an honest look at the logistic realities of a renewed invasion of the IS, you know you can't relegate your Warships to a support role in the Touman anymore. Those resources need to be protected, practiced and grown.

If you are a New Clan; your outlook is all about survival and seeing what a chaotic, dangerous place the Galaxy is these last few decades has convinced you that you need every trump card you can lay your hands on in order to make it. You know, almost as an arrticle of faith that the Home-world Clans will return, with their own warfleets and you can look at the Inner Sphere and see how they fight; nukes, bugs and gas? Best keep that as far from your population centres as possible. That means fighting in Orbit; controlling the jump points; the gravity well and strategic points in between. PWS can help, but basically it means warships.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 25 March 2016, 05:47:13
Well it makes sense to me, in a universe where Warships are very much a thing and their use (and vulnerability) has been proven and the fact that there's still a major power who's churning them out, would not stop everyone going DOI HOI HOI! and stop making warships, yes the damage of the Jihad and the repairs needed would put plans on the back burner but they would still want to produce ships. 

PWS present an 'ideal' counter for nations unable to produce warships as a swarm of PWS are cheaper than a full blown warship, but you obviously lack the tactical and strategic flexibility.  A group of PWS in orbit would make most Warship captains think before going "Attention this is Clan..." and they act as a great deterrent. But going on the offensive you're far more limited in what you can do.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 25 March 2016, 09:45:45
We're approaching a circular argument here, but i think it's basically known that the Jihad was used as a tool to remove certain elements from the IP, more or less, which were seen as ultimately bad for the game, rightly or wrongly. One was a certain Mercenary unit as they existed, another was Warships.

I don't think the argument that warships make mechs irrelevant/obsolete holds water for reasons previously discussed (in short; mechs have an ability to take and hold an objective without destroying it which is only surpassed by infantry). Setting aside that the history of the game almost has more time in which warships exist than when they don't and all ground warfare doesn't cease in a huff; I think what the return of warships did do was produce a potential to rapidly and drastically change the status quo.

Warships are so powerful that a whole war could be lost in an afternoon; taking battletech warfare back to the middle ages. You can't take a world with a warship, but you can hold it hostage, or orbitally bombard an elite regiment into dust. If you want to take anything intact, you still need ground troops, but if you are willing to pass on that; you can go the other route.

That was a reasonable threat; mainly held in check by the unwillingness of various powers to actually use their warships en masse. The Jihad had the potential to really upset things in a permanent way, but instead reset things in a way not unlike the first world war; the same as before, only moreso.

The Fox Corvette is basically a piece of crap. Picture the Pre-Jihad era Fed Suns and Capellan Fleets going at it and one or the other having a bad go of it. Assuming you could keep the Combine/FWL out of it, you could see the Fed Suns lose the whole Capellan March or you could see the Fox's Dream come true and the Confederation cease to exist. All on the basis of an afternoon of "Bad Dice Rolls" on one side or the other.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 25 March 2016, 10:52:40
Oh without a doubt the Jihad was there to get rid of warships and I totally agree that the whole argument of them making Mech's obsolete was dumb as a sack of gophers.  As you say, a Warship can't do anything like hold a world, sure it can blockade it or hold it hostage under the threat of its guns but even that's iffy.  To take ground, instead of just turning it into a smoking crater you need mechs, you need tanks, you need infantry. 
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 25 March 2016, 21:37:08
Oh without a doubt the Jihad was there to get rid of warships and I totally agree that the whole argument of them making Mech's obsolete was dumb as a sack of gophers.  As you say, a Warship can't do anything like hold a world, sure it can blockade it or hold it hostage under the threat of its guns but even that's iffy.  To take ground, instead of just turning it into a smoking crater you need mechs, you need tanks, you need infantry.

You and I are basically agreed, but as I said; we're circling back now.

I would argue against the Jihad being there to get rid of warships, I earnestly believe it was to advance the plot, in concept and in practice to desperately try and make any of the nonsense laid out in the early days of the dark age workable.

I just as earnestly believe that not only was the Dark Age not the original plan, the Jihad we got wasn't anywhere near the original plan for the Jihad.

But since this is an AU, my AU; I can officially say that if there was any one reason for the Jihad which occurred in the Der Tag timeline, it was because people are stupid.

Connecting both issues, I have stringent doubts that the WOB was up to anything but no-good prior to the Jihad in Canon, there is just too much which is already done and ready to go. The Clan Wipeout is a nice idea, but doesn't come close to explaining some things. Ultimately, I think WOB always planned to make a serious attempt to "take over the world" as Brain would say and the Jihad moved their timeline Waaaaaay up. I think it was at best, *maybe* supposed to go something like;

WOB joins the 2SL, WOB wipes out the Clans, WOB orchestrates media campaign to make genocide look cool, WOB profits; WOB takes control of 2SL overtly and every government covertly.

In Der Tag, WOB is a ghostly bogeyman. For the most part; the people have no idea why WOB did what they did. Only the Governments involved really know for far WOB infiltration and subversion went. The Big Clan Wipeout What-If is basically a conspiracy theory; the Homeworlds Clans know more about it than the Great Houses. The Anti-Clan mission hits a little close home for the SLDF, but they aren't real sold on it as an explanation. Ultimately everyone has to admit that WOB pulled off one of the greatest coups of human history.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: snakespinner on 26 March 2016, 18:53:21
I think your simplifying the Wobbies role and their original purpose.
But unless TPTB ever give us a version of their original intent behind the Wobbies your version is logical. O0
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 26 March 2016, 19:19:20
I think your simplifying the Wobbies role and their original purpose.
But unless TPTB ever give us a version of their original intent behind the Wobbies your version is logical. O0

That's deliberate.

In Der Tag, very few people have any real idea why WOB did what they did. It contributes massively to the Bogey-man thing they have going after the Jihad.

But at heart; yeah: people were stupid is a good concise summary. The whole thing was a mess from Day 1 and had only the barest chance of coming off in the long-run. For a group that could have "Playing The Long Game" as a vanity plate mounted as a tramp stamp on their cybernetic lower backs, giving into very human emotions like they did and launching the Jihad, as they did has to be regarded as ultimately a massive screw-up.

Kinda like the massive leadership failure that is the Dragoon's Condition Feral and their assault on Sol.

Or the crime against common sense, timing and planning that is Case: White, AKA; Operation: 9 years too late.

The difference in Der Tag is that the Jihad basically plays out as per canon, with some detail changes; because frankly, it's hard to improve on. While Condition Feral leads directly to a crisis in confidence, morale and leadership that results in the Dragoons turning their backs on the mercenary trade and Case: White results eventually in the ComGuards loosing all faith in their own leadership and defecting en masse at the end of the War to one camp or another, rather than continue under the auspices of ComStar.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 27 March 2016, 11:09:47
So I guess the most obvious next point is; "Where did all those warships come from?"

The short answer is; "Found some, Built some, Re-built some."

So, yes, between the start of the program propper, in the early 3060s (I have a timeline, somewhere...) and 31 Dec 3099, the SLDF did manage to build a number of warships from a standing start. Most of their effort has gone to jumpships and dropships, to such an extent as dropships may be easier to build in space than in a gravity well.

But most come from other sources. Prior to Op: Munin, SOG had zero warships and while they captured a number of Clan dropships and jumpships during the operation, they were not gifted any warships from the 2nd League, either.

A decent number come from Operation: Vril; which was the SLDF/Escorpion Imperio joint operation to rob the homeworld Clans blind...and also accumulate the sum total of human knowledge...but that's another story.

There was also Operation: Dragonfire; the same as Vril, but engaged in covertly stripping all known Star League Caches in the Inner Sphere and Periphery, working from a combined document put together by the Scorpions, the SLDF and a third source I'll get to in a moment; "The Pitcher Plant System". The end result of OP: Dragonfire is that there are only a handful of Lostech Caches left untouched, or unverified in the inner sphere...which made it onto the exodus master list the scorpions have or the addendum from the pitcher plant system; there could be others, still, which never made it onto either list for one of many reasons. Everything else though has been recovered, unless some form of observation or occupation of the site made it impossible.

There were no Naval Caches found in the Inner Sphere which contained warships. It is possible there are still derelicts or untouched mothball fleets which could be viable. Both the Ravens and the SLDF stumbled onto a few of these. The situation in the IS is such that if they did find a derelict warship, odds are that Davion, Stiener or the Once and Future FWL would scrap it. Kurita and Liao would certainly try to recover it, but right now one can rest assured that any derelicts they do have access too are far past being economic to recover at this time.

Throughout this thread, I've made reference to a site known as Corregidor Anchorage. While a site with that name does exist in Der Tag as an SLDF FleetCom installation in one of their main systems (anyone want a list of 3rd League Worlds?), it was in error of me to use that name and I've gone back and corrected all references to it to now refer to an anomaly known as the "pitcher plant system". Corregidor Anchorage is the space-based headquarters of FleetCom and consists of a larger number of large orbitals; Yards, depots, habitats and defence stations; "The Pitcher Plant System" is a nightmare.

When I first started writing for Der Tag, I thought up that name and loved it and I was looking for something to stick it on when I came up with the idea of the Pitcher Plant System, even though it didn't really fit very well. So this is me fixing that mistake.

What it is, in short is a mis-jump waiting to happen if you transition from Uninhabited System A in the Lyran Commonwealth to Uninhabited System B in the Lyran periphery. Apparently it was known to the Rim Worlds Republic, somehow; but it was never used by them for any purpose due to the difficulty of getting out again and the knowledge was lost. Someone did get out once and that's how they knew about it and buoys were posted, which were intentionally destroyed during the Amaris Civil War.

What basically happens is that if you jump from A to B using standard astrogation settings which would apply anywhere else; you misjump and end up in the Pitcher Plant system with a specific part of your jumpcore damaged. The system itself isn't bad; no habital worlds, but some raw materials. What it lacks to an astonishing degree is the rare minerals needed to manufacture replacement parts; if you can even do so. The RWR ship jumped in with a factory module and spent 65 years strip-mining every trace that could be found of the rare element from the system and the vagaries of Jumpdrive technology prevent you from cannibalizing the material from other drives; it needs to be less processed to make the part initally, which is then molecularly altered by the jump process to be a perfect match to that drive; broken pieces won't do.

The real pain of it is; once you're there, if you have the kind of sensors you'd have on a better jumpship in decent repair and a competent astro-navigator who can do the jump equations by hand and overlooks some fuzzy physics; getting out and avoiding the issue in the first place is a simple matter of changing some proprietary settings on the Jumpdrive and jumping out. HPGs are a total loss in terms of sending and recieving messages. It's hard to express exactly where the Pitcher Plant System is in our galaxy, but it's connected to jump space between the two systems in question. Some KF sensor sweeps and some Astronomy will give you the answer in a few weeks to a few months: where-ever you are; you can get home...if you just had that working part.

***

Ever wonder what happened to the surviving 1st League's R&D department after the exodus? How about their turn-key manufacturing capabilities they used to turn the RWR around from being a conquered first-rate periphery state into an industrial powerhouse to support the drive on Terra and then mostly vanished at the end of the war? Because neither is very much in evidence in the info we have from Op: Klondike or other sources.

Well in Der Tag, a lot of the R&D was co-opted by Amaris during the war, some of that was out of his reach and some was re-captured. At the end of the War; the SLDF had a lot of tech and a number of bright minds to secure to keep things out of the hands of the Successor Lords and modular factories capable of producing Royal Equipment were seen as just as dangerous, if not more so. So it all had to be evacuated; mostly in dropships on jumpships, but also using anything that could be boot-strapped and have cargo pods, small space stations or dropships welded to the hull.

The SLDF was critically short of transport at the end of the war; having lost thousands of warships and jumpships fighting Amaris; so anything the houses would sell at any price was grabbed along with whatever was floating around and could be made minimally workable again. This is where the Ravens got their Bootstrapping protocols from. I'll go into individual examples later, but in short; if it was for sale or salvage and could be made to jump, it was gathered hurriedly, in A-System, a few jumps behind the exodus fleet with the goal of rendezvousing at a point further along in the deep periphery. As an aside, Niops is not unique in not returning any calls to pack their stuff and RV at this time, they just happened to survive the next 300 years. Waita be that guy, fellas.

At this point, no-one had managed to have a need to jump from A to B since the RWR destroyed the buoys. There were much more attractive systems to jump to from RWR System-A than Periphery System-B; it was in the wrong direction; the catch worked only one way this just happened to be the shortest route for the bootstrap convoy to take.

Well they jumped; misjumped, rather and a couple dozen former warships and over a hundred jumpships had the warranty on their jumpcores voided in about a second.

And there they sat for almost 300 years. Every once in a while, someone new would drop in; a pirate, trader or military vessel, but never anyone carrying enough of the hyper-rare resource they needed to jump someone out and get help. And even if they did, what then? The SLDF had straight-up forgot about them; they had their own issues; who would you go to for help? The working theory was jump out with a mining ship, stake a claim and mine enough to come back with more to rescue the rest. This was obviously a kind of pie in the sky idea though and the fleet made the best of things; building habitats all over the system, surviving; putting up some dome cities on the dead worlds and moons and continuing their research, mainly out of boredom. But this was a mainly civilian fleet, unlike the main exodus fleet and not much of a military beyond a security force was kept up.

June 4th, 3009 a pirate ship transitioned into the system, immediately launched her two dropships and began attacking anything in weapons range; in a panic, they inadvertently rammed a particular Jumbo dropship; SLS Maersk Journey and that's where the trouble started. By the time the security force got organized at the Nadir jump point; most of the fight had gone out of the pirates on the wrecked union and those who had boarded the Maersk Journey. It took three more days to run down the Leopard CV, meanwhile the wrecked, conjoined dropships were blockaded.

The pirates and the transients who called the Maersk Journey home had all come down with severe flu-like symptoms and were placed in quarantine, but by the time the source was located, it was too late and it had already spread to numerous security force and medical personnel.

Sonam-234 was an old Terran Hegemony project that had never worked right. It had been brought along to keep it out of the hands of the Great Houses and retained for decades before being forgotten just to keep some scientist from getting bored. It was supposed to help pacify populations; inhibiting aggressor functions in the brain and transmitted by a highly virulent flu-like virus. Coming out of their apparent illness the afflicted were extremely cooperative and totally non-violent, even seeming unable to lie or evade when questioned, even about extremely personal details. After two days and the spread of these symptoms to individuals far outside the too-late quarantine, the flaws in Sonam-234 became apparent as a severe lethargy set in, followed by unconsciousness, coma and death from cessation of autonomic functions.

That would have been bad enough, save that one of the Pirates had been an unnoticed carrier for Great-X brain fever. It was later theorized that contact with this pathogen; which hadn't even existed when Sonam-234 was created, being the product of Kuritan Bio-Weapons research, cause Sonam to mutate. Patient-Zero was the first to wake from her coma, just as her ship-mates were being incinerated. She attacked everyone she saw before stealing a shuttle and fleeing to a nearby habitat where she spread her sickness by attacking those there. By the time the first reports came in from the habitat, the new symptoms were manifesting among the crew of the medical station.

For the next 50-odd years, the people who had arisen from the becalmed convoy fought tooth and nail against the "Crazies" as they slowly spread through the system. The new virus, dubbed Sonam-235 did the opposite of it's predecessor; activating the aggression centres, but left higher brain functions intact; crazies could work together, maintain ships and use complex tactics.

It was basically a slow and extremely horrible death of an incredible society, acted out over decades of horrifying raids and atrocities.

This is the situation SOG jumped into, on their way home from reporting and receiving payment for operation Munin. While the majority of the SOG forces had already headed back to their landhold of Ardennes, the command element and mixed combat forces went back by another route, after reporting in. This route took them from A to B.

By this time, the Pitcher Plant system was basically a scene of horror extending from the Nadir juimp point, through the outer planets, the asteroid belts and towards the Zenith jump point where SOG jumped in. Only the Inner worlds and habitats remained unclaimed. It was a small blessing that all but the simplest warships remained beyond the crazies to maintain and operate.

Like so many others before them, SOG was trapped in the Pitcher Plant System, so-named by it's inhabitants. Unlike others; SOG represented a major military force and offered a small ray of hope; part of their payment for Operation: Munin had included a quantity of the rare element needed to get out of the system again.

Most usefully; the SOG forces included the 1st Galactic Marine Regiment and the majority of the mercenary's Aerofighters and Assault Dropships. While the campaign would leave scars on the minds of those who fought in it which they would never fully overcome, progress against the Crazies was steady over the months which followed as SOG repaired first one jumpship, than another.

For decades the security forces had been overwhelmed by numbers and ferocity and watched their whole world dying by inches; They had not kept up a large military force and when they suddenly needed one, they couldn't raise it fast enough to make the difference. SOG changed that. Fighting under full NBC protocols; the Galactic Marines cleared compartment by compartment and ship by ship and station by station. They fought the crazies by their own rules; usually at close range and all too often with melee weapons.

In space the Crazies fought with a raider-culture; their ships broke and ran easily, but reformed quickly and struck back from unexpected quarters. While the locals could do a lot to repair and support SOG's ships; it was the mercenaries who had to do almost all the fighting and casualties were very heavy.

Whenever possible, SOG resorted to deployment of mechs from the Death Shroud battalion and the elite Striker Cadre. When these assets were usable, the Crazies; who were unable to operate tanks or mechs could be quickly and cheaply overwhelmed, assuming they were unable to lure SOG mechs into traps or attack them at close range with suicide bombers.

While McKenna forced his staff out to see to the rest of the unit at the first opportunity, he insisted on staying until the bitter end when the last Crazy ship was vented to space. Why he felt responsible for the horror he stumbled into is unclear, but possibly it had to do with the fact that it was his soldiers fighting it and suffering for the experience and he refused to turn from it. On several occasions; armed with a Blazer rifle and clad head to toe in Marine Armour, he took part in boarding and counter-boarding actions; never to meddle, but to be seen by the men and women under him. Three times he was wounded and contracted versions of the Sonam virus twice.

The Vaccines developed by the locals and SOG's own medtechs were somewhat dubiously unreliable and dangerous, but making it known that everyone from the top down took their medicine and followed Doctor's Orders doubtless improved morale, cooperation with the medics and McKenna's own chances of survival.

That Mckenna was actually doing this, while juggling admin and leadership decisions for the New Model Army was a closely guarded secret, even among the original SOG personnel.

Long before the year and half-long campaign was completed; SOG Jumpships were evacuating whole habitats and stations by tug to the Ardennes system several jumps away. Eventually, once they were cleared. This is where many of the New Model Army and later SLDFiE's ships would eventually come from, but it took many years of hard work to rebuild the stripped, often vandalized hulls and relaunch them. Naturally; the buoys were replaced as soon as possible.

Some of the ships were new builds; notably, several of the Potemkin-Class ships are new variants being built in series for the SLDF. So-Called Advanced Warship technology actually derives from research done in the Pitcher Plant system and all of those; the Ericsson Space-Going Monitors, Thunderer Dreadnaughts and the new Brooklyn-Class Light Cruisers are all new builds.

That's enough for now. Next entry, I'll talk about the ships themselves and how they are organized.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Vition2 on 27 March 2016, 22:58:07
I like what you are doing with this, and thanks for the shout out (though it wasn't really needed, I barely did anything to help xD). 

I'd love to see a map of the universe, though lots of it sounds the same - the worlds/territory the 3rd SLDF controls would be very interesting to see.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 28 March 2016, 08:19:50
I like what you are doing with this, and thanks for the shout out (though it wasn't really needed, I barely did anything to help xD). 

I'd love to see a map of the universe, though lots of it sounds the same - the worlds/territory the 3rd SLDF controls would be very interesting to see.

Thanks a million!

Truthfully, I am not much of an art guy; I just don't have the skills. I could gin up something...but it would be very vague.

What I do have is a list of 3rd League worlds; those which are part of the League itself (single world member-states and territories) and worlds which member states control. Some are canon, many I made up myself.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 28 March 2016, 23:15:29
Since Someone Asked...because this is kinda how I operate and I love questions; here are the Worlds of the 3rd League

Member State Worlds;

Diamond Sharks

-Twycross, Tukayyid, Nykvarn, Itabaiana, Trondhiem, Halfway, Rondane, Far Reach, Paran, Haublan, Syrstart, Idrmach, Fredotto, Ingvolstand, Vannes

Rim Collection

-Gillfillan's Gold, Able's Glory, Otisberg, Moroney, All Dawn, Waypoint, Hunter's Paradise, Caldarium, Slewis, Langhorne, Ormstown, Pain, The Rack

Blood Spirits

(nil)

Nova Cats

-Irece, Cyrenaica, Teniente, Avon, Mualang, Asgard, Itabaiana, Labrea, Caripare, Outer Volta

Alfirk

-Alfirk

Chainelaine Isles

-Rondane, Far Reach, Paran, Haublan, Syrstart, Idrmach, Fredotto, Ingvolstand, Vannes

Niops Association

-Niops V, VI, VII

Brotherhood of Randis

-Randis IV


3rd League State Territories

Central             
-Fortress World, earth-like
-Simply lost during 1SW

Stinky Prime
-hotter, wetter world, no major oceans
-Abandoned after the Amaris Civil War, by and large

Rhodesia
-Hotter, temperate world, larger land masses, lots of farming
-Biological attack during 2SW

Ardennes
-Capital world, colder, earth-like
-Devastated during the Fall of the Star League and 1SW

Bone Yard
-mountainous, hotter world of ruins, small oceans
-Abandoned, mainly at the end of1SW due to trade route collapse

Leminkainen
-very hot, but lush, large seas, wild tides
-Abandoned as indefensible by the LC during 1SW

Daishan
-earth-like
-Never reclaimed after the fall of the RWR; too far out

Pentateuch
-very earth-like, but with wild weather, tides and tectonics, 50% water
-Secret RWR world

Criticorum
-earth-like, larger land-masses, less water
-Major cities nuked during the Amaris Civil War, depopulated by trade route collapse, massive pandemic during 2SW

Manitou
-former "chapel" world, still dotted with monasteries, keeps, cathedrals and temples, some of which remain in use, otherwise earth-like but with more mountains and less water, once afflicted with bio-weapons and radiation
-Heavily impacted by the reunification war, continent-wide wildfires spurred by volcanic eruption after fortresses were orbitally bombarded during the Amaris Civil War. Population waxed and waned over the next 300 years, but was never more than half a million.

Pandemonium
-small oceans, temperate world, high background radioactivity
-Heavily nuked during 1SW

Kish
-drier, darker, cooler world with small bodies of water only, many mountains and huge canyons
-Pandemic following 1SW killed 70% of the population through direct and indirect effects. Trade route collapse.

Icon
-heavily forested and mountainous, very hot at the equator, many smaller oceans and land-bridges, the SW-era chemical weapons have faded away.
-tech colapse led to depopulation from local animal predation, habitat degradation and economic collapse.

Severus
-hot, dark and humid, recently reclaimed from bio weapons, radiation has faded away to livable levels, mostly, large, warm oceans, widely scattered continents and many islands
-crushing economic collapse, following trade route collapse during 1SW led to LC abandonment.

Wosterchestershire
-temperate, earth-like world, recently reclaimed
-extensively fought over between LC and FWL during 1st and 2nd SW. Abandoned when last vestiges of industry were destroyed.

Sandlot
-hot world with little water, no seas small temperate zones at the poles
-Tech collapse reduced population to nomadic subsistence existence.

Endathaline
-small, rocky world in the deep periphery, little water or vegetation
-RWR secret world

Mounthy      
-almost all ocean with small islands, reclaimed undersea cities
-never claimed from the former RWR

Shaprut
-Scattered oceans and inter-connected continents, higher BG radiation, recently reclaimed
-orbital bombardment in 1SW, nuked in 2SW.

Aylon   
-tectonic and weather instability, recently reclaimed, one massive inter-connected continent, large, shallow seas but less water than earth
-bio and chem weapons attacks rendered the world uninhabitable for centuries and damaged the ecosystem

Rampart
-Fortress World, with several small habitable worlds, many moons and asteroid belts
-orbital bombardment, including nukes in both the Amaris Civil War and the 1SW.

Vril-ya
-Uninhabitable world colonized under domes and underground. Once home to massive cities on the rocky surface.
-Tech collapse rendered wide-spread habitation impractical.

Sutek
-Earth-like, smaller landmasses, 85% water
-extensive EMP attacks led to an economic and technical collapse, leading to mass civilian deaths and famine, finally depopulated due to trade route collapse.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 29 March 2016, 12:35:56
Thunderer-Class Dreadnaughts

-These are new-built advanced warship designs and 7 have been built to date. The Lead Ship of the Class; SLS Thunderer was effectively destroyed in an accident where the reactor core melted down and caused a power surge, leading to a miss-jump which ripped the ship in half. The rear two-thirds of the ship have never been recovered, but the remainder has been salvaged and is being rebuilt as SLS Thunderchild.

-There are no other Thunderer-Class Dreadnaughts currently on the slips. The Thunderer is the end result of almost 300 years of intermittent computer-projected design and simulations. None saw action during the Jihad, but they did serve in the Sol System Occupation Campaign after the liberation of Terra, where the presence of Katyn Forrest and Roanoke Island was enough to cow several enclaves of Blakist holdouts.
      
Enterprise-II-Class SuperCarrier Shinano

-The Enterprise Class was just about enough of a failure on it's own, so the fact that a second keel had already been laid and fitted with a jumpcore was a closely-guarded secret. Ironically; the ship was used as an engine test-bed until being abandoned during the Amaris Civil War. Later, it was eagerly co-opted and "corncobbed" with dropships, cargo pods and space stations for use in Operation: Paperclip (the Evacuation of SLDF R&D, et al).

-The skeletal hulk was recovered from the pitcher plant system and with the aid of original plans, the flaws of the first Enterprise-Class Supercarrier were corrected and the Block-II model was re-launched as SLS Shinano. There are no current plans to produce more of the Enterprise-II-Class; in common with all SLDF Capital Carrier Assets, FleetCom is waiting on combat performance to determine which designs and features are optimal for such warships.
      
Dante-Class Frigate Vlad Tepes (Former Bordeaux)

-This is the former CSV Bordeaux, which along with about half the surviving ComGuard, joined the SLDFiE at the end of the Jihad.
      
Potemkin-Class BattleCarriers
Potemkin-Class Fleet Tender Cyclops
Potemkin-Class Assault Carriers
Potemkin Block II-Class Troop Cruiser Edmund Fitzgerald


-The Potemkin is the most strategically important Class in FleetCom. Three were recovered from various sources; one from the Pitcher Plant System (Former SLS Union Pacific) and two from Operation: Vril (Former SLS Viking and West Indies). All have been now been standardized on the new 2Mt redesigned hull (with or without additions), which is currently in series production for various roles. Parts production for other parties on the original and Clan designs is ongoing.

-The Different Sub-Classes are very similar, with only the BattleCarrier-SubClass bearing significant visual distinctions.

-BattleCarriers are not built as Advanced Warships, but support some of the same features (i promise to detail what Advanced Warship technology comprises; but it is a sandbox, not a new unit type). They are designed as combination Battleship-Carriers, as their name implies and boast heavy weapons and armour, alongside a mixed compliment of fighters, small-craft and dropships. They are the slowest of FleetCom's Carrier assets, but are not as potent a mothership as the Enterprise-II Class

-The so-far Unique Fleet Tender Cyclops is a dedicated support ship; less a transport than the original, and equipped with repair bays, processing equipment and mobile factory modules. Cyclops and her planned sisterships are designed to accompany and support SLDF Combat fleets and provide support, supply and repair capability in hostile warzones. The ventral repair bay arrangement for the main bay is said to be extremely efficient for servicing larger ships. Even without needing repairs; the Cyclops can take in any ship in 3rd League service except for the Portsmouth and totally refuel, rearm and re-provision her within hours.

-Potemkin Assault Carriers are highly hybridized designs; they are less armed transports and more planetary assault ships. The idea is a well armed and armoured vessel which can break through defensive lines and support an assault landing into a gravity well. Assault Carriers are operated by the Galactic Marine Corps, but used by both the SGMC and SLDF ground forces as needed. They combine some of the capabilities of battleships, fighter/smallcraft carriers and transport vessels.

-The Edmund Fitzgerald Sub-Class represents a re-imagining of the original concept of the Potemkin Troop-Cruiser on the larger, more capable keel being built in series by the 3rd League's shipyards.
      
WagonWheel-Class Frigates

-One WagonWheel-Class Frigate was recovered by the SLDFiE; floating as a hulk in an unnamed system in the Taurian Periphery (Former TCS Defender) and the remainder were produced leading up to the Jihad and after.

-Well-suited for long-term deployments; features of the Wagonwheel are under close scrutiny for the SLDF's Advanced Frigate project. The Design was sought out and re-produced for exactly these reasons.

New Syrtis-Class Fighter Cruiser Lexington   

-SLS Lexington (Former FSS Lexington) was purchased by the SLDF following the Amaris Civil War for use in Operation: Paperclip. The Derelict lacked functional maneuver drives and all fighter bays and capital weapons had been salvaged, but she served well as a boot-strapped transport, until her restoration by the SLDF, following the Jihad.
   
Conqueror-Class Battlecruiser/Carrier Oriskany   

-The Plans for Oriskany came to the SLDF by way of the Diamond Sharks, in exchange for the next Potemkin Tender-Subclass to be launched. The newest ship in the fleet, the slightly modified design is chilling proof of the 3rd League's capacity to produce and support Clan Tech. Short of a Thera; the most modern carrier in service The "Big-O" has provided many useful lessons learned for future Carrier design already, even without being a dedicated ship.
         
Stefan Amaris-Class Fast Battleship Liberator   

-It is accurate to say that no Stefan Amaris-Class Battleships survived the great Amaris Civil War. Liberator was patched together from one salvageable jumpcore and the hulls of three shattered vessels; including SLS Chieftain and Vengeance. Bringing her back into service following boot-strapping and centuries of scavenging and ill-care was difficult and time-consuming, but also the only way to have a platform for the planned Leader of the still-theoretical Battlecruiser Squadron.

-"Belt and Suspenders" work in joining the hulls meant that what the shipwrights had to work-with was massively over-engineered; making the old hulk a perfect candidate at heart under all the damage and decay for fitting the massive engines to make Liberator into a "Fast Battleship". As it stands; Liberator is a little bigger, a lot meaner, much faster, but with less endurance than her previous incarnations.

Kimagure-Class Pursuit Cruisers

-Two Kimagure-Class Cruisers were salvaged for Operation: Paperclip; not because they were fast, but because they were vaguely workable. The former SLS Kingston and Sea Law were both in poor shape and Sea Law was less than 24 hours from being abandoned when she was declared fit for service as a transport. Both ships were recovered from the Pitcher Plant System and repaired, partly with components from a third marginal hull, tugged in from Operation: Vril; the sistership SLS Admiral Raeder.

-The modern Kimagure is a much more efficient ship than her predecessors and safer for her crews to fight as well.
      
Flying Dutchman-Class Surveillance Ships

-First Laid down before the Jihad; the Flying Dutchman Class is built on a modified Star Lord-Class hull, with a warship-class jumpdrive. Able to pass easily for a Star Lord, even under close scrutiny, Flying Dutchmen are effective spy-ships and Q-Vessels. Electronic Intelligence Gathering capabilities are slightly superior to a Bugeye or Tracker. The designs internals were partly based on both those ships.

-There are currently four more Flying Dutchmen On the quays, right next to the 3rd-League Star Lords they almost perfectly resemble.
   
Battle Division 3      
      
   McKenna-Class Second-Class Battleship Triumph   
   Farragut-Class Second-Class Battleship Atom Smasher   
   Texas-Class Second-Class Battleship Ranger   
   Monsoon-Class Second-Class Battleship Canada   

-Battle Division 3 is the current FleetCom tactical reserve formation. Serving as an adjunct in action to BD1 and BD2; BD 3 supports the Dreadnaught squadron with their updated, though less advanced ships. Service in BD3 is highly sought in FleetCom, as the ships are said to be "lucky" and possess a great deal of "Character".

-All four Battleships have long histories and added to it in the Jihad. The McKenna-Class SLS Triumph remains the favoured command ship for major Army Group operations as it posses C4 facilities which the 3rd League cannot yet reproduce; the Thunderers are built as assault ships, pure and simple, while the McKenna yet belongs to a different age as a Command Ship. It is also preferable, operationally to command from BD 3.

-The presence of a BD3 during the war was deeply worrisome to outside observers; the original name of the formation, it was always planned to fill BD1 and 2 with Thunderers, but the older ships were ready and refitted (Triumph and Ranger from Vril, and Canada and former SLS Mass x Velocity from the Pitcher Plant System) at the time of the Jihad, so it was from BD3 that the SLDFiE derived the balance of their naval strength.
      
Naval Academy Mobile Force      

-FleetCom takes the training, advancement and replacement of the entire personnel force very seriously. As such, aside from static stations, they maintain a small fleet of their own training ships. There is no skill required by FleetCom from the most basic of maintenance to command of the entire fleet in battle, simultaneously, across multiple systems, which cannot be practiced, taught or honed by the Naval Academy Mobile Force.
      
Armstrong-Cyldebank-Class Mobile Drydock Portsmouth   

-Portsmouth, one of only three Armstrong-Cyldebank-Class ships to survive the Amaris Civil War and the only one recoverable as of the current date is a remnant of another time and a wholly different mindset in naval strategy borne of a combination of mental illness and malpractice. Rear Admiral Melanie Sowers-Music was working in the original SLDF's Plans department when her pharmacist accidentally changed her medication. Normally completely functional and reliable, she descended over the course of a mere two days to depths of paranoia and eschatological fantasy which defy comprehension, all the while maintaining an outwardly normal appearance as a form of psychotic self-defence against those she felt were out to get her.

-She produced OPlan 34D, or as it became known; Case Study Ragnarok. In it, she depicted with lurid detail a genocidal war between the Star League Defence Force and the member states of the League itself. Rear Adm Sowers-Music imagined a war unlike any other and the means to eventually "Win" it. In her Case Study; fleets and single warships jumped around on near-suicidal missions; ambushing eachother and destroying all trace of space-borne infrastructure, whilst orbitally bombarding and otherwise exterminating the civilian populations which supported the enemy fleets. It remains the most chilling and literal depiction of the concept of "Total War" ever imagined and indeed approaches the theory of "Perfect" or "Ideal" war as closely as perhaps possible.

-A month later, the Rear Admiral filled her prescription again and was right as rain two days after submitting OPlan 34D for peer review. Her Career was not, in fact over; the high command of 2733 understood what had happened and did not hold her responsible. Instead; they had questions; questions Sowers-Music was no longer of a right mind to answer. In her report, Rear Adm Sower-Music had provided not one, but fourteen possible ways in which the situation leading to what she called "Ragnarok" could come to pass. Each supported by 50-plus pages of research and documentation which she had developed on her own, besides the 500+page report itself. In the report, she laid out the requirements for what the SLDF Navy would need to emerge from such a war the "Winners"; indeed Sowers-Music projected a future for humanity as nomadic refugees wandering the stars in great warships, exterminating any and all vestiges of humanity they met, along with any potential alien races which might challenge them.

-The unremitting horror of OPlan 34D was quietly locked away, but not before it spawned two projects; an abortive research effort into the planning capacity of individuals under the influence of psychotropic drugs and the Development of the Armstrong-Cyldebank-Class mobile Drydock as a follow-on to the Newgrange Class.

-Only eleven of the 2.5mt monsters were ever built and they remain the physically largest mobile creations ever undertaken by man, though calling them warships would be a stretch. The Armstrong-Clydebank Class was designed for independent fleet support away from any home station. In reality; it was the answer to a question posed by a madwoman and it's capabilities were simply not needed by the SLDF. In theory the Armstrong-Cyldebank could support and repair any ship in service or projected, or indeed; several of them at once. It could make spare parts and ammunition, so long as it was supplied with raw materials and indeed; could even build warships from scratch, given enough time and the right materials.

Faslane-Class Yardship Lazarus   

-Built with plans provided by defecting Comguard Personnel and the partial hulk of one of the Faslanes lost during the Jihad. The Faslane has proved a remarkably durable ship; with several "Raised" from those sunk during the war. Lazarus, ironically is a new build as of September 6, 3086. Lessons learned from the more recent design of the of Faslane-Class led to modifications to the repair bays of FleetCom's other, earlier Yardships.
      
Ericsson-Class Space-Going Monitors

-The Ericsson Class was the first of the Advanced Warships to be fully realized. The Smalls ships were available in small numbers by the middle of the Jihad and made a telling impact. Both coalition and Blakist forces found the small ships intimidating in the extreme and their early service provided valuable lessons learned for the employment and design of the later Thunderer-Class.

-Slow for their size, but very well protected, it was found early on that while the novel configuration of the Ericsson made them more efficient against larger ships, or when out-numbering an enemy; the turret-based heavy armament meant that any given turret was unavailable for targets outside a certain arc at any give time. The weight savings from mounting fewer weapons allowed for bigger guns and more armour, but limited the Ericsson-Class in mass engagements.

-The Primary armament of the Ericsson comprises a single ventral turret with three Heavy Naval Gauss Rifles in an angular turret derived from the Dreadnaught Program. Secondary armament is held in three much more simplistic, round turrets mounted dorsally upon the mainly flat upper hull. The turrets hold, in turn; two NAC/40s, four Heavy Naval PPCs and two Kraken-T systems. Tertiary weapons are hull-mounted, with some anti-fighter/dropship weapons added to the turrets after the War at the cost of cargo space. The Ericsson dates from the wild and wooly days of Advanced Warship concepts; there is no fire control tower; every turret possesses 360' traverse and each has it's own, redundant fire control network coordinated from the TOC deep in the hull.

-There are no more Ericsson-Class Space-Going Monitors on the slips at this time, but the class is in demand as a secondment to Corps-Level Naval Reserves, so more will likely be built in the future.
      
Brooklyn-Class Light Cruiser Brooklyn   

-The Brooklyn-Class Light Cruiser is the latest of the Advanced Warships deployed by the SLDF, with the lead ship of the Class; SLS Brooklyn only being accepted for service with FleetCom this year. The development program was accelerated when it was found that the Diamond Shark's Destroyer Escort program would not meet FleetCom Requirements. Five more of the Brooklyn Class are on the slips and more are planned.

-Projected employment for the Brooklyn Class is as an escort, patrol ship and light fleet combatant. Just what the SLDF will do for a Destroyer/escort/Corvette in the future is still up in the air, but the outdated hulls they have now will soldier on in the support role for the foreseeable future.

-Despite it's designation; The Brooklyn Class is designed to remedy the shortcomings of the Ericsson. This is not to say the Ericsson is a bad ship in any way, so much as it is a limited one. The Brooklyn is fast and boasts the heavy protection common to modern designs, but it's armament is aimed directly at making it more useful against large numbers of smaller ships.

-Dorsal armament is housed in five turrets; three fore and two aft, each with three NL/55s and supported by a dozen NL/35s in twin barbettes covering every arc. Ventral armament is held in three more turrets, accompanied by another dozen NL/35s. There are two turrets forward and one aft, each with 3 NAC/30s. All turrets, save "C" boast 270' fields of fire; C must cope with two 90' arcs; one to either side. "B"-Turret was to have a 360' arc, but the need for fire control and coordination towers to make the most of Brooklyn-Class' firepower mandated the fouling of "B"'s field of fire. B, C, X and N Turrets all boast 360' traverse which aids target engagement in practice as the guns swing all the way around, without having to go the long way. Tertiary armament is aid to be heavy and the Brooklyn Class is sometimes referenced as an "Anti-Fighter" Cruiser. It certainly is not very light.

-As a special weapon, the Brooklyn's rakish prow sports a light mass driver.

***

Ships recovered in usable condition by the SLDF/SLDFiE Between the founding of the New Model Army Program and last recovered hull Circa 24 March, 3092 (SLS Athabaskan).

Operation: Vril

Black Lion-Class BattleCruiser Ontario (Former Waterfall)
Carrack-Class Fleet Tender Bermuda (Former Harrier)
Carrack-Class Fleet Tender Dragon Sea (Former Freya's Flight)
Congress-Class Frigate Principe Eugen (Former Austrian Lights)
Essex Class-Destoryer Escort Samar
Essex-Class Destroyer Escort Samuel B Roberts
Essex-Class Destroyer Escort Surigao Strait (Former Kalisto)
Lola-Class Destroyer Escort Huron (Former Alberta Rose)
Lola-Class Destroyer Escort Flower (Former Buenos Aries Dawn)
Newgrange-Class Yardship Resolute Bay
     

Random Derelicts

Black Lion-Class BattleCruiser Uganda (Former Thousand Lakes)
Lola-Class Destroyer Escort Athabaskan (Hamlet's Blade)
Tracker-Class Training Ship Orca's Pride

Pitcher Plant System

Bonaventure-Class Training Ship Skald
Davion-Class Destroyer Escort Haida
Naga-Class-Destoryer Escort Yalu River
Newgrange-Class Yardship Glomar Explorer
Quixote-Class Frigate Admiral Byrd
Riga-class Training Ship Bagration (Former Don River Valley)
Pinto-Class Destroyer Escort MacKenzie (Former Cossack)
Pinto-Class Destroyer Escort Atlantic Guard (Former Bloody Bones)
Pinto-Class Destroyer Escort Newfoundland Ghost (Former Indefatigable)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 29 March 2016, 16:36:23
So while I work on what I put out next, what do you guys want to see?

Want me to take crack at the map?

PM me or post here.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Vition2 on 30 March 2016, 00:23:00
I'd love to see a map.  If you have any map pdfs you can use the snapshot option in edit to make a copy and paste it into an image editing program (I use Paint... shush).

Other things I'd be interested in seeing: ground forces, warship classes currently and/or capable of being produced by faction and maybe warship classes that are still being worked on but not quite in production.  Although I wouldn't be surprised if the ground forces are next on your list, and most of the warship stuff may be able to be determined by close inspection of your already written fluff.

I do have a question about some of the above, a lot of the Chainelane Isles worlds are listed under both the Diamond Sharks and Chainelane Isles purview.  Are they jointly controlled?  Diamond Sharks only control small portions?  Or what's up with that?

And lastly, are the Ghost Bears and Nova Cats at each other's throats as seriously as in canon?
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 30 March 2016, 06:55:29
I'd love to see a map.  If you have any map pdfs you can use the snapshot option in edit to make a copy and paste it into an image editing program (I use Paint... shush).

Other things I'd be interested in seeing: ground forces, warship classes currently and/or capable of being produced by faction and maybe warship classes that are still being worked on but not quite in production.  Although I wouldn't be surprised if the ground forces are next on your list, and most of the warship stuff may be able to be determined by close inspection of your already written fluff.

I do have a question about some of the above, a lot of the Chainelane Isles worlds are listed under both the Diamond Sharks and Chainelane Isles purview.  Are they jointly controlled?  Diamond Sharks only control small portions?  Or what's up with that?

And lastly, are the Ghost Bears and Nova Cats at each other's throats as seriously as in canon?

I can try and gin up a map. I think I have a jpeg of the full version of the circa 3067 one somewhere and I *Think* there is a post-jihad version I could find.

Yeah, I didn't try very hard to detail what, if any warships were in production anywhere, did I? Some factions have it, some don't and they clearly have the capacity to build more, but I didn't always list it.

I do want to do a production manifest; what is in production everywhere, without going full "objectives".

The only ground forces I intend to do full BT profiles for are the SLDF and RAF-Aligned forces. Because the rest just doesn't change much.

You noticed the Chainelane isles; rock on. Yes; they are nominally controlled by the Sharks militarily, but effectively semi-autonomous. The C. Isles have their own vote(s) in counsel and their own member-statehood. But the Sharks have enclaves on all their worlds and provide the vast majority of their military forces; The Chainelane Isles don't have any official military forces of their own anymore for this reason they have much fewer votes in the 3rd League Counsel than they otherwise would, but they are basically happy with this state of moral welfare.

The Sharks also share control of at least one world with the Nova Cats; the Blood Spirits, by contrast have no territory of their own; though they plan to put down roots and reclaim a world soon. They just live as Tenants; they even lease the land their factories are on. They are in very rough shape.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: truetanker on 30 March 2016, 19:25:23
Love your choice of Potemkin names...

Would like to see a map... or even a Scenario or Campaign.

TT
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 30 March 2016, 20:09:13
Love your choice of Potemkin names...

Would like to see a map... or even a Scenario or Campaign.

TT

Thanks TrueTanker. I think of all the ships; the Potemkins have the most flavourful names. Glad you liked em.

Well I guess I need to find me a good map of the IS, circa 3082 (end of the Jihad/Early Republic).

I might like to do some scenarios or something, but that would be a very long ways in the future.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: truetanker on 30 March 2016, 21:06:01
-The Edmund Fitzgerald Sub-Class represents a re-imagining of the original concept of the Potemkin Troop-Cruiser on the larger, more capable keel being built in series by the 3rd League's shipyards.

Please tell me the Captain of this ship is kinfolk to Gordon Lightfoot.

TT
 O:-)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 30 March 2016, 22:03:50
Please tell me the Captain of this ship is kinfolk to Gordon Lightfoot.

TT
 O:-)

No, but I would have it escorted by a dropship called the "Witch of November".
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: truetanker on 30 March 2016, 22:24:28
Just make Mondays, shipwide, Taconite day....

TT
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 05 April 2016, 21:38:28
I'm working on a map...MS Paint is a harsh mistress and I am the opposite of gifted in art.

Photoscape worked a treat for cleaning up the original image though!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Vition2 on 05 April 2016, 23:39:14
MS Paint is a hard mistress and I am the opposite of gifted in art.


I hear that, I'm looking forward to seeing what you end up with, and whatever else you are working on for this AU.   :)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 09 April 2016, 02:46:12
Not really getting anywhere with MS Paint; can't fix any mistakes I make and it doesn't read the image very well. So back to the drawing board with the map (Suggestions welcome).

In the meantime, I'll post some more custom equipment over in Benchrest and start Lessons Learned here.

What I want to do is look back at the last 100 years of BT warfare and lay out what's been learned and taken to heart or not by the time Der Tag rolls around in this AU.

I'm not going to do this faction by faction, but subject by subject.

Examples will be:

*Lessons Learned: Tactical Evolution of Infantry 2999-3099
-Infantry are important in Der Tag, here is how that happened.

*Battle Armour: Impact at the Tactical and Logistical Level
-BA kick butt, here is why that is in Der Tag and some of the biggest drawbacks to their employment.

*King of The Battlefield? Mechs After The Jihad
-A big part of Der Tag is rationalizing the Dark Age into something that makes sense, that I can work with, as much as it is about pinching it off. One thing MWDA struggled with conceptually was establishing the preeminence of the mech on a tabletop that had rules for other units that could defeat mechs. They did this by making real BattleMechs less common and make the game bigger by giving other units a larger role. In Der Tag, we have to rationalize why we are headed to the 3145 universe of fewer mechs when Der Tag takes place and what strengths Mechs have when compared to other units.

*Omnimechs: Operational and Logistical Limitations
-This article is about taking a hard look at some of the implied realities and second and third-order consequences of the Omnimech. In Der Tag, Omnimechs are deemphasized for these reasons, but don't fret; the "MadCat" of the Der Tag AU is an Omnimech found on the open market.

*Lessons Learned: Light Mechs; an Operational Retrospective
*The Rise and Relegation of Medium Mechs
*Heavy Mechs; the New Hotness.
*Lessons Learned: Assault Mech Design and Deployment
-These series of articles are all about producing a rational and consistent framework for the roles mechs fill in Der Tag.

*Modern Impact of Gravity Well Air Support
-I've always liked Conventional Aircraft, here is where they fit into Der Tag.

*Lessons Learned: The Influence of Aerofighters over the last 100 years
-Aerofighters are huge in the Der Tag AU and they should be bigger in mainstream BT. I blame the out of the box rules.

*Lessons Un-Learned: Artillery Deployment and Organization Today
-There is a reason arty was banned from tournament play.

*Lessons Learned: Combat Support
-TRO:VA is just about my favourite publication in the entire BTU.

*"Jine The Cavalry": Ground Armour's Comeback 2999-3030 and 3070-3099
-Tanks are a big part of Warfare in Der Tag, just like in MWDA, but for reasons laid out herein.

*Gods of Our Fathers: LAM and Super Heavy Mech Deployment, Production and Tactics
-LAMs returned with the Jihad, at least in theory and Super-Heavy Mechs debuted. Both made an impact on modern warfare, but here is where they are in 3099.

*Lostech and Newtech; The State of Strategically Important Technology in the 32nd Century.

-Going over what's gone effectively extinct, what's now bog-standard and what's cutting edge in a AU where Mech Production slows to a crawl, but R&D never sleeps.

*Project Phoenix: A Study In Marketing and Mech Design
-Your Warhammer does not look like my Warhammer. Why is that?

*Everything in Moderation: Why Standardization Fails.
-Following the drastic losses of the Jihad, it would have been easy to standardize the armies of the Der Tag AU. Why didn't that happen? And what happened to the Celestials?
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 10 April 2016, 03:56:02
Can't wait to see what ya do :)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 10 April 2016, 23:11:54
Lessons Learned: Tactical Evolution of Infantry 2999 to 3099

When Men face Mechs; Men Die.

That was the prevailing wisdom by the end of the 3rd Succession War. Centuries of privation had forced all the major state actors to prioritize raw defence spending and allocation of scarce technological resources for so long that the rot had well and truly set in deep for both the professional infantry doctrine practiced in the Inner Sphere and Beyond and the common cultural memes of the era.

Unless you were The Immortal Warrior; if you faced a mech without at least a Demolisher; you were going to die and die for nothing.

The High Water Mark of conventional (read that to mean; "lacking armoured combat exoskeletons") infantry had been almost 300 years before in the dying days of the Star League when even the lowliest house militia could count on a raft of support weapons to have a fighting chance against mechs and tanks and even aircraft, though at some cost.

Over the following centuries of war as resources became more scarce, technological know-how vanished and what limited production capacity remained was diverted, the Infantry increasingly found themselves low man on the totem pole when it came to even basic small arms.

The Seminal ComStar Document; Technical Readout: 3026 provided an expansive menagerie of scarce support weapons which had not been common since the end of the first succession war. By the time the new millennium dawned; soldiers who had served on a Support PPC crew, let alone understood the technology behind such a weapons system were few and far between.

While the ubiquitous SRM launcher, in it's various forms may have been the weapon everyone knew about; it was more common to find most infantry formations relying on simple tube and over-calibre rocket launchers for their anti-armour weapons, when those were available at all.

While the worst of the worst would have unquestionably been the Kuritan Security Squads (of which those deployed to Chara III were typical) seen before and during the 4th Succession war; armed with an eclectic assortment of basically random small arms and hand weapons, it would be fair to say that by the time ComStar's '3026 came out it was more a fantasy wishlist than a description of weapons commonly found in any given  Infantry formation to be found in known space.

While the effectiveness or lack thereof of the DCMS security troops was legendary; it must be said that this was as much due to the totally indifferent nature of their equipage as their morale and training issues.

As the succession wars progressed, for a variety of reasons the infantry increasingly lost their support weapons. The dearth of transport contributed, as did the costs of training and maintaining such capabilities. In many cases it was simply because of attitudes that such weapons were expensive window dressing to troops who basically didn't matter on any battlefield populated with mechs.

Jump Troops remained immune to this for a while, but by the end of the 4th succession war, even they had lost their trademark jump-pack rocket launchers for the most part.

A contributing factor was the intense commonality of battlemechs armed with machineguns and the general unavailability and economic barriers to the supply of effective infantry body armour and environmental protection.

MGs were common weapons on low-tech mechs and as technology declined, they were seen more often replacing more advanced systems or simply filling holes left by their removal. MG were cheap and available as mech weapons went, but while nearly useless against other mechs; their effectiveness against unprotected infantry was usually telling.

The reality is that Infantry support weapons were effective against mechs; the opposing idea had come about due to the massive infantry casualties of the Amaris Civil War and 1SW, but those had been largely unavoidable and were likely mitigated by the presence of the weapons which were by 2999 becoming increasingly rare and token when they were found. Even the support weapons supplement in 3026 notes that mechwarriors tended to prioritize targets like Support Lasers and Manpack PPCs whenever they were discovered, even above SRM teams.

Field guns were uncommon in the extreme and mostly transitory items cobbled together from salvage. The first time a mech or tank needed parts for their AC/5; your gun went bye-bye.

The State of Infantry at the dawn of the 31st century was basically that of garrison troops and often bored and under-utilized ones at that. Even being assigned to support an elite mech regiment meant more security work and manning firebases than anything else; it didn't mean you got a support laser for every squad. Infantry units posted to worlds with toxic atmospheres found themselves without even basic environ suits; never mind armoured ones.

Infantry small arms were in a state of extreme flux and tactical capability rested for many years with the rifle. MG platoons were less common and generally more equipped with SMGs than light, portable, semi-portable or support Machineguns. Laser Platoons were the purview of elite formations; though in marik space; a platoon armed with Blazers could show up in almost any situation, as was ably demonstrated during their various bushwars. SRM platoons were more a theory than a reality. With the portability of the various SRMs; it was possible to almost have an SRM carrier on the hoof, but in practice such formations were expensive to train and equip and also very vulnerable to other infantry formations. Sadly, most Infantry platoons never had access to more than one or two launchers, if any and these were just as often left behind for the weight of their ammunition. The Flamer Platoon is more or less an urban legend and the few real-life examples were likely inspired by previous fictional accounts and exaggerations; any infantry formation with as much as a couple of hand flamers might easily be labelled a "Flamer Platoon" and thus singled out for destruction by men and mechs alike.

These were the main reasons which led to the Gray Death Legion's popularization of so-called "Anti-Mech" tactics. Rather than stay back, concealed and lure mechs into kill zones to be attacked from multiple angles with support weapons fire; the Gray Death's assault tactics did things the direct way: run up to a moving mech, climb the damn thing and jam a demo charge into any open space you find and hope for the best. And watch your fingers.

Such tactics had been in use for centuries in one form or another, but were rarely taught in any regularized form. The real revolution the GDL brought wasn't in tactics but in a training curricula which taught the techniques involved in a consistent way, with a managed level of risk. But the so called "Infantry Anti-Mech Attack" had it's downside in the form of dicey success rates and high casualties; just getting near a moving set of mech legs was risky, even under comparatively sedate training conditions.

A bright point was and remains the  continuity of ballistic small arms technology from the days of the Star League to the present. Even the meanest of employers; be they state or pirate could afford to supply their troops with a rifle that could damage mech armour, even if only a little. Common options ran the gammut from basic semiautomatic rifles pressed into service through assault rifles to battle rifles, but there was a pronounced preference for hyper velocity projectiles (as with the TK) or heavy projectiles (as with the Zeus) and about half of all infantry rifles in service by 3025 were of these two types, with the remainder spread between more conventional ballistic profiles. Gyrojets were the most advanced, but generally considered overkill against infantry and an expensive futility against mechs; though any mechwarrior to ever take a gyrojet rifle projectile to the vision blocks never forgot it.

ComGuard Infantry of the time was poorly documented, but also seemed to be devoid of support weapons. It is understood that they trained on Star League-era facsimiles of more mundane weapons, but these were otherwise armoury queens and the Level I formations usually just went about with their admittedly potent, but heavy Mausers.

Little is known of Clan Infantry at this time; but it is suspected that they were similarly support weapons-light and for similar reasons. We know from some sources that their main armament could vary from a pipe rifle to a Mauser IIC, depending on Clan and status.

Increasing availability of reliable LAW and V-LAW missiles in the second decade of the 31st century started to change things as the scrappy and lucky infantry units which could get them could use them to seriously damage mechs. The 4th succession war saw the FedSuns and various mercenaries use their infantry as low-budget combat assets in a more active role. City fighting became more common again and here infantry shined as more SRM launchers were hauled out along with their heavy ammunition and employed more widely on all sides. House Liao even managed a number of the Foot-SRM carrier formations before the end of the war.

The revelations of the Helm memory core brought an economic boom to the Inner sphere. Naturally; more money for governments to spend meant some of that money went for the military, which trickled down to the Infantry, eventually. The 30s saw the revitalization of infantry capability with a lot more in the way of organic transportation assets, but this played into an issue in organization and nomenclature which had been building for years.

During the 3rd Succession War; various factions; starting with House Liao had began to assign (also; relegate, press-gang) infantry into service as artillery crews. As the supplies of shells and guns dwindled during the 3rd war, so too had the supply of competent gun crew. Assigning infantry to do the grunt work freed up trained and able gunners for the jobs they were really needed at. The Benefits in the form of skills transfer to the infantry never materialized. Still, the practice of making infantry into "Powder Monkeys" as they were called, soon spread to other great houses and the periphery. By the time of the 4th Succession war though the tail had started to wag the dog and now artillery pieces and their crews were carried as infantry assets on most Orders of Battle. This was the visible result of a change in organizational culture which actually led to further dispersed deployment of artillery assets (further reducing effectiveness) and accelerated skill fade. Between 3030 and 3050, artillery units larger than a battery (4-12 guns) basically became extinct as guns were more and more rarely concentrated.

At the same time the Savanna Master hovercraft was gaining wide acceptance as a lyran export and had already been copied in the Capellan Confederation. Many prospective and current operators, such as Wolf's Dragoons looked at the cheap and speedy vehicles as potential adjuncts to their infantry formations.

The revitalized organic transport concept took two forms distinct from the larger, more robust APCs then on offer. What came to be called motorized Infantry were those who rode into battle and sometimes fought from vehicles not dissimilar to jeeps and motorcycles. The term; "Mechanized Infantry", came to apply to those who rode into battle and fought from light APCs and similar support-class vehicles. These were not as durable or powerful as the much larger APCs which were already common among better-equipped formations, but did make their infantry more maneuverable, better protected and had the potential to offer more firepower. Though the concept itself seemed to suggest formations of "Gun Trucks", the dearth of support weapons funding kept such experiments limited.

While no-one would mistake soldiers zipping about on motor bikes and hover platforms for heavier forces; the similarity in concept between Mechanized and what became known as "Armoured Infantry" (Later to be further confused with the (re)introduction of Power Battle Armour) led to much doctrinal confusion and problems in training and tactical employment were rife.

For one thing; the different formations fought differently. Armoured Infantry Deployed to the battlefield in their APCs and these were to either carry them though enemy fire to deploy them for the assault or deploy their troops and support their advance by mutual fire support. Mechanized Infantry fought almost wholly from their carriers until the last moment before destruction or the final assault, when they would debouch and storm the enemy positions from close range, under fire from their carriers.

Naturally this led to some confusion on the part of Commanders assigned one type or the other to support operations. As well, in many cases a single proper APC was more durable than a platoon of Mechanized Infantry taken as a whole.

The SLDF had whole divisions of mechanized infantry before the First Succession War, but their doctrine and organization had been lost by this point. As well the naming conventions were in ruins, with vehicles of all classes called APCs, MICVs or AIFVs by turns, more as marketting gestures than anything else.

But what of the potent and speedy Savannah Master Infantry? Well shortly after the publication of ComStar's painfully partisan handbook; The Wolf's Dragoons Sourcebook, these formations, mostly themselves raised from among the Dragoon's motorized infantry forces, were predesignated as Cavalry troops and other powers soon followed suit. Before 3045 however, the experiment of treating these forces like infantry was at an end and the Dragoons reassigned their Savannah Masters, with or without their pilots to their homeguard units.

Still; enhanced mobility led to greater employment and respect for infantry as a meaningful arm of the military as the years marched on. Support Weapons and effective protection remained rare and elusive, but as early as 3025, the situation was notably improved from the turn of the century with House Davion Employing whole regiments in which every platoon could boast one support laser and every company one heavy support laser. Taken together it was a fearsome prospect; though such formations rarely then and now take the field all in one time and place, let alone arrayed to bring the full brunt of their firepower together on any one target. Indeed, many even very elite infantry formations of the time would have difficulty even interlocking and positioning their few support weapons in practice and mechs continued to dominate military thinking and training budgets.

Things had been looking better until the Clans came in 49/50. In the face of superior mechs and the Clan's fearsome Elemental suits; the Federated Commonwealth pulled their infantry forces once more back to security and garrison roles, while the DCMS willingly sacrificed theirs in hopelessly suicidal engagements. The early battles of the invasion were mainly decided by mech forces; just how the Clans wanted it. The other powers of humanity watched and waited.

That the Elemental proved a shocking development and possibly even an existential threat to conventional infantry is basically a fact of history at this point. Conventional Clan infantry; typically Solahma troops tested down from mechwarriors were only to be found in garrison clusters behind the lines and would not be engaged by innersphere forces until Tukayyid.

But to say that the infantry took a particular drubbing from Clan Omnimechs is frankly untrue. Clan mech forces were in fact unprepared for the infantry tactics developed between 3030 and 3050, and despite the presence of anti-infantry weapons on some omnimech configurations, they suffered disproportionate losses without close support from elementals.

The tactical impact of these losses on Clan forces was manifest in the S-Configurations which began to appear during and after Tukayyid to supplement the very few and usually lighter configurations then available. After Tukayyid, there was a brief period where Infantry were almost totally withdrawn from the battlefield to secondline roles, security and garrison duty.

In response two things were done; from the first examples of captured Elemental suits, Inner Sphere manufacturers worked to replicate the technology; finally succeeding in 3052.

Military exoskeletons were still available in a limited form, as exhibited in a limited way in Technical Readout: 3026. There were "Waldos" available to assist with some support weapons, and industrial exoskeletons for atmospheric and hostile environment work had remained in limited production through most of the Succession Wars, though they were specialty items and could be very hard to come by.

The rise of Battle Armour on top of everything else almost finished the morale of conventional infantry from the outset. The programs necessitated the very best from extant infantry units; their largest, strongest, most fit soldiers to make the suits work right and their best and brightest minds to make the most of the limited number of suits available.

It was the Lyran Half of the Federated Commonwealth which finally decided the dam needed more than a finger to fix and sought to backstop their conventional infantry forces, beginning in 3057 with more resources allocated to support weapons and armour protection.

Infantry technology has not stood still during the interim, but most of what had come about was practically the purview of elite special forces troops. The Lyran initiative began by bringing these developments to the line forces. More support weapons and better armour were made more available and (Surprisingly for the Lyrans) better tactics were also devised for fighting battlearmour and omnimechs and surviving on the modern battlefield.

This trend quickly spread, with the DCMS being the last to adopt such measures in the mid 3060s.

Infantry failed to stand out on Task Force: Serpent and Operations: Bulldog and Bird Dog were less conductive to front-line infantry combat as well; but the mid 50s-mid 60s saw important and widespread infantry deployments through Operation: Guerrero, the Fedcom Civil war and the Capellan/St.Ives conflict. Here, left to their own devices, infantry forces, equipped with effective protection and the full array of appropriate support weapons, came into their own.

The WOB infantry which were omnipresent in the Jihad were very different from those seen during the earlier Terran annexation. During the Terran campaign; WOB infantry were much better equipped than they had been during the counter-insurgency fighting on Gibson, when they were last seen; but still very eclectic. Much equipment was still obviously held privately; senior NCOs and veterans carrying the Mauser 960s they had brought with them from the ComGuard, if they could keep them working. But they were well supplied with all manner of heavy weapons. The deep planning of the operation was evident through it's later stages as WOB infantry consistently arrived to do battle with exactly the equipment they needed to win; on time and in place to boot. It was, in point of fact; a masterful operation.

Such Strategic, Operational and Tactical Mastery was absent in the Jihad, but that is not why WOB infantry had been purged of their heavy weapons by 3067. Following the Terran Campaign, WOB had a vast inventory of diverse equipment and it needed to be rationalized. Once way to do this was to settle on a single main infantry weapon system and replace as many non-standard weapons with it as possible. This included support weapons in many cases. This new standard weapon was the Mauser 1200 LSS; a light support system, in point of fact; as the name implies.

Available as a pre-production prototype in the hands of  WOB special forces in 3058, the M1200 LSS failed to live up to the promises of it's design. It was unable to act as a sustained fire weapon and unable to support from a farther range than the other weapons in the squad (also M1200 LSS) when acting in a support role. What is was was a more rational design than the 960 and a very powerful rifle/grenade launcher combination gun. Having just one weapon also drastically simplified WOB infantry training.

The Jihad was a conflict which got into every dusty corner of every military involved. Infantry was once again on prime display everywhere; fighting and dying against and in services to forces few had dared imagine prior to the final Whiting Conference.

The main lesson of the Jihad from an Infantry standpoint was to reinforce a lesson countless politicians and military leaders had forgotten; fire power does not make the decision of a conflict possible, rather; firepower decides the issue. No force more epitomized the concept of an infantry platoon as a life support system for it's heavy weapons than the Star League Defence Force-in-Exile. Their massive platoons; twice the size and more of their spheroid counterparts, employed massive firepower and this was backed up, successively at every level from the Company on up to the Division, as finally seen with the 1st Infantry Division (The Big Red "1") on Terra at the end of the Jihad.

Again and again; Infantry Platoons with support weapons, out-shot and usually beat those without them. When straight firepower would not avail them; it came down to training. Better trained troops consistently defeated less-well-trained ones, even when out-numbered; whether in long-range firefights and sniper duels, or house-to-house fighting and bayonet work; on a battlefield of support weapons and effective infantry armour, the point at which quantity had it's own kind of quality was a very expensive one to reach.

Nowhere was this more clear than for House Kurita. For Centuries; the DCMS employed a caste system not unlike that in wider Kuritan society; with mechwarriors at the top and infantry at the bottom. Indifferently trained and equipped, they suffered from poor morale and often earned every epithet thrown at them by the civilians they were inflicted upon. It was even said by some Kuritan officers that particular infantry regiments needed an ISF officer for every soldier to hold onto a world for a year. The Jihad devastated Kurita infantry forces as they were ground to paste against better trained, better motivated, better led and equipped forces time and again. After the Jihad, it was simply easier to start from scratch, because there were so few DCMS infantry soldiers left and those were hardened veterans who had earned their place in the peacetime Mustered Soldiery.

Following the Jihad, The winning team of Stone and Lear advocated infantry heavily as a replacement for mech forces. Infantry; they advocated,  were more flexible, better for aid work, reconstruction and disaster relief. Keeping the larger number of soldiers in an infantry unit employed would reduce crime and help ease veterans gradually back into civilian life. Infantry Militia service, even if it came with quotation marks was sold as a kind of welfare scheme to keep young people out of trouble and doing useful work. In the war-torn Federated Suns and Lyran Commonwealth these words were greeted with acclaim by populations who had known only war for almost 25 years. DCMS forces took longer to recover and Marik reactions were mixed. House Liao simply ignored the republic and began rebuilding their shattered forces. Meanwhile, Steiner and Davion both consolidated mech forces and declined to rebuild many mech formations for years; raising new infantry formations left and right, which the AFFS was happy to use in part for the formation of their new light combat teams.

After the Jihad, the normal amnesia set in, of course and Infantry training and funding was inconsistent. RAF infantry remain to this day exquisitely well equipped and trained, though much of their training is not combat-oriented in nature.

Many of the Infantry units in the Lyran Commonwealth are quite well armed and armoured, but lack training on their support weapons.

Federated Suns infantry are now more than 40% "light"' foot mobile and lightly armed; they could pass for troops of a century before. Of the rest; most are mechanized or motorized and the Jump Infantry corps has been cut to the bone, with most of the candidates they might get going to the eclectic Battle Armour forces.

Cappellan Infantry are fanatically motivated soldiers, known for being willing to try anything; though whether this is simple "try anything once" or "anything for the Chancellor, is debatable.

The nations of the new Andurian Pact have the stereotypical Marik exotic grab bag of infantry, but after the past century the Blazer Rifle has acquired a cultural significance to rival the farmer's shotgun, or the frontiersman's rifle. Many is the citizen of the former House Marik who considers the Blazer a symbol of status, as well as a tool of practical utility and most are well-cared for and their owners well-practiced. The modest Student's apartment, with a brass-fitted, biometrically locked wooden rack for a Blazer older than the current owner bolted into the ferrocrete wall, below the purple banner is a powerful image and one with much emotional weight in most of the Andurian pact.

The modern Kuritan Infantry soldier is a proud and professional peasant-warrior, sporting modestly stylized ablative/flak armour, ballistic helmet, a well-loved and polished Vibro Wakizashi and more often than not; a Diverse-Optics "21st year" VSP Laser Rifle. Still an adjunct to his higher-born betters, there is a now a dignity and honour to the DCMS Infantry they have not known in living memory.

SLDF Infantry are an elite unto themselves. Designed from the ground up to specialize in counter-insurgency and fortification assault; they are the most heavily armed Infantry to be found outside of battle-suits and extremely well-trained.

Outside the borders of the Inner Sphere, things are just as varied. Clan Jade Falcon Infantry is considered the worst of any power today; without armour or even generally issued longarms; CJF Solahma Infantry are living on borrowed time. Of the Clans; Hell's Horses Infantry forces are the best-trained, led and equipped, with the rest of the clans falling somewhere in between the horses and falcons in quality.

Marian Infantry are very professional as befits their roman mould and well-protected, but still soldiering on with out-moded TKs and AX-22s. The large formations work well, but only under very capable leadership, which SLDF advisors are well about to provide and produce from meagre stock.

Canopian troops on the other hand are becoming increasingly problematic. In a military where gender-priviledge, purchased rank and real merit butt heads; the Canopian Infantry find themselves a male-dominated discipline in a female-dominated military, in a matriarchial realm and all too-often led by those officers without the money or merit to make it anywhere else. Disenfranchised and ill-equipped, most Canopian Infantry units are small and kept broken-up to better control and isolate them. The troops are simply doing what they have to to survive at this point and morale, maintenance and training standards are all in the toilet.

The Taurian Concordant and Calderon Protectorate retain a similar infantry doctrine; they both focus more on training and motivating good soldiers than bemoaning equipment they don't have. 50 years later and most field gear is still military surplus from somewhere else, but a recent pay raise has allowed more soldiers to buy their own equipment mail-order from New Frontier Lines traders and other sources.

Going ahead, it looks like another century of ups and downs for the poor bloody infantry, but history shows that this is an arm which no nation can afford to neglect if they wish to take and hold any target too small for a battle mech to walk into.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 11 April 2016, 03:56:02
An excellent synopsis and breakdown of the state of Infantry and their equipment, really good stuff!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 11 April 2016, 21:58:15
An excellent synopsis and breakdown of the state of Infantry and their equipment, really good stuff!

Thanks Marauder! Hope you like what else is in the pipe too!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: truetanker on 11 April 2016, 22:00:45
More!  O:-)

TT
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 11 April 2016, 23:03:33
More!  O:-)

TT

It's a  bit of a cop-out, but I have performance reviews to write, so here is something of a throwaway  js did for "Fun". Cause this is fun for me. I may need professional help...

SLDF (3rd League) Rations

Classes and Explanations.

Class   Summary
   
Class A   Fresh Food
   
Class B   Canned/Bagged Food and Preserves
   
Class C   Field Rations
   
Class D   Junk Food Ration; "Morale Package"
   
Class E   For "Ethanol"; Alcohol
   
Class F   AKA; "Fast Rats"; lightweight, low-bulk field rations
   
Class G   "G for Jungle"; Field Rations Optimized for Hot/Wet Conditions
   
Class H   "H for Heavy"; high calorie rations; for Cold, Mountain and Long-Range work
   
Class I   "I can't believe how hot it is"; Rations for Hot/Dry conditions
   
Class J   "J for Joke"; the infamous Boxed/Bagged lunch; cheap and easy to supply from local sources
   
Class K   Self-Heating Rations; "K means it cooks itself in the can"
   
Class L   "L for Long"; Ration Bars.
   
Class M   "M for 'mergency"; similar to a ration bar; higher nutritional value, intentionally tastes horrible.
   
Class N   "N for NBC". Solid nutriet blocks in sealed containers, which slot into a receptical found on all forms of SLDF full-body protective gear. So you can eat without taking off anything. Not popular.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 12 April 2016, 07:34:46
Love the food break down, love to see that even in the future, the peril that is the Horror Box exists. 

A Horror Box is a British soldiers term for the packed lunch you was given when you went on a range day and its succintly broken down here.

Quote
An innocent-looking white cardboard box, looking rather like the sort of thing you might get cream cakes in from a craft baker. Instead, they contain the usual items of an Army packed lunch (sic):

1 x cheap drink. Panda Cola is a favourite, but only in the sense it's oft used. 47p is allocated as an allowance for this item. Where the other 42p is spent is one of the mysteries of military accounting.
1 x Pastie. Once upon a time these were Ginsters, but now tend to be cheap copies. Unlikely to have ever been within 200 miles of Cornwall.
1 x sandwich. Normal filling is mystery fish, occasionally cheese or value-processed-ham-substitute
1 x Kit Kat/Blue Riband. Used solely to fool the unsuspecting recipient in to thinking the other items are edible.
1 x bag crisps. Almost always Salt & Vinegar or Cheese & Onion. Always an unknown brand.

Localised variants exist. In the North, the Pastie is replaced by a sausage roll with pastry so flaky there is as yet no way found to eat it without covering yourself in lethal shards of pate brisee.

'Meat' pasties and sausage rolls are required to contain no more than 10% meat. Only meat recovered from ears, trottors, hooves and sphincters is used. To enhance the gastronomic experience, the rolls/pasties are served frozen. Bizarrely the time since removal from the cookhouse seems to have no effect on this.

A close kinsman was the Horror Bag

Quote
All the fun of an Army packed lunch in a paper bag whipped up by a Cabbage Mechanic and dished out by the Q Man when Range Stew is just too much to ask for.

The Horror Bag will usually contain:

A pack of two badly made sandwiches, one of which will undoubtedly be egg & mayonnaise, (nine times out of ten, one of these will contain Mystery Fish).
A packet of Cheap Flavourless Crisps.
Either a Kit-Kat, Blue Riband, Penguin biscuit or Waggon Wheel (depending on how far the budget is stretched for that month).
An apple covered in bruises.
And finally a Panda Cola of some description.
The process of swapping food with your mucker to get a combination of the above that is almost edible, merely disguises the fact that Horror Bags are, in fact, crap and serves no real purpose except to make the Cabbage Mechanic feel appreciated.

British Army Crisps

Quote
Specially formulated for the exclusive use of the MOD

The MOD has devoted millions of pounds worth of research into transforming normal run of the mill crisps into pale insipid flavourless (and always slightly soggy) imitations, which are then packaged in the thinnest plastic bag possible complete with obscure unknown Brand Name.

Flavours consist of almost, but not quite, Salt & Vinegar and almost, but not quite, Cheese & Onion.

Once inserted into Horror Bags together with Panda Cola the bag will spontaneously split and spread the contents contents, which have now mutated to crisp dust over the widest possible area for the delectation of unwary squaddies.

Mystery Fish

Quote
Mystery Fish

There is, in a dark and deep far-off sea, the breed of fish that is processed to make the filling for Army sandwiches.
No-one has ever seen a specimen of this fish in the live state. Few have seen it dead and whole. Most of us only encounter it after it has been mashed to a pulp and smeared between two slices of Lidl's Loaf to make a sandwich.

The Mystery Fish fills a similar ecological niche to the Donner, a medium sized ungulate that is killed and macerated to provide kebab meat.

Some speculate that it is not a fish at all, but is the processed remains of the dead. Others suggest that cat poo might be used as a more nutritious (and fishy) substitute.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 12 April 2016, 07:47:07
This sounds all too much like the Bagged/boxed lunch we get in the CF.

But there is no choclate bar, no soft drink and usually a second packaged sandwhich.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: kalthud on 12 April 2016, 13:14:17
Oh, I remember those days, In the USN boxed meals was served in a Styrofoam box. Lumpy instant potatoes with some type of gravy. Mixed veggies (50% lima beans, 49% rock hard peas, 1% diced carrots for color). A Sandwich with some kind of mystery meat which is now soggy from soaking up the gravy, 1 hard boiled egg (most of time) and a plastic spoon. All brought to you in a large plastic garbage bag with the boxes stacked on end and that has been dropped at least once. No drink. And always served cold.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 12 April 2016, 17:01:05
In the 3rd League SLDF, it's similar in concept, but food comes in under QuarterMaster Command and has to be approved at some point by the QuarterMaster-General (tacitly, through subordinates). Food's the same no matter what your rank or position, so if you wouldn't want to eat it; don't approve to buy it.

In practice, the local supply officer (if you're a platoon commander, you read his/her name once) is in charge of final approval of whatever is being bought. There are lots of people in the 3rd League who still have allergies, but SLDF pers get the top of the line shots and vaccines, while everyone else gets the basics (but still leaps and bounds above whats available anywhere else, but Sol's Belt); so they aren't allergic to anything but hayfever by the time they finish their basic trade's course. Whoever approves the food has to have eaten it or have a direct subordinate eat it; so it tends to be decent and it MUST be in line with the caloric requirements of the troops eating it.

So while J-Rats might be pretty pathetic compared to most other fare; they have to not be crap and give you enough food energy. After that they could be literally anything on offer locally; from hummus to sushi.

The key requirement is that the food shouldn't be the worst part of anyone's day. Still J-Rats are purchased and passed out sparingly.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: truetanker on 13 April 2016, 22:12:49
Horror Box sounds like a tastier version of Clan MREs.

TT
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 14 April 2016, 18:33:07
Working on the next Lessons Learned document.

After these are done, i want to move on to a production report.

What makes more sense;

"Faction-X produces the following units:"

Or...

"Unit-X is produced by the following Factions:"

It's going to be just about that deep; so you can get an idea what units are common to whom. Given I'm cutting off the Dark Age in this AU; I think some people might care about their favourite toys from 3145/50 or even 3025 still being around, or not.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 14 April 2016, 19:46:36
Battle Armour:  Impact at the Tactical and Logistical Level

When Clan Elementals burst on the scene in 3049, they shocked Inner Sphere military planners and soldiers alike.

Battle Armour was a flat out win in almost all cases against conventional infantry of the time and spheroid mechwarriors lacked the training and tactics to counter them.

Naturally, it didn't help that their appearance was so alien as to inspire rumours the Clans were in fact a race of inhuman creatures from deep space.

For centuries, mechs had relied on machine guns for anti-infantry defence, with some mechs mounting flamers. While flamers were more useful against Battle Armour for the most part, even those few warriors with access to the new pulse lasers had never been trained to employ them against targets so small and agile.

In retrospect, it is now thought that the so-called "Clan Panic" prevalent in inner sphere forces before Tukayyid was due more to Elementals, when present; than Clan Omnimechs and their superior weapons. Afterall; the omnimech and items like the Clan ER Large Laser and PPC and others were ultimately simply progressive developments of technology the warriors of the Great Houses were basically familiar with. Even if the idea of technological advancement still seemed fantastic to many and lostech weapons remained of inconsistent availability since their debut in the 3030s; these were, at heart, concepts with which the armies of 3050 had a touchstone for.

Not so powered suit technology as seen in the Elemental armour.

But the human mind is an adaptable thing and so is a pulse laser; by the time of the Battle of Tukayyid, Inner Sphere Standard Battle Armour was becoming available alongside the FedCom Sloth and Infiltrator suits. This more than any other factor helped normalized the experiences of troops operating with and against battle armour and for many years the most strategically valuable use of the new suits was in training alongside and helping train other arms in the nascent Battle Armour and Anti-Battle Armour tactics.

Fighting Battle Armour was relatively simple; it was better done with a dedicated platform like the Komodo or Snake, but in a pinch mechs like the Fire Starter or even the Dragoon-Model Stinger could do. For other arms the Ontos was highly recommended if well supported and if it got off the first shot an SRM carrier was good medicine for about anything living. Masses of light weapons were the trick; some even made a case for the wider employment of the CRG-1A1 Charger and a halt to the refit programs then ongoing in various places. Thankfully sanity prevailed and the fever was past by the time this was seriously considered.

The main thing were mechwarriors and vehicle crews trained to deal with the practical and psychological aspects of a close-range fight against small, fast-moving targets that would happily tear your mech or tank apart if they got close enough to touch.

Infantry were about a total loss; the relative scarcity of powerful shoulder arms (why bother if a TK is usually enough to do the job?) and support weapons made infantry vs elemental fights sickeningly one-sided and some Clan Elementals racked up kill counts in the hundreds. An infantry platoon armed with Blazers or Gyrojets could do serious damage and even kill Elementals, but such formations were rare and they still needed fire discipline, confidence and long range to do the job.

Artillery and Air Power worked well, but only *IF* they could be brought to bear before the opportunity vanished or the spotter was killed. A Star or even a point of elementals could disperse in a heartbeat and avoid most small artillery barrages.

Employing Battle Armour was tricky and remains so.

The Clans relied almost totally until after Tukayyid on either self-deployment of Elementals or Omnimech ride-along to get them into battle. Some use was made of various modes of airborne deployment, but even combat drops were more common. The Inner Sphere hardly saw a Clan Infantry Carrier until mid 3056.

The Inner Sphere had greater difficulties. Lacking Omnimechs completely until later in the 3050s (save some captured examples) and without much in the way of suitable transports till well into 3057; Inner Sphere Battle Armour either walked into battle or combat dropped.

It's worth noting that details of the Star League's Nighthawk program remained mostly unknown, partly obscure and mainly secret until the mid 3060s when data was recovered from Clan archives shared by the exiled Wolves and Nova Cats (the data held by Gray Death Industries was wholly technical). Whereas the Inner Sphere had begun from the standpoint of a medium-weight suit and assumed it was totally different to use than an infantryman and thus basically started from scratch; the SLDF's Nighthawk program looked at their suits as providing them with a kind of super-infantry and tried to employ them as such. Neither scheme really worked out at the time. Yes; BA are different than Infantry; but how and why the SLDF had never had sufficient time to make a study of, and even then; the Inner Sphere wouldn't have had access to it if they had.

Fifty years on, we know a lot more about fighting with and against Battle Armour than we did in 3055 and with various kinds of input from the Clans, we now can pin down a few salient points which began to be inculcated into the Tactical and Operational thinking of Spheroid Battle Armour doctrine as early as 3057.

***

1. Battle Armour must be deployed by carrier as close to the battlefield as practicable. Battle armour, even the relatively speedy ones; are too slow to retain strategic mobility and will be severely taxed even by operational deployment.

a.       The best carrier for battle armour is one that is fast and well-protected; heavy armament is nice to have, but unnecessary. If you must do without one or the other; protection is the must-have. Mobility is nice, but BA are too expensive as an asset to be sacrificed to a lucky shot. There is much debate on this subject; but the sheer weight of Battle Armour Bays limits the use of lighter vehicles and heavier vehicles are harder to move fast; necessitating larger, more expensive engines; at which point now the vehicle itself needs more protection; driving up weight and cost yet again.

b.      In a pinch any transport is better than none. For many years; the great powers relied on cargo haulers to move their battle armour close to the front lines. This was sub-optimal, but still much better than nothing. It must be noted, however that moving BA as cargo prevents any topping up of their on-board batteries.

c.   Omnimechs remains of limited availability, but some realms make heavy use of BA with magnetic clamps or battleclaws; allowing them to ride into battle on AFVs or standard mechs. For close mech-Infantry Cooperation this is hard to beat; but it’s very taxing on the pilots and gyros of standard mechs; particularly hard on the suspension of AFVs and always a drain on the battlesuit operators; so it’s good to have other options.
 
2.       Battle Armour can take ground and clear it (unlike mechs and tanks: the jury is still out on protomechs), but they cannot hold it. Even the most enduring designs are capable of no more than 24-48 hours between battery charges. It is theoretically possible to carry spare power packs and even rechargers as mission equipment, but in practice most designs lack this capability. Fewer still lack additional on-board life support. This means that BA must be well supported and/or withdrawn after use to prevent inevitable combat loss to dead powerpacks and expended life support (and thus this is doubly true in an environmentally compromised or hostile battlefield). If provided with fusion-powered carriers and if these can be kept on site, it is possible for BA to switch off charging their power packs and most can piggy-back charge off disabled suits.  But leaving such carriers on site and even spelling off individual suits for recharge can be a tactical liability, especially in the case of ICE-powered vehicles; placing an additional burden on supply lines as fuel is expended and compromising security with additional idling of engines over and above that normally required.

a.       Battlesuit troopers, even Clan Elementals; requires some rest and down time out of their suits. By necessity; this must be out of the front line and may as well be while the suit is being re-armed, serviced and recharged.

b.      Due to the nature of Battle Suit combat and the suits themselves, they are very vulnerable to “Friction”; damage quickly builds up to levels which endanger the combat capability of the suit and must be withdrawn for service or swap-out. For instance; the gold standard for many years was a suit armoured to survive a hit from a large pulse laser. It hardly takes any damage at all to a medium suit before it cannot sustain that kind of abuse anymore.
 From 3053-late 3059, qualified battlesuit operators were in such short supply that the supply of suits actually exceeded the soldiers who manned them in the inner sphere and it was common practice to rotate suits during lulls in the fighting and a soldier would turn over his or her suit to the techs and receive another, ideally already adjusted to their body shape and preferences.
 
3.       Battle Armour is intensely vulnerable to long-range fire, especially artillery and more designs equipped with LRMs and the new BA-AC and BA tube artillery are unlikely to ameliorate the situation. This reinforces the value of carriers to bring BA in close and fast and various active and passive protection measures (stealth armour, ECM, etc.) to reduce detection and thus vulnerability to being targeted. However, as has been noted as early as 3070; even the stealthiest battle armour are no match for a time-on-target artillery barrage, if they are out of cover.

***

Once Battle Armour were on the field, the logistics were actually simplified; MG and SRM ammo was the same as used with mechs and Infantry SRMs could be un-packed and used as well. The problem came with finding and training the requisite numbers of individuals with the sheer size to operate the suits efficiently.
 
It is true that the Clan Elemental suit could be adjusted farther than most and even a rather slight individual like Kai Allard-Liao could use one, but even that such capability exists speaks more to the desire of Clan Warriors to salve their sense of honour than to permit smaller soldiers to operate battlesuits effectively. That Kai triumphed was due more to his innate talents in agility and mental quickness, as well as his martial arts skills than to any benefits gained from the use of the elemental suit. In fact, many suggest that the suit actually handicapped him in more ways than it helped. Inner Sphere Battle Armour designs and indeed; most Clan suits require a larger, stronger individual in order to operate them at all, let alone get full benefit of the suits capabilities. Smaller individuals can use them, but at greatly reduced utility.
 
The initial deployment of Inner Sphere Standard Battle Armour in 3052 effectively robbed conventional infantry formations of their largest, most fit soldiers, never mind some of their most experienced and sent morale plummeting. The effect was similar to that described by anti-special forces pundits. Following that; special recruitment programs had to be organized specifically targeting individuals of larger stature; these were somewhat effective, but the primary brake on BA forces remains the supply of individuals big enough to make use of the suits. Experiments to develop suits geared towards candidates of smaller stature were failures; you effectively loose capacity in terms of weapons and equipment and the weight savings in reduced armour weights are negated by the inefficiency of scale of basic proprietary battlesuit systems. While smaller persons can make do quite well in industrial exoskeletons; larger persons still have advantages in handling the suits; while smaller people are clumsier.
 
Of course the Clans have their Elemental Phenotype and breeding program, but nothing similar exists in the inner sphere.

The 3rd League is another story for two reasons; firstly, everyone knows the 3rd League both supports the Clan Breeding programs of their member states and also has their own. While neither is quite the same thing as the programs seen in say; the Homeworld Clans of this century, passing; both do produce large and relatively large (Respectively) numbers of individuals well suited for Battle Armour operation.

Secondly; the SLDF has looked at it’s civilians as the source of it’s soldiers in a very practical way since before it was the SLDF.

SOG acquired their Ardennes landhold early in their career as mercenaries; seizing it from pirates. The plan was always to take the world for a landhold not unlike that enjoyed by other mercenary forces and make of it an economic centre and recruiting base. As a distant periphery world, far above the clan truce line; Ardennes held a perilous position, as it does to this day.

McKenna believed, contrary to most historical opinion; that soldiers aren’t made; they are born: cultures produce soldiers and soldier-leaders in different proportions, depending on the culture. Thus, as Lord of Ardennes; he looked at it’s people as a recruiting base which would provide him with willing volunteers; those natural soldiers and those who were simply nothing but trouble for a few years without a military to join. In order to ensure that the candidates it produced were of the best quality and in the highest possible quantity, SOG sponsored programs over and above those aimed at industry and agriculture and trade to ensure that the coming generations of Ardenners would be as well educated and as healthy as possible; preparing them physically and mentally for military life.

Years before the start of the New Model Army project this program was already paying dividends in the form of Ardennes recruits for all arms who were healthy, loyal, smart and fit for service.

As SOG expanded their aims; settling refugees from the Inner Sphere’s wars on Ardennes and other nearby worlds and later moving into the New Model Army project, the program, now called Project: Seedcorn was expanded.

By this time though, an entire generation had come of age in a time when SOG ensured that all but those in the most hostile settlements and holdfasts reached their full potential through proper nutrition, education and vaccines which had not been used outside Terra’s belt since the days before the Amaris Civil War.

The result is that the SLDF enjoys a higher-than-normal proportion of excellent recruit candidates from their immediate member worlds and watches this trend spread with each year as the effects of Project: Seedcorn spread through the newer, less-developed member-worlds. This program, which includes regular exercise as well as nutritional programs, supplements and vaccinations has resulted in the 3rd League being able to call upon a higher-than-normal ratio of individuals who are in the top percentiles for height and strength; these candidates are far from elementals, but they can easily make good Battlesuit operators.

The depth, breadth and commitment inherent in this program, however show just what it requires to get these kinds of numbers absent a Clan-style breeding program. The SLDF can actually afford to season potential Battlesuit troopers in conventional infantry and even vehicle crewman positions for several years, before selecting and training them.

A nation the size of; say the Lyran Commonwealth can manage to recruit, train and equip as many Battle Armour Troopers as even the industry of the pre-Jihad could support. So can almost any given Clan. The 3rd League; a collection of nations a fraction of the size and wealth of the Lyran Commonwealth and lacking a major Clan Breeding program can do the same thing with a much smaller population and do it without bleeding their conventional forces white, while supporting a muscular special forces capability.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 14 April 2016, 21:37:35
King of The Battlefield? Mechs After The Jihad

The Jihad saw the deployment and use of vast military power; all the major powers maintained significant conventional forces, even though power was measured by battlemech regiments. Counting militia and reserve forces, these could number as many as 10-20 regiments worth of Tanks, Infantry, Artillery, Conventional fighters and wet naval assets depending on the great house.

While some of these would, as a matter of course be brigaded together with mechs to a greater or lesser extent, many were left on their own; typically in a defensive or even a stood-down posture for most of the lives of the soldiers who manned them.

The Jihad changed that and threw these second, 3rd-line and mobilization-only troops into the teeth of combat against mechs.

Where they sometimes; not all the time, but sometimes---triumphed. These forces soon shared pride of place in all combatant factions alongside their flashier mech-jockey cousins.

While some of these units had received upgrades, most had not; what prompted their success? As a final and broad answer; we don't know. But one tempting theory is that these units had lost much of their institutional memory unless they were based on a world which had seen conflict in between 3067 and 3030; most had not.

There is an old saying; "The bravest soldiers are those who have never faced death." It has many variations and as many counter-arguments and cites, but perhaps in this case, it was true? Unburdened by the memory of centuries of constant fighting, except as history; the last 40 years had been quiet for the conventional forces. While mechs marched to war against the Clans and in lesser conflicts; the conventionals mainly stayed put.

So when these forces did see action they were burdened mainly by cultural and media bias against their chances and for the most part threw themselves into battle ignorant of what they would face. And there; they sometimes found victory where more experienced troops would have surrendered, fled or fallen to fighting decades-long guerilla campaigns.

This success led to greater acclaim and faith in non-mech forces during and after the Jihad and led many to ask if the mech had been de-throned as king of the battlefield, as the focus shifted to combined arms, and infantry and armour-heavy formations like the RAF's new regiments.

To answer this question, one must examine what makes or perhaps made mechs the so-called "king of the battlefield" in the first place.

The colloquial description of the Mechwarrior is the "over-worked, under-paid, over-sexed little bastard with an ego bigger than a dropship who can do more damage in an hour than a whole company of tanks can do in an afternoon."

That description is both ignorant and incorrect; without reference to the character or conditions of employment of the mechwarrior; a mech cannot match the firepower of a single tank of equal tonnage and technology kilo for kilo, let alone a company of them. The strength of a mech is not in it's impressive firepower, as a ground vehicle and a aerofighter as well both usually have more weight and space to devote to weapons, especially large ones, which mechs have difficulty accommodating. This is to say nothing of Artillery and Air-Power, which can still strike with impunity for the most part.

Nor is a mech better protected than a tank; the AFV has fewer locations to spread it's armour over and can mount as much of it as the designers wish it to, though it may be more vulnerable to penetrating hits. Mechs have to cover multiple distinct locations with armour; and the parts move! This makes it harder to protect them fully and well. It is a triumph of engineering that mechs are so much less vulnerable to penetrating hits than tanks; even though they carry less overall armour. The advent of hardened armour did something to reduce this, but the limits this form of protection imposes on the mech can be liabilities in or themselves.

Of the traditional combatant trifecta of Firepower-Protection-Mobility; only mobility is left and we are naturally tempted to surrender mobility and quit the field at this stage, but this is incorrect. Other units may have greater land speed than mechs can ever aspire to; and many mechs are slow indeed! But a mech can cross and conquer more types of limiting terrain than any other combat vehicle; they can jump; they can operate underwater with almost no preparation and even fight in space.

You can have all the firepower in the world; all the protection you could ask for: it will avail you nothing if you cannot reach the battlefield; cross the intervening terrain and fight there. It is this capability which mechs own over all other combatants. it is this which makes them, still; the Kings of the Battlefield.

It bears noting as well for advocates of the Warship and the Fusion bomb as final arbiters of conflict that neither weapon can actually take and hold any piece of group; they can only destroy. A mech, due to it's one-man nature may be much less good at holding ground than an infantry platoon, but it's wide sensing capability lends the mechwarrior an awareness that a tank cannot match and only a well-quipped infantryman surpass. So for all it's destructive capacity a mech can save and seize as well as kill and lay waste.

But there is yet one more factor which bears consideration and that is morale. It is unclear now who first truly said it, but an ancient Terran warlord once spoke that; "The Moral is to the Physical as 10 is to 1". We know now, this to be a slight exaggeration (most modern experts reduce the ratio to something more like 3 or 4 to 1), but the principle holds true today, nonetheless; what is in a soldier's heart matters a great deal.

Since their inception; armoured vehicles terrified the soldiers they were turned against and heartened those they fought beside. Mechs have the same effect, only moreso; inspiring terror and elation alike in those who face them and fight beside them. Studies show that even Tank and Battle Armour troops are not immune to either effect.

Even veteran Clan Elementals (Recognized as the human race' experts in infantry antimech combat), when hooked up to tattletales while undergoing virtual reality training registered neurochemical and brainwave activity related to fear response when facing mechs; especially mechs tailored to fight Elementals. When receiving support from friendly mechs; they were more encouraged and confident than when receiving any other form of support, up to direct orbital bombardment.

So this morale factor too, Mechs have on their side.

Those today who would dismiss mechswarriors or reduce the role they have to play in modern warfare for reasons of a jingoistic pop-culture bias are fools. The Mech remains the King of the Battlefield, even if the reasons are less romantic than we might choose to believe.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 15 April 2016, 00:33:28
As always, absolutely superb :)  Really good write up as always with a great application of common sense and logic!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Vition2 on 15 April 2016, 01:30:12
I'll second marauder's comment.

And for units, I prefer them listed by faction... if I'm going to play a fluffy faction in whatever setting I'm playing, I like having them separated by faction (yes, that means I prefer how they did the series of 3145 TROs when compared to most others).
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 15 April 2016, 06:21:38
As always, absolutely superb :)  Really good write up as always with a great application of common sense and logic!
I'll second marauder's comment.

And for units, I prefer them listed by faction... if I'm going to play a fluffy faction in whatever setting I'm playing, I like having them separated by faction (yes, that means I prefer how they did the series of 3145 TROs when compared to most others).

Thanks guys!

As for the production report; it's not a tro, that's coming later and in that I prefer the unit-first layout. So it's far from crazy to do it the other way around. So that is what we'll go with.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 19 April 2016, 20:56:05
Omnimechs: Operational and Logistical Limitations.

When the Clans burst upon the scene in 3050 with their Omnimechs, they seemed poised to revolutionize warfare as we knew it and the inner sphere rushed to duplicate modular technology.
But fifty years later; we see fewer and fewer omnimechs in frontline Clan service and those made in the inner sphere are more showpieces or curiosities than anything else; they have totally failed to supplant standard designs as the Clan Omnis did for their Toumans.

Why is this?

Part of the Answer lies in individual Omnimechs designs; while an Omni is, in a lot of ways, basically a bucket of a given size you dump Omnipods in, a great number of Omni-configurations are poorly designed. Even basically impressive examples like the BlackHawk-Prime have fallen into disuse due to bad performance on the battlefields of the Inner Sphere.

Many Omni-Configs were designed for the ritualized warfare the Clans prefer and were simply unsuited for more fluid warfare.

But on the other hand; the Clan Logistics system was designed from the ground-up to support omnimechs and so could do it well; especially in the opening years of the invasion. Since then many Clans have fallen on hard times and fallen back on cheaper designs and older stockpiles. Some have lost much of their Omniproduction capacity altogether and most have seen the logistical system to support Omnimechs wither with long supply lines.
Inner Sphere Armies have never had this system before and suffer for it when deploying Omnimechs.
To understand this, we much look at what an omnimech and it’s pods are.

Essentially; an Omnimech is, at heart; a Mech Torso frame, with an advanced gyro and pod hardpoints, with some fixed or rather; “Common” equipment. This allows various pods to be switched out at will and managed through the gyro system. It is the flexibility of the OmniGyro which allows Battle Armour to ridealong on Omnimechs so easily; where they can unbalance standard mechs. It is a shortfall of this equipment which mandates the removal of hand and lower arm actuators when fitting PPCs and Autocannon to arm mounts; there simply isn’t a way to fit enough data ports and cables while maintaining the requisite fidelity to managed these weapons outside the torso alongside balancing the lower arm actuators and hands.

Laymen think of an Omnipod as a single piece of modular equipment like a laser or a heatsink.

This is not the case; if it were, the Clan logistical system would be impossible as different armour panels as well would be needed for every configuration, as well as individually modular equipment. The Mercury and other “Semi-Omni” Designs are built this way; you may swap equipment in or out, but the armour must then be tailored to fit over it.

Omnipods are whole mech components; arms and torsos usually, but leg sections appear as well. These are designed, modified and built en masse alongside the core, “Mech” part of the Omnimech and may be very quickly swapped out to provide different (or not so different, in the case of the Naga) capabilities.

In 3050; a Clan unit of any given size, would maintain several spare sets of pods for every Omnimech in the unit, usually that warrior’s chosen preferences and also be able to draw from an Omnipod Cache found at higher levels. This provided a relatively quick turn around for a diverse set of capabilities.

(But not as diverse as it could have been, which is why it is disappointing in retrospect to look back at Spheroid Omnis and see the same shortfalls in concept and execution. Rarely do you find an Omni with dedicated “generalist”, short, long, fire support, all-energy and anti-infantry configurations, as much as you find three varieties of generalist and a few specialists. Again a reflection of the individual expression of Clan Warriors and their culture, which spheroid manufacturers were only too happy to emulate.)

The Inner sphere never had such a capability and developing it would have been a fatal misallocation of resources in the face of other threats. But to really take advantage of Omnitechnology; you needed at least 2-3 configurations (even duplicates) on hand and a Omnipod cache at higher levels; otherwise, you may as well have had more standard mechs.

Lacking this; Inner Sphere militaries have found themselves in a similar situation to the clans; the Omnimech as an expensive, if individually preferred war machine, drawing off resources that might better be spent on larger numbers of less-expensive units.

On operations; an Omnimech didn’t perform any better than a standard mech design, unless it’s configuration was particularly enlightened and the only governor to that was a better designed standard battlemech. At heart; the omnimech is a lateral development and neither a qualitative or quantitative improvement over and above previously established Clan Tech.

Logistically; supporting Omnimechs in such a way as to benefit from their full potentials requires a massive commitment in terms of logistical support and forward depot management over and above that already in place.
In a form of the problem writ large as possible; the Dire Wolf boasts 50.5 tons of pod space. To haul such a machine around takes up every bit of space in a mech bay.  Each individual configuration (of which there are currently eight), besides the one the mech is in currently, take up another 50.5 tons of cargo space, including a basic load of ammunition (often lacking in Clan machines). If one assumes that the warrior is unfortunate and limited to picking only two alternate configurations, with another 3 available, potentially at a higher organizational level, then this is still 101 tons of cargo space for just this mech, over and above any spare parts, ammunition and other supplies which all mechs need.

One sometimes-touted strength of Omnis is their rapid ease of repair; just swap out the damaged pod. This is a definite point in favour and it was noted after the invasion, that even with as many as five or more Omni-configs available, some Clan mechwarriors preferred a very small number of alternates, with the rest held as duplicates of their favoured configuration. But it must be noted that damaged Omnipods could easily swamp Clan tech crews after a few days of battle.

Going forward, few powers have the capability to truly utilize Omnitech fully; among these are the republic and some select Clans. For the rest, the trends go mainly two ways; increasingly high-tech omnis, stunning in their expense, but showing a willingness in the designers to go to radical lengths to provide a truly superior fighting machine and standard versions of Omni designs.

While Omnitech is here to stay, it looks likely to stay a showpiece item for the time being. The exception is the 3rd League; the 3rd League’s SLDF is actually invested in down-grading their Omnis to standard designs: removing the expensive gyros and fixing the configurations in set roles. In complete opposition to other trends; Omnivehicles have found a niche in the SLDF with the post-jihad Omni-versions of the Anaconda gunship being extremely prominent and other omni-support vehicles, like the Zapadka Light Truck and Sicily heavy support vehicles, between them epitomizing all forms of Omni-logistic support. Anaconda Squadrons boast extensive by-airframe Omnipod selections, as well as unit pod-caches; Zapadkas are usually configured leaving the factory and will only be reconfigured at the depot and the Sicily managed wholly from a high-level Omnipod Cache.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: DOC_Agren on 20 April 2016, 12:06:16
Have you posted the designs for:
Anaconda gunship
Zapadka Light Truck
Sicily heavy support vehicle
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 20 April 2016, 16:45:55
Have you posted the designs for:
Anaconda gunship
Zapadka Light Truck
Sicily heavy support vehicle

Not yet no, but unlike my advanced warship designs; these currently do exist!!!

The Anaconda is tied up in the timeline a bit and also has about...20 configurations or so... the Zapadka and Sicily both may get more configurations in the future, but I have an HMV file for the Sicily and a spreadsheet for the Zapadka.

If you guys are interested in that; I could post the Zap (which is everywhere in the SLDF and the Sicily, which is a Div-asset).
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 21 April 2016, 01:49:08
I'd love to see them for one.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 21 April 2016, 11:46:24
Lessons Learned: Light Mechs; an Operational Retrospective

The FedCom Civil War saw massive and disproportionate losses along light mechs, even those like the Wolfhound which were thought of as exceptionally well designed. As a result, in the lead up to the Jihad; Light Mech procurement in all successor states was at an all-time low. Wherever possible, major powers sought to replace light mechs with fast mediums, which were thought to offer more meaningful tactical capabilities and enhanced survivability. Only those nations, such as the Taurian Concordant and Outworlds Alliance; which could not afford to be so choosy, bucked this trend.

The Jihad forced all combatant nations to accelerate production at all factories at their disposal, if for no other purpose than to get the maximum output from them before those factories were lost to the Word of Blake. The result was a resurgence of Light Mechs on all sides of the Jihad and losses were again heavy, but following the war there was no disproportionate cutback in procurement as there had been following the FedCom Civil War.

This was for two main reasons; first of all light mechs were cheaper to build and thus attractive to make up losses in heavier machines and the 3090s saw light mechs turning the tide of the late 3060s and replacing mediums. Though the powers that be assured their dispossessed and down-graded pilots that they were getting newer, more advanced and thus more effective machines, all they really got were mechs which were cheaper to acquire and maintain (for the most part; exceptions did appear). The second reason was that under the republic’s demilitarization schemes; lighter forces were seen as a compromise between rebuilding the armies of the past and Stone/Lear’s preference of “No Armies”.

Looking back, we can see that there are basically two types of light mechs; those with the speed to decide an engagement; to accept or refuse it, and those without.

It is simple enough to understand that when faced with an up-front engagement between and a lighter mech and heavier one; the heavier one will usually triumph. The exceptions invariably involve unusual luck, skill or maneuverability.

While the FedCom civil war basically disproved the theory of speed=protection, maneuverability remains an important factor keeping light mechs alive. In larger numbers, even relatively slow machines like the Valkyrie can vex much heavier opponents. The fact remains that light mechs simply cannot mount either decisive firepower or sufficient armour to stand toe to toe with larger mechs. The chilling losses of Hollanders over the past 45 years and the rise in popularity of the heavier Hollander II have proven this.

This has led many to question the value of such pocket battlemechs as the Urbanmech and others on the modern battlefield.

One oft-overlooked aspect to this argument is that when facing mechs of similar weightclass, such mechs are actually very effective; it is only when over-matched or forced into direct confrontations, unable to use their token mobility that machines such as the Panther and others begin to suffer badly.

Reconnaissance roles remain the near exclusive provenance of light mechs and more expensive fast mediums. Counter-recon missions too are typically light mech roles. Exceptions like the RAF’s Ghost have proven costly white elephants; lacking the mobility to either provide worthwhile reconnaissance or to project a useful cavalry screen, while also lacking the firepower to stand up to mechs in their own weight class.

What is known of the SLDF’s task-organization model is instructive. Lighter mechs are brigaded together by performance and special capability into select units; light-fighters, infantry and armour support, reconnaissance and Cavalry screening roles. These are supported as much as possible by support assets such as airmobile infantry and massive artillery assets, which the SLDF considers equivalent to other forms of force on the battlefield. They are rarely massed together in such concentration as to make a target of their weaknesses, nor are they employed out-of-type except in the direst circumstances.

This is a contrast to the current deployment and organizational models in the Successor states and even the RAF, which deploy light-mechs either en masse in larger, light formations, such as the Davion Light Guards and DCMS Ghost Regiments or willy-nilly; weakening heavier formations and slowing down lighter units with an odd heavy mech.

Intuitionally, outside the SLDF, the “Pocket Battlemech” is a disfavoured weapon in the modern arsenal and most militaries prefer mediums. Even the recent Panther upgrade (not helped by a failed makeover) has not kept that venerable light mech from falling out of favour with the Warlords of the DCMS. Likewise, there is little enough money to be spent on the large engines and fragile frames of the best recon platforms and the caricature of this Class; the Diamond Shark’s Dasher II has failed to find many buyers outside the RAF and busy mercenaries.

It is interesting to think that what was for hundreds of years, “Fast Enough”, in the 64-96kph plus jump bug-mechs is now considered too slow to live and too fast to afford alongside decent weapons and armour. Even a vintage Jenner, loping along at 119kph is considered borderline for a reconnaissance mech.

Opinions are divided over the value of advanced electronics in the reconnaissance role. While there is less debate over the value of active and passive anti-detection measures, there is much less harmony over whether to have the added expense of an active probe on an already expensive platform, or have a cheaper mech with a pilot who can and will lay eyes on the target him or herself.

As we approach the 32nd century, the armies of the Inner Sphere and periphery nations possess massive numbers of light mechs, which they hold in little esteem. This has done little good for their pilots and most dream of capturing and being allowed to keep a heavier machine as soon as possible.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 22 April 2016, 11:00:12
Once again, superb stuff, excellent use of logistics and the real challenges that folks would face.  And a great breakdown of the light mech and their uses. 
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 24 April 2016, 07:15:04
Once again, superb stuff, excellent use of logistics and the real challenges that folks would face.  And a great breakdown of the light mech and their uses.

Thanks Marauder!

I could have presented the weightclass articles together, but I broke them up by class for easier reading.

Medium Mechs; Rise and Relegation

Traditionally Medium Mechs were the most common type in service and found in all roles from Assault through Fire Support to Reconnaissance, in all places; from the most prestigious house units to the most desperate of pirate bands.

But they were only stand-ins in an era when nothing better was to be had. A hunchback would do for your assault lance in a pinch; but what you really wanted was at least a Warhammer, if not a Battlemaster. As was often the case in those desperate days of the late 30th and early 31st centuries; what you had was all there was going to be until you got lucky or it got worse. Usually; things got worse.

That started to change in the 3040s as technology recovered from the Helm Memory Core began to be applied in greater numbers. A lot of this tech benefited lighter machines especially because it freed up more mass for better weapons, protection, mobility and heat dissipation (though in practice efficient heat management suites were thin on the ground until the mid 3050s).

This allowed medium mechs to compete more convincingly with light and heavy mechs, at the cost of additional resources required for procurement and production. But this was a period in which most major militaries did not lack for funding with the boom that followed the war of 39 in full swing prior to the Clan invasion.

The problem with a lot of this recovered LosTech was applying it in a manner which was efficient and effective; it took a long time for Inner Sphere scientists to re-learn how to use these technologies and many refit kits and upgraded designs were very poorly thought out in the early days. Medium Mechs were as badly hit by this as any other class of war machine, but seemed to weather it better in practice.

To this point the Medium was the thinking pilot’s mech; survivable enough to bring you home alive, with just a little luck; mobile enough to keep up with any battle, if not to quite be able to refuse battle at a whim and well-armed enough that it was impossible to ignore.

As better designed heavy mechs became available in the mid-3050s; faster and more efficient designs; medium mechs began to fall out of favour. First as a second, more affordable choice beside a new heavy and then increasingly less well-liked by pilots.

Now Medium mechs began to fall into a pit between the faster, cheaper light mechs and the more powerful, better protected and almost-as-fast heavies. This was the state of things going into the 3060s, but that decade saw massive losses in light mechs as the operable theory of speed=protection was dashed and slower “pocket battlemechs” were devastated by the more popular and all-too readily available fast heavies.

Following the FedCom Civil War; Medium Mech Procurement of all models got a severe, if brief boost as the various powers sought to use them to replace their light mech losses.

Manufacturers generally failed to capitalize on this and the Mediums of the late 3060 were very similar in composition to those which had come before. In retrospect, had a greater degree of specialist designs been made available, this trend might have continued. As it was the Jihad saw the Combatant Nations adopt a policy of purchasing whatever materiel could be brought to hand quickly. Medium mechs of all vintages were scooped up in droves by all parties, but the conflict often saw them pressed into roles in which they were not suited, or at a distinct disadvantage.

The losses in mediums mechs were slightly higher than the demographic composition of the forces involved would suggest, and as the war went on, they fell increasingly out of favour as pilots came to once more prefer fast heavy mechs overall. Such a machine, while slower than a medium mech in general and less flexible was simply more likely to bring the pilot home alive and in the often attritional and low-support-status warfare of the Jihad, that additional few tons of armour came to matter a lot.

Following the Jihad and to the present day, medium mechs may be divided into two classes; high-ticket specialists designed to replace light and heavy mechs in select roles and general combatants intended to price the very expensive fast heavies out of the market.

The last century of war, however has done what the previous ones have all failed to do; change the force composition balance in the Inner sphere. Where in previous years, Medium Mechs made up up to 40% of all mech forces, now it is less than 20%, with much of the difference taken up by light mechs and some heavies. While House Steiner remains Assault-Heavy; others like the DCMS have shifted to heavier mechs overall, while even the Capellans are fielding fewer medium mechs these days. In the Andurian Pact nations, however, the Medium is making a comeback and has replaced some aged heavy mech veterans of the Jihad and previous wars.

In the periphery, things remain much the same; whatever can be produced will be taken into national service or sold on the open market. For the Clans; the Jade Falcons have reinforced their heavy-mech bias, while the Horses struggle with a production program strangled by special projects. Clan Wolf retains a preference for Medium Mechs in a vacuum of anything else, following the loss of access to many heavier machines. The Ghost Bear Dominion seems to have adopted the Local Rasalhaugian preference for a Light-Assault mix.

As a new century dawns; the Medium Mechs has been dethroned in numbers and favour among mech warriors. If war comes again, simple ease of manufacture may seem them become pre-eminent once more, but could as easily exacerbate the situation for Medium Mech manufacturers and many are looking at ways of upgrading their lines to produce heavier machines or upping the tonnage of their designs, as the SLDF proved able to do during the Jihad.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 24 April 2016, 08:26:19
Re the Omni-mech supply issue the way i've viewed it is this.  The pilot has a few preferred configs that he or she has trained mostly on and they take those along with them.  When dropping onto a world the Clans will probably have a good idea of what they are facing and i'd say that the Batchal is more a formality rather than a genuine way of gathering info. Especially in the later eras.

So lets say that Mechwarrior Bob has a Direwolf and likes the Prime as well as D and...H configs, he has the Tech's load up the parts for that.  If put into a situation where those configs don't really word then oh well, have to go along with it, you could not have a dropship carrying the spare parts for EVERY config of every omni onboard as that would be thousands upon thousands of tonnes. 

Omni's are flexible but a pilot would not use all the configs or possibly even train on them most of the time.  But if they were dropping on say...err..Tharkad, then sure its a case of "Okay guys, built up city fighting time. You're going to be training on configs X Y and Z because they will be most useful for the terrain we are fighting in, we drop in 2 months and you had better be ready!"  or words to that effect.  In essence they cross train. 

I liked the article on Mediums, again its very logical. With tech going up, you're seeing more and more fast heavies which can either run down or at least keep pace with a Medium (the Kuma for example is darn fast for its size and the Kuma 3 is all kinds of silly fast.) whilst you have slower 'troopers' like the Rook or Ursus who are more a cheap and cheerful unit built with an eye towards being used in defence and basically are expendable really.  They are garrison Mech's.

You've also got the speedsters like the Fenris or Beowulf IIC and the like which are more a super-heavy scout/recon machine or a harasser and light hunter. 

The generalist troopers of the 55 tonne bracket are...well in trouble really, save for some exceptional machines like the Stormcrow (Or the evil that is the Skinwalker) they are facing ever faster heavier machines that out gun them. 

So it could well be a case of them splitting into two main types. The super-heavy scouts/EW support unit (and a HK role as well) and then some cheap, cheerful units for simple garrison use.  I don't think the Clans would kill off the Stormcrow though, its just too potent a machine.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 25 April 2016, 14:58:06
Re the Omni-mech supply issue the way i've viewed it is this.  The pilot has a few preferred configs that he or she has trained mostly on and they take those along with them.  When dropping onto a world the Clans will probably have a good idea of what they are facing and i'd say that the Batchal is more a formality rather than a genuine way of gathering info. Especially in the later eras.

So lets say that Mechwarrior Bob has a Direwolf and likes the Prime as well as D and...H configs, he has the Tech's load up the parts for that.  If put into a situation where those configs don't really word then oh well, have to go along with it, you could not have a dropship carrying the spare parts for EVERY config of every omni onboard as that would be thousands upon thousands of tonnes. 

Omni's are flexible but a pilot would not use all the configs or possibly even train on them most of the time.  But if they were dropping on say...err..Tharkad, then sure its a case of "Okay guys, built up city fighting time. You're going to be training on configs X Y and Z because they will be most useful for the terrain we are fighting in, we drop in 2 months and you had better be ready!"  or words to that effect.  In essence they cross train. 

I liked the article on Mediums, again its very logical. With tech going up, you're seeing more and more fast heavies which can either run down or at least keep pace with a Medium (the Kuma for example is darn fast for its size and the Kuma 3 is all kinds of silly fast.) whilst you have slower 'troopers' like the Rook or Ursus who are more a cheap and cheerful unit built with an eye towards being used in defence and basically are expendable really.  They are garrison Mech's.

You've also got the speedsters like the Fenris or Beowulf IIC and the like which are more a super-heavy scout/recon machine or a harasser and light hunter. 

The generalist troopers of the 55 tonne bracket are...well in trouble really, save for some exceptional machines like the Stormcrow (Or the evil that is the Skinwalker) they are facing ever faster heavier machines that out gun them. 

So it could well be a case of them splitting into two main types. The super-heavy scouts/EW support unit (and a HK role as well) and then some cheap, cheerful units for simple garrison use.  I don't think the Clans would kill off the Stormcrow though, its just too potent a machine.

We're on the same wavelength once again Marauder648 and your narrative works better for a more literal interpretation of the clans and how their culture drives their warfare.

But also bear in mind that we hardly ever hear of the support side of the Clan Toumans. I think *one* book mentions jade falcon hover trucks. For picturing the Clans as a serious military and less a collection of duelists, you really do need that Cluster/Galaxy-level Omnipod cache though for flexibility; those odd configs that either higher needs to have around, or that just only come in useful here and there or once in a while, but maybe not everyone likes. Like the Uller C for instance.

To be able to keep Configs "X, Y and Z" available, as you alluded to requires some kind of mobile cache like this and yes; it's a crippling investment in logistics to do that. But it doesn't have to be every config for every Omni in the unit. More like an extra configuration or two for every omni on a sheer numbers basis.

it *is* cumbersome, but if you want that capability to tailor reliably for different missions, you need to pay for it somewhere.

Sidebar; does anyone else regret that there is no standard system of Omniconfigurations? Prime=generalist, A=support, B=Assault, C=Special purpose, ect? Be pretty cool if it followed like that and we're kinda seeing that now with some of the Z-Configurations being space-dedicated.

I agree; troopers are in trouble in Der Tag. The SLDF has responded to this by upping the tonnage on their Griffons and Shadowhawks, but their Wolverines are some of the biggest mechs the Light Assault (To Be renamed) units get; so they need to stay light to avoid spending too much tonnage on engines to stay mobile.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 25 April 2016, 15:03:03
I think the only one that's ever stayed fairly standard is the Hotel variant amongst the Clans which is the Heavy Laser carrier, i'll have a look through my TRO's in a bit and see if any anti-infantry ones come up again and again under the same Alphabetical designator which may indicate that its planned that way.  Off the top of my head the Bravo is like the Missile fire supporty one.

*goes to read TRO3050 and friends*
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 25 April 2016, 18:29:45
I think the only one that's ever stayed fairly standard is the Hotel variant amongst the Clans which is the Heavy Laser carrier, i'll have a look through my TRO's in a bit and see if any anti-infantry ones come up again and again under the same Alphabetical designator which may indicate that its planned that way.  Off the top of my head the Bravo is like the Missile fire supporty one.

*goes to read TRO3050 and friends*

No, you are right. Also the S-anti infantry and urban warfare versions. Before that Anti-infantry work was hard on the Clans as fluffed in the book the S'-Configs came in, because they only had a few like the Uller C and Koshi...D? The one with like 2 MGs and a flamer for weapons.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 26 April 2016, 03:30:32
No, you are right. Also the S-anti infantry and urban warfare versions. Before that Anti-infantry work was hard on the Clans as fluffed in the book the S'-Configs came in, because they only had a few like the Uller C and Koshi...D? The one with like 2 MGs and a flamer for weapons.

Yar I was looking at my original TRO3050 (poor old girls missing a few pages now, age is setting in) last night and whilst there was a BIT of correlation in the higher weight classes it wasn't anything like uniform, a Bravo on one mech might be a LRM or ER large laser/UAC-5 fire support boat and then you go up 5 tonnes and "Oh..thats an Ultra AC-20..."  And its like that in later eras, there's just no consistencey between variants save the H which is the Heavy laser carrier.

It would be nice if like this

A - Direct long range fire support (ER Lasers etc)
B - LRMs.
C - Mid-range fighter (UAC-10's and friends)
D - Brawler (UAC-20 and the like)
E - Mix bag

etc etc but that would require the Clans to be more logical :p

And yeah the Clans very rarely seemed to put any attention to logistics other than "Put the stuff on the dropship." as it was done purely by labour caste menials and was seen as utterly below the warriors for them to even care about.  They had completely lost sight of what war was due to them being totally fixated on the duel, to the point that a clash outside a few hours (or at worst a day or so) was seemingly utterly alien to them. 

Its REALLY hard to have someone with a worse grasp of logistics than the Germans in 1941...but the Clan logistics looks at that and goes "Bloody hell they were well organised and knew a thing about this Logistics stuff!"  I'd say that the Clans god aweful grasp (such as it was) of logistics and a year long supply train was the biggest factor behind the failure of REVIVAL outside of Tukkayid, and even there on that battle the Clans logistics tail collapsed completely.

Sure in the modern era that seems to be less of a problem, but its still a noticable thing, in TRO's the Dominion has issues with its logistics tail due to their love of ballistic weapons and this is mentioned in several bits of great pilots fluff.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 26 April 2016, 08:06:56
Yar I was looking at my original TRO3050 (poor old girls missing a few pages now, age is setting in) last night and whilst there was a BIT of correlation in the higher weight classes it wasn't anything like uniform, a Bravo on one mech might be a LRM or ER large laser/UAC-5 fire support boat and then you go up 5 tonnes and "Oh..thats an Ultra AC-20..."  And its like that in later eras, there's just no consistencey between variants save the H which is the Heavy laser carrier.

It would be nice if like this

A - Direct long range fire support (ER Lasers etc)
B - LRMs.
C - Mid-range fighter (UAC-10's and friends)
D - Brawler (UAC-20 and the like)
E - Mix bag

etc etc but that would require the Clans to be more logical :p

And yeah the Clans very rarely seemed to put any attention to logistics other than "Put the stuff on the dropship." as it was done purely by labour caste menials and was seen as utterly below the warriors for them to even care about.  They had completely lost sight of what war was due to them being totally fixated on the duel, to the point that a clash outside a few hours (or at worst a day or so) was seemingly utterly alien to them. 

Its REALLY hard to have someone with a worse grasp of logistics than the Germans in 1941...but the Clan logistics looks at that and goes "Bloody hell they were well organised and knew a thing about this Logistics stuff!"  I'd say that the Clans god aweful grasp (such as it was) of logistics and a year long supply train was the biggest factor behind the failure of REVIVAL outside of Tukkayid, and even there on that battle the Clans logistics tail collapsed completely.

Sure in the modern era that seems to be less of a problem, but its still a noticable thing, in TRO's the Dominion has issues with its logistics tail due to their love of ballistic weapons and this is mentioned in several bits of great pilots fluff.

Yes and instead we get three varieties of generalist, an insane duelist and a random specialist.

I can't really say things are definably much better in Der Tag.

Omnis are still around for sure, but not much changed from what we get in canon, so it's debatable if anyone is really making the most out of the technology operationally and logistically supporting it adequately.

By Dec 31 3099, the Clans have done a lot of growing up; the big heads in whats left of the Grand Council in the homeworlds want to take this destiny thing seriously and are willing to do what it takes to make an invasion work or be prepared to withstand an Inner Sphere-based pogrom. But they aren't there yet. Over the next 10 years though, you could start to see quasi-military Support Clusters added to galaxies and run by labourcastemen and support Supernova Stars added to most clusters in the homeworlds.

How the Ravens will react to this is uncertain, but the Ghostbears are going to learn from their Rasalhaugian countrymen. The Wolves and Jade Falcons are busy trying to be more Clan than Clan, but the Horses would probably be ahead of everyone on this one. The Nova Cats are a toss-up and if anyone was going to have the Log side of things sorted on the Clan side, it would be the Diamond Sharks, you would think. The Blood Spirits actually have some advantage in being nearly Tabula Rasa for certain values of what makes up a Touman.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 26 April 2016, 09:20:25
Hrmm....

How about a PSC - Provisional Support Cluster.

This would be perhaps for something like the Bears or other clans who have integrated with the IS populations under their control (Horses too).  Its an in essence military unit, the Clan's attempt at copying both the concept of Logistics and engineering (recovery, bridge building, mine clearance etc) into one unified hole and actually have something resembling a Logistics command beyond 'load it on the dropship.'

The PSC would be a military formation but NOT test downs and Solhama's who would hate it  (but maybe have them led by test downs who then undergo training in logistics etc) but recruits mainly from their civilian populations.  But the emphasis is that they are not expendable but are now an important and valued part of the Clan's mighty warmachine, feeding the Mech's with the ammunition they need to destroy the foe! Or some such heroic sounding stuff that gets plastered on a recruiting poster.

The men (and women) of a PSC are trained as infantry and then undergo their training in battlefield deployments, rapid reload, clearing minefields (probably with a dedicated engineering vehicle) and bridge building.  Basically a mix of the Royal Engineers and RLC (from an ex British soldiers PoV :p).  They could also have elements attached to them from the folks who repair Mechs and then they can also set up field repair stations or be trained in Mech salvage.

Whilst it could be seen as contentious it would only be so with the more old school warriors who would be worried about 'arming civilians', the younger and more current generation of warriors in the more liberal Clans could well be trained to see this as not a bad thing.

Sure this would not float in the WE ARE SO CLAN EVEN OUR CLAN IS CLAN...err...Clans but whilst they might be hard headed, they are not that dumb..well..hopefully.  And would probably put worker castes into the role but not train them to be soldiers first and have a more 'they are expendable' outlook on them.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 26 April 2016, 19:20:57
That's probably a pretty realistic take on it, anything else and you're using Clan Conv. Inf or Solhama (who would, you got it: Hate their lives there).

I am trying to have the Clans be more human and less cartoon-villian by having the guys who went all the way through the Purity wars be the ones who are like; "We're the True Clans, but we need to evolve to fulfill our destiny" and the ones who got punted going to crazy town over it.

An alternate take on Clan Society though is that it's an army with a country attached; they are all military in that kind of weird Military Socialism that they have where everything goes to the Warriors. if you take that to it;s ultimate conclusion it extends to drafts and general levies of the lowest castes at need, with veterans allowed to test-up, if they live. So I find it easy to see some Clans looking at their people as raw materials in that way as well.

Again though, with few exceptions; this is in the future. They are working on it, but not nearly there yet.

it sure puts Tukayyid in some interesting light though, doesn't it?
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 08 May 2016, 10:47:50
Heavy Mechs; The New Hotness.

If one single factor was most affected by the recovery of Lostech, it was mobility. Even without an XL engine, various technologies; chiefly double heat sinks and Endosteel conspired to permit higher mobility to mechs of all classes.

Nowhere was this effect most upsetting to the status quo than in Heavy Mechs and all other classes had to adapt tactically and technically to cope. Commanders found new tactics open to them as effective fast heavies became generally available.

Previous to this; to field a heavy mech able to reach more than 80kph required terrible sacrifices in armour, firepower and heat dissipation. Even then, it was only generally possible to achieve this with a “Courtesy Heavy” in the 60 ton class such as the Dragon or Ostsol. Just as a 40ton mech was really a medium by courtesy only, 60 ton mechs were literally not in the same weight class as larger mechs and more at home among the trooper mediums and the likes of the Centurion and Hunchback.

Mobility was tellingly above standard for a heavy of the 3rd Succession War, but everything else suffered from the ransom in weight the larger engines required.

Suddenly, during the late 3030s and early 3040s; you could have a Grand Dragon than could do almost 100kph. That was a serious tactical and operational consideration for FedCom troops. If you stuck around the 78-87kph mark, you could make a more dangerous, more efficient version of the classic fast heavies. And you could make mechs of 65, 70, even 75 tons move as quickly.

Before this; high mobility over 60 tons meant adding jump jets and this was still at a telling cost in tonnage, which could severely impact other sides of the performance pyramid. For example; both the Grasshopper at 70 tons and even the assault-Class Victor at 80, sacrificed effective firepower for the mobility shortcut and tactical flexibility of jump jets.

A lot of this was still theory by 3049.

Oh, there were better fast heavies, but it bears remembering just how poorly many of these early upgrades and field refits were. Efficient use of lostech wouldn’t be seen en masse until the middle of the next decade. Even vintage Star League Equipment, restored from mothballs, in DCMS service or the ComGuards, rarely displayed an impressible understanding of the technological wonders on hand in 2750. Inner Sphere scientists were not less capable, merely they were reliving the learning experiences of their Star League forbearers. It is worth remembering that many of the “Idealized” designs fielded in the late 3050s were actually realizations of rare, limited production and prototype SLDF equipment. Certainly, by the end of the 40s, our military industries still had a lot to learn.

Clan mechs, when they burst on the scene brought one thing unquestionably to the battlefields of the inner sphere; a new standard of mobility. While some lighter Clan machines were nothing to write home about in terms of raw speed and oddly jump jets didn’t seem to appeal to flashing, individualistic Clan warriors, the fast heavy was the weapon of choice for all the Clans.

These effects combined to totally change thinking on mobility, such that by the end of the Jihad, the status quo; the basic standard of battlefield mobility had shifted. The change didn’t stop at Heavy Mechs, either; mediums had to be faster as well to maintain their tactical place in many armies and assault mechs were, by the mid-3080s, in serious danger of being left behind as operational liabilities for their lack of raw movement potential.

There have been for many decades various technologies besides jumpjets which could enhance mobility, without resorting to larger and heavier and bulkier Lite and XL engines. These could provide a short-term, if risky option for a tactical speed boost, but they could not make larger mechs more mobile operationally. Jump jets could, but only in terrain littered with obstacles, as mechs so equipped simply bounded over them. But in flatter terrain, Jumpjets were a liability again, especially the new Improved Jumpjets; they stole weight and space away from additional weapons, armour and heatsinks.

As mentioned; MASC and TSM, even superchargers could all help make a mech faster in the short-term, but sooner or later the cost came due in the form of a breakdown in battle, over-heating or a terrible maintenance requirement.

Where once the most swashbuckling of mech pilots dreamed of the balanced freedom of medium mechs; today, it is the fast heavy which is most sought out. The unrivaled title holder of master of the Protection-Mobility-Firepower pyramid is much more expensive, but just as mobile as 45-ton mechs of a century ago and considerably more powerful and survivable.

Where once a heavy mech able to reach the astonishing pace of 86kph was a luxury hobbled in other ways; today heavy mechs unable to keep to at least this standard are considered dangerously slow. Indeed; there is a huge trend toward so-called “Super-Heavies”; more mobile assault weight mechs able to keep up with the fast heavies, whatever the cost.

These designs first debuted in the mid-3050s and are in many ways the old CRG-1A1 made good; mechs like the Grand Titan had the firepower and armour to stand up to fellow modern assault mechs and crush older machines and they could keep up with the majority of heavy mechs then in service; making them ideal rides for company and battalion commanders, though at the prohibitive cost.

By the dawn of the 32nd century, however, all but the smallest Super-Heavies (not to be confused with *superheavy* mechs; mechs weighing more than 100 tons) are considered dangerously slow and almost a burden on the modern battlefield. While the FedCom Civil War disproved the Speed=Life theory, modern commanders know for certain that the most powerful weapons are useless if they are late to the battlefield.

Such is the worth of raw speed in mobile warfare.

***

Lessons Learned: Assault Mech Design and Deployment

It could be reasonably said that before the war of 39, there were very few well-designed assault mechs. This trend continued through the field refits and haphazard upgrades of the early 3050s, with few exceptions. Many assault mechs of the late succession wars threw away valuable space and weight on massive engines, rendering them little more than over-sized heavy mechs; more expensive machines with little to show for the added cost in weapons and armour.

Many, many assault mechs had head management problems; making it impossible for them to fight off swarms of lighter machines as the stereotype of the class demanded. Some lacked comprehensive weapons arrays and suffered from blind spots at close or long range, such as the Goliath and victor.

A revolution in Assault mech design was begun in the days before the 4th succession war when the Lyran’s began refitting their Banshees into the 3S-model. Dropping the massive engine allowed considerably more weapons and if the 3S had heat problems, it was far from alone in those days. The difference was that now a Banshee could stand in the line and do its job beside mechs of its own weight class. That was new.

Today, a war rages in the R&D labs of the major mech production firms. It is a war which has been raging since the mid-3050s. It is fought not with weapons, but with words. And while missiles may fly from time to time; they are drafting pencils and noteputer stylus, not LRMs.

This war is between the two opposing camps of the Super-Heavy and the True Assault Mechs.
To understand this conflict, one must understand the diverse roles mechs play. These are distinct from weight classes, which are simply; light, medium, heavy and assault (and now the Colossal/Superheavy class as well). Some of the most common roles are Recon, Battle, Fire Support and, confusingly; Assault.

If one combines the popular notions and realities of the last hundred years of warfare, with the roles laid down in the mid-3050s, then one sees that the Assault role can encompass mechs from 50-100 tons. This overlaps both the fire support role (35-90) tons and the Battle role (45-80 tons).
The concept of “Roles” for mechs takes us over and above simple realities light weight class and considers movement profiles, weapon and armour loads and endurance. The Fire Support mech may simply sacrifice all else for raw fire power, at range. Higher movement profiles are desirable as well in order to control the engagement as much as possible. The Battle Role is most flexible; an even mix of protection (active and passive), mobility and hitting power, with an emphasis on endurance in the form of good heat dissipation and an ammunition load consummate with armour protection and pilot endurance. The Assault role sacrifices mobility for gains in protection (as far as such gains are possible before hardened armour) and firepower. Heat dissipation and Ammunition are less important, but jump jets are valuable in this concept.

How they are to work in combat is mainly self-explanatory: Fire Support mechs support their fellows by fire; opening gaps in the line to be exploited. Battle Mechs make up this line of battle and provide the primary maneuver and combat element (Sometimes filled with the role of the Cavalry Mech when that role is recognized as separate; there are in fact nearly a dozen individual roles). The Assault role is similar in many ways to the fire support, but rather than support; they *Assault* by fire in the offence and hold positions against assaults and other types in the defence.
The conflict comes in just what capabilities true serve this tactical role the best. The Super-Heavy camp insists that gains are better exploited by more mobile assets; assault mechs moving at from 60-85kph with either heavy weapons or armour or a balanced mix of both. Purely from the perspective of the attack, it is possible they are right; thus the conflict. But a heart, these are truly *super*-heavy mechs; not assaults in the truest sense of the role as they sacrifice greatly in terms of weapons and armour for modest gains in ground speed.

The True Assault camp argues for this against all comers. They feel that advanced technology finally puts battle-wining firepower and survivability in the hands of a single MechWarrior in an assault-weight mech. The counter-argument that this same technology permits Super-Heavies to carry more than enough firepower to complete their mission in the face of all opposition doesn’t quite wash in the face of equally advanced enemies.

Ultimately the Super-Heavies have the “Mobility Mafia” on their side and enjoy the additional acclaim from assault mechs that can *barely* keep up with the heavies in the line.

Another side to the argument is raw weight class. Through the development of the modern Battlemech from its primitive origins, numerous designs below 80 tons have been intended as assault mechs. These include the Hunchback, Griffon and Thunderbolt. While the Griffon could be seen in this light as a prototype, half-scale super-heavy, the Hunchback and Thunderbolt are both designs optimized to firepower and survivability over all else and both have served ably in assault lances over the years.

While the proliferation of heavier mechs has consigned the Hunchback to a supporting role in lighter formations, some still serve as pocket assault mechs for militias. The Thunderbolt, meanwhile has benefitted greatly from advanced technology and not serves effectively among its fellow heavies as a somewhat slow, but more balanced heavy-class Battle-mech. With contracting budgets however, lighter machines are beginning to make a comeback in assault formations, alongside lower-tech, but tougher alternatives to more modern designs. These “Zombie” Mechs can perform assault missions in a pinch, simply thanks to their greater endurance. It is a telling comment on the give and take of new tech that what is considered highly-survivable now was standard just 60 years ago.

Leftout in the technology race is the Courtesy-Assault 80-ton rating. As the 40-ton mech is more a light than a true medium and the 60-tonners are more at home among medium lances; 80-ton mechs fit in better with heavy mechs than they do with larger assaults. The advance in technology has mainly cemented this, with few design firms willing to invest the time and money in the paradox of a light-weight assault mech.

It takes a lot of thinking and tech to make an 80-tonner stand in the same class as a mech ten or twenty tons heavier and still be comparable.

Even 35 years ago; an Awesome was still a fair match for anything up to 100 tons, simply by virtue of its generally efficient and capable design.

Today, designers are more interested in marketing the Awesome as an anchor to a heavy mech unit. To cash-strapped successor states and the RAF, such machines are simply not worth the expense when for a little bit more money, you could have a much more capable machine, much more likely to survive the next big bump you throw at it.

In a Galaxy were Gauss Rifles are commonplace, five more tons just isn’t enough to justify the expense of an 80-toner in the assault role.

The last 35 years, they Jihad-era especially served to enshrine mobility and protection as the focus of mech design. While lighter machines were stacked up in droves by long, grinding campaigns, Heavy and Assault-class mechs soldiered on. This would seem to cement the Super-Heavy as the pinnacle of mech design. Especially with the advent and limited proliferation of XXL engines. But it hasn’t quite done so.

The reality is that when you care enough to send the very best, with the crippling cost of fusion engines, only getting worse with the Stone-Lear initiatives aimed at military production, less mobile mechs are simply that much more affordable.

Then of course, there is the situation in which mobility avails you nothing; the siege; the blocking force; the grinding, close-range assault on a position that must be taken.
Heavy forces of assault mechs and tank can always be deployed rapidly from dropships, as the SLDF demonstrated, during the Jihad; their movement-organized heavy formations were as unstoppable as they were immobile. As Major Danny Winters of the Death Shroud Battalion noted; an object at rest, cannot be stopped. Again and again; the SLDF proved more than willing to make slow, well-protected and well-armed forces the anvil upon which WOB was smashed by their more mobile striker and light assault troops.

Today, with military budgets at an all-time low and major-offensive training and wargames officially frowned-upon by the Republic, few nations practice rapid dropship deployment and close-range combat drops under realistic conditions.

There is no question that today’s assault mechs are generally better designed than those of the past. While exceptions occasionally crop up, this is possibly unavoidable in the drive to provide for different situations on the battlefield, resulting in “Design-by-Committee” mechs. The war over Super-Heavies vs True Assaults continues, with no end in sight. Even as the massive engines Super-Heavies need become harder to come by, the Diamond Sharks and others continue to market XXLs with limited success. Meanwhile; firepower is decidedly out of style in the post-Jihad Inner Sphere, with the watch-word from Tharkad, to Terra, to New Avalon to the disparate capitals of the Andurian Pact being “Collateral Damage”. This threatens to put many aspects of recent wars into official disfavour, including designs placing massive firepower at the control of a single individual.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Shadow_Wraith on 08 May 2016, 11:41:46
 O0  cool!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 08 May 2016, 12:46:22
Excellent stuff that's well thought out and logical as always :)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Davout73 on 08 May 2016, 22:50:27
Not really getting anywhere with MS Paint; can't fix any mistakes I make and it doesn't read the image very well. So back to the drawing board with the map (Suggestions welcome).

Ping me with what your looking for.  Or see my "So You want a map" Thread, link in sig.

Going to be a couple of weeks before I can get to anything, but thats plenty of time to discuss whats needed aswell.

Dav
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 08 May 2016, 22:51:40
Excellent stuff that's well thought out and logical as always :)

Thanks guys!

Got the map done! Used Paint.net

https://www.dropbox.com/s/nzel7qrp9sppdww/Der%20Tag%2031%20Dec%203099.tif?dl=0

If dropbox isn't cool. I can maybe shrink it, but we'll loose resolution, i think.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Davout73 on 08 May 2016, 22:54:04
Got a wall of text?  Asking for a password, login credentials?

Looks like your public link could be off?

Dav

Edit:

Or it could have been a PBKAC error on my end.

Give me a half hour or so....

Dav
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 08 May 2016, 23:14:12
Got a wall of text?  Asking for a password, login credentials?

Looks like your public link could be off?

Dav

Edit:

Or it could have been a PBKAC error on my end.

Give me a half hour or so....

Dav

I am not sure what PBKAC is. Do you have drop box? I could post a link the jpeg on tumblr?

http://kilroyswall.tumblr.com/image/144076758732 (http://kilroyswall.tumblr.com/image/144076758732)

And thanks for offering to help me out. I'm pretty hopeless with technology and it takes a donkey's age for me to get traction on something like this.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Vition2 on 08 May 2016, 23:18:44
Works fine for me, I assume the green going to the northwest area is the SLDF territories?

Looks good.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Davout73 on 08 May 2016, 23:27:03
Problem
Between
Keyboard
And
Chair


:-)

Got it downloaded.   O0

Dav
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 08 May 2016, 23:41:46
Works fine for me, I assume the green going to the northwest area is the SLDF territories?

Looks good.

Yes; the very dark green straddling the Rim Collection. Those are the League Territories, you might say. The areas not under control of one of the member-states.

And you have to hunt for them, but the Diamond Shark Trade worlds are filled-in grey.

Dunno if I should have done that for the ARDC as well...
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Shadow_Wraith on 09 May 2016, 10:01:16
  :) Yay, nice map and updates!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 09 May 2016, 20:46:14
  :) Yay, nice map and updates!

Thanks! I'll do my best to gin up some more soon!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Davout73 on 09 May 2016, 21:35:39
This might help.

Make any edits/notes you want and send it back to me when you have the time, I'll try and get it turned around quickly.  However, this week my free time is limited.

Couple of questions:

1.  The small area of space in between the Ghost Bear Dominion and Combine, who is that?
2.  I took a couple of liberties with a few areas.  If you stay zoomed out, the map looks much nicer.  :-)
3.  It's 33x22.5 at 300 dpi.  If you want bigger/better resolution let me know.
4.  Some of the planet names might be different, that's because my base worlds files is based on 3025 names.  I can change those, eventually.  You should be able to search by name.
5.  I've included the Hanseatic League Worlds.  I also have the worlds that have been abandoned as well, but they are currently not displayed.

Dav
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 10 May 2016, 23:00:05
This might help.

Make any edits/notes you want and send it back to me when you have the time, I'll try and get it turned around quickly.  However, this week my free time is limited.

Couple of questions:

1.  The small area of space in between the Ghost Bear Dominion and Combine, who is that?
2.  I took a couple of liberties with a few areas.  If you stay zoomed out, the map looks much nicer.  :-)
3.  It's 33x22.5 at 300 dpi.  If you want bigger/better resolution let me know.
4.  Some of the planet names might be different, that's because my base worlds files is based on 3025 names.  I can change those, eventually.  You should be able to search by name.
5.  I've included the Hanseatic League Worlds.  I also have the worlds that have been abandoned as well, but they are currently not displayed.

Dav

Um Wow.

Okay, first, did you just effortlessly whip this up? Cause I really struggled with mine and this makes mine look like crap. Amazing.

1. That's the Novacat holdings; after the Jihad, with the Novacats choosing the 3rd League over the Republic, in order to save face the Dragon had to recognize that the Cats had effective control over those worlds in order to not have to immediately go to war with them. With the controversy over ceding worlds to the Republic; a shooting war that close to Luthien, they did not need.

2. for my purposes it looks amazing. I used a 3085 map someone graciously sent me. I wanted to use a HUGE! version that combined all the side maps of the Clan homeworlds and the deep periphery nations, but I couldn't find anything like that. While the canon maps have a primary-colours beauty to them I admire, i think what you did looks amazing.

3. I was able to zoom in fine on this.

4. Yeah, the different names threw me. I figured the Outworlds would eventually get around to renaming such as The Rack, but it's only with support from the League they've gotten around to beginning to colonize them and bring them up to a better standard. Ditto for the former Circinus worlds.

4a. this is searchable!?

5. so you have abandoned worlds on this map, but hidden?

Amazing work! Honestly, i saw your thread and my gut reaction was; this is beyond me.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Davout73 on 11 May 2016, 00:13:15
Um Wow.

Okay, first, did you just effortlessly whip this up? Cause I really struggled with mine and this makes mine look like crap. Amazing.

Well, not effortlessly.  ArcGIS works with layers, so the worlds are 1 layer file,the provinces a layer file, and so on.  I had to edit the regions and provinces, which took some time, but not too much.

Quote
1. That's the Novacat holdings; after the Jihad, with the Novacats choosing the 3rd League over the Republic, in order to save face the Dragon had to recognize that the Cats had effective control over those worlds in order to not have to immediately go to war with them. With the controversy over ceding worlds to the Republic; a shooting war that close to Luthien, they did not need.

Cool, I'll add that in.

Quote
2. for my purposes it looks amazing. I used a 3085 map someone graciously sent me. I wanted to use a HUGE! version that combined all the side maps of the Clan homeworlds and the deep periphery nations, but I couldn't find anything like that. While the canon maps have a primary-colours beauty to them I admire, i think what you did looks amazing.

Thanks.  Check out my map thread and Alt-U thread for some other examples.

Quote
3. I was able to zoom in fine on this.

4. Yeah, the different names threw me. I figured the Outworlds would eventually get around to renaming such as The Rack, but it's only with support from the League they've gotten around to beginning to colonize them and bring them up to a better standard. Ditto for the former Circinus worlds.

I can fix the labels show they show both names.  Thats not to hard to do.  EDIT:  I can't display both names, because I am using a different worlds file.  This could be awhile.

Quote
4a. this is searchable!?

Ctrl-F, type the planet your looking for.  If your zoomed in far enough it will pan over to the world.

Quote
5. so you have abandoned worlds on this map, but hidden?

Yeah, my worlds file is built of the work Kwic, Blacknova and Volt did.  There is a list of planets with names and XY's, their status, and then who they belong to in what era and the like.  I can use SQL statements to filter out results, for example if I only wanted to show worlds in one are, or just regional capitols.  In this instance, I chose not to display abandoned worlds.

Quote
Amazing work! Honestly, i saw your thread and my gut reaction was; this is beyond me.
 

Thanks.  Doing this is paint is a PITA.  Its easier to do in something like Illustrator or Inkscape, and easier still in Arc, which is what I use.

If you want, I can add the 'Canon' Abandoned worlds and display them in a different color, I can also add in display boxes for the Can homeworlds and the like,  I could put them all on one map, but the results wouldn't look good.  EDIT:  See below.   O0

Dav
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Davout73 on 11 May 2016, 03:02:15
Here you go.

Feel free to mark this up with any changes you want and send it back to me.

I know I have to change some planet affiliations, but hopefully this helps you.

Dav
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 11 May 2016, 07:55:42
Here you go.

Feel free to mark this up with any changes you want and send it back to me.

I know I have to change some planet affiliations, but hopefully this helps you.

Dav

This is incredible...I'll have to do some contrast and compare with my map to see whats different for the Der Tag AU, but this is still amazing.

Lots of growth potential all over it looks like!

I will need to track down that thred we had for the fate of worlds (lost/abandoned/dead) and see what might *eventually* be recoverable or able to be recolonized. I'm happy with the number of worlds in the the 3rd League as of 31 Dec 3099 in my AU though, at the moment.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Sharpnel on 11 May 2016, 08:10:14
So id the #rd League dead by 3099 as I don't see them on the map at all.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Vition2 on 11 May 2016, 08:58:20
It has a more defined territory in the first image, which beachhead did.  Quick and dirty, it consists of worlds on both sides of the Rim Territories and the portion between the RT and the Falcons extends towards the Hanseatic League.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Davout73 on 11 May 2016, 09:42:47
Arc has a nice tool called 'Georeferencing".  What I did was save you tiff file, then I can bring it into Arc.  Georeferencing lets me 'click' on the tiff file, and then ‘click’ on the .mxd, which is the Arc file, and the image resets.  The further away your georeferenced points are, the better.  So, in this case I used Victoria in the CC and Apollo in the LC, and your tiff lined up with my worlds file perfectly.  From there I was able to use your tiff to trace out the regions, such as those in the ROTS.

My worlds are set up for a 3025-3050 universe.  I know you’ll want to look at the worlds you created for the 3rd League, and also a lot of the rim planets in the Hegemony, MoC, TC and that.  So, if you see a world that you want to add, just give me a list and we can go from there.

Dav


This is incredible...I'll have to do some contrast and compare with my map to see whats different for the Der Tag AU, but this is still amazing.

Lots of growth potential all over it looks like!

I will need to track down that thred we had for the fate of worlds (lost/abandoned/dead) and see what might *eventually* be recoverable or able to be recolonized. I'm happy with the number of worlds in the the 3rd League as of 31 Dec 3099 in my AU though, at the moment.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 11 May 2016, 18:08:53
So id the #rd League dead by 3099 as I don't see them on the map at all.

No, the 3rd League is just about to get started in 3099.

The reason I call my AU; "Der Tag" or "The Day" (in English) and reference 31 Dec, 3099 so much is that this is the last point of normalcy in the Inner Sphere as we know it. It's the Hour before Pickett's charge, the day before Kursk, the Last few weeks before WWI Breaks out.

Everyone basically knows what is going to happen, if not when; but it hasn't happened yet. There is the illusion that there is still time; the world has not changed yet, the orders could still be rescinded. This is still the Gilded age that a lot of people will be looking back fondly on for many generations to come.

This is the Age of Stone and Lear and The Glorious Republic and on New Year's Day, 3100, it is all going to end.

That's "The Day"

"The Day" that the RAF has been wargaming and theorizing about since the end of the Jihad and that the SLDF have been training and waiting for.

If you're an RAF soldier; you probably dread this; the SLDF is the bogeyman that keeps you up at night, but for the men and women of the SLDF; this is the big show.

Since the end of the Jihad, it's been clear that the ideals of the Republic and the 3rd League were wholly incompatible. But 35 years on, the Republic and her Allies have been able to convince themselves that The Day will never come; that the Clans will take care of the 3rd League before they have to; that they would never pit the SLDF, however fearsome against the combined might of almost the entire Inner Sphere.

These people are wrong.

The 3rd League looks at all-out war as inevitable; their continued prosperity is an insult to everything the Republic is supposed to stand for and the policies of the Republic go against some very important beliefs held dear in the 3rd League. Since war is inevitable, the 3rd League have committed to fighting it on their terms, at a time and on ground of their choosing. That means planning ahead and striking first.

For 35 years, Stone and Lear's Republic has grown strong and happy on the wealth of their own success; they have rebuilt the shattered core worlds and made the dreams of their founders real. In all that time; the 3rd League has been preparing for war and their every step, however it seems; has been to that purpose.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 11 May 2016, 18:10:48
Arc has a nice tool called 'Georeferencing".  What I did was save you tiff file, then I can bring it into Arc.  Georeferencing lets me 'click' on the tiff file, and then ‘click’ on the .mxd, which is the Arc file, and the image resets.  The further away your georeferenced points are, the better.  So, in this case I used Victoria in the CC and Apollo in the LC, and your tiff lined up with my worlds file perfectly.  From there I was able to use your tiff to trace out the regions, such as those in the ROTS.

My worlds are set up for a 3025-3050 universe.  I know you’ll want to look at the worlds you created for the 3rd League, and also a lot of the rim planets in the Hegemony, MoC, TC and that.  So, if you see a world that you want to add, just give me a list and we can go from there.

Dav

I gotta be honest, I think this stuff is beyond me.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Davout73 on 11 May 2016, 18:27:52
Ive been doing this for years and most of it is still beyond me...

 ;)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 17 May 2016, 23:16:34
Hey guys; so you know what I'm working on:

The Production report is going along very well and when I get time, I'll have a better map model.

On the prod report side of things; BA, Protos and vehicles are done first pass and I am part way through light mechs. First pass I am simply doing as scanning Sarna. Second pass is a skim through the books for missing units, 3rd pass is referring to the Objectives series and my copy of the Courton Command files. No firm details yet for what the 3rd league builds. That will be later. Prod report for the other powers is coming soon. It will include the various 3rd League member states though.

More to come on the article series; next up; Gravity Well Air Support. Which has to do with VTOLs, Conv fighters and SupVee Airpower.

I'll also be posting custom designs for the 3rd League's Zapadka Light Truck and Sicily Combat Support Vehicle, which are both modular SupVees, though the 'Zap is somewhat houserulled.

Since the Prod report is just combat vehicles and so won't include who all is building the J-27 for instance, in the late 3090s (but does include some that were in my way...), as a consolation prize, I'll also toss up some SupVee versions of the generic MW1 vehicles, because they're around and numerically important in the Der Tag AU.

It's funny; Sarna carries some, like the "Heavy Transport" as combat vehicles, because that is how they were built in MW1. It's probably been done to death, but there it is.

One question; any interest in a small bit of fiction?
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 18 May 2016, 00:31:11
Blimey, you're insanely busy and yes, fiction is always good! :)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 18 May 2016, 07:25:26
Blimey, you're insanely busy and yes, fiction is always good! :)

I've also been helping my dad build a wood working shop most weekends since the fall. And this isn't even going into ongoing projects like my BT infantry rationalization and Mechwarrior-EZ.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 23 May 2016, 20:23:07
For those of you who were interested. Here are the links for the Zapadka and Sicily

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=52888.msg1220043#msg1220043 (http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=52888.msg1220043#msg1220043)
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=52887.0 (http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=52887.0)

For those of you interested in the production report; I'm starting heavy mechs now. Battle Armour, Protomechs and Vehicles are done. As are light and medium mechs.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 31 May 2016, 23:15:42
Hey folks; working away on the map and the production report, working through the TROs now. Still need to do the source books and the Objectives PDFs and then give it a last sweep to make the Canon material fit the Der Tag universe.

In the mean time, want to look at a revised draft of some Fiction I did? I'm not sure if I posted this before. Kinda looks like it, but I can't find it now.

Really interested to know what you think on this one.

***
Then...

1753Hrs, December 8, 3067
Somewhere in the Lyran Periphery

Demi-Precentor-XV Gamma Michelle Maypole looked out over the massive parade ground and the many faces gathered there and took a moment between the memorized paragraphs of her speech to collect herself before continuing.

At heart, she knew that like so many other names she had seen associated with this project, her involvement was forced because she was seen by her Blessed Order as both expendable and controllable. In this, she felt a certain peace; knowing her place in the greater machinery of ComStar. She also knew that she was wildly unqualified for her current assignment; but she had the rank, the seniority, the charisma...and the rest didn't bear thinking about...her past weaknesses, however terrible were no matter. She was heartbeats now from the formal completion of this assignment and thence; redemption.

It hadn't been so bad; even at a healthy 53 years, Terran-Standard, she still found space travel, however slow to be an enjoyable experience. The nearly two months spent in the changeable climate of an unknown world had been interesting to say the least and the soldiers almost all humoured her while she was around.

The inspections had been simple enough; innumerable parades and spot-checks, with her watcher and certain companion in purgatory; Acolyte-XXIV Hale of the ComGuards just able to make her look like she knew what she was supposed to be checking for. He did most of the work and she got all the attention. Perfect! It was a welcome change from her interminable banishment to the Order's Dieron administrative sub-complex following the last incident---and hadn't she behaved herself perfectly since then? Despite several opportunities to indulge over the last few weeks while her ROM-colleague was distracted and Acolyte Hale's experience demanded his attention or presence elsewhere.

It was this worthy who shattered her brief musing pause now with his hot breath at her shoulder.

Decades of training clicked in and she skillfully deactivated the low-profile voice pickup with a gesture before he began speaking---Chesterton, '47; everyone in Gamma knew the cautionary tale of Adept-XI Jaslov's pickup broadcasting word of the sabotage of a magnetic coil at the local HPG to a crowd of henceforth terrified schoolchildren.

"I'm sorry; what?" Decades of conditioning kept the stammer from her voice.

"Demi-Precentor;" He said precisely, hiding the stress in his voice. "The Star League has been disbanded. Wrap this up, we need to go; we have been recalled to Tukayyid."

She looked back, out over the gathered multitudes of soldiers; bored, tired, frustrated with the kind of long parade they were unaccustomed to. "But..." The words wouldn't come; she couldn't think. "What do I tell them?"

"Nothing; they are not cleared to know. End your speech; I've already spoken to that...*pirate* they keep as a counter-intelligence czar...We've made all the excuses we have to."

"But how do you tell the Star League Defence Force, that there isn't a Star League, anymore?"

***

Later...

2232 Hrs, December 8, 3067
Transcript of Message to all SLDF Forces from Lieutenant-General McKenna, CICNMA

Today was a difficult day; we had to get up extra early, spend hours practicing drill and looking pretty, then we stood on parade for hours while people talked at us for ages and then at the end some white-robed bureaucrat told us that the last couple years of our lives have been for nothing.

It won't be a shock to most of you that all of us with egg on our shoulders are as down about this as you are.

The past few hours have felt to all of us like trying to wake up from a bad dream, or maybe waiting for a death sentence to come down from a jury we wish to hell would just get on with it…
I want you all to know that the entire high command has been in conference since the announcement; trying to figure out what comes next.

A few minutes ago; we found out.

Three days ago, sidereal; following the dissolution of the Second Star League a week before that…Word of Blake Forces launched major attacks all over the Inner Sphere. Most notably Tharkad and New Avalon have been hit by WOB heavy forces and orbital bombardment and nuclear exchanges are reported from reliable sources. Whether or not this is connected to the fighting on Outreach and in the Terran system, ongoing these past months remains unclear.

I know there’s been a lot of talk since the parade about what we should do, what we can do; legally speaking, what our mandate says and what our hearts say. I can’t tell you now the answers to those questions, because when your world misjumps, it’s hard to be certain of anything.

But, I know for damn sure what the army whose legacy we carry would have done in this situation.

It's a basic tenet of leadership never to let your people get bored, especially in a bad situation and this situation is about ads bad as it gets. Bad leaders assign make-work; treat labour like it's free to keep idle hands busy. Good leaders know the cost of such thinking; the toll it takes on morale and families. Just the same; sometimes that make work is the work that needs doing. So with that in mind; I think it's time this command got off it's ass and found some rocks to paint white.

I happen to know where we can get the blood.

Get some sleep boys and girls: the war starts tomorrow.

***

Later Still...

1420 Hrs, June 4, 3081
Bad Tolz, Germany
Current Field Headquarters, Star League Defence Force (In Exile)

He forced out the breath he’d been holding; frustrated and fought the urge to tilt his head, it never made things make more sense anyways, but it felt right and at length spoke the words he’d been holding back for the past two hours.

"Well, you can just go ****** your hat. All of you. And tell the rest of 'em I said it that way too; especially to that ungrateful bastard, Ward."

"Steven." David Lear spat angrily; "You need to be reasonable! This petition has been signed by nearly every representative of the coalition, including all of the Great Houses and every leader of the former Free Worlds who could be reached."

Yes, and? He thought; What does that matter to me and mine? You all turned your backs on us about 15-odd years ago.

"Yes, I see that." Lord-Protector Steven McKenna replied evenly. "I was especially disappointed to discover the honour of the Dragon could be purchased so cheaply." He snarled at Hohiro Kurita, who barely held his own anger in check.

You punctilious bastard; you OWE us…They shared a silent glare; simple emotions and expressions for men who were very simple at heart.

"Steven, please..." Devlin Stone rumbled. "We've all fought together for so long; for a lasting peace. We can't tolerate a rogue army running around without civilian oversight after all we've accomplished, all we're trying to accomplish; it would undermine everything."

Civilian Oversight? What the ****** is he talking about?! What year does he think this is? Are the leaders of the Great Houses Civilians? What possible value could there be in handing over direction of an army to politicians and bureaucrats? Why not order around the dentist during your root canal?

"Yes." McKenna hissed back; "I imagine it would." He looked around the ancient wood-paneled conference room; how many armies before mine called his place home? he wondered. "But that's your problem; you're the ones disarming people at gun point; seizing control of worlds that haven't heeded Terra's word in 300 years. I tried to explain why this was all a terrible idea, but none of you would listen; I submitted alternatives to that situation and this one and you rejected them all. Hell; I offered to pick a replacement and retire; none of it was good enough."

Never mind just what I’d do with myself besides ****** myself into a coma and catch up on my reading…which is tempting, but even with Vanessa, I wouldn’t give these social scientists the satisfaction now.

"Mr. McKenna, the options we've laid out in the petition are simply the only ones we're willing to live with." Victor Stiener-Davion intoned, patiently. "You and the rest of the SLDF-In-Exile can stack arms and turn over all your equipment to the RAF and disband; which is our first choice. Or you can integrate yourselves into the RAF and accept our command and control, after you retire of course. None of us asked for your little army, we didn't frankly need it, we don't want it; we can live with it; but on our terms, only."

"Huh..." Mckenna leaned back against the wall he'd been pacing in front of and crossed his arms over his huge chest. Devlin is bad enough thought Victor. But with this barbarian around, I feel like there’s something wrong with me and that brings back far too many memories; it’s like standing between Peter and Father again when I was a boy.

"Well let's review;" McKenna began. "You've rejected my suggestion to reform the Star League. Further; you won't accept the SLDF as the international military force we were designed to be. As for needing us, well; I think the record of this campaign alone proves otherwise, but history will argue that point for me; the Kell Hounds, notwithstanding. I still have the remnants of three combat Divisions on-world and arguably the most powerful fleet in the system in Orbit. I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop, gentlemen?"

I’ll never understand charisma; personal magnetism. Is that how these people get things done? Is this it? Is this all the man each of these legends turns out to be? A hollow argument and social skills? I don’t get it; what are they trying to get across? What are they trying to tell me? They aren’t offering me anything I want more than to do what needs doing, they aren’t willing to fight me and they aren’t then in any reasonable position to fight me. And they don’t really want to negotiate… I don’t understand! I’m a warrior, not a salesman, what is this nonsense?

David Lear looked once to Devlin Stone, who returned his gaze evenly. Something passed between them; a look shared during their incarceration no doubt, but what it communicated none but they knew. McKenna was the only one in the room though to miss that it was significant.

Lord Protector McKenna beheld a room of the most powerful personalities in the Inner Sphere; Hohiro Kurita, Devlin Stone, David Lear and Victor Stiener-Davion. While the SLDFiE toiled outside and across much of Terra, inter-mixed with other allied forces, he'd been called from an inspection of one of The Schools; this one in Silesia, for this meeting. Things would look normal, but behind their opaque visors, every soldier in the Three Divisions was on alert that today might be their last day on humanity's birth world, one way or the other.

"I see..." He said slowly. "I take it the Bears are still in the neighbourhood, but they'd really rather not loose anymore ships, eh? You gentlemen are perhaps the most respected and powerful men in the inner sphere, maybe beyond..." McKenna Glared at Victor, daring him to point out how he'd willingly renounced all power and privileges like it really meant something, again. what a tedious little man he thought. "But you rely far too much on charisma and force of personality to get things done and not enough on the strength of a good argument and history. I know what I've done; by using my forces how I have, just by being here; I've disrupted your coalition, unbalanced it; I've made sure that this war was fought my way, whenever I could and I know it's undermined each of you, personally and the goals you set out to achieve."

“I’m not too swift on the politics, but I have people who can explain these things to me in small words I can understand later. I know what we represent to you…I guess I just hoped like hell that our record would speak for itself and you could see past your ideologies to the advantages of learning to live together. I’m not a salesman…” McKenna trailed off, before continuing, whatever else was on his mind would go unspoken, locked behind the bars of his failings.

"It's not important that you know why we won this war," He continued. "what does matter is that you know why *I* think we won it and that is because we were able to take it further; to apply more force better, ultimately than the Word of Blake was. But WOB was *willing* to take it farther than we were, to do more damage in worse ways; they simple were not *able* to do so. Fellahs; I am willing to stop-drop and fight my way off this world and out of the system. You might kill me, but you will not, can not stop my men; even if you use the very tools you have declared forbidden. If you insist on this course of action; you will suffer and you will bleed, and me and mine will come back someday and wipe your little experiment off the map. This is your plan. You already know I will not accede to your demands." He paused.

"The first alternative is that you leave this place and we pretend this conversation never happened. Me and mine go our way; you go yours and we let history decide which of us has the superior system, in time. We just see if we can all get along." He smiled without it ever reaching his eyes.

"I've seen your system, McKenna." Victor shot back. "Did you forget? I've seen how you train and how your people live and govern. I, for one; cannot live with that: It's just formalized feudalism on the micro level and I won't sit back while you continue to contaminate our people, our soldiers with your filth! You're as bad as the Clans!"

So, the macro-scale is so much better? Can Victor be so ignorant, can Stone? Lear? I Know Hohiro is too practical to think such nonsense; he had a front-row seat to reforming a major nation on the cultural-political level. I wonder if that’s what this is all about though? They really want to totally pull down the current socio-political system we have in the Inner Sphere…If they’re willing to follow that all the way to it’s natural conclusion…McKenna’s mind raced, making heuristic leaps as he played out scenarios and projections in a adrenaline-fueled storm. Could they be so married to an ideology? At that cost? Is that what war does to men like this? Humanists? Idealists? Intellectuals?

"That does concern us greatly, Steven." David Lear offered. McKenna snapped back into reality.

"Ah, but are you willing to go to war over it? Again? Right now?" McKenna asked, distantly, scanning the eyes in the room. "You know; I'm not good with people, but even I can tell there isn't a one of you who wouldn't see me killed and my men and women scattered to the wind right now, if you could actually do it. You’re all humanists are heart---well maybe not Hohiro, but his Father is---and you’re all utopians. You’re very good at convincing yourselves to do what you have to for the cause---“

“NO!” Devlin Stone roared. Both Victor and David moved towards him, but he rolled his shoulders, spasmodically; tight with repressed anger and harshly waved them both back. “I will not stand here and be cast in the same light as the Blakists, by this monster! I’d never allow that! Not after all we fought for---“ He stopped in mid-sentence, poleaxed by the realization, or maybe realizations; frozen; conflicted. He glanced at David Lear, wounded.

”Which returns us to extremes and the will and ability to go to them. I have both and I am willing to go much farther; today, than you are." McKenna continued, as if the outburst never happened. Now, I have them.

"Which brings us to our second alternative; the one that makes everyone happy *today* and gives the politicians in you time to weasel a solution later." McKenna smiled; this he understood. "We go our separate ways; I complete recovery operations; equipment, salvage, personnel and POWs. These classes at The Schools are the last; that's our contribution to remediation done. I take every one of our dead we can find...and we leave..."

“Oh, no!” Victor Shouted. “We aren’t done here, not by a long shot; those blasted ‘Schools’ are the next item on the agenda---“ He cut off sharply at Hohiro’s hand on his shoulder.

“Victor-Sama, there is more.” He said evenly, fury held in check behind iron discipline, once more.

There was silence and McKenna continued. "Along with everyone who wants to come with us."

That got them going alright and all four major leaders started shouting at once; about half the remaining ComGuard, the NovaCats and no one knew how many refugees and whoever else. That's what McKenna was talking about. The Cats would mostly stay in Irece Prefecture, but the forces Stone had been trying unsuccessfully to court to his side would undoubtedly refuse to join the RAF if there was an alternative with more meaning for them; they already shared close ties with the SLDFiE and the Diamond Sharks. The ComGaurds were far yet from a spent force and those who remained were hardened veterans; as the former strength of the 2nd Star League, but staunch Coalition members from the outset, it was anyone's guess where each individual guardsman would go and what kind of equipment might come with them. There were others in McKenna's camp; people tired of the way things were, but yet longing for something from the past as well. But no-one really knew who else or how many.

They argued for another hour, but no one was really offering anything. On one side were men who were the pinnacle of modern statesmanship; leaders steeped in both politics and war, with deep wells of charisma to draw upon. On the other side McKenna was blind and deaf to most of it, too damaged or incomplete in comparison; he was a Warrior, working from an open plan, but he feared these men, feared facing them in this setting; their faculties so far beyond his: so he dealt with them as he did most fear in his life; he ignored it, did his job and waited for it to pass. He'd speak with Vanessa about it later and see what sense she could make of their "Stupid Human Tricks" as he called them.  In passing he regretted the white noise generators that would make the office` holo-recordings useless.

When they finally left; each man was certain he'd gained some deeper understanding of the one who called himself "Lord Protector." McKenna was sure of only one thing; he had the time he needed, but the Republic would dedicate itself to the self-righteous destruction of everything he'd built. He was convinced they literally meant everything they had said; they wouldn’t stop until they had destroyed everything he and his had built. Their system couldn’t survive with an alternative. The system he’d set up was toxic to most others on contact. An eventual conflict would be unavoidable.

But I think we can do something about that...come the day...He mused, wondering how long it was till dinner.



At the End

They’d been held together for over two weeks now and before then, separately for how long? Neither was sure. Both of them had been wounded and between the drugs, the holding cells and the constant movement, time was hard to keep track of.

But the end was near; they’d figured that out as soon as it was clear they’d be allowed to stay together from now, till the end.

The door opened and an infantryman trudged in; obviously exhausted. Not an MP; they were easy to spot and obviously not from the Crimson Guards either. He stopped by the table outside the cell door, un-slung his rifle and laid it on the table.

It was one of those massive Thunderbolts that were the primary weapon of the SLDF infantry; around 10kg fully loaded; a select-fire heavy gyrojet rifle, with an underbarrel heavy needler. A huge, brutal and reliable weapon. Next, he placed a very large two-handed vibroblade next to it. Star League infantry were almost Kuritan in their fondness for hand weapons and this soldier yet displaced a number of blades beside numerous holsters and empty, flapping ammunition pouches.

Part of him wondered if this was it. Another part wasn’t sure at all; years in prison camps and he had to admit that the Barbarians knew how to insert chaos into the routine POWs lived by. This could be anything, including an opportunity.

This was the closest he’d been to an SLDF infantryman, except for his capture and he wasn’t in the best frame of mind for observation then; a fault he’d often cursed himself for over the years; the best time to escape was as soon as possible after capture. He knew that. But when faced with it, he got caught up in the anger; the frustration and he couldn’t track the malfing details anymore.

The soldier, pulled out a 2-litre bottle from a hip pocket and plugged it into a  short length of hose, which in turn fit into a port under a plug on the side of the helmet; could be useful; you could maybe get a knife in there, if you drove it in hard enough.


The soldier up-ended the bottle, holding it in first one hand, then the other as he waved the opposite arm up and down, pumped his legs and flexed and wiggled his torso around. It would have been comical in any other situation. Another personal failing; you had to keep your sense of humour.

At length the soldier finished his calisthenics and the bottle gurgled to empty. He wondered if that was how they were trained to take in a lot of water at once, but then the soldier un-hooked the bottle and hose and began opening taps at his wrists and on his boots and as he flexed and stretched some more; the water drained out to seek the central drain.

The helmet came off with a few simple clasps; it gave full protection and visibility; you couldn’t just wrench it off. And it had a flexible neck gasket behind an armoured gorget.

“The last of the holdouts in sub-complex 50 surrendered an hour ago.” The soldier panted. “Flamers.” As if that explained it all. “There’ll be die-hards for years, but for the most part; that’s done for organized resistance. We’ll fill the tunnels we can’t blast with a persistent Class V agent and call it a day.” He turned and gave them his full attention. The face was different; same prominent scars, but the eyes were tired. He had no doubt that he’d had more rest in the last day than McKenna had all week. He started thinking of ways to use that and then---

“****** off; you aren’t him.” Devlin Stone spat.

“Well, that settles which one of you is worth talking to…” He said gently, looking at David Lear, huddled, apparently near-catatonic in a corner. “How bad is he? The meds helping?”

“I’m not talking to you; McKenna wants to talk to me, tell him to come himself.”

But The Soldier wasn’t cowed; he pulled over a chair and sat down, heavily. “You know, it’s a pity; we’ve had the Helm Core for almost a century and the New Dallas Core for about half that; we *Have* a cure for early onset Alzheimer’s; it’s just that it’s a bitch to manage, easier as a childhood vaccine with gene therapy…And of course; once the damage sets in, it’s irreversible. But with what he have him on; he won’t get any worse. After some therapy; you two could get by with a PSW once a day. Maybe even get him running 10-ks again.”

Devlin, retreated to his husband’s side, sat down, put an arm around him and scowled at the intruder; into their cell and their lives.

Stone felt a deep, cold hate for the man across from him and struggled to fight it down to read the details; indeterminate age; but a natural male, the type would could be twenty or forty, which didn’t help. Big, enough, which did; you could fake that; you had to find someone naturally the same build. That was difficult; he knew it from both sides of the problem. Same hair, same scars, same eyes, right features. All easily faked or surgically modified. Devlin knew about that too from his own doubles and old Blakist tricks. This could be McKenna’s son for all he knew, but it couldn’t be him. The best anti-agathics in the Magistracy couldn’t do that. He felt the old, familiar pain between his eyes returning as his mind chased his own thoughts in the circles of clandestine thinking.

Silence reigned for some time, as The Soldier drank from a straw that bent into the side of his mouth; Devlin could see the bubbles move. Eventually, he sighed. “I’m not a salesmen; Dev. I’m not good at making people believe things like you lot were, I just tell the facts as I see  ‘em. I can fight and lead and organize; those are my social skills. I can’t even argue. But you know we couldn’t live together in peace forever. And the last thing this Galaxy needs is another centuries-long vendetta.” He exhaled explosively.

“We have the vaccines and stuff. All the crap the old League had. The kids in the cadet units now; they’ll outlive anyone else alive today; except the Belters. They basically are Belters, or will be. That’s why I look like I do. You want good troops, you gotta sew the seeds early; so it’s standard across the board. Amazing what counts as a strategic military technology once you take it far enough.”

“I ain’t here to gloat. I want a meal and a sleep. I just wanted to let you know; it’s over. No treaties, no formalities, just over. And we ain’t killing you two. I tried to think of a way to do it that made sense, but...it’s not just about making sure you aren’t martyrs; we have education---our best weapon---for that and besides; there are a few forms of execution that take every ounce of romance out of the process; no one would envy you or look to you, believe me.”

“I could have you crucified, or impaled, maybe hung just right, but the fact is that neither the two of you did much, besides be wrong and that ain’t a crime. There’s no death camps; no major war crimes---there’s a few, but we’ll hang generals and paladins for those; make no mistake: you two are responsible, you were the figureheads at the very least, right up until today. But honour’s satisfied with the combat and theatre commanders. You just led this mess; helped keep it going. Pity none of the assassins worked out…”

“The rest: the survivors; will be discharged and paid out, if they want it; consolidated and employed if they don’t.”

“Bullshit.” Devlin shook his head. “It’s all malfing crap. Prefecture X will be a quagmire for you; we will never give up. We’ll never stop fighting. It’s what I taught them.”

“Dev, I ain’t here to convince you. Too ****** tired and better things to do. We expect some diehards; some guerillas and terrorists: it’s natural. The executions, the pensions and that we aren’t disbanding the RAF wholesale, like you wanted *us* to do way back when---that’ll help a lot. You talk ‘Quagmire’? Picture my boys and girls out of a job six months after the Jihad ended. Shit…” He shook his head.

“It won’t be enough; for every one you kill, ten more will take his or her place and make you bleed a river for every drop of our blood you take---“ Stone rose to his feet, his touch gentle and reassuring on David’s shoulders as he stood, warming to his subject, on familiar ground; he’d heard all this before.

The Soldier stood up, grabbed his helmet and slung his rifle, mag-locked his sword to his back. “We founded the New Model Army on a cadre of the best partisan-fighters’ humanity has ever seen.” He said, sadly, turning to leave. “I’m no salesmen Devlin, but the funny thing is that people eventually do come to agree with me in the end.”

“Enjoy your life as a community organizer, or whatever, Mr. Stone. You’ll excuse me though, I’m so ****** tired…”

As the door closed, Stone returned to David Lear’s side and pondered, not for the first time where the borders of reality lay and if he was still back in an isolation cell in RBMU 105, and if this was all some terrible dream or Blakist manipulation. He allowed his mind to wander inside itself and time passed as he wondered how much of his life was a dream he made to get through RBMU 105 and it just got out of control and never ended, if they were still hurting him now, back on Kittery and his mind was just elsewhere.

He held David tightly and wondered if he’d ever wake up


The so-called 5th Succession War (Sometimes argued as the 6th) was an example of Jacksonian warfare from people who took Sun Tzu and Clausewitz literally. It ignored the niceties warfare had accumulated over the past 400 years, while displaying a pessimistic understanding of human nature and the balance of Republic Politics few would have attributed to an organization led by an ogre like McKenna...

It was to be the 3rd time in less than 300 years that a major military campaign was waged in and around Terra and her surrounding worlds....

-Excerpts from "Shattered Dreams; The Rise and Fall of the Republic." By Jonah Levin, Paladin Press Imprint, New Avalon, 3156
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Shadow_Wraith on 01 June 2016, 01:26:16
 :))  Just Wow!  looking forward to your next update!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 01 June 2016, 03:04:09
Very very very good stuff! :)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 01 June 2016, 06:15:42
Holy Guacamole, We swear in the books, but not on the forum?
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 10 June 2016, 21:26:10
Here is the production report.

I focused on combat designs and a few key support types. I must confess that the Info for the 3rd League State Territories is absent; I just haven't figured that out yet. So the majority of the equipment that feeds the SLDF is unknown at this time. Don't get me wrong; I have probably north of 2000 designs, but in terms of production info? Sheesh.

I know I made a few spelling mistakes, but let me know if I made any other mistakes.

I'd love some constructive criticism as well.

Lastly; if it isn't listed, it doesn't exist, yet.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Vition2 on 11 June 2016, 11:07:07
First glance: it looks good, and some interesting things.  But one question, does the "*" indicate variants or something else?

Also, it might be a good idea to use some sort of identifier for omni-units, unless there aren't any.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 11 June 2016, 14:26:21
First glance: it looks good, and some interesting things.  But one question, does the "*" indicate variants or something else?

Also, it might be a good idea to use some sort of identifier for omni-units, unless there aren't any.

Bingo!

* = Variant either in active production or able to be produced with less than 1 years turn around time. I considered adding production notes to every entry, but that would have drastically increased the magnitude of the work and frankly excel docs don't do well with long sentences, let alone paragraphs.

Omnis are the other way around; since there don't seem to be much in the way of truly proprietary Omnipod configurations, you can just assume that every faction is capable of producing all the Omnipod Configurations for every omni they produce.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 26 June 2016, 16:57:02
The Modern Impact of Gravity Well Air Support

Gravity Well Air Support (GWAS or Gee-Was) is that air support which acts within the gravity well of a planet; this distinction is to delineate the issue from the neighbouring concept of space superiority. While Space Superiority concepts have changed little in the last 400-plus years, the same cannot be said for GWAS.

It is ironic that in the vast vacuum of space dogfights often culminate at very close range. Likewise; tactics and impact of Aerospace Fighters and Assault Dropships have really changed little since the late Star League-era. This was illustrated dramatically both in the design of post-Star League warships built in the inner sphere and building on the lessons learnt (for the nonce) from the Successions, the Amaris Civil War and in the aerospace encounters of the early Clan Invasion, particularly those involving the excellent Rasalhague fighter squadrons.
Aerospace Fighters were still important; the driving realities of Aerofighter combat had a temporizing effect on the impact of advanced technology and they were still a serious threat to warships. The overall net impact of the Clan Aerofighter Pilot phenotype was either just more than nil or a net loss.

By contrast; the effects on Space Superiority tactics of armed or “tactical” small craft are still mainly unknown. They made little impact for small numbers during the Jihad and while more plentiful now, have remained niche items in history. So this is a chapter that remains to be written in the annals of humanity’s wars.

Gravity Well Air Support however, as a concept and in application, continues to evolve.

The Word of Blake displayed a marked penchant for deploying Fuel-Air Explosive (thermobaric) munitions and various WMDs from fixed-wing aircraft during the Jihad. This had a profound effect on every level of warfare during that conflict and in it’s shadow has returned the spectre of total warfare to the battlefields of the Inner Sphere once more.

What this means in practice is that, to the extent it ever was; modern military commanders simply cannot discount the ability of fixed-wing aircraft to dramatically affect the tide of battle in an instant. Be it from a single, well-delivered attack run, or a well-timed tactical nuclear strike.

Practical application of this lesson has been highly mixed; while some realms, like the Republic have deployed slightly more dedicated or at least AA-capable platforms, others have doubled down on their own aerospace forces and invested heavily in rebuilding and building up their Aerofighter forces in the wake of the Jihad.
Two factors are worth noting about these later measures.

One is that this increase in airpower has not, by and large extended to conventional aircraft. While the mixture of airframes available to militias and to supplement field armies has varied somewhat after the Jihad, the numbers have not. Many of the great powers simply allowed their militias to recover in their own time and left them alone, if they were not drawn down almost completely in the post-Jihad “Peace Dividend” to cut costs, as in some places and starting with those assets which were most expensive to train with; namely conventional aircraft and VTOLs.

Another is that in the Republic’s demilitarization scheme, Aerofighters were nearly forgotten; with the focus on mechs, fighter forces were one of the few avenues left for those pushing against disarmament.
The RAF has invested heavily in large fighter forces as well.

Relatively little effort has been expended in the way of specialized anti-aircraft units to give combat formations organic defences, however.

Most modern versions of the emblematic Rifleman now sport closer-ranged weapons, a measure contra-indicated in the sport of live-fire, nuclear-armed clay pigeons and the Jagermech remains a possession of limited availability, despite it’s now being built in the Draconic Combine as well. Other platforms, like the Vanquisher and Malice are more commonly employed in other roles. In no case is any major power known to employ dedicated antiaircraft mech units.

In armour formations, the Partisan (wheeled or tracked) and Pike remain the best options in terms of availability and are sometimes found concentrated at least at the platoon level. The Jihad was not kind to ground armour units, however and the specialist nature of the armaments of AA tanks (long-range Autocannon) made them vulnerable marks for other units if unescorted. Accordingly, some powers such as the Lyrans and many within the Andurian Pact have broken up their AA platoons and dispersed the specialist vehicles throughout their armour units in a bid for mutual support. Whether or not this can or will work may take a major war to divine, however.

Even SLDFiE troops, with their sharp specialist demarcations seemed to deploy no recognizable dedicated AA units during the Jihad; coming closest are their so-called “Horse Artillery Batteries” forward-deployed and attached to other units organically.

It does seem unlikely in the extreme however that the free and easy use of the WMDs by the Blakists presages a new era of unrestricted warfare; almost all atmospheric employment of Aerofighters in the future is expected and indeed; demanded by the Republic: to be conventional in nature. While tactical nuclear weapons are permitted for use against warships at local discretion by the Treaties sponsored by Stone and Lear, both biological and chemical weapons stockpiles are to be drawn down to deterrence levels, while a cloud still hangs over their employment in even the direst of circumstances, in the face of the most terrible and equivalent threat.

One realm; the Federated Suns has even publically sworn to destroy their own stockpiles of all but a small, highly guarded and dispersed arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons. As of 3099, all but the very oldest and least deployable stockpiles of Chemical, Biological and Thermobaric weapons have been confirmed destroyed under Republic oversight. This while the RAF retains a very muscular WMD program, though limited to countermeasures only.

What this means in practice is that with Conventional Aircraft retaining their backseat outside of a defensive role, Aerofighters will have increased importance in both gravity-well (atmospheric and near-space superiority) and Close Air Support missions; by their increased numbers, if by no other means.

While conventional fighter units see no new dawn of glory on the horizon of the new century, things are starting to look up in terms of the technology they wing aloft, with greater proliferation of designs like the Seabuster(s) and LBX Mechbuster, so one hopes they can at least have a slightly greater impact on events.

Outside the major powers, some few periphery states and principalities within the Andurian Pact have looked to conventional aircraft to bolster their forces. It is known for certain that both the Magistracy and the Calderon protectorate have invested in such measures in a bid to create forces which can strike hard and deploy quickly to trouble spots across a planet’s surface. This is in response to increased pirate activity and economies which cannot support the expanded mech forces both realms strive for.

Combat-Support aircraft (here taken to mean support aircraft suited for combat roles) had a minor resurgence during the Jihad, especially in the fighting in the Federated Suns and the Capellan Confederation. As such, both of these realms deploy slightly greater proportions of assets such as the ancient and venerable Torrent Heavy Bomber than they once did, but only the Capellans continue to manufacturer this beast of an aircraft today and even then at a very low rate.

Surveillance photos from near the end of the war and 3rd -hand accounts support the notion that the SLDFiE has some capability in this area; possibly scaled-up versions of Planetlifter gunships and a modernized Torrent Heavy Bomber, but aside from grainy, over-enhanced recon photos, there isn’t much hard evidence to go by. That the SLDF used two types of heavy fixed-wing support aircraft during the war in principally non-combat roles, makes definitive answers hard to come by.

What limited evidence there is argues for a gunship version of the Roc Heavy Utility plane; based on what appear to be a modified Roc sporting unusual sensor fits and targeting array blisters consistent with a side-firing gunship in the vein of the Planetlifter, but the proximity to another, unmodified Roc blocking the rest of the fuselage from view prevents detection of any fitted weapons. As this model is known from only 3rd-hand accounts and one grainy RAF recon photo, it may have been a one-off or a misidentification, or other mistake.
Tradewind Heavy Transports made a splash in more ways than one during the war; supporting SLDFiE troops by flying into locations a Roc couldn’t land in and off-loading supplies directly onto the beach. OF-17 photoreconnaissance missions detected what may have been a related aircraft on an undisclosed world on which the SLDFiE was known to have engaged in heavy bomber activity.

VTOL operations, during the later half of this past century have had three main impacts; supply-side operations supporting and maintaining other efforts; direct-action missions flying attack, reconnaissance and other direct support roles; and Air-Mobile Infantry operations.

Combat support missions for VTOLs have grown and grown, especially in the last 30 years with the wider availability of the Karnov. While it’s been sometime since anyone was foolish enough to suggest any given force could be adequately supplied from the air, entirely; the popularity of VTOL transport and support options has increased steadily in all realms.

Around the middle of the century, a real effort was made; especially in the Federated Commonwealth, to produce a more robust attack VTOL capability. While application of high technology would indeed make for a more powerful striking force and permit VTOLs to loft more armour protection, attack VTOLs remain the definition of the “Glass Cannon” on the battlefield due to the vulnerability of their rotor assemblies, especially to pulse lasers, missiles and autocannon. While there is certain value in being able to sustain a Clan ERPPC hit to a given arc of the aircraft, there is nothing which can be done to harden the rotors. A possible resurgence of this trend may be developing in the mien of the super-heavy attack helicopter, but design firms have yet to produce an attack VTOL which is powerful enough to totally offset the vulnerability of the rotor system.

Reconnaissance and Spotter missions remain popular ones for VTOLs and there are many specialized designs for these tasks in use. In addition, the high mobility of the VTOL platform gives all such units a certain utility in the basic reconnaissance role. VTOL popularity for these missions has remained high since it peaked during the Jihad, but many crews are unhappy with the low protection of most dedicated reconnaissance birds and almost all procurement departments are displeased with the high-cost and fragility of platforms like this when packed with expensive electronics.

All realms, even those in the periphery and some pirates deploy air-mobile Infantry mounted in VTOLs in one form or another. While the literal Air-Cavalry troops (VTOL Motorized and Mechanized Infantry) remain vanishingly rare, the capability to rapidly and reliably deploy so-called “Heli-Dragoons” relatively safely across the battlefield and even the theatre remains one that few can afford to do without and while the practice is rarest in the Clans (Who themselves have pioneered a form of Aerofighter-Mobile Infantry), even the most conservative deploy at least the odd point of VTOL-mobile Infantry.

The inherent vulnerability of VTOLs has put a brake on their wide-spread adoption as infantry carriers over the last 50 years and this looks unlikely to change. Some modern Infantry transport designs have bays capable of accommodating as much as 8 tons or more of different types of infantry. For sheer loss of life, filling these with foot infantry and having them shot down is hard to beat for a single-unit loss. As such, these kind of losses are naturally to be avoided at all costs. This, in turn limits the tactical deployment of infantry-carrying VTOLs and in some cases they are restricted to operational support and mobility tasks; moving forces around the battlefield and leaving them to march into battle on foot; rather than the daring deployment of infantry forces into the teeth of the enemy.

Of those realms which employ Air-Mobile Infantry, most do so in groups no larger than a battalion. While you find the odd regiment in the Andurian Pact and elsewhere, the Air-Mobile Battalion is the high-water mark, usually as in independent or even ad hoc formation. More common is to have the odd company in a larger, given formation trained in airmobile operations and taking advantage of mobility assets normally held at higher organizational levels. True Air-Mobile formations, however must have dedicated and complete air-transport capability to be most effective. Many, unfortunately can loft only a portion of their force at any given time and this handicaps their employment in mass assaults and encirclement operations as they take much longer to stage and mount.

The SLDFiE deployed Air-Mobile Infantry forces at all levels as attached assets and as independent formations as large as their over-sized Regiments during the Jihad. At the attachment level (attached to mech and tank units) they provided a very useful tactical capability. At the higher levels these were dedicated formations fully equipped with an “Alia” (or Wing) of VTOLs capable of lofting the entire formation at once if all were cleared to fly. SLDF units operating with the coalition might beg off “only” being able to field 60-70% of a given force due to maintenance issues at any given time, but close observation revealed that most formations, including SOG’s legacy Airmobile troops could usually manage north of 80%. These formations were capable of highly advanced tactics and operations which must have been very dangerous to train for, such as; vertical envelopment, mountainous terrain heliops, close-assaults against fortifications, riparian/amphibious operations and even deployment from airborne dropships.

It is thought this capability is likely maintained today and exists as a holdover from the Studies and Observations Group’s own Airmobile test and evaluation establishment, which later spawned their own highly advanced and capable Airmobile Troops.

VTOLs, be they of the lift-fan, compound, helicopter or other varieties face many technical challenges in the modern age. The last 50 years has seen development firms take a new look at the old and much maligned designs such as the Cyrano and Peregrine; designs which sacrificed everything for massive engines and high mobility. Much of this development was slowed as it came at a time when the notion of speed-as-life was being disproven for light mechs and the prohibitive cost of XL engines further damped the fires. While today, highly advanced and expensive VTOL designs using XL and light engines to cut a balance between mission and survivability are as common as low-budget militia models, we now know that speed is only a mitigating factor in what remains a very risky business. While the staggering losses of Yellow Jacket Gunships in the FedCom Civil War and later highlighted that heavy armour cannot save a slow VTOL, we also know from past experiences that nor can blinding performance save one in the face of determined opposition.

Speed helps, and so does passive protection; namely armour, as well as active defences; such as ECM systems. But what keeps VTOLs alive, besides luck is good tactics.

Brief mention was made above of the limited Clan Practice of deploying battle armour from Aerospace Fighters; namely the Kirgiz. Overall the practice remains uncommon, but increasingly we are seeing similar tactics employed with other, smaller Omnifighters; using large, outside pods to haul Elementals singly and in pairs as well as whole points. One may expect that such pods have a deleterious effect on handling and aerodynamics in atmosphere.
This is a practice the Inner Sphere has yet to experiment with seriously and even modest testing has only served to produce prohibitive casualties and losses in both Omnifighters and Battle Armour troops.

This “Aero-Dragoon” tactic was employed only sparingly during the invasion and mostly by the Ghost Bears. The sheer dynamism of the tactic seems to speak against what we know of Clan Honour and it is expected that at some point it was innovated from a no-doubt even more uncommon practice of using Cargo-Pod Equipped Omnifighters to supplement small craft in various roles. While we know now that the Snow Ravens use this practice as well, despite it’s further use during the Jihad, a concise appreciation of the tactical, operational and even Strategic implications of such capabilities remains out of reach in practice.

Projections indicate, however that if used aggressively the potential of such mixed forces to disrupt communications, command and logistics is profound.

It is hoped that this summary may prove instructive in keeping both winged-warriors and ground-pounders alike informed of the potential threats and benefits of Gravity-Well Air Support.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 28 June 2016, 23:27:19
Something I didn't realize writing this was that i had already laid out a future article to be done on VTOLS and I covered that here. Given the space I used, I think that was for the best, but just in case anyone was waiting for that "Obsidian scalpels and Glass Hammers" article; your VTOLs-in-Der-Tag info is in the above article.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 28 June 2016, 23:56:01
Great look on VTOL's :)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 29 June 2016, 06:32:15
Thanks man, glad you like it :)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 10 July 2016, 12:53:22
Lessons Learned
The Influence of AeroFighters Over the Last 100 Years (part 1)


The AeroFighter has often rivaled the mech for primacy as the most pivotal weapon available to man. The Federated Suns once suffered a minor, but very disruptive military schism over the competition between the two branches.

It was the AeroFighter which first and most ably demonstrated that the Clans were not perfect, but were beatable, flawed beings.

AeroFighters devastated the ranks of the great Warship fleets of the early succession wars and it was AeroFighters which deployed so many of the Blakist’s WMDs during the Jihad.

By the end of the 3rd Succession War, the AeroFighter Branch, as a whole, across all realms was feeling the pinch of Lostech very dearly. Despite being a more ancient contrivance than mechs, much of the tech which AeroFighters has relied upon for centuries had been lost and no one was sure if even the capability to produce the simplest and the most basic AeroFighter components could be retained indefinitely.

Once again; bear in mind that humanity has possessed dual environment combat aircraft in one form or another since 20th Century’s Liberty Space Plane.

The late Succession Wars were truly dark times that generations before and since simply had and have no frame of reference for. Disturbingly, it was this very unbelief which contributed so much to the collapse of technic civilization across known space. What happened before could very well happen again, which is why developments like the fusion engine production drawdown mandated by the Republic disturb so many of us old-timers as much they do. It would be very easy for a gang of technocrats like ComStar or even just extremist luddites to literally blow us back to the stone age once more, with production so concentrated and reduced as it is now, with no stockpiles permitted under the treaties.

But, I digress…

One of the most limiting aspect on transatmospheric operation was the grounding of many ASF squadrons with the collective loss of so many carrier Dropships alongside the destruction of most of the related production machinery for those self-same types.

This severe loss of flexibility and capability is what led to the collective drawing down of ASF forces and reprioritization of scarce supplies and parts, beginning around the mid 2990s and continuing past 3028. Remember that this was part of what made the Davion RCT system and similar commands so operationally effective; they had these large, mobile, attached AeroFighter assets up to a wing in size, which were always on hand to directly take part in operations or support them.

Without that capability---granted by the conversion and use of platforms such as the Mule and Overlord, as well as the limited and slow recovery and building-up of types like the Vengeance---Ground Commands were limited to borrowing (when available and when not needed elsewhere) the tiny (also disparate, un-used to working together, lacking in higher command structure) fighter complements from their Dropships. And most non-mech commands lacked even those.

Before these losses, it was normal to have a Squadron or even a Wing of organic ASF support carried as part of a Mech Regiment, simply to ensure security in different operations and provide limited Close Air Support and photoreconnaissance capability.

Afterwards, with many ASF units confined to operating from secured landing strips, they basically became defensive formations and many Strategic Commanders and procurement officers just figured they might as well have Conventional Atmospheric Fighters instead for most of the capability, a fraction of the tech and less than half the cost.

While their impact on a battle could still be significant; in a strike, interceptor, air/space superiority, patrol or reconnaissance role, simply due to their predominant employment as defensive assets, the impact of AeroFighter operations for the first half of the 31st century would remain minimal.

The coming of the Clans changed that. Early actions in the Free Rasalhague Republic demonstrated that the close-range and chaotic nature of AeroFighter Combat; especially in space evened the long odds imposed by superior Clan technology significantly.

Lostech upgrades for fighters lagged considerably behind mechs; even when an upgrade kit existed or an improved model was available, most resources went too mechs.

But a mere five years after the initial invasion things had already improved measurably and looked keen to continue to do so. More upgraded fighters were finally rolling off the production lines in the Inner Sphere than obsolescent models and various makes of new carrier Dropships, alongside upgrades to standbys like the Vengeance were increasingly becoming available, enough so that the old and much disliked Mule carriers could finally begin to be retired to scrap or reconversion back to freighters.

The late 50s brought even more earth-shaking developments with the return of Warships to the Inner Sphere; but prior to this, Spheroid ASF had already seen action against Clan Warships. These were mainly Star League-Vintage types, ill-suited to close assault from massed fighter formations and Clan Warship forces suffered badly in early encounters until their naval forces re-adopted the habit of close Warship-Dropship-Fighter Cooperation which had predominated in the days of the Star League.

Initially, early Warship designs had been liberally festooned with small and medium-calibre autocannon, even machineguns; mainly for lack of anything better. These were the secondary weapons to the few light capital-grade weapons then on offer. For a brief time, other weapons joined them and then they were reduced almost to nothing by the shipwrights of the Star League era in favour of smaller crews, more and better capital weapons and every larger cargo bays. By the time of the Amaris Coup, if a Warship mounted any small-scale weapons at all, if was a handful of large lasers in all likelihood.

In place of a layered defensive network, the SLDF Navy could call upon literal fleets of assault Dropships and dedicated fighter-carriers to provide a close and flexible defence for their Warships. It was a serviceable tactic, especially against other forces which fought much the same way; with fighter formations and Dropships pairing off to do battle, while the big boys slugged it out.

This practice had been eroded to irrelevance during the succession wars due to both the loss of large numbers of assault and carrier Dropships for close escort work and increasing pressure to detach fleet ASF for ground support, BARCAP and assault missions in an attempt to carry through endless raids and errands of conquest for the competing Great Powers.

The Clans fell out of this habit in the messy fighting of the Pentagon Civil Wars and then failed to revive it until after Operation: Revival (ironically enough). It is thought that this was an artefact of the Clan Zellbrigen honour system, but a few early losses corrected their thinking and helped to salve the egos of the AeroFighter Pilot phenotype. Later Clan designs deployed after the invasion, such as the Conqueror corrected the lack of secondary weapons as well. It seems from historical record and extrapolation from known data that the progression back and forth was a natural cultural progression driven by Warrior Caste ambitions, with outside pressure from the Inner Sphere more incidental to the process.

Customarily, the Clans do not include major assets like Warships and other vessels in trials. Therefor escort, BARCAP and support tasks would have been considered undesirable due to the limited potential to gain combat experience, personal renown, glory and acclaim in the eyes of one’s peers. So the warriors simply followed the action.

As with many aspects of the Clan Invasion, it simply didn’t occur to the Clans to put much stock in historical records or even the reports from Wolf’s Dragoons and instead they simply proceeded initially to greater and lesser extents, as if everyone thought and fought as they did. One example of this is the blindly ignorant use of Clan word-acronyms in communication with Inner Sphere forces, when; save from experience and prisoners, how could their opponents possibly be expected to know such details as what a “batchall” was or how the Clan bidding system worked. Another example is the loose and lacking escort and fighter support provided to Warships during the invasion. Whereas even a pitiful Broadsword Dropship could expect at least some fighter support during a run in to a hostile world, an asset like an ancient Aegis Cruiser (as the jade Falcons deployed almost two-dozen of), would be devoid of any escort from fighters or assault Dropships whatsoever.

When it was seen how Inner Sphere forces would---even if in desperation---attack major Clan naval assets with AeroSpace Fighters, the Clan Fighter Pilots followed the action back to their fleets and returned to (or rediscovered) the traditional practices and tactics of close fighter protection; mainly BARCAP in the case of most Clans.

In the meantime, the Inner Sphere’s naval yards (with the help of either ComStar, the Word of Blake, or both) had begun to produce their own void-capable leviathans and these tended, more often than not to mount at least an attempt at a network of lighter weapons and even AMS systems for antifighter work and close defence based on lessons learned from the Succession Wars and the Clan invasion. A problem with the application of these lessons though, was that they came after a very long break in Warship production and not a continuous evolution and so lacked that engineering continuity. As a result, antifighter and point defences tended to be haphazard and based more on an impression of what might work and not on a proven, progressive pedigree reaching back to the last chapter in Warship development.

The Jihad established that Warships, even when allocated heavy secondary weapons suites were still extremely vulnerable to attack by fighters, especially when those fighters carried tactical nuclear weapons and antishipping missiles. It did however prove that a solid foundation of well-designed secondary weapons, working in concert with appropriate capital weapons which could be spared and supported by assault Dropships and organic, well-trained fighter cover was adequate medicine for almost any practical level of ASF threat. This of course required the presence of scarce assault Dropships, well-trained Warship and Dropship crews, well-trained fighter pilots and the fighters themselves in sufficient quantity and of course; a well-designed Warship in good repair.

Whatever else might be said about the conduct and capability of Warship operations in the Jihad; the shortfall was not in AeroSpace Fighters or the basic skills of their pilots.

What might be reasonably said however was that casualties among fighter units in any operation alongside or against capital ships were usually extremely heavy. In particular; were it not for the very muscular production capacity for AeroFighters in the Free World’s League, the League’s Theras, whatever their loyalty, would have been virtual ghost ships by 3076. The end of the Jihad saw the vast overdraft of obsolete fighters still on the rosters of most of the major powers more or less swept away to be replaced by newer, more capable variants and newer designs. Of course, this also meant that the ranks of AeroSpace Fighter Pilots were denuded as well and echoes of these losses are still being felt today, almost 15 years after the end of hostilities in academies and training establishments from Alpheratz to Zion.

Despite an initially poor showing during the Clan Invasion, OmniFighter technology, while not as popular as OmniMech technology in the public imagination has a much greater practical potential than its ground-based relations. While OmniFighters suffer from the same limitations as other Omnis (Mainly the onerous requirement to keep and store a large stockpile of OmniPods in order to make use of the flexibility inherent in the technology), being closer organizationally to Dropships and other space-faring vessels, or even fixed bases makes these limitations easier to handle in practice. The already organic training of ground crews to rush a landed fighter; fuel it, reload it, execute hasty repairs, toss a sandwich at the pilot and bomb it up as rapidly as possible is highly beneficial to the requirements of reconfiguring OmniPods under pressure. The same team that can zip out to their fighter towing carts of bombs can just as easily port OmniPods.

One of the great practical benefits to OmniFighters in action is the severe difficulty with which a positive identification can be made as to which configuration an opponent is facing, either by eye or computer. The high relative speeds of fighter engagements and the nature of OmniFighter pods make this very difficult indeed and many find they actually need to start taking fire from an OmniFighter, just to narrow down the options. For those not intimately familiar with OmniFighter pods; they are usually mounted as either swap-out wing or fuselage bays, “Cartridge”-style drop or slide-in inserts into the wings and body of the fighter or mounted as simple external “Gunpod”-type units which are hard to tell from external bombs and missiles in a pinch. Rarely; outsize pods are used in the case of large missile launchers or other bulky equipment.

The last 30 years have seen a rise in unconventional thinking regarding the capabilities of the Omnifigher concept; with test-beds in the Raven Alliance and Andurian Pact using pod space for unconventional electronic intelligence-gathering equipment, massive fuel reserves, secondary cockpits, internal bomb racks and even expanded use of the Clan’s so-far operationally unique cargo and BattleArmour pods.

Clan Elemental-carrying OmniFighters of the Kirgiz type appeared during the middle stages of the Clan Invasion of the inner sphere; so far as we knew, but they had in reality been in service since early in the Kirgiz’ career, according to data passed to inner sphere sources by Khan Kell.

They were used rather conservatively until the conflict between the Hell’s Horses and Ghost Bears, where the Bears used the model to rapidly insert and extract Elemental strike forces into key targets in Clan Hell’s Horses territory.

It’s seems the configuration is normally held in some disdain or with some air of mystery by the Clans as it was not seen in major use again until the Jihad where the Jade Falcons, Nova Cats, Wolves, Ghost Bears, Snow Ravens and Hell’s Horses all made at least some use of it. Through that conflict, various ad hoc configurations of other types of OmniFighter in all weight classes were observed under middling conditions. In some cases, the capability had to be extrapolated from limited known data; evidence of a fast or long-range strike featuring Clan BattleArmour forces, an absence of the Kirgiz and a presence of other types of OmniFighter.

During the Jihad, Clan tactics with the Kirgiz and other presumed BattleArmour-Carrying OmniFighters were more aggressive and dynamic in some cases. Besides depressingly unimaginative use of the capability to rush BattleArmour into combat faster than other ground units, there were head-hunter raids, watch-sponsored special forces missions, direction-action missions, objective raids and hit and run strikes, all carried out by Clan Forces using OmniFighter-deployed BattleArmour.

The sheer speed of deployment and recovery makes these actions very hard to counter or even respond to before they are over. To even combat them requires either an omnipresence of military might, extreme, if more conventional rapid deployment capability on hand for counter-moves, total gravity well and near-space supremacy or a rear area hardened beyond all economic reason.

Details are scant, but it is expected that these operations exact a terrible toll on the Elementals called on to take part in them. Even within their suits, the kinds of g-forces and prolonged periods of acceleration; not to mention the beyond violent maneuvering often required by AeroSpace Fighter missions must be extremely punishing for the troops involved. Whereas the Clan pilot phenotype was literally designed for these conditions; the heavier build of the Elemental works against them here and it is expected that they must suffer from extreme fatigue, alongside some muscle, back and joint damage. It is known that Elementals suffer from an abundance of health-related issues as they grow older and what data there is suggests a markedly truncated lifespan compared to the human norm. Given the severity and volume of the issues concerned, the Clan propensity to early, violent death may almost be considered a blessing. Certainly, these issues are already most pronounced among the largest Elementals and those assigned to duty as marines. It can therefore be expected that OmniFighter-deployment missions with their extreme and sudden gravity variations would affect the health and wellbeing of the Elementals involved severely, especially over multiple missions.

These factors explain the Inner Sphere’s own failures in trying to replicate the tactics of Clan joint OmniFighter/BattleArmour operations, especially the volume and severity of the injuries and loss of life sustained by the Battle Armour troops in the studies. A possible up-side is that troops deployed in this way deploy to action tired, even exhausted and possibly with debilitating injuries. However this factor has only rarely been evidenced and then only circumstantially, in practice.

With the appearance of the new Clan “Elstar” and “TankWarrior” Phenotypes, both based partly on the Elemental, it is expected that these too would suffer badly under these kinds of tactics. A potential answer might come in the form of a potential “Marine” Phenotype combining Elemental size and strength with Fighter Pilot agility and G-Force Tolerance, but such a development is purely speculative, so far as is known.

Small Craft are a separate class of vehicle to AeroFighters and Dropships, but the Jihad began to blur the lines of their separate roles with expanded use of the Clan OmniFighter BattleArmour deployment tactics and the revival of the concept of the “Combat Small Craft”.

While some small craft; notably the Mk.VII Landing Craft are built using AeroFighter technology, two (not counting the Capellan Mk.VII “Fighter” Configuration); the historical Aquarius and Lyonesse were actually employed in a similar fashion to modern AeroFighters as Dropship escorts. With the availability of modern technology, the applications for Small Craft as deep space escorts for major naval assets is obvious, but the availability of these and newer “Combat Small Craft” designs was limited during the Jihad and thus it was hard to make a god account of their faults and capabilities.

Historically, the Aquarius and Lyonesse were replaced, in turn by AeroFighters, but contemporary study of surviving examples, technical readouts and the modern reproductions of the two types have revealed that their overshadowing was due mainly to initially poor design, especially in the realm of fuel capacity and engine power. With these flaws corrected, the two types become very valuable platforms for just the kind of missions which were taking off for fighter forces during the last 40 years.

Previous to this, Small Craft have always retained some military utility. Aerodyne Small Craft can carry external bombs and other ordnance on in-built stores pylons, just like fighters and most types retain some capability to transport and land infantry, or even small combat vehicles.

One often-overlooked aspect of Small Craft is their potential as patrol vessels; with their allocation of multiple-place crew complements, along with rudimentary quarters for these crews, they have a capacity for long-duration patrols, limited only by onboard stores and life support which it takes a much more expensive Dropship to match or exceed. The Taurians have long enjoyed this capability through their Tigress Patrol Craft, but with a greater availability of comparable craft, this is a concept which may spread, especially to nations with a great need of inter-system patrol and security, but not much in the way of funds for spare Dropships to do the tasks.

The SLDFiE made extensive use of proprietary small craft designs during the war, but their industrial complex also supplied the K-1 series in a multitude of variations, which showcases the basic versatility and openness to modification that Small Craft epitomize and conversion to duties such as Tanker, Search and Rescue and even prospecting and salvage tasks have occurred on an ad hoc basis for centuries.

Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 10 July 2016, 12:55:44
Lessons Learned
The Influence of AeroFighters Over the Last 100 Years (part 2)


The smaller AeroFighters have become much maligned in the past 100-years and in some realms their numbers have declined due to simple arithmetic. Consider that smaller AeroFighters are more vulnerable to damage and thus are lost easier to enemy action. In an era of Lostech, this was a very serious consideration, but no less so the pilot often lost with his or her fighter. While larger mechs and tanks are also a drain on resources, fighters seem to acquire a particular hardiness that means that over time there are simply more of the larger AeroFighter types around from a given production run as compared to smaller fighters, even when the smaller fighters are made in larger numbers. Compare this to Mechs and Tanks, which tend to attrit at about the same rate, regardless of weight class. Likewise, being more forgiving of some mistakes in combat and errors in judgement; the pilots of larger spaceframes are more likely to survive and accrue experience, whereas a Seydlitz pilot cannot afford any errors if he or she is to live to a ripe old age.

The Taurian Concordant is an extreme example. With three separate factories for the Thunderbird and another for the Slayer and one for the Chippewa, the forces of the Concordant are noticeably heavy in nature. This despite once possessing a very balanced fighter force and production network. When factories for smaller fighters were lost, shuttered or had their wares replaced by larger fighters (As with the lines which once produced Sabre and Rogue Fighters now building the Shilone and Slayer, since the mid Succession Wars), the manufacturing capacity of the Concordant shifted noticeably to the heavy side. This has resulted over time in an increasingly heavy ASF force, often including spaceframes with as much as three-centuries service or more as of 3080 when the current available data was collected.

Factors like these have led some to argue that there is no place for smaller fighters in the modern front-line military, in particular; those less than 45-tons, simply because they are not hardy enough to survive the rigors of aerospace combat. This overlooks several key points however;

-Lighter fighters are noticeably cheaper. Investing in larger numbers of smaller fighters helps stave off the quantitative incompetence brought on by a smaller force of larger AeroSpace Fighters. Not that the force balance the Taurian Concordant displays has taken centuries to come about as smaller ASF were lost and replaced with larger, more expensive, slower to produce models. By contrast; the Calderon Protectorate has only been in existence a short time and already budget-driven procurement has created a force of mainly smaller fighters.

-Lighter ASF, are normally more maneuverable; when trained properly, this provides a deep well of capability which larger models cannot match.

-Lighter fighters are more expendable. Sad as it is to say; it is easier to sustain the loss of easily replaced AeroSpace Fighters like the Sabre than even a Corsair.

By contrast, Heavier fighters have distinct disadvantages compared to smaller fighters, such as;

-Tactical stagnation. Lack of speed and maneuverability forces commanders to adopt increasingly direct tactics, resulting in ossification of combat doctrine over time. In other words: a force which thinks in terms of it’s slowest, least maneuverable members, soon forgets how to use faster, more agile types.

-The low maneuverability itself; this imperils heavier fighters in clashes with larger craft which can bring more weaponry to bear on them, as well as against smaller craft, which can stay on their tail and duel with the paltry rear-firing weapons most heavier fighters mount.

-Pilot skill governors. Because a heavier fighter cannot maneuver like a smaller one, piloting such an craft places a kind of glass ceiling on the skills a pilot may develop over time. Rotating pilots through different types through their career helps mitigate this, but erodes type-familiarity. This is the inverse of the learn or die environment of a lighter machine; because pilots of heavier fighters can survive mistakes or encounters that would kill their brethren in smaller craft; they have difficulty developing and practicing the skills to get out of them; they don’t learn as well as they otherwise might. The counter-argument is that flying a “boat” like a Thunderbird teaches a whole other raft of skills and instincts that a pilot of a smaller fighter never gets the chance to learn, either.

In the face of sustained, heavy combat on all fronts and multiple industrial bases capable of producing heavier AeroSpace Craft en masse, Light Fighter pilots developed proprietary tactics during the recent sphere-spanning conflict in order to maximize their own advantages and mitigate the inherent weaknesses of their smaller mounts. One was called “Load for Bear” This was in response to the lacking punch of light fighters; they would take on as much external stores in the form of weapons as possible, without unduly affecting their maneuverability in order to have a greater short-term impact.

A different take on the same idea was called “Zoom and Boom”. In Zoom and Boom tactics, light fighters would thunder in at maximum velocity, and try to make one good pass on a target, any target, before bugging out, again at maximum speed. If followed by an equally speedy foe; they would turn and engage them, but otherwise, they would out-run them and come back in for a second or third pass if fuel reserves allowed.

The third most well-known tactic was called “Artful Dodger”. In Artful Dodger, light fighter pilots equipped their craft with one or two ECM suites, sometimes in improvised mountings made from black market salvage. One ECM system was always set to either active (disrupt enemy targeting) or passive (cancel out own emissions) disruption, in order to make the light fighters as hard to hit as possible. If there was a second, it was set in ECCM mode and used to cancel the ECM emissions of other craft.

The impact of Lostech on ASF has been less pronounced than seen on mechs and ground vehicles. This is partly because the advent of longer-ranged weapons is mitigated by the speeds at which ASF combat takes place; which quickly close the range between opposing craft. Further; as endo-steel is contraindicated by the stresses, sheering forces and requirement for flexibility of spaceframes, there is less weight freed up by lightened equipment, even when an expensive XL, Lite, or even XXL engine is mounted than there otherwise would be in equally advanced mech.

This is disappointing as AeroFighters don’t suffer from the same reactor-vulnerability issues as mechs do.

The Clan’s AeroFighters do benefit markedly from their lighter weapons and as such the power in weapons and engines they command in combat is on average 20-30% greater than an Inner Sphere fighter of the same mass. This can make a severe difference in combat, but the vulnerability of AeroSpace Fighters to armour breach means that this advantage is not as pronounced as one might think in practice. Where it does tell is in actions against Dropships and Warships, where the heavier firepower can make a very noticeable difference, especially for Captains unfamiliar with the practical applications of Clan Technology to the threat posed by AeroSpace Fighters.

Post-bellum, AeroFighter forces have seen a rise in prominence, relative to other arms of service. Key to defence against Warships and without the same traumatic connotations as BattleMech forces or even Tanks and BattleArmour, ASF were not included in the drawdown treaties written and signed by most of the major powers after the Jihad. As a result; where ground forces and naval strength have slackened, AeroFighter formations have by and large been restored to pre-war levels (or higher in a few, select cases) and sustained with judicious budgetary support.

This situation, meaning the popular blind spot when it comes to AeroSpace Fighters isn’t quite logical, given as The Word used fighters so often to deploy their deplorable WMDs, but all the great powers of the Inner Sphere are willing to take advantage of it for the time being. Beneficial to this is the concomitant support for pocket Warships and assault Dropships (As most carrier-types have now been re-defined for procurement and marketing purposes); vice Warships in the post-Jihad Inner Sphere; as having more dropships in general, this makes it easier for fighter forces to be moved around for official defence and unofficial offence.

This relative popularity works to the benefit of ground forces in some ways as it means a relative increase in the availability of capable trans-atmospheric support for gravity well penetration escort, air cover and especially ground support.

Ground support missions are more common than ever before for ASF squadrons and you would be hard pressed to find one which had not completed at least a refresher and one live-fire bombing and gunnery exercise in the last year anywhere. This is partly because there are now more ASF formations relative to Mech, Tank and even infantry units and partly because many realms have drawn down their training and employment of VTOL and conventional aircraft to save on the fuel costs often associated with those types.

While a fusion reactor is a hefty investment in procurement and maintenance, over time many find that it pays for itself on money saved on fuel, which is much cheaper for ASF by the cubic litre than for a petrochem-burning conventional fighter or VTOL.

A big part however is that ground support taskings; be they officially frowned-upon strategic bombing, tactical bombing or even Close-Air Support and interdiction missions are missions none the less and by the dawn of the new century, there are those looking around at the relative force disparity and putting pressure on the AeroSpace Fighter Corps to justify their continued preponderance.

The benefit of all this goes right to the ground forces, who have more and more expert support of all kinds to call upon from their (often closely) associated AeroSpace Fighter formations.

Operationally, it is being found that ground fire is less effective now than in the past due to the increasing use of counter measures, the hirer experience in “Mud-Moving” most aerojocks now have and the reduced raw capability in air defence most ground formations now possess. This in turn has led to greater reliance on ASF units for various Air-Superiority missions to compensate.

In exercises and operationally, the bottom line for ground support missions is probably better now than at any point since at least the high water mark of the late Star League-era. The fighters are there, the pilots know their jobs and the air defences are generally much weaker. The effect this has on those ground units on the receiving end is profound and it is now nearly impossible to conduct any ground operation without at least some attached AeroSpace assets.

Naturally, underwing ordnance is perhaps more important now than ever. From drop tanks to Air-Launched Cruise Missiles, it is rare to see any mission mounted without at least something clustered under the wings of the aircraft involved, no matter the mission.

The Jihad allowed a great deal of what would have been proprietary technology to proliferate and the 3rd League’s economic policies have only exacerbated this. What this means in practice is that military technology which was considered exclusive even 30 years ago is now available, if in limited quantities to every nation in the Inner Sphere, and the middle powers in the Periphery, by import if by no other means. This extends fully to underwing ordnance once considered extremely advanced; such as the Light AAM and Air-to-Air Arrow missile.

The current operating environment, post-war has brought new popularity to underwing ordnance not seen in centuries. Once easily discarded as of minimal value, or an unnecessary luxury; most doctrines today consider items like Gun and Rocket pods as important as bombs and drop tanks to the capability of a modern Fighter Squadron. Fancier, higher-ticket items like ECM pods and large underwing missiles may be less common, but are no less esteemed.

If all this emphasis on other arms and drawing down on mech forces has left MechWarriors feeling a little less relevant, it’s understandable, but misguided. No matter their capabilities or numbers, AeroFighters can never replace BattleMechs in either a tactical or strategic sense. While they may be able to substitute fire for physical presence in a manner similar to artillery at the operational level; they cannot hold or actually *take* a position, only attack or defend it and while almost all ASF can take off and land vertically, they remain closely tied to an inflexible support trail which mandates close association with a static base.

In short, Mechs are more capable and less limited. Which, combined with their un-matched ground mobility and multi-environmental tolerance is what makes them the King of the Battlefield.

While House Davion may have suffered from this sort of rivalry in the past; today it is mostly confined to pundits and so-called trade magazines and no one in position of high command can take it seriously.

If there can be said to be any one major lesson on AeroFighter operations to take away from the last hundred years of military history, it is that such assets are essential to even minor operations. If the enemy has them and you don’t, things tend to go badly and it is an arm of service which can be neglected only at great peril.

In fielding and employing AeroSpace Fighters; Commanders and Leaders at all levels must consider force balance, training, experience, numbers, deployability and support in order to effectively incorporate ASF assets into their operations and overall strategic visions.


***

Honestly, I think this is some of my better work.

*Modified to add 3 paragraphs in the middle, which I had been thinking about, but only when i wasn't writing. Sigh...
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 10 July 2016, 12:58:00
Dunno how you guys feel about it, but I think this just about mandates making a Benchrest entry on underwing ordnance in Der Tag, eh?
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 10 July 2016, 14:51:11
This..this is absoutely superb!  This reads so well, its really rational and sounds like it belongs in the canon of battletech.  Absoutely brilliant work my friend!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 10 July 2016, 16:02:18
Thanks Marauder.

It's not often I feel like I did a good job, but here it just clicked. Part of this series is giving people a "20 Year Update" introduction to Der Tag, but another part is providing a response to people who think the game is only supposed to be about mechs and mechs alone and anything which provides a distraction from that is bad.

These are some really passionate people with very deep roots in the game, who could probably kick my ass in any given game of BT...especially as I think I am still rocking something like a 1 win to 20 losses rate.

I think, insofar as these people can be reasoned with; the best way to do it is with realism, logic and really putting some solid effort in. And in the end putting out something that shows how the disparate arms of service work together, even in a Mech Regiment to win the battle, but how due to the nature of a mech, that winning that battle depends so heavily on mechs, no matter what else might be in play.

Der Tag is a a universe of big, well-supported armies as much as it a return to the "One Mech Company Can Defend or Take a World" days of the game. The difference is that the mech company never fights alone, but nor did they in the old days. Once I start talking about how Operation: Century went down, you see a lot more of that kind of action, where the fate of a world comes down to a company of Mechs, one way or another.

This is fan work, so there is no word count to worry about; so I can write as much as I need to in order to really give a good treatment of each given topic.

I can't imagine putting 10 pages, 12pt Times New Roman, Single-Spaced into any BT book on a subject like this. A lot of the BG of the universe is so diverse, so deep and wide, a lot gets skimmed over. Honestly I have no idea how the writers do what they do and manage put out some incredible stuff in packages so concise, attractive and informative. Me; I just vomit words until I'm empty.

What I really can't believe is that I actually thought it would be a good idea to just sum up ASF as part of the Gravity Well Air Support article. That would have been a mess!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: PeacMaker03 on 10 July 2016, 22:12:40
Beachhead,
Great job so far looking forward to more. I can not help but feel like a cadet receiving a class from a guest speaker.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 11 July 2016, 00:41:54
Beachhead,
Great job so far looking forward to more. I can not help but feel like a cadet receiving a class from a guest speaker.

Thanks PeacMaker03!

Before I changed directions in my career, part of my job was as an instructor; particularly in weapons, tactics and history, but I taught everything. I have 27 courses under my belt as a teaching staff member.

PS: Stick around; given your user name, you'll really like one of the SupVees I did up ;)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Shadow_Wraith on 11 July 2016, 01:08:30
 O0 Beachhead your AU is great, it gives the wider view of warfare in BT Universe!  Keep it up!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 11 July 2016, 06:25:39
O0 Beachhead your AU is great, it gives the wider view of warfare in BT Universe!  Keep it up!

I'm thrilled you guys are enjoying it. It's the full-spectrum aspect of Battletech, which I feel is one of it's greatest strengths and I wanted to highlight that in Der Tag as much as anything else.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Vition2 on 11 July 2016, 10:46:46
I second what everyone else has said.  Great read beachhead.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 11 July 2016, 10:57:00
Indeed, its deeply professional and really well thought out with superb doctrinal and training ideas as well as a great grasp of the cause and effect of the changing face of warfare in the Btech universe. 
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: truetanker on 11 July 2016, 20:25:21
I await the Der Tag: The Novel, a mini-series. Whereas each book is a complete story, but one must have every single published material to enjoy this rich history.

Am I right?  ^-^

TT
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 11 July 2016, 21:08:27
I await the Der Tag: The Novel, a mini-series. Whereas each book is a complete story, but one must have every single published material to enjoy this rich history.

Am I right?  ^-^

TT

Yeesh, what do you think I am? Games Workshop?  ::)  :D
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Vition2 on 11 July 2016, 21:42:53
Yeesh, what do you think I am? Games Workshop?  ::)  :D

Nah, you'll give it to us for free, not $50. heh
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 11 July 2016, 22:30:21
Nah, you'll give it to us for free, not $50. heh

Online, limited-edition exclusive, 3-part series, with audio-only "Deleted Scene" segment, 25 pounds each, maybe-possibly to be released to the general public in paperback or hardcover prestige format...

Or just continue to inflict myself upon you all in the manner to which I am accustomed?

Tough call. Tough Call.

But seriously, next project is a Benchrest segment on underwing ordnance (Rules 60% done, re-investing in my word-hoard). Then I should do my part of a better map, which Davout73 has so graciously offered to help me out with.

Then we visit the once and former King; now dethroned by armoured giants and living on in exile: Artillery!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: DOC_Agren on 19 July 2016, 22:40:54
Love this  O0
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: truetanker on 20 July 2016, 12:51:07
Online, limited-edition exclusive, 3-part series, with audio-only "Deleted Scene" segment*, 25 pounds each, maybe-possibly to be released to the general public in paperback or hardcover prestige format...

* Only if you have Patrick Stewart, Adam West and Will Wheaton for the voiceovers...

TT
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 20 July 2016, 18:04:14
* Only if you have Patrick Stewart, Adam West and Will Wheaton for the voiceovers...

TT

You know...In keeping with the general example of the canon, I do imagine BT characters as real people. Starling, for instance is Jesse Ventura.

And I have an SLDF officer in mind who is Dean Stockwell.

Will Wheaton, i got nothing for and...well if you gamed with me, you'd see it's uncharacteristic of me; but no one crazy enough for Adam West to do justice to. Patrick Stewart though? Yeah I can see him as a Republic Paladin; utterly dedicated, totally honourable, completely brilliant and heroically doomed. He is Captain Picard for me though, you understand and not Gurney Halleck.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 27 July 2016, 19:14:52
Underwing stores are done. Going to post them in Bench rest when I have time, but the recent "Lance Theory" thread gave me an idea for an entertaining tangent; roles of military equipment in the SLDF.

Here are the categories I use in my designs:

Aerofighters: Self explanatory. Within the category the individual models have designations that reflect their specialization and traits. The Lighting is an "Attack Fighter" for instance; but quite a few are proprietary to individual models.

The Air Cav Program:  Specifically VTOLs. Growing out of the SOG's original Testing and Development Establishment, all SLDF Rotary-Wing Designs are vetted through the Air Cav Program to reflect their primary employment by the Air-Mobile Infantry Regiments.

ANGLICO: When a mech design, this is accompanied by a "U" Suffix at present. ANGLICO is the Air-Naval-Gunfire-Liason-Corps. These are fire support and telemetry specialists found throughout the SLDF and intended to provide the best possible forward observation and control for all fire support assets from Infantry Mortars to Orbital Bombardment.

Armoured Cavalry: This is Light, Tracked Armour in the SLDF. It's found supporting infantry and heavier armour. More mobile tanks, up to 50 tons.

Black Naval Assets: All Space-Going Vessels. Dropships, Jumpships and Warships., but also Space Stations and Small Craft.

Blue Naval Assets: Ocean-Going Ships of the SLDF. Smaller vessels may be used in Littoral operations as well.

Brown-Water Naval Assets: Littoral and Riverine Naval Assets.

Combat Support: Including Combat Support and Combat Service-Support Assets. Over 90% of the models in the Combat Support Category are Destrier Heavy Trucks, in practice.

Conventional Air Support: Fixed-Wing Aviation Support for combat missions. This could include that used by Fortified Area Troops, Militia, Reserves and Regular Army and Navy Conventional Aviation units. In practice, this is everything from Spotter Planes to Heavy Bombers.

Fire Support: Differentiated in Mechs by an "H" Suffix in their designation. These are designs intended to provide stand-off direct, indirect or anti-aircraft fire support to front line troops. They may be found in anything from organic Artillery Batteries, up to Corps Artillery Brigades. Fire Support designs must be able to achieve their mission, which must include keeping up with the units they are part of and supporting them as much as possible. If something must be sacrificed it is either armour, raw efficiency or firepower. This is a change from contemporary fire support concepts, with always favour firepower over all else. SLDF Fire Support designs can be as over-gunned as anyone's, but the Horse Cavalry stables include some unique high-mobility types as well; such as the Saladin and Hollander II sub-types. Fire Support Mech designs are unique in the SLDF in that they are the only kind which may sacrifice protection in order to fulfill their other missions and still potentially be accepted for service.

Ground Infantry Carriers: The primary equipment of an Armoured or Mechanized Infantry unit's Armoured Carrier Alia (or "wing"). The Infantry unit and their appropriate wing together make up a "Legionary" Combat Team Formation of a given size. It is normal for an Infantry unit to train mainly with their own Alia, but occasionally borrow a different one as circumstances dictate. The Specificity of the name is to differentiate this younger grouping from the older Air Cavalry Program. To prevent a willy-nilly proliferation of designs, the New Model Army found it necessary to develop a separate developmental and conceptual grouping for Ground Infantry Carriers to keep disparate interests from developing an even more extensive array of proprietary designs, when a smaller mix was more useful. "Smaller" being a relative concept; there are currently 14 major vehicles families under this grouping.

Heavy Assault: A classification unique to Mechs and designated by an "R" (for "Regular", the only time the Letter relates to something) Suffix; Heavy Assault units are the backbone of the SLDF's Mech Forces and are specifically mechs of 50-100 tons, with designs balanced towards protection and firepower, with a ground speed of not less than 40kph. This last is a revision to provide a greater differentiation between the Light and Heavy Assault types in permissible performance parameters and also to allow the deployment of more recent Up-Armoured Heavy Assault designs. It is normal doctrine for Heavy Assault Units to move operationally and strategically by dropship and be deployed directly into a tactical battle or only perform an organic Tactical Advance to Battle. In other words; they normally only move tactically on foot. otherwise; they move by dropship.

Household Cavalry: So named for their most common employment: directly attached as armoured support to infantry formations; Household Cavalry are Tracked AFVs, massing more than 50 tons and able to maintain at least 50kph off-road to the limits of crew endurance. Larger SLDF armoured units are actually made up of a mix of Light and Heavy Assault Mechs, supported by Light Cavalry, Lancers and employing Independent Heavy Tank Battalions as their main striking force.

Independent Heavy Tanks: These are heavy, tracked vehicles massing between 80 and 200 tons and capable of at least 30kph off-road to the limits of mechanical endurance. They are deployed as near the front-line as possible, direct from dropships and are employed in "Must-Take" defensive roles, complex fighting withdraws working with their dropships and line-breaking operations. Under SLDF doctrine; a "Must-Take" is a geographic objective which an enemy must take and cannot afford to bypass or ignore. Putting a Large Battalion of Heavy Tanks on it which are barely mobile; mounting mountains of armour and huge arsenals of weapons and which are supported by Light Cavalry, Recon, Engineers, Recovery and organic infantry and artillery assets makes such tactical and operational problems utter nightmares for any force opposing them.

Lancers: Lancers are highly mobile Hover and Wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles used for break-through, exploitation, harassing, screening and reconnaissance-in-force operations. Lancer designs value mobility most of all with Wheeled vehicles needing to maintain at least 80kph cross-country in a charge and hover vehicles needing to match that at cruising speeds. In practice the different types are organized in separate formations, with the wheeled units being the heavy hitters and the Blowers being the mobile striking assets.

Light Assault: Another mech-exclusive designation, this one picked out by a "G" Suffix. Light Assault Mechs May weigh as much as the 95ton BNC-3G Banshee, or as little as the 20-ton HNT-151G-Series Hornets. Firepower and Heat Efficiency may be sacrificed, so long as each mech can manage at least 85kph in a sprint.

Mobile Bunkers: A literal concept. Mobile Bunkers are assets of the Fortified area-troops. Mobile trailers able to be set in place or removed in order to confuse and disrupt attacks on fortified areas. At heart, Mobile Bunkers are heavy trailers and barely mobile, but in practice they are effective in bogging down assaults and providing unexpected surprise to attacking forces. They are built to be easy to use and user-friendly due to the disabled and venerable nature of most Fortified Area Troopers.

The Powered Suit Program: A broad category which covers development and deployment of all forms of powered suit technology in the SLDF from basic Industrial Exoskeletons to Assault-Weight BattleArmour and Specialist Designs.

Recon: Differentiated by an "F"-Suffix designator in Mechs, recon units must be highly mobile (as much as possible, but in practice in excess of 100kph ground speed under moderate conditions) and mount a TAG system, sensors and active defensive electronics. The mission of Recon Units of all types is exclusively information-gathering.

Scout Hunters: Similar, in practice to Recon Mechs, these "Z"-designated mechs lack some or all of the electronics of Recon Mechs and have the mission of providing something of a Cavalry Role; namely screening and counter-reconnaissance. Lancers fulfill a similar role, but in practice usually mount firepower and armour which makes them additionally valuable as offensive assets, while by comparison, the raiding role is more commonly attributed to Light Assault Mechs, though Scout Hunters may perform it successfully as well, given lighter resistance.

Special Attack: Special Attack Mechs are those with designs geared toward Infantry Support/Suppression and Asymmetrical Attack missions. They are picked out in their designations by a "T" Suffix and may weight anywhere from 20-100 tons and possess any combination of mobility and firepower, so long as protection is maintained. Heat efficiency is permitted to suffer under these circumstances, but many Special Attack types are very efficient indeed. They typically mount a wide range of weapons which are useful for dealing with or supporting enemy infantry, whether on foot or in a hard suit. Some Special Attack designs, however also possess a striking capability to disable enemy mechs for capture, rather than destroy them. While Special Attack pilots can yet look on the RAF's TSEMP with envy; other weapons; traditional and esoteric still work wonders. The Special Attack role is one which dates from SOG's earliest days, beginning with Captain Catherine Dubois' Sweep Company of specialized support mech types.

Striker: Strikers are those Mechs (Designated by a "V"-Suffix) which mount maximum armour protection and are completely independent of ammunition. Additionally; high-heat efficiency and electronics are valued as well, but not necessary for acceptance. Striker Mechs often attack from ambush and operate at length behind enemy lines. Other types may be found attached organically to Striker formations (Fire Support, Recon, Scout-Hunter), but they must be ammunition independent. Striker duty is extremely adverse and the Cadres have succeeded in an agreement with Quartermaster Command to reassign some lighter machines to other formations and as of Jan 1, 3100, there will be no more Fleas in any Striker Formation; this despite the origin of the designs used by the SLDF with the Original Striker Cadres. The COM-3V Commando, KTO-2V Koto and Locust IIC-V are also under scrutiny and at least the Striker's Commandos are likely to be reallocated to other commands; potentially passed down to the Reserves, Surplussed or converted to other variants for continued front-line service. It is worth noting that with the Striker Regiments, the SLDF has practically removed a second item from the logistical system; ammunition, alongside fuel, though as a matter of necessity; Striker Dropships still carry both fuel and at least bombs and other underwing stores for their organic fighter support and near-space mobility.

Urban Warfare: Urban Warfare as a Sphere of Operations and designated role is a reality for the SLDF, which deploys dedicated "Urban Shock" Regiments combining Mechs, Infantry and Artillery. Urban Shock Mechs, which are "N"-Suffixed are optimized for close-quarter combat, but are ideally also capable of long-range combat (though the bias is normally very clear). They do not have to be maneuverable, but need to be well-protected. Urban Shock units contain no other proprietary specialized vehicles, though they do make heavy use of the "Rolling Thunder" SRM/Infantry Carrier.

*Note: Contrary to Republic Propaganda; No SLDF unit, including the Urban Shock Regiments counts soldiers younger than 16 among their normal orders of battle (except in instances of law breaking by the individual). This "Urban Legend" stems from the employment, during the Second Liberation of Terra of four additional Regiments of Cadet Volunteers (with the Cadets ranging from 12-18 years old) by the 1st Urban Shock Regiment ("Vancouver Street Fighters") as "Stack Fillers" throughout the campaign. While unusual in the extreme, the Cadet Corps exists for a reason and Commander Mckenna approved the employment of qualified volunteers for the campaign as a necessary measure to speed the conclusion of Urban Operations and minimize friendly casualties. For the operation the Cadets were mainly equipped with the kinds of weapons they were used to and suited to their stature (T2G Autocarbine, M33A1 SMG, K5 Heavy Needler and Dusak 150K Laser Rifle; with the M33A1 Preferred). Sadly; most were unable to utilize the heavier, more comprehensive protection of the standard "CauldronBorn" suits due to sizing issues and instead had to make do with the lighter Ablative/Flak Suits they were trained with. As a result; where as most Regular Army Casualties wearing the CauldronBorn package were wounded and later able to return to a full life, if not to front line combat service, many more Cadets were killed in action than were wounded.

Studies still hold that the employment of the Cadet Volunteers saved vast numbers of lives; both directly and indirectly, but scholars today debate the cost. While each individual Cadet may have been a volunteer, their majority status as orphans is meaningless compared to the reality of employing child-soldiers in offensive roles. The mental cost to adult SLDF soldiers who served beside the Cadets, fought and bled with them and eventually had to watch many of them die was devastating and the days following the cessation of hostilities were marked by unusually high numbers of suicides among the Urban Shock Regiment. Most of the Cadets who survived and remained fit for service, claimed their ransom of early enlistment in the SLDF, soon to be In-exile. Most of those who died had no family to send their benefits to and chose friends, instructors (who led their cadets personally in battle), comrades, or charities. The phenomena of cascading benefits meant that eventually some tiny foundation, benefit, cause or individual could find themselves receiving, in one case, in excess of 1 million C-Bills after the war. Of those invalided out of service, most because casualties of their own minds within the next ten years, but some went on to careers in policing and public service or the Fortified Area Troops. All Surviving Cadet Volunteers benefited from unusual grants and subsidies, almost all of which were eventually claimed.

"I'll never be able to forgive myself for taking part in this; even if I am convinced of the necessity of the campaign itself. Casualties in my company are over 300% with the retreads from the hospital. Which would be impossible without the assault suits**, but the tempo of operations is frankly acidic to the mental well-being of the troops. Even so and I truly loath myself for admitting to it, but suits or no, we could never do this without the kids.

Four Regiments; it's unbelievable and sickening. But you call for a man, or a det, or squad up and there they are with their smiling, dirty faces behind the visors. There is literally no let up and as much as that pace is killing my men and women (I can't bring myself to call them "Boys and Girls" anymore), it's literally slaughtering the Blakists. And that buys me another room or a floor; maybe an apartment. It works. And I hate it. And I'm ashamed of myself for making use of it.

Literally endless manpower. You can't fight that; not really. No one but us plans on any level for this kind of capability. This kind of constant push. The Wobblies; they plan an urban defensive and they work things into it like the kind of rest and rotation you get from these kinds of casualties, but with the Cadets; we just push and push and keep pushing until all organized resistance collapses and we're fighting scared, desperate TerraSec troopers who haven't eaten in four days, because we captured their supplies, because they didn't think we'd move that fast, haven't even left the room to take a crap because the hallway has windows. Enemies who hate us for everything; including for the kids and are too scared of us; including the kids, to give up.

Which is fine, really. That's unofficial policy anyways; prisoners are taken before a battle and after it; not during. And you *Confirm Your Kills, Soldier*. Look at Seattle and Mexico City and Boston and Montreal; Gave up without a shot. All we had to do was ask. Hope Tokyo goes the same way.

And the little bastards are too young to be scared; to not believe; to have a limit for their hate when they feel it. The Cadet Corps produces legions of highly motivated fanatics for us from the age of twelve and up. Jesus, I hate it. But those kids are too young to know better and Supply and Replacement dumps them directly into the fire so they don't have time to get scared.

We have an army of the best-trained, best-equipped infantry ever; driven forward by four times our number of greener than green kids and in turn, we force-multiply them so it's almost like having another two Regiments of Infantry backing us up. Which in turn lets us take an area ten times bigger and ten times faster than we should be able to. And less time fighting means fewer casualties and a shorter campaign and a shorter war. And we are willing to do what it takes to have that. We'll shed a lake of blood now to save an Ocean and we'll do it all day long.

I thank God for the Assault Suits, and I thank God for the Cadets too and I know I'm going to Hell for it."

-Diary of 1st Lieutenant Drederick Jones, 1st Urban Shock Regiment "Vancouver Street Fighters", Died (Noncombat) and Promoted to Major, 10 August 3067, outside of Vancouver Metropolitan Area, Terra.



**the early designation for the CaldronBorn Infantry Armour Kit.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Shadow_Wraith on 28 July 2016, 09:11:41
 :) Nice update.  Very well thought out names for units and mission profile!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 29 July 2016, 05:51:04
Superbly thought out and a great doctrinal layout too!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 31 August 2016, 07:43:54
Dunno how you guys feel about it, but I think this just about mandates making a Benchrest entry on underwing ordnance in Der Tag, eh?

And here it is, in it's completeness.

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=51934.0 (http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=51934.0)

And it looks like the next article is on Artillery, cool :)

Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Shadow_Wraith on 05 September 2016, 13:30:36
 O0
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 02 November 2016, 22:12:57
Hi there guys.

Okay, so you have all been really patient and yeah, yeah; I've been busy. But I haven't forgotten about you or this project, so thanks for waiting.

While I finish the next article; here is a tangent i excised from the article I was working on and turned into it's own thing. Not my best work, but still kinda cool, I hope.

Upcoming work will include a Benchrest entry for JATO bottles (to help heavily-laden Aerofighters, Conventionals and Fixed-Wing Supports take-off in shorter rolls), the long-awaited artillery article, a finalized and GORGEOUS Der Tag map Davout did up for me, an updated production report with a few tweaks and Bench rest articles for the Artillery of Der Tag. Now most of those last will be recognizable from my thread on the subject from last year or so, some some will be new and it will all be in one place, so there is that.

Without further ado; like on moving day, we'll see if it all fits.

Passive Protection at the End of the 31st Century
24 November, 3099
By Professor Emeritus Bethany Banzai, NAIS
(References Available Upon Request, redacted for brevity and clarity)

In my Father’s Day, this article would never have been necessary, but judging by the crop of dilettantes and cowboys parading through this august establishment today---to say nothing of their test scores---It is my learned opinion that just such a missive is not just helpful, but imperative.

Over the last forty years, we have seen an explosion of diversity in passive protection; armour, in other words. Whereas at the midpoint of the century now ending we had only standard and ferro-fibrous protection to be found on the battlefields of the successor states. The massive systemic shock of the Clans prompted developments which would have been inconceivable even a decade earlier and the release of prototype weapons and equipment onto the battlefield which had hardly been tested at all.

The later years of the Second Soviet Civil War had seen the development that would lead to what we can consider modern passive protection; armour in other words. Today’s armour protection is very different from the face-hardened steels and composites of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Back then, more or less; an armoured vehicle which was hit by enemy fire was either dead or nominally operational; any hit which failed to kill a tank was unlikely to immediately diminish it’s operational capability unless one got lucky or very clever.

The highly efficient and very large High-Explosive-Anti-Tank and ultra-dense Hyper-Velocity-Armour-Piercing-Fin-Stabilized-Discarding-Sabot-Long-Rod-Penetrator munitions then in use tended to be one-shot stops for most tanks of the era. A hit might not kill the crew, but if it got through the armour, which it often did, despite the best efforts of crew and industry, it usually disabled or destroyed the tank. If it failed to penetrate, it usually failed to even stun the crew.

Lesser weapons; even when they got a direct hit, simply didn’t rate in most cases. Artillery usually needed a lucky direct hit or advanced hunter-killer munitions to make a difference against armoured fighting vehicles. Normally cosmetic and minor external damage, up to a broken track was about the limit of anything short of dedicated anti-armour munitions. Which, again; tended to kill, rather than damage a tank.

Modular armour put a stop to that. Contrary to popular opinion and most appearances to the contrary; modern armour plating is *not* of Monobloc construction. A hint of this is found in the appearance of “scales” in the external appearance of the Starguard, Starshield and Star Slab/3 (Common on the BattleMaster, Dragon and Goliath) brands, unless significant epoxy is provided to seal the seams.

Modern Armour is of the ablative type; meaning that it is designed to be destroyed and shed in small pieces or “scales”, usually made in a stock hexagonal interlocking or ovular overlapping shape, but also provided in a variety of stock rectangular strips for making more angular ballistic shapes. Attached to the internal structure of a mech, tank, fighter or battlesuit; the shape of the individual piece’s aids repair and ****** damage as well as being forgiving of physical impact and torsion. This makes it able to survive coating a fighter’s wings or a mech’s legs. The various Ferro-Fibrous Armour Types require a much higher number of internal attachment points due to it’s physical properties and thus represents a greater internal space claim than other armour types.

This ablative structure is to the good as angling armour have become increasingly less relevant and harder to accomplish. Mechs are built in the image of man and thus are covered in many largely vertical surfaces by necessity. Likewise; modern tanks have become taller due to the incorporation of weapons designed for mechs, in order to compete with them. This is exacerbated by the tendency of mechs to fire *down* at armoured fighting vehicles. This has led to unprecedented thicknesses of armour on the hull and turret roofs of ground vehicles, which would have been inconceivable before the Mackie first fired a shot in anger. Any protective surface, such as a tank’s glacis plate, which is angled to deflect a shot from a threat on a similar elevation is increasingly less effective and wasteful in engineering terms when engaged by a threat which is 7-15 meters tall from any distance; the angled plates just aren’t angled anymore in a relative sense.

The design of modern armour leads it to shatter, melt and drop away when it is hit by weapons fire, thus wasting the energy of a given effective hit. So rather than a single killing blow, we are forced to wear away; to “Sand-Blast” modern armour composites. This system is effective enough that despite standardizing depleted uranium or tungsten or wolfram armour-defeating measures into autocannon rounds, it took decades to return effective armour penetration to ballistic weapons in the form of our own simply described; “Armour-Piercing” ammunition in 3059. Of course, the downside is that almost any weapon applied consistently over enough time can wear down modern passive armour protection, but that seems to be the price we pay to avoid single, catastrophic penetrating hits; the classic “All or Nothing” technical proposition.

Warship armour structure is mainly beyond the scope of this document (rarely coming into contact with artillery fire, as it is), but as it may benefit the curious to dispel a persistent urban legend; due to the way they are constructed; the weight of a warship’s armour is irrelevant to it’s construction. Rather more important is the mass of internal structure and armour connective attachment infrastructure. The actual real mass of a warship’s armour is actually several orders of magnitude greater than that typically presented as “Armour”; the vessel’s internal structure and armour connective infrastructure. Due to the need to mainly sealing and flexibility under combat maneuvering stress and hostile fire these features and the protective value provided by the armour are much more important than its raw mass, which is difficult to measure in practice to any uniform degree due to the raw scale of warships and the individual variations of particular ships in practice.

Regardless of how it is quantified, all armour types in modern use share a similar structure; from bleeding edge Lamellor-Ferro-Carbide on a Clan or 3rd League Warship to the comparatively primitive ProtectaSkin found on a family Sedan.

Up to warship armour, the old standby Barnes-Mayberry scale is a useful tool. This simple scale defining a value Barnes and Mayberry called “Barrier Armour Level” produced a rating from 1 to 10 with 1 representing a common infantry anti-armour rocket or LAW and 10 representing the then-ultimate punch of a Class-10 Autocannon. Barnes-Mayberry provided a unit of measure for quantifying the varying qualities of different grades of material from shortly before the invention of the BattleMech.

Despite it’s dated nature, this scale is still in use today. The basic idea is that a particular *grade* of armour will stop damage deemed equivalent to it’s BAR rating and below, but higher will penetrate through the armour. Vehicles built for combat with anti-spall liners, protective void spaces, blast baffled and blow-out panels are much less vulnerable to this, but not totally immune. BAR 10 armour, with these features was considered proof against any weapons fire which did not strip the armour completely and this is the basis of modern battlefield armour.

A good starting point is common “standard” Battlefield armour of the type which has remained the benchmark for all others from the Modernized Mackie to the present day. This is formed of a composite sandwich of several materials;

*Plasteel reflective layer

*Proprietary crystalline “Flint Steel” high-density later

*Face-Hardened, Cryogenically-Aligned-Crystal Steel

*Proprietary Ceramic heat-dissipating and ballistic counter-projection layer

Covered in practice by a coat of primer; the plasteel reflective layer forms the outer layer of a fist-sized, 50mm-thick armour plate; this is a pale shadow of real reflective armour, but presents a compromise which prevents the full-laser burn-through common in the era of contemporaries of the Korvin tank. Basically; this layer helps blunt and waste the power of coherent light weapons and has proven proportionately effective against these weapons even up to the modern Re-Engineered Lasers. This layer never varies and is found on all Barrier-Level 9 and 10 Armour.

Next comes the always proprietary Crystalline Density Layer. Known industrially as “Flint Steel” for it’s dark and sparkly appearance, every manufacturer has a different recipe for this material, which may even vary between brands offered by the same company. This is made in varying composition from a layer of depleted uranium or iridium and a crystalline structure. This structure may be an artificial diamond or ruby form or a natural substitute where required or available. Natural Rubies are included in many Draconis Combine native-produced armour composites for instance. This layer helps turn and resist hyper-velocity penetrators, breaking them up on it’s ribbed structure and also acts as a form of “crumple zone” to dissipate the effects of PPC fire. Only Barrier-level 10 armour, as measured on the Barnes-Mayberry scale has this layer.

Cryogenically-Aligned-Crystal Steel usually, but not always forms the bulk of a given armour plate; it is strong and flexible and provides the structure to attach the other layers. Almost any world with a pre-spaceflight industrial base can produce it.

Finally, is a layer of heat-resistant ceramic. This layer dissipates heat and deflects physical impacts laterally. The heat-dissipating effects of ceramics are well known, but less well-known are the properties of ballistic ceramics. When struck by physical impacts and high-velocity penetrators; the ceramic layer forces the energy of the impact out laterally. This final layer is what until recently totally blunted the killing power of the hyper-velocity long-rod penetrator. The Ceramic layer is in many ways what makes modern armour what it is today thanks to these properties and the by-product of the “Shattering” effect as the Ceramic layer expands with heat or breaks under pressure and causes the shedding of individual armour plates. Manufacturers take pains to ensure that heat and force is minimally transferred to neighbouring plates when one is destroyed. Ceramics are found on most of the Barrier grades from 3-10.

Lesser grades of armour, such as the “Industrial” and “Commercial” armour found on WorkMechs and lower ratings on the Barnes-Mayberry scale usually substitute less advanced, but cheaper and easier to make materials, reducing their effectiveness. Just because most worlds *can* produce Face-Hardened, Cryogenically-Aligned-Crystal Steel, doesn’t mean it’s cheap or easy to do so.

Individual “recipes”, brands or makes of armour vary the composition, thickness and order of the layers and/or add new ones, but vary most in the proprietary methods for attaching and interlocking the layers within a single armour plate. These methods are typically where various armour brands get their names; Valiant Lamellor, long thought by many to be related in some way to Ferro-Fibrous Armour (it’s not, Valiant just makes a variant of the same armour using ferro-fibre) is known by it’s complex, but highly effective bonding and interlocking layers, inspired by ancient Lamellor armour. The various “Star Armours” have the Crystalline Density layer on the outside. If you want, there are hundreds of materials sciences studies out there on which recipes, orders, compositions and bonding processes work best, but overall most types are trade-off in one way or another and different types of standard armour plates work only marginally more or less well under certain conditions than others against various threats.

Real variation comes when materials are substituted or missing from the armour altogether. Use of different, less advanced materials or removing some altogether takes you farther down the Barnes-Mayberry armour scale, as stated. Substitutions and additions take you to different types of armour.

Ferro-Fibre variants replace the aligned-crystal steel layer with ferro-fibre and thin out most of the crystal density layer. Ferro fibre has more give in it than aligned crystal steel, but frays under stress and is more vulnerable to heat (and acids just ruin it), necessitating a thicker ceramic layer or other measures. As noted; they also require more and more extensive armour attachment schemes, which take up space inside even mechs and tanks designed with ferro-fibrous armour in mind. The upshot of Ferro-Fibres is that they provide additional protection compared to standard armour of the same mass, though the physical limitations of the additional connective points keep mechs from carrying greater overall protection than they could using standard armour protection.

As Ferro-Fibres are prone to fraying on the microscopic level over time due to torsion and flexing; Ferro-Aluminum is preferred for aerospacecraft. It is also more heat-resistant, which is important during re-entry operations. Likewise, it is more vulnerable to physical impacts, such as that suffered routinely by a mech’s arms and legs (leg armour has to both flex to a degree and sustain impact from movement, but it’s nothing compared to the flexing of a fighter’s wings or fuselage in flight; to say nothing of dropships).

“Blazer” or reactive armour removes the ceramic and reflective layers in favour of sensitive explosive blocks and additional sheering plates which detect incoming blast and kinetic weapons and detonate to destroy or reduce them. Blazer armour works great against ballistic threats, but is obviously vulnerable to lasers and PPCs.
“Glazed” or reflective armour thins out the aligned-crystal steel and uses advanced ceramic composites and additional reflective layers. It is fragile though and it took years of development to get a composition that could work on a mech’s legs and years more to safely skin an aerospaceframe.

“Heavy” Armour is only found on BattleMechs, as only BattleMechs possess the dynamic moving parts which limit the overall thickness of their armour protection. Heavy Armour take this level of protection to it’s theoretical maximum at the cost of mobility. Its composition is usually similar to standard armour, differing only in magnitude of up to twice the normal mass which a mech’s internal structure can support. The other downside of heavy armour is the sheer mass it takes up. So far, experiments to produce “Heavy” layering with other types of armour has failed.

Heat Resistant armour replaces all but the reflective layer with different advanced ceramic composites run through with capillaries for coolant to run.

Stealth Armour is simply a variant standard armour using a lightweight molybdenum-steel alloy and ceramic layers with added layers of radar and laser-reflective coating, coupled with built-in dual modal ECM, a thermal damping layer, heat and electro-mechanical noise baffles and even harmonic buffers to actually make the benefactor of the armour seem quieter. All these add-on systems produce a significant draw on the power distribution system whenever they are activated. Stealth Armour occupies a grey area in the active-passive protection spectrum.

Ferro-Lamellor Armour uses techniques and materials found in warship armour to return a narrow degree of the all-or-nothing capability of 20-21st century armour plate to the battlefields of the 31st and 32nd century. Combined with ablative arrangements, this is highly effective and even modern armour-defeating weapons are stymied by this new passive protection.

Counter (or anti-)-Penetrative Ablation Armour is a Kuritan innovation adding successive layers of spaced armour protection alongside special high-density ribs to deflect and break-up modern tandem-charge blasts and armour-defeating penetrators. Naturally, adding these measures takes up additional internal space in order to keep arms, turrets and flight surfaces clear, it also provides overall less raw protection than standard armour.

Impact-Resistant Armour is a novelty which seems destined to stay in the Solaran Arenas. A form of flexible, padded armour this is designed to blunt the impact of physical weapons. Naturally; reproducing medieval mail of various forms creates a form of protection which is especially vulnerable to hyper-velocity penetrators and difficult to seal against hostile environments.

Ballistic-Reinforced Armour is another Draconis Combine innovation, just becoming available in small quantities. It combined aspects of Heavy and Reactive armour in a final product that reduces the effect of ballistic and missile weapons by half, but attrits under energy weapons fire at the normal rate. This is accomplished by use of more compact reactive armour layers and a thinner, but complete standard armour sandwich. Unfortunately, it provides roughly 75% the protection of standard armour plate.

Patchwork Armour is a wilful or improvised collection of different passive armour schemes. Because mixing different armour scales, even if they can be found, made or shimmed into a uniform size produces a moderating effect on any special capabilities they produce, patchwork armour schemes aim to collect the different composites on distinct locations in order to gain some benefit from the varied protective capabilities. The virtues of patchwork armour are up for debate, but it’s been around in one form or another since modern armour first became available. Of course, images of Succession-Wars-era Marauders bearing mere patches of their original Valiant Lamellor are almost a stereotype, but it is the modern kind, combining differing advanced composites which are generally discussed today. This is something of setback reminiscent of the great slide towards Lostech; technicians of the Succession Wars were much more skilled at melding combinations of different armour composites than today’s comparatively spoiled techs, simply because it was a common item of a tech’s workload up till the late 3040s, whereafter the techniques died out.

Primitive Armour was similar to what we know nowadays as “modern” armour; but it was heavier and less efficient due to use of heavier and less-effective alloys and composites, a lacking crystalline density layer and much less effective bonding techniques. It is found today on the least advanced worlds and fighting machines, which are often known as “retrotech”. Overall, it is similar to composites found lower on the Barnes-Mayberry scale.

Modular Armour is based on ideas dating back to the great conflict fought on Terra between the years 1939 and 1945, where armoured fighting vehicles first mounted removable add-on protection distinct from the heavier applique plates then in use. These took the form of stand-off skirts producing spaced armour protection to hulls, turrets and suspension. Modular armour is the same idea in a modern context; add internal addition mooring points for a stand-off slab of armour protection. Of each one-ton installation, almost half the weight goes into the mounting brackets and the rest is standard armour. Usefully, modular armour can be used with non-omni vehicles and mounted over-top of any other form of armour, though it eliminates the effectiveness of stealth armour almost entirely and most be destroyed or jettisoned in order for a unit to benefit from the special properties of the base passive protection the modular plates are mounted over.

Shields are similar to Modular Armour, but being mounted exclusively on the arms and larger than modular armour; they are capable of re-directing damage just like a shield held by a person and in the same manner. At current; shields are only made using standard armour plating techniques with additional mounting brackets and added shock absorbers.

Powered suits; often in the form of battle armour, but sometimes including exoskeletons can also benefit from a number of totally unique and modified armour types, such as “Mimetic” armour; which is just standard plate incorporating thousands of pinhole cameras and interfaces in order to project a holographic illusion replicating invisibility.

At heart, while a lot of these different armour composites offer tantalizing trade-offs, it pays to remember that the modern battlefield is filled with variety; which Natasha Kerensky liked to call the “Spice of Battle”. It’s my educated opinion that most of the fancy passives on offer today belong in the arena, not on the battlefield. We’re seeing some progress away from that, but bear it in mind when evaluating any design mounting some of the more exotic options out there.

My grandfather was a flamboyant man, but most people forget that he valued simplicity. It pays to remember that with passive protection.

“Flash gets you noticed; that’s why we wear the blazers. But fancy fails a lot more often than simple. It’s why it took longer to perfect the head-ejection system on the Hatchetman than the hatchet.”
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 03 November 2016, 07:25:57
Wow!! Superb writing as always! Great to see this back!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 15 November 2016, 23:14:08
I sure hope you guys are ready to read.

The artillery article has exploded from something I wasn't sure how to write into what is going to be around a 25-page document.

Good thing I pinched off the armour stuff; that was like 7 pages all on it's own.

Anyways, it's coming along, but you've been super patient, so here is more content.

We have here an incredible PDF Map of the Der Tag universe made by Davout. This is one talented individual, my friends. Thank you again Davout.

And an updated production report. This has a few tweaks, like adding units from the long-awaited (for me anyways) latest volume of XTRO: primitives, as well as the Thunderbolt F4X, brought to the Der Tag universe by agreement with the people behind TRO: 3063.

Hope you enjoy.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 16 November 2016, 07:50:02
Amazing work as always my friend! :) Its great! :)  You put so much thought and effort into this :)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 30 December 2016, 14:57:52
WOW! 10,000 Views! You guys deserve something really special!  O0

How about 38 pages on Artillery?! >:D

Anybody prefer to read it here? I can break it up into hunks and post it in the thread.

Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 30 December 2016, 15:50:27
This reads so damn well (and yay for you using a hex = 100 meters), superbly thought out, damn well written and very enjoyable to read :) You've really put some amazing work into this!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 03 January 2017, 18:52:33
Thanks Marauder! Oh and I did this and forgot it; it should be extremely consistent with what I wrote. Think of it as a graphical Coles notes to the state of artillery in Der Tag.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 March 2017, 01:19:24
In response to the fact that I've been working on other things, I am going to try to put up a short little blurb here at least once a week.

Training Rifle T1

From it's founding, the Training Rifle T1 has been the first experience of an issued weapon for all SLDF recruits in the New Model Army.

The T1, while based on the mechanism of the Federated Long Rifle, possesses none of the features one would like in a service weapon; it is heavy at 7.5kg, loaded with a 25-round magazine. It is unreliable and fires only proprietary and nearly useless ammunition. Both the wooden furniture and the crudely finished and cheap alloy of the working parts are supplied unfinished; requiring constant maintenance from tired, frustrated soldiers to keep the wood inspection-ready and the metal free of rust.

It is essentially uncontrollable in fully-automatic fire and difficult to strip and assemble, even though it can be done without tools. It takes at least two complete (Hah!) cleaning kits (stored in the fixed; non-telescoping, non-folding butt, which is invariably too-short or too-long for any given soldier) to pull through a barrel. The barrel is the only machined part and it is smooth-bored and non-chrome-lined. But it is a full 66cm long, which makes it hard to maneuver in any kind of close confines or terrain and contributes to a terrible balance only made worse by the integral and invariably loose bipod.

The sights are rudimentary at best and together with the barrel, even if the T1 wasn't designed exclusively for the excessively loud and dirty 10mm T2A1 Blank Cartridge, you wouldn't be able to hit the broad side of a Battlemaster with it at conversational distance. The T1 is a direct-gas impingement weapon and sensitive to it's own self-realized fouling as well as any form of dust, debris, vegetation or loose clothing that may get sucked into the working parts through the generous "operating and lightening slots" cut into the receiver. It will happily double and triple-feed rounds from even brand-new magazines, which are themselves easily damaged and quick to wear out.

You can, with difficulty remove the integral blank firing device and then muzzle-load your precious cleaning rods or other foreign objects, or even use doctored blanks if you felt you had to. But such activity is punished severely and you can already slip grenade simulators over the muzzle and project those, probably with greater accuracy than you might expect, out to perhaps 100m with a tail wind. Recruits usually discover this on or about the final week of basic when the staff use this feature to bombard them with artillery simulators and riot gas grenades while in bivouac.

The T1 is awkward to operate and uncomfortable to carry; there are no sling swivels, though recruits are usually permitted to improvise slings from whatever they can find in the field. Recoil somehow manages to be punishing despite not involving an actual bullet and besides the magazines; there is only one authorized and issued accessory; the T3 bayonet.

The T3 bayonet is a socket-type spike (although maybe "rod" would be a better term) bayonet, but most recruits agree after being issued theirs that it makes a better mallet and a much better windlass for tightening wire. As a bayonet, it lacks any form of handle and the "Blade" is a mere 10cm long, made from barely refined iron and blunted. However, it is adequate, at the end of a more than 1.5-meter-long rifle for instilling "The Spirit of The Bayonet" in new recruits who may someday be citizens. Sharpening the T3, should one find the means and the time; is forbidden.

But breaking one in use can be lauded. And training staff are always happy to exchange a broken T3 for a new, invariably brown with rust example.

Likewise, new T1 parts are as easy to come by as they are to break. While the main components of the T1 are quite stubbornly robust, almost everything that a recruit can remove can and will break in practice. Stocks, forearms and pistol grips all crack and fall right off; sights are lost (with frightful regularity and consequences), firing pins break and bend and the extractor springs and myriad other parts may fail under even classroom conditions.

The cost for all this frustration is high and several tens of tons of T1 parts are scraped every year as they are damaged past their very limited economical repairability. But the benefit they provide SLDF training command is seen as out of all proportion to their low individual procurement price.

Essentially; the T1, for the relatively short time it is in a recruits hands; makes training much, much harder in every way that involves the rifle itself. But those individuals who encounter the T1 gain a sense of tolerance for the less-than-ideal, they gain patience and determination, even at the cost of some bitterness at the memory of the cheap blue-wood stocks and raw tack-welds. They get used to the idea of a weapon failing them and thus learn not to rely on equipment, but instead become rigorous double and triple-checkers for life. Just because you had a front-sight a moment ago doesn't mean you still do now.

They become comfortable with stoppage drills and learn to perform them quickly and instinctively. The charging handle of the T1, at least is sturdy enough for almost any stress put upon it, up to a recruit's boot. And ask any graduate of the SLDF's universal basic course and they'll tell you; "The Bitch" builds upper-body strength. For those recruits who lack mechanical experience; changing out the broken parts begins to wear that away fast. Most of all; SLDF recruits learn to clean and maintain their weapons religiously. Later-on they can be taught about over-cleaning, once they have weapons worthy of their confidence.

It's easy to understand the appreciation for the Ravager Modular Lasers the recruits are issued on their intermediate courses; it's the rifle they'll really learn to shoot with the SLDF-way; and it's everything the T1 isn't. And the famous picture of the diminutive recruit in tears later on; handed her first T2G autocarbine has a certain paternal appeal.

But unless you've been there and humped one through at least part of the 8 days of "Hell Week", you can never understand the pride of the top candidate and the envy of his peers, when at the end of the course they bring out the trophy; a gleaming chromed T1MA with black-wood furniture.

Variants:

T1DP

The T1DP (Drill Purpose) is a regular T1, with the working parts removed, barrel chopped to 45cm, chromed and fitted with high-impact-resistant black-polymer furniture. They are only commonly found within SLDF Cadet units, professional "Asphalt Soldiers" carry chromed versions of real, working weapons in the SLDF. Sometimes loaded.

The T1DP is fitted for a 30cm-blade chromed sword-bayonet.

T1I

The T1I (Instructor's) is a T1 Rifle made to a higher standard, with better materials and refined for better function. This is helpful, as unintended stoppages and parts breakages can slow down classes. T1Is come with magazines with better springs, made from superior alloys and a spring steel version of the T3 Bayonet as well.

To finally set the T1I apart from the T1; the wooden stocks of the T1I (which may be one of a dozen native woods, but never Blue or Black-Wood) is stained a deep, rich red. In addition; the metal parts of the T1I are actually blued, whereas the T1 is unfinished, raw alloy.

T1C

The T1C is a T1I delivered as a cut-away rifle to demonstrate the inner workings. This gives new recruits to the SLDF a more detailed understanding of how the T1 rifle functions in theory and thus why it jams and how to fix it.

T1Cs have yellow-paint on the cut-away sections, black stove-enamel metal surfaces and feature simple stained wood furniture.

T1OS

The T1OS (Over-Sized) is a partial representation of a T1 Rifle, scaled up 2.5 times. This comes as a rolling classroom model and is used to teach recruits on the intermediate course the basics of the cycle of operations and function of ballistic firearms. With the receiver cut-away for the most part, barrel rifled and cut-down to just before the gas block and butt and forearm absent, most recruits have difficulty recognizing the basic design of the T1, let alone the common workings of the Federated Long Rifle in this guise.

Parts of the trigger group, bolt and gas system can be swapped out to simulate different mechanisms.

Where other armies might use a holo-model or vid, if they use anything at all; the SLDF values the hands-one experience recruits get from the T1OS

T1M

The T1M (Modified or Militarized) is a commercial venture designed to market a re-engineered T1 as a personal firearm to civilian enthusiasts. Extensive modifications are made to every part of the rifle, including re-chambering and re-barreling it to accept standard 10mm Federated Service ammunition. Five grades are available from D to A, with some grade-A models delivered as trophies to Basic Top Candidates, chromed.

Unlike the basic T1, the T1M is a fine and well-regarded battle rifle, which has several advantages over the Federated and it's many clones; namely in reliability, ergonomics and accuracy. Further grades beyond D merely add greater levels of embellishment to the wood and metal, which also become enhanced in quality as they go on, but the T1M remains instantly recognizable as a T1 and the T1MA Special Grade is a possession highly regarded among collectors and normally only available to those selected as Top Candidate of their Basic Course.

Other

Occasionally, ill-conceived attempts are made to convert T1s into functional rifles. These result in either a wasteful expenditure of resources better allocated to just making a real rifle from scratch, outright failure or weapons more dangerous to their users than their intended targets.

One Exception is the T1C, a Diamond Shark modification of the design with a chopped carbine-length barrel, simple straight-pull bolt action and feeding 10.4x76mm shotshells. After-market modified magazines are available, but effectiveness varies and the Sharks provide the T1C to their Gendarmes as a single-shot weapon with a plug in the magazine well.

***

All versions of the Training Rifle T1 have been or are produced by various manufacturers at various times and places within the Canton Worlds. Most T1s are not even produced by recognized weapons manufacturers, but rather the makers of toys and affordable appliances. Even so, most of the T1s produced are the basic model and standards are both strict and low.

Export of the T1 is mainly to the Clan member-states of the 3rd League, but many are also given as aid to members like the Rim Collection and allies like the Calderon Protectorate who have little enough money to spare their militaries to expend any on low-quality firearms intended exclusively for training purposes.

An uncommon insult among SLDF special forces is to deliver shipments of T1s to unreliable allies as a cryptic message to "Be Better".

Oddly, collecting T1s of all stripes is something of a competitive hobby and one accessible to all walks of life in the 3rd League, with some less-common models and manufacturer-produced examples being highly prized. With "Beyond Economic Repairability" T1 parts available as surplus scrap and different manufacturers producing large and small runs basically on a whim, the collector community thrives. Of course the rarest T1s are those with matching serial numbers, of which only three are verified as being in collector hands.

Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: PeacMaker03 on 08 March 2017, 00:25:05
Sounds like you have Basic training plans well thought out.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 08 March 2017, 15:53:58
Brilliant :) This thing somehow sounds worse than the SA-80 I had in basic training :p Excellent stuff as always! :)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 08 March 2017, 17:34:57
Sounds like you have Basic training plans well thought out.

Basic, about down to a daily schedule for classes. Intermediate is skeletal and beyond that is notional.

What you'll ever see of it, I'm not sure; probably a summery of the Universal Basic Course and just me talking about the rest a bit.

Brilliant :) This thing somehow sounds worse than the SA-80 I had in basic training :p Excellent stuff as always! :)

It's designed to be terrible though the SA80 was just terribly designed.

I actually started with my experiences with the C7A1 in basic and once I started looking at it like an instructor, vice someone who actually had to carry and use the POS and now the worse C7A2, then I saw the natural advantages. We are actually missing out on a lot of training value in not making it worse and having the troops fix them. But we also get people who are almost useless with hand tools as well; can't even sew, let alone has experience with screwdrivers.

The Federated Long is depicted in TRO3026 as a SPACE(!) M16. Very 80s. But described as well thought-of and common and this is expanded on in Battletechnology. So I took the other real common ballistic rifle of the BTU (the other being the TK) and made it into a Jammo-matic, STEN-quality, blanks-only, pig-heavy (cause BTU) POS with the balance of the C7A2 and the handling of the C9 series. Because this is a weapon which should injure it's operators superficially, on an ongoing basis, in daily handling.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: PeacMaker03 on 08 March 2017, 23:33:30
I detect a little influence from Tom Kratman in your basic training plan? I must say I like it.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 08 March 2017, 23:44:07
I detect a little influence from Tom Kratman in your basic training plan? I must say I like it.

You got it. And in a lot of my thinking too, I must confess. But I like to think that I steal widely and only from the very best. Case in point; anything I write has a mental soundtrack for the images in my head; like much of John Ringo's work.

Besides the historical, in how I try to think when I write the real fluffy bits; I try to imagine Battletech, as written by David Drake.

If I could change one thing about the history of the BTU, it would be that: Have David Drake write the spine books, instead of Michael Stackpole.

Overall, the aim with Der Tag is to shift the skeleton of the universe from the post-roman empire world to an AU that is more like the late 1900s/early-1910s in terms of feel and outlook. As this develops, I'm finding it a whole lot less like the 30s than I thought, but the building conflict we're headed towards still feels very much like the Spanish Civil War in terms of the factionalism and politics, if not the almanac of the battles and various "Geography".
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 03 June 2017, 16:27:54
I'm working on something, but it's potentially rule violating; so I am taking my time and I'm going to run it by a mod.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 03 June 2017, 17:04:22
Good to hear this is still alive :)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 03 June 2017, 19:08:57
Good to hear this is still alive :)

Yeah, just not as productive as I'd like. Time spent explaining it all is time not spent working on Der Tag or any of the other projects I want to work on, so I am going to grab some chow and get back to it.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 16 June 2017, 08:16:25
Got a green light!

Politics in Der Tag: https://www.dropbox.com/s/fqmj7cicmsplwjr/Politics%20in%20Der%20Tag.docx?dl=0

Critiques welcome.

Back to combat support.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 12 July 2017, 21:33:51
This thread back up yet? Okay cool!

Lessons Learned: Combat Support
From a lecture given by Colonel, Emeritus John Simmons
NAIS October 11, 3099


The Third Succession war saw a decline not just in the technology of destruction, but in the scope and complexity of warfare as well. The raid, as often to destroy as to seize materiel; was the rule, rather than the exception and the depth and complexity of military thought and theory suffered as a result.

Doubtless; the phenomena of LosTech played a part in this, but only as a contributing factor. Ultimately, it was the imposed condition of the human mind and the general intellectual malaise which dominated almost completely during this time period which did the most to ****** recovery and even effort in all spheres of human endeavour. It was an age of the reduction of the possible, past the absurd to just spitting distance from what was now.

Hard as it is for those of us who have lived through at least part of the Jihad, into the era of the Republic to imagine, but even imagination itself seemed to be under attack in those days. In stark contrast to the limitless possibilities for individual and cultural achievement we live in now; the 3rd Succession War was a time when reality, what had been; was a prison where what would be dwelled in darkness and saw few visitors.

The fall of technic civilization to an feudal average approximating the mid-late 20th century contributed to this, but as later events and those driving them would demonstrate; it was a prison of our own making.

But one would hardly expect such an order of things to affect the lowly military cargo truck.

Yet, history shows us that this is just what happened.

A decline in the basic equipment of the arm of service upon which an army depends on for life?

Ah; no. Not so much the equipment, but rather; a decline in not just *the* arm of service to which the Ancient Terran Leader Winston Churchill referred to when he said; "Victory is the beautiful, bright-coloured flower; transport is the stem, without which it could never have blossomed." But in fact a general decline in *all* other arms of service not directly involved in the kinetic action of war from the later 29th to the early 31st centuries.

“Madness!” You say? Oh, not hardly.

Nor; really, necessity… But expedience? Certainly. Sloth? Sometimes. But most often a bland and pragmatic species of hopelessness.

During this time period, the Great Powers were still using the old Star League Templates as a base for their own organizations, at least on paper. In theory, a Regiment of any type could count on at least a company of between 12-20 trucks in it’s support battalion. But in practice, these were normally locally purchased models and the entire support battalion (or company), was in fact rarely taken on campaign and instead left behind, most often with the rest of the unit’s “Camp Followers”.

This last was due to a variety of factors, but related principally to the mercurial natural of military operations of this era (the predominance of the Raid) and the dearth of available spare transportation capacity to move these assets. A Lucky Regiment would have enough DropShips and JumpShips available, if not assigned to it; to make strategic movement of the combat assets between the stars possible, but almost none had the “Extra” Capacity to move the support assets.

As these rarely moved strategically by dint of tradition and necessity and were often composed of locally-purchased and manufactured equipment, they were most often traded between units as artefacts of the duty station and to ease logistical burdens on interstellar transport.

But ironically, such situations provide little opportunity or need to employ such assets. So as budgets grew tighter and the difficulty and cost of supporting more rarefied and apparently valuable assets, such as BattleMechs grew and grew, it became ever easier to justify the decision to allow even ostensibly useful equipment like bridge layers and recovery vehicles to rust out and then go without replacement.

At first this seems grossly illogical. Would not the smash and grab warfare of the Succession Wars in fact be the perfect environment for the full array of combat support equipment?

Trucks to haul off the booty? Bridge Layers to span natural obstacles? Engineering vehicles to breach the man-made barriers to a raiding forces’ progress and the recovery vehicles and prime movers to make off with the spoils of the battlefield?

First of all; that thinking is too logical! Think emotionally! What feels good; not what’s smart! And those are all cumbersome, slow-moving assets taking up valuable DropShip bays and docking collars that could be better applied hauling mechs. Remember; most raids were conducted mainly with mech forces, mainly supported, when any support at all was on offer, by infantry and AeroFighters.

Consider also the historical trend to double-down on available DropShips and embrace the “gentleman’s agreement” that was the revivification of the Ares Conventions with it’s partial prohibition on engaging space-faring vessels; like DropShips.

In their mental fugue and emotional fever; leaders of the day saw the DropShip not just as a vital link in their campaigns of interstellar Viking, but also a supply dump, barracks, means of operational movement and the provider of repair, planning, command and medical facilities.

Haul away the objective of the raid? Recovery of battlefield salvage? Move the DropShip there. Or drag it off with a mech’s hand actuator. Obstacles? Move the unit or conduct a hot-drop; so long as the drop-chutes work.

Those of you familiar with the specifications of the DropShips handed down to the modern day from the Star League-Era can already see the natural problem; most Combat DropShips have precious little cargo space to share out for even short-term supplies.

This is the case for several reasons;

-The designers of these now venerable vessels figured on fleets of Warships to support their armies and haul the vast multitudes of supplies needed for long-term campaigning (not short-term raiding, mind you). And if you have ever seen the specs on *those* great behemoths, you know that even unto the modern day’s near contemporary designs you find a vast outlay of internal volume and raw hauling capacity given over to bulk cargo.

-The originators of such models as the Union and Overlord had no shortage of available hulls and drop-collars to devote to carrying dedicated cargo freighters between the stars. As such, there was no perceived need to clutter an already busy design with additional facilities for consumables and follow-on support units to keep up and boost the very combat units they were already transporting.

-These designs were intended to support a form of mass, conventional warfare and even total warfare, but not generalized raiding along fronts many hundreds of lightyears long and many dozens deep.

So how did commanders of the 3rd Succession War get around these handicaps?

They cheated.

A lot. Like pirates.

Or, rather; the tactics we see used by pirates in the modern day and more recent history were actually standard procedures common to armies of 3rd succession wars carried over to the later age of mech piracy by deserting successor state officers like Helmar Valasek.

In essence; while a DropShip might easily be overloaded and operate with a reduced degree of safety, additional cargo capacity could be wheedled out of the ship in question in several different ways.

But before discussing them, a brief diversion into logistics in general and of DropShip logistics, in particular is necessary.

First of all; in any cargo carrying undertaking, presuming any kind of limited space; from the massive bays of a Leviathan Heavy Transport to the back of a Bulldog utility truck, one will tend to “Cube-Out”, before one “Weights-Out”. What this means in plain star-league English is that most supplies take up more space than weight and as such while a given cargo bay might represent a carrying capacity of any given size, it’s volume is usually not equal, in most instances to that required to meet the weight rating before the entire space is filled to capacity.

Two exceptions are spare parts and ammunition; both of which are usually very heavy. Another is military combat vehicles; also known for their high mass to size ratio.

Another little-known fact is that outside of say…the platonic Hogarthian ideal of a Lyran Mech Regiment, most DropShips overall operate at below or even well below their maximum carrying capacity at almost all times, even when their bays are “Full”. It should be noted that another exception to this rule is the stellar mining industry.

But, as every logistician knows and most every veteran of the 3rd Succession War knew as well; there is “Full” and then there is full.

If you can find the physical space; you can find spare mass to make up.

Yet another little-known datum, exclusively for the sheer paucity of interest in it’s collection and distribution is that pirate vessels suffer accidents related to over-stuffed internal spaces at a rate over 230% higher than any other space-faring group found today, but at a rate just a little worse than the ramshackle “gypsy-packed” mech haulers of the 2900s. You stack crates of ammunition and space heatsinks, secured in between pressure doors and loose in the passageways of vessels which occasionally operate in zero-G and you see what happens, hm?

But where to find enough spare capacity to ensure takeoff?

The most obvious place is the unused tonnage capacity of a vehicle bay. These commonly range in size from 50-200 tons depending on type, but simply consider that if you have a 20-ton Wasp in the same space that can just as easily hold a 100-ton King Crab, then you have 80 tons of spare capacity which could be used elsewhere. Thankfully you have some space to spare as well, which is harder to come by. Looking at a DropShip technical readout, the specs of a given bay are given as if it was full, not empty. An empty mech bay weighs 50 tons, not 100. Vehicle and Smallcraft bays are lighter because they require less additional infrastructure beyond that which is already found in or easily incorporated into the bulkheads and spaceframe of the ship itself.

Much less obvious is the wiggle room gleaned from the fuel spent in getting a DropShip to a world; you’re lighter after landing, which means that if you can find the physical volume, you can carry more of what you cart away off-world. This is how technically a Behemoth DropShip could indeed takeoff and land in an atmosphere; simply by burning fuel until it was light enough to improve the trust/weight ratio. They do have landing legs after all; but they lack sufficiently muscular attitude thrusters and sufficient structure integrity to make this safe and practical enough to attempt.

Other techniques included sacrificing food storage, escape pods, “superfluous” crew berths and even counting on one’s own casualties to make room for the loot.

The volume was harder to get to, but it was there.

If you don’t care about using the facilities of a fully-functional MechBay (if you even have one), then you can pack more than one mech into a bay and even if you go over the weight limit of one bay; you should still be fine, so long as the floor can take it (but sometimes it can’t; see above) or you can make up the extra tons from another partly-utilized bay.

You can block drop chutes and cargo ramps too, though this is riskier; you can even put things in the transitional spaces; the abbreviated passageways between the various bays and elsewhere on the ship.

So, we have the weight and we have the space; we know how the soldiers of old and pirates to the modern day use them. A few extra mechs jammed in here and there; supplies dumped from battlefists to be piled wherever was convenient.

So why not trucks? Why not engineering vehicles?

Because the kind of warfare then in vouge didn’t call for those things. They might have helped, but you could make do without, because chances are you weren’t coming there to stay or even fight a lengthy campaign.

True; a mercenary unit travelling from contract to contract might or might not tuck some jeeps in a heavy vehicle bay with a Manticore in it; so long as neither seem likely to be needed in a hurry. But they might just as well do as a house unit would do; sell, abandon, trade-off or make a gift of whatever company hacks they have on hand and buy or even lease what they need when they get where they’re going.

A higher-class outfit could well tuck a command vehicle or a coolant truck in somewhere, but mostly it didn’t matter, because even an elite unit might not have one.

Unless it was a capability especially valuable or rare, most commands could do without or “Make do” as many even do today by substituting BattleMech hands, even rudimentary “battlefists” and claws for cranes and cargo trucks. In the Succession wars, it was often `Grab and go! ` Warfare.

So, what changed?

War changed.

People will tell you war never changes. And they are right; war is like water in that it takes many forms, accepts many additives, but it is always H2O. But if you fell onto the surface of a frozen lake or a liquid one, you would surely feel the difference.

So, it was with the 4th Succession war.

Love him or hate him, even his critics acknowledge Hanse Davion as a visionary.

In his own imagination; inspired by his tutors, his own studies and fueled by a mind unshackled by convention; Hanse Davion saw within the circumstances of his day the potential for change through violent action.

But for change to come to the Inner Sphere, change needed to come to the wars that plagued it.

Hanse looked at the great campaigns of history and decided that if men of previous eras had been able to manage such grand schemes with only the tools of their antiquarian ages, then he could do so with the tools available to him. He saw that no matter what man had lost in the last 300 years, it was still in a better position technologically and in many other ways than had been Alexander and even Eisenhower of millenniums past.

Secretly rediscovered “Black Box” technology played a part in this; overcoming the crippling effects of the inevitable ComStar Embargo that any major upset to the status quo would bring.

But a greater effort in terms of training, organizing and equipping a vast military force was the return of large-scale maneuver warfare (to include deep strategic penetration and occupation; thus, the label of “Deep Warfare”) to House Davion’s armies. This included training soldiers and officers to fight and organize in new ways, but it also included using support assets in ways not seen in hundreds of years.

You just couldn’t run your supply dump out the back of a grounded mech carried stuffed to the gills with ammunition and irreplaceable spare parts. You needed more space; so, you needed a dedicated cargo DropShip, even if that meant knitting another JumpShip (usually by borrowing one from another unit, sometimes from across the breadth of the Federated Suns. And the pressures of the campaign wouldn’t allow it to just hang around either; supplies had to be dropped off; corralled in a semi-fixed locality and then trucked or flown where on a planet they were needed, while the DropShip went back for more; sometimes back several jumps.

Lost Mechs could not be left behind as the lines of battle advanced; if disabled they needed to be recovered and repaired pronto. There where not two other mechs available to drag one wreck back to the DropShip for transport to a fixed mech repair facility; it had to be done then and there in an austere, often hostile environment. That meant recovery vehicles and fitter’s rigs.

Even a unit’s organic DropShips couldn’t be depended upon to solve all problems; with an empire on the ropes, the AFFS expected DropShips to become priority targets, even for tactical nuclear weapons; anything might be on the table to halt the Davion advance. Obstacles would have to be breached and crossed; that meant bridge layers and armoured engineering vehicles.

All these facilities and more would have to built, rebuilt, captured, held and repaired. That meant military construction equipment, security vehicles, supplies, military police, trained sappers and the trucks to move them.

And all of this had to be moved by DropShip and JumpShip.

Davion had the overall capacity, barely, but not enough to do it simultaneously to the same extent on both fronts and not without stripping the other Marches and certainly not without significant coordination and cooperation.

Thus, the Galahad exercises and those leading up to them were vital on a level undreamt of by those who witnessed them from afar. The war also put a strain on House Davion’s manufacturing capacity that it would not feel the likes of again until the Clan War.

As it was; the 4th Succession War returned the standard of Warfare to the lofty position it had enjoyed centuries prior and it forced all other realms to adapt in order to keep pace.

The ritualized nature of Clan Warfare, by contrast; coupled with their willingness to aggressively employ their DropShips in order to deploy forces and with their affinity for shock action obviated much of the need for their own combat support assets during the early invasion years.

While FedCom and Draconis forces were entirely awake to the potential for demolition of key infrastructure and obstacles to slow or halt an enemy advance, this tended to enrage the Clans, if anything and they would usually respond with a typically dramatic combat drop behind whatever obstacle was thrown up in front of them. Some spheroid commanders even considered it better to fight the Clans on their own terms and benefit from Zellbrigen than to invoke their wrath in reprisal for the use of good common-sense defensive tactics. But as so much seemed to infuriate the Clans when exposed to tactics outside their narrow cultural mores of warfare, this remained a minority opinion.

For their own part; these selfsame cultural mores demanded a fast and loose approach to logistics based mainly out of follow-on lower-caste DropShips, as the Clan Toumans were basically absent any significant combat support capability of their own, save the (Very) odd point of (usually dezgra) engineers. Running their war effort out of sacrosanct DropShips with a handful of unarmed HoverTrucks was just fine so far as it went, but when forced into grinding campaigns of attrition and sustained operations, as typified by Tukayyid and the Task Force: Serpent operation; Clan forced suffered grievously.

Many historians sum this up as Clan forces not having the supplies for long-term engagements and this is correct. The vast majority of Clusters always went into action with nothing more than the ammo in their bays. But everything else; repair parts, more ammunition and alternate OmniPods were present on their own follow-on DropShips. There was just no infrastructure to rapidly move these items to where they were needed.

Nor did Clan tactics take this requirement into account. There was no concept of holding a forward secured area to establish a location to re-arm and conduct hasty repairs. It just wasn’t done; Clan Warriors either returned to their DropShips, or; after the battle was over, the DropShips came to them and they repaired and re-configured for the next battle.

Once they got over their initial shock, spheroid and periphery observers were quite certain that the Clan mode of warfare must eventually falter in the face of anything less ritualized. To the modern day, however most Clans have adapted little to this and those that have established caste-bending units of combat storesmen and women or larger combat-engineer formations have done so only in a limited fashion, with great difficulty.

One exception were the now-extinct Clan Ice Hellion’s Flurry units; but these were properly combined-arms combat units which specialized with absconding with battlefield salvage in the midst of the action and not true combat-support formations. In any case, this is a tactic not widely adopted by the extant Clans.

Despite this, the Clans remain as an extremely credible threat due to their belligerent nature, superior technology and high-quality output of their warriors. It seems unlikely the Clans will adapt in this way in the future to any great extent. If any do, it will most likely be the outlier Hell’s Horses and Diamond Sharks, certainly it will never be the Jade Falcons and even the more pragmatic Wolves seem unlikely to change so drastically. What does seem likely is an attempt by the Clans to further evolve and refine their own way of war in such a way as to make it more effective in such environments and less vulnerable to the capabilities the Inner Sphere powers have embraced.

In the Inner Sphere and periphery, the recovery of technology has made it possible to more readily access units such as MASH vehicles, coolant trucks and Mobile HQs; so, this has only swelled the ranks and impact of combat support formations. Meanwhile, the form warfare takes outside the Clan’s internecine squabbles has only become more granular and layered with supply chains in space and on the ground, along with obstacle clearing and creating taking on ever-greater importance.

Mine warfare is a key component for instance of any conflict with house Liao and featured heavily in the FedCom Civil war as well, while partisans in the halcyon days of the Chaos march and right up through the Jihad made sport of the supply convoys vital to continued ground operations.

Modern commanders now consider combat support capability and capacity with all the fervor of the newly converted. Contrasts of the fully developed system of the Inner Sphere powers against the Clans have cemented this and it is thought likely that if another collapse in technology were to come, that alongside the newly acknowledged worth of conventional forces, combat support assets would not go quietly into the dark as has happened once before.

With the continuing Strategic Arms Limitation Talks ongoing between the Republic and her allies, it can be surmised from the results seen so far that with the reduction in BattleMech forces and Fusion Engine production, warfare will revert to a less dynamic, more grinding form in which Combat Support assets will play an even wider role. While the possibility of an even more ritualized form of warfare than that seen during the Succession Wars might result, there is no broad collapse of technology on the horizon (So far as we know) which would see less attention-grabbing forces cannibalized in budget debates or in the tech’s shops in order to maintain flashier, high-tech units.

It is thought the impact this will have in the future will be to further cement the status quo as hostile territories and armies become harder to take and hold and better able to “take a punch” than ever before.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 13 July 2017, 01:20:28
an amazingly well written and thought out take on the logistics of the B-tech universe. Amazing stuff as always, it reads like a lecture or briefing and is superbly thought out. Superb as always!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 15 July 2017, 06:03:12
an amazingly well written and thought out take on the logistics of the B-tech universe. Amazing stuff as always, it reads like a lecture or briefing and is superbly thought out. Superb as always!

Thanks, as always Marauder!

As I work on "Jine The Cavalry", I realize I'm nearing the end of my article series and I'm looking foreward at what I might do next. I'd be very interested to hear any suggestions as to what the people who follow this thread are most interested in regards to the Der Tag AU.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 15 July 2017, 14:06:38
I can't remember if you've talked much about battle armour doctrine and the like.  I'd love to see your thoughts on the evolution of Battle armour from being pure anti-mech to police or mobile artillery or scout and stealth, its uses, its weakensses etc.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: truetanker on 15 July 2017, 14:19:30
Anything on specialists, such as fire rescue or space oriented?

TT
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 16 July 2017, 15:55:09
I can't remember if you've talked much about battle armour doctrine and the like.  I'd love to see your thoughts on the evolution of Battle armour from being pure anti-mech to police or mobile artillery or scout and stealth, its uses, its weakensses etc.

That's a niche I haven't covered. I've looked at battle armour from a logistical and tactical standpoint and this included a decent treatment of the weapon systems, but I don't think I covered specialist types very much or at all. I could sure do that.

Anything on specialists, such as fire rescue or space oriented?

TT

Are you talking about such as specialist infantry from the 3145 TRO series, Truetanker or more like specialized mechs, vehicles, Battle Armour, ect tailored to those roles?

Because one thing I have been thinking about is a Technical Readout: 3099/Der Tag which would be a traditional-styled TRO look at notable units of the era, with some timely throwbacks ala TRO3058. Something like that could easily have a few specialist units of that nature in it.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: DOC_Agren on 18 July 2017, 20:29:15
an amazingly well written and thought out take on the logistics of the B-tech universe. Amazing stuff as always, it reads like a lecture or briefing and is superbly thought out. Superb as always!

I would like to second this comment  [metalhealth] [metalhealth]
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 18 July 2017, 21:58:23
I would like to second this comment  [metalhealth] [metalhealth]

Thanks Doc!

Is my mental health in jeopardy or yours? Because I'm way beyond economical repairability; the cat says so! But as a member of a veteran's well-being network; I am always ready to help others!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: truetanker on 18 July 2017, 22:15:46
The second one, units designed or forced to take up the roles.

TT
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 18 July 2017, 22:37:26
The second one, units designed or forced to take up the roles.

TT

Don't have any of that done up in the TRO:3099 folder

But I have a TON of specialized support vehicles designed and used by the SLDFiE that would fit in that description.

I see TRO:3099 as more like designs "From the AU", but also stuff people could legit use in their own non-AU games.

The SLDF stuff is more like entries from a Jane's book. You notice that I actually care about the support assets? Vehicle Annex remains one of my favourite publications ever and I have a file like that with 310 entries in it. Some of the highlights that would fit in the Fire/Rescue/Space category would be;

AmbMover MasCasBus
Aurtochs Crash Plow
Byrd Exploration and Exploitation Vehicle
Contractor OmniConstruction Platform
Destrier Decontamination Vehicle
Destrier Firetruck
Destrier Light MASH
Destrier Medical Support Truck
Destrier Pre/Post-Op
Dragon's Teeth Space Mine-Laying Satellite
Fiddler Crab Beach Recovery Vehicle
Fixer Medical Support Trailer
Flemming Spy Satellite
Frontier Hostile Environment Trailer
Ghoul Salvagemech
Hercules Model 51 Recovery Tractor
Hippo Combat Ambulance
Lifeline Heavy MASH
London-Class Fire Engine
MedBus Ambulance
MkL CommSat
MkLI CommSat
SeaBee Hostile Environment Pioneer
Smuggler's Alley Cargo Satellite
Watchfire Early Warning Satellite

I also had a heavy Decon vehicle called the Slotin somewhere and a submersible bulldozer (I made custom rules for submersible tanks). The above may not be an exhaustive list. I certain found that when I managed to move the TO&E project forward, I averaged a new Destrier variant about every other time I worked on it.

On that note; anyone have experience building mobile structures? I wanted to add a couple to the TRO:3099 file and I could use some help.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 29 July 2017, 19:02:59
Due to revelations in TRO:SW, I feel like I should make it clear to anyone new to the thread that the 3rd League alluded to in TRO: SW and the 3rd League in Der Tag aren't connected by anything I know of, besides the name.

I'm not saying I had the idea first; I did not. I just want to make sure that everyone knows that, this being an AU, the diversion point between Der Tag and the Canon is sometime in the early 3000s, when the oldest of the main characters is born.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 04 October 2017, 22:51:31
I really appreciate everyone being so patient. I have had some major life changes occur and come into view in the near future, but writing is done on "Jine The Cavalry" and editing is at about 60%. So I will post that soon.

As well I have a few jots on the SALT treaties to share and I am almost done another article that kind of jammed-up my head while writing Jine the Cavalry and wouldn't go away and let me work until I gave it some attention.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 06 October 2017, 18:13:57
Enjoy! This kind of ended up as; "Everything you could possbly want to know about tanks in Der Tag, but hope your life will never depend on knowing." Any Tread-Heads here?

In addition; I'd like opinions on the portions covering The Clans and also my ideas on maintenance.

It's big, so I hope dropbox is still working for people.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ab6y1uonjgsp4ck/jine%20the%20cavalry.docx?dl=0 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/ab6y1uonjgsp4ck/jine%20the%20cavalry.docx?dl=0)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 07 October 2017, 01:14:35
Always glad to see this updated, will read when I get to work!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 October 2017, 23:12:35
Here is a summary if the various important treaties in place in Der Tag.

These are important, because while politics factors heavily in Der Tag, it pivots around a framework of law; not force of individual novel-driving personalities.

Also; the do affect the military situation quite a bit as well, especially as they help determine when military operations against a foriegn power can occur "Legitimately".

One thing I deliberately did not cover are the many and varied peace treaties and non-aggression pacts in place. The short version is that no-one is supposed to fight anyone else or the RAF will be cross with you. The Succession Wars are officially over by general consensus. From here on out, we need a new name for humanity's endless wars. Or so Terra would tell us.

***


3065 2nd League Laws of War

-The Formal rules by which the 2nd SLDF waged war and under which the SLDFiE still consider themselves bound.
--All Full and Probationary member states signed these into law, but all save the Draconis Combine and Capellan Confederation consider them null and void.

3084 Whitting Naval Treaty

-Establishes a halt on all current warship production until at least 3090 and establishes tonnage limits for what each signatory nation may possess in terms of warships and PWS. Basically it says that was the signatories have now, plus a little bit more, maybe is okay, but beyond that, it's an act of war against all the other signatories. This is adjusted for the territory each state must cover.
-Limits the rate at which extant warships may be refurbished, post-war
-Permits certain assets for warship production to remain in place but mandates Republic monitoring of these facilities and severely curtails their use by the major powers. A motion to recognize these localities as open regions, outside of any national sovereignty is vetoed by the Republic.
--All the Major Powers and Clan Wolf-in-Exile signed.

3084 Caph Treaty

-Formal acceptance by the Lyran Commonwealth, Federated Suns, Former FWL worlds, ComStar and Draconis Combine of all Republic Territorial Ambitions.
--RAF Forces enforce non-aggression pacts between all signatories.

3085 SALT I

-SALT stands for Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. So-named not because the arms being limited are strategic in nature, but because there is a strategy to their limitation.
-Limits fusion engine production, makes no allowances for stockpiling of additional engines and minimal spares and parts
-places controls and monitoring on all extant weapons production, replacing the old (2821) ComStar Disarmament Treaty
-Formal re-acceptance of ComStar Arms Proliferation Monitoring personnel to all signatories (The Only part of the Treaty the Capellan Delegation would even look at)
-Limits Battlemech production, refurbishment and stockpiling
-Limits Military Dropship Construction, but mainly as an economic measure, with variable sunset clauses incentivizing faster civil economic recovery.
-Lays out what other military equipment may be stockpiled for later use and how much
-Establishes a schedule for disarmament of some weapons systems, particularly mechs and nukes, which all signatories are to meet.
--Signed by FS, DC, LC, Former FWL, TC, CP, MC, and Republic

3086 Mars Accords

-Almost word for word restoration of the Ares Conventions
--Signed by FS, DC, LC, CC, Former FWL, CWIE, TC, CC, MC, Republic, RA, RC

3088 SALT II

-Renegotiation of certain aspects of the the Whitting Naval Treaty to permit the DCMS to build a deterrent fleet to counter the Ghost Bears.
-Proposes extensive Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Disarmament, which only the Federated Suns fully Ratifies
-Wide-ranging limitations on the development of various "Super-Weapon" Concepts which may or may not have been salvaged from WOB labs.
-Additional limits and disarmament/drawdown schedules for conventional forces.
--At least partly ratified by DC, LC, Former FWL, Republic, CWIE. The Federated Suns signed off on everything.

3090 SALT III

-Republic-sponsored clauses to permit past signatories to refurbish and expend their nuclear anti-shipping missile stockpiles as a deterrent to WOB remnants and the SLDFiE
-Total Halt on research into "Super-Jump" technology.
-Ban on Protomech research
--Signatories; FS, DC, LC, Republic, Former FWL, TC (as the Taurians never signed SALT II, signing on to SALT III was likely just a way to politically redeem a part of their extant nuclear stockpiles)

3091 SALT IV

-Halt to any and all K-F research then ongoing or proposed.
-Ban on Cybernetics and neural interface Research
--Signatories; FS, DC, LC, Republic, Former FWL, TC, CP

3094 SALT V

-establishes limits on production of advanced combat vehicles.
-Update to SALT I/II Drawdown/Disarmament schedules
--Signatories; FS, DC, LC, Republic, Former FWL, MC

3096 Luna Accords

-Recognizes the formation and continued right to exist of the Andurian Pact.
-Signatories; DC, FS, LC, Republic, Former FWL, MC, TC, RA, CWIE, GBD

3099 Hull Anti-Inhumane Weapons Treaty (Not fully in force by 31 Dec 3099, but partial ratified by several nations and beginning to be felt)

-Places restrictions, limitations and outright bans on various weapons and casualty-producing effects deemed "inhumane" by various Republic Experts.
--Signatories; FS, LC, Republic, CWIE, GBD, RA, CW
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 09 October 2017, 04:54:19
Having just read the AFV article, can I just say bravo!  A well thought out, cleverly put and damn extensive write up on Armoured vehicles, their use, deployment and production levels in the Battletech universe!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 08 November 2017, 00:49:03
Here's the one that was bugging me while I was trying to write the last one :P Enjoy!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/aiebcvy5ln6ts3c/SLDF%20Infantry%20Squad%20---%20Third%20Leauge.docx?dl=0 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/aiebcvy5ln6ts3c/SLDF%20Infantry%20Squad%20---%20Third%20Leauge.docx?dl=0)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 08 November 2017, 04:45:53
Oooh! *scurries off to read*

Oh and Beachhead this might interest you - http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=59344.0
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 08 November 2017, 07:53:53
Holy crud! Right up my alley!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 08 November 2017, 15:51:28
This is bloody superb, seriously, excellent write up and logic.  Doctrinally the SLDF in this time line seems to have an approach that is more akin to the modern day British and US militay, just with a smaller officer Corps which seems to be more a Marines thing.

The House armies I would assume are kind of analogue to the conscript armies of the 50's - 80's from the sounds of it.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 09 November 2017, 08:08:16
This is bloody superb, seriously, excellent write up and logic.  Doctrinally the SLDF in this time line seems to have an approach that is more akin to the modern day British and US militay, just with a smaller officer Corps which seems to be more a Marines thing.

The House armies I would assume are kind of analogue to the conscript armies of the 50's - 80's from the sounds of it.

Actually, as soon as you look at the implications of the base-3 system they use; the contrast in officers is explosive. I'd expect that the Lyrans are the worst, because of their character, but when even the combat arms is shelling out an officer for every 21 or fewer soldiers in some cases, it's going to get bad in a hurry.

I'd say that, in General; each of the IS militaries and some of the periphery states all have the capacity to be as top-heavy as the worst western armies, but BT in general seems to combine this with an Israeli-Style system of few professional senior NCOs and more officers to compensate. Add in an officer-heavy branch like Mechs and it's going to get to where there are more commissions in some regiments than there are full Techs.

The SLDFiE is then a study in contrasts; in the Infantry; one officer for 60 men and women in a Rifle Platoon and it goes from there. I'm projecting WWI-Sized 1400-man Infantry Battalions.

Different goals though; the Inner Sphere and Periphery are Feudal States; the 3rd League wants to be something else. Building a society like that requires more NCO-like people

I'm really glad you liked it!

I don't know how the brits are laid out, but I based the Squad on a WWII US Army Infantry Squad. The other type mentioned was based on if the WWII Marine Squad had MG42s instead of 3 BARs.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 13 March 2018, 21:57:37
I've had a lot going on in my life lately, so have not had much time to work on Der Tag stuff; closed out my appartment and moved home in concert with a new career to be followed with a big move in the near future.

But I have done some stuff. I've been working on "Gods of our Fathers" and I did this Merc unit profile.

This unit is based on my best friend's OC unit from back when we played as teenagers. When he moved last, he lost a bunch of his minis and entrusted the rest to me. In turn, I took it upon myself to rebuild his unit. I wrote this profile intending it to both reveal a little about the Jihad as it occured in Der Tag and give his unit a backstory within the Der Tag AU. Overall, I intended it to be reminiscent of the unit profiles found in the old Merc sourcebooks.

Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 13 March 2018, 22:17:52
Corey's Cavalry

Colonel Corey formed his unit from officers and men disgusted with the politics rife in the Federated Commonwealth before it's fracture. Taking their first contract in the Chaos March in later 3057, the originally Company-Sized unit saw its numbers and composition wax and wane over the interceding years.

Today; Corey's Cavalry can claim battle honours from Operation: Bulldog and both sides of the FedCom Civil War in addition to the hectic fighting in the Chaos March, but the unit really came of age during the Word of Blake Jihad. Caught refitting on Galadon V, the Cavalry had to band together with fellow Mercenaries; The Black Thorns in order to escape a world being consumed by a bio-engineered plague. While Corey and his command later surfaced on outreach, after running a DCMS/Snow Raven blockade, the Black Thorns were never seen again and are carried on the rolls of the MRBC as both missing/Presumed dead and wanted as outlaws for breach of contract.

The Incident cost the Cavalry their official standing with the MRBC, as Colonel Corey refused to speak of how the unit got off world or what happened to the Thorns and swore his people to the same. For the remainder of the Jihad, the Cavalry operated as unbonded mercenaries, while rumours swirled that The Cavalry, then without a contract, helped the Black Thorns to desert their post on Galadon V and then betrayed them at an unknown time and place.

Lack of official status could not keep the cash and action-hungry Corey out of the war, however and swearing a debt of vengeance against the Word, the unit was soon under contract to Chandrasekhar Kurita. During the Jihad, the Cavalry grew in Strength to two battalions of mechs, tanks and battle armour, with some fighters, their own dropships and a JumpShip, but the fighting in the final, vicious years cost them most of that and by the time they were brigaded together (under Colonel Corey's  adamant protests) with other small mercenaries into the Mercenary Volunteer Group---out of Arc Royale---they were back to a reinforced company and a barely functional union-class dropship. The MVG was part of Stone's Coalition taskforce and took part in the liberation of Terra, where it was used as a fire brigade to help pull more prestigious, more valuable units out of the fire, time and again; most notably: the Kell Hounds when they were trapped in Cairo, tormented by the WOB Castle Brian fortifications in the region.
Serving now as the Brigade's second-in command, this was where Colonel Corey had his first encounters with Commander McKenna and the SLDFiE. It was a relationship he would renew many years after the fight for Terra was over. At the time, however, Corey was strongly against Mercenary Coalitions, following negative experiences with the AMC leading up this point.

What exactly led to the Cavalry taking employment in the Canton Worlds is unclear. Coming out of the Jihad, flush with cash and a full pardon, Corey's Cavalry nonetheless fared poorly in the post-war years along with many units, large and small. Whatever these circumstances were, they led to the Cavalry taking a contract to Garrison the ancient Caravanserai Fortifications on Central's southern continent; Cordelia, in 3084.

Tasked with defending the old fort, while it was modernized and renovated, The Cavalry acted as support for the local Reserve and Militia forces and supplemented the Regulators on law enforcement tasks until 3090. By that time, the unit had recovered, somewhat in manpower and materiel to around two companies. Making heavy use of their modified Overlord Upgrade, Colonel Corey's contract was expanded to include on-world long-range bandit hunting, anti-piracy operations and rapid response. These operations brought renewed conflict to the Cavalry, where before they had almost languished between infrequent and minor skirmishes. Over the next nine years, Corey's Cavalry engaged repeatedly with criminal bandits and guerillas operating in the hinterlands of Central, but also with several distinct pirate bands operating in the near and middle periphery where the Canton Worlds are located. Their responsibilities also put the Cavalry on the front lines of the sporadic Jade Falcon War (3093-95  and 97-99), when Clan Jade Falcon sought to Challenge the 3rd League for their holdings within near-reach of their occupation zone.

Fighting with the Falcons permitted the Cavalry to capture a few mechs and replenish their modest stores of ClanTech, which had gone mostly unfilled since the end of Operation: Bulldog and the longest-serving members of the unit can all claim at least minor ClanTech upgrades to machines that are by now, one-of-a-kind-creations after decades of salvage and repair. The Cavalry scrapped several repairable Omnimechs in order to upgrade much older machines, in a display typical of the attachment MechWarriors often develop for personally-owned machines.

But it was their pirate hunting that got Corey's Cavalry their big score.

Searching in vain for a pirate bolthole in the far reaches of an uninhabited system, the Cavalry's Air Lance discovered a disabled JumpShip floating derelict and loaded with dropships. The Jihad had cost the Cavalry most of their dropships and numbers, as well as their only JumpShip; lost to treachery from another mercenary unit, while on operations in the Free World's League. Operating on a 25% total salvage contract, the Cavalry's SLDF Liaison was happy to declare that the other three dropships constituted 75% of the current value of the find, with the addition of a generous payment in mixed currency to make up the difference. Ship's logs indicated that the ships constituted the 2nd Succession War survivors of several SLDF commands who opted to stay behind after the exodus. Unable to carve out a life on their own terms, they were forced to mercenary work. The meatgrinder of he second succession war convinced them, at last that Kerensky was right. Fleeing the former Rim Worlds, they took on an extremely virulent contagion with their supplies at some point and most of the group died over the course of a few months, the remainder took to the escape craft and fled into the dead system, almost certainly to die. The Cavalrymen who had survived Galadon V and the fighting since couldn't help but feel a kinship to the long-dead Stay-behinds and Colonel Corey took the find as destiny's hand (and his own legendary luck) at work.

That was in 3096. It took the interceding three long, hard, lean years and everything the Cavalry had left to effect the salvage, refit and repair of the Tramp-Class Jumpship, a Command Overload and the mechs on board. This was during the second stage of the Jade Falcon War, when the entire SLDF was kept busy, along with every mercenary unit they could muster, repelling the persistent Jade Falcons, who seemed to be everywhere at the time. Spare parts and skilled hands have been hard to come by on the Canton World's open market, even up to now and many of the 3rd League's Mercenaries have been complaining vociferously about the shortages.

The issue has been that the 3rd League's Military-Industrial Complex was never set up to sell to the public and most of what is available has everyday self-defence applications. If you want to maintain your infantry unit; that isn't so hard, but BattleMech parts have to come off the scant SLDF surplus market after even the Militia have turned them down or be imported by in-demand civilian shippers. The days of the post-war handouts are long over. But the Cavalry made do.

Dispatching his own people on purchasing/recruiting missions and tapping his already in-place contacts established over a lifetime of mercenary service, Corey mined the local, periphery and spheroid markets for additional pilots, techs and supplies. The result was a full roster of men and women, mostly recruited outside the Canton Worlds, to do the work and ride the mechs, but a light, mixed and expensive bag of refit kits, some dating all the way back to the 40s. Hoping to field a complement of cutting-edge, "old is the new new" BattleMechs, he's had to make do with whatever he could find and make up the balance of The Cavalry's combat power with an expanded infantry complement and some additional towed artillery.


Officers

Colonel Jon Corey is a bonafide Clan War Veteran, trained in the old Federated Commonwealth and sporting a handful of Cavalry unit patches from his past service down the right arm of the leather jacket he wears outside the cockpit. He resigned his commission when the internecine politics of the upcoming FedCom Civil War became apparent, took his captured Daishi and became a mercenary. For his entire career, Jon Corey's principle attributes have been his luck, his raw intelligence and his skills as a MechWarrior. Fifty years after he first took to a cockpit, those traits remain undiminished and they are still why people follow him today.

Corey's experiences in the Jihad granted him a network of contracts in the mercenary trade, as well as on Solaris 7, the various hiring halls and within the military materiel market. He was well compensated for his consulting and concierge services which led to the hiring of a number of mercenary commands into SLDF service after the Jihad, where previously on the Crescent Hawks had been willing to take the money of the 3rd League. He was instrumental in wearing off the dark stain that the 3rd League had acquired after being blacklisted by the MRBC at the end of the Jihad and is rumoured to have had a personal hand in developing the background check system the SLDF now uses to vouchsafe its mercenary hires, following several early disastrous incidents.

His efforts in the late 3090s, almost single-handedly led to the changes now seeing an improvement in the supply situation for mercenaries within the 3rd League.

It is worth noting that he is not related to infamous "Reformed" Pirate, "Captain Jon" Corey, of the 3rd League's Counter-intelligence apparatus, all appearances and coincidences to the contrary.

Captain Danielle Redwing is Corey's right hand and while not a patch on his skills as a MechWarrior, is one of the most widely known and respected officers within the Cavalry, both among it's members and in Mercenary circles, in general. Besides being a natural leader, she is the unit intelligence officer, chief of staff and a sort of unofficial handler keeping her boss on track for the minutia of logistics and administration. She enjoys the confidence of the entire unit, including its newest members and is recognized as an excellent scout and tracker, given the limitations of her Marauder.

Major Thomas Paine is Corey's official second-in-command and a consummate staff officer. While Corey has the connections; Paine can manage the time tables and make Corey's sometimes hairbrained and rapidly changing plans work under battlefield conditions and within local political realities. For all that, Corey would have been rid of him long ago if he didn't live up to his name as a MechWarrior; Paine is an ace pilot and a crack shot and has a reputation as a duelist. Where he falls down is in personal and battlefield leadership. Paine is utterly uncharismatic outside of the political arena; he can talk a contract out of thin air anywhere you can find suits, but the unit only follows him out of morbid curiosity and he is widely detested, despite his immense practical value to the unit.

This is a shame, as his small unit tactics are sound, but leading a company is simply beyond him.

However, the expansion of the unit has changed things considerably and the unit's first large operation three months ago (It's deploying more than a company together, since 3078) would have been a disaster if he hadn't stepped in and "XO'd it up", managing to coordinate the operations of the oft neglected artillery battery and armour lance with the infantry and ad-hoc mech companies to complete the exercise with Charlemagne Division suddenly and with an aplomb that seemed to surprise everyone, even himself.

Paine wouldn't be the first officer with a blindspot and Corey isn't the first Mercenary leader who'd rather lead from the front, than get bogged down in a headquarters. Time will tell if Corey will be able to head-off the building power-struggle between Redwing and Paine and form a real command team with his XO.


Operational Overview

Boasting the equivalent of nearly four mech companies, Corey's Cavalry is figured at the strength of a light combined arms Regiment, once the other assets are factored in. This includes an infantry battalion of mixed conventional and power-armoured soldiers, a single artillery battery, Armour Lance and two Aerospace Fighters. The unit can move itself and its techs on the two Overlord Dropships it has and sole Tramp-Class Jumpship but must charter passage for the dependants and additional equipment. Currently, the Cavalry lack significant support assets, besides a sufficiency of techs and astechs and operations like to operate out of their dropships.

When circumstances don't call for the entire unit to be mustered in one place, at one time; Colonel Corey prefers to "Plug and Play" with his lances and sub-units to tailor a given taskforce for each mission. Ideally, they can then return to refit and re-organize, with or without another task force replacing them. To this end, Corey employs a number of MechWarriors at the rank of Captain to command company-sized formations. Larger taskforces, he prefers to command personally; leaving Major Paine in charge of the rest of the unit.

In a different mix of personalities, this could prove disastrous and lead to a splintering of the unit, but Corey holds it together by force of personality and reputation.

This operational scheme has its drawbacks and its advantages, however. On the one hand, it makes it impossible to plan in detail for a confrontation with Corey's  Cavalry. Colonel Corey has been running things this way since he's had more than two lances and he is rather good at weighing the skills, faults and capabilities of the people and machines under him, so his taskforces normally have what they need to complete the mission and so long as reality doesn't differ too much from intelligence, historically; "The Cavalry Comes Through". The downside is that no one is really all that used to working with each other and Cavalrymen tend to lack close relationships outside their sub-units. This reduces cohesion on the battlefield and prevents some of the more demanding tactics which are the trademark of other units. In practice, Corey`s Cavalry tend to suffer in their timing and combat estimates, for this simple reason.

However, outsiders have speculated that this too may be part of some grand scheme of Colonel Corey`s to prevent his unit from getting away from him, by keeping them on their toes and off-balance. Whatever the intention, it has led to something of a cult of personality directed to Colonel Corey and it cannot be denied that his people overwhelmingly prefer to serve directly under him than the other senior officers of the unit.


The Future

Staring down a new century, the Cavalry have a new contract as trouble shooters for the defence of the Canton Worlds. This is in common with the other mercenary units employed by the 3rd League, who find themselves being re-oriented into new missions with greater direct responsibility for the security of the Canton Worlds, vice simply assisting and supporting local second-rate troops. Currently, the Cavalry find themselves sharing the rebuilt Caravanserai with the legendary Crescent Hawks---the longest-serving mercenary unit in the 3rd League--- and helping them to train the local Reservists and Militia in mech operations, while maintaining readiness to defend Central against any internal or external threat. In contrast, the Crescent Hawks are a head-hunter-unit in waiting; when not teaching Charlemagne Division`s MechWarriors how to survive and tolerating their kooky warrior-cult traditions, they train to penetrate large enemy units, destroy or cripple key capabilities, such as command and control and get out alive.

At the present time, the unit is about 65% upgraded by the old standard and considered a class-C unit by the SLDF (Mixed equipment, little to no SL-Standard gear, variable Clan Tech). Recent expansions have dropped the unit from Elite Status to Regular, but they are deemed to be reliable by 3rd League Liaison Command.

Long-term, Colonel Corey would like to do away with the remainder of his obsolescent succession war-era equipment; in fact, he`d like nothing better than for the Clans to start hot-dropping on First Landing tomorrow, but realistically, he knows he has other issues. Key will be more fighter support; the Jihad taught him that fighters can keep other fighters armed with nukes at arm`s distance and that`s a good thing. Nice to have would be another dropship or two; one to move another task force around and another to transport The Cavalry`s growing roster of dependants.

MRBC Rating: B- (Equivalent)
MRB Rating: 70%
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 13 March 2018, 22:19:17
Corey's Cavalry

Order of Battle

Tramp-Class Jumpship

Overlord Upgrade (Modified)
Overlord Command


Command Lance

Dire Wolf (Custom)---Colonel Jon Corey
Marauder (Custom, Upgrade)---Captain Redwing
Warhawk (Custom)
Battlemaster (Custom)

Assault Lance

Highlander (Custom) Sergeant-Major Scott "Scotty" McScott
Devastator (Custom)
Fafnir FNR-1R
Warhammer (Custom)
 
Fire lance

Longbow (Custom)
Jagermech III (Custom)
Perseus (Custom)
Templar (Custom)

Scout Lance

Axeman (Custom)---Lieutenant Raymond-John Cajun
Phoenix Hawk (Custom)
Commando (Custom)---Charles Montgomery Burns
Commando (Custom)---Waylan Yu'itani-Smithers

Armour Support Lance

SRM Carrier (Custom)
SRM Carrier (Custom)
Striker Armoured Car (Custom)
Striker Armoured Car (Custom)

Corey's Canons

Demolisher Arrow IV (Custom)
Long Tom (Field Gun)
2x Thumper (Field Guns)


Corey's Air Support

Slayer (Custom)
Slayer (Custom)

Corey's Infantry (80% foriegn recruitment)

SRM Platoon (28 foot)
MG Platoon (28 foot)
Laser Platoon (28 Foot)
Flamer Platoon (28 Foot)
Rifle Platoon (21 Jump)
Scout Platoon (24 Hover Motorized)
Field Gun Platoon (36+4xAC/5 Tracked Mechanized)

KanaZuchi Squad (4)
Fa Shih Squad (6)
Gray Death Squad (6)
Sloth Squad (4)
Infiltrator Squad x2 (6)
Infiltrator (Special Ops) Squad (6)


Heavy Lance

Warhammer (Custom) Major Paine
Thor (Custom)
Loki (Custom)
Hollander II BZK-F7

Fire Lance

Jagermech JM6-A
Catapult CPLT-C1 (W.Jumpjet Retrofit)
Trebuchet TBT-7M
Dervish DV-6M

Medium Lance

Hunchback HBG-4G
Enforcer ENF-5D
Vindicator VND-1R
Panther PNT-10K
 
Recon Lance

Spider SDR-8M
Cicada CDA-2A
Jenner JR7-D
Assassin ASN-21

Pursuit Lance

Hermes III HER-4K (Refitted)
Clint CLNT-2-4T
Commando COM-5S
Whitworth WTH-1

Cavalry Lance

Grasshopper GHR-5H
Banshee BNC-5S
Grand Dragon DRG-5K (Upgraded from a Dragon)
Quickdraw QKD-8K

Assault Lance

Cyclops CP-11-G
Atlas AS7-D
Awesome AWS-8Q
Zeus ZEU-9S
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 25 March 2018, 22:34:01
So, I'm having a little bit of luck carving out more time to work on Der Tag, I have a few articles left to finish, enough so that I feel I can look to the future, but I am open to doing more articles on things people are interested in hear about, including simple Q&As.

I for sure want to do a simple Der Tag TRO: 3099. I'm good at producing TRO writeups, bare minimum at posting stats and terrible at making things look pretty. ANy help would be appreciated, especially in the posting stats field. Right now I have grab bag of relevant and background designs to toss in and this includes a little bit of everything from Battle Armour (and possibly infantry platoons) up to Warships and including mobile structures (hope I am doing those right!).

How do people feel overall about custom equipment? Interested? Meh? Explain it as you show it?

Eventually though...I need to take a page from the main timeline and advance the story. I've been futzing around, talking about this timeline for over a year now and I've talking a lot of background and not much timeline, forward or back. I need to change that at some stage.

So here is a path forward to do this:

(in the context that the upcoming conflict is scripted for the most part)

I want to do;

*Military Overviews covering the armed forces of the extant powers in Der Tag, kind of a staple of the setting, no? These will be broken down as follows;

Manning
-selection
-training

The Material Factor
-supply
-maintainence
-phasing out
-on the horizon

The Human Factor
-sense of belonging
-drives
-morale

Doctrine and Plans
-tactics
-operations
-strategic outlook

*Unit Overviews; again a BT staple, but I want to do them differently.

These will be broken down from the larger Corps/Regiments/Brigades involved. So I'll be looking at...say the Lyran Guards, as if they were a single, dispersed command. So like one entry; "Lyran Guards", "Consisting of" and then broken down as follows for each sub-unit.

-Commander
-Strength
-Style
-Spirit

Naturally, we have to look at the war to come. I see this as the simplest part; broken down into:

-Politics (War as the continuation of politics by other means vs how it is often portrayed in the main as the continuation of politics with yet more politics)
-Grievances
-War Aims

Campaigns

-Cartography (Simply the area concerned)
-Intent
-Goals
-Victory Conditions

More important will be what I call the "Episodes" I think of these like written episodes of battlefield in same way the unit profiles are condensed, art-less Osprey profiles.

--Act 0
-What, where, why, when, who, how?
-Higher Intent
-Commander's Intent

--Act 1: Preparing the battlefield
-Describe area of interest
-prior events
-intelligence
-logistics

--Act 2: Opposing Forces
-Orders of Battle
-Dispositions
-Relative Strength

--Act 3 Opening Moves

--Act 4 Main Effort

--Act 5 Endex
-End Phase
-Significance
-Follow-on Actions
-What's Next?

Throughout; what I think of as "Art of War" Considerations will be applied, namely:

-Moral Law (unity of people and rulers/leaders)
-Conditions (Heaven)
-Geometry (Earth) or time and space, security and risk
-The Commander (but less emphasized, as BT's personality-driven conflicts and the raft of cults of personality they engender always bored me)
-Method and Discipline (Or how this will be done)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 26 March 2018, 05:21:01
I'd love to help in any way I can Beachhead.  PM me and we can natter that way.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 28 March 2018, 20:36:08
I'd love to help in any way I can Beachhead.  PM me and we can natter that way.

You may have reason to regret that...
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: Sharpnel on 28 March 2018, 23:33:16
I'd love to help in any way I can Beachhead.  PM me and we can natter that way.
Ancient Chinese proverb (or is that curse): Be careful of what you ask for, you just may get it.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 30 March 2018, 09:21:40
Ancient Chinese proverb (or is that curse): Be careful of what you ask for, you just may get it.

I think Morgan Freeman narrated that for Marauder when he made that offer!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 30 March 2018, 16:09:43
You may have reason to regret that...

(https://media.giphy.com/media/sNWGEbc5Jzp4c/giphy.gif)
Title: Where ya been, 'Beach?
Post by: beachhead1985 on 25 June 2018, 21:30:36
Well let me tell ya...

In the last 6 months I have changed trades within the same...field? I work for the same people in a new job. Been trying to get in for four years and I got my shot. Can't detail here, but there it is.

I did my first course to train me for the new job, moved literally to the other side of the country, in a new living arrangement, new city, ect. Still single; but meh; there are just too many girls out there who haven't tried my cooking yet, so they don't know what they're missing.

Due to the forum-rule-related nonsense happening up here right now, I've been doing some activism; no kidding...

Aaaaaaaand the movers managed to damage over 300 of my minis...great...Learn from my example folks: When using long-term storage; a verbal understanding that certain items are fragile, this end up, ect: Is totally insufficient. Label your stuff as if it is going to be handled by lobotomized baboons. because as soon as it is out of your sight; it will be.

I've got a to-do list as long as...25 items long, but I have not forgotten about Der Tag. Not a day goes by when I wish that I wasn't working on it and actually my new job has come with some new insights into why mechs are the king of the battlefield. Not 100% new, but building on what I had established before in a more professional, logical manner. It was kind of a huge; "No wonder!" moment for me, really.

I'm working on Gods of Our Fathers right now, which is mainly an attempt to rationalize the chimeric history of super-heavies in BT, while using as many stupid puns as possible, but also mentioning convertable units and how they fit into Der Tag.

If offers of help are still open, PM me; I may have something for you.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 26 June 2018, 08:08:30
well i'm glad you're okay mate!  And to hear you've done that big move, thats one hell of a change and I hope it goes well for you :)

Sorry to hear that your models were damaged :(

And I volunteer for tribute if you need help :)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 26 June 2018, 09:55:06
You're a real mensch, Marauder :) I'll be in touch.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 30 September 2018, 21:47:46
Dreadfully sorry to keep you all waiting so long. I hope this is worth the wait. I will post a drop box link at the end for those who want to get the full effect of my formatting. I really tried to make it as BT-compliant as possible.

This article offers a lot more than past efforts. I have tried to include a bit of humour and also some house rules for cool things you might like to try. One thing that really got mutilated in posting to the forum is the formatting of Dr. Bull's interjections. So if you find this really hard to read; let me know: I am taking suggestions for how to do this better in the future.

As a brief summary; if you like mechs and tanks that are really big, really weird or fly, then this article is for you!


Gods of Our Fathers

Conversion and Super-Heavy Technology in History and in Practice

Article by Dr. Francis Levy, Professor of Engineering; Sandhurst

Reproduced (with annotations) from the University Technical Journal;
“Everywhere and Everything”

V10 No.4 Aug 3098

*Annotations by Dr. Gerald Bull, SRC Inc. acting as science advisor to Lord Commander Mckenna, circa 11/Jul/3099*


Since the inception of paradigm-shifting military-industrial technology, it has always held a certain fascination for the public. This was never more so than with the advent of first ‘Mech and later; BattleMech technology. Within this category, however; certain examples have often held a special significance; the noble and dramatic lines of the ShadowHawk; for example, or the iconic brutalism of the WarHammer in more contemporaneous times.

   The Fall of the Star League and the Succession Wars that followed threatened to make all articles of technic civilization extinct, especially the weapons most visible in the waging of those apocalyptic wars; BattleMechs.

   But long before the veil was parted on the full capacity to-date of human conflict, there were some fighting machines so specialized, unusual and capable as to possess a near-mythic significance above and beyond their actual military potential. Units which surpassed even the agency-bestowing BattleMech in their powers. This was most epitomized by the Terran Hegemony’s multi-modal Land-Air Mechs, but the category did not end with these incredible machines.

   Since at least the 20th Century, there have been items of military equipment whose existence was shrouded in mystery and rumour. Fighting Machines so secret that they were hidden away and their existence denied by the governments of the day. Some of these; such as the Western Alliance’s F-19 Stealth Fighter, never existed at all. Some, such as Nazi Germany’s Maus Super-Heavy Tank became objects of legends which grew far beyond the truth of their existence; back-lit by contradictory accounts and evidence. Others; like the United States of America’s Aurora Spy plane lived mainly in the minds of conspiracy theorists for decades past the retirement and official acknowledgement of their very-real service.

   Machines like these; Super-Heavy combat vehicles, practical stealth technology, artificially-intelligent autonomous combat units, cyborg fighting machines and others acquired a certain cachet in the age of LosTech to rival the prominence of demonstrably real pieces of equipment; such as LAMs. After all; if the Star League could make *that*, then truly what was beyond them? Finding themselves living in a galactic garden of wonders they could neither explain, nor maintain; the populations of the Succession Wars-Era were hard-pressed to credibly gainsay these denizens of the peculiar subgenre of LosTech fiction which were popular before the coming of the Clans.

   The dreams of children and LosTech prospectors alike were filled with images of what incredible hyper-capable machines might be out there just waiting to be found.

The Word of Blake brought those dreams to life as nightmares for nearly fourteen years in the unmatched savagery of their Jihad on all human civilization. During this conflict the Word deployed nearly every form of combat unit seemingly dredged from the depths of the most shameless of the speculative-history-techno-thriller genre. And then they had a few ideas of their own.

Besides the never-sufficiently-to-be-damned Manei Domini cyborgs, the most apt to grab the morbid attentions of latter-day historians have proven to be the Word’s own LAMs and Super-Heavy Mechs.

These once near-mythical technologies live on today in the RAF’s own Colossal-series mechs and the SLDF-in-Exile’s LAMs. But new developments; such as the Hell’s Horses’ QuadVees demonstrate that the evolution of the fighting vehicle is not over yet and new research suggests that metal giants may have been hiding, unnoticed in our midst all along.

^^^

It is not the purpose of this work to rehash the now well-known history of Land-Air Mechs. This subject has been covered in great and well-researched detail elsewhere. Rather; our purpose will be to examine more modern developments in conversion technology, provide an overview of past failures and examine a few notable and often-overlooked examples.

More detail will be given to the dubious history of super-heavy combat vehicles; from Amaris’ Follies to the ancient cyclopean mobile weapons platforms and a few fringe, but important Civilian Spin-offs.

Attention will also be granted to the historical and modern deployment and tactics of such machines and their current and recent production status.

^^^

Historically speaking, military and even civilian vehicles with multi-modal capabilities are not new. Leaving aside the more mundane examples of simple amphibians and rail-mobile wheeled vehicles; the oldest must be the various “Wheel-******-Track” designs of the 1920s and 30s and the various examples of Christie Suspension tanks of the same period.

A “Wheel-******-Track” vehicle is one with both wheeled and tracked suspension; as a halftrack but designed to use one or the other at a time. This has theoretical advantages in terms of cross-country mobility, road speed and fuel economy, but in practice, none of these were often realized.

In common with more contemporary multi-modal types; any Wheel-******-Track vehicle needed to bear the burden of the added weight, complexity, cost and maintenance requirements of mounting two modes of transportation on one chassis. In addition; very few were able to make the transition from one mode to other unaided and instead required sometimes lengthy intervention from the vehicle’s own crew and a special set of tools. Obviously, a non-starter in combat.

   A few Wheel-******-Track designs made it into limited production as reconnaissance vehicles and special transports, such as the Austrian ADMK and RR7 (later Sd Kfz254), but none prospered in service.

   Developed by American Inventor and Tech J. Walter Christie; the suspension system which bears his name used a clever arrangement of mechanical shock absorbers to produce the first tracked vehicles capable of very high speeds; up to 167kph in one test: a record which stood for centuries for tracked vehicles.

   But in addition; original Christie suspension vehicles had an additional feature; a “Convertible” Drive that allowed them to be run on their road wheels, minus the tracks. This saved track wear, reduced fuel consumption and increased speed. In practice, however the capability was rarely used; requiring as it did, once again; the crew or a team of techs to dismount the tracks (a lengthy and burdensome process) and few Christie tanks in service retained the capability.

   Later in the same century, the pre-second Civil War Russians developed “Hover-******-Track” technology, as manifested in the Object 760 and several other test vehicles.

   While none of these made it to production as part of the Soviet drive to produce more mobile vehicles for use in soft ground; they did work much better than either the Wheel-******-Tracks or the Christie Tanks as their dual modes were much more automated and could even operate simultaneously.

   Ultimately plans to produce a super-mobile reconnaissance vehicle and a special Siberian supply machine came to naught due to the intimidating maintenance requirements, overall complexity of the system and fuel requirements. Additionally; maturity of hover technology and other forms of rough terrain mobility reduced the requirements for such vehicles.

   However, it must be said that the system did work and work well. The Object 760 was highly mobile in nearly any terrain, although it was also a comparatively large and lightly-equipped vehicle for a light tank testbed.

   Contrast this with the Condor Trans-Track of more recent vintage. Where the Condor used one mode of transportation at a time with a complex conversion mechanism that never worked right; the Object 760 often used both tracks and the hover system at once, which at least saved the weight and complexity of a system to switch back and forth at need.

As such; nothing stops us building Hover-******-Tracked vehicles today (Hover-******-Wheeled vehicles would gain fewer special advantages), if we are willing to bear the additional cost and tolerate the complexity and maintenance requirements. Whereas the only way to salvage the Trans-Tracks was to lock them in Tracked mode and finally divide the concept ultimately into the traditional Condor and the newer Tracked model, several decades later.

^^^

Rules: Hover-******-Tracked motive system

Maximum 50 tons (No super-heavy version possible)

Calculate engine and movement as per a hover vehicle

Calculate tracked movement as a backup, rounding down to the nearest engine size as
appropriate. The hover engine is the one which is installed.

Lift equipment as per a hovercraft

But calculate control equipment as Hover-******-Tracked at 35% of vehicle weight

May cross terrain as a tracked vehicle, so long as tracks are functional. Simultaneously may cross terrain as a hovercraft, so long as skirts are functional. To be clear; the Hover-******-Track system *combines* the mobility advantaged of *both* Hovercraft and Tracked vehicles.

Hover-******-Tracked control equipment is calculated as the cost of a similar amount of Tracked Equipment, plus that of hover equipment and x1.5

Lift equipment cost is doubled.

Maintenance requirements are calculated as per a Hovercraft x2

Calculate critical hits and use hit tables as per a hovercraft.

Hover-******-Tracked vehicles have four suspension hit boxes; (two sets of +1 and +2).
Hits on the suspension are allocated at random to either the Hover or Track system (1-3 Tracks, 4-6 Hover on a D6) Two hits will destroy either system.

^^^

The concept of the “Flying Car”; a ground vehicle able to be both driven and flown has been around almost as long as man-piloted aircraft have, yet success has always proven elusive.

A distantly related idea to use water-surfaces instead of runways and produce “Flying Boats” and “Sea Planes” instead produced admittedly useful aircraft able to land on water courses (Similar models to those which still serve today); but not watercraft able to fly.

During Terra’s Second World War (Sometimes referred to as the Third World War or WW1; part 2 by historians), the Western Allies managed to produce a marginally flyable version of a common utility vehicle with VTOL capability, known as the Hafner RotoBuggy. However, it required a tow vehicle to get aloft and provide forward thrust, was unwieldy on the ground and delicate in both environments. This was still much more successful and demonstrating of greater agency than earlier efforts at producing tanks which could glide down to earth, but still failed to produce a valid military vehicle.   

It’s hard to look at an ungainly rotary-wing glider/utility vehicle that couldn’t get off the ground un-aided, but still needed two pilots to operate and see the first ancestor of the dynamic Land-Air Mech, but the Hafner RotoBuggy is where the land-air concept as a military tool starts, humble as these beginnings may be.

Despite centuries of interceding efforts; the Star League Era Thorizer (Also known as “The Gooney Bird”) can only be considered more successful in terms of progress made towards a useful vehicle and not as a final achievement. A bi-modal “Land-Air-Hovertank”; the Thorizer (Named for a predator native to the world of Thorin) was an overly-complex technical solution to the organizational and logistical problem of not having enough Aerospace Fighters in Terran Hegemony combat units.

   Rather than consult on a means to get more fighters to the frontline, build more fighters themselves or branch out into the dropship market with a fighter carrier; Johnston-Aldis Weaponries somehow thought making a light hovertank fly was the better idea. This sounds crazy, at first; but recall that the Thorizer debuted in 2390: the fighter carriers of the day were neither reliable or safe by modern standards and none would arise to stand the test of time until the 2500s. From their point of view; the Thorizer may have seemed like the better gamble.

Historically; the Thorizer represents the very first instance of what we would recognize today as “Conversion Equipment” in a prototype or production combat vehicle. It does not, however represent the first instance of the aircushion-system as a form of undercarriage for an aircraft; that feature was tested as far back as the 1960s, at least.

Sadly; the basic technological limitations of the day and practical limitations of the Thorizer’s small size and minimally powerful propulsion systems militated against it ever developing as an effective vehicle. Perhaps had the original remained as a prototype; a technology demonstrator or proof-of-concept vehicle and the technology pursued further, something better might have been made of it. But this was not the case.

In fairness, it must be noted for clarity that this first example of production or prototype conversion equipment weighed ten and a half tons in a vehicle that only weighed 35 tons to begin with and with a full combat load at that. Anyone who is familiar with combat hovercraft can see from just that tidbit that with such a lodestone around its neck; the “Gooney Bird” was lucky it ever got off the ground at all (pun intended).

Previously; all such vehicles were more akin to the Wheel-******-Tracks; in that they could not convert without outside intervention or the Hover-******-Tracks where both systems operated simultaneously or were designed not to interfere with each other. So; dismal as it is, the lowly, moribund Thorizer still represents progress to us in this field.

Next in terms of development success, but separated by several hundred years and change, was the Irian-built Seabass flying sub.

It’s hard to say exactly what Irian was hoping to accomplish with the Seabass, but it does seem at least to have been a less ambitious product that the Thorizer, in that it does not appear to have been built as an end-product; but rather a modest technology demonstrator. The Seabass was a dual-modal conventional aircraft/submarine.

The dual capability suggests some interesting offensive and defensive options, but in any event; the Seabass never got far enough to prove its value. It could fly (Slowly) and it could move on the surface or underwater; but attempting to submerge from flight proved fatal to the test pilot when the cockpit seals failed.

Meaningfully, however; the Seabass was a failure in execution, not in concept. Unfortunately, after the very public failure of the prototypes and subsequent legal trouble; the powers that be at Irian didn’t see it that way.

So, if it is too difficult to make a submersible aircraft which can surface again, once having submerged from flight; perhaps a more modest goal might be to make a submarine fly? At least on the surface of the water?

Galtor Naval Yard’s Project: HYPER would argue this is not the case.

Galtor’s Neptune “Hyper” Program took the more reasonable operational hurdle of quickly deploying combat-effective subs to far-flung oceans on a given world and attempted to apply the simplest solution. This solution seemed to be to mount a hydrofoil system to a submarine to permit faster movement.

Unforeseen difficulties arose, however when the hydrofoil system was structurally compromised by extreme water pressure at-depth and failed spectacularly during testing. Unable to redesign the system and unwilling to compromise the Neptune’s operational diving limit, the program was cancelled. However, with the return of LosTech materials and manufacturing processes; this concept might bear fruit if explored anew.

^^^

*Dr. Levy does good work, Commander; but I have to interject here.

“Everything and Everywhere” is an RAF “Top Secret”-level publication, distributed among their R&D Community. Condorcet assures me this is unredacted, so due to its lack of mention, he assess---and I agree---That it is unlikely that the RAF is aware of our own modest efforts in this arena, or else; as I stated above: they would make mention of the Sleipnir here.

As you know; the Sleipnir reached operational service with the CAANs four years ago and the needs of other formations began to be met last year. Madam Dwight in Armaments assures me that we are on schedule to meet operational requirements in time for the big day. The early trials were well-concealed and operational trials to work out the bugs were conducted with all due discretion. Troop trials with the pre-production batches have been a lot more open though and since reaching operational status, the Sleipnirs have been treated like any other piece of equipment in the SLDF, as per normal.

To review; the Sleipnir is an effective and stable “tri-phibian” vehicle able to operate on land or at sea as an ocean-going amphibian or as a hydrofoil. We developed the Sleipnir from the standard Kelpie heavy amphibious truck, which as you know was developed, in turn; from the Destrier. As such there is a high degree of parts compatibility as compared with a separate design (mainly in the frame and automotive components such as the transmission, electric motors and wheels, etc.).

The Sleipnir was developed to meet a requirement of the CAANs for a rapid ship-to-shore logistics vehicle able to provide over-the-beach direct supply and operate normally within a “hot” NBC environment. The Kelpie does yeoman service, but at a much slower rate and our larger hover platforms aren’t flexible enough and too vulnerable to enemy action for what the Marines had in mind. In the Kelpie’s favour, however; it must be noted that they are faster and easier to learn to drive, have better cross-country performance (barely), are cheaper to build, easier to maintain and for some reason (I suspect weight distribution) they ride smoother on roads than Destriers do. So, as of now there are many reasons to keep both types in service at the current TO&E 67-variant allocations.

So, what we did to make the Sleipnir was put an XL engine in a Kelpie and use the weight saved to add hydrofoil lift equipment and a few other odds and ends. The Sleipnir is based conceptually on a variant of the same historical conceptual antecedent as of the Kelpie; so, the basic concept came naturally. The difference is that we made it work better due to our higher level of technology and voila! We have a working (if expensive!) “Tri-Phibian” transport vehicle.

As for what the RAF does and doesn’t know, I met with Condorcet and he gave me some notes through his traditional clouds of cigar smoke for me to pass along.

We know the RAF has spies in the Canton Worlds and due to the nature of our operational and training tempo; we can’t possibly keep them away from everything all the time. We do well with disinformation and counter-intelligence, but by their very nature; you just can’t get too close to the inner workings of a CAAN exercise without blatantly incriminating yourself. Or ending up in someone’s beaten zone, I suppose.

Even in high-res; there isn’t much to pick out between a standard Kelpie and a Sleipnir on land (that’s as per your standing orders to SLDF R&D Command on variants) and the Consolidated-Belfast Kelpies use the Sleipnir hull-form due to “Local manufacturing methods”, so that makes it even harder. Beyond that, you’re talking spotting a 10.5cm difference in ground clearance on an amphibious vehicle with central tire-pressure regulation, in an operational environment; making runs back and forth around beaches and adjacent environs all made of soft ground. It can be done, if you know just what to look for and how, but good luck!

Our best guess is that the Stone’s people just can’t get close enough to the action to see either *that* the Sleipnirs run faster on water or *how* they do it. They may not even care enough about our support network to try. We think though; that a real organizational genius might be able to spot the special supply units separate from the normal ones in the tables, along with their added maintenance train, although our own complete orders of battle are compartmentalized, secret information. But in closing I’ll just stoop to one-upping my able, but under-informed college and pointing out that *this* goes *here*, old boy.*

^^^

Coming much closer to a viable combat vehicle was the Banshee dual-environment fighter.

The Lyran Banshee began with much more modest goals than some of its predecessors or subsequent freaks of military engineering. Rather than attempt to combine two vastly different modes of travel, the Banshee was simply intended to make an Aerofighter more efficient in atmosphere.

To the un-initiated and the expert, the merit is obvious; but the Lyran design team needed a few more dabblers.

A layman sees any form of flight as similar and the expert realizes that; in space any shape is the perfect spacecraft. The average dabbler knows that the engines used in aerospacecraft operate on different principles, by their very nature than do even conventional aircraft fusion powerplants.

The dabbler may also have seen how many Aerofighters prove it possible to make any brick fly with sufficient thrust, but it was the former issue which was to handicap the aerodynamic Banshee.

Sadly, in another age; the failure of the Banshee might be ascribed to the design team not having reached far *enough*. Rather than attempt to surmount the daunting obstacle of designing a better dual-modal *propulsion system* that could function more efficiently in atmosphere; Wangker engineers instead mated a conventional fusion powerplant to a very conventional turbine powerplant.

Once again; as a proof-of-concept: The Banshee delivered, but it was too much to ask to expect such a machine; porting more than 30 tons of powerplants (note the plural) in a 50-ton package to perform particularly well.

However, the brutal numbers game militated against anything better and those Wangkers; being proper Lyrans, knew to look out for the bottom line above all else. The inherent advantages of the Banshee in theory and practice would never have been sufficient to justify the expense of a fighting machine with *two different* fusion engines in it, especially in an age still well populated with those who remembered scrapping priceless BattleMechs and advanced tanks for lack of Fusion Engines. Putting two of them in something which was half conventional fighter would have seemed like madness.

It is doubtful anyone even so much as whispered of fitting the Banshee with an Extralite 150 engine, let alone developing an XL engine design for conventional aircraft. Another, more ambitious option would have been scaling-down the engine design used in small craft. But this too would have been well beyond the means of the Wangkers of the day.

But at the end of the day; the Banshee did everything it was supposed to in a motive-sense: it flew very well and quiet efficiently; it could even take off and land vertically with more ease than any other extant AeroFighter. Some reports indicate that it could even fly like a VTOL at will, when in atmosphere. What it couldn’t do was drag around 5-25 tons of dead weight and still win a dogfight.

As a result, every Banshee deployed to the Lyran-Periphery Border was destroyed in the years 3050-3052. Several survived for a time as museum pieces, but it is thought that none exist following the Jihad.

One unexplored dimension of dual-modal flight is the “heliplane”, a concept toyed with in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, but not explored in more recent years.

Modern VTOLs, through the refinement of technology; often combine the capabilities of many types of rotary wing, tilt-rotor, gyro-copter and compound-helicopter technologies. Highly-mobile and well understood, these machines remain solid, familiar and well-valued additions to all active militaries today and it is a rare and small Mercenary unit or Militia, which does not boast at least one operational VTOL.

But in the late 20th century, military engineers desired more from combat rotorcraft. Conventional Aircraft able to take off and land vertically, let alone hover were a rare, expensive and difficult to operate proposition. It occurred to some that it might be easier to make a helicopter fly faster than to make an inherently unstable super-sonic fighter float in the air like a Terran hummingbird.

Ultimately the technology of the day was unequal to the task and while some particularly fast compound helicopters (helicopters whose lift and maneuverability was boosted by a set of wings and other flight surfaces, such as the AH-56 Cheyenne) were produced; the results were insufficient to justify the funds and effort needed to take the concept beyond the sound barrier. Inevitably; the offerings and studies of the time offered insufficient advantage over existing airframes to justify their continuance to the clerks and ministers of the day.

But it is this academician’s opinion (one honed by decades in the military R&D world, I might add) that such a machine might be modestly possible in this day and age and further that a modern Heliplane would offer considerable tactical and operational advantages to units so equipped.

^^^

Heliplane rules

Max Tonnage: 50 (not 60)

Build as a VTOL (up to the super-heavy level above 30 tons), but add 10% for dual-modal conversion equipment and allocate space and tonnage for a fuel tank. Each takes up one space.

May not mount chin turrets or mast equipment. Side-mounted weapons cannot target effectively while in CF mode.

A heliplane mounts one engine of a unique type featuring the thrusters of a CF, but also a VTOL gearbox (Where most of the conversion equipment mass comes in), but may not make use of XL or Lite Engine technology (unless playing with house rules that permit XL and Lite engines for CFs). However, it may mount jet boosters and these apply their movement bonus to conventional fighter mode at a cost of 2x fuel consumption when used.

Conversion takes 1 turn and requires a piloting roll to avoid a crash if airborne. +1 for each external store point used. +1 for each point of rotor damage.

Heliplanes are capable of VTOL or Conventional Fighter movement dependant on mode, but not; ironically VTOL movement *while in conventional fighter mode*.

When in CF mode; the Heliplane’s rotors (or equivalent) lock in position or retract into the fuselage (note on design). They may still be damaged, however.

When in CF mode; use a conventional fighter hit-table. The left and right sides become the wings; tail becomes aft and front becomes nose.

For those designs which lock the rotors; on a hit to the wings, roll an additional 1d6. On a 6, the hit damages the rotors. Damaging locked rotors forces a control roll.

On a heliplane which retracts them into the fuselage, a hit to the aft grants an additional 2d6 roll to damage the rotors. On a 10, 11 or 12; the rotors are damaged and will not function.

A heliplane with destroyed or non-functional rotors may still land as a Conventional Fighter.

Calculate conversion equipment cost as 50% of an LAM’s conversion equipment.

   Maintenance requirements are as-per a Conventional Fighter plus a VTOL of the same mass.

^^^
   
Finally; so-called “Sealed” Combat vehicles represent a multi-environmental military capability found in general and successful service all over the Inner Sphere and beyond. Sealed combat vehicles are able to operate in a variety of hostile environments such as the vacuum of space; marginal or abnormally toxic environments and even underwater. Contrary to some opinions; this is not an enhancement of the normal NBC system standard on all modern Combat vehicles, but a new and comprehensive re-engineering of conventional armoured fighting vehicles for operating in these more extreme settings.

   Sealed Combat vehicles have been around for many centuries, but the advent of the BattleMech relegated them to niche roles and budgets tight enough to prohibit ‘Mechs, but still flexible enough to allow for non-standard combat vehicles types.

   Some additional interest in these machines can be attributed to the multi-spectrum warfare of the Jihad with its increased emphasis on fighting in diverse environments typically avoided in ages past, but in the main it seems to be a reaction to post-war demilitarization and the drawdown of BattleMech forces.

   With fewer mechs to go around, but a similar amount of territory to cover (by the RAF, if not by a House Army), Sealed Combat Vehicles, such as the Manticore II are a natural fit. At current, only the Clans seem to lack access to this class of vehicle in the main; but then the Clans haven’t drawn down their ‘Mech forces and wouldn’t see the need. All other extant powers either produce themselves or import Sealed Combat vehicles and keep them on hand for contingencies or as garrison forces where they are likely to be useful.

   The SLDF-in-Exile even maintains a vehicle in this class, although it is an unimpressive model with limited utility and combat power. This is their Coelacanth heavy APC, deployed mainly by their CAAN units.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 30 September 2018, 21:49:00
^^^

*I think the boys and girls at Bastion Island will be eating out on that one for a while, once the Republic actually encounters a Coelacanth.

First of all, if we don’t look at what the Coelacanth and its relatives are as Sealed vehicles (and we don`t); no, we basically don`t use sealed combat vehicles; we have some Oppies and the Herakles and we have the Byrds; and a few other support types. But those don`t exist compared to the Manticore II, which is a combat vehicle and that is what we’re really talking about here; sealed Combat Vehicles: not support Chassis. We could if we wanted, but no one really sees the need. We have good Subs and we do have ‘Mechs.

The irony on this one runs pretty deep though. For almost 15 years; the RAF has been drawing down their own mech forces, even while fighting their own wars. This has given Stone the leverage to push successfully for similar drawdowns among the other Spheroid powers and he`s mostly succeeded there too. They could certainly have done more and faster if they wanted and still accomplished their goals, but this is probably one facet of the Republics information warfare that is based on truth; slowing down the Stone-Lear reforms is basically and ultimately our fault. Or rather; because we exist.

The bitch of it is that we’ve been doing everything we can since the 60s, consummate with our other goals to bring mech production online and crank out serviceable machines. The RAF has been fighting several small wars, since forming after the Jihad, while drawing down their own mech forces; and they still have an overwhelming superiority to us in BattleMechs. No, there is no way out of this hole we`re in, especially at this stage and yes; I agree with Madam Dwight and am on record as saying so: our other assets WILL Compensate for the shortcoming in `Mechs.

But dammit, Steve! It`s galling as hell to take a distant second to those virtue signalling buffoons in a race they don’t even admit to being in. And late at night after a bad day, I worry. I can admit that to you, because you`re you. Logically; I`m very confident. But `Mechs have been the arm of decision for hundreds of years; since they first debuted. No other weapon system has ever been able to acquire a lead like that and keep it.

My guns can smash armies, fortresses; anything in range. And our Infantry can take anything in the assault; I`m certain of that. But it`s still `Mechs that end up deciding most battles they take part in, historically.

What we`re doing will work. I couldn`t be that confident if you weren`t so behind it yourself. But you`ve convinced an army of us; literally and you are the single worst salesman I`ve ever met. And I got started in the Federated Suns; so, I know what I`m talking about.
Moving on.

The Coelacanth and it`s related vehicles, such as the SeaBee are environmentally sealed, but only as an adjunct of being functional submersibles. What we started with is a Submarine hull that we then put tracks on and installed mission equipment into. They’re surprisingly uncomplicated vehicles, since there is no conversion equipment involved; they can take on or let off ballast and “Swim”, but more often they move along the bottom of whatever body of water or other liquid they find themselves in. They are quite safe and not so much maintenance-intensive as inspection-intensive.

Using a Special Operations APC as the test vehicle for the line got the technology out there to iron out the bugs aggressively. We did suffer a number of accidents, but the long and pains-taking development cycle, as well as a development team willing to take part in trials themselves, did a lot to endear the Coelacanth to the troops and the follow-on SeaBee benefitted from this experience substantially, despite being a much larger and more complex vehicle.

Our Coelacanths aren’t much to write home about in any way aside from their combination of capabilities, but the personnel assigned to use them like them; which says a lot for a tracked vehicle that crawls along the bottom of oceans sometimes.*

^^^
   
Dr. Jas Hue (one-time Aide-de-Camp to David Lear) has produced a short summary of the History of LAMs, which is all-but impossible to beat outside of more in-depth and minutia-filled multi-hundred-page works. However, it may be supplemented with a few notes in order to provide a neophyte with a more complete view of LAM History, Development and Deployment.

   First of all; the SLDF’s interest in LAMs was as highly-mobile strike units and fire support for larger parent formations which would be either very fast moving themselves or likely to be far-removed from normal ‘Mech or air-support. This is borne out by the bomb bays found in many of the earliest types.

   Only much later did the SLDF see the value in transitioning the types to less-direct special reconnaissance and Special Forces roles. Sadly, while the Successor States would learn this lesson well with their own LAMs, by the final decades of Cameron Rule, the SLDF had already all-but abandoned LAM technology due to its inherent limitations, save for a few key projects.

   Through the Succession Wars, the Great Houses still managed to maintain specialized LAM units as large as battalion-strength, although they were almost never deployed in concentrations above a company. But by 3025, these were fading rapidly due to attrition and shortfalls in the skills of the remaining pilots. Ace LAM pilots; such as the Legendary Jeremiah Youngblood, were even harder to come by than their specialized ‘mechs and the next quarter century saw every one of the LAM units converted to less exotic types as the supply of parts and pilots reached critical levels.

   The later WOB Spectral LAMs were used in a variety of roles, but handicapped always by their tiny numbers. Nonetheless; they and their Manei Domini pilots were most effective at applying terror tactics to unarmed civilians and opposing military forces, alike.

   Spectral LAMs were never deployed in units larger than a Level-II (Six units) and were often found in smaller concentrations, down to single units on what were effectively suicide missions; such as that seen in the fighting at Gibson. This is likely because the demands of the war and their small numbers militated against larger formations. For all this and for whatever reason; the Word were more willing to use their LAMs in different roles and use them more aggressively than anyone else before them.

   Spectral-series LAMs, alongside an even more scant number of original LAMs from the last of the former ComStar vaults could be found on head-hunter missions; sabotage runs, low-level nuclear strikes and even in desperate front-line combat; a role LAMs had been practically barred from since the 2nd Succession War.

   The appearance of the SLDFiE’s own LAMs and the graphic demonstration of their capabilities during the fighting with the Falcons in mid 3094 came as a severe shock to Republic Intelligence. If Dr. Hue’s assumptions of the underpinning of effective LAM deployment were correct (and they seemed to be), then the so-called “3rd League” is a much greater threat than many had believed. Indeed; verified reports and holovids captured by unidentified Black-Bag Operatives served as chilling evidence of this fact sufficient to quiet the discontent then rampant in the Republic at the highest levels in regard to the over-wrought power of the RAF relative to Stone’s stated goals.

^^^

*I think we’re all on the same page with this one; the Jade Falcon War represents the greatest intelligence exposure we’ve had so far and our exposure cost us dramatically in terms of what we’ll face when the day comes. No one expected to be able to keep an entire theatre of operations clear of anyone who might take an interest, but contrasting what happened there with our otherwise successful record of testing and deploying sensitive equipment in secret; it’s obvious something went very wrong there.

I’d really like to talk to Admiral Corey about this subject; since he’s our counter-intelligence honcho and security is so key to my own work. Not to take him to task, but just to understand the realities of the situation. I know he’s not the most…mentally healthy…person to deal with, but he is the authority on the subject; even Condorcet admits he’s good. Problem is that he exceeds his reputation in being difficult to work with.

It’s tragic to think what a difference it might have made if things had gone better; knowing what we know now, if it wasn’t for the Falcon War; we could about count the RAF in the bag without firing a shot. It’s clear that the Republic was on the brink in a big way in early 3095. They are a long way from that now.*

^^^

The SLDF-in-Exile uses different LAMs in different roles, but they are clearly more capable and advanced than previous types. Different models were observed in a Special Reconnaissance role and on interdiction, strike and even fire support missions.

   At this stage, it seems necessary to flesh out the technical history of the LAM beyond Dr. Hue’s work, in order to better understand what makes these contemporary examples so unusual.

   The Scorpion LAM was an abortive attempt at a quad LAM. While elements of the design were later incorporated into the more recent models of the re-designed Scorpion BattleMech; the LAM version proved too ungainly to operate in flight mode. During the abortive Border Skirmishes with the Jade Falcons in 3094; the SLDFiE Deployed a quad-LAM on two occasions. These were seen operating in a fire-support role for other LAMs.

^^^

*Colonel Smith tells me the trick is in how the leg armour is contoured and how the jump jets are installed. He’d know.*

^^^
   
A project for a Champion-based LAM failed because the mass of the machine was simply too great to permit the conversion equipment to function. So far as we know; the SLDFiE is unable to build LAMs larger than 55 tons, although their version of the venerable Champion does incorporate jump jets and so may indeed be partly-based on some of the data from the afore-mentioned abortive project.

^^^

*We’ll probably never know for sure how much detailed information the Republic has on our equipment and Order of Battle until we jump off, but revelations like this still make me queasy every time one of Stone’s people let’s something like this slip. Case in point: okay; so, they know our Champions have Jump Jets…okay…so they’ve gotten close enough to a Striker Unit on exercise or operations to spot a jumping Champion. Do they know the armament or armour as well? Do they have people inside the SLDFiE?

Smith’s group at Archangelsk thinks they could build a “Superheavy LAM” as big as 75 tons. But beyond 55; even with our material improvements the stresses on the frame in flight and the conversion equipment during even normal operations, both cube.*

^^^
   
The Tyr resistance recovered a Cache of a previously unknown LAM design along with spare parts just before the 4th Succession War and used these Munin-type LAMs effectively against the Combine until the formation of the Free Rasalhague Republic and thereafter until all but the last example was crippled fighting against pirates in 3043. The Munin was a lighter design, which nonetheless managed to replicate most of the larger and more expensive Phoenix Hawk’s capabilities.

   Little other information exists, but what is known indicates a pre-production model, cancelled before the Amaris coup and mothballed. The importance of the verified existence and performance of the Munin establishes the value of outside-the-box thinking in LAM design. It is theorized that SLDFiE R&D must have looked closely at the design of the Munin when developing their own refinement of the technology.

^^^

*Credit where it’s due; Levy basically managed to nail by deduction every detail of the MUNIN LAM Project without having one scrap of the documentary data on it.*

^^^
   
One of Stefan Amaris’ superweapons; the “Screamer” LAM was intended to be built en masse as a weapon of last resort to be used against Kerensky’s forces. For whatever reason, only a single example was built and this was lost in action while in the midst of conversion; a common enough fate even for better-tested LAM designs. The original SLDF had assess to these plans, but was unable or unwilling to replicate them before the exodus, however; the Screamer represents the final example of new LAM technology for centuries and may have incorporated various advances which, if developed could have made it a more capable type in the field. In any event; we cannot rule out any or all of the Clans, Word of Blake, ComStar or the SLDFiE Have access to the Screamer’s technical readouts. Certainly, some surviving images bear a more than passing resemblance to the Word’s Spectral-series.

^^^

*Again; we know this because we took the facilities, but Levy gets it by simply connecting the dots; he’s quite bright when he puts his mind to it. WOB started with the specs from the Screamer and developed their Spectral series from there, because it was the most recent, most developed example of the technology.

This is probably why they proceeded with the same shortfalls in their own program. While we do indeed have the full particulars on the Screamer, our LAM program began tabula rasa in terms of a real design basis.

Which should be considered, along with the results we achieved when one reviews the budget. The Smith group deserves every good thing future generations say about them, once we declassify the records.*

^^^

While the Screamer may have represented the state of the art, as of the late 2770s; it was not the last LAM designed in the Inner Sphere before the Jihad. That honour falls to the Sandman; a ‘mech whose existence has only recently been verified by combing diverse sources over many years.

The exact origins of the Sandman are a mystery; precisely where and when it was built is clouded with contradictory information. Differing accounts place the machines under secondary contract to Snord’s Irregulars at different times or operating independently. Strangely; operations featuring the Sandman are better known than its ownership and it is only through extrapolations and eyewitness accounts that some specifics can be derived.

We know the Sandman or Sandmen existed; this was one or more custom-designed and built or heavily modified LAMs used exclusively for rescue missions, utilizing specialized “Rescue Pods” hidden in the ‘mech’s arms and shielded from regular scans, battlefield radiation, toxic gases, etc. We can derive this fact from a number of distinct rescue or extraction operations carried out between the years 3022 and 3056. Visual evidence presents us with a profile similar to a Stinger or Phoenix Hawk LAM and timetables and sensor logs give us speeds on the ground and in the air in excess of other extant LAM designs. This is significant because it shows us that Land-Air-Mechs are not the cipher that some contemporary works make them out to be, but more a flowing equation of different parts and performance variables like a regular BattleMech.

At this point; one needs to ask which is the simpler explanation? That an individual bearing the unlikely moniker “San Andreas” discovered yet another Star League cache of previously unrecorded LAMs; this time in a specialist configuration? Or the more popular version of the story; that while on leave on Kooken’s Pleasure Pit, this self-same individual won so much money gambling that he was able to have arranged the design and construction of a custom land-air-mech and his personal training in it’s use through a custom-designed simulator. Further; that he *chose* the final configuration.

^^^

*Let us pause for a moment upon contemplation of Mr. Andreas nom de guerre and recall that we live in a universe which contains a planet known as “Kooken’s Pleasure Pit. I find this refrain helpful when examining the nomenclature we apply to many of mankind’s creations.*

^^^

While it is well-known that rescue and extraction mission are among the highest-paying in the Mercenary Special-Operations world; they are also among the most dangerous; both in the execution and in surviving the fallout. It is perhaps though not beyond the pale that an ambitious and confident mercenary might choose to specialize in just such a field, if he or she felt the money was good enough and their skills equal to the task. But this also presupposes a much greater, if vanishingly scarce understanding of LAM technology than is generally thought to have been in circulation at any time between the Exodus and the Jihad.

However; with the sheer mass of one-off, limited-run, pre-production and design-study LAMs now known, one can take whichever side one wishes in terms of deciding if it is more or less likely for one or two *more* examples to be discovered, but never mentioned elsewhere.

^^^

*This is one of those little bugbears that keep archeo-technologists up at night.

Steve: I cannot tell you for the life of me, even with complete access to what might as well be the sum knowledge of mankind where the Sandmen LAMs came from.

The Sandman is more than Levy actually credits here; but he comes across as rather stuffy and lacking in romantic sensibilities. We’re really talking about one of the greatest LosTech mysteries of known history here. I can’t tell you the number of late-night conversations at the NAIS I was part of on this very subject; the posters, coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bathroom graffiti: in certain circles the Sandman is a legendary subject of discussion, easily the equal of the old Marik conspiracies.

Bottom line:

It’s totally possible that the SLDF built a handful of totally custom, hotrod LAMs, specifically for extraction missions. There is even a sort of logic to it. If they had; they’d be so secret they might be compartmentalized to the pilots, builders and a few dozen others at most. Leaving them behind seems odd; unless they were hidden on purpose by pilots and techs that never got the chance to come back for them. But even then; someone should have had recovering them at the top of their list and we didn’t find any on Operation: VRIL/DRAGONFIRE. And frankly; we might or might not have, depending on how many they made. That and Operation: DRAGONFIRE, specifically was working from an extant official list of SLDF caches from the time of the exodus; known by the Exodus Fleet. A black ops group caching their own gear to go fight Amaris, join the fleet or going native would not have put an entry on that list.

On the other hand; we do know it is just possible---given Condorcet’s files on extant technical minds and resources 3000-3050---that “San” could have gathered the right people and resources to have one or more Sandmen built, custom, even during this time. We’re talking an astronomical figure here; he might as well have bought himself a Dukedom or three. But Condorcet thinks it might just have been possible. What he finds hard to swallow is ROM not knowing about it; it’s just the kind of thing that the old ComStar would have been rabid to see disappear in a cloud of expanding vapour. But again; he did tell me there was a known blackmail operation running against someone in ROM’s middle management at this time. They knew it was going on, but not who and not the specifics. It would be a hell of coincidence, but we have literally not idea what this “San Andreas” character was capable of. Again; Can’t rule it out.

About a million years ago; when I was a youngster doing my post-grad, the running theory was that Snord had taken the Sandmen after “San” retired and hidden them in the vaults of his museum. Given what got thrown at that set of coordinates in the Jihad, we may never know.

And that makes me a little sad. I still had bets with some old friends on the subject and I’ve often fantasized about leaving the coin on their stones as a mystery to whoever should happen by. *

^^^

Certainly, the technology and theory of Land-Air-Mech design was not lost completely with the departure of the SLDF. Many LAMs and their pilots remained behind in the Successor States and Periphery and the production of Stinger LAMs continued up until the destruction of the Irece factories by Clan Nova Cat in 3050. The best techs came out of the Irece facility or the dwindling House LAM units, but academy LAM programs suffered badly; producing mediocre pilots from longer, more expensive courses.

Part of the reason for this was that only a handful of two-seat LAM trainers were ever made and fewer still were ever converted. The best LAM pilots came from landed Land-Air-MechWarrior families possessing at least two LAMs; one a two-seat trainer. These trainers were probably the last operational LAMs made to the original specifications; surviving in air and mech shows until the late 3060s.

^^^

*According to his reports; this was one of Smith’s biggest hurdles and they were basically buffaloed until VRIL/DRAGONFIRE turned up a few trainers and suitable conversion candidates.

It’s a logic bomb, really; You need LAMs to train pilots to test-drive/fly your LAMs, so you can have LAMs to train the test-pilots…

The Hegemony seem to have got by through sheer bloody-mindedness; the first few generations of pilots until the trainers showed up with the later models went direct from the simulators to solo. Casualties seem to have been what you’d expect and among the Hegemony’s best and brightest no less. Tidbits like that make our local Clanner breeding program seem like common sense, but it’s obvious why we couldn’t do it that way.

The ones we lost in the first stream were bad enough; imagine continuing for a whole design generation and a half like that? This one bit of luck saved us decades.*

^^^

The Clans retained full knowledge of LAM technology, at least for a time and at least in some Clans. It is understood that LAMs persisted for some time in the armies of the first SLDF-in-Exile and then among their successors. Nicholas Kerensky, however; despised their dualistic nature and had no place for them in his new Clans, although he stopped short of out-right forbidding their use as anything but targets and spare parts. This was a customary ban and never written down and so it eventually became a cultural bias, rather than an artefact of Clan Law and as such, at least one Clan was known to have experimented with LAMs in the interregnum without risking too much.

Clan Jade Falcon’s LAM program produced two prototypes; these were referred to in the project notes as the “Evil Twins”; not for their identical natures, but for their dual-cockpit designs. It appears the project was well-advanced when it was cancelled following the destruction of one or both prototypes.

These machines appeared to have been built on solely ClanTech and may have incorporated various advanced technologies. The overall design, however appears to have been based on extant examples of two-seat LAM trainers; this being an attempt by the Clan’s mercurial Scientist Caste to reconcile Warrior Caste Honour Codes with the diverse capabilities of the LAM.

It is, after all; only Nicholas’ hidebound insistence on specialization which produces the Clan Cultural bias against the LAM. From many angles; a more capable, flexible machine possessed of greater agency than even an OmniMech would suit the Clan Warrior milieu. The idea of the Scientists on the project being that if an Aerospace Pilot handled the machine exclusively in flight-mode and the MechWarrior had exclusive control in ‘Mech-mode, then this arbitrary distaste could be avoided.

Unresolved was the doctrinal and dogmatic issue of the AirMech-mode, but this question remained unanswered at the time of the cancellation of the project. One much later and more successful spin-off of the research, however has been Clan Wolf’s TreeFrog Partial-Wing OmniMech.

^^^

*The so-called “Society” is a cipher I fear we will never see the answer to. This is probably a good thing. But I’m the kind of smart-ass that isn’t happy unless he knows everything and I’d love to know if the Clan Civil War uncovered any further experiments in this vein. As-is, we just don’t know.*

^^^

Attempts made closer to home in time and space to meld advanced technologies to LAMs have mainly met with failure. It is well known that LexaTech abandoned their own Advanced-Technology Stinger LAM-Project due to conflicts between the bulk of such materials as XL Engine shielding and LAM conversion equipment. However, the one-off WSP-105 Matherson LAM created by Kurita scientists and techs using a mix of Ferro-Fibrous and Ferro-Aluminum armour scavenged from various sources (to include vintage Star League bunkers) did prove successful until it was lost in a freak accident when the conversion equipment failed while in high-g flight maneuvers. Due to the top-secret nature of this experimental model and the then-irreplaceable nature of its passive protection, little is known about it in detail, save that it worked and it noticeably improved the survivability of the Wasp LAM. Exactly how House Kurita managed to meld the disparate technologies is not known.

^^^

*Finding the LexaTech data and getting the Matherson data from Hohiro is what made our LAM program seem worthwhile from the beginning.*

^^^

The Word of Blake’s own LAMs were only partly successful in returning these archaic relics to the modern battlefield. The Spectral-Series; intended to be piloted by Manei Domini all featured small cockpits; while the handful of vintage LAMs existed as technology test-beds for the Spectral’s weapons and airframe components and were pressed into service out of desperation. Perhaps if they had more time, the Blakists could have achieved more, but it is to the betterment of human life that they did not.

What little is known of the project suggests that the Spectral LAM program was ruinously expensive in terms of C-Bills, advanced materiel and high-grade brainpower. Employment of ClanTech weapons built on Terra failed to bring them fully up to par with modern ‘Mechs and their limited endurance put them at a severe disadvantage against fighter craft. One technology the Word did not employ was composite internal structure. Since many have posited this as an achievable way around the traditional technical limitations of LAMs, it remains baffling why the Word did not take this route.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 30 September 2018, 21:50:13
^^^

*I can answer this!

Ha. I can’t believe I wrote that. Still that kid, I guess. Anyways; Composite structure is a bitch and a half to work with normally due to wastage from fatigue. It’s a tech’s nightmare. Every assembly has to be regularly inspected visually and with a portable x-ray machine to look for developing microfractures. Any worn parts have to be replaced. The reports from the Zeus-X programs aren’t exaggerations; the stuff is delicate! I can’t imagine putting it inside an aerospaceframe that needs to be able to flex; because basically; it doesn’t. Anyone who says it can be made to is being pedantic. Smith never even considered it and nor did the Wobblies, because of the stresses conversion equipment puts on the internals; you’d be swapping out spars after every transformation.

Ironically, as we found out; it’s EndoSteel that is perfect for many applications in LAM design. Once you figure out ways to work around it’s bulk.

As an addendum to an addendum; using MD pilots was a cop out. The VDNI system basically allows you to skip the trainer-phase on pilot training and go direct from the factory into action. Which is what the Word needed. Naturally when you apply those kinds of standards to a machine like a Spectral…well Levy makes the point of them being Terror Weapons…and that’s right. But we found more destroyed by their own side, than we killed ourselves. Critical failures of key components which should have been factory-tested were rife.*

^^^

But as a technical achievement, the Spectral LAMs establish that the LosTech of LAMs was indeed retained by interested parties to the present day.

It is expected that this is also the source of the SLDFiE’s own LAM technology. While clearly employing designs based on classic aesthetics, rather than the more modern Spectrals; the so-called “3rd League’s” LAMs seem to have picked up where the Word left off, as they have in so many other ways. Observations from the Jade Falcon War seem to indicate platforms which are overall more capable than can be accounted for merely by the presence of ClanTech weapons. Close observation of a crashed example indicated the absence of a small cockpit and salvage recovered at the scene indicated the employment of at least Clan EndoSteel and Stealth armour. Further data proved impossible to acquire as this gambit only yielded a scant few seconds at the crash site, while revealing the presence of our operatives in the AO. As it was, it is something of a minor miracle that a successful extraction at this juncture was even possible.

^^^

*“Picking up where the Word left off.” Is a low blow. Certain comments can be made; but at the end of the day; my side is the one that ALLOWED Stone’s to look like the “Good Cops” and keep their hands clean. Maybe it was Stone’s Coalition that defeated the Word of Blake, but it’s the SLDF who BROKE them.*

^^^

While Omnitechnology or a heavier weight ceiling could not be conclusively proven; impossible to ignore was the employment of what appeared to be an operationally viable Scorpion LAM. This Quad-LAM seemed to operate in a fire-support role and could dish out eerily accurate fire from some truly stunning firing positions. Our operatives were also certain they observed LAMs operating with unaccounted-for mobility in mech-mode and employing underwing ordnance as AirMechs.

^^^

*The shorthand on Advanced LAM Technology would be that if you work ass-backwards and effectively build the conversion equipment around the shapes of advanced materials that have already been designed to be as cooperative to the effort as possible; then, yes: you can have an XL engine or whatever else you like in your LAM.

The downside is that the cost of the components and the added time required to design, develop and produce an end-product that is possible for techs without extra joints in their arms to maintain literally skyrockets. XL Engines? Three times as expensive. Clan Ferro and Endo? Yup; doubled. Inner Sphere equivalents?  Quadrupled. And every single part has to be tailor-made. Forget your extant supply line; everything will be different on an Advanced LAM.

The common-sense solution is that they really should be Clan-Spec from top to bottom, because you actually end up saving money that way, because their stuff is less bulky. But now look at the program as a whole; Four main LAM models; four different Clan-Spec XL LAM Engines.
Pardon me; four bespoke ClanTech XL engines; because not only are these unique to the LAM model; they are a unique TYPE of fusion powerplant. And again; there goeth the budget.

One big help was actually in applying Clan design and manufacturing techniques and materials to the conversion equipment itself; that reduced weight and bulk by making multiple parts do multiple jobs. On our Phoenix Hawk LAM; we actually cut the number of parts in the Conversion system in half. But then you’d quadrupled the cost of the actuators and doubled the cost of the conversion equipment. The upside is that it’s actually easier to fix it now for being made of more tolerant materials.

The Scorpion is the program’s mailed fist; we use them to support the others at need and yes; Quad LAMs are possible; probably Tripods too, if you really wanted. But you first have to throw out everything you know about LAM design. Prior to the Scorpion; you had bi-modal and tri-model conversion equipment, right? Hue covers that very well. Well, trying to get a Scorpion to turn all the way into a fighter is just about impossible; which is why Brigadier and Defiance both failed. What you really need is to design a fighter mode that fits four legs in it somehow and then get it to turn into a mech; bi-model, right? No; what Smith’s team did was make an AirMech mode that was literally the fighter-mode with the legs extended; which was also the landing gear.

According to his reports; they figured it out when they realized that the process of churning out designs that turned from mechs to AirMech was easy; it took about a third of the time a normal LAM did. Getting a Mech to turn into an AirMech, into a Fighter didn’t work. So, you skip that step and work backwards from Fighter and short version; THAT works just fine. And it has a Quad Mech Turret. Unbelievable.

I’m going to take a break from this counter-intuitive mess and check to see if that paragraph gave me a stroke or not.*

^^^

Advanced LAM Construction Rules

As LAM Construction rules, but with the following exceptions:

   Ignore all Chassis restrictions except for weight. 55 tons remains the max.

Advanced Conversion equipment weighs 7.5% of a unit’s mass and takes up six critical spaces allocated symmetrically. Count any damage to the conversion equipment as preventing conversion and combining the effects of normal LAM Avionics and Landing Gear hits.

Ignore all technological restrictions except for Primitive Components and Extra-Large Items.
In addition to these other considerations; consider Advanced LAMs as having partial wings for the purposes of heat dissipation (all modes) and movement while in MECH-MODE only.

Advanced LAMs may carry external ordnance (especially fuel). Apply standard rules for hitting it while in AirMech and Fighter mode and assume all such ordnance to be mounted on the rear torso while in Mech-Mode. Hits to the rear torso while carrying Ordnance will destroy it (with appropriate results) on a roll of 4, 5 or 6 on a 1d6 roll. Advanced LAMs may use ordnance to attack while in other modes (including internal ordnance) if they do not make other attacks that turn. Naturally an Advanced LAM dropping a bomb at its own feet is in the blast radius and in addition will have any splash damage applied as if it were any attack from the rear.

Some bulky equipment may be used in the construction of advanced LAMS, but the cost is increased as follows:

Lite Engines x2
XL Engines x3
   Clan EndoSteel and Ferro-Fibrous Armour x2
Inner Sphere EndoSteel and FFA x4
Light Ferro x2
Stealth Armour x3
CLPS/NSS/VSS x2
Actuators x4
Conversion equipment x2

All advanced LAMs have the non-standard parts quirk

^^^

As stated previously; this incontrovertible evidence of recent-production LAMs in service with the SLDFiE suggests either a hitherto unimagined military-industrial complex or that LAMs are in fact easy to build and pilot and that the rest of us are just a bunch of chumps. Naturally, we have to conclude that the settlements of the Canton Worlds somehow represent a near-peer in terms of technical sophistication and training-product.

To-date, these advanced LAMs seem only to be deployed by the SLDFiE, itself; as none have appeared in the forces of any of the member states. In point of fact, when knowledge of their existence was leaked through our remaining channels to Clan NovaCat’s Watch, they seemed genuinely shocked that the SLDF was even interested in such technology; as in that it was something between sad and embarrassing. Further reactions have not come to the surface yet, but it is hoped that this is the kind of revelation which might drive a wedge between our erstwhile allies and their poorly-chosen comrades.

If the 3rd League’s Advanced LAMs are a worrisome development, for which we nonetheless possess a familiar touchstone for a benchmark, then Clan Hell’s Horses’ new QuadVees are something entirely out of left field.

What a “QuadVee” is; is a quadruped Battle’ or OmniMech, with a two-man crew and a torso/turret structure which can transform itself into a tracked or, it now appears; a wheeled vehicle (and possibly other types). But to what end is uncertain. It may also be possible to build a “TriVee”, but this pure conjecture based on observations of the technology itself.

What a QuadVee is, is a question we have a much better handle on right now than why they were and are being developed or to what goal. This last is a question that comes up a lot and has led to a new pejorative among the Wolves and Ghost Bears; “Crazy like a Horse”.

In more detail; QuadVees seem to bring together and enhance certain disparate technologies; chief among these being auxiliary tracked propulsion systems as seen on some Industrial mechs and the ancient Huntress ArtilleryMech. Next is a two-place cockpit design, which purportedly lacks an ejection system either by necessity or as a matter of expedience indicating that these designs were never meant to be rushed into service so quickly. It should be noted that this is a different design of cockpit than that found on the Clan Jade Falcon’s LAM prototypes and has much more in common with an academy trainer’s dual-control types. One Cockpit is located in a conventional “Head” position and the other is embedded in the torso/turret. In an emergency either can take over the duties of the other as well as or instead of its own, although at much reduced efficiency. Finally, is an evolution of the Quad ‘Mech Turret into a fully-traversing torso assembly.

^^^

*We know that the Horses actually developed the technology from extant examples of the Huntress they somehow had access to and which are now found in small numbers in their Touman and some small number of LAMs they got from somewhere, which were all destroyed in testing. They have remained tight-lipped about the source of these machines and so; given our otherwise open relationship, we expect they acquired them through means Clan Hell’s Horses would consider unsavoury.

By all appearances, however; while the Freeborn and Solahma pilots of the Horses’ Huntresses seem to tolerate them; lacking a direct source of the Naga, yet; and appreciating the range of the Thumper, the Horses more senior officers seem to like them quite a bit, so far as these things go in the Clans. If they ever had the spare capacity, I wouldn’t be shocked to see an updated version roll off the lines from within the Horses’ territory someday.*

^^^

The capabilities the QuadVee brings to the battlefield are dubious and seem almost tailored to intentionally “break” the Clan’s Zellbrigen traditions. Acting in vehicle mode; QuadVees can fool unwary enemies as to the nature of their foe; they can also be transported and deployed from vehicle bays on dropships. The Horses could even use them in this way to deliberately violate Zellbrigen by bidding them as vehicles and then transforming them. It is an open question just how a QuadVee “locked” in one mode or another might be counted in a Clan Batchal.

But then there is the two-man crew to consider. This seems to inherently violate the Clan honour codes. In action, QuadVees might even be considered to be at an advantage in more fluid engagements, against multiple opponents. Certainly, when left to their own devices it is known that a dedicated pilot/gunner combination is superior to a single MechWarrior operating alone. How their new “TankWarrior” Phenotype will fit into this program is up for debate as well; doubtless within the Clan, as well as among the various Intelligence services.

By their very nature QuadVees lack for spare internal space and tonnage for other equipment; however, the torso-turret is an inarguable advantage. Some Battle Reports seem to indicate that damaged QuadVees missing a limb can still transform and withdraw from combat under their own power. But this is a trait they share with standard Quad ‘Mechs as well, although it becomes something of a feat of piloting in the latter case. However, what a normal Quad cannot do is move tactically minus a functioning gyro; a QuadVee can do that easily, it seems.

The Arion, Cyllaros and Harpagos were the earlier designs; basically, technology demonstrators rushed into production. Their development and the establishment of their production lines wreaked havoc with the Hell’s Horses military-industrial complex. They are remaining in production for now, but it is expected that the lines will be re-tooled for updated QuadVee models or more conventional BattleMechs or Omnis very soon. The Boreas is currently the main production model and represents an interim type. The Boreas is an OmniQuadVee and as such is more popular with its crews and the Touman at large, as well as being a more mature design. Compared to a more conventional ‘Mech, however; it very lightly armed for it’s size.

Not yet in full-rate production, the pre-production examples of the Notos nonetheless represent a further matured example of the QuadVee concept. Aside from its other advantages and disadvantages; the Notos features a wheeled vehicle mode and so is also faster, somewhat in this form. It is expected that the Notos will herald a new family of QuadVees and replaces the Boreas in production if the Horses choose to go forward with the concept.

QuadVees have been supplied to all the Horses’ active combat formations with the unusual machines assigned to both what are traditionally ‘Mech and Tank units.  These assignments suggest one possible answer to the QuadVee riddle; QuadVees compare poorly with conventional ‘Mechs and Omnis, but are they in fact intended to replace traditional combat vehicles instead and allow them some of the tactical and operational mobility of mechs? Time will tell if this is the Horses’ goal or if the QuadVee will even succeed as a type.

For now, the machines have met with mixed reviews and appear to be unpopular on the whole; both with those assigned to them and to those serving beside them. Feedback was mostly negative for the early models and mostly neutral for the Boreas and even the Notos. Whoever has been pushing the concept; it hasn’t been the Horses’ frontline troops, who don’t seem to know what to make of the odd machines.

What we have to ask ourselves is; are the Horses developing the QuadVee, not out of any perceived operation need or tactical imperative, but as a cultural necessity? Is the concept somehow symbolically important to the leadership of Hell’s Horses or it’s Scientist Caste? In any event; the Horses cannot afford to spare anymore resources for a dead end so it’s time to either buy in with a major effort in production and integration of a war-winning innovation or bow out and reinvest in proven technologies. In terms of the Horses strategic situation, this project could not have come at a worse time and their industrial output and frontline readiness has lagged far behind their fellow Clansmen despite progress in other areas.

^^^

*I met personally with members of the Horses Scientist Caste earlier this year on exchange and while I covered this in my report at the time, I’ll reiterate; The Horses seem to be pursuing this, as Levy noted on some sort of cultural imperative. Results so far have been lackluster, but they feel they HAVE to fully explore this technology; for the purpose of proving it doesn’t work as much as that it can work. IF it is a dead end; they have to know. If QuadVees turn out to be revolutionary then Clan Hell’s Horses must be the supreme master of this technology. It’s become a kind of mania for them that harkens back to the days of the Ghost Bear War and I find it personally disturbing.

Whatever the motivation though; the Horses desperately need to rationalize production before the next FY or they won’t be able to even pretend to keep their Touman viable. We know from various sources that the Arion, Cyllaros and Harpagos lines are due to be shut down and re-tooled this year. We know for certain that the last Arion will roll off the line in late November or early December; the rest we are unsure of, but no later than that; likely earlier. These are large, capable lines, drawing vast resources. They need to be producing something viable.

Retooling them to produce more conventional products seems unlikely to me, based on my interactions. What I expect to happen is that those lines will be tooled up to produce the Notos or a new, as-yet unrevealed QuadVee design or designs. The Boreas will remain in production at least that long, but I expect that line to be retooled as well inside the next five years.

Commander; the sheer burden this effort has placed on the Horses’ Scientist and Labourer Castes is immense and unsustainable, as a result; the Horses’ Warrior Caste is feeling the pressure from the Khans to perform with equipment many of them are still not confident is useful or effective. From Condorcet’s notes on the subject; I’d expect some kind of major campaign is in the offing to try and prove it in battle. I further expect this to be ill-advised and rushed in nature. I expect the Wolves or the Bears to be the targets and I can’t see it kicking off earlier than the middle of next year or no later than the end of FY3102.

I tell you though, Steve; they sure love us. The Merchant Caste is well aware that the favourable terms and level of attention they are getting from the Diamond Sharks is basically down to 3rd League influence and the Warriors are glad of the supply of foreign-built materiel. As you know; the Horses Military-Industrial complex is not diverse or very muscular, yet.

I’m no Clanner-Expert, either; but one thing that occurs to me is that if you wanted a lever to change the culture of a Warrior-People, you could do much worse than use a new, suspiciously sturdy sword as your prybar.*

^^^
^^^

Superheavy Combat Vehicles have existed as concepts and prototypes almost since the beginning of armoured warfare, but have rarely proven successful enough to merit the ruinous efforts of full production. One of the earliest examples; the barely pre-Civil War Russian “Tsar Tank” was an immense tricycle vehicle designed to overcome any obstacle. Unfortunately, the obstacle of ground pressure; one that haunts combat vehicle designers to this day, did for the Tsar Tank and it was left to rot where it bogged down until stripped and scrapped after the First Soviet Civil War.

Around this era; before and after existed many prototypes and projects, but it was First/Second/Third World-War Germany whose “Mouse” design got farthest in weight (at 188 tons) and progress (a small number of prototypes were built and one or more may have briefly seen action against the Soviets. Germany also managed to produce between 70 and 88 examples of the 71-ton JagdTiger Heavy Tank Destroyer; for many years thereafter, the heaviest combat vehicle ever produced in numbers. While the JagdTiger was later eclipsed by the heavier versions of the Western Alliance MBT-70 employed during the Second Soviet Civil War; the Mouse’s all-up combat weight of 188 tons would not be surmounted in a comparable production vehicle until the Lyran/Clan Wolf-in-Exile Gulltoppr in 3088.

Almost no Superheavy designs have started out that way; but of course, it’s equally true that almost all combat vehicle designs grow in size and weight between the drawing board and the production line; and often their end of service life as well. This is especially true of the German Mouse, or “Maus” and the Free World’s League’s Soarece or “Mouse”. Historically; this one foible has killed more projects than any other when the design grows beyond the capacity of power plant, suspension, manufacturing capability or materials; literally being smothered under its own weight.

The progression of practical Superheavy technology in the form of advances in material sciences more than any other factor is what allows modern examples of this type to be put into production and fielded. With this achievement; Superheavy vehicles can be designed as such from the outset; producing more efficient, less-flawed machines. As always; it is industry and its profit-driven backers that have paved the way; creating the technology for super-large mobile machinery first for the civilian market, allowing it to be developed and refined in less taxing environments, before it is militarized and soldiers are unleashed upon it to test its breakability in the field.

The problem we have now is actually fielding such units in action. Superheavy vehicle bays have existed for support vehicles for some time, but they remain very rare and most larger combat vehicles must then travel as cargo; unable to be quickly deployed on landing or through dropchutes. Despite access to larger than normal combat units being increasingly widespread, as of this report; there are no Dropships coming off the lines with Superheavy Vehicle bays as standard. Superheavy ‘Mech bays do not yet exist. As such, this often relegates such units to the most carefully choreographed offensive actions and set-piece defensive situations. This was the fate of the several hundred Soareces built by the League.

^^^

*I know Madam Dwight reports to you regularly; so, I won’t rehash her job and look like a fool doing it. For the sake of comprehensiveness; I will summarize however with Condorcet’s own assessments;

The New Model Army has been designed from the ground-up as an expeditionary force; thus, what good are assets we cannot deploy? The maximum vertical limit of this being our Anchorage-Class Dropships. We have also not been shy in applying technology developed for the military to civilian civil and industrial engineering tasks. Likewise; Madam Dwight’s people benefit more than she might admit to the consummate growth in the civilian/private sector and their own R&D and industrial efforts. It’s not special per se; but it’s a more purposeful symbiotic relationship than you would find elsewhere.

Or in short; we have these things and the RAF doesn’t because they’ve been built as a defensive army; the offence is not their core ethic. More fool them, I think.*

^^^

The modern history of Superheavy combat vehicles as we know them begins with Amaris’s Burke II and proceeds through the Soarece to the modern-day Gulltoppr and Devastator II, but also includes designs for other purposes than direct conventional battle; such as the Teppo, Hexareme, Destrier, and others.

As just mentioned; the Soarece was a design grown far beyond its original specifications through a combination of shifting requirements and the ballooning mass and size demanded by the engineering solutions to those requirements. Entering production; its employment was hampered by its massive size, despite its incredible feature of being actually *amphibious* without any preparation; thus, preserving the lives of countless innocent civilian bridges. Once the Free World’s League had access to the Ontos lines captured along with Shiro III, however; the fate the Soarece was sealed. The Ontos was an effective combat unit in its own right; much easier to deploy and so much easier to build and maintain that it was estimated that between four and five Ontoses could be fielded and serviced for the same effort required for one Soarece. As such; the Soareces served out their lives as mainly static garrison units; often literally after the parts for their suspension systems and unusual fuel-cell engines ran out. All but a few examples kept as impressive monuments were scrapped. As for a battle history; it is tragically absent. In practice; Soareces were easy to spot in preliminary reconnaissance and then easily avoided if not placed physically *on* an objective. In which case it was a question of either trying again later or using artillery and air-strikes to bomb the massive tanks into oblivion.

^^^

*In fairness; as we know from our own Superheavy Tank Companies; deploying and supporting these things is a nightmare surpassed by few others; said nightmares to be discussed below. Just getting them to the battlefield is one issue; another is keeping them working and moving. Thus, why we had to build a specialized recovery vehicle; the Herakles, just to support them properly.*

^^^

This deployment paradigm was the entire point behind the development of Amaris’ earlier Burke II design. Granted an unequal level of passive protection and armed solely with ammunition-dependant-weapons and most of that short-ranged; the Burke II was designed to operate from hardened positions it could retreat to, in order to rearm and be re-armoured. All in the context of a greater defensive network which was itself either the inevitable objective of a close-range assault or co-located with such an objective. In such a setting; Burke IIs would operate as mobile bunkers sited such that they could only be engaged at short range from a narrow avenue of approach in order to protect the weak side and rear armour. Built with the goal of creating a bigger, better Alacorn; the Burke II was not available in sufficient numbers or in the correct positions to stave off the inevitable SLDF assault on Terra. They were usually caught in the open or destroyed or abandoned when their supply of ammunition or water ran out.

The Burke II’s numerous shortcomings were the result of it’s rushed design and development from the similarly-flawed original Burke. In the rush to create a super-weapon; Amaris drove his scientists to discard the Burke’s core strengths and ignore it’s weaknesses in the desperate hope that raw firepower would be enough. It was not.

^^^

*Totally fair.

Our own Burkes---which SRC had a hand in re-designing---share precious little in their specifications with their predecessors. The Burke is too specialized to be survivable as an individual unit, as originally built.*

^^^

Contemporary Superheavy Battle-Tanks; namely, the Gulltoppr and Devastator II have been designed from the outset (and designed quite carefully) as the apex predators of their kind. But are still intended to work as part of a small and multi-faceted Combat Team with other units. As an aide to this; factory pods for the Gulltoppr turn it into a field command vehicle beyond compare, although most customers have custom-built their own Gulltoppr pods to suit their own needs as well.

Many very serious military minds and weapons developers discount the Superheavy chassis as a home for a real combat vehicle and for well-founded reasons. Some feel that the worth of tanks, even in a more ‘mech-scarce world is in their large numbers and economic practicality. That tends to fade as mass and capability of individual units grows: this is a coverage over quality argument. Likewise; there seems no good way around the mobility question and even the RAF’s Hexareme is comparatively sluggish for a hovercraft.

While few discount the uses of Superheavy chassis to military endeavours entirely; there is a greater push to see them in support roles and some argue that this is where their true value comes in. It’s a difficult point to argue when one looks at the unique capabilities of the Teppo or previously-mentioned Hexareme or the unalloyed raw firepower of the Destrier and Paladin or Kalki.

If one is willing to discard conventional notions of the limitations of a machine’s combat capabilities or challenge one’s own preconceived need to deploy forces between worlds easily, or even quickly on world; then additional possibilities are presented by what we call “Mobile Structure” technology. These are vehicles so large that not only do they move at a glacially slow pace; they are nearly impossible to transport as-is and usually need to be assembled on-site.

Civil examples of these include the largest naval vessels, but also terrestrial and even airborne structures. But the most accessible and familiar would likely be massive strip-mining rigs and dropship crawlers.

During the Jihad; the Word of Blake proved able to build and field updated versions of the ancient Star League Rattler Mobile Fortress and their own massive submersible defence vessels; some of which remained unaccounted for years after the war. While their presence and capability came as a shock to seemingly all allied forces; their existence proved impossible to hide and they are well-known today. Who hasn’t heard the ump-tenth iteration of the rumour on that last hold-out WOB super-sub? The 13th one that was built in super-secret and hiding in the Marianas trench awaiting the Master’s inevitable return? Spare me.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 30 September 2018, 21:53:13
^^^

*Wait, what? I need Condorcet on this, immediately. *

^^^

Regardless; these contemporary examples are well-known. But one good BS story deserves another. Did you ever hear the one about the unit of J. Edgar Hovertanks taking down a larger unit of superior mechs or tanks led by a massive mobile weapons platform?

Not so funny in context, is it?

In the days before Mechs; when the Terran Alliance was still vacillating between holding onto its vast network of colony worlds or letting them fend for themselves; the need was first expressed for a combat vehicle which would be the unrivaled final word in military power; something the colonies could never hope to defeat in open warfare and could not match industrially.  A weapon that would literally dwarf anything thrown against it.

The project languished on the backburner for decades, until after the Terran Alliance Civil War, when the new Terran Hegemony decided they wanted their lost colonies back. Badly. So badly they were willing to throw vast amounts of money into what was to that point; the most ambitious, nay: outlandish military R&D program since the TAS Dreadnaught.

Thus, was born the Giant mobile weapons platform; ready for action in 2317. A towering, tracked monstrosity, bristling with weapons and layered in armour; only a few dozen Giants were ever built and fewer still were ever deployed; but it was just possible using the largest dropships of the day, specially modified for the task.

Only the vaguest records remain, because the Giant was developed in secrecy and its deployments and the training of its huge crews cloaked in the tightest security for many years; certainly, no examples remain for us to study. What I have been able to gather, however suggests a mobile, tracked castle or tower-like structure more akin to a huge piece of mobile industrial machinery than a tank, but festooned with weaponry of all kinds.

It is just barely possible that the legend of the J. Edgars and the force of monster-mechs or tanks is inspired by 3rd-hand or more distant accounts of the Giant in action in the Hegemony’s reclamation campaigns and the suicidal tactics which were employed to try and stop them. Usually flutily.

The Giant had a fatal flaw, however; one which contributed greatly to its redaction from the official histories and withdrawal from front-line service. Powered by a massive fusion reactor, it needed various means to vent its waste heat. One of these it seems was a network of thermal exhaust ports. A single, heavily redacted datafile refers to the devastation of Terran morale on an unnamed world due to the loss of a “highly visible and major asset” to a rebel’s lucky hit “up the tail pipe”. Various contextual clues in the logistical arrangements elsewhere in the document lead me to believe the incident referred to in necessarily vague terms is the loss of a Giant to a lucky exhaust port hit.

If you really want to believe in the J. Edgar story from the perspective of the children’s holos and story readers; you might imagine one getting very lucky with an SRM volley. But given the design of the Giant; this would have entailed braving a gauntlet of withering defensive fire and possibly an approach through low ground such as a large irrigation trench or ravine and/or between the massive, churning track units. Of course, all of this requires someone to find or have access to a surviving Giant they were able to restore, operate and transport at least once.

The surviving Giants were mothballed on an airless moon for many years, but Brian Cameron later had them re-activated and incorporated them as a mobile element in the Castle network which bears his name. These must have all been destroyed during the Amaris Civil War, as there exists zero evidence of them following the Liberation of Terra.

Late in Simon Cameron’s rule; the design was revived for the “TROLL” Program; a system of automated defences which served as the precursor to the CASPAR Project. Fragmentary references to the TROLL Program describe Merkava tanks (Lesser Troll) and Giant Mobile Fortresses (Greater Troll) outfitted with a very primitive AI and assigned to sensitive facilities which had themselves been automated additionally to repair and service the drone tanks. As far as is known; none of these have ever been found.

A better-known example might be the later Hegemony’s Mobile Orbital Guns. These were developed as part of the Reagan Space Defence network and based on important worlds. Almost all were destroyed by the Star League either in the great war that saw the end of the True League or before the Exodus to prevent them falling into irresponsible hands. The rest were claimed by dilapidation or the ravages of the Succession Wars. A small number were later restored either in situ or brought from the homeworlds by Clan Smoke Jaguar to the occupied Combine world of Port Arthur. There they devastated Spheroid forces during Operation: BULLDOG and had to be destroyed by daring raids before the main invasion force could be landed and the Jaguars defeated.

MOGs were a precursor to the Rattler Mk. I Mobile Fortress and employed the little-used Sub-Capital-Class of weapons to produce what was basically a small dropship crawler with a turret on top mounting a planet-to-space weapons battery. MOGs were otherwise unarmed and they were lightly protected; being tough to kill mainly due to their immense bulk compared to a normal battlefield unit.

It was thought that in terms of mission-accomplishment it was preferable to have a system as well-armed and mobile as possible, given the limits of the its own nature than to waste mass on armour that could never withstand return fire from a warship anyways. Vast or paltry arrays of defensive weapons to deal with an enemy that should a) be burning up on re-entry or b) never be allowed within line-of-sight of the MOGs in any event, were seen as equally redundant. Instead; the MOG carried with it a small garrison of infantry and support troops to act as outriders and a defensive cordon and additional support equipment relevant to its singular mission.

Operational, Combat-oriented mobile structures are almost unknown today and none are thought to be in production anywhere. The only known extant examples are the six Wyrm submersible SDS fortresses the RAF was able to capture from the Word of Blake. These are maintained in a mothballed state at several undisclosed sites on Terra.

As a practical matter, the technology and ease with which a given power might build and employ fighting mobile structures is directly informed by the state of their industrial plant’s capability to produce and maintain the infinitely more common civilian examples of this technology. Another brake in addition, is the perceived need and actual desire to deploy such units off of the world on which they are built. Large support vehicles such as blue-water naval vessels are one thing; something on the scale of a Wyrm is another entirely.

Still, it remains a truism that those worlds which can build civilian mobile structures could probably build military ones. The question then is; why would they do so? While most have some built-in utility to break down for travel (And some more than others), none are easy to move between the stars. In the current age even if Republican political pressure was not enough to dissuade such war-like projects, then the practical state of the Inner Sphere at large is an effective deterrent. There simply isn’t that much left to warrant such units to either protect or to destroy and even if there was; the state of the interstellar economy precludes what amount to mobile defensive works on this scale.

To expand on this; the actual cost of building combatant mobile structures is surely the closest we come to rivaling the wasteful expenditures of warships, on a terrestrial scale.
Production of civilian Mobile Structures is basically dormant. The Jihad destroyed many of the remaining extant examples and damaged most of the remaining facilities capable of building and repairing these leviathans. Terra currently boasts the only factory (Aldis) producing mobile structures (Dropship Crawlers, in kit-form) at a low, but steady rate (mainly for export. However; the basic technology is within reach for many worlds, as it is; in and of itself not a particularly advanced discipline. While none are closer than a decade away from producing such machines; this is also from a standing start; a position unlikely to improve markedly in the next fifty to one-hundred years.

Of those examples that remain, most are centuries old with many dating to the Star League. The only bright side is that the maintenance and spare parts market for these incredible vehicles remains as steady as their almost-daily employment on the world they call home and also, often; birthplace. These contracts; for parts and service are often laid out decades in advance. The Jihad was the first major disruption to many of them in over a century.

Superheavy Combat vehicles, however; while much less common than their more reasonably-sized ilk are still more widely available than we might like. In order to keep ahead of this technology; the Republic has produced their own models; the Devastator II Superheavy Tank and the Hexareme HQ Hovercraft. The Federated Suns produces a suite of Superheavy fire-support designs; the Destrier, Kalki and Paladin (which is also still being produced by the original designers; the Capellan Confederation). These are capable of reducing strongpoints and troop concentrations from a variety of range bands; continents away, right up to direct pummeling of fortress walls into dust.

The Draconis Combine only produces the Teppo; but it is really more of a combat-support vehicle, while the Marians defend some of their most valuable worlds with nomadic Dreadnaught Mk. II armed land trains. To the best of our knowledge; no one is producing or has the capability to produce either the Burke II or the Soarece.

The Sphere Intelligence Service reports indicate that the SLDFiE Almost certainly has the capability to source Superheavy Combat Vehicles and that the Canton Worlds can and do produce mobile structures for various purposes. More pertinent details on any Superheavy units in production currently or if the SLDFiE might field combat-oriented Mobile Structures in any potential conflict are unavailable.

^^^

*Well, Dr. Levy isn’t wrong here. Frankly; we’re pretty comfortable with Superheavy ground-vehicle technology from a few different dimensions. First of all; we make a large assortment of support vehicles out of necessity to support the SLDF itself and build the League. Of all the cutting-edge technology we’re working with, I’d say that from the perspective of the head of SRC; advanced large support vehicle tech is probably what we’re most comfortable with, as an industrial base and speaking in terms of R&D.

Secondly and at the macro-scale; we’ve had to develop the tech and plant to built mobile structures out of necessity. The sheer number of mega-engineering projects started and needed in the League, as well as their technical demands necessitate them, as do our industrial and economic needs. This is in addition to the massive appetite of the civilian market for Superheavy support designs.

The hardest part has been realizing our own Superheavy combat vehicles. Much easier to build and field than ‘Mechs in the same weight class; actually, fielding these types has nonetheless been a severe challenge. We were familiar with the Heimdall from the Jihad and possessed a number of examples. We found, in common with the Wolves-in-Exile that it makes a good basis for a Superheavy design and as-such this was our first Superheavy Tank. The key take-away was one that helped a lot, later-on with the GIANT BONES Program; go to the heavier industries early on for the larger parts. Trying to get conventional vehicle builders to make parts in this scale is increasingly counter-productive and inefficient as it necessitates tooling, equipment and facilities that they just down have. Factor in the parts handling and assembly line considerations and the bigger you go; the less it makes sense.

Involving Dropship manufacturers, especially became vital with the later Monitor and helped us get joint production of the new Soarece off the ground in the Andurian Pact. I was shocked that the Republic doesn’t seem to know about that one, yet and Condorcet’s people are looking into it. But for right now, it seems like the new Soarece will turn out to be one very big surprise for the RAF and anyone else who really wants to take a stand against a resurgent Free World’s League in the future.

We field our Superheavy Tanks as part of the Independent Heavy Tank Battalions at the rate of one Company/per Battalion and this includes built-in air defence, infantry and engineering support and recovery vehicles. Frankly; I think this was a case of putting all our rotten eggs in one basket. The Independent Heavy Tank Battalions are doubtless a very useful asset, but they are a real headache to deploy and field.

The dropship basically has to provide any and all operational movement, which is simply sickening to anyone who grew up with LosTech culture. Add to that; they require so much support to carry out their missions that these become enormous formations, even by our standards. Did I mention dropships? Eggs in Baskets? How about cost? Consider losing one of these battalion wholesale to a lucky thruster hit during an insertion of extraction under fire. Okay; that’s my last soapbox for this report, promise. I know the IHTBs are murder on the enemy in all our simulations; so long as they are deployed right, they work. And I guess I just have to trust that your officer selection and education programs are everything we need them to be.

So, with all that; I guess you just may as well put the Superheavies there too, since they will have the same issues as the IHTBs but worse, no matter where or how they are deployed. Which is actually the only logical thing to do with them…okay, yeah; Mr. Big Brain gets it now.

As for militarized mobile structures; well: “needs must” and I’m glad we don’t have to move them between worlds often.*

^^^
^^^

Before we continue, I would like to point out that my name is Francis Ashley Levy. If you know my name; then it is much easier to track me down than if you thought my first name was Francine or my last name was Levi. It is principally through a confusion of names that the history of Superheavy ‘Mechs has been obscured. It is important to understand this, because in retrospect; most of this information has been available for some time, but has been, “mis-filed” so to speak.

When the RAF publicly debuted it’s Ares-Class Superheavy or “Colossal” Tripod Mechs in late 3097, they were hailed as a breakthrough in deterrence and force-multiplication; presenting unparalleled combat power above and beyond the simple arithmetic of their on-paper capabilities. The common people are under the impression that both functional Superheavy- ‘mech and Tripod technology are innovations of the Republic and there is no reason to disabuse them of this notion, especially while we managed to keep evidence of the Word’s own OMEGA project contained.

^^^

*I find the quantity of raw talent and the organizational and bureaucratic muscle that the Republic can call upon when it wants to, simply staggering.

The Colossi should have taken any other nation another fifty years or more to take from drawing board to battlefield. The Republic has done this inside ten years.

Partially this is because they are so scared of us and yes; the effort has visibly set them back in other areas. But still, the fact remains; we never need fear that our opponents will underwhelm us. In sheer WILL alone; the Republic is a match for us.

But one nit to pick; The OMEGA project was contained? HOW? To whom? I’ve seen the damn kid’s books myself; printed in the Commonwealth, no less! Have to Wonder what Levi is thinking here. I’m assuming they think the Houses didn’t get their hands on any, but he’s that sure about it? Really? Makes me wonder how effective that last bird-flip of a computer virus really was.*

^^^

Before discussing the technical history of the various models which led up to the development of our modern-day Colossi, there is the aforementioned issue of names to discuss.

Relevant to this subject are a number of distinct BattleMechs; some Superheavy, some not.

First; we have the first Superheavy ‘Mech; the 110-ton Matar. The SLDF had intelligence on this project, but this did not include the name of the mech, itself and so gave it the reporting name “Behemoth”. And by this it was known until very recently.

In a fit of serendipity; the SLDF took technical readouts and possibly materiel related to the MATAR Project with them into exile. They would have learned of the correct name of the design at some stage from studying this, but when Clan Smoke Jaguar chose to develop it into a workable Assault ‘Mech design in 2847; they called it the Stone Rhino. When the later waves of Operation: REVIVAL brought the Stone Rhino to the Inner Sphere; not knowing its proper Clan name, but recognizing the obvious influence of “Amaris’ Folly” (which was known of generally and in vague terms at this point) on the design; the Great Houses gave the Stone Rhino the same reporting name of “Behemoth” instead.

Later; the Word of Blake would take data left behind by the SLDF and create their own Superheavy design; the Omega. Later still, this would be revived by the RHODES Project as the RAF’s first Superheavy ‘Mech. Initially used for training and tactical research purposes; a number of SHP-5Rs will continue to serve in the RAF until the current supply of spare parts is exhausted.

However; the most erudite military historians will know of another Behemoth; the BHM-7 series, although they will not know much about it until this article is declassified. Where does this ‘Mech fit into the story? The actual BEHEMOTH Program was a parallel project being developed to the same specification as the Matar. Initially it was given only token funding as a means to motivate Rifkin Amaris to produce results. But when the design team provided a working prototype as a technology demonstrator for a much larger follow-on design, which nonetheless could itself be produced very quickly and easily in large numbers, Amaris jumped on it and ordered the BHM-7H thrown into mass production. Through various means, this design survived at least into the 3030s, although it is little known and even less was known about it until recently. Naturally; this causes extensive confusion in the historical record over which project is being referred to by who and when and in later sources the names are used interchangeably.

The goal the of the BEHEMOTH Project was---as with the Matar---to produce a Superheavy ‘mech. Or more properly speaking; the BEHEMOTH Project team took one look at the specifications and knew they would need to get radical from day one; unlike Rifkin Amaris’ Matar design, which simply ballooned to an underwhelming, but still impractical 110 tons. The BHM-7H was therefore built as a technology demonstrator and testbed for the larger BHN-1A. Most of the details for this later project have been lost, but detailed examination of the remains of a BHM-7H revealed that the internal structure had been engineered to act a working laboratory to test the wear and stress rates of a chassis twice the size, without ever building it. Had this feat been achieved under any other circumstances, it is unimaginable that the design team would not be deserving of the highest awards in engineering and materials sciences. As it is, their reward was a burst of needler shards each just before the SLDF over-ran the project in the last weeks of the war.

So, what this all means is that due to a confusion of names; we’ve been close to the complete history of these mysterious monsters for about fifty years, but to the best of my knowledge, this is the first time all the dots have been connected in one source.

With this information serving as a summary, we now possess a full and complete picture of the history and development of the Superheavy-Class of mech design excluding certain data on the first Superheavy IndustrialMech.

So where do the Republic’s own Colossi fit in?

In the early 2900s; Brooks incorporated was struggling with an issue of special interest to mining, engineering and construction concerns across the Inner Sphere and beyond. The decline in technology was reaching critical levels and depriving them of their traditional sources of heavy equipment and the technology that made them possible. Most of the big companies were making do with legacy equipment, some of which dated back the early days of the Star League.

The constant warfare had destroyed heavy equipment factories and disrupted trade; even moving large machines between the stars was proving difficult as fewer and fewer dropships were available to do the moving. To meet these challenges, Brooks Incorporated would need to get radical.

Intended to replace and augment some super-large support vehicles and mobile structures which could no longer be sourced; the Three-Man Digging Machine was the answer.

Intended for maximum mobility; the tripod-chassis was barely known from old Star League Projects and had never before been used on anything like this scale; however, it provided for a stable platform for drilling and digging and along with the arms; produced unrivaled mobility, especially in situations of low-gravity, dense foliage and heavy rubble. The Three-Man Digger was designed from the outset to break down easily into sub-assemblies for transport and then be swiftly and safely reassembled on-site. This made transportation (always a bugbear for such users) a breeze with smaller dropships and smaller cargo bays.

As the name suggests; the Three-Man Digging Machine takes three pilots to operate safely; but in a pinch a single operator can handle it in a not-too demanding situation. In terms of capability; the “Three-Pig-Dig” as the crews have taken to calling it, is unrivaled in its capability and flexibility at moving earth in awkward spaces. Easily reconfigured thanks to an advanced semi-modular design; the “Brooks Monster” as it is also called, can drill, scoop, dump and shift more earth and rock in more settings than any other comparable type. As Brooks’ sales department likes to point out; “you may think you can do more faster and just as safe with other products, but not without a LOT of prep-work that our tripod just dances right around.”

In development from 2903 to 2937; the first Three-Man Digging Machine walked that special tripod walk off the assembly line in 2940 and for most of its career has been the only Tripod design in service or production. It remains unclear if it is also the first Superheavy IndustrialMech or not, however; and this represents the sole remaining blind spot in our knowledge of this subject matter.

The Three-Man Digging Machine has been in production on and off since it’s debut and has been built at various times on Andurian, Kendall and Suzano. Historically this has put Brooks in a special position when it comes to both Superheavy IndustrialMechs and Tripods.

As such, bringing Brooks in on the design of the Poseidon was an obvious move and one dictated by the desire of the RAF to field the penultimate fighting machine as soon as possible. This one directive more than any other is what dictated the design of the Colossi as tripods; compared to other configurations, even considering the design of Three-Man Digging Machine as an IndustrialMech; there was only a fraction of the data available for other configurations of Superheavy Mechs and as almost all of that was Industrial, rather than military in nature anyways, consulting with Brooks was nothing more and nothing less than the pragmatic move.

As it is; it is hard to argue with the results of a successful pre-production design, followed by a more-advanced production model in less than a decade. Bringing Brooks into the RHODES Project may have made security more difficult, but it also made eventual success a sure-thing. In this way the extant technology of the Bipedal Omega could serve as an insurance policy for the more capable and desirable, but also more advanced and even flamboyant Tripods.

The least-known and least-common of the RAF’s Superheavy “Rhodes Family” is also the biggest.

Built primarily as a technology demonstrator from things learned from the study and production of the Omega for the RAF; the Orca is a 200-ton, heavily armed and armoured biped. While eventually a successful design in its own right, following a much more troubled development cycle; the Orca is much more expensive and harder to pilot than any of the Tripods. As such, while the few production examples have been retained in service and it is planned to continue to operate them well after the Omegas have been retired; the production machinery has been removed and mothballed at a secure location following a lengthy spare parts run.

With the Omega on the way out; the Orca out of favour and the Poseidon having served its purpose; only the Ares-model Superheavy mechs remain in production today. It is estimated that just over a hundred Superheavies of all types are in service. Less than a dozen of these are thought to be Orcas, but the overall secrecy of the deployment and training of Superheavy units, along with their scattered nature makes it difficult to say for certain. Less than 20 Omegas, including a handful of original WOB models remain in service and while 47 Poseidons were built; only 33 remain in service and no more are being built. As time goes on, it is expected that these substitute-standard types will be cannibalized to keep the remaining examples in service as long as possible. Even in this climate, it seems unlikely that the RAF will ever have the funding to simply mothball and scrap functional end products from such an expensive program.

The Ares makes up the remainder of the RAF’s Superheavy Mech force.

In practice; Superheavy Mechs are to be deployed singly, in pairs or lances for the support of lesser forces or concentrated in companies for breakthrough missions. Simulations and exercises have demonstrated that static Superheavies on the defensive quickly become targets for air and artillery attack or worse and so are best kept on the offensive or withdrawn until they can be used decisively.

As noted above; we do not yet possess Superheavy MechBay technology and so are deploying our Superheavies as cargo. As an upside; they travel very well, it seems and their support staff are used to getting them secured in more austere conditions, quickly. While our preferred transport is the new Duat, anything with sufficient internal space (especially height!) will do. Efforts are currently underway to develop a functional Superheavy MechBay with full or even partial capabilities. When these are ready, it is expected that the Duats in service will be refitted to better serve this role.

Overall, however; Superheavy combat units represent an exceptional challenge to support and maintain in the field. They are high-maintenance out of all proportion to their scale and in all exercises attract hostile fire like a magnet. This makes them exceptionally labour-intensive to keep at 100%. Likewise; recovery is exceptionally difficult and we as yet do not have a single good solution to this issue. Trials have been conducted with various modified industrial mechs and variants of the Oppenheimer Hazardous Material Recover Vehicle System, but we still don’t have a better solution than destroying disabled Colossi on the field when they might fall into enemy hands, dragging them away with two other Colossi or repairing them in-situ and having them self-recover at a later opportunity. The tanks are a little easier and frankly, we’re looking at the Omegas and Orcas as being at their end of service life if they get hurt enough to become disabled.

^^^

*Going to have to side with the Professor here, again; Boss. These things are a nightmare in the field. We’ve alleviated this a great deal through two means; first of all, having had and used Superheavy units operationally for much longer, we are more used to them and we actually have working models of the appropriate specialist bays.

Secondly and I think we must all be tired of saying it; but building this army from the support-up really does pay off everywhere. We haven’t as much had to figure things out as we go or make do once we have a new issue crop up; the Herakles for instance was developed right alongside our Superheavy Tanks from the outset; the Harvestman predates the Behemoth in production. At the end of the day; the RAF built a combat unit they didn’t know how to support. Now they have to figure it out. We built the support assets first and we’re good to go when the light goes green.*

^^^

Having assembled this article, I can only hope it proves of use to RAF Officers and Republic Engineers and Techs alike in fully appreciating this often-discussed, but rarely understood facet of modern military technology.

-Ubique!

^^^

Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 30 September 2018, 21:53:50
^^^

*Addendum Follows; what we know about the history of Superheavy ‘Mechs.*

^^^

   *Rifkin Amaris (known by his middle name; “Todd”; but only behind his back) was a repressive and toxic autocrat who demanded results and punished anyone in line of sight when he didn’t get them. It remains unclear if it was this reason or simple lack of anyone else he felt that he could trust which impelled Emperor Stefan; The Usurper, to assign the MATAR Project to him, but within the Royal court; the “Wrath of Todd” was already very well known.

   Essentially hot-dropped into the floundering project, Rifkin wasted no time putting the “The Fear of Todd” into his staff by executing several engineers, personally, on his first day before reviewing any of their work. That the program was not already a success seems to have been sufficient justification for him. He then proceeded to demand several arbitrary changes to the prototypes then in progress, further slowing things down.

   Despite the continued lack of progress, Stefan continued to believe in Todd, against all evidence to the contrary; including his general absence from the lives of his people, except to rain hellfire and damnation down upon them. But with his own survival on the line, it was during this time that the Behemoth project was authorized as well. Publicly; Stefan continued to praise Todd for his take-charge leadership style, but privately, it is believed that he was beginning to have doubts. The Behemoth project’s progress must have been a welcome salve.

Disturbingly, over time; Rifkin began to identify personally with the project, referring to the Matar as his “Son”. Much to the consternation of his own children.

   The Son of Todd took it’s first steps in early may 2775 and promptly engaged the failsafes in its own leg actuators. Rifkin was furious and the entire project staff became intimately familiar with the anger of Todd when he publicly tortured and executed the lead actuator engineer in front of them the next day. Truly, Todd was a vengeful overseer.

   Work nonetheless continued. Common history has it that following this failure the program was shut down; Stefan finally having lost his faith in Todd. But this is untrue and The Son of Todd would be resurrected to walk the earth once more. It was at this same time when the Behemoth project team presented their (working) prototype. This further embarrassment drove Rifkin to new heights of fury; his sadistic mind games and petty punishments upon his people employed with an almost religious fervour; sacrificing his own health and wellbeing in favour of tormenting his own staff.

   Progress would continue on both programs, up until the final days of the invasion, with the Matar becoming known---in a limited way---to the SLDF (likely through Rifkin’s own thunderous boasting) prior to the invasion and its basic silhouette and technical profiles being found in SLDF WarBook programs of the day. During the fighting, the so-called “Behemoth” became a sort of bogeyman of the SLDF, with observations of the type in action reported on most fronts at one time or another. Forensic examination of these reports, BattleRoms and holistic accounting of other evidence, however; leads us to believe that as frantic reports of heavy mechs can easily grow to assault-class, the same can be said of assaults growing to super-heavy status in any environment of heavy, frantic combat when reports of such machines are generally available.

   One somewhat more credible report, however places a Matar later captured in a partly destroyed state as being in action, albeit briefly against SLDF forces, earlier in the day.

   It seems that having continued work on the project, that a later Matar prototype; having at least partly solved the machine’s actuator and structural issues, was transported to the front by special rail car for an un-authorized field-test against the advancing SLDF. The Matar was deployed within a series of defensive works with a clear field of fire, but minimal support, as little was available. An SLDF Medium company was engaged at long range and heavy damage was inflicted. The SLDF MechWarriors reported the contact and called for air and artillery support, while they pulled back to re-organize.

   The Matar pilot attempted to maneuver to resume the engagement, but the ‘Mech suffered actuator and structural failure again after only briefly managing to re-engage the probing SLDF forces. Shortly thereafter, it seems that air support in the form of SLDF conventional aircraft arrived on scene and made several strafing runs, taking ground fire from the disabled Matar as they did so. The results seem to have been inconclusive and it is gathered that during a lull in the attacks while artillery fire was coordinated that the pilot abandoned the prototype ‘Mech and detonated explosives planted for such an eventuality; managing to partially destroy it.

   It was one of these later prototypes which was captured, along with much technical data by the SLDF along with the legendary Rifkin. Rifkin did not long survive in captivity as he flew into a violent rage when someone spoke the named of “Todd” to him and he suffered a stroke and later died. It was this prototype and data, which followed the SLDF into exile.

   SLDF forces later over-ran the MATAR Project grounds and captured a number of partially-built prototypes, but whatever became of them is unknown. What we think happened was that these were abandoned or forgotten by the SLDF after the War and later formed the basis of WOB’s own Superheavy program, centuries later. Extrapolations of the data we possess indicates that Todd used his near-omnipotent influence to steal technical data from the BEHEMOTH Project to incorporate into his own MATAR Program and that this would have been partly implemented at the very least in these later, unfinished prototypes.

The Behemoth, we can shed light on as well. Naturally several questions arise; how could a last-ditch assault mech not only survive, but proliferate to the extent claimed? Hundreds were built by slave labour and willing collaborators. As it turned out; this was many hundreds more than the Rim World’s Republic Army could provide pilots for. The basic design of the Behemoth and its production scheme bears many similarities to the Dragoon and heavily influenced the hardy, rapidly-produced designs of the early Clans; particularly the Annihilator.

A token number of Behemoth pilots were checked out and ready to oppose the SLDF invasion, but most of the machines were captured never having been used. The design itself was lent easily to production in difficult conditions and its simple, sturdy construction proved as difficult to sabotage as it was to reproduce; relying on a small number of very large, strong simple parts; especially in the cylindrical, grain-silo-like legs. Those which the retreating Amaris troops tried to destroy merely provided spare parts for future use, but these quickly dwindled from battle damage and normal wear in service. As for putting the Behemoth back in production somewhere; some of the jigs would have been dropship scale in size; a normal mech line couldn’t handle the sheer bulk and size of some of the structural members; designed as they were to be test-beds for a much larger, follow-on design. Where a normal assault mech would have anywhere from three to ten or more individual parts, affixed to each other; a Behemoth has one or at most two huge castings and once you see one stripped-down; it really is a pygmy Superheavy-Mech.

The SLDF took some Behemoths and all the technical data on the project with them into exile, including, it turns out; a partial Superheavy prototype. Most of these Behemoths were destroyed in the Pentagon Civil War, but the design philosophy, if not the weapons-fit inspired the later Annihilator and a few persisted in Clan Toumans. At least one was assigned to Wolf’s Dragoons and piloted by one Gorden Zed. As an artefact of its last-ditch nature; BHMs were only indifferently serialized and never in any standardized way between factories. In addition; their onboard systems were no-nonsense and barebones; programming was limited to the direct functions of a BattleMech; with no onboard manuals, logs or service records as standard. As such; this Behemoth has always been a subject of mystery and until Dr. Levy’s research, was thought to predate the Atlas and King Crab.

The Great House armies raiding Terra recovered abandoned Behemoths and spare parts the SLDF had left behind and spread the design to the Inner Sphere and beyond. When Operation: SILVER SHIELD under Former SLDF General Lauren Hayes seized Terra for Jerome Blake, the remaining Behemoths were seized and recovered from the various depots and battlefields they had rusted in, along with all remaining spare parts. The fighting also destroyed the last of the disparate factory sites capable of building the ‘Mech. Regardless; Behemoths would later serve in the ComGuard, with the last being retired and scrapped following the great Battle of Tukayyid.

With the factories on Terra and elsewhere destroyed; the BHM suffered the fate of so many LosTech designs and dwindled steadily through the Succession Wars, despite it’s general ease of maintenance and comparatively light service requirements. A mid 2880s Davion refit to replace the Donal PPCs with GM Whirlwind Autocannons reduced the heat burden, but did nothing to alleviate this, nor did a later Marik refit help; because it simply was not the weapons which were in short supply. Never a very common ‘Mech and always one little known about; Behemoths were spread widely, but thinly after the Exodus and some may survive in service to this day, although if they do it is in a state of very poor repair or a service life dictated by the acquisition of very rare or painstakingly hand-made parts.

No official record exists of the Behemoth BHN Superheavy-prototype in the Clans, because the ship carrying the original data and recovered hardware vanished during the Exodus. This was part of the booty rightly earned from the barbaric fighting in the so-called “Pitcher-Plant System”.

From here, understand; this was the first time I was seeing this data, since it was compartmentalized outside my direct purview, being a little before my time or the time of the post of Science Advisor itself. But Madam Dwight filled me in as she was more familiar with Project: GIANT BONES from her own position’s responsibilities.

It seems that the Behemoth team had things more or less figured-out; they just ran out of time. “gifted” really does not do these men and women justice and to say they deserved better than they got is a gross understatement. Essentially the three Cruxes of Superheavy technology are the chassis of the design itself, how you make it move and how you build it.

The Matar was built from the ground up as a conventional BattleMech; it just grew beyond that which the techniques used to built it could support. Whereas the Behemoth team first designed an over-built assault mech in the conventional range as a walking lab to test a wholly new concept in mobile structural engineering. In retrospect, looking at a Behemoth Assault ‘Mech, this becomes obvious as the whole thing is minimally articulated, grossly-enlarged and made from a minimal number of very strong, heavy structural members. This makes them difficult beasts to pilot, but they also wear abnormally well and are tolerant of repair techniques normally reserved for large buildings, mobile structures and dropships in their own internals.

The prototype we discovered boasted a scaled-up and reinforced version of the structural design and actuator arrangement found on the BHM, made with prototype Superheavy-rated EndoSteel. From there we just had to fit the weapons and armour, which was simple in and of itself and then get the things built. Which has been much more difficult.

Conventional mech lines just don’t cut it and building these things on dropship lines is frankly wasteful, even if you do end up using some of the same tooling and techniques; what we found (and presumably the Republic has as well) is that you need a specifically-scaled Superheavy Mech line. The good news is that we have found that due to the sheer magnitude of what’s being built; it’s way easier to have multiple types on the same line. This has saved us in facilities, because it allows us to build all three types of Superheavy we’re making, without unnecessary duplication of basic tooling and it’s also saving us on the specially-skilled personnel. Having toured DefHes myself, several times; I can tell you they use a similar technique there; multiple types and even refitting mechs from outside their extensive catalogue on the same line; moving them past static, centuries old tools and jigs, etc. If DefHes wanted and if the Republic was willing to share; they could almost certainly build Superheavies on those lines; simply because the sheer scale of the place seems sufficient to do so. What I am saying is that they COULD do it; not that it would be particularly easy.

None of this is going to allow us to field the Behemoth BHN in numbers to match the RAF’s own Superheavy fleet. We’re just too far behind the 8-ball to catch up, even if we weren’t diverting resources to industrial mech production, which we sure as hell are and aren’t about to stop.

We were only even able to get the BHN into production so quickly because we’d already been working that aspect of the problem from the perspective of first out own production of the Three-Man-Digging-Machine and then the Harvestman. I mentioned above the 3rd League’s requirements in the realm of Mega-Engineering; well we’ve known about that from day-one and the industrial-side of the NEW MODEL ARMY Program has been the bigger job from the start.

We bought a number of Brooks’ ‘Diggers openly early on and were able to later buy tooling and licensing to produce our own in an agreement that also mandated assistance in meeting their own commercial export quotas. It’s a weird contract, but if you haven’t seen it; we build ‘Diggers for our own use and export, as well as helping Brooks meet their own contracts on parts and whole examples in return for technical expertise in production and service. The whole thing works because we can actually build them cheaper and faster here, in the Canton worlds with our LosTech production methods, than Brooks can with their own sturdy, but manpower-intensive and expensive production techniques.

The Harvestman is basically a scaled-up Kiso acting as a highly-capable WorkMech; they have been invaluable in various construction projects and our shipbuilding program. Furthermore; they can recover the Behemoths; just pick them right up! It’s incredible to see in action. Industrial experience of that kind, on that level allowed us to swing the Behemoth directly into production from the drawing board and then fine-tune the first batch to work out any kinks in the operational and troop-trials.

At this point, however; we’re producing 2.3 Diggers and 7.5 Harvestmen for each Behemoth and at this late hour, even if we crashed production on the other two types; we couldn’t boost production of the Behemoth if we wanted to. The supply of raw materials and technical expertise just isn’t there.

On balance though; the Behemoth is a max-scale design. Looking at the science; I do not think we’ll ever be able to build a larger ‘Mech and still have it be recognizable AS a BattleMech; the principles just cannot be scaled up any farther and still manage a workable end-product. By contrast; none of the RAF’s mainline Superheavies are in the same weight class. In my opinion; the Colossi just aren’t in the same category in terms of throw-weight, durability and combat power. Furthermore; *none* of the extant opposition models are all or nothing armament paradigms like our Behemoths. That could change, but as if right now, it is quite steady.

The obvious downside is that the Behemoth relies substantially on lesser, supporting units to protect it from other threats in action. Mitigating this is that we did get the turret mechanism for the gauss rifles to work. An early issue was lighter, faster machines (And everything but a flightless Urbie is faster than a Behemoth) being able to turn ahead of a single Behemoth and take it down with repeated volleys. Deploying them in full lances at all times helps with that too.

Lastly; while it’s little help against a tac nuke; the Behemoth is the most well-protected BattleMech to-date. Only the Orca approaches it in armour protection. In tests; Behemoths are still vulnerable to artillery and ortillery; but their weapons systems are proof against any airpower short of high-altitude strategic bombers.

To summarize; we think our one Superheavy ‘Mech design is better than their four Superheavies one-on-one; the problem is that they can build more of them than we can and also that the Ares-series which will be making up the mainstay of their Superheavy forces is an OmniMech.

While I agree with your decision on Omnis in the SLDF and while I can’t fault your thinking on the logistics; we can count on the RAF very deliberately not playing to type on this one. We know that every Ares that leaves the lines on Devil’s Rock and Mars does so with a full suite of OmniPods. And while the Duats cannot deploy them quickly; they can carry and swap those pods out as fast as can be.

To be perfectly clear; Sir: this is an advantage we will lose quickly if we allow this war to go on very long. It will have to be your decision on when and if our Behemoths are to be deployed, but if it’s anything besides in the final assault; then it is my assessment that we will be opposed by dedicated Behemoth-Hunting tactics and weapons on Terra. I know they are official a part of the TO&E for all the heavy divisions. Come the day; each of the frontline units will have their authorized allotment. But there will be no spares for lost units and my advice remains to hold them back for the final stroke.

---Yours, very sincerely and respectfully; Dr. Gerald Bull, Science Advisor.*


---Thank you for the report, Gerry. I’ve read it over a few times and its very good information to have. I feel a little guilty having access to this myself when there is a galaxy of enthusiasts such as ourselves who won’t see it for 50 years or more. Relevant to the final part of the report; General Craig has convinced me to revoke all special restrictions on the BHN fleet. Holding them back is getting in the way of training and I’ve decided that doing the same in a shooting war would be counter-productive. The focus will shift to teaching the Divisional Commanders how to employ them in action and deploy them operationally.

I’ve got Madam Dwight on this as well, but sleep on whether or not there is any way we could squeeze a few more of these monsters off the lines in time for the endgame. I’d love to be able to see an independent company attached to the Corps special troops.

---Your Friend. Steve McKenna, Lord Commander, SLDF.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 30 September 2018, 21:59:01
And here is the dropbox link:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/k6wouoexuha7bqf/Gods%20of%20Our%20Fathers%3B%20LAM%20and%20Super-Heavy%20Mech%20Deployment%2C%20Production%20and%20Tactics.docx?dl=0 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/k6wouoexuha7bqf/Gods%20of%20Our%20Fathers%3B%20LAM%20and%20Super-Heavy%20Mech%20Deployment%2C%20Production%20and%20Tactics.docx?dl=0)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: DOC_Agren on 02 October 2018, 16:49:47
So your Science Advisor is Gerald Bull, very interesting
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 02 October 2018, 17:36:33
I needed a "Mad Scientist"-type and the name was available. Not that I'm saying that was the name he was born with, mind you.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: DOC_Agren on 02 October 2018, 21:47:54
So is the a Project Babylon he is working on?
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 02 October 2018, 21:56:32
So is the a Project Babylon he is working on?

Actually; Kinda-sorta! Check out the article on artillery for more details.

BT essentially makes SRC projects like 1m-bore and even 3m-bore obsolete. Dropships do that better, more or less. But there is still lots of room in Der Tag for improved artillery and Dr. Bull's Space Research Corporation has risen to prominence by innovating new artillery systems for the SLDFiE. I have these stated and I am working on fluff and posting them in my "Bench Rest" Thread.

In the 3rd League, Dr. Bull is one of the preeminent scientific minds, overall. He's no comic-book-level polymath, but he's a good man for materials and engineering and THE EXPERT at interior and exterior (anterior?) ballistics.

When Commander McKenna needs a big brain to call on to explain things to him; Bull is the official pocket-protector-on-call.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 28 October 2018, 19:03:35
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63326.0 (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63326.0)

Link to an attempt at full stats on the Giant!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 29 October 2018, 10:16:18
This. Is bloody wonderful! Seriously amazing work!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 29 October 2018, 19:42:10
Thanks a bunch @Marauder648. I was really glad to get this one done because it's the kind of work that you can only do in the BTU, but 40+ pages on in-universe historical trivia regarding some of the most complex and niche units in the game has to be the definition of un-marketable.

Even TPTB; who do fan-service up the ying-yang could never justify something like this in an official product. As a bonus, this is 70%+ Compatible with mainstream Canon-BT. Just yank the Der Tag stuff and what's left is viable for anyone's game or interest if they wanted.

Honestly; I've found myself really looking up to the quality of what you have been bringing to the fan community lately, with all the cool commissioned art and really detailed and thoughtful treatments of warships and QuadVees and stuff. That's a lot of love poured into things, right there and people can use all of that for their own ends as well; it's not as self-serving and self-congratulatory as most of my Der Tag stuff is.

I really felt like with Gods of Our Fathers, I managed to produce something that; while lacking in the mainstream and sheer aesthetic appeal was comparable in some ways to your own work as a sort of love letter to the IP, overall.

Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: DOC_Agren on 04 November 2018, 23:22:09
Just want you to know,  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 05 November 2018, 01:55:24
Just want you to know,  :thumbsup:
8) >:D

Thank you very much, in case my command of emoticons is lacking.

Hmmm...that sounds like the decepticon therapist, doesn't it.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 01 January 2019, 02:06:55
Happy New Year!

(and please excuse the minimal editing)

State of The Trade
A God’s Eye-View look at the life and market of Mercenaries in the Der Tag AU

I was just about certain I’d done this before now, but it seems as though it is something I’ve only alluded to.

I’d like to be able to say of 3099, that it was the best of times for mercs and it was worst of times; but only the later would be true. Frankly, the year 3099 is only the most recent in a long string of “Worst Year in Living Memory to be a Mercenary” that the trade has had to suffer through since the end of the Jihad.

The Jihad put confidence in Mercenaries overall at an all-time low across the entirety of known space. As time passed and more details emerged of mercenary activities on the side of the angels, this should have buoyed things and begun a slow, steady return to the norms of the early 3040s, if not the mid 3050s.


This did not occur.

For one thing; Republic-aligned media made sure and certain to push some stories and not others and any story with Devlin Stone’s stamp of approval on it was sure to spread far and wide in the years after the Jihad, while anything going against the official word emanating from the cradle of humanity was just as certain to go unheeded and unmourned. So, if you were the Kell Hounds or any similar storied Band of Heroes who fought for the coalition; bully for you: The Republic made sure that everyone knew you were the good guys and then some. Likewise; if you fought for the Word of Blake, then you were damned forever in the eyes of decent, honest people and deserved to be hunted to the ends of the Galaxy. Anything else got lost in the shuffle. This cemented a class-system within the trade that meant that not all mercs were treated equal, regardless of previous reputation or even proven capabilities.

For another; the Republic cracked down heavily on Mercenaries as a class, both within their realm and---using influence which was still immense, even after Operation: SCOUR---beyond it. It was made known that the Republic and naturally; the RAF were officially and openly in the Status Quo business. That meant stability and stability meant peace; a peace enforced at gunpoint if need be. And anything which impeded that was to be dealt with; harshly and fast. At the top of that list was the mercenary business, itself.

Afterall; nothing upsets the balance of power more than being able to just hire-in your own band of trained killers, now does it?


Even with the discourse on the subject well in hand and public opinion by the throat, it was still clear that the best way to limit the trade in hired soldiers was to control and direct it. The powers that be within the Republic knew very well that Mercenaries as a class and as a trade could never be eliminated entirely; no matter how politically undesirable they might be. In addition; it remained that the Republic (especially insofar as Devlin Stone and his old comrades were concerned) had many friends; political, personal and strategic within the merc trade and it would not do to bring ultimatums to them as had been attempted with the formerly-mercenary SLDFiE.

Instead, it came to pass in very shot order that the official policy of the Republic, even from it’s most nascent days was to seize and maintain a controlling interest in the activites and decisions of the Mercenary Review and Bonding Commission.


From a layman’s perspective, this might seem comparable to the interests once maintained by Wolf’s Dragoons. But whereas the Dragoons had placed impartiality and professionalism at the top of their list of priorities; from the Grand Re-Opening of the Arc Royale Hiring Hall, the key tenants of the Republic watchdogs and power brokers were the vetting of units and contracts.

No unit would find work of any kind, which was not approved of by the Republic and no contract would be entertained which did not have the Republic’s blessings. From 3092 onwards, more sensitive contracts even required the attachment of RAF “Advisors” often in addition to any Liaisons insisted upon by the hiring party. All contracts had to pass through an assessment stage where experts from the Republic’s diplomatic corps looked for ways to resolve any issue peacefully or with minimum actual force.

Finally, certain units were to be carefully “Managed”. This amounted to special status in pay and benefits in keeping certain units; like the Kell Hounds on official and unofficial retainer; to ensure their continued loyalty; to prevent untidy disruptions to the Stellar-Political Landscape and maintain a hidden reserve to the RAF “Just In Case”. These outfits still took what passed for normal contracts, under the new regime, but you could count on the pay being higher, the risks lower and the perks more numerous and grander.

Though never actually intended to be so; these policies amounted to egregious favouritism and clear cronyism by the Republic-Controlled MRBC. Alternate Hiring Halls were re-established on Solaris VII; but these proved no be no better received and the Republic was faced with the prospect of the entire trade slipping through their fingers if something was not done immediately. Already, hundreds of units had gone officially bankrupt and dozens had fled to the dark corners of the Inner Sphere and Periphery; there to operate as unbonded Mercenary Companies. Worse still was the anti-Republican sentiment that the policies were fermenting among many would-be clients who could not get their contracts let on Arc Royale.


Less than ten years after the Jihad and the Republic was already gathering enemies like so many Pharaoh Beer tabs in a Lyran charity drive.

A partial solution was found and in 3095; the Hiring Halls on Galatea were re-opened under the auspices of a reborn Mercenary Review Board, once more under the management of ComStar. Officially non-partisan; the MRB traded direct control for indirect, but thorough oversight. ComStar being very much a creature of the Republic by this juncture; this meant that while the underlings of the Senate lost their direct power to let and veto contracts and to disbar certain companies and individuals from legitimate work; Republic Intelligence, through what remained of ROM maintained complete or near-complete knowledge of every officially-bonded contract and unit operating in the Inner Sphere or Periphery from the Hall’s opening in July of 3095, through to the present.

Additional satellite halls were opened on ground gone fallow; worlds such as Astrokazy, Fletcher, Herotitus, Noisiel, Westerhand, Arkab, Regulus and El Dorado receiving satellite Halls over the next two years, but business has remained slow. While permitting the revival of the MRB was an official compromise, no-one really trusts it yet and, it turns out; with good reason. Republic Intelligence is stretched paper-thin and ROM just is not what it used to be, so by 3099, everyone knows that signing a bonded contract is the same thing as sending the Republic a verigraph laying out your military plans. Understandably, even staunch Republican Allies aren’t comfortable with that. In this way, the trade has further shrunk and confidence on mercs decreased again alongside well-founded rumours of units counting Republican moles in their ranks.


So why did I do all this? Looking at the rolls of the SLDFiE you’ll find many of the former big-ticket merc units now counted as regulars; the Eridani Light Horse (Naturally), Wolf’s Dragoons (WTF?!?) and others are official SLDF units. More still are under contract. While the 3rd League is not the employer the Republic is, many Bonded and un-bonded outfits have found work as SLDF auxiliaries or contracted to businesses and private citizens in the 3rd League.


But beyond that? The Merc trade is arguably at the lowest ebb we ever see it in the BTU, except maybe the dark age. And to my knowledge (correct me if I am wrong) in the Dark Age, no one was actively trying to suppress the trade like this. But in my AU, they are; so why?


I don’t hate mercenaries; I think they are the best part of the setting and my preference for any campaign. But frankly, including the Jihad 70%+ as written demands this as a logical outcome for mercenaries. So, if you are a player who loves your big, flashy merc units and likes Der Tag; the interwar years have not been kind to you. Nor frankly will be the war to come, sadly.

Being a merc in the Der Tag AU, as far as I have scripted it means either eking out a firefly-like existence under the noses of the Republic and her allies or playing a lot of politics and other dirty games to keep your bonded outfit in business. Or you could hang with the Hounds and take safe, lucrative garrison and humanitarian contracts, I guess.


The trade still exists and what remains of it is healthy enough to support the much-****** military-industrial complexes of the Der Tag AU selling top-of-the-line hardware to those mercs. Just not in the rates we saw in the 50s and 60s. If the Der Tag AU was an official product, then the emblematic mech we’d put on all the products would be the Omni-Marauder made by Kathil GM and sold primarily to mercs, right out to the Periphery.


What the trade looks like right now is different though; it’s primarily small outfits of less than a regiment in size and most often in the sweet spot between a lance and a battalion. These are the highly-self-sufficient survivors of the Jihad and the fallout in the trade that followed. They tend to have their own ships to some extent and be composed of a diverse mix of capabilities to make them both flexible and marketable. Finally; they are often built around a core of BattleMechs of some description; be they ancient cobbled-together MODs or brand-new Diamond Shark-built ClanTech Omnis.


A key difference between Der Tag and the Dark Age derives from the bass-ackwards way they tried to make mechs more important by taking them out of the setting and replacing them with vast hoards of other units. Even in a universe where the Republic is sending out inspectors to shoulder-check everyone’s military fusion engine production there are still plenty of mechs available and being made. But warfare in Der Tag is as much about getting down in the dirt where a mech is less useful or most useful as a support unit in order to show a grittier, uglier side of warfare than the sanitized version we normally see in Battletech.


You simply could not afford to maintain a lance of any kind of mechs and not keep infantry around for security and occupation of key terrain. And that’s just one example in a universe where there are still many more conventional regiments for every mech unit.

The Dark Age was introduced to us with the idea that many of the great merc units of old were history. Honestly; if I was writing general MilSF in the interwar years; I wouldn’t even blink at setting it in a hardscrabble merc outfit; yes, many units are still dead and gone and others are RAF or SLDFiE Auxiliaries and more have gone legit as house units. But honestly? You wouldn’t notice from a player’s perspective or from any hypothetical fiction. It would get talked about, but the essential nature of BT would be maintained.


Truthfully though; I have Der Tag mainly laid out and this is not the story to return mercs to their former glory. The free-lances of the BTU have a-ways yet to go before they can be redeemed. Memories need to fade and the stellar-political landscape needs to change. Der Tag is about making that change happen, but not what comes after so much.


Don’t get me wrong; I think this game is basically *about* free-wheeling mercs dripping with personal agency in an SF-Feudal setting, who own their own multi-million C-Bill Fusion-Powered fighting machines and go about like knights errant. But the fact is that to tell that story, I’d need to set my work either much earlier and change more laid-out history or much later and lay down a lot more that isn’t explored directly and I’d rather pick up right where I think the best of the fluff left off with the Jihad, itself.


However, if I was to continue the AU after the Der Tag era, it would be focussing on bringing about a crystallization or a “From-Concentrate” version of that kind of fertile merc atmosphere, while enhancing the feudal nature of the setting, but without another tech collapse (why do what you already done?). I’d also like to make the Clans cool again. Again; groundwork for this is laid in Der Tag with advancement of technology and the cultural transformation of various Clans into something *else*. But again; this is not so much their story.


So, being as this is all about mercs, I’ll take the opportunity to defend a few other key decisions I’ve made.

1. Turning key storied units into lap dogs for what are clearly the bag guys of my AU.

   Agreed; not pretty, but it is logical. The only other option I had was having the formerly-allied Kell Hounds, Highlanders and others turn on Stone/Lear after the Jihad for some reason and frankly that would have made the battles to come less interesting and more of a circle-beating.

2. Making the Dragoons an SLDFiE unit.
   
   It was that or disband them and while I know a lot of people hate the ‘goons for their endless plot-armour and equally-endless and put-upon awesomeness; I’ve always thought they were cool. So why join the SLDFiE? Because Condition: FERAL was a massive leadership failure from start to finish and amounted to a gross dereliction of duty on the part of…oh…the entire command structure, really. While the Jihad was raging is one this, but as soon as the shooting stops, there are things that need to be set right; the old guard had to go and the survivors needed a purpose. Given the options of disbandment, joining the RAF piecemeal, the Kell Hounds as an abbreviated unit, going into business for themselves or joining the SLDFiE and rebuilding; most chose the SLDFiE, the overwhelming majority in fact.

   Why? Because after Condition: FERAL; the Dragoons are simply *DONE* with cults of personality. Maeve and all the other “Wolves”? They are dead. Trials of Grievance until you die. So, after that, following Stone? Or putting their trust is whatever member of the Kell-Family is running the hounds? No thank you.

3. Turning the Republic against Mercenaries.

   Again; simply consistent with maintaining peace, being against private ownership of weapons, ect.

   I could have made something up, but frankly; while weirder things have happened in history, this doesn’t mean you can hand-wave whatever you like into your writing. Ironically; fiction *does* have to make sense. Otherwise you loose suspension of disbelief.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: snakespinner on 01 January 2019, 02:49:27
I always wondered why the dragoons never joined the SLDF mk2.
They were supposed to aid the inner sphere and that would have made them a legitimate force.
The mercenary thing just did not work. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 01 January 2019, 10:37:26
I always wondered why the dragoons never joined the SLDF mk2.
They were supposed to aid the inner sphere and that would have made them a legitimate force.
The mercenary thing just did not work. :thumbsup:

Which is not unreasonable at all, but kind-of counter to Dragoon's culture; they aren't *joiners*

When forming the New Model Army; the jugglers looked at the Dragoons for the cadre force and rejected them for that reason.

Condition: FERAL made a degree of sense culturally; but I felt that sooner or later the Dragoon's ever-present cultural mores would win out over the cult of personality. 24 hours? Maybe 36? Sure. But beyond that the Junior and Senior leaders should have been stepping in and calming things down. There was no military reason to squander the remains of the Dragoons and as much of the AMC as could be gathered in a death-ride against Terra. Even if they aren't convinced before; this is going to make believers out of anyone who survives and If/When the Dragoons get their feet under them again and have more than a few moments with the band back together and in one place, at one time there ought to be a major leadership crisis with heads rolling all over. That is the kind of cultural shift that is going to make alternatives palatable.

What are those alternatives likely to be? Well, as I laid out; disband: because who needs another highly independant merc unit floating around? Join the RAF and cease to exist as a unit; Join the Kell Hounds: effectively to put them under trustworthy oversight. Break up the band and go independent; which is going to look really good to a lot of them at this point, but means Wolf's Dragoons are a dead letter or join the SLDFiE as cadre for a subordinate unit.

Something similar happened with the ComGuards; Case White was stupid, crippled the Guards as an organization and irreparably damaged the bonds between the senior leadership and the guys and gals doing the fighting and dying. In the canon timeline, most joined the RAF; which makes sense. But in an AU where there is still a standing Star League Army to run to, well; that feels more like home than the RAF under Stone.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: mikecj on 03 January 2019, 08:30:44
TAG, no pun intended. 
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 21 February 2019, 17:06:29
LosTech and NewTech;
The State of Strategically Important Technology in the 32nd Century
A Prospectus
24 July 3099
By Doctor Lisa Finch, Esq.

   The formal and Informal talks held on Terra at the end of the Jihad and again; following the finalization of The Republic’s borders have blossomed into a series of treaties and agreements limiting the production and fielding of all military armaments and curtailing the size of the armies extant in the Inner Sphere and to a lesser extent; the Periphery, today.

   While these understandings limit what can be built, kept or used in war and peace; they do not, for the most part place undue limitations on lines of scientific inquiry which may or may not be principally destructive in nature, but which may also have humanitarian spin-offs.

   Likewise; contrary to what some tabloid rags and propaganda campaigns might have the public believe; The Republic is fully invested in the proliferation and preservation of the sum total of human knowledge and wisdom. Never again shall humanity toil under the privations of a tech-collapse as happened during the Succession Wars. Instead, this knowledge; all knowledge, even that with military applications will be safeguarded in hardened computer core facilities located within the borders of The Republic and completely accessible to all parties; multiply redundant and free of charge, for all time.

   With this in mind then; it is important to remember that while we now live in an era of peace and prosperity; the masters of industry and the brilliant minds of every realm are ever active in their pursuit of ever-higher levels of understanding in the various technological fields.

   The purpose of this report is to provide an overview on the state of the industry as regards advanced military technology, in particular; as well as the general degree of comfort and capability to produce it which is prevalent among the arsenals of the major potential belligerent nations today.




What we consider to be Standard Technology; that which is now and was, before; easily attainable throughout all classes on most industrialized worlds of the Inner Sphere, remains a stable and secure achievement.

   Some backsliding was observed during and continuing after the Jihad for some years, but things have stabilized now and efforts in most of the Inner Sphere and the Periphery continue with the goal of making a post-3030 standard of living available on every settled world within 800 light-years of Terra.

   The term “Retro-Technology” has been expanded in recent years and common use to include all sub-Star League technology.  While the term is more correctly taken to apply exclusively to technology which was in common use from the days of the old Terran Alliance until the advent of what we now think of as “Standard Technology”; most people are comfortable applying this appellation to all instances of people, industries, worlds and communities which make use of primitive, sometimes very primitive techniques, technologies and ways of life in order to get by.

   There are many instances in which RetroTech may be employed profitably or even preferentially; even on Terra, Itself. But there still remain many communities and worlds throughout The Inner Sphere; to say nothing of the Periphery where RetroTech is a way of life. Mainly this is due to circumstances beyond the control of those who live there or the consequences of conflicts now centuries old on the local and near-Galactic economy. But there remain niche neo-luddite cultures such as the Omniss of the former Outworlds Alliance and the Exituri; originating in the former Free Worlds League, to name but two which cleave to these primitive technologies by preference as the quaint traditions of outlier religious and cultural mores.

   Since the Jihad and the great Raven migration into the Outworlds, Things have begun to change for these two groups, in particular.

   The Word of Blake Jihad saw technology turned on mankind as never before in living memory. This conflict renewed imagery and cultural memories from the Succession Wars, breathing new life into the Neo-Luddite message. Besides hundreds of new upstart cults on as many worlds and influential leaders in local and state politics (notably the so-called “Green Movement”); the general distaste for the dark side of technology has allowed these and similar movements to spread with the refugees from these and other regions. As a result; the Omniss and Exituri can now be found on dozens more worlds than before the Jihad.

   The Exituri have spread outward from Shiloh to settle throughout the Andurian Pact and The Republic. Reliable reporting out of the Raven Alliance and through NGOs working with refugees tell us that the Omniss have found co-habitation with their new neighbours unpalatable. For their own part; the Snow Ravens find the Omniss equally difficult to deal with; they refuse to consort with Trueborns or members of the Scientist caste in any way and will only deal with Warrior Caste Freebirths reluctantly.

   It is notable that Terran History contains parallels of similar cultures fleeing the encroachment of technological edifices and more advanced ways of life.
 
   The Omniss have given ground reluctantly; scattering to the most remote worlds of the former Alliance as well as into deep space. Most, however have chosen to return to the peripheral worlds of the Draconis Combine and Federated Suns and the former Federated Suns. While the Ravens’ Clan ways still rest lightly on the Outworlds, it seems that even the Dragon is a preferable master when faced with daily reminders of a hyper-advanced foreign culture.

   There is a Clan context for RetroTech as well; where some of Kerensky’s children have resorted to less-advanced Spheroid designs and equipment and even more primitive or simplistic versions of their own materiel. Where this is found it has been done for reasons of expediency and lack of other viable alternatives.

   Whether or not ClanTech truly represents the next step in humanity’s development as a technic civilization remains open to debate. What is not open to debate is the ongoing race for Spheroid industry to internalize the lessons we can learn from ClanTech and to reproduce and even surpass it.

Less certain is how we can even categorize hyper-advanced technology for discussion. Can we any longer call “ClanTech”, Clan? Have we surpassed it? Will we soon? Does ClanTech represent the only fundamental path forward or mainly one potential development branch?

At current; all of the Major Powers possess the capacity to reproduce Clan-Technology to a limited extent. Thanks to the bequest of the Word of Blake, The Republic certainly possesses the greatest mastery of this level of technological refinement, but the Federated Suns likely possess a greater capacity to produce certain types of ClanTech weapons.

That the Word of Blake and now the Federated Suns have managed to replicate ClanTech on an industrial scale and produce their own models of ClanTech Equipment indicates a mastery of the technology we could only dream ruefully of in the spring of 3050. The Federated Suns appear to have gained the majority of the FedCom Reverse-Engineering program in the Civil War and combined this with an industrial culture which embraces innovation and change. The sheer momentum of the Lyran Industrial Machine impeded progress for decades and only the Post-War slowdown has allowed them to catch up, but now they can finally match the Draconis Combine in being able to produce small quantities of direct unlicensed copies of ClanTech Equipment; albeit, at the traditional immense cost. Of the Successor States; the Capellan Confederation has the least affinity for hyper-advanced technology. They actually possessed more from WOBM salvage than they did from 3rd-hand Clan sources until the Diamond Sharks restarted exports in earnest after the Jihad.

The Word of Blake’s own ClanTech program came as an especial shock to their victims during the Jihad as it seemed to spring fully-formed from nearly a standing start. What this reveals is that ComStar was either mistaken or lying when it came to WOBROM infiltration of their own reverse-engineering programs, as well as the extent of the scuttling programs carried out in the wake of the loss of Terra to The Word. This remains speculation, but clearly the narrative sold to the rest of the Inner Sphere of hermit enclaves squatting in the Free World’s League and cut-off from samples of more advanced technology than was generally available was at the very least; incorrect.

In the wake of the Jihad, The Republic benefited greatly from seized WOB facilities on Terra and elsewhere, as well as massive quantities of locally-fabricated copies of Clan Equipment, salvage and new Word of Blake models built to Clan Standards. Sometimes, this equipment has been built under primitive conditions and to lax standards. This often resulted in weapons and components which were not built to last, but worked well enough to cause woeful damage to Coalition and Allied forces before the factories were overrun, in a chilling echo of Stefan Amaris’ wartime production policies. That this has occasionally proven true of Clan-Built equipment is also notable.

It is expected that between salvage from over a dozen major and minor conflicts and exports from their Clan protectorates; the so-called “Star League Defence Force-in-Exile” holds significant stocks of ClanTech materiel. It is furthermore suspected that they have at least some limited capacity to produce it themselves; likely in the form of what are by now certainly licensed copies. This is based on the possession of at least one facility capable of producing ClanTech ammunition as early as the mid 3060s and thus a long familiarity with the technology.

Of the Periphery States; naturally the Raven Alliance benefits most from the capabilities and access to ClanTech, but general availability outside the Raven’s Touman is barely superior to that enjoyed in the Taurian Concordat or Magistracy of Canopus. What our sources seem to be indicating is that the resources of Clan Snow Raven are stretched to the breaking point by whatever needs currently drive them. Such that they have precious little in the way of their own technology to share with the native Outlanders. Being a culture which is naturally pacifistic and at least somewhat averse to technology as a rule, this hasn’t bothered the Alliance’s civilians nearly as much as the failure to produce the expected boons in civil engineering and medical technology they have expected.

Outside the Alliance, there is no known capacity to produce ClanTech and precious little to maintain it. While examples dating from as early as 3049 may now be circulating among even the meanest of deep-periphery scavengers and traders, the vast majority of the ClanTech to be found in the Concordat or the Magistracy was brought there by either the Diamond Sharks in the last few decades or the Word of Blake, in the form of battlefield salvage or spoils.

However, in the Coreward Deep Periphery; things are somewhat different. Here the Flotsam of the Clan wars has settled thinly, but noticeably wherever Clan Merchants have made contact with the tiny, scattered settlements of the region. In these places where the ancient still pre-dominates; a Pulse Laser made in 3055 is more likely to be a ClanTech weapon than one with more in common with Star League LosTech. The capacity and understanding of how to maintain such wonders remains low, but it exists nonetheless. In these places a little ClanTech has the same effect as did the Clans when they first came upon the old Pirate Kingdoms in 3049; that of an egg dashed on a millstone.

Most Clan advances amount to breakthroughs and refinements in the materials sciences. As such; the eventual equivalence of Clan-Made and Inner-Sphere-produced technology is, in some ways inevitable given time and continued effort and baring any intercession. However, it must be noted that the Clan Scientist Caste has its limitations; these limitations not being common to our own people. It will be noted that the Clans have only very rarely applied their advances to civil engineering projects; further that they have back-slid in many ways from the heights of some yet-lost Star League and Hegemony advances.

Even in military technology; the Clans failed to successfully reproduce Land-Air-Mech Technology or to innovate their own Super-Heavy Mechs. Advances the Word of Blake Managed simultaneous to their own, more-general reverse-engineering programs. As well; Spheroid Powers have managed to produce various weapons and equipment which the Clans have had to race to duplicate, even clumsily; when they can do so at all.

So, one has to ask; is ClanTech really all it’s cracked up to be?

It certainly seems not at this point in time. In fact, it seems more like ClanTech is more of a niche or stepping-stone on mankind’s technological path; one which we have nearly mastered, even while we have surpassed it and moved on in many ways.

Still, it remains unclear just how in a tiny, divisive population; operating on starkly-limited resources and amidst ongoing conflict; the Clan Scientist Caste could have ever managed what they have up till now. That question begs the next: most Clan advances occurred up to a century and more ago, at this point; now that we seem to have seen the end of the brief hiccup that was the so-called “Clan Renaissance” of the mid-late 50s through to the 60s, we have to ask why the Clans ever stopped advancing technologically and perhaps: what stopped them? If there are any hidden monsters remaining just beyond the roughed-out borders of Mankind’s pursuit of scientific advancement, perhaps the Clans ran headlong into them almost two centuries ago and the last spurts of creativity we saw in the mid-70s were just filling in the last corners of the technological tapestry.

What can’t be argued are the holes in the Clan’s own version of this tapestry; filled in, if at all, un-evenly across the Clans as a whole. Even looking at advances of 300 years ago and more; there are many areas in which the Clans seem never to have focused their efforts, to say nothing of the backsliding which has occurred. Some Clans, notably the Jade Falcons, for instance; are quite happy for any of their people to exist at a level of subsistence which would be familiar to many Periphery worlds of the Succession Wars. In some cases; this even extends to non-frontline military forces, which are sometimes equipped with barely-functional SLDF-relics or equipment of a standard comparable to the improvised weapons of guerilla movements.

This is part of the answer to the mystery of ClanTech; it is focused and not generalized. Sometimes remarkably so. For instance; the Clans possess post-Star League medical cloning technology, which is reserved for their warriors. But in many cases, even their basic medicine is lacking; with life expectancies at all levels far below Inner Sphere averages across all Castes.

In theory; there is nothing stopping many Clan advances from being applied to other fields; such as civil engineering, general manufacturing and the luxury goods market. But in practice; the Clans have rarely done it. There are exceptions in all Clans, but the rule is that the best efforts and resources go to the Warrior Trueborns and the rest make do.

However, evidence now suggests that other powers; notably the self-styled “3rd League”, with their several Clan member-states and The Republic have done just that and begun applying ClanTech more broadly across their society in all fields, at least in a limited scale. Indeed, the 3rd League may even have developed their affinity for ClanTech on an industrial and societal scale by building it up through civil advancements first, as counter-intuitive as that seems for an army with a nation attached to it.

Advanced Technology is that which mimics or surpasses Star League-Era technology. It first began to become available through developments at the New Avalon Institute of Science in the 20s and accelerated with the proliferation of similar establishments in all the Successor States and the discovery of the Helm Memory Core. In general, these are advances which were mastered in the 3040s and improved upon in the 50s to the present day, but which still fall well-below the levels of ClanTech in refinement, even when they surpass them in raw capability.

In terms of a standard of living; Advanced technology is available on all major and most minor industrialized worlds of the Inner Sphere and Periphery and some of the less well-developed worlds as well. To find places today which cannot muster a pulse laser or a reliable Myomer Implantation Device, you need to visit regions like the Federated Suns Outback or the more hard-done-by Kuritan or Capellan Worlds. Sadly, lack of general access to this level of technology for civilians remains a way of life on most periphery worlds and as many as a third of all worlds in the Inner Sphere. For the denizens of the Deep Periphery; Advanced Tech remains Lost; a distant dream or a costly and fleeting luxury from very far away.

LosTech seems to be a lingering symptom of a disease that mankind cannot seem to shake off fully. Even where answers can be found in the files of the Helm and New Dallas memory cores or other, less-well-known, but similar discoveries; economic and industrial realities keep many of these discoveries out of the hands of those who need them.

This term, specifically has come to refer to breakthroughs and achievements of even the Pre-Star League-era which cannot be replicated today. Normally this is due to lacking infrastructure in one form or another, but just as common; it is an issue of lacking refinement or experience.

It is not a simple matter of a data-file containing a matrix of equations and schematics; one needs people who can understand the files and other people who can bring what lies within to life. Even today, in The Republic, these things are lacking. Even in matters of major medical breakthroughs. One especially-painful case in point being the ongoing and public deterioration of the once-great David Lear to a random and degenerative neurological disease; Alzheimer’s. The cure is known (It’s a simple childhood vaccine), as is the treatment (an infinitely more difficult to synthesize daily medicine); but we are missing the infrastructure to produce the required machinery to produce the machinery to produce the machinery that makes the drugs; nor do we have the chemicals to make the drugs from. We have all the diagrams and academic trivia we need to alleviate this man’s suffering. But all the resources of The Republic are decades away from the building-block advances needed to save the man who we have come to love nearly as much as his great husband; The Exarch.

A more visible example of the ongoing LosTech phenomena is MegaEngineering. We still cannot terraform or control the weather like they could in the Star League. We couldn’t build a new Venusian Sunshield if we wanted to. We lack the ability to replicate the hidden fortresses and re-shape worlds as the Hegemony once did. In these cases, we even have extant examples of the cadavers of past achievements to examine. But the money, the will, the expertise and familiarity; even the confidence to do such things no longer exists. Maybe it never will again.

The only enclave of humanity known to possess a high degree of LosTech and still be capable of reproducing it confidently and in an ongoing manner are the Belters. In addition to their own advances; the Belters possess access to many of the Star League’s life-extending and enhancing medical advances. However; deeply distrustful of outsiders, the Belters have always been exceptionally insular and unwilling to share their secrets; any of their secrets. In exchange for undisclosed concessions and limited access; The Republic agreed to grant the Belters official internal autonomy in 3087 following a brief and utterly unprofitable conflict. Sadly; the deal included only very limited access to medical technology in the form of certain important medicines produced in zero-G and rapid flu vaccine development technology. But which did not include either the Alzheimer’s vaccine or the brickwall treatment; both of which could be had in any Star League Pharmacy, as of 2712.

Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 21 February 2019, 17:14:05
This section is intended to serve as an overview of which technologies have changed in status in the Der Tag AU. This is not meant as a canonical list of those technologies which are new or already covered elsewhere; but specifically, to serve as a lint trap for what remains of the canon tech, but which has not been discussed.
Due to the nature of the Dark Age setting, some technologies which one might expect to have changed status in a post-Jihad/pre-Dark Age AU have been detailed as well for the sake of thoroughness and my own natural pedantry.
These technologies are treated in the order in which they appear for the most part; beginning with Total Warfare and continuing through the more advanced rulebooks of the Tech Manual, Tactical Operations, Strategic Operations and Interstellar Operations (which is the most recent rulebook I know of to contain new equipment; Campaign Ops seems to have none).
If a technology is not mentioned here, then it should be assumed that its status has not changed. One caveat to this is that anyone interested in force generation or campaigns in the Der Tag AU should refer to the Production Report and the implications thereof. What I mean is that a great deal of equipment is developed much sooner in the Der Tag AU than in the canon timeline; specifically, the RISC equipment.
Generally; what we’re looking for here is equipment which has changed status from “Experimental” to “production”. That doesn’t always mean that something now gets a “P-” appended to the name, but what it does mean is whether or not it’s the kind of thing that would only show up in an XTRO as a top-secret prototype they only make a handful of, or something you could buy from a catalogue.
Overall; the 3rd League is a highly advanced faction. Unless mentioned specifically; consider them to be lumped in with the Inner Sphere. The same is true, naturally of The Republic.
The Hull Inhumane Weapons Treaty was signed in 3099 and comes into force in 3100, by which time all the signatories are expected to be in compliance (IE/not using anything which has been banned). This is only the latest in a long string of weapons-treaties written by The Republic and foisted on their allies. Prepare to hear these mentioned a lot. As for what just might be implied by this kind of “Civilizing” of warfare: that is a separate essay.
Without further ado:

Combat Vehicles---Any faction you would consider as such in the Der Tag AU should be able to maintain and produce some form of combat vehicle. That doesn’t mean that every deep-periphery one-world fiefdom is cranking out their own RetroTech ICE-powered deathtrap. But they could be. They would certainly be able to maintain such as thing at the most basic level.
Below this you would have people who have devolved to truly post-apocalyptic levels of technology; people who can’t supply any form of fuel; cannot supply ammo or patch tech-level-A BAR-1 armour.

Support Vehicles---Similar to Combat Vehicles; any faction worthy of the name should be able to produce and repair at least some forms of Support Vehicles. Obviously more complex types and refinements will be beyond some, however.   
Most factions have not, however applied the highest levels to technology to support vehicles. Where this has been done it is ad hoc in nature. The 3rd League is a notable exception to this. But where you find high technology, you can take it as read that they probably could apply this to other purposes; such as support vehicles, but chose not to or find it uneconomical to do so.

Infantry---Every force in Der Tag; be they the RAF or a truly degenerate, single-settlement stone-age rabble can manage to field infantry. They might have sharp sticks and jagged rocks or they might have Mauser IICs, but anyone can manage to put a collection of people into the field and make them fight.

BattleMechs---All the major factions and some of the smaller ones can produce ‘Mechs in Der Tag. Those factions that cannot would be more primitive independent worlds and deep periphery nations. All but a few can manage to maintain at least RetroTech examples.
The trick is that The Republic places strict controls on the production of BattleMechs. This is done through treaty and through RAF direct-action when possible. In the few regions where the influence of The Republic is not felt or openly balked, these restrictions may still be felt in the form of sharply reduced imports from other realms.

Industrial Mechs---Industrial Mech production is slightly more widespread than that of BattleMechs in that there are a few more minor powers which can produce Industrial Mechs, but not even RetroTech BattleMechs. Within the larger factions, however; there are many more worlds which can produce Industrial Mechs than BattleMechs, at current.
As The Republic is officially in favour of Industrial Mech production; these industries have rebuilt faster and with the benefit of Republic subsidies. Many major BattleMech makers have increased their formerly niche or side-businesses in Industrial Mech production in order to keep lines open and slow skill loss as much as possible.
Within Republic-Controlled Space, modifying Industrial Mechs into Technical-BattleMechs or, simply; “Mods”. Is a very serious offence. Where The Republic has allies; the ComStar Arms Inspectors are equally eagre to litigate and sanction.

OmniTech---I’ve heavily detailed OmniTech in Der Tag before, but I wanted to make clear that this is not a dead technology; it has a number of logistical and economical drawbacks, but OmniMechs are still very much a big part of the universe; they just aren’t as popular in some circles as they have been.
Naturally the Clans have the best grip on OmniTech, but there is not yet any Clan which can afford to once more give this technology the true pride of place in their Toumans that it deserves. Give it a few years and that might change, however. No-one in the Inner Sphere who has produced Omnis in the past has forgotten how, if they are still in business today. If you look in the Production Report; you will find many examples. GM’s OmniMarauder is the MadCat of the Der Tag universe away from the SLDFiE. Speaking of the 3rd League; they understand OmniTech very well, but tend not to use it, except in specialized roles. The SLDFiE makes the most use of the technology in “Semi-Modular” designs. Even most of their “OmniMechs” have been converted to semi-modular BattleMechs for logistical and maintenance reasons.
A fair amount of OmniTech has proliferated through a couple of OmniSupport Vehicles, but the technology might as well stop dead outside the Inner Sphere and Clans, which with the still-active Battle Armour programs in the Concordat and Magistracy is too bad. Something like a Periphery Omni, however is decades down the road at this stage.
What is true of OmniMechs is generally true of OmniVehicles and Fighters.

ProtoMechs---ProtoMech technology is closely held by many Clans, but The Republic’s Treaties have stopped it dead elsewhere. However, unbeknownst to The Republic, but beknownst to us; the SLDFiE makes use of a modified form of ProtoMech technology in their Fortified Area Troops.
While the forms of 3rd League ProtoMechs remain similar to those of the Clans, the pilots come from the ranks of those with the few remaining forms of irreparable spinal damage and mobility disorders found in the 3rd League. These individuals---in keeping with the theories put forth by StarCorps R&D decades ago---trade the long lifespans accorded by 3rd League medical technology for limited access to a form of personal agency they can only dream of otherwise.
The normal population of the 3rd League, together with the occasional Aerospace Phenotype washout from the League’s Clan Member-States, alongside severely wounded SLDFiE Veterans manage to provide an adequate supply of Pilot-Volunteers to match the modest supply of ex-Clan ProtoMechs and locally-produced WSP-1P models. This despite the well-known and exceptionally deleterious effects of the EI and Neural Interface systems and implants upon these pilots.
Some of these disabled pilots chose to be kept in stasis between training missions and exercises. However, this has a severely negative effect on the necessary bond of the pilot and their caretakers, which are themselves often mentally disabled persons.

BattleArmour--- No real change in status here, but I felt it was important to reinforce that this is now seen as vital technology and is well understood throughout the militaries and industries most of human-occupied space. The exception to this would be the smallest minor powers and Deep Periphery states, which simply cannot manage.

AeroSpace Fighters--- As one of the oldest of the extant frontline military technologies; it should come as no surprise that the ability to produce and maintain ASF is well understood among all the industrialized powers.
The Meta of the universe is an odd beast though and I cannot/would not throw it off fully. As a result; most of the smaller, least-capable factions, if able to produce fusion engines would still choose to build and field BattleMechs in place of AeroSpace Fighters. This is fairly well-represented in the Production Report spreadsheet and I think the exceptions are well-founded.
AeroFighters or a lack thereof are likely to be a shortfall felt operationally and strategically, rather than being measured in the tactical consideration of most militaries in the BTU. The difference is that in Der Tag; this is the kind of thing that would show up on-camera, so to speak and be felt in the fluff. So; a given faction axing ASF production/budgets or choosing to build Mechs instead could easily get their heads handed to them.

A-Pods/B-Pods---Here’s a fun one. Under of The Republic’s Treaties; all weapons deemed “inhumane” or having a tendency to have their effects felt “disproportionately” by civilians are banned. You’ll see a lot more of this as we go along, but one effect of the treaty is that as of 31 December, 3099; many of the major powers under the influence of The Republic are beginning to remove A-Pods and B-Pods from their combat units. Production has been widely curtailed and the supply lines have already been basically cut.
So, in a prestigious outfit like the Davion Brigades of Guards; all the ‘Pods are already gone. In something like the Legions of Vega; they might not have gotten around to it yet or be part-way through the process. Most have deactivated the systems or removed the explosive components; but the mounts and sensors are still there. But say you pilot a Sirocco? Yeah; best-case chances are that you have the spares that are still sitting in your unit ammo dump and marked “Condemned” and that’s it. Let’s hope no-one suddenly needs those eh?
Factory production is severely limited, tightly observed and for export only. Not every Great House has ratified the whole of the relevant treaty, but the FS, LC, DC and most of the Former FWL all agreed to ditch their A-Pods and B-Pods, soonest.

Stealth Armour---By this point and following the Jihad; Stealth Armour for all but Aircraft is quite well understood by all of the Spheroid powers and the Periphery. This includes the SLDFiE as well.

LBX---Cluster munitions are now heavily restricted in how they may be deployed. Under the 3099 Hull Anti-Inhumane Weapons Treaty, you cannot even take LBX-Cluster ammunition into an area where civilians work or live. Anywhere you do use it has to be swept and cleaned up according to a schedule established by the ComStar Arms Control Bureau

Flechette and Incendiary Ammo---Any power which signed the bare minimums of the Hull treaty (FS, DC, MC, LC, Some former FWL, Republic) isn’t even supposed to have this stuff anymore. As a practical matter; the production lines are stopped; the tooling and equipment is being removed and whatever stocks are on hand are to be expended in training or destroyed in the next five years.

Rotary AutoCannons---Now fully proliferated across the Inner Sphere. Even manufacturers not currently building models of fighting machine equipped with these weapons can readily source them, if not build them in-house.

Clan Rotary ACs---Generally pretty minimally understood, except by the Jade Falcons. The Jade Falcons have had the new Product-Improved versions in production now for several years and the prototypes being phased out. It’s not something I’ve detailed yet in Bench Rest, but the old Clan Rotary ACs would now be CRAC-P for “Prototype”; the new ones weigh the same, but take up less space and have much better ranges.

C3---Basic C3 Technology is something that all the Major Powers that want to can understand pretty well and maintain effectively. The local Periphery powers; especially the Calderon Protectorate would have trouble producing it, but it’s a capability that everyone who uses it is quite comfortable with.
As part of their modernization efforts; the DCMS is continuing to refit their forces for C3 at all levels and expand the basic capabilities. Some interesting Bench Rest gear is laid out for C3. The Republic can take C3 or leave it. They have a number of C3 lances and companies; but the ECM-saturated battlefields of the Jihad really soured a lot of people on it.
Those that don’t use C3 tend to have organizational reasons for not doing so. The Clans, for the most part have their Honour Codes and the SLDFiE is continuing to operate on the premise that the system can be suborned for SIGINT purposes or, just possibly taking control of units so equipped. WOB never did it during the Jihad as far as is known, but ROM was really sure, right up until summer of 3067 that they could. Enough so that they were advising the ComGuards to seriously upgrade or scrap their C3i systems as well.

C3i---This is essentially a dead letter. There are a few still using it; mainly militias with captured or salvaged WOBM/ComGuard gear and mercenaries. But with the parent organizations of the system gone; there just isn’t the incentive to keep up a network for an organizational model that so few people use anymore. What few designs are still being built with C3i are likely to be modified or discontinued in the next 5-10 years and no new C3i computers have been built since 3094. Anyone who still needs parts or complete computer interfaces is just drawing on that stockpile.

Naval C3---The Draconis Combine have embraced the Naval C3 system like no other power. For all others, save the RAF (who use it sparingly), the system remains experimental.

Battle Armour C3---Only the DCMS makes concerted use of Battle Armour C3 systems; they remain effectively experimental for all other powers. They may be fielded, but they are never found in use en masse, as in the Draconis Combine.

Capital and sub-cap weapons---All very limited/tightly controlled. The Republic knows what these are for so anyone still making them anywhere they hold sway, does so with very close oversight. Any ostensible Republic allies caught even trying to setup a parallel production system for these would be in a legal state of war with The Republic and their other allies. And the RAF could count on the backup too.

Concealed weapon---Banned under the SALT treaties. Anything that would make a fighting machine look harmless is a no-no.

Fusion Engines---Very tightly controlled. This is the primary means by which The Republic keeps a tight grip on production, proliferation and fielding of frontline military equipment and it is effective too. With the vast infrastructural damage inflicted by the Jihad; it’s easy for The Republic to keep their allies from rebuilding old capabilities and supply them key materials and components from their own, very secure and restored holdings.
This was a key aspect of the Dark Age, but the nuts and bolts of it were never explained that I saw (although I haven’t yet read the novels either). But it was a key feature of the post-Jihad setting where it was described as a feature of the landscape of longstanding, so it needed to be addressed.
Like anything else The Republic does, however; this holds no sway beyond the reach of their own military, economical and memetic influence. So Capellans rejoice! You get all the Fusion Engines you can eat!

Flamers---Banned for military use. No. Seriously. As of 3099; you are supposed to be refitting your Firestarters if you are a friend of The Republic or scrapping them. But something like this? The parts, spares and stockpiles of complete systems will be around for a long time, because they have been produced for hundreds of years. Also; I figure there are many shared components between flamers and jump jets; so, there is that.

AP-Gauss---The Anti-personnel Gauss gun was one of the weapons banned under the Hull Treaty; it is considered too dangerous in terms of collateral damage to be permitted. All the Clans know their way around them by now though and they remain popular.
Hey; you’re lucky you kept your machineguns.

HAG---All the Clans now possess at least detailed theoretical knowledge of the Hyper-Assault Gauss Rifle, even if they aren’t producing them right this second.

EndoSteel---Because military-grade EndoSteel has limited civilian applications and those can generally be fulfilled with Endo-Composites just as easily, production of EndoSteel as we know it is tightly monitored as another potential chokepoint and brake on production of the most advanced war machines.

Improved JJ---Everyone who wants to build, use and fix Improved Jump Jets can; these things are way out of the experimental stage now.

Heavy Lasers---Being phased out among the Clans for the improved model.

MMLs---Universal to IS and Periphery.

MRMs---Universal to IS and Periphery. When and if they want to built them, anyways. But figure that anyone fielding units with MRMs can easily keep them supplied as well.

Rocket Launchers---Universal to IS and Periphery; various primitive models may still be found, but generally; they can do at least this well.

OS and I-OS Launchers---Basically extinct. Because these are terrible and RLs are a better alternative.

Streak SRMs---The entire Inner Sphere has gained sufficient understanding to make Streak SRMs in all sizes. This technology is still tenuous in the Near Periphery, but they can manage it. Naturally; the Clans have no issues here, but most other factions cannot swing it.

Various Missile Munitions; Thunder, Swarm, Inferno, AX, Etc.---have all been banned. Figure basically that if it has a special effect that would create a hideous wound, then under the Hull Treaty; The Republic and their Allies are no-longer supposed to utilize these in war. Not that things like AX-SRMs were ever a staple of the setting, but consider that if your favourite Lyran unit were to find themselves in a bad position on New Years Day, 3100; then it would be best to hope it didn’t require things like LRM-deployed minefields and frag-SRMs to get out of it.
As-stated; it isn’t that there wouldn’t be a few pallets or even bunkers-full of these munitions readily at hand, but there are no more readily available after you managed to get those released from condemned status. And if your outfit happened to have a certain politically-sensitive officer eagre to be promoted? Those last few tons of Swarm-LRMs, with their naughty-double-plus-ungood submunitions were disposed of; blown-up, last week.

Artemis-IV and NARC-Enabled Missiles---But how about some good news? These do not exist in Der Tag! How is that a good thing?
Because in the Der Tag AU; Artemis and NARC are Boot-strap systems that make what you have now better; you don’t need special ammo to use them because they work with the ammo you have now!
Artemis systems are add-on supplemental targeting packages that provide additional fidelity to your missile telemetry in order to put more shots on target. NARC systems are end-point beacons which attach to the target like an armoured limpet mine, burrow in like a tick and broadcast a missile-homing beacon designed to work with the radar and heat-seeking modules already built into your missiles.
And they stack.

iNARC---iNARC is a weapons system which has failed to find a niche outside a few limited adherents since it’s development. Not that normal NARC-systems have proven super-popular either. But the iNARC is heavier and so is its ammo; making it less of a cool accessory and more of a big lump of situationally-useful weight that doesn’t directly kill mechs, itself.
The ComGuards and naturally; WOBM, had a number of designs making use of this system. Now that they are gone, it is mainly the inheritors of their salvage, personnel, stockpiles and infrastructure which continue to use it. This limits normal proliferation of iNARC systems to the RAF, SLDFiE and some former Free Worlds factions. Occasional mercenaries and salvage-riders may still use iNARC as well, but they are depending on these three sources for their supplies.

PPCs---The biggest change in PPCs is that the Free World’s League finally got their act together; they can manage PPC production and service just fine, thankyouverymuch. Too bad there isn’t a Free Worlds League, as such, any longer.
But, hey; I am sure that it was a great party they had at the time. Probably invited the entire DCMS procurement system to make it a double and celebrate getting that whole double heat sink problem licked for good at the same time. Sake and Ouzo abounds.

Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 21 February 2019, 17:14:45
Plasma weapons—These are quite well understood, within their lanes. The Inner Sphere is now very comfortable with the technology, production and maintenance of the Mech and BA-Scale Plasma Rifles, with the Near Periphery only slightly behind (Less so the Calderon Protectorate). The Clans have eagerly internalized the Plasma Cannon alongside their other heat-producing weapons.
The Ghost Bears, Hell’s Horses, Jade Falcons, Diamond Sharks, Blood Spirits, both Wolf Clans and the Snow Ravens have all obtained samples of Plasma Rifles to contrast and compare and could built their own prototypes and direct-copies. Whether or not this is a weapon the Spheroid Clans will make their own and internalize or upgrade remains to be seen, however. But for now, any of these could easily support and maintain captured examples or produce copies for their own use.
Given The Republic’s overall stance on incendiary weapons, but fondness for weapon systems that can disable enemy ‘Mechs, it remains to be seen what the legal fate of Plasma weapons will be. There remain widely separated camps on the matter, but it is expected to be settled when the Hull Treaty is scheduled to be revisited in 3105.

Targeting Computer---"Targeting Computer” technology (the very name being an even more vast over-simplification than that assigned to the “C3 Computer”) may only be a near-pinnacle of fire control technology, plateaued now as it has been by various spin-off systems. But this still represents a highly-advanced, difficult to maintain, repair and produce item of military technology. The Inner Sphere still produce their own versions; now to be found across all the realms, but they are nowhere close to matching the Clan-version.
However, it must be said that neither are the Clans any closer to further-refining this system and it looks as though further advances in gunnery will depend on integrating and refining other systems beyond the monolithic “Targeting Computer”
From the God’s-Eye-View, the 3rd League can source both kinds of Targeting Computer easily, but still depend on the Diamond Sharks for supplies of the Clan Model.


   TSM---The Clan understanding of Triple-Strength Myomer remains starkly limited. But it is something that both the Inner Sphere and Near-Periphery can manage handily, although some of the former FWL dominions are less comfortable with it.

BA weapons/equipment---The divisions between Clan and Inner Sphere Battle Armour weapons and equipment have more or less been maintained, outside the RAF and SLDFiE where considerable inter-mixing is observed. The Fusillade system is one that the True Clans, Goliath Scorpions, Jade Falcons and Hell’s Horses are all very comfortable and familiar with. The others almost certainly have examples recovered from Trials of Possession, salvage and even espionage, but it isn’t something they are using widely or producing, yet.

   Bloodhound AP---By this time, this is a highly-regarded and well-understood item in both the Inner Sphere and among the Clans. However, it remains beyond the reach of the Periphery Powers.

Watchdog CEWS---While still a niche system, the Watchdog has proliferated amongst all the Clans.
   
AES---The Inner Sphere, at large and the Continuation Clans are all highly conversant with Actuator Enhancement Systems tech. It’s not well-understood beyond the Great Houses and the Occupation Zones, even among the New Clans, but this is something that a DCMS or RAF Senior Tech wouldn’t even blink at.

Angel ECM---Within the Inner Sphere; among the Great Houses and The Republic; Angel ECM systems are now a widespread and well-regarded, if expensive, delicate and finicky piece of technology. These remain well beyond the means of even the Magistracy and the Concordat to produce and maintain, however and they rely on foreign-contracted service personnel to maintain the few they possess.
Among the Clans, there is a sharp divide on Angel ECM, with many feeling that it is simply *so good* as to be dishonourable, inherently. Indeed; among the True Clans, the subject of ECM is hotly debated within the echoing Grand Council Chambers. Certainly, the technology is well-known, but of the Clans, only a few make regular use of it; these being the Raven Alliance, the Ghost Bears, Hell’s Horses, Clan Wolf-in-Exile, The Escorpion Imperio, the Blood Spirits and the Diamond Sharks

Ferro-Lamellor---This is now a well-understood, if spottily-employed item among both the Spheroid and Periphery Clans.

Artemis-V---While still rarely employed, this is a system well understood among all The Clans.

Cruise Missiles---All the Inner Sphere Powers and some of The Spheroid Clans understand and field Cruise Missile Artillery, although most of the Clans employ it in only a limited fashion. The Ghost Bears, Hell`s Horses and Clan Wolf-in-Exile; all field Cruise Missile Artillery.
Since the end of the Jihad, there has been some proliferation of fixed Cruise Missile Launchers as vehicles for deploying small Satellites, as for some purposes and scales; this is more economical than using a dropship, AeroSpace Fighter or Small Craft.

Artillery Cannon---The Artillery Cannon is a weapon system that is unevenly used and distributed, but one that is easy to build and maintain; much easier than real artillery. Powers which cannot manage to build true artillery pieces still have the technical capacity to produce Artillery Cannons, if they can get their hands on the technical data. Even the Clans can build them and make limited use of them. But therein lies the issue. While widespread; no-one makes heavy use of Artillery Cannons. Rather they are specialist or niche weapons employed here and there.
However, the nature of Artillery Cannons means they are here to stay and powers which have access to the specifications and knowledge of their use will not soon forget it.

HVAC---Obsolescent. The secret of High-Velocity AutoCannons is well and truly “out” so far as the Inner Sphere is concerned. However, with the end of the Jihad, further development of these weapons has stalled in most places. Any of the Great Houses could easily build them, but they will remain consigned to custom variants, prototypes, Solaris brawlers and technology demonstrators until they get that whole “Exploding Issue” fixed.

PM-AC---All of The Clans can now field and maintain ProtoMech AutoCannon. They remain niche weapons; but they are there when wanted.

HarJel---After the Abjurement of the Diamond Sharks, the other Clans began to invest in diversified sources of HarJel and HarJel substitutes, in earnest. While the synthetic replacements are not yet adequate; many have made great inroads in cultivating their own sources of the wonderous by-product.
The Diamond Sharks remain the main supplier of HarJel to the Spheroid Clans and the Escorpion Imperio. While all of the extant Clans now have some capacity to create and refine their own HarJel, the ‘Sharks are still the main supplier for all of the New Clans, save the Raven Alliance and for the Continuation Clans.
However, within the Inner Sphere; the Lyran Commonwealth and The Republic have both established their own sources of HarJel and have a great deal of familiarity with it. The Lyrans had reverse-engineered the BattleMech HarJel system by 3067 and have now almost finished refitting it to their surviving warship fleet. The Republic has yet to settle on where to centre their own HarJel efforts, but has diversified instead; incorporating it into some Battle Armour, some space-faring vessels and continuing research and development into the applications of HarJel as a passive-defence measure in ‘Mechs.
Thanks to exports and continuing research, several powers have now produced limited runs of units featuring HarJel sealing and even self-repair systems.

Mech Melee Weapons---The Clans all understand ‘Mech-Scale melee weapons perfectly well at this stage, but by and large; they aren’t willing to make use of them. Exceptions are just that; exceptional and frequently ad hoc. This is a technology the Inner Sphere is, naturally; well familiar with. Out in the wilder Periphery understanding varies; with some pirate bands able to produce custom hatchets and lances and some manufacturers which would have difficulty producing such equipment in serial.

Partial Wings---This is an easily reproduced and understood technology among the Clans and Inner Sphere. The Major Periphery Nations can easily manage prototypes.

UMU---These remain a highly niche piece of technology, but here and there are powers which know it well and are familiar with its upkeep and production. Among these are the Escopion Imperio, Diamond Sharks, Federated Suns, Lyran Commonwealth and Draconis Combine.
*as a side-note getting away from proprietary technologies in the last ten years of the game has made stuff like this hard to keep track of. I’m just about certain that there are a few other factions producing UMU-mobile units in-game, even in Der Tag, but I’ll be dipped if I could be sure I have encapsulated them all here.

Chaff Pods--- Frankly, I am baffled this was ever considered LosTech. But here it is. Anyone can make these in Der Tag; even backwater Periphery pirates can chop up metal foil and wrap it around a small explosive charge.

Chameleon Light Polarization Shield---Only The 3rd League currently possesses detailed knowledge and understanding of CLPS systems.

Drones---Generally detailed understanding of Drones and Drone-systems is limited to the Great Houses, the Magistracy and the Taurians at the basic level. Essentially; they can build, use and maintain things like the Hi-Scout Drones and their Carrier/Controller easily. Most everything more advanced than this has been long-lost to the Clans and humanity at large.
The Republic, however knows advanced Drone systems backwards and forwards, thanks to the legacy of the Word of Blake.
The SLDFiE has an understanding which is as advanced, but also different by and large. Mainly they seem to have mastered the old Star League’s Reagan/SDS network systems, but then gone in a different direction from the Word of Blake. What they do have, they tend to use very differently than either the Word or The Republic.

Remote Drone Command Console---Republic.

SRCS, SASRCS, SDS-DCS, CASPAR II ASRCS, ATAC, DTAC, ARTS---That whole mass of alphabet soup are examples of Drone technology The Republic has a good grip on. Frankly; the SLDFiE might possess some of it when I get to their ships in detail; but for right now, just figure that if it is Drones, then The Republic can do it.

   
Large Engines---Virtually Extinct. There is just so little practical application of these things that they have never made it out of prototype and bench-rest status. Even in the XL and XXL-models. The Major Powers could all still make them, if they wanted to. But as a practical matter, why would you? So by and large they don’t.

Lite Engines---This horse has long since bolted. In addition to the Inner Sphere, the Magistracy, Concordat and Raven Alliance can all handily produce Lite Engines now.


XL---The Inner Sphere, Clans and Near Periphery are having no technical issues producing XL Engines. For the Inner Sphere, it’s a problem with the special limitations levied by The Republic on XL Engine production; there is an additional cost, payable to various NGOs, Charities and rebuilding projects laid against each XL Engine produced in the Federated Suns, Draconis Combine and Lyran Commonwealth, as well as on some Republic-owned firms selling them as export orders or part of export orders. In practice; such sanctions have been difficult to apply in the fractious Andurian Pact holdings and impossible in the Capellan Confederation.
In the Near Periphery, it’s an issue of cost. Times are still lean everywhere in the Near Periphery and cheaper is usually better. As a result, procurement plans have cut the numbers of more advanced designs being produced in favour of the more easily maintained and cheaply acquired.
For the Clans; the bottleneck is raw resources and logistics. Freed of most trade politics and lacking most of an economic system as you would know it; the problem the Clans have is mining or buying enough of the raw materials, and getting them refined, shipped and turned into Fusion Engines. With lower caste populations devastated and disrupted by recent conflicts and trade fleets damaged, this is harder than ever.
A note on XL-Engines in the Der Tag AU: The principle difference between Fusion Engine types is in the shielding itself. No working parts of the reactor need to be replaced to turn one type of fusion engine into a Lite or XL. It’s actually a bigger deal to re-route certain systems to accommodate different heat sink systems. Once you get to an XXL; it’s a much bigger job because some systems have do have to be re-routed around the even-more thickened shielding, but it is still doable.
The hitch is having the skills, manhours, resources and above-all: *The Shielded Area* to do the work. But really any decent repair facility should have a hardened clean room for major reactor maintenance anyways.

XXL---The Clans and Inner Sphere can both produce XXL engines. The Inner Sphere faces serious budgetary issues with XXLs, however. Interestingly, these are not “Taxed” as are XL engines. Possibly due to an oversight, possibly because they are seen as niche items at this juncture.
On the Clan side, these engines have actually become *more* popular than they were previously, with several production-models being going concerns for many years now. The reason is that the resources sink to produce an XXL engine is not nearly twice that of an XL; as the cost would is for an Inner Sphere military-industrial complex. Nor is the time to produce an XXL much increased or the skills and techniques implicit in the manufacture. The shielding is simply made differently; to a different design and standard than XLs.

Full Head Ejection System---This system has now been mastered by both the Clans and all Nations within the Inner Sphere.

EW Equipment---Any of the more advanced and industrialized enclaves of the Deep Periphery have the capacity to produce primitive EW equipment. A normal ECM system might be beyond them, but this most of them should be able to swing by this stage if they have a semi-decent electronics industry.

ER Flamer---While it is banned, along with normal Flamers in the Inner Sphere; the technology of the ER Flamer proved easy to internalize for all of the Great Houses. Among the Clans, this weapon has been well-accepted.

Heavy Flamer---Naturally; the Heavy Flamer shared the same fate as it’s smaller brethren, but due to its nature; the Heavy Flamer proved even easier to copy and reproduce. These are less popular among the Clans, but still well-known.

Heavy Gauss Rifle---The Heavy Gauss Rifle is a highly specialized weapon; capable, but also handicapped. It’s been around long enough that many factions are handily familiar with it and thus it can be made and maintained easily in any Inner Sphere Realm.

Improved Heavy Gauss Rifle---Within the Der Tag AU; the Heavy Gauss Rifle is handled a little differently. As such the modifications to create the Improved HGR are somewhat of an evolutionary dead end; it’s hardly revolutionary and therefor not difficult to copy and reproduce, if you really want it. As a result, alongside the original; the iHGR is well proliferated across the Inner Sphere.

Light Gauss Rifle---Light Gauss Rifles are still highly-regarded as sniping weapons throughout the Inner Sphere. By 3099, this weapon can be found in all the Great Houses and The Republic as well as the Former Free Worlds League.

MagShot---The MagShot started out as a highly specialized weapon and it still is, but that specialty has changed from an Arena weapon from the dueling pits of Solaris 7 to a much-valued backup weapon on real battlefields. In the Der Tag AU; MagShots are in heavy demand to replace machineguns on many warrior’s rides. As such; the MagShot is produced all across the Inner Sphere and can even be found stamped “Made with Pride…” in the Taurian Concordat, The Magistracy of Canopus and even the Calderon protectorate and Marian Hegemony.

Silver Bullet---The Silver Bullet-variant of the common Gauss Rifle is a highly specialized weapon, but not a difficult one to realize. As such, any non-Clan power which can make a Gauss Rifle can easily make the Silver Bullet.

Blazer Cannon---The Blazer Cannon has become a popular weapon in the Der Tag AU, not least because it is easy to produce and maintain. As a result, they can now be produced anywhere in the Inner Sphere and the Near-Periphery states.

Bombast Laser---These have fallen rapidly out of favour after being a popular fad for a number of years. As a result, 3099 will be the final year of production for all remaining designs utilizing the Bombast Laser. A spare parts run may go on for a number of years, but consider them obsolete as of 3100.

Chemical Lasers---Limited deployment. In the Der Tag AU, the Clans have different and alternative weapons and so, while Chemical Lasers show up here and there, they are not as popular as in Canon. You can figure that by 3099, all the Clans can build them, however.

Production ER-Pulse Laser---In the Der Tag AU, the Clans continue to refine their laser technology. One outcome of this is that the ER-Pulse Laser as we know it, is now considered the prototype version, as of 3093 when the Ghost Bears develop the first Production-Model ER-Pulse Lasers (Followed by the Star Adder version in 3096). The only difference is that the production model is more refined and retains the -2 to hit of the standard pulse laser and the Small version weighs only 1 ton.

VSP Lasers---The Variable-Speed Pulse Laser has really taken off since the end of the Jihad. Not only are the weapons popular and sustainable among the armies of the Inner Sphere, but it turns out that a tunable laser has many, many applications in industry as well. As such, part of the reason for the popularity and general proliferation of VSP Lasers is that they are easy to acquire in an age when ComStarWeapons inspectors seem to be everywhere.

X-Pulse Lasers---These have been around and widely experimented with for a long time. As such, the entire Inner Sphere can consider this as a mature technology, ready for series production.

Laser AMS---This is a very popular technology right now in various design studies; especially for military naval vessels. The Inner Sphere and Clans are intimately familiar with Laser AMS systems, but due to various outside issues, relative few are in production now. However; their popularity has risen far beyond the status of a technological curiosity and they are now much more common and well-understood than they were. The recent upgrades of the Kuritan fleet feature then extensively, for example.

LF Batteries---Among the Clans; the Lithium-Fusion Battery is a feature which is considered a must-have in a modern warship design and a highly-desirable feature in a JumpShip. In the Inner Sphere, the technology is well understood---in theory---but almost impossible to reproduce in large numbers due to the paucity of capable yards and manufacturers. Currently, only The Republic and 3rd League can easily produce these “spare jumps”.
Republic sanctions limit the export of completed or kit LF-battery modules to the Successor States and the ongoing trade embargo with the 3rd League limits commerce in that direct as well.

Mass Drivers---Considered a weapon of mass destruction, Mass Drivers are banned under three different treaties (Whitting Naval Treaty, SALT I and The Mars Accords). The technology, itself however is well understood by The Republic and the Capellan Confederation. Naturally, it is something the Taurian Concordat would love to get their hands on, but a number of technical limitations have their hands tied for the foreseeable future. Were it not for The Republic; the militaries of the remaining Great Houses would openly covet this technology as well.
The Clans probably retain some knowledge of Mass Drivers as well, but it is likely that at this time, they still see it as a dead end or somehow distasteful. The 3rd League, however has a very detailed understanding of the technology and employs it in limited military and civil roles.

Mech Mortars---It turns out producing a fully-automated indirect-fire mortar is trickier than you might think. But having been prototyped as far back as the 3040s after having been lost for almost 200 years, most interested parties have the bugs worked out by now. The Inner Sphere, The Clans and the Near-periphery can all manage to build and maintain Mech Mortars as regular equipment. Still a niche piece of gear though, due to its inherent limitations.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 21 February 2019, 17:15:18
Mine Dispensers---Since the Hull treaty went ahead and banned land mines of all types; you can just about figure that anything that spits out a mine is either useless or banned implicitly. Naturally; if you didn’t sign the treaty, no problem. If you did, then these systems are already either gone or gathering dust in a depot, somewhere.

NLRMS---Enhanced LRMS offer minimal advantages over their more traditional cousins for so much increased weight and create an additional incompatible ammunition supply family and as such they are considered materially obsolete as of 3099. All types utilizing NLRMs will be out of production as of 3100.
I emphasize *materially* obsolete. Since the Inner Sphere cannot yet reproduce Clan LRM technology en masse, we can’t call NLRMs totally obsolete in the traditional sense. The proper term is really “Obsolescent”, but given how uncommon use of that word is and potential confusing with an actual game mechanic; I termed it this was. But in Der Tag under the BT rules of obsolete equipment? These things were too granular---even for BT---to survive.

ELRMs---Extended-Range LRMs…In the Meta I would have actually liked to see an option to get a longer-range out of LRMs way before now; “Artillery mode” or whatever. Even with my house-ruling of 100M hexes, LRMs as they are just barely live up to their name when compared with the other weapons in game. With that in mind; the ELRM is a no-brainer of a system. Obviously, an ammunition-handling system able to reliably and safely cycle two-stage missiles is going to be the big hurdle, but once you have that down pat through the prototype stage; you are basically home-free.
As a result; ELRMs are now an easy production item for the entire Inner Sphere.

Streak LRMS---Now standard, readily-available Clan Equipment; just like Streak SRMs.

MRM-Apollo---Such a natural fit for the Draconis Combine for all it does to increase the efficiency of their MRMs, the Apollo system has a permanent home in the DCMS. Outside House Kurita, The Republic has some familiarity with the system and the SLDFiE uses it heavily as well.

Reinforced Repair Facilities---Do not exist. All units so-equipped substitute additional cargo capacity.
Because this is an item of equipment that only exists due to the nerfing of another item (normal repair bays), we can easily discard it. In Der Tag; any repair bay which could not hold a unit while the parent was under-thrust would be effectively useless. Even a static (and non-rotating) space station would need to have at least this much bracing to make just having a naval unit in a repair bay reasonably safe.

Null-Signature system---Only the 3rd League boasts a thorough understanding of Null Signature Systems. All others treat the technology as lost or highly experimental.

Needler Weapons---Banned under the Hull treaty. This seems unnecessarily punitive in the game, but think about how a needler operates; that weapon will be first on the block if you are banning any weapons.
By 1 Jan 3100; any Needler-Equipped infantry have turned in their arms for disposal and many have been destroyed already. If you have a Battle Armour unit with Fire Drakes; then they have been disabled and the ammunition recycled. Figure that higher is working on a refit for your suit, but until then, you may as well kiss it good bye.
Even mercs using these weapons have to keep them hidden while in areas of major Republic support; you can just bet that the local Military is not apt to be understanding when they have already had to turn theirs in.
The production equipment has by now been shutdown and disabled under Republic supervision as well and is awaiting scrapping or re-purposing.

K-F Drives---Within the Inner Sphere; K-F Drive technology is strictly controlled. While well-understood within the inner sphere, closely monitoring and limiting the production and any export of K-F drives is one of the chief means The Republic has of keeping a lid on major inter-stellar warfare.
In the early 3090s; the Inner Sphere came within a hair’s breadth of actually depending on The Republic for export of K-F Field control modules after cascading failures brought on by the Jihad were finally felt. But the Lyran and Draconis Combine research programs managed to re-establish the key production capability just before SALT IV came into effect, officially halting all Kearny-Fuchida research indefinitely.  The Capellan Confederation re-established their own production following an espionage operation in the Andurian Pact, with 3rd League assistance in 3092.
As far as production is concerned; K-F Drives are still very much a LosTech item in the Periphery, where any production is dependant on one or more “Black Box” devices, processes or facilities to continue functioning; devices which can themselves no longer be repaired or understood.
In the Inner Sphere such vast damage was incurred during the Jihad, that even in an ideal galaxy, it would have taken decades, even centuries to re-establish what has been lost. But The Republic limits what can be rebuilt and to what extent and the Inner Sphere may never again see the most recent high-water marks of the late 3060s in Jumpship production.
The Clans likewise suffered grievous damage to their own K-F Drive production capacity during their own Civil War. Internecine squabbling in the purity wars followed Society sabotage and scuttling missions, but the Clans are doing their utmost to re-build, as the strategic and existential costs of doing otherwise are unthinkable to them.

Thunderbolt---The Thunderbolt system is now quite familiar to the armies and manufacturers of the Inner Sphere.

Mech Turrets---Only the SLDFiE has fully-embraced Mech Turrets to the point of being able to consider them a mature technology. Production-model turrets are somewhat more capable than the prototypes have been.

Dual Turrets---The Dual-Turret configuration is principally a minor problem in terms of command and control of a fighting vehicle and not so much a technical hurdle. With those tactical and procedural protocols tackled; the practice has become well-known among the Clans and the Inner Sphere.

Sponson Turrets---These have yet to find wide acceptance outside the SLDFiE. Such that in the Inner Sphere they are still not widely known or appreciated; though a few limited-run combat vehicles mount them. In the SLDFiE, it is a rare Tank company which does not have a few vehicles equipped with sponsons.

VTOL chin turret---The VTOL Chin Turret turned out to be such a natural fit that it has quickly been embraced by both the Clans and the Inner Sphere at large.

Void Signature System---Thanks to the capture of WOB facilities and intact Raven II ‘Mechs; both the RAF and SLDFiE are quite familiar with the Void Signature system. While Stone’s own Black Ops Troops were successful in preventing the capture and analysis of any such equipment by any of the other powers, they have not yet come to understand the technology in great detail themselves. Instead; they look at the Void System as a sort of riddle by rote. Lacking the understanding of the bedrock CLPS and NSS systems; the foundation of the Void Signature System remains a mystery and thus their long-term ability to integrate it into other chassis or improve upon it may be limited.
For their own part; the SLDFiE Consider the Void more efficient, although lacking in raw capability compared to a paired CLPS/NSS suite.

Vehicular jump jets---Still more of a curiosity than anything else; the backup systems and quirks of the Vehicular Jump Jet are now something easily mastered by the manufacturers and techs of both the Inner Sphere and the Clans.

VTOL jet booster---This is a system easily understood and employed by the Inner Sphere. The Clans will likely have a lock on it in the next 10-20 years, but this is simply a matter of how much they care about such vehicles as VTOLs. While the Horses may be the Tank-Clan; there is no VTOL-Clan after-all.

VTOL Mast mount---Such an obvious and useful system; the modern version of the VTOL Mast Mount is much sought after and valued in both the Inner Sphere and among the Clans. The modern version can accommodate Recon Cameras and TAG systems, as well as C3 Slaves and Active probes.

Small Craft---Even the meanest of decently industrialized Periphery Nations could produce a Small Craft in Der Tag; even if you can’t do an AeroSpace Fighter; this technology is simply too valuable to ignore. Any place that can manage to produce or acquire something to break atmosphere will be able to make at least a really bare-bones shuttle, almost by definition.

Dropships---Dropship infrastructure is still heavily over-taxed by the demands put upon it, but they can still be produced by almost all factions except for some of the most limited Periphery Kingdoms.

Jumpships---The hard part of making a Jumpship, for the most part anyways; is normally the Jump Drive. There are a few places that might be able to crank one out, but they simply don’t have a *big enough* yard for the technical data they have access to, but mainly Jumpship Production is limited by the availability of K-F drives, which remains low.

Space Stations---If you can break atmosphere and have some industry, you should be able to build a Space Station. Ditto Satellites.

Warships---IS/Clan. Very few extant facilities, tightest possible controls.

Electric Discharge PM armour---True Clans only.

Extended Jump Jets---Raven Alliance Only.

iATM Launcher---Raven Alliance, Hells Horses, Goliath Scorpions, True Clans

Protomech Magnetic Clamps---I don’t think it’s going overboard at this stage to say that the Clans as a whole could easily master this one.

Nova CEWS---Something of a consolation prize for their experiences in the Clan Civil War and the Purity Wars that followed; the Nova CEWS is still manufactured and understood by the Jade Falcons and The Escorpion Imperio.

Protomech Quad Melee---All the Clans could manage these systems easily; they just need to get their inner furry on.

Centurion Weapons System---Only the SLDFiE still makes use of this system. While the WOBM used a few legacy units they found or prototyped; little knowledge of this system exists outside the 3rd League and The Republic, who only used it as a partial basis for their TSEMP weapon system.

TSEMP---Naturally, as The Republic invented the thing; they own it. I don’t *think* I left any others floating around, but if, say; the Capellans got their hands on some, it would be the RAF’s own damn fault for losing them.
The Multi-shot TSEMP is a better understood example of RISC technology; still experimental, but less so than others.

Ultra-Heavy Protos---I don’t see bridging that final gap between ‘Mechs and ProtoMechs as being all that significant; so, any Clan which is into ProtoMechs should be able to manage this.

Quad PMs---The Clans frankly surprised even themselves at how long it took them to realize the natural fit between their own culture; ProtoMechs and running around on all fours, but now that they’re here; they could hardly imagine any other kind of life.

Glider PM---ProtoMechs seem to be a unit built, rules and fluff-wise at least around the axiom that the flashier and the more dynamic you are, the better you’ll do. I figure any Clan into ProtoMechs enough to want to make them kinda-fly should be able to.

Modular Space Stations---I’m on the fence with whether or not it wouldn’t be easier to make Space Stations from the start like this, but I figure that by now, certainly the Clans and the Inner Sphere at least should be able to handle it. In Der Tag; the Taurians will be the first Periphery power to manage a Modular Space Station.

Primitive jumpships---Deep Periphery. I’m not real certain this has much value, but a number of forum posts have me wondering. In the Der Tag AU; while this technology is generally known, to most of known space, it’s so niche as to not be worth re-examining. However; because a Deep Periphery power might have an easier time with these than normal jumpships; what I am saying is that it is theoretically within their reach to build them when you have a heavily industrialized or specialized faction, without the advanced tech for a true JumpShip. I don’t have any listed like that right now, but if you’re a Primitive Jumpship fan reading this right now; the Deep Dark is where to pin your hopes.

Thermobaric Weapons---Historically, there seems to be some ambiguity as to whether or not Fuel-Air Explosive are considered a WMD. Powerful; yes, but radiation; no. Well, to put it to bed; The Republic says they are banned; so there.
Truthfully; I’d missed these when I wrote up the treaties and in real life, people who write treaties miss things too; so, I went back and added it to SALT IV; the second-to-last of the SALT series.

Super-Jump---This is explicitly banned under both SALT III and SALT IV (which is silly, but things get double and even triple-banned all the time in real life) and it is the capability which is banned, not the technique; as we know from various sources that there are at least two ways to skin this cat.
As I understand the sourcing of the tech from the Manassas and that “Interconnectedness” company; I see no way at this time for the Clans to have any understanding of the technology. And they just wiped the floor with the Society and gutted their own Scientist Castes, so figuring it out for themselves, or even trying with all they have on their plates now seems doubtful. However, if I put on another hat; does this not seem like something the Society would just love to have developed?

Clan Phenotypes---Last, but not least. The first of the TankWarriors have appeared with the Hell’s Horses by 3099 and appear to be doing well. The Jade Falcon’s salvaged the “Elstar” program from the Society splinters within their own ranks and are quite close to completion of that project now. They might even have a few pre-production examples ready to decant or already out.
As for the rest; The Snow Ravens are working on a better Naval/Pilot Phenotype, while the True Clans have begun a project to make their lower castes more productive and subservient. What form this will eventually take is anyone’s guess. Dissatisfaction with the Pilot Phenotype is growing, while the Ghost Bears are still trying to salvage and tweak the Tseng bloodline. Finally; several Clans are attempting to create a superior tailored-ProtoMechWarrior Phenotype better able to cope with the adverse effects of the EI and Neural Interface systems.

That is everything I could find on canon technology in BT that needs addressing for the Der Tag AU. A lot less formal this time than other articles, I’ve provided, but breaking the 4th wall to look at some things seemed necessary.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it.

Rules:

   Banned weapons and ammo In Der Tag
Okay; so, it’s against the rules. But I still want to use it!

Here is what we do: For banned ammunition; roll 1d6 at the start of every scenario for each ton of banned ammo. If you roll a 5 or 6; then replace that ton of ammo with a ton of standard or non-banned ammo.
For campaigns, you can keep track of how much of the bad stuff you have on hand. When it’s gone, it’s gone! Consolidate any partially-used lots of ammo into full tons, but keep rolling those 1d6s! This stuff hasn’t been kept well.
Note that LBX-Cluster ammo is only restricted! Not Banned.
Banned Equipment: You managed to hold unto it; good for you!

   The only problem is if you are somehow on the field on the same side as RAF troops. If you are, then every turn you use a banned weapon; you suffer a +1 penalty to your next imitative roll. Because you know you did a bad thing, and you just know they saw you do it and now Stone’s boys and girls are going to be pissed!
Cue the role-playing between scenarios where your PC explains *that* to the RAF Paladin!
Contrariwise: Facing enemy units using banned weapons and ammo tends to make RAF troops indignant! How dare they! If they know you have them in your force; they gain a -1 bonus to their own initiative rolls for the duration of the first scenario in a campaign. If you’re doing one-shots this counts every single time!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 21 February 2019, 17:17:29
So there is the latest Der Tag Article.

Man! Did I butcher the formatting or what?

Ye Gods and little fishies; do I ever wish I could figure out how to import from word and just have it work as I wrote it!

Anyway, hope you all enjoy it and here is the dropbox link and the forum download.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5hf73479nljnsnd/Lostech%20and%20Newtech.docx?dl=0 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/5hf73479nljnsnd/Lostech%20and%20Newtech.docx?dl=0)
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: wolfcannon on 22 February 2019, 00:06:18
waiting on your orbat of all the factions
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 22 February 2019, 00:12:32
waiting on your orbat of all the factions

Like what we'd get in a faction book?

As in all the main units in the RAF, let's say?
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: wolfcannon on 22 February 2019, 01:31:55
similar yes.  you’ve posted their naval strengths, knowing their galaxies/regiments/rct’s seems logical.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: marauder648 on 22 February 2019, 06:02:00
Absolutely superb stuff as always!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: wolfcannon on 22 February 2019, 09:37:28
your New warships, and Omni "Mechs you've talked about, are you going to post stats for your AU?
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 22 February 2019, 10:33:10
similar yes.  you’ve posted their naval strengths, knowing their galaxies/regiments/rct’s seems logical.

Oh yeah, okay. I wasn't sure if you were asking for Orders of Battle as we see in the books or if you meant tables of organization and equipment, which I am also working on.

But yes; mainly the most relevant factions first, like the RAF and SLDFiE and a few side ones; the Jade Falcons feature heaviliy as well in addition to some quasi-independant formations we call "The International Brigades".

Absolutely superb stuff as always!

Thanks, Buddy!

your New warships, and Omni "Mechs you've talked about, are you going to post stats for your AU?

Yes. But some are easier than others.

After the essay series will come more Bench rest articles and some technical readouts. Stuff I've teased for a long time, like the OmniMarauder and Anaconda Gunship. Some of the Warships are harder than others; the Falcon's Aegis IIC is pretty easy. I've got stats for those already. Just need to post them with fluff. It's coming.

Anything designated an "Advanced Warship" is harder, because I am still modeling that in the rules. But what I have started doing is going back and proof-reading/RetConning the mass of what I have written and scanning for/creating stats for any designs mentioned. The ENF-1D, for instance.

A big part of Der Tag is rectifying some issues of longstanding with the feel of the universe. Most of that is fluff, some of it is the militaries and how they interact with a more human universe and a big part of it is the feel of the factions themselves. Partly how they operate, but as this is a game; also some of their gear. The late 60s basically saw faction-specific gear fade and then disappear in the Jihad. Suddenly first the Word had everything and then so did everyone else. That erodes uniqueness. Does no-one have a competant counter-intelligence apparatus?

Of course the Clans have suffered most in this, so a lot of the new gear will be Clan and mainly faction-Specific. The Clans aren't the focus of Der Tag per se; but they are important to the setting.
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: wolfcannon on 22 February 2019, 12:57:43
i love your work
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: cawest on 22 February 2019, 13:59:11
man that was good
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985 on 22 February 2019, 19:07:00
i love your work

man that was good

Thanks, guys! I am so glad you like it!
Title: Re: AU: Der Tag (The Day)
Post by: beachhead1985