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Author Topic: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I  (Read 14812 times)

oldfart3025

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Welcome to the triumphant return of Nuclear Weapon of the Month, from yours truly! The old articles, unfortunately, were lost by me. But fear not! It's time for a new look at some thermonuclear goodness!  [drool]

Today, we are going to discuss what is probably the first named nuclear device in the Battletech universe, the Davy Crockett. Or, to be more specific, the infantry deployed variant known as the Davy Crockett-I.

The Davy Crockett is about as "tactical" as you can get with Battletech tactical nuclear weapons. The "I" variant, probably more so. This particular package was designed to be deployed by infantry, to support infantry (or anybody that needs some serious fire support, for that matter). The Davy Crockett-I is deployed from a special mobile launcher (I'm assuming self-propelled), at a rate of one per platoon (effectively making said platoon Motorized Infantry, adding three tons to the platoon's base weight). The system requires at least a squad's worth of personnel active to give the Bad Guys some "canned sunshine" to "brighten" their day. Anything lower than seven troops, and the device cannot be deployed.

The Davy Crockett-I, like the original (real-life) U.S. Army M28 and M29 Davy Crockett Nuclear Rifle Systems, is not particularly popular with the troops. The range from launch point to Ground Zero is fairly short (short enough to make nearby friendlies VERY nervous). The Battletech Davy Crockett-I has a max range of two boards (as in Battletech mapsheets), thanks to the weapon's special booster rockets. That about 34 hexes, off the top of my head. Which is well outside the blast area, based on damage degradation by hex (up to 20 hexes from Ground Zero for ground bursts, 25 for airbursts). That's the good news. The bad news? The platoon operating this nuclear slingshot is still well within the Secondary Effects radius of the weapon (40 hexes for a ground burst, 53 for an airburst). Any unit within this radius will suffer from EM effects (+2 modifier for ranged attacks, -2 on the missile hit table), regardless of what you roll of the Secondary Effects table (including airborne units at 3000 levels/18 klicks altitude). There is a very real possibility that the deploying unit(s), and friendlies, may end up deader than hell even outside the blast area. Cover offers little to no protection from secondary effects. You get a +2 bonus for mechanized units and a +2 bonus for being within a hardened structure ( modifiers are culminative). Ultimately, you had better hope for that 11-12 roll on the table (no damage). 

It pays to deploy the weapon close to cover, if possible. Preferably, a structure the launch crew can get to within two turns. Or a friendly APC or IFV that just happens to be available to hole up in. It will improve the odds of the platoon in surviving the secondary effects. And I would make damned sure to use it to attack at maximum range, no closer, to avoid the blast effects. You are going to have enough problems with potential secondary effects to make you sweat bullets.

The odd thing about the stats for this nuclear device, is that it has a listing for both airburst and ground burst attacks (in the damage degradation and secondary effects ratings). But, the rules specifically state that the Davy Crockett-I is a ground burst-only weapon. Go figure. As opposed to the Davy Crockett-M fired out of a Long Tom artillery piece at descending Dropship formations, I don't see the infantry variant being used in the triple-A role. Unless there is a mistake in the tables, or that it merely reflects the danger to airborne aerospace units, it does have airburst capability against ground targets. You're just not allowed to under the rules as they stand.


As for the stats for the Davy Crockett-I, it reflects a nice little "ball buster of doom". Base damage is 100 at Ground Zero, with a damage degradation per hex of five points for ground bursts, four points for airbursts. The secondary effects radius is 40 hexes for a ground burst, 53 hexes for an airburst. Range is two mapsheets for Battletech. But since it's a ground deployed tactical device, there is no "AT2" range listed. It does, however, have an "AT2" capital damage rating of one, with a critical on 11+ (this supports my supposition that the Davy Crockett has potential anti-aerospace defense applications, in addition to chance damage to airborne units near the blast zone). It doesn't form much of a crater (Depth zero), unless using the alternative environments table (special conditions). Then it's considered to have produced a crater depth of one. The system weighs in at three tons. The rules for artillery apply, including the rules for flight time and artillery scatter.

Based on hints from past canon, going back to the FASA days, the Davy Crockett-I was in use during the Star League era, operated by the SLDF (and probably by the Member States military forces, considering the seemingly endless supply of nukes used in the early Succession Wars). The 0.5 kiloton yield Davy Crockett-I was possibly a "modernized" (in terms of technology, not performance) version of the old Type Ia tactical nuclear weapon that entered service in 2412 (also rated at 0.5 kilotons when achieving nuclear yield). In addition to use in the Reunification War, it's safe to assume the Type 1a was also used in the Age of War period (based on the in-service date). I guess the Cameron military thought that a weapon geared toward safer deployment by infantry forces was unnecessary, despite the high value the SLDF placed on said infantry forces.

The basic concept, however, goes back to the Cold War/Early Space Race era. The 120mm M28 and 155mm M29 Davy Crockett Weapon Systems went into production in 1956, remaining in service until they were decommissioned in 1971. Originally designed to give rapid response forces a quick nuclear capability against an initial WarPac invasion of Western Europe, it was deployed in West Germany. The system utilized a recoilless spigot gun to launch the M388 nuclear projectile (utilizing the W54/Mk54 variable yield fission/implosion device; yield ranged from 0.01kt to 1kt) up to one and a quarter miles for the M28, or two and a half miles for the M29, recoilless rifles. The Davy Crockett system, named after the great American folk hero, represented deployment of the smallest nuclear weapon ever used by U.S. Military. The tiny W54 was also considered to be the "last word" in the practical downsizing of a fission weapon. It could be set up for firing on a tripod by it's three-man crew transported by an APC, truck, or jeep. Or deployed on a jeep mount (M38 and M151 jeeps) for increased mobility.

Here is a photo of the XM-28 120mm nuclear rifle:





Photo of the XM-29 (with a good view of the 37mm spotting gun slung underneath):





Davy Crockett jeep launcher:






Perhaps, in-universe, the fictional Davy Crockett-I (and the earlier Type Ia) was inspired by the unusual American nuclear rifle system. It would make sense. And the fictional weapon is a damn sight more practical than the real world historical weapon. However, the end results for both have the potential to make things suck bad for the poor, dumb shits firing the thing.


The Davy Crockett-I is not really practical for your run-of-the-mill pick up game. Or a campaign scenario using a small number of mapsheets (usually two to four). If that were the case, you might as well saturate your gaming table with lighter fluid and toss in a match. Larger scenarios, with more mapsheets, allows for use of this weapon system in-game (for my group, it's usually 10-12 maps per scenario).

How to use it? Well, from my point of view, it's a waste of a perfectly good "glass maker" to use it against mechanized forces in the field. The engagements tend to be more mobile, which can vary the number of hostile pricks you get within the blast radius (preferably at Ground Zero or in the crater radius; it's the only way to be sure  }:)). Secondary effects are nice and all, but I prefer to outright fry as many of the bastards as possible. Enemy units turned into vapor don't get rolls on the secondary effects table.  }:)

My group generally assigns Davy Crockett-I teams to units we call "Special Atomic Artillery Teams-Light", attached to heavy assault brigades as independent reinforced companies. Transported by upgraded APCs or by IFVs (in more recent times, the oddball Trajan gets this thankless job), they are used when defense networks (static and mobile) prove to be a handful. Conventional artillery and air strikes aren't softening them up fast enough, and losses are mounting. The Davy Crockett-I is a great way to open up a breach in their defenses in a timely manner.  }:) It takes a bit to clear friendlies to a safe distance off-board, since the mobile defense elements tend to press what they think is the advantage. Once a nice big opening is provided, thanks to the miracle of nuclear physics, the assault force can push back toward the opening and breach that layer of defenses, further throwing all local hostiles into chaos.  }:)

The downside is that these fire teams are autonomous, meaning if they are spotted, they often have to defend themselves without timely support. Timing is key to successful deployment. Because you can bet your ass that the other guys are on the lookout for possible nuclear fire support in our campaigns. Nobody wants their allocated forces sporting orange Don King hairdos and glowing in the dark.  :-\ #P

As far as other units in our games, we tend toward the safer Davy Crockett-M, even in line infantry formations. The "I" variant's utility is somewhat restricted when compared to the artillery deployed weapon.

Anyway, that it for now. I hope that some background (and my take) on this interesting weapon system was enjoyable and informative. So, let's hear your war stories and thoughts on this glorious embodiment of a big boom in a small package.  [drool]


Be sure to tune in next month, for another enlightening installment on my favorite class of weapons of mass destruction.  [drool] [drool] [drool]

As as always, just my $0.02 worth.





 

« Last Edit: 12 July 2012, 22:08:52 by oldfart3025 »
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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #1 on: 12 July 2012, 22:11:01 »
Good stuff oldfart.  O0

The only appropriate (non-nuke) response I can think of for a Davy Crockett-I platoon anywhere on the battlefield is saturation artillery or carpet bombing.  Who cares which hex they are hiding in, just level the whole dang map.

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #2 on: 12 July 2012, 22:26:18 »
Thanks for the right up, its best right up on the weapon i've read!   

I'd imagine this would be weapon last resort, against impossible odds.  I'd imagine if it came down to it.  If it was used during the Jihad It be against our lovely WoB Manei Domini.  Secondary effects alone would hopeful disable those can-crunching, mechanical manics enough for regulars to actually hurt them.  After getting out of their Nuclear bunkers of course... ;D
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glitterboy2098

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #3 on: 12 July 2012, 23:09:27 »
no mention of where this weapon first appeared? shame on you.

the Davy Crockett (the yet to be designated at the time "-I" version), made its first appearance in the much maligned novel Ideal War. thankfully it is one of the few novels to get an in depth description on Sarna.net, so i will spare you a lengthy plot description.

in the Novel, the Principality of Regulus provided the guerrilla's of Gibson with an unspecified number of Davy Crockett's, which saw use in the last chapters of the novel as the Knights of the inner sphere fought against an army from regulus in an attempt to resolve the vietnam like conflict in a decisive and  more traditional battletech fashion. the Guerilla's, now siding with Thomas Marik against the Regulan/ Word of Blake alliance, bring a number of light vehicles (unarmored jeep like vehicles going by the book description, so basically mechanized infantry by Total War rules) fitted with 6 Davy Crockett's to the battle without informing Thomas Marik of the fact, and unleash two of them on the regulans/WOB.. which naturally also destroys a number of the Knights of the Inner Sphere as well. gets Thomas Marik and the Knights all upset too. the use of the nukes pretty much wins the battle for the knights though.

the weapons described in the novels appear to be the pre-vietnam era M-28's, down to the delivery system. though AFAICT the yield in the book is either exaggerated for effect or intended to be higher. (IIRC, the W54 warhead used on the M-28 was a 'dial a yield' design that could range from 10 tons up to 250 tons yield..  the .5 kiloton of the stats we were eventually provided is certainly based on the novel version, not the historical one)
the use of the Davy crockett's was just more of the 'vietnam war dropped into Battletech with a few name changes' the entire book read like. although M-28's were no longer issued, they were still available during the vietnam war, and certainly there were some people in the military high command in the 60's that argued for the use of nuclear weapons in vietnam..  not going to go into that since it involved politics.  #P


the irony of the novel, looked from our post-jihad time period though is that the first appearance of nuclear weapons (by name anyway..) was used to nuke the WOB.. and the regulans, who are both now known for their nuclear proclivities...
« Last Edit: 12 July 2012, 23:11:36 by glitterboy2098 »

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #4 on: 12 July 2012, 23:54:00 »
10 standard scale damage equal 1 capital scale right? So why does this thing only do 1 capital scale? (Which it likely has for dealing with Castles Brian)
If facing combined arms shoot the tanks, not the 'Mechs because a tank might survive a 100 point hit but if it does the armor will be stripped real bad where as for a 'Mech that's going internal unless your a super heavy

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #5 on: 13 July 2012, 12:32:56 »
The capital damage value is only used in space.  In the atmosphere, use the standard value.

Nuclear weapons deal damage to surface targets in 5 point clusters, not single massive hits unless you're unlucky enough to be standing at ground zero, in which case you're not going to be around to care how the damage clusters.  I worked out some Crockett math in the Hall a while back that some of you might be interested in.

oldfart - Great to see these back.

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #6 on: 13 July 2012, 13:02:43 »
Interesting info, may need to screw with my group and toss a Davy Crockett at them.
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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #7 on: 13 July 2012, 15:03:13 »
Being the only nuke I've actually seen used in combat(okay, it was a Crockett-M, but the same lessons apply here), I would dispute the game-breaking nature of these warheads. While extremely disruptive, the damage they mete out is far from the 'auto-kill the enemy force' kind of pain most people associate with nuclear attacks. Honestly, I'd be just fine with giving these things a BV and allowing their use in any regular game that already calls for more than four mapsheets if it weren't for the great length of time it can take to roll the damage and secondary effects for every unit in the blast radius. Were they usable in space, I certainly would have no objections to their use.
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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #8 on: 13 July 2012, 15:52:30 »
Given that at one point I had a 'mech survive an Alamo blast from 34 hexes away, a lot of players 'round these parts lost all fear of nukes and lobbied for a big game with nukes on both sides. The DC-I was the nuke ju jour for that fight; a battalion-level combined arms slugfest between FWLM and CCAF with li'l ol' me as a referee; each side with two DC-I platoons.

Turn 1 was straight maneuvering.
Turn 2 saw the first nuke launched by FWLM, wiping out (among other things) the CCAF command lance and one of the CCAF nuke platoons.
Turn 3 saw the remaining two nukes fired. So many units were taken out in the exchange through direct or secondary effects that the remainder of the battle was essentially a slow-motion battle between the survivors skirting upwind around the fires and blast craters in the affected areas.

IIRC the battle lasted about 6 more turns before the capellan player capitulated.

That was the last time DC-I infantry was ever deployed on a mapsheet. ^-^

Blackjack Jones

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #9 on: 13 July 2012, 18:41:34 »
A quick question: Have the nuclear weapon rules ever been converted into BattleForce?

Either fan or official numbers would be fine, I just would like to save myself some trouble
if someone's already figured it out.

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #10 on: 13 July 2012, 19:02:17 »
oldfart - Great article!  I'm looking forward to your thoughts on the impact of the warhead size change between the Reunification War and the Jihad.

Given that at one point I had a 'mech survive an Alamo blast from 34 hexes away, a lot of players 'round these parts lost all fear of nukes and lobbied for a big game with nukes on both sides. The DC-I was the nuke ju jour for that fight; a battalion-level combined arms slugfest between FWLM and CCAF with li'l ol' me as a referee; each side with two DC-I platoons.

Turn 1 was straight maneuvering.
Turn 2 saw the first nuke launched by FWLM, wiping out (among other things) the CCAF command lance and one of the CCAF nuke platoons.
Turn 3 saw the remaining two nukes fired. So many units were taken out in the exchange through direct or secondary effects that the remainder of the battle was essentially a slow-motion battle between the survivors skirting upwind around the fires and blast craters in the affected areas.

IIRC the battle lasted about 6 more turns before the capellan player capitulated.

That was the last time DC-I infantry was ever deployed on a mapsheet. ^-^

Yeah, that sounds about right.

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #11 on: 13 July 2012, 19:58:28 »
Being the only nuke I've actually seen used in combat(okay, it was a Crockett-M, but the same lessons apply here), I would dispute the game-breaking nature of these warheads. While extremely disruptive, the damage they mete out is far from the 'auto-kill the enemy force' kind of pain most people associate with nuclear attacks. Honestly, I'd be just fine with giving these things a BV and allowing their use in any regular game that already calls for more than four mapsheets if it weren't for the great length of time it can take to roll the damage and secondary effects for every unit in the blast radius. Were they usable in space, I certainly would have no objections to their use.

I seem to recall you managed to miss with that nuke.


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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #12 on: 13 July 2012, 21:21:16 »
Yeah. I think it was in a signature with something like this "You missed? With a nuke?"

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #13 on: 14 July 2012, 10:33:09 »
It's an artillery weapon, of course you're going to miss the target hex! But landing within five hexes? I consider that a direct hit with any kind of fusion weaponry.
A quick question: Have the nuclear weapon rules ever been converted into BattleForce?

Either fan or official numbers would be fine, I just would like to save myself some trouble
if someone's already figured it out.

The same rules should work, just divide Battletech damage by ten, and ranges by three. A Crockett would have a base damage of ten, and a blast radius of nine hexes.

Not too overpowering, actually...
« Last Edit: 14 July 2012, 10:42:02 by Weirdo »
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nerd

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #14 on: 14 July 2012, 12:49:58 »
Close counts with nuclear weapons.

Unless you're using these as atomic door-knockers for a Castle Brian type facility.
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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #15 on: 14 July 2012, 13:40:25 »
In all fairness, when I got slammed by an Alamo, a single hex difference would've made the difference between an operational unit and another pile of slag. By the same token, since terrain does provide a degree of protection from a ground burst nuke, a single hex discrepancy can mean the difference between some units surviving or not.

So yeah... you can miss with a nuke...   [rockon]

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #16 on: 14 July 2012, 13:46:40 »
That just means you're not using a big enough nuke.

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #17 on: 14 July 2012, 13:58:44 »
Which reminds me... is there a published nuke bigger than the 500kt Peacemaker?

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #18 on: 14 July 2012, 14:00:34 »
There was a 50 MT blast at Hilton Head but if you're talking rules, no.  The Peacemaker/Type IV is the biggest nuke we've got rules for.

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #19 on: 15 July 2012, 20:01:32 »
Had a thought, why not an Arrow-IV mounted one? For when an Alamo is just a bit to much?

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #20 on: 15 July 2012, 20:13:16 »
There is an Arrow IV mounted Davy Crockett, and it's coming up soon.
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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #21 on: 15 July 2012, 20:44:46 »
Had a thought, why not an Arrow-IV mounted one? For when an Alamo is just a bit to much?

There is. The Davy Crockett-M has identical yield to the I, but is fired from Arrow IVs or Long Toms. (JHS:3070 pp. 134)

I'll save further comments for the DC-M thread.

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #22 on: 15 July 2012, 23:30:19 »
I use these in campaigns when the players get into the "me ASSULT mech smash!" units and mass to. Uh in to small a unit.  Nothing says f. u.  like losing the lance that cost more than the rest of the regiment in on shot.  But it does encourage more light and scout forces.

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #23 on: 15 July 2012, 23:47:01 »
There was a 50 MT blast at Hilton Head but if you're talking rules, no.  The Peacemaker/Type IV is the biggest nuke we've got rules for.

Does it really matter at that point?  Just figure out what the effective blast radius is by yield scaling and assume anything within that zone instantly dies.


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A. Lurker

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #24 on: 16 July 2012, 02:49:49 »
I use these in campaigns when the players get into the "me ASSULT mech smash!" units and mass to. Uh in to small a unit.  Nothing says f. u.  like losing the lance that cost more than the rest of the regiment in on shot.  But it does encourage more light and scout forces.

I'm not altogether sure how it would. If a nuke, even just a Crockett, impacts closely enough nearby to matter, a light scout 'Mech only dies faster than an assault machine.

(As to opinions on the general "nukes fall, everybody dies" approach to gamemastering...well, discussing that would lead off topic.)

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #25 on: 16 July 2012, 03:53:44 »
I'm not altogether sure how it would. If a nuke, even just a Crockett, impacts closely enough nearby to matter, a light scout 'Mech only dies faster than an assault machine.

(As to opinions on the general "nukes fall, everybody dies" approach to gamemastering...well, discussing that would lead off topic.)

I am inclined to agree.  Lights are usually protected from artillery by being hard to hit, but nukes splash over so much ground that they will not be able to avoid possibly crippling damage.  Assaults on the other hand can absorb near-misses and still be capable of fighting after the fact thanks to sheer armor protection, although they will not be happy about it.

Now, it could provide a reason to scout ahead, but the infantry squads that deploy the -I can hide themselves very easily for nuclear ambushes and the -M has enough range with the Long Tom delivery system that I do not think scouting is the answer.  What I think is actually going to happen (because this is what I would do) is a nuclear or orbital first strike after taking a nuke or two to beat whoever broke out the nukes first into the ground.


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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #26 on: 16 July 2012, 07:35:12 »
So, how can one use terrain to prepare oneself for a nuclear attack? Go prone behind ridgelines? Duck and cover?

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #27 on: 16 July 2012, 08:38:54 »
So, how can one use terrain to prepare oneself for a nuclear attack? Go prone behind ridgelines? Duck and cover?

Going by Historical: Reunification War...hide in buildings, basically. They'll absorb however much damage it takes to destroy them with only the rest passing on to you. Also, underwater units are -- if I'm reading things right -- a lot less vulnerable to nuclear airbursts but take potentially more damage from ground bursts (underwater, damage from a ground burst takes longer to drop off with distance), so hiding under the waves is an option but a bit of a gamble.

Against ground bursts only, you can also try to take shelter behind sufficiently tall (higher than your unit) and tough (can't be destroyed by the blast themselves) adjacent hills or buildings, but even if you meet all the conditions that only works on a 2d6 roll of nine or better and only protects from the damage, not the secondary effects or EMI.

In short, there just isn't really that much you can do about getting nuked. Especially if you don't know just where exactly the hammer is going to drop in advance -- something that enemy nuclear artillery probably isn't going to announce in advance even if they actually know themselves for a change (from firing at a pre-plotted hex, say).

Weirdo

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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #28 on: 16 July 2012, 10:17:16 »
I'm not altogether sure how it would. If a nuke, even just a Crockett, impacts closely enough nearby to matter, a light scout 'Mech only dies faster than an assault machine.

My opinion here is that a small scout 'mech is unlikely to pose enough of an immediate threat to justify being nuked, as opposed to an assault lance. It also seems fair to assume that your force has a limited number of nukes, even DC-Is, so you'd reserve them for big targets. Scout units would be used to find and hopefully disable these launchers before the big boys come into range, and their primary opponents would be the escorts for the DC-Is. It'd become a game of cat-and-mouse, where one side is trying to sneak DC-Is close to the main enemy force(or hide them well enough that scouts bypass them and the assaults come to them), while the other side has to scout effectively enough to find them while your assault force is on the move(since once nukes are on the table, any army that stays put for a long period of time is just plain dead).
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Re: Nuclear Weapon of the Month Redux: The Davy Crockett-I
« Reply #29 on: 16 July 2012, 10:39:29 »
My opinion here is that a small scout 'mech is unlikely to pose enough of an immediate threat to justify being nuked, as opposed to an assault lance. It also seems fair to assume that your force has a limited number of nukes, even DC-Is, so you'd reserve them for big targets. Scout units would be used to find and hopefully disable these launchers before the big boys come into range, and their primary opponents would be the escorts for the DC-Is. It'd become a game of cat-and-mouse, where one side is trying to sneak DC-Is close to the main enemy force(or hide them well enough that scouts bypass them and the assaults come to them), while the other side has to scout effectively enough to find them while your assault force is on the move(since once nukes are on the table, any army that stays put for a long period of time is just plain dead).

Well, from the point of view of a force that needs to rely on DC-Is because it can't handle a 'Mech unit any other way, any 'Mech is arguably a 'big target'. So if they have "nukes" in the plural sense at all (that is, practically anything more than a single warhead that absolutely must remain dedicated to a particular purpose), those scouts may well find themselves the subject of an impromptu change in priorities if they make enough of a nuisance of themselves...

Or in other words, that "safety" of lighter scout designs is purely situational and dependent on the goodwill of the enemy.

 

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