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Author Topic: Advice for battalion-sized combined arms mercenary unit for BattleTech/AToW game  (Read 906 times)

Xardion

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So I'm starting a Time of War/BattleTech game for the wife and a friend, and am pondering the composition of the unit they're in. It's a battalion-sized combined arms mercenary unit, attached to a larger FedSuns regiment, at the very beginning of the FedCom Civil War.  They're based out of a Fortress (the 3058 upgrade model), so they'll be hauling around a company each of mechs, tanks and grunts, and a handful of support vehicles in the cargo bay.

The tank company is primarily for artillery and direct fire support and anti-air, so it's a lance of Gauss Demolishers, a lance of 3 Partisan Air Defense with 1 Lance Command variant, and 2 Arrow IV Demolishers paired with 2 Ontos tanks (3053 upgrade). Given the slow bulk of the tank company, the mech company should almost certainly be much lighter and faster, but the composition there is what I'm looking for advice on.

One of the players is in an extremely fast custom stealth Flea, the other player will probably go for something more balanced, probably a fairly fast medium like a PHX, Nightsky or Stealth.  I figure the rest of that lance will be similar, and form a recon/strike lance. The command lance would probably be dominated by 5/8 heavies, possibly with a 4/6 assault for the company commander. Haven't decided anything for the middle lance. Thoughts? Feel free to give me better ideas for the tank company as well, the only thing I know I wanted there was the Arrow IV demolishers, at least 1 of them. The game will be primarily RPG dominated, and any BattleTech battles we run would be primarily mechs, so most of this is just to provide a reasonable composition for the unit going on in the background.

pokefan548

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Bring a cargo dropper, or at least something with a lot of cargo space. A Mule is ideal to start out, but if it's too much cargo space, an Intruder is also very nice. This becomes less important the more you waive the repair/replacement, maintenance, food and water, etc. rules.
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Daryk

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Don't forget the AsTechs, Medical Team, or Lawyer!  8)

Iron Grenadier

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I'd suggest all jumping mechs

Command - all 4/6/4
Victor 9B or 9D
Penetrator 4D
Enforcer 4R
Panther 9R

Heavy Cavalry - all 5/8/5
Thanatos 4S
Quickdraw 4G or 5K
Wolverine 6M
Valkyrie QA

Recon/Strike - all 7/11/7
Wraith TR1
Stealth
Assassin
Spector

Xardion

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I'd suggest all jumping mechs

<cut>

Recon/Strike - all 7/11/7
Wraith TR1
Stealth
Assassin
Spector

That's not a bad idea at all, though I'd need to drop the Spector for the custom stealth Flea (like I said, one player has a custom mech). The Flea would be the only non-jumper, but the thing is so ridiculously fast (15/23 + MASC + Supercharger) that I don't think it'll matter that much, as long as they can avoid getting boxed in.

I like all the other mechs though, and the composition is excellent.  Maybe a little undergunned compared to other options, but positioning is everything.

Daryk

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I'd drop the Assassin for the Flea instead of the Spector...  8)

Xardion

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I'd drop the Assassin for the Flea instead of the Spector...  8)

HEH, good point.

Colt Ward

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Yeah, the Spector would be better for electronics . . . and in it's weight, it is no slouch in fighting.
Colt Ward
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"We come in peace, please ignore the bloodstains."

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General308

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So I'm starting a Time of War/BattleTech game for the wife and a friend, and am pondering the composition of the unit they're in. It's a battalion-sized combined arms mercenary unit, attached to a larger FedSuns regiment, at the very beginning of the FedCom Civil War.  They're based out of a Fortress (the 3058 upgrade model), so they'll be hauling around a company each of mechs, tanks and grunts, and a handful of support vehicles in the cargo bay.

The tank company is primarily for artillery and direct fire support and anti-air, so it's a lance of Gauss Demolishers, a lance of 3 Partisan Air Defense with 1 Lance Command variant, and 2 Arrow IV Demolishers paired with 2 Ontos tanks (3053 upgrade). Given the slow bulk of the tank company, the mech company should almost certainly be much lighter and faster, but the composition there is what I'm looking for advice on.

One of the players is in an extremely fast custom stealth Flea, the other player will probably go for something more balanced, probably a fairly fast medium like a PHX, Nightsky or Stealth.  I figure the rest of that lance will be similar, and form a recon/strike lance. The command lance would probably be dominated by 5/8 heavies, possibly with a 4/6 assault for the company commander. Haven't decided anything for the middle lance. Thoughts? Feel free to give me better ideas for the tank company as well, the only thing I know I wanted there was the Arrow IV demolishers, at least 1 of them. The game will be primarily RPG dominated, and any BattleTech battles we run would be primarily mechs, so most of this is just to provide a reasonable composition for the unit going on in the background.

Just me but I do like to use the Partisan.  But I really prefer to use the LRM varient

idea weenie

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Bring a cargo dropper, or at least something with a lot of cargo space. A Mule is ideal to start out, but if it's too much cargo space, an Intruder is also very nice. This becomes less important the more you waive the repair/replacement, maintenance, food and water, etc. rules.

I'd say keep the Mule for as long as possible, and have an NPC in the group whose only task is to find cargo for the unit to carry.  Gives a bit of extra money coming in, and plenty of room for salvage from a raid.  Depending on the AToW campaign, your group may find itself becoming armed cargo shippers rather than combat mercenaries.  A Garrison contract could be your unit watching over an Engineering mercenary group for 3-4 months, where the Mercenary Engineers use your Mule to haul the critical equipment to the destination.  Any extra space would be used for slight profit on the trip.  If all the equipment can be hauled out of the Dropship and to a basic base on-planet, you can send the Mule off for more profitable items to be sold.  The problem is that with all your gear unloaded that means you have lots of loot sitting around, very tempting for a pirate contact to make a call in exchange for a cut.

The Merchant NPC can be used to spark mission ideas by mentioning locations that need support of one kind or another, adding a bit of extra funds in case the unit needs it, and creatively depriving the unit of Dropship support at critical times.  Or if the unit happens to get a contract at a location that makes Battlemech armor, the Merchant NPC buys up several tons of it straight from the factory, meaning later when the unit needs repairs they have plenty of armor plating to do so.  It also means that the spare PPC you needed was sold off a few months earlier but the Merchant NPC got a really good price for it (a semi-damaged Light Mech for one of your Dispossesed).


For the tank company, try to grab a Schrek or two.  You might have to make a home-made version that uses 4 Large Lasers instead of 3 PPCs, but the fact that it can fire every turn with zero worry about ammunition needs means it can keep your opponents very cautious around open terrain.  Pilot for this might be a temporary player, whose only job is to say "I smite them" over and over.

Grab a few scout helicopters too, the Ferret if you are just starting out, and upgrading to the Warrior later on.  Cary the Scout VTOLs in cargo, and use a Light Vehicle bay (50 tons) to prep them for work.  Their job is not to engage the enemy, merely spot the enemy so your Mechs can engage or avoid them as appropriate.  The pilots of these would be NPCs.

To fill the Light Vehicle Bay, I'd want to look for an AC/2, AC/5, LRM, Large Laser, or PPC-armed vehicle with the weapons in a turret in the 50 ton or less range.  The entire purpose of this vehicle is to exit your Dropship as soon as practical after landing, then just patrol around your grounded Dropship to keep enemy aircraft away.  A Condor might be nice with a single AC/5, though to me the goal would be a unit with a multiple long-range weapons in the turret.  Their goal is not to knock down enemy aircraft, just keep the aircraft away so your Dropship doesn't get holes put in it.  After deploying the AA platform, you use the Light Vehicle Bay to prep the scout helicopters.

The real purpose of these vehicles is 70 tons of Plot:
- Four scout helicopters allow you to tell the players that an enemy force has been spotted, and the players can either go around or try to ambush the enemy force.  Or you can say that the scouts just found a juicy secondary target that is within mission limitations
- the air defense unit is what you can tell the players so they don't have to worry about leaving their Dropship all alone against someone with a helicopter and a box of grenades.  It also lets you tell them 'your air defense commander says the locals are pushing hard with their recon, you might want to finish up the fight quick and get back here ASAP'

Colt Ward

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The real purpose of these vehicles is 70 tons of Plot:
- Four scout helicopters allow you to tell the players that an enemy force has been spotted, and the players can either go around or try to ambush the enemy force.  Or you can say that the scouts just found a juicy secondary target that is within mission limitations
- the air defense unit is what you can tell the players so they don't have to worry about leaving their Dropship all alone against someone with a helicopter and a box of grenades.  It also lets you tell them 'your air defense commander says the locals are pushing hard with their recon, you might want to finish up the fight quick and get back here ASAP'

Excellent summation . . .

If you have infantry, you might want to consider AC/2 Field Gun platoons.  They would allow you to set up outside of most fixed defenses and plink away to wreck them with little concern for counter-fire.  When not employed that way, you can use them for DZ defense too.
Colt Ward
Clan Invasion Backer #149, Leviathans #104

"We come in peace, please ignore the bloodstains."

"Greetings, Mechwarrior. You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Daoshen and the Capellan Confederation Armed Forces.

Daryk

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Infantry (even with field guns) IS pretty easy to deploy from a DropShip...  ^-^

 

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