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Author Topic: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech  (Read 6291 times)

glitterboy2098

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #30 on: 07 November 2016, 16:58:39 »
I'm with Hellbie. Make the unarmed ambulances the default.

Maybe keep the armed ones, though. Those are the "medical" units where the patients don't enter willingly, seeing the inside of one means you'll never have a good night's sleep for the rest of your life, and not shooting one on sight constitutes a war crime.
or in the case of what the Israeli's do with Merkava 'tankbulances', the ambulances you use when your opponents aren't playing by the niceties of the rules of war in the first place, and are likely to see a thin-skin ambulance's red cross as an "aim here" sign..

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #31 on: 07 November 2016, 17:16:11 »
So, post-Jihad and into the Dark Age, against which factions are you most likely to see that kind of behavior?  I'm not sure if the Combine has gone sufficiently old-school for that, though I suppose it's a possibility, but I'm guessing your Mongol-style Falcons would, though they'd pretty much annhilate a Chaffee rather quickly.

My personal guess is the only group a Chaffee might theoretically defend against and have an chance of not dying immediately against would be downscrabble pirates?
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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #32 on: 07 November 2016, 17:44:45 »
To be honest, I'd be nervous about taking a Chaffee against a crowd of soccer hooligans.

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #33 on: 07 November 2016, 18:18:01 »
I'd be nervous about taking a Chaffee against a troop of boy scouts.
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Giovanni Blasini

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #34 on: 07 November 2016, 21:35:29 »
To be honest, I'd be nervous about taking a Chaffee against a crowd of soccer hooligans.

I'd be nervous about taking a Chaffee against a troop of boy scouts.

Out of curiosity, is it the lack of integral weapons, the small size, or the singular heat sink?

You're still a 5/8 'Mech with protection in the ballpark of a bug 'Mech like a Wasp or Stinger, and the physical strength of a Javelin or Spider.  Your biggest dangers are physical attacks against you, which, IIRC, would also count infantry anti-'Mech attacks, and fire, since anything that heats you up takes forever to cool you down.

Note, I'm not saying it's an awesome idea. I'm just saying it's not completely hopelessly vulnerable. I'd honestly be more afraid riding in a Patron, even an armed one, due to its slower speed and lower resilience.
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #35 on: 07 November 2016, 21:37:21 »
You've never seen a crowd of rioting soccer fans, have you?

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Scotty

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #36 on: 08 November 2016, 01:45:47 »
or in the case of what the Israeli's do with Merkava 'tankbulances', the ambulances you use when your opponents aren't playing by the niceties of the rules of war in the first place, and are likely to see a thin-skin ambulance's red cross as an "aim here" sign..

I'd be willing to wager this is more the norm in BattleTech than the reverse, especially in the Jihad and Dark Age.  Insurgents are already not playing by the rules (or if they are, they're doing the whole insurgency thing wrong) and serving up your medical crews on a silver platter is not a great way to keep them happy with you or your troops supplied with them.
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JadeHellbringer

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #37 on: 08 November 2016, 09:58:21 »
or in the case of what the Israeli's do with Merkava 'tankbulances', the ambulances you use when your opponents aren't playing by the niceties of the rules of war in the first place, and are likely to see a thin-skin ambulance's red cross as an "aim here" sign..

Different situation though. I'm all for armoring an ambulance- real world or Battletech. As you said, sometimes that cross on the side doesn't get acknowledged, and being able to withstand a couple of medium laser hits from a belligerent Spider can be very handy. My issue is with the ambulance SHOOTING BACK, which is just an absolute no-no. Bear in mind that also means that it has the ability to attack FIRST, which is even worse.

So. Armor? Awesome, do it. I'm even fine with an AMS. But actual offensive weaponry? Hell no.
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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #38 on: 08 November 2016, 10:20:00 »
handhelds might be a bit tricky for most 'pirate factions' to build though.

Not really. A box of armor with a RL10 and a battery to fire it off would be pretty quick to put together.

Though given its role you could use an unarmored LRM5 with Mine Clearance Munitions to clean up a battlefield. That would seem to fit in better with the desire of the designer (IMHO).

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #39 on: 08 November 2016, 12:47:42 »
Different situation though. I'm all for armoring an ambulance- real world or Battletech. As you said, sometimes that cross on the side doesn't get acknowledged, and being able to withstand a couple of medium laser hits from a belligerent Spider can be very handy. My issue is with the ambulance SHOOTING BACK, which is just an absolute no-no. Bear in mind that also means that it has the ability to attack FIRST, which is even worse.

So. Armor? Awesome, do it. I'm even fine with an AMS. But actual offensive weaponry? Hell no.
What about a fluid gun? Or missile racks where the fluff says they're always loaded with smoke or tear gas rounds?
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JadeHellbringer

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #40 on: 08 November 2016, 12:52:38 »
What about a fluid gun? Or missile racks where the fluff says they're always loaded with smoke or tear gas rounds?

Still too easy to replace benign ammo with the real deal. It's a WWI Q-ship pointing out that they're just carrying practice ammo for the 4-inch guns... yes, you might be TODAY, but you have the ability to change out for the real deal quite easily.

Nah, AMS is really the only one I'd accept as a legit option (or LAMS, I suppose, though that requires a lot of heat sinks that you probably didn't really need to install). That's just  my personal assessment though and shouldn't be taken as anything more than that.
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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #41 on: 08 November 2016, 13:14:48 »
Different situation though. I'm all for armoring an ambulance- real world or Battletech. As you said, sometimes that cross on the side doesn't get acknowledged, and being able to withstand a couple of medium laser hits from a belligerent Spider can be very handy. My issue is with the ambulance SHOOTING BACK, which is just an absolute no-no. Bear in mind that also means that it has the ability to attack FIRST, which is even worse.

So. Armor? Awesome, do it. I'm even fine with an AMS. But actual offensive weaponry? Hell no.

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BrokenMnemonic

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #42 on: 08 November 2016, 17:07:39 »
Still too easy to replace benign ammo with the real deal. It's a WWI Q-ship pointing out that they're just carrying practice ammo for the 4-inch guns... yes, you might be TODAY, but you have the ability to change out for the real deal quite easily.

Nah, AMS is really the only one I'd accept as a legit option (or LAMS, I suppose, though that requires a lot of heat sinks that you probably didn't really need to install). That's just  my personal assessment though and shouldn't be taken as anything more than that.
Technically, it's acceptable under international law - or at least, not forbidden - to include a weapon on an ambulance for the protection of the crew. However, the legal advice given the last time this came up where I work boiled down to "We know that nasty people are shooting at your protected ambulances and deliberately laying ambushes for them, and you could legally mount a self-defence weapon on them, but this would also be perceived as making the ambulance a legitimate target for offensive action, as well as allowing those attacking them to legitimise the attacks and use them as propoganda." So the easier option was to make sure that the ambulance had at least one escort vehicle, and that that escort vehicle had the usual panoply of things decided to ruin the day of people who feel like shooting at ambulances.

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Giovanni Blasini

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #43 on: 08 November 2016, 21:37:16 »
I think, if you're going to arm it, you might as well go hog wild and build a new MilitiaMech on its chassis.

For the Chaffee as-is, throw a couple sprayers into a handheld weapon, with maybe a ton of coolant and ton of water or fire retardant, and stick with the emergency services 'Mech role.
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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #44 on: 09 November 2016, 04:14:09 »
You know, given that the primary customer for this 'Mech seems to be the Republic's EPA or whoever's responsible for cleaning all those battlefields I can actually see this being armed, because those sites have to be very tempting targets to someone who wants to get their hands on Blakist hardware

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #45 on: 09 November 2016, 13:22:16 »
Thank you for the wonderful article, GB! The 'Mech is really very much not about the 'Mech ;) and you more than did it justice.

As for a MOD, there won't be one as long as I have any say in the matter. If you want to deploy it in hazardous zones, break out the Security- and MilitiaMechs to protect it. O0
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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #46 on: 30 November 2016, 13:36:34 »
Technically, it's acceptable under international law - or at least, not forbidden - to include a weapon on an ambulance for the protection of the crew. However, the legal advice given the last time this came up where I work boiled down to "We know that nasty people are shooting at your protected ambulances and deliberately laying ambushes for them, and you could legally mount a self-defence weapon on them, but this would also be perceived as making the ambulance a legitimate target for offensive action, as well as allowing those attacking them to legitimise the attacks and use them as propoganda." So the easier option was to make sure that the ambulance had at least one escort vehicle, and that that escort vehicle had the usual panoply of things decided to ruin the day of people who feel like shooting at ambulances.

That come under the same part where IIRC medics are allowed to carry stuff like sidearms to protect themselves and their patients?

BrokenMnemonic

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #47 on: 30 November 2016, 13:58:31 »
That come under the same part where IIRC medics are allowed to carry stuff like sidearms to protect themselves and their patients?
From what I remember, yes - there was a lot of debate about what counted as a "self defence weapon", as the standard SDWs on vehicles like Mastiff and Ridgback were either .50 Cal Brownings or GMGs, with lighter vehicles also sometimes mounting 7.62mm GPMGs, and with common weapon mounts across multiple platforms, the implications of the strategic decision to put a protected weapon station on a vehicle allowing the mounting of a GPMG leading to a tactical decision to replace the GPMG with a .50 or GMG, and so on. I think there was also some debate about to what extent the international law had been tested on the subject, and what weapons could be mounted on an ambulance whilst still calling the vehicle an ambulance, and when an ambulance would be likely to be in a situation where it would need to defend itself, rather than being defended by other platforms nearby.

Of course there were also some pretty significant design issues - if you look at the protected vehicles that are out there, like Cougar (6x6 or 4x4), RG-31 et al, and imagine them with in an ambulance configuration in the back, which means at least one stretcher berth if not two, plus oxygen bottles, medical equipment and so on... and then try and work out where you can mount a weapon station - that needs to be operated by a gunner - and where that station could possibly go that doesn't involve the gunner standing on either the patient or the medics. There are remote weapon stations out there like the Selex Enforcer or the Kongsberg Protector, but that still means you need space for the electronic gubbins and an associated crew station, and space in ambulances is always, always at a premium. It's really something that would need to be designed into the vehicle to begin with, rather than added to an existing production model. Using a bigger vehicle doesn't make it any easier - if you scale up from a theoretical Cougar-based protected ambulance to something like a Buffalo-based ambulance, then you've got the problem of the medics - a lot of whom seem to be 5th percentile females - having to raise stretchers above head height to get patients into the back of the wagon, which isn't something you can really do... so you then have to look at some kind of winching/lifting mechanism that can be operated under stressful circumstances, and which is also going to need to fit in the back of the wagon along with the weapon station, med equipment, etc, etc.

Someone may go out and design a vehicle that can solve all of these problems, but I suspect it's a problem that's likely to continue to be solved by simply sending escort vehicles out with the ambulances. After all, how often to you have vehicles working in multiples smaller than 2 vehicles?

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Re: 'Mech of the Week: BT1 Chaffee ServiceMech
« Reply #48 on: 03 December 2016, 20:46:55 »
Nice write up.
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