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Author Topic: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War (K-Verse AU)  (Read 2701 times)

AlphaMirage

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Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War (K-Verse AU)
« on: 05 December 2021, 11:39:57 »
Point Barrow, Federated Suns, 3076

“Introducing Devlin Stone, retired Colonel of AFFS and Vicomte Colorado.
More importantly PBMA Class of Thirty Sixty-Five.”


A packed auditorium roared with applause at one of the most illustrious graduates of Point Barrow Military Academy made his first trip back to his Alma Mater after the Jihad with his wife and Alumnus Grand Duchess Yvonne along with her sister-in-law Princess-Consort Daphne and her children. His advocacy on behalf the Veterans of the Jihad had earned him a great deal of respect despite him not being able to participate in the final offensive against Sol.

Despite his age in the mid-30s he had slightly graying hair cut short and had maintained most of the physique of an Armored Infantrymen despite being medically discharged with honors four years ago. Devlin settled behind the podium which helped to hide the prosthetic leg he possessed to replace one lost fighting Word of Blake remnants on the border of what was once the Taurian Concordat.

The applause faded as he pushed the half-cape he wore as a Vicomte to the rear. “Good Afternoon Badgers!”

His greeting was matched by the combined “hoo-ah” of the crowd.

“Its good to be back.” He put his hand over his head to scan the vast auditorium.

“School’s gotten a lot bigger than I remember.

I am honored that the Commandant has requested I speak at your graduation today. You are the first class of cadets to graduate since the Jihad and the universe is quite different than it was when you were just freshies.

There is no longer a Clan Invasion going on. We’ve made peace, I guess that’s what the Clans call cooperation. Instead, you train alongside, learn from, and play sports against one another. By doing so you share the values of our Federated Suns with those handpicked by their Khans as representatives.

I talked to Star Colonel Ingrid Pryde yesterday who thought Point Barrow’s methods were unduly harsh.”


Laughter filled the arena followed by the cadets sitting ever straighter in defiance of the heavier gravity. To be called harsh by the ranking Clanner, a Jade Falcon, was a high honor for the Point Barrow cadets that took pride in their toughness. They edged closest to the Clan’s live fire Sibko training but did so as a conventional military academy with no Battlemech or Aerospace Fighter program.

“You will all be put into a strange environment, the Trinity Alliance is a threat yes, but the remnants of the Word of Blake are still present throughout the Inner Sphere. We lucked out that most of the COMSTAR HPGs didn’t require reconquest like the ones in the Free World’s League or Lyran Commonwealth. MIIO has them all under close observation, but you will be the eyes, ears, and when needed fist of your units should you be deployed to an active battlefield.

Armored Infantry were the largest sea change in our recent history followed closely by more available fusion engines and jumpship transport capacity.

The Elementals caught us by surprise initially but now we have mobilized more than the Iron Wombs of the Homeworlds ever could. We have absorbed and improve upon the doctrine of the Clans here with the Light Combat Teams utilizing blisteringly fast helicopters to disrupt and destroy targets.
 
Fast strike tanks like the Musketeer and Bellona will be put against Trinity Regulators. Heavy MBTs will roll over the battlefields of the future with nearly the same amount of firepower as a Battlemech. Artillery and Air Strikes will be called in and precision guided by TAG on both sides.

New and inexpensive weapons, armor, and equipment have given the humble infantrymen a bite they never had before. Battlemechs are threatened more than ever by conventional forces, and I can’t wait for you to have your chance against a Toro or Vindicator.

Own the future Badgers!”

AlphaMirage

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War
« Reply #1 on: 05 December 2021, 23:55:35 »
Gear of the 31st Century Infantryman
Much attention has been put into the helmet of modern infantry. This makes sense as their most effective weapons are the large variety of supporting arms. All modern infantry formations train with artillery, conventional aircraft, armored fighting vehicles, and VTOL units. This synergy has proven itself time and again throughout the Jihad. Every infantryman has a radio, IR scope, and rangefinder in their helmet and a longer ranged one to call in fire missions and guide them to the target is common on light infantry. They have become the sensor net of 31st century warfare which rewards a more flexible and faster moving formation than the previous open field battles.

The chaos and attrition of the Jihad drove a massive increase in both armor and weaponry. All modern troops utilize advanced protection systems that reduce injury and in the case of the Clans incorporate the Clan LSSU commonly found in Elemental battle armor enabling them to fight on despite grievous injury. Ethical concerns about the addictiveness of the medicinal compounds used and their sheer expense have prevented the incorporation of this technology throughout the Inner Sphere. That is not to say that medical tech has not seen advances and every soldier is issued a personal medikit for use on them when they are injured. Rapid trauma care saved many lives throughout the Jihad and advanced prosthetics are more available and functional than ever to treat those disabled on the battlefield.

Although laser rifles have come down in cost over the years with most states capable of manufacturing them to Clan tech specs ballistic rifles are still much simpler to maintain, more powerful at the cost of range, and have increased reliability. Only the Clans issue their soldiers pulse laser rifles giving them a slight range advantage at the cost of firepower.

Life of and Rules for an 31st Century Infantryman
The Jihad has removed all the old Federated Suns MREs still in storage so count that as a plus son. As an infantryman your most effective weapon will be a shovel as its dangerous out there being the little guy and dirt is good for your immune system. Also, someone needs to dig latrines and its pretty good for transferring gas cans too. The limit is your own creativity. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the MREs.

Rule #1 - Hitting the dirt or deploying in smaller squads (+1 to hit each, TacOps) will protect you somewhat but nothing will replace digging in (+2 to hit) which is something you should do during an extended stop where you might encounter the enemy. If you are lucky enough to have some engineers or lots of time you can really reinforce your position and make it far more difficult to assault (TacOps Fortification Hex CF15 Light) or help earn the good will of the tread heads by creating a hull down position (+2 to hit from the front).

Rule #2 - Don’t get caught out in the open or you will take casualties (Total War x2 Damage in Clear). You are to take cover behind anything you can find; buildings, friendly tanks, trees, rubble, whatever (TacOps taking cover +3 to hit from one hex-side). If you don’t bother taking a shot at something you can move even faster than usual (TacOps Hustle +1MP for no attack).

Rule #3 - Height is your friend. Did you know that Trinity infantry squads use bamboo poles to climb terrain and buildings? Even without mountaineering gear squads in urban or mountainous environments carry ladders and rope (Climbing +/-2 levels). It’s a common trick for those non-jumping Battle Armor like the Falcata too. Remember your primary job is likely to be spotting the enemy, that’s easier to do from above. If you get high enough you can even shoot down on Battlemechs, aim for the cockpit if you can, that will show those Mechwarriors.

Rule #4 - Set traps and fight unfair fights. Modern mines are more effective than ever and mostly safe to use, even the Trinity State versions have a self-destruct timer. Mines can help channel enemies toward your position and protect it from a frontal charge. A hasty minefield can be created using Thunder or FASCAM weapon delivered mines from friendly artillery and missile tanks. Command mines can be used to deny enemies useful infrastructure possibly even taking some with it or as part of a larger complex ambush. Vibrobombs can be tuned to your enemy’s primary weight while ignoring friendlies.

Armored Infantry have the distinct ‘privilege’ of jumping out of a helicopter or off an omnimech and charging the most capable war machines of the 31st century. Each one capable of killing or disabling you with a single shot with weapons that will mildly ‘hurt’ them. Congratulations! Follow the rules above and listen to the rest below.

Like your little brothers you can swarm them and use those big can openers on your hands to rip some ferro-fibrous. That might work although it’s not that much more effective then clambering up its legs to hobble the death machine by hamstringing it. Both are more effective on heavier mechs or those Clan Omnis that traded their fists and speed for more Gauss Rifles and PPCs. It’s tough to catch speedier medium and light mechs with your jump jets so it’s better to not even bother unless you can trap them.

Drowning Battlemechs and tanks in Inferno gel until their ammo explodes, or the MechWarrior/Crew pass out from heat exhaustion is an option. Its probably actually your best option beyond waiting until a Mech falls over after getting hit by some tanks before finishing it off.

You will however probably spend most of your time using that high-tech battle armor as a forklift moving ammo for artillery or tanks. Again, someone must do it and you can’t fit a shovel in those battle claws.

Platoon Sizes and Composition
Inner Sphere Standard Foot and Motorized Platoons utilize four squads of seven troopers to encourage resiliency and more evenly distribute the load when using heavy support weapons. Seven men improves anti-personnel capabilities, allows for larger support weapons, and sustains vigilance against enemy action.

Jump Infantry use a ‘Blackjack’ arrangement with three squads of seven. This is principally so they can fit into the same volume as a normal foot platoon when using APCs. Given the option and enough cargo space they can deploy an additional squad improving their Anti-Mech capabilities.

When you start looking at mechanized formations you see a slight adjustment as the vehicles, the vehicles they use must straddle the line of transportability and usefulness.
Hover squads use light but fast ‘skimmers’ which can only carry five troops without overloading them.
Wheeled ones use a single six man or two three-man vehicles to a squad.
The tankettes and half-tracks of tracked units are large enough to deploy with a normal squad.
Field Gunners use very large vehicles to carry their guns and missile launchers and have a thirty-man platoon with squads divided among each weapon.

The Clans use a ‘Five by Five’ Infantry Point arrangement. Thus, they cannot utilize as wide a variety or as many support weapons per squad. However, having an additional squad per Point allows additional if less crew intensive heavy weapons. This arrangement maximizes the usefulness of the support PPC which sees common use in the Stone Lions.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War
« Reply #2 on: 06 December 2021, 00:06:47 »
Unit Types
Foot Infantry – Often carried into battle using APCs or IFVs foot infantry come in three varieties.
Light foot infantry are equipped with rifles, machine guns, and grenades and expected to only combat other light infantry. Used to clear out terrain and buildings in advance of an armored force and as a general pool of manpower.

Heavy foot infantry utilize the heaviest support weapons and armor limiting their mobility but increasing their range and firepower. They are used as static defense against infantry, VTOL, and tank attack. Since they are deployed expecting action heavy infantry never operate without the support of other elements even if they are just mechanized infantry.

Augmented foot infantry, such as Elementals unable to perform in an Armored Infantry role, carry heavy personal weapons such as large grenade launchers, machine guns, missile launchers, or flamethrowers. They retain the mobility of light infantry despite being protected by heavy Armor and can fight on using a cLSSU or other augmentation. Injuries that would be lethal to normal soldiers are merely deeply uncomfortable to these soldiers. Despite their well-earned record of toughness Elementals can be killed easier than the cyborgs of the Blakist Manei Domini or Thuggee Phasigars whose extensive cybernetic augmentation have rendered them immune to pain and resistant to normal anti-personnel weapons. Such opponents need to be killed with heavier support weapons and are particularly lethal against lighter units.

Medium Infantry
Jump Infantry often deploy from VTOLs into the rear line of the enemy or rarely onto a flank to provide disruption. They are the only modern infantry type beside Armored Infantry to actively train in Anti-Mech tactics. Due to the skill required to operate the jump pack they span the line between special forces and line infantry. They are lightly armored and armed with rifles, satchel charges, and mines thus need to be deployed judiciously and with abundant cover.

Hover troops use small five man ‘skimmers’ that move at high speeds and over terrain normally restricted to infantry such as rivers but cannot enter any difficult terrain nor take advantage of that cover. Troops inside carry lightweight personal weapons, remote sensors, and mines or just enough support weapons to protect themselves long enough to disengage and bug out.

Motorized Infantry are equipped with heavy personal armor and high mobility vehicles. Frequently they are armed with various missile launchers and smaller sub-machine guns for self-defense. It is not unheard of for them to use TAG systems particularly if attached to a formation with artillery. They serve as raiders, recon teams, or employed as an exploitation/quick response force attached to slower formations.

Heavy Infantry
Field Gunners tow autocannons, artillery weapons, and other heavy weapons slowly behind medium sized tracked or wheeled vehicles. Lightly equipped with personal weapons for self-defense but heavily armored to protect themselves from backblast, blown debris, and return fire. When arriving at a suitable place their guns are quickly emplaced and used in support of friendly forces. Commonly equipped with Thumper howitzers or light Arrow IV MLRS launchers as both can be operated two to a platoon. A platoon is barely large enough to tow, emplace, and operate a Long Tom superheavy howitzer and even the middleweight Sniper piece is more commonly utilized as a self-propelled gun. Another choice, particularly effective against Armored and Mechanized Infantry, are the Retrotech Rifles principally produced in the former Taurian Concordat and Federation Outback. Despite their lower tech they are effective against fellow Mechanized and Armored infantry as well as some lower tech tanks and armed IndustrialMechs.

Wheeled Mechanized Infantry are often used for convoy security and occupation missions where their mobility can be maximized while traveling on pavement and the threat limited to infantry ambushes. They are equipped like Light Infantry except for a larger machine gun or automatic grenade launcher.

Tracked Mechanized Infantry are equipped with heavy support weapons, lighter personal ones, and used to support tanks and fellow infantry formations. A TMI platoon is particularly terrifying for anything short of a proper tank and more cost effective leading to well-equipped planetary defense forces having an increased number of these formations.

Special Forces
Paratroopers deploy from aircraft or low flying spacecraft using parafoils to guide their descent onto the target, hopefully catching them unaware or capturing a strategic point to hold until follow through forces arrive. They are equipped with rifles and either machine guns or SRM launchers for support.

Rangers are recon specialists utilizing sneak suits, targeting lasers, and remote sensors to hide themselves. They call in precision air and artillery strikes while providing intelligence to a friendly force. These forces are often deployed in advance of an invasion force.

Engineers are heavily armored but lightly armed and deployed to destroy, create, or bypass obstacles but can also build complex fortifications and clear minefields. They are often mechanized and utilize a variety of vehicles carrying specialized equipment to accomplish their mission.

Frogmen are equipped and train with SCUBA units and/or underwater propulsion packs. They frequently utilize explosives, needlers, or lasers with their primary mission being sabotage and disruption. To get them into location requires either a hovercraft or naval vessel, preferably a fast attack submarine such as the Moray or Manta as they do not have a long endurance.

Fleet Infantry aka Space Marines or Espatiers are the non-Armored soldiers of a Successor State’s Fleets. Equipped with armored space suits, laser rifles, and gauss weapons they support or supplant their Armored counterparts during boarding actions against enemy orbital infrastructure. The best examples of these soldiers in the Inner Sphere belongs to the Terra Belters who utilize cybernetic and biological augmentations designed during the Star League era to withstand trauma and conditions that would be lethal to the normal human.

Armored Infantry – Frequently drawn from the Jump Infantry and Paratroopers or Fleet Infantry
Assault designs are well armed, jump capable, and their operators trained to utilize omnimech handholds, fast hovercraft, or VTOLs to enter battle. Depending on the formation they are either used as deep strikers or to support Mechs against other Mechs and Infantry.

Defensive designs such as the Kanazuchi, Fenrir, Corona, Fa Shih and armed Exoskeletons like the StarCorps Gorilla ‘Falcata’ are meant to deny ground to the enemy in support of a larger formation but rarely have sufficient mobility or armor for extended front-line action.

Specialist designs like the Purifier, Nephilium, Grey Death Scout, Undine, Water Elementals, or SLDF’s Nighthawk series are ambush predators and use either active camouflage, odd environments, or electronic warfare equipment to escape detection until the last moment.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War
« Reply #3 on: 06 December 2021, 00:15:32 »
Infantry Weapon Classes
Melee – Frequently little more than common tools like hatchets, machete type swords, and knives already issued for various camp tasks. Their vibro-equivalents are found in special commando teams, as well as Fleet or Jump Infantry. Paramilitary police forces or Light Infantry assigned to that role are often issued riot shields and stun batons (normal people) or staffs (Elementals) to subdue suspects.

Pistols –Handguns are issued to Mechwarriors, Pilots, Tank Crews, Mechanized infantry, Peacekeepers, and Field Gunners due to their light weight and ease of carry. The Clan Pulse Pistol is the gold standard seeing service on the cooling vest of many Mechwarriors, often brought at their personal expense. Sunbeams and TK Semi or Hawk Eagle pistols are close behind in popularity.

Rifles - The Imperator AX-22 is the standard SLDF service rifle seeing service throughout the Inner Sphere as each member state, except the Federated Suns, and the Clan Council maintain manufacturing licenses,

The AFFS prefer the Federated Barrett M42B weapon system to simplify internal procurement as it can transform into a drum loaded squad machine gun. Meanwhile the Trinity States use the Ceres Arms Stalker system which is based on a version of the FB M42B license produced in the former St Ives Republic. Basic service rifles without stocks and equipped with drum magazines are utilized as the standard Anti-Personnel mount used in the offhand of Armored Infantry suits.

Submachine Guns – Due to their short ranged but impressive firepower sub-machine guns are typically issued to Peacekeepers, Fleet, and Motorized Infantry. Clan Gauss SMG are the gold standard with the next most popular one, the Free World’s League’s Roryrex RM-3, behind only half as good.

Machine Guns – Issued when the major threat is infantry MGs provide a suitable base of fire to suppress and engage the enemy while sharing ammunition and training with service rifles or their heavier brethren. Lighter ones are issued to foot troops with heavier versions used on vehicles, Battle Armor, or in static emplacements.

Grenade Launchers – Providing Anti-Infantry or Anti-Armor capability for relatively light weight grenade launchers are prized for their range, ammo selection, firepower, reliability, and ease of use for a single soldier. If not issued a Machine Gun most Light Foot Infantry squads will have a dedicated Grenadier.

Flamers – Rarely utilized except in urban or mountainous terrain by tracked mechanized infantry and specialized Armored Infantry like the Gorilla ‘Hellkite’ or Clan Salamander, both of which mount Fire Resistant Armor. These weapons need to get closer than an Inferno SRM or incendiary grenade but are effective for various engineering needs and sustained ‘clearing’ operations as they are particularly demoralizing to the enemy.

Mortars – Trading explosive payload for range, ease of use, and economy mortars are a low-tech way to threaten fellow infantry. They outrange grenade launchers while increasing ammunition versatility. They are frequently equipped with utility rounds such as parachute flares, smoke, and incendiaries. Mortar teams are often Light Foot or Motorized Infantry and fill heavy weapons teams at the Company level or above.

Lasers – Laser rifles are uncommon due to weight restrictions, acquisition costs, and the need for highly skilled maintenance personnel. Few are issued outside veteran formations like Special Forces squads who prize their stealthy and silent operation. Larger power-hungry support lasers with active cooling are preferred by Heavy Foot Infantry, Hover, or Armored Infantry formations due to their superior range and firepower compared to ballistic weapons.

Targeting Lasers such as the miniaturized TAG system are heavily utilized In the Free World’s League Military to support their Semi-Guided LRM and Laser Guided bomb heavy organization. Other factions use them for their own precision targeting. They do require the weapon be fired danger close so use caution and do so from cover to reduce the risk of friendly fire.

Gauss – Preferred on Battle Armor or among Fleet Infantry for their excellent anti-armor capabilities, range, and low recoil. Gauss weapons can be used by common infantry but rarely are due to power concerns, interference with unshielded electronics, weight, and cost. They function as the 31st century equivalent of an anti-tank rifle that is finicky but effective when used by a trained operator.

PPCs – Another weapon preferred by Armored Infantry more than any other. PPCs are power-hungry but provide reliable performance against armored targets with little added complexity that any basic Mech Armorer can handle. Elemental foot infantry squads sometimes use the portable version as a powerful anti-armor weapon as they often lack more powerful Gauss rifles.

Support class PPCs are rare and expensive with only the Stone Lions and COMSTAR/Word of Blake using them in recent memory. The carrier vehicle is similar to those used by mechanized formations as it looks like a small tank or dune buggy and is operated by test down Aerospace phenotypes or Adepts who must manually aim and fire it. Despite their limitations and an almost complete absence of armor they are almost unparalleled in their firepower and are terrifying foes in close terrain. As despite it being a tank most floors can support the platform.

Missiles – The favored anti-armor and anti-infantry weapon since the 21st century, lightweight and long-range missiles are used at every level of a formation. They are often the only support weapon used by elite infantry. Almost every Armored Infantryman carries several in a detachable missile rack. Of the three types the SRM is most favored with the recoilless rifle being used by light low cost formations and the LRM being expensive reduced to specialist deployment.

Iron Grenadier

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War
« Reply #4 on: 06 December 2021, 00:27:16 »
Awesome work.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Looking forward to more!

AlphaMirage

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War
« Reply #5 on: 06 December 2021, 11:04:05 »
Basic Employment of Armored Infantry, Lessons learned from the Jihad
Armored Infantry as the newest unit type in the Jihad strategists have been the guinea pigs for each Successor States's Military R&D divisions who have experimented with almost every type of architecture and doctrine. In the 31st Century the IS Standard and its derivatives (The DCMS Raiden, AFFS Cavalier, TSAF Trinity, LCAF GD-Standard, and FWLM's Longinus) continue to be the most widely deployed in the Inner Sphere outnumbering the Clan Elementals more than ten to one. All can now utilize the advanced armor plating first deployed on the FWLM Longinus increasing their survivability at minimal cost. A four-man squad is common in the AFFS or SLDF, five in the Clans, and six in the Trinity States, due to Word of Blake influences.

Due to their jump capability and low ground speed Assault troops are often deployed from VTOLs such as the Clan’s Anhur, SLDF Cobra, AFFS Karnov, or Trinity Lamprey. This is the reason the AFFS’s Combat Teams have so many helicopters, beyond providing flexible fire support. Armored Infantry can also ride into battle aboard heavy APCs like the Maxim or as part of a naval vessel’s complement before deploying onto the battlefield. Armored Infantry are uniquely capable of using their battle claws to hang onto designated places on an omni-mech’s torso then dismount close to combat. This method is the preferred one for Clan Elementals and there are numerous stories from the Invasion where Toads operating in conjunction with lighter Omnimechs overwhelmed heavier formations. 


Armored Infantry can be deployed from orbit using drop-pods although this is risky even beyond the initial risk of insertion as it leaves the Armored Infantry exposed without supporting forces. Despite the risk the DCA has mastered this technique using their Armored Infantry as shock troops or to secure landing zones for shuttles which then carry even heavier suits such as the Kanazuchi or Zou for force projection.

Most Assault designs exclusively carry Anti-Armor weapons such as small lasers, missile launchers, or gauss cannons in their weapon mounts with the only anti-personnel weapon being an off-hand assault rifle. Only when screening mechs in a high infantry threat environment such as in urban ops will these be swapped out for machine guns, recoiless rifles, and flamers.

Specialist designs are typically lighter weight and utilize stealth systems or atypical propulsion units to augment their weak armor and armament. They make up only 10% of the volume deployed but almost a third of those designed up to the Jihad era. Due to their niche use they will never be put in as wide production as the near ubiquitous IS Standard. The Clans’ Undine and Sylph suits provide unique capabilities but were never widely produced due to their technical complexity. In contrast designs such as the Achileus, Infiltrators, Kage, Nighthawk, and Gray Death Scout were more widely produced and deployed. They are utilized as better protected and more capable Scouts and Commandos with many operators drawn from Special Forces. Their armament will depend on their assigned role. Most are heavier in anti-personnel weapons than either Assault or Defense designs.

Defensive designs lack either the mobility, armor, or armament to serve as Assault troops. This wide category includes all the quadruped, armed exoskeletons, and many of the heaviest of battle armor designs. These designs are often used as weapons carriers and operate in support of other infantry, particularly in places where normal vehicles couldn’t enter. There is even a super heavy mortar that can provide effective artillery support against infantry and slow armor. Some like the Star Adder’s Corona or LCAF’s Fenrir lack jump jets and armor but pack incredible firepower. In contrast armed Gorilla exoskeletons, known as Falcata, were developed as ersatz battle armor during the Jihad. They have armor just strong enough to protect them from small arms fire, move as fast as foot infantry, and use no jump jets. Yet they are armed with a variety of weapons in a shoulder mount. Squads of these designs are very effective ambush predators in urban terrain and capable of supporting platoons of lesser infantry.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War
« Reply #6 on: 06 December 2021, 12:36:38 »
Basic Employment of Artillery in the 31st Century
Artillery is a crucial element on any battlefield and has been for centuries. On the 31st century battlefield there are three grades of it. Tactical, Operational, and Strategic, which can then be either fixed, mobile, or semi-mobile (Field Gunner Mechanized Infantry).

Tactical Artillery consists of four main weapon types, Mech Mortars/BA Tube, Long Range Missiles, Arrow IVs, and Artillery Cannons. These are organic to a formation, principally ‘close’ range, almost always mobile unless assigned in a defensive role, and utilize terrain to protect them from enemy fire. They do not need to be as fast as the formation they are directly supporting due to their range advantage.

Their objective is to provide indirect or direct fires in support of that single formation. They are deployed as a Lance or Star sized formation with 4-10 separate units providing support up to the Company-Cluster level. This close to the front accuracy is highly prized and impact times easier to predict so these formations often work with spotters using TAG systems to guide in homing or semi-guided ordnance.

Artillery Cannons are the snub-nosed closer range equivalents of the larger operational artillery and capable of devastating if sometimes inaccurate fire support. Like the smaller Mech Mortars their explosive payload saturates an area giving them the ability to devastate infantry and severely hinder the speed advantage of a foe unlucky enough to be caught in the explosion. They are commonly utilized by coastal patrol craft or semi-mobile formations to augment direct fire weapons against fast moving or concentrated targets.

Arrow IV MLRS systems remain popular at this level and were often deployed in pairs to provide a powerful knockdown punch against particularly ornery assault mechs. Every faction retains designs famous for their use from the AFFS’s Vali II tank and Yellow Jacket VTOL, Clan’s Naga Mech and Huey Tank, SLDF’S Chaparral and Demolisher A4, or the Trinity States’ Regulator AIV and Arrow IV AV.

Operational Artillery consists of three weapon types, the Thumper, Sniper, and Long Tom howitzers and their wet naval equivalents. Their mission is to cover an up to 15-kilometer radius with anywhere between 6 to 24 mobile or semi-mobile guns. These six (or four in the case of the Long Tom) gun batteries are assigned to a larger formation, typically an SLDF Regiment’s Battalion HQ or Clan Galaxy’s Keshik to be attached or detached as needed by the General or Galaxy Commander.

Snipers are the most common type of self-propelled howitzer in every Successor State as they can be fitted to most heavy Main Battle Tank hulls without major adjustment and thus keep up with the formation. Thumpers are often employed in semi-mobile batteries or from wheeled gun carriers operating in support of lighter armor or infantry formations. Long Toms are used against hardened targets or to bombard an enemy before an offensive. At this level volume of fire is more crucial than accuracy although Copperhead laser guided rounds can be precision guided to the target if so equipped.

Finally strategic artillery consists of the heaviest firepower on the modern battlefield up to and including the direct destruction of a Mech Lance in moments. Missiles of all kinds (Cruise, Sub-Cap, or Cap) can be launched from every type of ship or surface installation causing ruinous damage at their impact zone.

Cruise Missiles found a new and murderous niche beyond their normal wet naval use during the Jihad as bombardment weapons employed by grounded dropships against hardened and stationary surface targets. Here they performed incredibly well but that doesn’t overcome their wild inaccuracy against more mobile targets.

Orbiting vessels can even bombard the surface with their direct fire Capital weapons providing either precision kill capabilities or saturating the area with enough ordnance to flatten or shatter everything in its wake.

We won’t even talk bother to talk about nukes other than to say I hope we don’t see them on the battlefield anytime soon.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War
« Reply #7 on: 06 December 2021, 13:49:53 »
The Use of Air Power in the 31st Century
Ever since Aircraft started being used in the 20th century and even before that with balloons in the 19th, they have been an essential part of military doctrine. There are three types of vehicles in the air on the 31st century battlefield, Lighter Than Airships, Air-breathing Fighters, and VTOLs. These serve crucial roles on the modern battlefield with missions are divided into three categories, recon, utility, and attack.

Since it was the earliest and remains one of the most useful missions for air power, we will start with Recon. Although many worlds have complex constellations of satellites that doesn’t mean any commander can just task a satellite or small observation task on demand to get real time information.

What they can do however is send up a Boomerang to take a look and some pictures while they are at it. While conventional aircraft lose some fine resolution, and the enemy can conceal things from aerial surveillance sometimes you just need to know where the bad guy is marshalling their forces then drop some artillery or bombs on them.

Small Airships can be used for installation, force protection, or artillery spotting and deployed with their own sensors weather and local terrain permitting (if not it can be theoretically towed by a VTOL). Recon remains one of the principal roles of many VTOLs as they can survey a large areas of complex terrain quickly using active probes in advance of a force or quickly deploy remote sensors to strategic areas to increase situational awareness.

Utility is a catch all for anything that isn’t looking for stuff or blowing it up. Air transports of all kinds can (relatively) quickly and safely transport passengers or cargo across vast distances. Additionally, some VTOLs are optimized for and equipped with cranes to lift and move heavy objects over terrain that would otherwise be impassable to normal ground vehicles. Conventional aircraft can use air to air refueling to extend their operational radius and Airships are a slow, difficult to transport and deploy (still easier than boats), but mostly inexpensive form of transport across oceans if you lack dropships or shuttles or didn’t want to use them for some reason.

Finally, aircraft particularly VTOLs and fighters are excellent attack platforms capable of using their high speed and heavy weapons to attack the enemy directly. In the rock paper scissors theory of warfare one would deploy VTOLs vs hovercraft as both are typically quite comparable in speed. Although it cannot carry as many weapons as a hovercraft the VTOL is more capable of dodging incoming fire than the equivalent hovercraft and unlike it can pass over terrain obstacles. These matches are often decided more by the hovercraft making an error or sustaining damage to its lift skirts.

VTOL blades are fragile and its armor light however, so they are typically armed with longer range weaponry than employed in ground combat such as the Hawk Moth’s Light Gauss, Donar’s Clan-tech ERLL, or Warrior’s AC/2 or LB-5X. Shorter ranged attack craft such as the Nightshade and Yellow Jacket suffered heavy casualties during the Jihad as they were unable to withstand incoming ground fire from pulse lasers, flak shells, or even standard LBX ammunition. These craft are instead best utilized against infantry formations with the AFFS’ Mantis being particularly vicious on Mechanized infantry and light tanks.

Air breathing fighters are often used as bombers or strikers as they often lack the energy weapons that typify their Aerospace brethren. Jump Bombers, first employed by the AFFS, have spread widely throughout the Inner Sphere carrying four bombs or light AAA missiles on their pylons. Their incredible speed makes them difficult to intercept for combat air patrols and Anti-Air missile batteries. Once they drop their bombs the pilots hit afterburners to clear the battlefield and return to base. The sudden arrival of a squadron of Jump Bombers loaded down with ordnance turned more than one battle during the Jihad.

On the other side is the Mechbuster, famously employed by the DCA, this flying AC/20 has tagged more AFFS and Clan Battlemechs and tanks then either of them care to admit. Often deployed with a center line Arrow IV as a stand-off weapon and two extra fuel tanks to double its endurance this fighter can wreak havoc on the battlefield until its ammunition, fuel, or armor run out. Sea-borne versions of these that replaced the heavy gun with an Ultra or LBX-10 saw regular service with the DCMS’ Lysander submarine aircraft carriers and throughout the Word of Blake’s short-lived Protectorate.

The most crucial element of any air attack is however to limit incoming fire. While fast moving modern aircraft operate at relatively low altitude. Low enough that enemy Battlemechs or tanks can fire upon them without specialized weapons. Its not an easy shot but aircraft are lightly armored and can barely take most heavy weapons. One should be selective when engaging any enemy armed with any PPC, Gauss, or LBX-10 or greater. Instead, one should aim for those mounting light or heavy autocannons, short or medium range missiles, standard lasers, and lighter armor.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War
« Reply #8 on: 06 December 2021, 20:11:16 »
Motive and Method for Armored Fighting Vehicles of the 31st Century
Much like any other feature of combat the 31st Century has seen massive design changes and technological advances from the desperate days of the Fourth Succession War. One of the largest changes was in the proliferation of combat vehicles designed to combat the Clan’s superior technology.

Unable to overmatch their opponents the Inner Sphere adopted an attritional doctrine sending groups of heavy tanks against the Clans. This was understandably met with derision by the Clans before they too had to swallow their pride and expand their own vehicle corps to compete with an increasingly aggressive Inner Sphere post-Great Refusal. The Stone Lions led the way, but every Clan has grudgingly accepted vehicle crews as a necessary part of their Touman post-Jihad.

Post-REVIVAL every Successor State freed up funds and production capacity for R&D into superior, yet very expensive designs meant to take on Battlemechs as equals, led to designs such as the Federated Suns Ajax and Challenger X tanks. Unfortunately, the Jihad showed the futility of these heavier, expensive designs as the Word of Blake and its allies adapted to the threat and utilized weapons and vehicles that exploited their weaknesses.

During the Jihad Snake and Wolf Trap Battlemechs were feared for their ability to sneak into the sides of slower AFFS armor formations before mobility or engine killing them with LBX sub-munitions and missiles. Ambushes with other LBX equipped units of which the CCAF and DCMS have many were similarly effective.

The many AFFC Ajax and Challenger units lost due to engine damage and consequently recovered by its enemies pointed to a major failure in doctrine against non-Clan opponents.  Units that slow are vulnerable to flanking attacks by those even slightly faster. Although they were unmatched in their initial goal of reverse defense against Clan Omnis one doesn’t continue to spend 15 million c-bills on a slightly mobile weapon’s turret vulnerable to widely available guided munitions, weapon deployed mines, and ambushes since for the most part the threat from the Clan Council is absent.

They did not completely cease to exist, but the simpler to build, slightly faster, and much cheaper fuel cell driven King Tiger XX best exemplifies the doctrine of a new AFFS armor corps. One likely to engage the equivalent Trinity Armed Forces Po or DCMS Bulldog than any Clan vehicle in the future while not draining New Avalon’s treasury or diverting fusion engine industry from much needed Battlemechs. The sudden and precipitous decline in super heavy armored vehicles has been derided by armchair generals but firmly cheered on by military procurement officers and the tank crews that saw them as death traps that drew too much fire for their own good.

Not lost on the Inner Sphere’s AFV designers were the more capable ballistic weapons developed in the 3050s and 60s. Hyper-Assault, Standard, and Light Gauss Rifles as well as Ultra, Rotary, and LBX Autocannons have increased the firepower of combat vehicles since armored vehicles cannot use the double heat sinks so crucial to exploiting new energy weapons. None of these weapons possess the same ammunition variety as Standard or the Clan’s Protomech Autocannons. However, they instead maximize anti-armor firepower which is seen as the principal role of modern MBTs.

Standard AC or PAC armed tanks and units are thus relegated to second line Fire Support or specialist roles. Chief among them are engaging fast hovercraft with precision rounds, protecting a formation from air attack using flak rounds, or supporting infantry with their long-range AP shells. At least in the Federated Suns Outback and former Taurian Concordat improved Retrotech designs with low power Rifles are seeing use once more against other third-rate foes using primitive designs. Many elderly autocannons found use as direct fire anti-tank guns operated field gunners.

Missiles remain the second most popular weapon in use. Some types are restricted by faction availability with the Clans the only users of ATMs but whether a vehicle uses Short, Medium, or Long-Range Missiles depends on whether either of these augment the main gun. For instance, SRMs can cover a weapon minimum ranges, MRM’s effective range overlaps with most autocannons and large lasers, and LRMs can be used by vehicles with only short-range weapons such as Class 20 Autocannons to increase their effective engagement range or even on speedier platforms to protect them from harm.

No less popular but more restricted are energy weapons a category led by standard and light PPCs as well as all types of lasers. Both Large Lasers and PPCs are effective main guns and are often supported by missiles, this layout is popularized in the newest Manticore and Brutus. Units that don’t follow this layout typically use ballistics as the primary weaponry with the energy weapons as secondaries such as on the Manteuffel or the Clan’s Mithras.

Very few tanks use energy weapons exclusively with even new Schreks produced for the SLDF dropping their middle PPC for an LB-5X, two tons of ammo, and double their armor to protect the expensive asset from the hover tanks or air attack that caused so many losses during the Free World’s League Civil War.

The many extraneous weapons added to vehicles during the 3020s and 30s in the Inner Sphere and most of the particularly unfocused Clan designs have been sacrificed for more streamlined designs with greater armor protection, anti-missile systems, advanced targeting computers, electronic warfare gear, or hardened drive trains capable of preserving unit function and mobility.

This paradigm shift has made Omni-vehicles less common and AFVs more dangerous as traditional weaknesses have been reduced due to superior engineering and technology although it has moderately increased the expense of each unit. This like everything is part of the delicate balancing act of the ongoing evolution of combat post-Jihad.

Lessons learned during the Jihad have obsoleted the bow machine gun and its volatile ammo once popular among the Succession Wars. The poorly equipped infantry these were meant to engage have been surpassed by faster, better equipped, and tougher foes in the form of Armored and Mechanized Infantry. Coaxial ones or vehicle flamers are still used in some lighter designs meant as a counter to light infantry or irregular units. Newer vehicles instead utilize single shot Vehicular Grenade Launchers and Anti Personnel and Battle Armor Pods in greater numbers than before. Depending on load out these can prevent infantry from swarming a vehicle up close or if loaded with chaff and smoke can degrade enemy targeting or EWAR gear long enough to disengage.

New armor composites developed during the Jihad have revolutionized protection at all levels of the battlefield. One that saw little use was the bulky and mildly more expensive heavy ferro-fibrous that has now found a niche among front line armored vehicles where it can substantially increase armor plating per mass. Second line units use the cheaper standard or basic ferro plate like their Battlemech counterparts. Heavier siege tanks have adopted hardened armor at minimal cost to their already limited mobility in exchange for greater resilience against armor bypassing critical hits that might render them mission kills. Modular armor panels are only used on support vehicles that need to be easily up armored at the cost of their speed as they are difficult to remove in the field. CASE systems have seen greater use in recent years to combat the threat of ammo and gauss rifle explosions and a generally greater sensitivity to crew casualties

Tactics of employing armored vehicles on the modern battlefield have not changed much over the centuries even after the introduction of hover or WIGE vehicles. Point main gun and frontal plate at enemy, and don’t get shot in the sides or back. Of course, that is an oversimplification that will be expanded upon in later paragraphs.

First, we will acknowledge an inherent and obvious weakness of armored vehicles, their drive systems. Getting hit in the sides particularly with a cluster weapon like an LBX autocannon or SRMs can destroy running gear, tires, and lift skirts or even damage the engine. The number one cause of destruction for vehicles is a sudden and catastrophic loss of mobility that renders them helpless. This risk is mitigated but not prevented by an armored motive systems and hardened armor. Mobility is key to survival on the battlefield and an immobile or slowed unit is likely to be destroyed by the enemy, slow an advance, or be left behind by their force if unable to be salvaged.

Nowhere is this truer than in that versatile but fragile glass cannon, Hover Tanks. Due to their exposed hover skirts and lift equipment hover tanks are extremely vulnerable to motive hits that severely limit their biggest strength, speed. Due to this threat and their inability to handle any adverse terrain without destroying their lift gear it takes a fine hand to properly employ hover tanks. They are expensive to acquire and maintain but their usefulness on the modern battlefield has been proven time and again.

These tanks are best utilized as one would aircraft, move fast, strike hard, then bug out. Think of them as tank destroyers and you are mostly there. They should be targeting slower and shorter-range opponents in the open, while moving as fast as possible without losing control.

Only under advantageous conditions should you engage enemies with LBX munitions as their sub-munitions can rapidly degrade your speed advantage. If you have the option precision ammunition or your own LBX cluster rounds can increase you hit probability when moving at flank speed. The same is true for your enemy so use caution and probe the enemy line before committing to a full-strength attack unless you have the element of surprise. Under no circumstances should you operate in an urban environment as the dangers from skidding and being forced to operate at slower speed are unacceptable. Instead, a commander should use the next option.

Another high mobility option is using wheels. For the same speed wheeled vehicles don’t need as large an engine as their tracked counterparts and are cheap and easily serviced compared to their hover counterparts. Most wheeled tanks are designed for use in urban environments or as a quick response unit as they move faster along pavement than off-road. Naturally tires are highly susceptible to damage from enemy attacks. Wheeled vehicles particularly heavy ones are thus more commonly outfitted with armored motive systems to resist damage from mines or side damage, both unavoidable hazards when fighting in built up areas.

Heavy weight ones like the AFFS’ Typhoon, SLDF’S Demon, LCAF’s Glaive, or the DCMS Tokugawa spearhead attacks or defense against equally heavy armored vehicles and Battlemechs in built up areas. Medium-weight ones do the same but are often attached to infantry of all kinds or lighter armor. Lighter ones are used as armored personnel carriers, heavy scouts, artillery spotters, and for convoy defense. These are typically armed with low powered weaponry only capable of resisting infantry assault but often utilize ECM or Active Probes.

Finally, we have tracked vehicles, typically the most heavily armored on any battlefield. The armoring scheme of combat vehicles allow for more plating than a mech of equivalent tonnage at the cost of internal structure and volume. This is truer on tracked vehicles than their hover or wheeled equivalents who can protect themselves partly through mobility and positioning. What they cannot do that a tracked vehicle can is bully their way through light woods or power over adverse battlefield terrain. Metal tracks resist weapons damage removing a particularly acute failing in other types of vehicles and making them popular for general combat purposes.

These units follow one of two paradigms, either they are Main Battle Tanks, or they are Fire Support for said Main Battle Tanks or other forces. There are two extremes for the Main Battle Tank role, slow and steady like a SLDF’S Von Luckner and AFFS’ Challenger X, or fast but flimsy like the common Vedette or Myrmidon. Most designs fall somewhere in between these two extremes with the still popular and constantly upgraded Manticore being something of a gold standard that sees common usage on the battlefield. There is a wide variety of other options for those concerned or not with cost.

Fire Support tracked vehicles sacrifice either armor or mobility to increase firepower. Ambushers such as the Predator and Demolisher Tank Destroyers use powerful short-range weapons such as Ultra AC/20s or Rocket launchers and are thus meant to quickly disable an enemy vehicle. Longer range versions include such designs as the Schrek PPC Carrier, Alacorn VI, LRM Carrier, and various missile tanks and self-propelled artillery.

Daryk

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War
« Reply #9 on: 06 December 2021, 20:42:53 »
An impressive effort for sure... if only it were dated 50 years earlier...  ^-^

DOC_Agren

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War
« Reply #10 on: 06 December 2021, 20:58:15 »
tag if u add more
like the guest speaker 8)
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

AlphaMirage

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War
« Reply #11 on: 07 December 2021, 07:03:19 »
Striking Back! Planning ambushes as told by a pamphlet distributed to Word of Blake Partisans
The enemy and their godless Clans conspirators seek to dominate you. Do not allow them. Strike back with the instruments given to you by The Word of Blake to win your freedom.

When planning an ambush, you must know three things. Which types of enemy you face, where they are heading, and the terrain they must pass through along the way. Knowing this you can plan how to bring judgement to them.

Although your enemy will try to outsmart you, you are the wiser one. Consult the figures below to determine the weak points on the most common enemies you will face. This will determine which weapons you take against them. If available Tandem Charge (Marked CC, the Capellan Cantonese translation of Tandem Charge) missiles should be loaded into your missile launchers as they deliver Blake’s Righteous Wrath through even the thickest of armor plates.

If not, then you need to think deeper. If you are to hide in forests do not use Infernos and simply use High Explosives. However, if you are to engage your enemy in a canyon, natural or manmade. then Infernos can be used if unneeded for ‘other duties.’

Secondly you must prepare the battlefield. Your enemy will attempt to conceal their number before their approach and so will use covered passages along roads, rivers, and valleys. You can use these and plan an ambush at an advantageous position along their route. A place should be chosen based on three factors. It should be at a bend, have cover on both sides, and be relatively flat or paved. These factors will make it enticing for your lazy enemy to traverse as they will feel safe. Instead, they have given you a suitable canvas for their inevitable and righteous destruction.

Shortly after this bend you shall array mines rigged to detonate on the command of your Chief. These mines are not meant to destroy the enemy, merely incapacitate them, and leave them at your mercy. If Blake favors you this may even be enough, and you don’t spill your precious blood that day.

When the enemy approaches Blake’s chosen should use their wisdom in selecting targets for their mines. Solo targets are preferred as they should suffer for their arrogance. However, if the enemy is fearful, they will travel in a column for protection against Your Might. One should not foolishly engage the middle of this column without many brothers and needlessly expose themselves to the full firepower of the enemy. Better then to target the lead or trailing vehicle.

If one has the manpower this should be done with multiple platoons arranged to the flanks of the enemy vehicles. Before launching your ambush detonate the emplaced mines. These will be very effective against hover or wheeled vehicles incapacitating most or nearly half with just this event (Full incapacitation on 6+ for hovers, 8+ for wheeled, and 10+ for tracked without armored motive systems). If you have wisely planned an ambush along a river the hovers will drown. Other vehicles will flounder about helpless to resist you during the next phase of the attack.

If neither of these events happen you engage with your missiles. These vehicles are long like beasts, and one should hunt them as such. Your javelin has become a missile launcher that you will plunge into its flanks. Aim for the power pack or running gear do not needlessly waste ammunition or life. A full-strength platoon has a good chance of mobility killing a vehicle on the side or stunning its crew (up to 7 hits from the basic TW SRM platoon with a 13% chance of through armor critical on an 8 and a 36% chance of motive hit) however the odds greatly improve should another platoon be firing from the opposite side. By spanning both flanks you limit the enemy’s ability to engage both of you at the same time. The Tandem Charge and Inferno missile payloads increase your odds of success and against lighter vehicles not protected by hardened or reactive armor can even destroy them outright.

When the enemy is disabled or your ammunition low one shall bravely charge the enemy. This should not be done to any enemy that is still functioning normally as the hazard is great to our allies. If you somehow fail and they flee or allies come to their rescue let them go, disengage and find easier prey elsewhere while our legend grows.

Tanks are particularly susceptible to swarming (-2 to hit) and without directional Anti-Personnel or Anti-Battle Armor Pods or vehicular frag grenades of their own or arms can only remove boarders by erratic maneuvering. Something they will be unable to do should you have done even a modicum of preparation. If the crew doesn’t surrender execute them and claim the vehicle for the Sol Protectorate. By doing so you will be rewarded handsomely in this life and the next.

The Third Transfer is upon us, and we will be ready.

Blake’s Blessings upon you.

mikecj

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War
« Reply #12 on: 07 December 2021, 17:19:56 »
Nicely written- thanks for sharing!
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
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Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War
« Reply #13 on: 08 December 2021, 10:18:32 »
Little Wars, Chaos, the COMSTAR Schism, and Winning the Peace
The technological renaissance of the 3040s, strains of the 50s, and chaos of the 60s have fundamentally changed the Inner Sphere in ways we are only just beginning to understand. One of the largest changes however is the fast rise and precipitous fall of COMSTAR and its COMGUARDs. The hidden hand of COMSTAR had been so intermeshed with the Inner Sphere that even years after the Jihad we are still struggling to replace it. The SLDF and Clan Council have helped somewhat unify the Inner Sphere, but it is an imperfect peace constantly under threat.

When the HPGs failed during the Jihad afflicted by some yet still classified malady and with Interstellar travel snarled, under threat, or pressed into military service the bonds that held the Interstellar Empires of the Successor States and Clans together began to fray. The neo-feudal system for all its benefits comes with a healthy does of long simmering enmity between Lords on the same or nearby planets over the relative wealth of their domain. Given the monopolization of the central government’s attention on major threats it is little surprise that every realm was riven with discord driven by these feuding Lords. This infighting caused more damage than the Blakists every could. These feuds, the post-Jihad economic turmoil, and ready access to cheap weapons and those experienced in using them have ensured that although the war is won, peace is still distant

Overview of major Jihad conflicts
The Homeworld Clans engaged in the War of Sundering between power blocs seeking to replace the Wolf, Jade Falcon, and Ghost Bear Clans that had been so dominant for much of their history but who had chosen to settle the Inner Sphere instead.

In the Inner Sphere Clan Hell’s Horses, Jade Falcon, and Diamond Shark uncovered a conspiracy among their Scientists that led to a near-disastrous conflict between them, the Ghost Bears, and Wolves. The Ghost Bear Khan and several other dignitaries including those of the Wolves in Exile were assassinated, arguably at the height of their power, by the Word of Blake before they could form a new Council after losing contact with the Homeworlds during the Blackout.

This led to a power vacuum only filled shortly before the Battle for Terra with the rise of ilKhan Santin West. The loss of so many Loremasters to the Word of Blake on Arcturus, most of the Khans during the Battle for Terra, and the coup by the Rasalhague that led to the loss of the Ghost Bear Dominion have weakened them so much that it was only their sheer exhaustion and the mighty victory earned prevented them from opposing Katherine Fox’s reorganization into a new Council post-Jihad that later incorporated the Homeworlds and detached empires after Recontact.

The Free World’s League devolved into Pro or Anti-Blakist factions led by Alys Rousset and Paul Marik, even if it was Photon Brett’s 2SLDF and its Clan allies that did most of the work against the Word of Blake Militias. Their HPG compounds needed to be cleared of booby traps and unused weapons of mass destruction left behind in the panicked withdrawal to the Sol Protectorate. 

The Lyran Commonwealth was sharply divided into Pro or Anti-Katherine Fox factions with no less than three major insurrections against the Archon-Princess or her allies occurring during the Jihad. She was accused of everything from the murder of former Archon Melissa Steiner and First Prince Hanse Davion to even worse acts of treason for her relationship with the Wolves. Minor insurrections flared up on numerous worlds and COMGUARD units in the Commonwealth needed to be forcibly disbanded Post-Jihad as they would not surrender their HPGs to the Clans.

Coordinator Theodore Kurita’s sudden death resulting in a power struggle between its traditional or reformist Warlords. Only the horrifically bloody rise of his bastard son Franklin Sakamoto and fierce defense of the Draconis March by Duke Tancred Sandoval put an end to the violence but likely not forever.

Within the Capellan Confederation Magestrix Naomi Centrella and Duke Kai Allard-Liao fought against Duchess Kali Liao’s thugees. In the Taurian Concordat Protector Shraplen was overthrown by a violent uprising just before the Eriynes was deployed. General Cham Kilthrong serves as regent until Jeffery Calderon’s son comes of age and is ready to inherit the Protectorship.

The Federated Suns had no time for a distracting Civil War during the Jihad. They fended off Hellions, the Draconis Combine, Word of Blake, Capellan Confederation, and Taurian Concordat simultaneously. As testament to the AFFS/C’s preparedness and martial prowess they not only resisted attack but engaged in daring offensive actions against everyone while still engaging in humanitarian relief efforts to the conquered worlds.

Despite all this they only narrowly avoided a Civil War over the return of former Taurian worlds captured during the Jihad and formerly Capellan March worlds given to Grand Duchess Yvonne by the former Archon-Princess for her Outback demense. There were also unverified rumors that Yvonne might have been behind the death of Duchess Angela Hasek’s brother George II to secure her own brother’s position as First Prince. A deal mediated by the First Prince narrowly averted an assault by the battle-hardened New Syrtis Fusilers against worlds garrisoned by Yvonne’s equally capable Outback Legionnaires. Several worlds were reluctantly transferred to Angela Hasek without bloodshed as part of these mediation.

Challenges to winning the Peace
With the HPG system and interstellar trade in tatters it is little surprise that the economies of the Successor States are in dire straits. The use of weapons of mass destruction most evident on Tharkad and Atreus have created waves of refugees that overwhelmed the available infrastructure to adequately support them. A completely new banking system had to be created to replace the one managed by COMSTAR and their splinter group the Word of Blake.

Since all money was tagged to the c-bill which was backed by transmission time on HPGs and most of these remain inactive. Thus c-bills are useless even if they weren’t issued by an organization that no longer exists. Many people throughout the Inner Sphere have seen their life savings and livelihood vanish almost overnight. This problem is a thorny one with many refusing to accept the stopgap measure of a centrally controlled work credit system like those used in the Clans.

Although money was lost the factories and land owned by the nobility were not. Without liquidity or interplanetary trade these assets became immensely valuable to the local Lord and less so to their Liege. With many of these factories being able to manufacture components from locally soured materials they were not reliant on trade to function.

The post-Jihad era has seen a rise in more powerful planetary Warlords capable of resisting Imperial control. Lesser Lords often invested in newer assets for income such as Jump or Dropships, with these now functionally worthless without interstellar trade, they are forced to engage in competition including violence in a fight for the resources held by their more established counterparts, with mercenaries or peasant levies promised land or material wealth or accept an inferior position in the hopes of sustaining their position.

These intra-planetary wars fueled by cheap weapons are enabled by a lack of HPGs. Without currency the Great Houses are forced to either barter control of their substantial portfolio of assets to these Warlords in support of their current position, oppose them directly alongside their allies, or support the competition in the hopes of wresting control from already established elites. Elites who had grown used to increased autonomy and thus do not want to reactivate the HPGs and subject themselves once more to their Overlords.

This doesn't even include the many COMSTAR Lost Causers that became Brigands or Pirates and continue to execute guerilla and terrorist actions throughout the Inner Sphere. These only expand in number as they recruit from a dissatisfied local population with promises of peace, prosperity, and unity in Blake's name. Most Word of Blake Militia or COM Guardsmen escaped the negative association with the atrocities of the infamous Shadow Divisions. Instead they work the last stand of Tukayyid angle where the COMGUARDs saved the Inner Sphere from the Clan menace and then promptly were betrayed. The fact that the Ghost Bear's bombardment of Tukayyid was so severe after they lost a Leviathan with all hands due to nuclear attack allows them to claim victimhood and garner sympathy from the locals. Since many were locally recruited, equipped, and trained while being part of such a crucial organization throughout history they retain the population's trust much to the dismay of the fledgling Overlords that seized the HPGs after they were sabotaged in order to deny them to their adversaries. This act is widely considered to be heretical and since most HPGs were well equipped with weapons the rebels don't appear to be running out of ammo anytime soon.

Although the Jihad is over we are far from the Golden Century promised by its victory

AlphaMirage

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War (K-Verse AU)
« Reply #14 on: 14 December 2021, 00:37:37 »
C.A.A.N (Combined Air, Armor, and Naval) | Old Tactics for New Wars
by Admiral Juhan Dubrakva and Khan Ariel Suvorov | 2SLDF War Academy of Mars |
WAM Archives March 3075


History
Royal SLDF CAAN Brigades are one of the least explored of the original Star League Defense Force. As such Khan Suvorov and her Seekers were essential to filling in gaps found in COMSTAR’s Southern Bastion Data-core in Antarctica or among the 21st Illician Lancer’s unit history. Without their scholarship the 2SLDF would not have been able to analyze the archives of both the War Academy of Mars and those that survived on Aphros station. It is a great loss that Sandhurst was destroyed in the battle against the Blakists however, Seekers are investigating the ruins as part of their exhaustive search of the Sol system for artifacts and information. As well as ongoing efforts to identify and prosecute War Criminals that escaped to parts unknown.

CAAN brigades were created to handle the extreme ocean environments not conducive to Battlemech operations. Oceanic or riverine ships have and continue to carry most planetary trade throughout the Inner Sphere, Periphery, and Clanspace. This was true even during the Star League era with abundant dropships carrying goods across the Inner Sphere.

Royal CAAN Regiments were enlisted a mostly defensive forces for underwater and island bases on oceanic worlds in the Terran Hegemony such as Pacifica. With so many Aerospace fighters, elite Marines, fast tanks, and the largest concentration of Bi-Modal Land-Air Mechs (Plane and Air-Mech cough* “GERWALK”) in the SLDF the CAAN Regiments were a troubleshooting force capable of responding quickly to trouble spots on nearby worlds.

Code: [Select]
Royal CAAN Regiment TOO (According to the Goliath Scorpions)
1 Overlord, 1 Vengeance, 1 Seeker, 2 Avengers, and 1 Jumbo Dropships
Battalion (36) of Battlemechs (Mostly Medium and Jump Capable, Company of Heavy+)
Reinforced Wing (42) of Aerospace Fighters (Heavy use of Gotha, Hammerhead, Rapier, and Tridents)
Two Squads (12) of Land-Air Mechs (Stinger and Phoenix Hawk LAMs)
Battalion (36) of Hover Tanks (1 Company each of Light, Medium, and Transport versions)
Specialist Company (12 VTOLs or 4 Moray and 8 Manta Hunter-Killer Submarines)
Reinforced Battalion (280) of Marines (Mauser 960 + Support Lasers)

LAMs and Aerospace fighters are first deployed from orbit for the first strike without the vulnerability of dropships. Those came later after the Air teams, including a pair of Avenger assault dropships carrying bombs, prepared the ground. Many Marines serving in CAAN regiments received paratrooper training and could drop via small craft to secure an LZ but Jump capable BattleMechs in drop pods seem to have been more popular.

First off the ramp were light hover-tanks like the Zephyr, Beagle, and Royal Lightnings equipped with TAG to guide Airborne Arrow IV missiles and NARCs onto targets attempting to contest a landing zone.

Second hover transports like the Maultier and Whirlwind carried infantry meant to occupy strategic territory with support from LTV-4s and heavier hover tanks until Mechs and Tanks secured it.

By moving fast and staying light CAAN commanders overwhelmed the enemy before they could protect themselves or pose a threat. The mere threat of a CAAN regiment was often enough to bring parties to the negotiating table. If it didn’t their organic support teams and supplies are replenished by a Jumbo dropship kept in a high orbit.

A myth that Khan Suvorov dissuaded was that CAAN Regiments brought blue water vessels with them. According to her records this rarely occurred. As modern examples have proven ships are difficult to load into dropships, typically a modified Triumph but occasionally a Gazelle, and the landing zone needs to be near water.

These restrictions are hinderances to the interplanetary transport and use of blue water assets on the modern battlefield. CAAN Generals apparently feared bringing them along would tie them down to surface bases and restrict their mobility.

If there were enemy ships or terrain restricted access to islands in theater CAAN regiments deployed with Companies of Nightshade, Ripper, and Cyrano VTOLs supported by Aerospace Fighters to pursue and destroy them. This formation replaces the Moray and Manta submersible hunter-killer Flotilla deployed when on the defensive.

Closer to Present
The collapse of the Star League and resulting Succession Wars reinforced the reliance on water transport as essential for planetary economies. As economic pressures increased on planetary rules during these dark years those that couldn’t adapt died off or consolidated.

A steady return of regular interstellar traffic during the 3040s and 50s did nothing to reduce reliance on oceanic cargo freighters. Records show it had the opposite effect as economies boomed more than the tech renaissance rather than interstellar trade. High tech products could be made on more worlds rather than ordered from Lostech factories that barely survived the Succession War. An abundance of dropships mostly made military assets more agile rather than increase trade. The ‘Jihad’ and present ‘Warlord’ eras have reinforced the role ocean vessels play in military actions as hostile naval actions are once more common.

Radicalized Blakists and Anti-Government forces have taken to the water finding safe harbor in small remote islands impossible for dropships and traditional militaries to reach (retrieve mostly, you can drop units anywhere, you just can’t pick them up again). Low tech naval vessels mounting helipads or artillery weapons commonly augment the forces of planetary Warlords supporting their wars against rivals. These vessels rarely mass more than 6 kilotons and are universally slow making them vulnerable to fighters or squads of hover tanks.

They were not alone as the Tharkad SDF Jormungand missile cruisers fired the first terrestrial shots of the Jihad during the First Battle of Tharkad destroying WOBM dropships before they could touch down. Aerospace fighters launched from their carriers delivered the Alamo bombs that disabled the Tharkad Battlecruiser LCS Invincible allowing its recapture by the FedCom Fleet. The Second Battle of Tharkad tragically saw the complete destruction of the sea service and firebombing of their homeport in the Tatyana Islands. An act of violence only surpassed by the razing of Tharkad City.

The most complex maritime strategy in recent years occurred on Luthien between Franklin Sakamoto’s Hanko (Resistance) facing off against the Black Dragon. Fortunately for us the Combine was ahead of their time going through a Warlord era while everyone else got Jihad. They used the Lysander carrier submarine DCS Miyamoto Kurita and Triton sub-Capital missile submarine DCS Polaris in support of amphibious invasions. (Watch the documentary ‘Blood on the Obsidian Sea’ for more, high production quality but bad dubbing.)

Recently Black Dragon and DCMS Triton Missile Submarines were implicated in the destruction of two Kyushu assault frigates using nuclear weapons meant for the Clans. Baleena, Moray, and Manta attack submarines and their IIC counterparts have battled Word of Blake remnants in control of Free World’s Argo submersible carriers. Although the Argos were disabled or destroyed this combat resulted in many casualties due to crew inexperience with the dangers of submarine combat.

With many Blakist scientists and technicians fleeing into the New Rasalhague Republic and Trinity Alliance Post-Jihad we can expect to see these threats in the future. Blueprints for stealthy submarines the size of Baleenas mounting a pair of cruise missiles were found in the ruins of Hyundai Heavy Industries. It remains unknown whether any of these were built or if the information and tooling were evacuated to friendly territory. Such a vehicle could pose a major threat to spaceports and harbors within 50 kilometers of the ocean which is almost all of them.

Looking even further back we see then Archon Katherine Steiner using what we now know were Water Elementals. The prototype Elemental suits were likely provided by Clan Wolf as were the submarines carried by LAAF dropships to take NASDF Breaker Bay, an underwater complex in the New Hebrides. Breaker Bay is and remains one of New Avalon’s Self-Defense Force’s major command nodes and fallback point for the Fox’s Den.

Water Elementals share much in common with modern IS industrial diving suits and are still manufactured by the Diamond Sharks despite competition from the more developed Undine made by the Goliath Scorpions. There is a risk that its technology could spread if it hasn’t already.

This makes many formerly safe locations eminently vulnerable to enemy action should they be uncovered. Thus, there is a rush within military R&D to develop better sensors capable of locating and engaging small underwater enemies and disarming naval mines, capabilities that have long lapsed over the centuries.

Surface threats are multiplying as rapidly as submarine ones driven by the Diamond Sharks expansion in the Chainelaines and their dominant role in Post-Jihad era interstellar trade. Upgraded inexpensive knockoffs of the Silverfin, Silverback, and Atlaua coastal cutters are once more in production on many worlds. This is aided by easy access to easy to assemble kits made by Diamond Shark or regional manufacturers (avoid the Quickscell ones as their QC has not improved). Many of these add a Guardian ECM suite to protect their weakly armored hull from aerial detection.

There are unconfirmed reports of the Trinity Alliance deploying patrol boats utilizing the same stealth armor as the Word of Blake’s Bolla tank with similar capabilities based on grainy photos. Codenamed River Boa, this boat doesn’t appear to be destined for the ocean but instead meant to threaten inland waterways. Such a vessel would be difficult to detect in swampy terrain providing a persistent threat.

DCMS experiments in Wing in Ground Effect craft have given planners a fast-moving threat or tool to aid in CAAN style operations. The best performing of these are the Ryu and Koi superheavy WiGEs which can carry slightly more than a hundred tons of cargo at a respectable 80km/h. The Hanko utilized these to transport soldiers and vehicles stored aboard their large submarines during the invasion of Amori City until engineers could disarm the naval mines that prevented larger landing craft from approaching the harbor.

The AFFS has produced the Cormorant and Fulmar Wing in Ground Effect craft since the 28th century. Unfortunately, this design has not aged well and is outpaced and outgunned by new coastal cutters. Unlike naval craft however these WiGEs can be airdropped, transit hard ground, and ignore navigational hazards allowing more operations in shallow or mined waters. Presently the AFFS is experimenting with deploying and supplying platoons of Armored Infantry against lightly armed pirate bases.

BattleMech Strategies in Coastal, Lake, or Riverine Areas.
Prior to the Wars of Sundering a high-tech Bandit faction, identified by a black octopus with bright blue ring, engaged in piracy and sabotage using Battlemechs optimized for submarine propulsion. While first found on Delios the faction was never stamped out and is as far as they know still operating in the Pentagon Protectorate. As far as we know these events are the first where underwater maneuver units have been used in combat and it remains unknown how they acquired the technology which was developed on Solaris VII.

Code: [Select]
Clan Diamond Shark Watch Report, Delios 3065 Unknown Aquatic Bandit Battlemechs
The salvaged machine appears to be a modified Lupus from the outside modified to resist drag in the water. Inside its center torso was the Standard Vlar 300 Fusion Engine, Gyro, a type of strange tube, and OUR Harjel system. Torso Missile racks were downgraded from the XXs, and both were equipped with watertight doors, one rack was torpedoes the other standard LRMs. Both torsos also have a Harjel system and two of these strange tubes presumably part of the same high-speed underwater maneuver system. Both Arms carry a model of heavy medium laser only made by the Star Adders. The Legs show no modification nor strain on either the super structure or myomer bundles.

We recovered the ejected head from a nearby tidal pool. Inside was a curious device, our salvage diver identified it as a SCUBA system integrated to the BattleMech’s Life Support. Such a system has never been identified according to technical databases.

While a Battlemech can walk across the ocean, river, or lake bottom does so mostly blindly, across unstable ground, and risks catastrophe with each step. Each instance of damage has a chance to flood a compartment potentially immobilizing the machine or killing its MechWarrior. Loss of armor plating in a location ensures it will. There have been reports of Blakist Elements using Quadruped Battlemechs for the task which is I suppose ideal for a non-optimized Battlemech, although Quads have far more drawbacks than advantages in most cases.

However, Four technologies can be applied to Battlemechs to adapt them to underwater operations and salvaged copies of these mysterious machines pulled from the depths seem to utilize them all.

Although it was a failure in the Arena the Aquagladius and associated technologies resulted in many patents that allowed the Vining Engineering and Salvage Team to rapidly expand after the Fall of Terra.

In 3067 they created the Battlemech HarJel system which uses the same technology that makes Clan spacecraft airtight. The high-tech system is maintenance intensive but can prevent hull breaches. How they got the HarJel is unknown, but the Diamond Sharks blame the Jade Falcons.

In 3048 VEST patented the MechWarrior Aquatic Survival System (M.A.S.S.) which added a SCUBA respirator to the Neurohelmet and support infrastructure giving the Mechwarrior 30 minutes to reach the surface if head armor is breached. It adds weight but no MechWarrior signed up to drown in their machines if given the choice.

Pioneered on the Hatchetman the Full-Head Ejection System was created in 3023 and improves Mechwarrior survival if forced to eject in a hazardous environment. When used underwater this causes the head to detach and float to the surface.

Finally, there are the Underwater Maneuver Units, these modified ‘jump jets’ use a pump jet drive whose impeller is powered by the Mech’s engine to push water (or any liquid I suppose) like a submarine. This can double a unit’s effective speed, allow controlled vertical movement, and reduce the danger associated with walking on the sandy or rocky sea floor.

Although it is unlikely any faction will field a dedicated Amphibious Mech Clan and Inner Sphere Omnimechs can be outfitted with UMUs and Torpedo Racks as omnipods for attacking underwater target or landing on a contested shore. Only torpedoes and lasers are effective weapons underwater with Clan Heavy Lasers showing the least loss in power or range through water. The attenuation of lasers and particle beams underwater dramatically shortens their range. Unfortunately, there is not a Mech scale version of the Undine’s Multi-Mission Missile so you will have to choose which type you prefer if this is meant to be an amphibious assault.

Unless using UMUs your Mech will be moving very slowly and see little ahead of you, particularly in silty areas. Naval Mines, Submarines, and Underwater Armored Marines will be your biggest threats below the waves with hover tanks, VTOLs, and patrol boats above. The best way to deal with threats underwater is for an attacker to equip an Active Probe extending your passive sensors and alerting you to imminent threats. The same is true on defense with many submarines mounting more powerful active probes than before while limiting their own electronic and acoustic emissions.

Amphibious assaults should only be conducted with faster standard engine Light or Medium Mechs as Heavy and Assault mechs are even slower in the water. Each also represents a greater loss should one suffer a hull breach, a distinct possibility if one encounters any sustained opposition.

If possible, one should not plan on arriving at the most preferable shoreline for boats, WiGEs, and Hovercraft as those are easy to observe and mine. Amphibious assaults using Battlemechs should be directed toward cliffs capable of being climbed by your Mechs or Forests and similar terrain obstacles preventing boats and hover craft from engaging your force while providing concealment from observation. This ensures you face less opposition and if you choose not to use UMUs these obstacles allow your Battlemechs to exploit their normal mobility advantage using jump jets.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War (K-Verse AU)
« Reply #15 on: 05 February 2022, 00:29:20 »
Pentagon Protectorate Militia Chemical Corps Training Manual CC-872, late 3068
Titled ‘On the use of Chemical Ordnance on the modern battlefield’


Everything is made of chemicals so it was only natural that humanity would leverages their chemical know-how for their favorite pastime, warfare. Although explosives and propellants are indeed chemicals this manual will give a brief overview of the proper use of different chemicals including some tactical doctrine and a detailed description of some specialist weapons. There are four main use types for chemicals on the battlefield, corrosives, flares, gases, and incendiaries.

Since it is among the simplest, we will start with corrosives, the PPM-CC and NAIS have (independently) developed stable acid formulations targeted against the ferro-fibrous armor plating that is basically standard in Clan-space. Unfortunately, these missiles are inaccurate and unable to damage internal structure although the warheads are more effective against unarmored infantry than normal explosive payloads. Industrial fluid guns can discharge a dangerous mixture of acids so it is less common but can threaten light skinned vehicles and infantry at short ranges.

Parachute flares are deployed by long range missiles, Arrow IV tactical missiles, grenade launchers, and mech or support mortar and artillery shell. These provide illumination but mostly for signaling to other combat arms. The most effective of these is the Arrow IV with an effective area of almost 300 meters.

Gases are divided into two types, irritants, and obscurants, although technically a third, poison gas, exists. Using poisonous gases are ineffective against military targets as modern helmets are completely sealed and the standard battledress is resistant to any but the most advanced nerve agents. Using irritant CS gas against civilian targets or irregular military is not only common but effective. Typically, this gas is deployed by hand grenades or in the form of SRMs from PatrolMechs or vehicles.

Obscurant smoke is one of the most common form of chemical ordnance on the modern battlefield and with good reason. Smoke can be precisely deployed by smoke LRMs and SRMs, and Mech, Artillery, or Support Mortar shells. Many combat vehicles have recently exchanged bow mounted machine guns for grenade launchers and smoke grenades are commonly used by them.

The complexity of each smoke delivery system is difficult to parse out without a wide range of tables and figures. Mortar shells provide heavy smoke in a small radius for a longer duration. Missiles and grenades provide mostly light and wider radius smoke. Artillery smoke rounds are more instantaneous and longer duration although typically only Thumpers are used for this purpose as it would be a waste to use a Long Tom or Arrow IV to lay down smoke when it could be shattering the enemy.

Before we talk specific about incendiaries, the most intensive topic for this treatise, we will pause to clarify their intended purpose and provide useful background information. Sun-Tzu’s masterpiece ‘The Art of War’ dedicated a whole chapter (12) to the artful use of fire in combat. His words are as salient in the 31st century as when they were written. These weapons provide a qualitative advantage for lower tech militaries against even the most modern armed forces.

Fire and heat provide several effects on the battlefield. For this publication we are going to go over several uses. These I am classifying as direct and indirect application.

Direct application of flames will obviously kill unarmored infantry (and other ‘targets’), set flame to buildings, and direct heat up a Battlemech or combat vehicle. This provides three useful effects. First to stay cool, and prevent the malignant effects of heat, the MechWarrior will have to reduce their weapon fire. Combat vehicles due to their lower tech, open, and mostly flat construction are incredibly vulnerable to fire. Treads melt, sensor ports char, radiators overheat, and weapons or the soldiers inside suffer harm from exposure to the heat.

BattleMech myomers are very sensitive to temperature extremes losing some of their power and slowing the mech as the mercury rises. Even a unit using Triple Strength Myomers will slow outside its optimal temperature range. Most importantly however the volatile explosives and propellants in ammunition risk exploding if the internal temperature gets high enough. Additionally, the BattleMech’s internal safeguards will activate. If the Mech’s temperature gets high enough the DI Computer will shut down the fusion reactor to cool the machine more quickly.

Due to surface area constraints and a BattleMech’s advanced cooling system there are limits to how much external heat a Mech can take inside. That said these limits are still enough to slow and degrade the enemy’s capabilities. So spread the fire around; it is its natural state after all. Particularly powerful incendiary devices can create long burning fires that can only be extinguished by water or flame resistant foam.

Armored Infantry lack this advanced cooling, they have some, but only enough for normal operation and their surface area is limited. Like any Elemental will tell you ‘If you cannot beat the armor outside, kill the operator inside.’ Like the (probably mythic) Bronze Bull external heat will bypass armor plates and cook the operator inside. Do this long enough (three infernos) and the operator will suffer heat stroke and be rendered combat ineffective if not dead. This is not true for our Hellkite PA(L), the Salamander, or Fire Elementals all of which mount fire resistant armor plating that is insulated against external heat. These battle armors are specialized incendiary troops that have been proven effective time and again against every manner of opponent when used in their proper terrain.

The indirect uses of incendiary devices are functionally limitless. Fire is a magnificent force multiplier and effective against a wide variety of targets if the environment supports it. One can easily start a forest fire, burn down a building, incinerate light vehicles, damage enemy stores and infrastructure, or clear out an enemy fortification with fire. It can be used defensively to clear away brush, trees, or swarming hostile infantry. Indeed, all of these are the most common use for flamers.


Now we will finally get an in depth look at the many incendiary devices available to the modern soldier. We will start with the ubiquitous energy-based Flamer typically used by BattleMechs which functionally operates like a heat gun operating in an open circuit from the fusion plant. This design was ripe for evolution and thus two additional energy flamer types were developed over the years. Extended Range Flamers can reach out to almost 210 meters almost doubling its effective range. Heavy Flamers dramatically increase the energy delivered to the target area almost doubling its casualty count.

There are two fuel-based flame throwing devices, a vehicular flamer is the ballistic equivalent of the energy flamer. Fluid guns while heavier are more flexible as it can deliver Inferno gel, oil slicks that make hexes more flammable, water to put out fires, and heat ****** foams reducing that flammability.

Further developments in incendiary technologies have given the Inner Sphere the Plasma Rifle. This weapon is as nefarious as it is effective, lacking volatile ammo it combines the firepower and range of a Class 10 Autocannon while adding extra thermal damage to armored vehicles and infantry. On the other hand, a Plasma Cannon turns up the Flamer’s thermal damage capacity to a ludicrous extreme with the assistance of superheated ammunition.

Although they are mentioned somewhat interchangeably Incendiary LRMs function differently than their better-known Inferno counterparts. Incendiary warheads are mixed in with the rounds at a 4-1 ratio. This reduces the raw firepower of the missile rack but makes it almost as effective as a flamer at starting fires. These are commonly used along with Thunder and Smoke munitions by Howler and Mandrill Battlemechs in the Fire Mandrill Touman. Trinity Alliance Vindicators and Toros have been known to do the same.

Finally, we get to Inferno munitions which are rightfully feared by MechWarriors and every other combat arm. They can wipe out platoons of conventional infantry, squads of Armored Infantry, disable armored vehicles, destroying stores, and set fires.

Less effective against BattleMechs than other vehicles Infernos can dramatically overheat Mechs and trap them in a ring of flame making them vulnerable to artillery or swarming by specialist Armored Infantry. The Society of the Blinding Eye has further enhanced the basic Inferno SRM to create the Improved Inferno iATM giving it the same range as a normal Advanced Tactical Missile.

Inferno bombs and artillery shells hit with almost the same power as a full six-pack of SRMs wiping out all kinds of infantry almost instantly. Although less commonly used, except by saboteurs, Inferno mines are like most mines powerful when they are used in large volumes. Interestingly naval versions of these mines are still used on some worlds where wood and fiberglass boats are common.

Militaries with a large dedicated Chemical Corps such as the Trinity Alliance and our Protectorate Militia maintain large stores of heat seeking missiles. These are cheaper to manufacture than Artemis guided versions, increase the effective damage against Battlemechs while doubling as anti-air weapons.

Finally, we get to the heaviest conventional weapons commonly used on the modern battlefield. Thermobaric weapons utilize a precise mix of fuel and air to generate massive explosions. These weapons are particularly potent against buildings and infantry in the open. Typically, these weapons are delivered by aircraft in the form of a small (1 slot), large (2 slot), or Arrow IV (5 slots) ordnance. Although thermobaric versions of all common artillery shells are not that much more powerful than their high explosive counterparts.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War (K-Verse AU)
« Reply #16 on: 07 February 2022, 10:55:41 »
Any requests from the audience? Was thinking mines and a comparison of weapons optimal for different types of tanks

Wrangler

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War (K-Verse AU)
« Reply #17 on: 12 February 2022, 21:20:05 »
How about the Gürteltier Main Battle Tank or the ye old Challenger Main Battle Tanks?

"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
"No, it's a "Most Awesome Blues Brothers scene Reenactment EVER" waiting to happen." VotW Destrier - Weirdo  
"It's 200 LY to Sian, we got a full load of shells, a half a platoon of Grenadiers, it's exploding outside, and we're wearing flak jackets." VoTW Destrier - Misterpants
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War (K-Verse AU)
« Reply #18 on: 13 February 2022, 00:30:05 »
How about the Gürteltier Main Battle Tank or the ye old Challenger Main Battle Tanks?

Sure

Heavy Tanks – An Endangered Species or on the verge of Evolution?
Prepared by MI2 Station New Avalon for First Prince Peter Steiner Davion, 3072


MI2 has completed its analysis of the lessons learned during the Jihad particularly those concerning the use of armored vehicles over sixty-five metric tons on the modern battlefield.

The Jihad saw the proliferation of numerous high-tech pieces of equipment to our adversaries particularly within the Trinity Alliance who have rapidly evolved to be our peers in conventional warfare. Our edge in Battlemech, Armored Infantry, and Aerospace technologies allow us to maintain an overmatch capacity. However, more and more reports appear on our desks concerning Word of Blake defectors working throughout the Trinity Alliance but particularly in the Shengli Arms facility. If the Capellan Confederation can deploy Blakist technology in quantity, they will pose an incredible danger to the AFFS.

Since they are our most pressing adversary, we will begin with a quick threat assessment of a modern Trinity Alliance Combined Forces. Although not the most mech heavy formation their infantry are without peer in the Inner Sphere heavily equipped with top notch armor or sneak suits and portable SRM launchers that can be loaded with either an Armor-Piercing Tandem or the Anti-Material Inferno warhead. Either of these can disable or destroy an armored vehicle if aimed properly and even the basic HE round is sufficient if used in enough quantity.

TACF deploys numerous organic AA Vehicles and Flak Artillery particularly in their mechanized regiments and deploys Anti-Air Arrow IV missiles with the Battlemech and Armored Corps. Kuan-Yin’s St Ives Compact has also given the TACF access to our own standard issue Federated Barrett rifle system which is now manufactured throughout Alliance territory. This serves to negate some of our current advantage and lessons learned from THUNDERSTRIKE have revealed severe deficiencies in our conventional units.

Although the Post-REVIVAL arms research spree enabled us to survive the Jihad well enough to stand on our we do so shakily. The Clans maintain the edge on Omnimech production as they always have but have now enlisted the Second Star League to provide support to their front-line elite Warrior caste. We have no such advantage, but we do have one of the most advanced and second largest standing army in the Inner Sphere after the SLDF.

These advances have been costly however and attrition has sapped our elite units of their premier equipment as surely as enemy fire. While the treasury didn’t burn down the economy will take time to recover from the war footing it had been on for the past five years. Nobles are restless and the enemy is biding their time to strike once more. We will have to be ready to counter the TACF rather than the Clans as we anticipated. Doing so will require a major reorganization of armored vehicle procurement.

Assessment of current Assault Tanks
Ajax – Designed along the same paradigms of our own Challenger X the modern Ajax is a highly capable omni-vehicle that served as a frequent and persistent adversary in the hands of the Word of Blake. Modern versions drop some of the weapons to mount hardened armor to counter TC SRMs in the hands of TACF supported guerillas in the Border Territories. The inclusion of an Ultra AC/10 in the base model has been widely derided and we have begun to see more equipped with a PPC to support the Gauss Rifle with the medium pulse lasers often exchanged for an MML.
Alacorn – In the hands of a good gunner the Alacorn is a major threat to any adversary on the modern battlefield. With good range, decent mobility, and incredible firepower its biggest threat remains the same as any other armored vehicle. Snakes, Toras, and other fast medium mechs with LBX autocannons that might be able to close with and disable it with a side hit.
Carnivore – The standard Clan assault tank the Carnivore is a no-nonsense design spawned from the mind of a no nonsense late ilKhan. Its two Gauss Rifles and pair of cERMLs tear into enemy armor as it cruises along at a very fast speed for its size. Fortunately for us it is incredibly expensive and thus the line doesn’t produce many each year as the Council itself must judiciously balance their own resources against those they are willing to commit to the SLDF.
Challenger – Once the pride of the AFFS the Challenger X is beginning to show signs of its age. Although even the earliest are still viable designs improvements in the Silver Bullet Gauss Rifle have seen its inclusion in the latest XII model as the threat of enemy Aerospace grows with the Snow Ravens in the Outworlds Alliance.
Gurtlier (Modified, -20 ton, only 12M CB vs 20M CB) – Built to compliment the Patton and Rommel tanks of the LCAF the Gurtlier (or Armadillo) is an 80 tonner that desperately wants to be an MBT, equipped with a Gauss Rifle, ERPPC, and MML/7 it has impressive firepower and like the Tedate manufactured in the DCMS comes stock with a bulldozer blade meant to protect its motive systems from damage. Unlike the Behemoth however it concentrates its heavy ferro fibrous armor into its turret rather than keeping it spread out.
Mars (Slightly modified 90 ton) – The Mars is what happens when a Behemoth and Sturmfeur have babies, 45 LRM tubes are arrayed along its back facing forward under the guidance control of an Artemis IV module while the turret is equipped with a cERLL, AMS, and LBX-10. Stream SRM6s are mounted alongside to catch fast movers while a ECM unit can provide some defense utilizing ghost targets or be swapped out for an Active Probe to search for ambushes. This lumbering engine of destruction is commonly used to break up enemy formations in support of Armored Infantry as it can move scarcely faster than an Elemental can jump.
Morrigu – Although not perfectly optimized as it mounts two cERLLs forcing additional mass to be devoted to heat sinks the Morrigu’s two LRM15s and in modern versions waist mounted AP Gauss Rifle are capable of severely damaging any foe unlucky enough to be in their long range.
Schreck – Much like the Morrigu the Schreck is a combat vehicle that has a deservedly stellar reputation. However, its inequities have been laid bare more than once over the Jihad as its weak armor made it susceptible to enemy attack and easy destruction. This has forced designers to replace the central PPC with a Rotary AC/2 and use the leftover mass to almost double its armor protection at a slight loss in throw weight.
Ontos – The modern Ontos comes in two varieties each of which serve principally in the FLWM and their SLDF allies. The first and newest is basically the Light Gauss equivalent of an Alacorn but unfortunately suffers from the same deficiency as the base Schreck as its 9.5 tons of HFF armor is not sturdy enough to take abuse. However, with the Light Gauss Rifle’s incredible range one could argue it can attack and possible fight off an enemy before they close within effective range. The second is the tank equivalent of a modern Longbow with 2xLRM20s and 2xLRM10s but much cheaper at a mere 3.1M CB as it uses an older ICE engine. Both are typically used to provide heavy firepower to the FLWMs slower Mechanized Infantry units rather than engage Battlemechs with their thin armor.
Partisan – The Partisan AA tank has been a mainstay of installation defense for decades and provides steady fire support when on the offensive. Modern Partisans use slightly lighter fuel cell engines to add two more tons of ammo, extra armor, and CASE to the design at the cost of the defensive machine guns. Doing so does add to their price however with the modern Partisan costing almost twice as much as its ICE powered predecessor. That said the extra armor, ammo, and CASE will likely improve survivability.
Tedate (Modified Behemoth)– The DCMS reconfigured the New Samarkand Metal’s Behemoth lines to produce the Tedate which might be the first sign of an evolution in assault tanks. Rather than pretend to be a MBT that can keep up with the faster Battlemechs of our modern era the Tedate is designed to use its frontal bulldozer blade to scratch out hull down positions where it can use its paired Gauss Rifles, Light PPCs, and AMS to best effect while protecting what little mobility it posesses. Smoke Grenades, Magshots, and B-Pods protect its flanks from hostile Armored Infantry attack.

Apparent Trends Post-Jihad
Modern Assault tanks like MBTs have consolidated their unfocused weapons groupings to a more sensible arrangement. The added survivability of bulldozer made hull-down positions is certainly enticing for many crews and their ability to make trenches will support the infantry they often work with. The cost in mass and lost firepower are equally minimal particularly on these heavier vehicles. Like most other thanks they have lost their Anti-Personnel weapons trading out machine guns for Magshots that can more respectably damage the more numerous every year Armored Infantry at range. Mechanized Infantry those troops can take the Anti-Personnel role away from the heavier platform allowing more specialized and optimized designs more suited to anti-vehicle warfare. While the use of Heavy Ferro-Fibrous armored composites is more widespread in the MBT category Hardened armor is an increasingly popular option at this edge of the mass range as a single TC costing only a few thousand CB can disable a 90-ton 12M CB tank.

Final Thoughts
While there will always be a need for these assault tanks they will likely continue to be under pressure from improved munitions. That said I personally think that the assault tank is an endangered species costing to much money and resources that could be put toward more versatile MBTs just as the proliferation of Clantech distinctly threatens the Assault Mech more than a Medium.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War (K-Verse AU)
« Reply #19 on: 15 February 2022, 22:08:36 »
Primer on Combat Engineering in the 31st Century | Curriculum from the Robinson Battle Academy

Imperial Rome was made great by its Engineers and its Legions and the same is true for the Federated Suns, its RCEC (Royal Combat Engineering Corps), and the AFFS. The mission of a combat engineer on the battlefield has always been mobility for supplies and troops while denying the enemy the same luxury. As such the RCEC is responsible for building and maintaining strategic infrastructure such as roads, railways, bridges, ports, and power grids in a combat theater which is then operated by the Transport Command. The RCEC often oversees such infrastructure on border worlds.

Many Royal Combat Engineers are reservists attached to their respective planetary government’s militia where they regularly operate this infrastructure and train to do so under combat conditions at a tidy retainer. This ensures that an RCT can tap into local or regional forces wherever they might find themselves to supplement their forces. Typically, a Combat Engineering Regiment is split between the infantry and armor portions of an RCT as these commands require their services the most. Battlemech units already have superior mobility to conventional ones being capable of walking across the bottom of a river, leaping over minefields, or pushing through forests.

RCEC are rarely on foot since they need to keep pace with a formation and are often heavily encumbered with armor and equipment. To ensure the larger force’s mobility they operate armored but unarmed construction vehicles matched to the formation’s primary motive type. These will be protected by their attached formation although Engineers often carry sub-machine guns for protection against saboteurs or ambushing units.
 
The first special type of combat engineering vehicle is a Wombat A-BL/RV which is built on the standard King Tiger Medium MBT chassis. This design is equipped with a rapidly deploying heavy bridge allowing two King Tigers (90 tons) to pass over it at a time to bypass obstacles such as deep trenches, cliffs, or rivers.

Additionally, it serves as an armored recovery vehicle with its two rear mounted lift hoists capable of rapidly recovering a disabled King Tiger or handling heavy cargo for construction projects. Finally, a frontal dozer blade is useful to scrape out hull-down positions, infantry trenches, and charge forward and breach walls. There is also some basic internal cargo stowage.

Secondly the Sapper R-MCV is built upon a Scorpion chassis and equipped with a mine roller, modular frontal armor package, searchlights, and an armored motive system. This unarmed drone uses its’ roller to detonate mines ahead of it until the roller is destroyed. If there is still a suspected minefield ahead the Sapper can be remotely piloted into the hazardous area setting off Anti-Armor mines without concern for crew safety.

Although not an independent vehicle the Porcupine minelayer and its ilk are towed behind a Wombat or similar vehicle and capable of mechanically burying mines in a fast and orderly fashion. This of course makes them predictable for experienced mine clearance personnel such as those in the TACF but that still buys time for our forces and serves as an obstacle to enemy vehicles. FASCAM/’Thunder’ mines can be delivered by aerial bombing (with very wide coverage), Long Range Missiles, or every type of artillery (with Arrow IVs being the best) allowing for expedient deployment. Augmented Thunder missiles scatter more widely but less densely than the normal type {an LRM 20 will either deploy a 20-point minefield or a total of 7 10-point minefields (central hex and all adjacent)}. Thunder mines deployed by LRMs typically last a few days before detonating.

Mines are to be deployed along the flanks with respect to terrain. In fact, terrain should be sculpted with dozer blades or chosen to reduce the area from which the enemy can engage whenever possible. Mines should be employed at areas of great tactical importance that you cannot exploit at that moment, (planting command minefields around your position and withdrawing is a valid if dangerous tactic) for whatever reason along with spotted artillery. Naturally this will attract an adversary and draw them into your trap. Mines can also be used in water to hinder crossings and cause damage to hovercraft and other vehicles passing over or through it.

Types of Minefield Triggers
Active – Active mines are equipped with sensors that can detect jump jetting Mechs and infantry and engage them. They are commonly used in urban environments and mounted on roof tops.
Command – Preferred for tactical ambushes these mines are detonated via command wire or transmitter.
Conventional – Conventional mines lie in wait for anything to trigger them.

Mine Payloads
EMP – Electro-Magnetic Pulse mines can disable any modern combat vehicle including Battlemechs. They can only do so once however as the pulse disables their fellow mines nearby. They are particularly dangerous to support vehicle which lack the heavy shielding of their combat kin.
Inferno – These mines are incredibly dangerous and often used to create fires or kill large numbers of conventional and armored infantry. They are also dangerous to all kinds of vehicles but less so against Battlemechs where their flames don’t reach quite as high.
High Explosive– HE mines explode to great effect and are capable of easily disabling vehicles, injuring infantry, and damaging a Mech’s legs. When used in quantity these can shred lighter Mechs and are often used by less mobile forces against these forces.
Vibro-mine – Before placement vibro-mines are tuned to a specific weight (AFFS doctrine sets them at 60 covering most main modern Battlemechs but particularly DCMS Dragons) and will not detonate if a Mech <10 tons of the trigger weight passes over them. These can be sneaky since recon mechs are frequently lighter than a primary force. Heavier forces (>10) will set them off preemptively which can be cannily used to set off (typically inferno) mines before the mech arrives.

The types of Combat Engineer task are expounded upon below
Bridge Builders – Although a Wombat can rapidly deploy a bridge there are only a limited number of them in any given RCT (typically one or two to a Battalion max) and it is principally for heavier MBT and medium tanks. Bridge Builders bolt together pre-formed sections that can rapidly allow fellow Mechanized Infantry units or Light tanks to cross obstacles. Doing so expends their materials however so they will need to resupply before they can do so again.
Demolition – Equipped with bulk explosives demolition teams are used to collapse buildings and bridges that would otherwise be used by the enemy. This takes time but the effect is significant with a platoon of Combat Engineers capable of collapsing or at least weakening even heavily fortified structures. (28 Engineers, 14 SRM x 6 turns = 84 damage).
Firefighting – Equipped with fire-suppressing foams and water Firefighters can halt even fires started by inferno munitions. These are typically deployed at major transit hubs to combat large scale incendiary attacks and put out accidental fires caused by aircraft crashing.
Minesweeping – When a R-MCV is not available a unit commander must send in the minesweepers. Although most modern mines have a kill switch that detonates them after 14 days. Some particularly older ones or those emplaced by heartless DCMS troops to maim the Federation’s citizens during the Succession Wars are persistent and need to be either manually, mechanically, or explosively disarmed by mine clearance munitions or artillery.
Sensor – As part of a perimeter defense Combat Engineers will install remote sensors at strategic points to provide warning of impending attack. A platoon of these, often motorized, engineers can deploy 8 remote sensors before they need to restock.
Fieldworks – Utilizing lightweight folding gabions, dozer blades, dumpers, back-hoes, and other equipment fieldworks engineers can rapidly fortify an area for infantry improving their ability to withstand enemy attack. 

The most useful tools in the Combat Engineer’s arsenal
Bulldozer – Clearing rubble is important in urban warfare as wheeled vehicles suffer severe restriction on their crucial mobility. A bulldozer can clear the rubble of normal buildings in relatively short order. Rubble from heavier structures are still best bypassed.
Chainsaw – Since vehicles have trouble entering wooded areas Chainsaws can be used to clear them and turn them into merely rough terrain. Trees can also be used to block strategic roads and slow down advancing forces.
Rock Cutter – This heavy-duty machine is often used to cut through heavily fortified areas or cut into buildings for access. Unless one intends to attack a heavily fortified area or tear through a city these are often left behind. Instead towed ballistic weapons, particularly older Rifle Cannons, artillery, or emplaced explosives are used instead although Thunderbolt missiles are growing in popularity due to their long range.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War (K-Verse AU)
« Reply #20 on: 19 February 2022, 21:08:55 »
Comparative Efficiency of Weapons for Armored Vehicles
2SLIC Department of Military Innovation


When the Clans invaded in 3050 the Inner Sphere was well on the way to digging itself out a four Succession War sized hole. The Helm datacore provided many benefits to its industry and these were expedited by the Clan’s military pressure. The death of ilKhan Leo Showers and their eventual defeat on Tukayyid brought much needed breathing room as did the COMSTAR and later Word of Blake efforts to support the industries of the Draconis Combine and Free World’s League respectively. Although many things were superior the Clan’s weapon systems reach almost the maximum efficiency for their type utilizing cutting-edge equipment despite a lackluster quality control effort.

This document will cover the top and bottom five most efficient designs as determined by our internal rubric, which strongly favors precision and range more than sheer damage capacity per ton, for each of three main weapon types and share our general thoughts on some selected weapons. This rubric presumes that these designs will only be used in single or paired use as the metric becomes more challenging when you start getting into large numbers and alternate ordnance.

Unsurprisingly the Clans dominate the top five Energy Weapons for combat vehicles. The Clan's ERML, MPL, ERSL, and ERLL are all astounding systems that are fully utilized in many of their most vicious Mech (Nova Prime) and Aerospace (Visigoth Prime) designs along with their combat vehicles. Many of the Clan’s armored vehicles highly favor the fifth place ERLL as most have significantly less armor and are more commonly equipped with fusion power plants than Inner Sphere designs and so range offers better protection. Export of these weapons is tightly controlled by Clan Diamond Shark who have allegedly been charged with keeping balance with the Clans maintaining their tech edge over the Inner Sphere although that gap closes every year. Only one IS weapon makes the cut with their version of the ERML eking out a 4th place position.

Once one starts to multiply energy weapons they rapidly start to fall off the leaderboard with many missiles and even some ballistic weapons, particularly those that can load precision ordnance, becoming more efficient due to combat vehicles being unable to take advantage of double heat sinks.

The bottom five positions are a mixed bag mostly focusing on the category of small lasers. Additionally both the Clan's small and large heavy lasers perform poorly as they are either to small or hot (and thus heavy) for vehicles to effectively carry. The Small Pulse Laser is a middling Anti-Personnel weapon as it is just to short ranged and compared to a machine gun or flamer is not sufficiently damaging while those are more versatile weapons.

Since missile launchers are so broad, we will list the top types of missiles launchers. Due to their ammo efficiency and accuracy the Improved ATMs and Streak SRMs dominate the top three. Following closely behind is the Clan's LRMs which are lightweight, long range, and along with the ATMs carry a wide range of payloads giving the Clan Mechwarrior versatility they cannot match with their common ballistic or energy weapons.

The bottom five are dominated by the Mech Mortars which despite their versatile ammunition are very inaccurate and mostly see service in infantry support, a job they excel at. Additionally, the Thunderbolt launchers, while revolutionary when first introduced, are too vulnerable to more widespread Anti-Missiles Systems. Many of these have been assigned to engineering units for demolition work. The IS’s Extended Long-Range Missile’s launcher is just too heavy to be deployed on most mobile units and incapable of utilizing special ammo types. Thus, it is likely to remain limited to its current role as an installation defense weapon where it’s long minimum range can be amply supported by other units. Finally, MRMs suffer due to their inaccuracy and short ranges although they are used by engineers to clear minefields and when paired with an active C3 network can deliver staggering amounts of missiles to the target.

Although the Inner Sphere still struggles with the technological advances of the Clans ballistic weaponry remains competitive, although that is a low bar. Clan Stone Lion's Hyper Assault Gauss Rifles dominate the top spots followed by the Anti-Personnel Gauss gun, a modified and strengthened version of the common Battle Armor weapon. After them are are the Clan and IS's LBX 10 and 20 class autocannons.

The bottom five weapons are three variants of the AC/2 (the light, standard, and improved), the Light Retro-Rifle, which is incapable of damaging modern combat armor but remains a threat to infantry, Battle Armored, Mechanized, or otherwise, and the humble machine gun. The only solace that one can find in these designs is that these AC/2s can readily utilize precision ammunition to give them pulse like accuracy out into many weapon’s long range. If on a fast enough vehicle (hover or wheeled mostly) and given space one might be able to wear down an adversary over many volleys although these are typically used in pursuits to finish off an already damaged foe. Like many other weapons these do have some niches. Their long relative range makes them effective anti-aircraft weapons particularly when combined with Flak ammunition further improving their accuracy and for the most part. If nothing more they still outrange most weapons on the modern battlefield although that is likely small solace to Pike crews.

Daryk

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War (K-Verse AU)
« Reply #21 on: 19 February 2022, 23:21:10 »
Kiting as a tactic requires speed, range, and patience.  The AC/2s have one of those...  8)

DOC_Agren

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War (K-Verse AU)
« Reply #22 on: 20 February 2022, 00:05:14 »
nice articles
I loved the combat engineering one
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

AlphaMirage

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War (K-Verse AU)
« Reply #23 on: 02 April 2022, 11:34:02 »
ICE vs Ice, Wartime Energy Economy

The invention and widespread deployment of fusion engines and hydrogen economy developed during the Star League era was revolutionary to combat power. Although best known for powering Mechs and Aerospace fighters many powered the vast armored vehicle formations employed by the Star League and earlier Successor States. Fusion engine power density is unmatched, yet many modern Armored vehicles are still powered by Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) even though the scavenger days of the Successor Wars are several decades behind. Why?

To answer that question, we must think about how armored vehicles are commonly used in the modern era. Many ICE powered AFVs are reserve, defense focused units that don’t spend much of their time active. Front-line units use fusion engines because they are deployed with forces than do so as well. Militias maintain smaller active formations to maintain competency and build up reserve capacity.

The bulk of a planetary militia’s units are kept in an ‘inactive reserve’ state. Because of this they don’t burn fuel, require techs, or spare parts eliminating many of the complaints that the fusionaire mafia insinuates. Initial acquisition cost is more important to a planetary government than actual combat ability. Even standard fusion reactors dramatically increase the initial cost of a power plant. One can get almost twice as many ICE powered vehicles and that’s if you cannot build them yourselves (and many can and do).

Although Quikscell is infamous for its kit build armored vehicles many other manufacturers do the same as there is more profit to be made in other concerns. ICE Power Plants represent a large fraction of a vehicle’s mass and cost. With dropship freight rates being decided by mass removing the engine, some weapons, and even the armor makes transport cheaper.

As the (often) heaviest individual component and largest user of space parts, the Engine/Power Plant, can instead be made at or near the customer upon any developed world. Fusion Engines cannot be as easily sourced however and require more specialized integration into the AFV itself. This incurs a major expense for something that would otherwise be considered an economical option.

Since ICE and Fuel Cell Engines are so widespread even primitive worlds have some manner of material and human infrastructure in place to supply and support them. Any world can source combustible fuel from local sources even if it is just alcohol or natural gas. This allows a planetary militia to focus their integral technical support on weapons and advanced electronics. Commercial and industrial interests could easily maintain engines and fuel infrastructure.

With advance warning a full technical team can reactivate eight (<35) light or nearly five medium (40-55) and three (60-75) vehicles per day of work. Recently activated tankers can then load up on ammo and fuel from reserves and become operational. If an attacker arrives at a standard jump point just one defending tech team can reactivate two companies worth of tanks in opposition before ground-fall. This is a massive force multiplier that would otherwise be limited if one were to use only lesser numbers of fusion (or fission) powered vehicles. This reserve ‘surge’ capacity will see ICE engines continue to be used even if fusion engines become more common (although with the massive draw from Aerospace craft in the modern era that is unlikely).

DOC_Agren

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Re: Point Barrow Guide to 31st Century War (K-Verse AU)
« Reply #24 on: 03 April 2022, 01:04:08 »
I have to agree with you here
   :thumbsup:
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"