Register Register

Author Topic: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?  (Read 2938 times)

Goose

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1156
  • … the Laws on his tail, burning for home …
    • Home of HeavyMetal Pro
Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« on: 14 January 2022, 15:08:24 »
With what would you escort an APC? By which I mean "something with  ~5 tons of infantry in it."

How many escorts would you use? Would  you dig in such units?

Or would  you go for something big, doing most of the ground-holding itself, like a Goblin AFV?

Does this change if your moving BAs instead of PBI?  :P
Goose
The Ancient Egyptian God of Frustration

idea weenie

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3538
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #1 on: 14 January 2022, 15:27:23 »
For me the APC is its own escort, so I don't have to worry about it as much.  Something cheap with a long-range weapon to aggravate opponents, but not dangerous enough to make it worth pursuing.  This way if the opponent decides to ignore the APC (and its infantry) I haven't wasted a lot of my points escorting generic infantry.  Off-hand, if my escort is worth more than twice what is being escorted, then I am spending too much.

A similar ratio might come into play for BA, though since BA have a higher C-Bill/BV this means my 'escort' can be much nastier.

Generally, the smaller unit escorts the larger unit, so infantry would be used to protect an LRM unit, not vice-versa.  Now if you need that infantry unit to enter a specific building, that changes my escort equations.

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 24464
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #2 on: 14 January 2022, 19:08:26 »
I'm a Goblin fan (as I suspect you know), but Idea Weenie is right.  Escorts should be worth less than what they're escorting.  They're ablative, after all...  ^-^

Dapper Apples

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 171
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #3 on: 14 January 2022, 19:58:00 »
karnov goes in

karnov goes out (or not...)

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 24464
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #4 on: 14 January 2022, 21:29:01 »
With a few Ferrets running escort, the Karnov almost certainly goes out...  :)

maxcarrion

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 358
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #5 on: 16 January 2022, 13:38:04 »
Why are you escorting the apcs?  What are you doing?  What is your formation and purpose? What do you count as the 'escort' and what limits do you place on that role?  I would say, in most cases, APCs do not need escorts to keep them safe in transit but rather want to operate on an appropriate and complimentary combined arms environment

For example infantry pacifying a lightly armed militia in a built up environment probably want mostly wheeled and VTOL APC and foot infantry with maybe some gunship support (think mogidishu)

On a forest engagement you might want fast VTOL and jump infantry, perhaps equipped with TAG and supported by LRM and AIV units.

A more open field with heavy units some IFV with small infantry compartments like Goblins could bring some handy infantry support into your tank formations.

It's all very much horses for courses and heavily depends on the purpose and disposition of your forces

RifleMech

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3312
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #6 on: 19 January 2022, 03:52:35 »
If 3 APCs are transporting the infantry company, I might turn the 4th APC into something else support the others.

Colt Ward

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 25393
  • Gott Mit Uns
    • Merc Periphery Guide- Bakunin
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #7 on: 19 January 2022, 10:52:13 »
APC escorts are really there to support the attacks of infantry or battle armor . . . and basically you are talking about a IRL mechanized infantry formation where FREX a mechanized infantry company has 2 platoons of infantry in APC/IFV- there is a difference and your 'armed' APCs are more like IFVs, compare Blizzard APCs with Main Gauche IFVs- and a platoon of armor.  It also scales up, it depends on your organizational doctrine but basically a mechanized formation is at some point 2/3rds infantry in APC/IFV and 1/3rd armor/fire support . . . usually they have some attached or organic artillery where the split occurs.

So a mechanized battalion?
HQ Company- lance of armor (bodyguards), reinforced lance of APCs functioning as HQs so com gear, lance of SP artillery
Armor Company
1st Mechanized Company
2nd Mechanized Company

That is for organizational needs . . . if the BN is not going in itself, sometimes it will be broken down into task forces/task groups/combat teams . . . depends on the organizational naming, where it will be the above described armor lance w/ a platoon or two.
Colt Ward

Beware the vengeance of a patient man.
Clan Invasion Backer #149

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 24464
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #8 on: 19 January 2022, 18:42:59 »
I organized my miliitia companies as two platoons of foot infantry embarked in 4 Goblin variants (1 MG, 3 other for a little over 8 squads total capacity, when you consider the 5 tons of the MG variant is technically a platoon plus 2 more tons).  If you want to min-max the carrying capacity, that could be 1 MG variant Goblin, 2 others (probably LRM), and a pure combat vehicle (no, not a Vedette... a Manticore would round out a nice even 200 tons).

Starfury

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 487
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #9 on: 19 January 2022, 22:38:13 »
The Maxim is a nice combination of both...

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 24464
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #10 on: 20 January 2022, 04:18:09 »
The Maxim's main problem is the weird weapon lay out.

DevianID

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 947
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #11 on: 20 January 2022, 05:54:45 »
The maxim I forgive the weird weapons layout as once it gets pillpoxed with an immob result it has weapons in every arc to eat crits; this makes it a great infantry support against mass 2 damage enemy infantry attacks, while using its own infantry to repel boarders.  Many other APC designs have a weak, un weaponed side/rear, so after a turret locked crit they can be engaged with no contest, or a few side crits, with no weapon, skip the stabilizer multicrit ablation and upgrade to deadly results.

Kovax

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2413
  • Taking over the Universe one mapsheet at a time
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #12 on: 20 January 2022, 09:23:07 »
My preference is to either go with decently armed and armored APCs, such as Heavy APCs or Goblins, or else to assign a fairly powerful escort to deter other parties from going after the vulnerable freshly debarked grunts before they can move into decent cover.  I try to avoid using APCs that can't take a 10-point hit without suffering internal damage and critical checks.

Colt Ward

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 25393
  • Gott Mit Uns
    • Merc Periphery Guide- Bakunin
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #13 on: 20 January 2022, 10:34:55 »
Problem is, put too many or too good weapons on your APCs and you encourage it to stick around and fight.  If it IS designed to fight in direct support of the troops, then it is a ISV/IFV and a different kettle of fish in training, deployment, and tactics.
Colt Ward

Beware the vengeance of a patient man.
Clan Invasion Backer #149

Sabelkatten

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 6261
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #14 on: 20 January 2022, 13:58:27 »
I prefer LRMs on my infantry carriers. Lets me engage the enemy at long range (where the PBIs can't hit) or hide my carriers behind a hill and IDF with my PBIs as spotters.

Also, smoke rounds are quite nice when closing. :)

Colt Ward

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 25393
  • Gott Mit Uns
    • Merc Periphery Guide- Bakunin
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #15 on: 20 January 2022, 14:14:23 »
I prefer LRMs on my infantry carriers. Lets me engage the enemy at long range (where the PBIs can't hit) or hide my carriers behind a hill and IDF with my PBIs as spotters.

Also, smoke rounds are quite nice when closing. :)

Which is why I said Blizzard APC vs Main Gauche IFV.
Colt Ward

Beware the vengeance of a patient man.
Clan Invasion Backer #149

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 24464
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #16 on: 20 January 2022, 20:17:54 »
My preference is to either go with decently armed and armored APCs, such as Heavy APCs or Goblins, or else to assign a fairly powerful escort to deter other parties from going after the vulnerable freshly debarked grunts before they can move into decent cover.  I try to avoid using APCs that can't take a 10-point hit without suffering internal damage and critical checks.
Hence my jeeps having 2.5 tons of armor... that's 10 points in all four directions (no turret).

Col Toda

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2651
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #17 on: 21 January 2022, 06:43:49 »
Different Eras Different terrain Different APCs . In 3025 get GM to produce a fuel cell kit for a Karnov  . 12/18 speed ok armor SRM 6 with 1 ton of ammo and a 3 ton infantry compartment.  Lay down smoke on target hex by other units to better defend the infantry put the infantry in marine armor for the 2 diviser and life support to handle operating in smoke and called it a day .

Other ERA With Battle Armor Karnov with a light or XL engine  outfitted with 8 ton infantry compartment and a Chaff pod . The APC moves to desied hex chaff pod goes off in movement phase giving light smoke and AMS and ECM effects drop off battle armor and you are done .  The biggest  issue of custom or rare is the non standard  parts . In a campaign that is 16,000  C bills per ton for spare parts . As you get more utility it is normally worth it .

STOCK Giddens APC for urban use . Except for Hiryo ? WiGE battle armor transports most great APCs are in the 3085 TRO so custom jobs might be better . DEST teams use a Karnov with Vehicle Stealth armor . The most important thing is for them to be either fast or armored enough to deliver the troops . Infantry and battle armor are generally area denial units ment to stall the enemy holding ground .

If it MUST be guarded or escorted in some way just arm some unit with a ton of smoke ammo . Dumping BV into specific special units may put you at a greater BV imbalance. 
« Last Edit: 21 January 2022, 07:15:35 by Col Toda »

RifleMech

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3312
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #18 on: 21 January 2022, 21:50:40 »
Different Eras Different terrain Different APCs .

In addition though there's also cost and tech ability. They may want a Giggins APC but the best they can afford is a couple Heavy Wheeled APCs. They may also want IFVs with Missile Launchers but they best IFV they can build has a Rifle Cannon. I've even used Tank Cannons to turn APCs into IFVs.





Red Pins

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3294
  • Inspiration+Creativity=Insanity
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #19 on: 22 January 2022, 01:12:45 »
FWIW, I swear by the 3+1 argument, 3 APCs with a heavier escort, preferably artillery cannon-equipped to defend standard infantry from BA and 5-_or 10-packs with 2 or more tons of ammo.  Speed is relative, but I had a couple pre-made groups for hover and wheeled APCs.

Mind you, that got turned on its head when I came up with wheeled BA for my AU.
...Visit the Legacy Cluster...
The New Clans:Volume One
Clan Devil Wasp * Clan Carnoraptor * Clan Frost Ape * Clan Surf Dragon * Clan Tundra Leopard
Now with MORE GROGNARD!  ...I think I'm done.  I've played long enough to earn a pension, fer cryin' out loud!  IlClan and out in <REDACTED>!
Glitter - the herpes of the craft supply world.

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 24464
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #20 on: 22 January 2022, 05:48:18 »
I could easily see 3 Heavy Hover APCs with one of my Damascene Scimitars (in my sig block).  Good thinking!  :thumbsup:

Red Pins

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3294
  • Inspiration+Creativity=Insanity
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #21 on: 22 January 2022, 09:59:13 »
I could easily see 3 Heavy Hover APCs with one of my Damascene Scimitars (in my sig block).  Good thinking!  :thumbsup:

Well...  No.

I got the idea my normal way; losing to somebody else who thought of it.   :-\
...Visit the Legacy Cluster...
The New Clans:Volume One
Clan Devil Wasp * Clan Carnoraptor * Clan Frost Ape * Clan Surf Dragon * Clan Tundra Leopard
Now with MORE GROGNARD!  ...I think I'm done.  I've played long enough to earn a pension, fer cryin' out loud!  IlClan and out in <REDACTED>!
Glitter - the herpes of the craft supply world.

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 24464
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #22 on: 22 January 2022, 10:58:09 »
Learning from mistakes is ALSO good thinking!  :thumbsup:

Cannonshop

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7585
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #23 on: 22 January 2022, 12:37:21 »
Problem is, put too many or too good weapons on your APCs and you encourage it to stick around and fight.  If it IS designed to fight in direct support of the troops, then it is a ISV/IFV and a different kettle of fish in training, deployment, and tactics.

To an extent: Agreed.  This really comes up to doctrines-aka what your infantry forces are for, and it also smooshes into the mix of whether you're going to use ALL the options or not.  "Mechanized" infantry (by the rules) fits better the thin-skinned apc concept, separate dismounts fits better with IFV's, and the canon APC models?

That's just really shoddy IFV units (has guns, not much use in support).

The rules kind of set up for two concepts pulling away from each other-on the one hand, you've got separate infantry and vehicles, which lets you have much better vehicles with much better mobility, but sticks you with leg, or at most, motorcycle troops.  On the opposing hand, you've got "Infantry" that pull their half-tracks up to the second floor somehow, and those tracks aren't much better than their plate-carriers and helmets...except that they're slightly faster than walking (only just) because they've been abstracted that far.

the two concepts really don't mesh logically, but both are in the rules, and even show up on the same table.

sometimes at the same time.

Conceptually, I'd say how you organize your forces really should boil down to what you think your doctrine OUGHT to look like.  (and keep in mind, not everyone will agree with your ideas, or mine, or someone else's, but as long as it's rules-legal you've got a LOT of options.)

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

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 24464
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #24 on: 22 January 2022, 12:51:29 »
Heavy APCs aren't too shoddy, at least not the LRM and SRM variants.  They can still carry a full platoon and have either an LRM-5 or SRM-4.

Calimehter

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 139
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #25 on: 27 January 2022, 09:45:56 »
To go back to the first sentence in the OP . . . when I'm running cheap APCs like that, I'm not really buying anything at all with the dedicated purpose of escorting them.  Cheap APCs are there to provide affordable insertion for the infantry, so I usually protect them by trying to time that insertion to go in whenever the enemy has something "better" to shoot at that.  That 'something' could be a big lance of heavies plodding out to lay down some heavy direct fire, or it could be a lance of speedy lights heading for a nice flanking attack position . . . either way, the 'something' is doing its own job and not just escorting infantry.

When I'm running Goblins or similar heavier IFVs, I tend to think of the IFVs as being the primary fighting element and the infantry as just a unique weapons system for that IFV that you pay extra BV for but get some unique close in capabilities for in return.

Cannonshop

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7585
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #26 on: 27 January 2022, 10:27:58 »
To go back to the first sentence in the OP . . . when I'm running cheap APCs like that, I'm not really buying anything at all with the dedicated purpose of escorting them.  Cheap APCs are there to provide affordable insertion for the infantry, so I usually protect them by trying to time that insertion to go in whenever the enemy has something "better" to shoot at that.  That 'something' could be a big lance of heavies plodding out to lay down some heavy direct fire, or it could be a lance of speedy lights heading for a nice flanking attack position . . . either way, the 'something' is doing its own job and not just escorting infantry.

When I'm running Goblins or similar heavier IFVs, I tend to think of the IFVs as being the primary fighting element and the infantry as just a unique weapons system for that IFV that you pay extra BV for but get some unique close in capabilities for in return.

again, it has a LOT to do with what you're doing, including what kind of scenarios you're running into and running.  Scenarios with other objectives (besides "Kill everything!!!") will require different types of forces.

A lot of players evaluate types of force based on a pitched battle format (with or without forced withdrawal), with the major influences mostly being the terrain and a 'Kill Everything' mission.

but sometimes...

sometimes you can win and still bring ammo home.  And that's going to require a different force mix from pitched battles where your goal is to inflict immediate casualties.

One of the fun ones I've set up for players in the past, is a scenario where property damage and civilian casualties impact victory points-you can literally lose the match by destroying too much of the area, because it's the area that has the parts you're trying to capture (or retain, or protect).

Infantry becomes a HELL of a lot more useful when you're trying to secure a fragile area, esp. if the CF of the structures is low enough that even a medium laser will level the buildings-and where the destruction of a building includes a roll to see how many civilians inside are dead, and at -50 victory points per civilian casualty, and -150 VP for each destroyed hex of building?

it adds up quick.  The Defender can lose his entire force and still win the scenario.  Your best bet in that situation is infantry and battlesuits.



« Last Edit: 27 January 2022, 10:34:46 by Cannonshop »
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Calimehter

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 139
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #27 on: 27 January 2022, 20:14:37 »
Infantry becomes a HELL of a lot more useful when you're trying to secure a fragile area, esp. if the CF of the structures is low enough that even a medium laser will level the buildings-and where the destruction of a building includes a roll to see how many civilians inside are dead, and at -50 victory points per civilian casualty, and -150 VP for each destroyed hex of building?

My copy of "The Tao of Jinjiro Kurita" says you are overvaluing your civilians.  :))

More seriously though . . . yeah, it does depend.  My answer was based on the (presumably?) more common scenario for players, which is that the infantry is part of a combined arms force that includes fairly significant quantities of Mechs and/or vehicles.  In such cases, even with objective counters or other non-kill-based victory conditions in play, I still rarely assign dedicated escorts to cheap APCs.  If I want that kind of fighting power directly assigned to the infantry, I just switch out to IFVs like the Maxim or Goblin (or such).  Of course, when I do that the infantry kind of get relegated to "close support weapons system with neat rules" since the IFVs are typically a much larger investment than the infantry they are carrying, and the unit becomes something more like "vehicles that get a cool bonus in-or-near good infantry terrain".

Things do change when you are running a mostly infantry force, especially in a scenario like the one you described (which is a pretty good example of a scenario that High Command *would* send in a mostly infantry force).  I've theorycrafted a few formations like the ones Colt described, but rarely had the chance to see them in play myself.  :-\


Red Pins

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3294
  • Inspiration+Creativity=Insanity
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #28 on: 27 January 2022, 20:46:31 »
Um.  Especially in terms of campaigns (which admittedly I haven't played in ages), I want my Infantry to be able to escape the field, rather than start fresh.  While a -5 pack or two isn't much, they can park and support but still be available to get my troops out.

Beats just missing the victory conditions.  A single ton of specialty ammo has come in handy before too.
...Visit the Legacy Cluster...
The New Clans:Volume One
Clan Devil Wasp * Clan Carnoraptor * Clan Frost Ape * Clan Surf Dragon * Clan Tundra Leopard
Now with MORE GROGNARD!  ...I think I'm done.  I've played long enough to earn a pension, fer cryin' out loud!  IlClan and out in <REDACTED>!
Glitter - the herpes of the craft supply world.

Cannonshop

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7585
Re: Big, Armed APCs, or Escorts?
« Reply #29 on: 28 January 2022, 12:20:58 »
My copy of "The Tao of Jinjiro Kurita" says you are overvaluing your civilians.  :))

More seriously though . . . yeah, it does depend.  My answer was based on the (presumably?) more common scenario for players, which is that the infantry is part of a combined arms force that includes fairly significant quantities of Mechs and/or vehicles.  In such cases, even with objective counters or other non-kill-based victory conditions in play, I still rarely assign dedicated escorts to cheap APCs.  If I want that kind of fighting power directly assigned to the infantry, I just switch out to IFVs like the Maxim or Goblin (or such).  Of course, when I do that the infantry kind of get relegated to "close support weapons system with neat rules" since the IFVs are typically a much larger investment than the infantry they are carrying, and the unit becomes something more like "vehicles that get a cool bonus in-or-near good infantry terrain".

Things do change when you are running a mostly infantry force, especially in a scenario like the one you described (which is a pretty good example of a scenario that High Command *would* send in a mostly infantry force).  I've theorycrafted a few formations like the ones Colt described, but rarely had the chance to see them in play myself.  :-\

Back when we had a Battletech friendly FLGS nearby, and I was playing regularly, I ended up being rendered unable to play rather quite a lot, because the players that gathered kept asking me for 'freaky scenarios to keep the game fresh'.

What I described was a low-BV game I actually formulated for seven people I only knew by nicknames or faces and two actual friends.  It was a "Bring 2000 BV plus or minus ten percent" scenario of 'bring what you want' with no clarifications before that saturday.

Then I laid out the scenario and let people reorganize for that afternoon.

we only had the BMR(r) available plus a couple of the Fanpro supplements.  Our resident Commando knew what I was up to, so I drafted him to help the new guys figure out how to build forces that wouldn't destroy the habitats while taking them.

Predictably in the aftermath, it was our resident Jade Falcon player who, without help, figured out the best way to both avoid spending too much time working up replacement forces, AND take the village mostly intact.

It was a matter of his willingness to think outside the box I mistakenly thought I'd cleverly constructed.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams