Author Topic: Less-than-Star Deployment  (Read 772 times)

BATTLEMASTER

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Less-than-Star Deployment
« on: 05 January 2024, 21:05:08 »
How common is it for the Clans to deploy less than a Star of anything for combat?  For example, MechWarrior 2 never allowed more than three points to be deployed, but that also could've been a game engine limitation.
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Less-than-Star Deployment
« Reply #1 on: 05 January 2024, 21:13:11 »
I mean you could always bid down to a lesser number of units during Batchall. I'd say that it's probably pretty common for lesser Trials to be 3 on 3. No need to waste additional Touman resources if it's not necessary. That said they probably do deploy as a Star initially if only for the experience.

Fire Scorpion IIC

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Re: Less-than-Star Deployment
« Reply #2 on: 05 January 2024, 21:26:22 »

As common as any specific job requires

Take for example patrolling a random forest, do you really need entire Star of anything just for that?

Not really, one or two mechs or vehicles or even just elementals would suffice



JAMES_PRYDE

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Re: Less-than-Star Deployment
« Reply #3 on: 05 January 2024, 23:07:22 »
I like to call 3 mechs a "Half Star", for very small jobs, or even 2 mechs plus armor or tanks

Kerfuffin(925)

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Re: Less-than-Star Deployment
« Reply #4 on: 06 January 2024, 00:30:11 »
I imagine for trials it is more common. Dying out through the Jihad; where almost no one used zell, rendering the bidding process mostly useless. Picked back up in the early Republic and dark ages where mechs became rare again. I imagine it’s back to earlier times (late Clan Invasion) where it sees use trials or inter-clan conflicts where they still use zell and bidding.
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Frabby

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Re: Less-than-Star Deployment
« Reply #5 on: 06 January 2024, 02:23:20 »
Individual Clanners are hyperfocused on personal honor, which makes formations redundant to a degree. The impression I got was that a given Clan formation has a much harder time fighting as a team than any other culture or military. (Yes they can be competent in fiction when they have to be; but for a Clan character in fiction to not be a moron usually requires them to act and think completely un-clanlike. I can’t recall a character off-hand who succeeds on-screen by adhering to Clan thinking.)
So their formations are more customary or administrative. On the smaller scale that makes them highly flexible.
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Less-than-Star Deployment
« Reply #6 on: 06 January 2024, 02:32:34 »
That is not necessarily true for all Clans, only for the particularly fractious ones. Your Codex reflects on your behavior and performance plus Trials are won by the forces bid.

Winning personally but losing the Trial could see you grievance'd, thrasher in the locker, or pushed down in Position or out by your comrades. People follow winners but selfish ambition can be beaten out of many Warriors. Cunning selfish ambition and cultivating allies though will get you far and provide enough political and combat support for a wise Warrior

BATTLEMASTER

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Re: Less-than-Star Deployment
« Reply #7 on: 06 January 2024, 07:52:02 »
How would the decision of who gets deployed in a Star go?  Is that solely up to the Star Captain whether they choose who goes, or facilitates a short and easy Trial of some kind, maybe Craps Checkers?   :tongue:
« Last Edit: 06 January 2024, 07:53:39 by BATTLEMASTER »
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Metallgewitter

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Re: Less-than-Star Deployment
« Reply #8 on: 06 January 2024, 09:18:58 »
That is not necessarily true for all Clans, only for the particularly fractious ones. Your Codex reflects on your behavior and performance plus Trials are won by the forces bid.

Winning personally but losing the Trial could see you grievance'd, thrasher in the locker, or pushed down in Position or out by your comrades. People follow winners but selfish ambition can be beaten out of many Warriors. Cunning selfish ambition and cultivating allies though will get you far and provide enough political and combat support for a wise Warrior

Interestingly enough in Warws of Reaving that log from one Star Adder scientist states that ambition is usually curbed at the first sign of manifestation. Then what is "good" aqmbition and what is actually "bad" ambition? Would that be sacrificing your star mates to achieve victory? Or winning by underhanded means? And even that is debatable as clan culture has proven to be quite hypocritical.

Alan Grant

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Re: Less-than-Star Deployment
« Reply #9 on: 06 January 2024, 10:06:07 »
Interestingly enough in Warws of Reaving that log from one Star Adder scientist states that ambition is usually curbed at the first sign of manifestation. Then what is "good" aqmbition and what is actually "bad" ambition? Would that be sacrificing your star mates to achieve victory? Or winning by underhanded means? And even that is debatable as clan culture has proven to be quite hypocritical.

Are you talking about ambition amongst the Scientists? I think that's what they were getting at. The lines in Wars of Reaving from the scientist perspective usually are trying to address how the scientists saw their efforts as being chained and confined. I remember one line from that book from a scientist that was like "Scientist? Bah we haven't been allowed to be scientists for a long time now."

He was talking about the ability to do pure research for research's sake. To do it purely for that act of scientific discovery.

It's an attempt to shed light on the scientist perspective, why they did what they did. Why the Society existed.

What they meant was, the warriors dictate priorities and control what they do and can't do. The warriors decides the research priorities and tilt the scientists toward better weapons, better genetics. "Scientific research purely for the sake of humanity" was probably NOT a research priority. The scientists found this frustrating at times and then were absolutely horrified by IlKhan Brett Andrews' reaving decree, which stood to undo generations of their work.

But that's the scientist caste. The warriors are a different caste with a different lifestyle where ambition is encouraged. You fight to get a bloodname, you fight for higher rank. But ambition doesn't have to be individual, ambition can be a team sport. Team meaning your unit, including your subordinates.

The most successful Clan warriors build a coalition. A coalition of supporters within their commands, a coalition in the Clan Council. With a lot of supporters, they have an easier time rising to better positions/ranks.

Clan commanders do look at situations and evaluate what acceptable risks and acceptable losses are. If you are achieving victory but always at an unacceptable rate of loss for warriors and equipment, you stand a decent risk of being challenged for it. Of being demoted, challenged for their rank and position or to a Trial of Greviance by one of the survivors who think you threw all their trothkin away for bad reasons. Challenged by an up-and-comer who thinks they can do better and wants your rank and position.

The Clan Way means it's easier to deal with bad leaders and bad warriors. Even if that bad leader defeats a challenger, that may only buy them a little time before the next challenger comes along. If nothing else that bad leader or bad warrior becomes unpopular, and while its not emphasized as much, yes, being a successful Clan warrior is a bit of popularity contest. Meaning those who make too many enemies and not enough friends (a coalition) have a hard time rising.

The most demonstrated example of this that we have is politics. Wardens supporting other Wardens, Crusaders supporting other Crusaders, that kind of thing. For example Trent noted that becoming a Warden in the Smoke Jaguars (a practically all-Crusader Clan) would kill his career and probably see his life cut short.

We've also seen lots of situations where the ranking Clan warriors have shared history. Where a Galaxy Commander and the Khan once served together. Or where a Senior Clan officer's politics happen to align with those of the Khan. It's not uncommon to notice that the warriors who are ultimately very successful, then elevate their supporters and coalition members. Those very successful warriors don't trample all over their coalition to elevate themselves, their supporters help to elevate them, and then they return the favor.

The very successful Clan warriors are 1. Excellent individual warriors who tend to win individual battles, 2. Excellent leaders who tend to lead their warriors to victory with acceptable losses of equipment and warriors, and 3. Popular in the Clan Council, whether that means they are leading a coalition of their fellow warriors, or are a member of a Coalition of fellow warriors.

So if you have a habit of making enemies everywhere you go, and develop a bad reputation as a warrior who just gets other warriors killed for sake of their own ambition, it's hard to rise very far because you are doing it purely alone and with challengers coming your way around every corner.
« Last Edit: 06 January 2024, 10:39:00 by Alan Grant »

Stormlion1

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Re: Less-than-Star Deployment
« Reply #10 on: 06 January 2024, 15:04:50 »
I bid three points of medium mechs. I will allow my warriors to decide which three will fight. I will go have a beer though.

That's how less than a Star gets bid.
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Alan Grant

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Re: Less-than-Star Deployment
« Reply #11 on: 10 January 2024, 07:20:16 »
There is also just the practical reality of casualties and operating understrength. Battletech loves to portray military units as always being at or close to full strength.

Speaking of what I know of some real world experiences through some people I know with military backgrounds. It's not uncommon for a military unit to deploy oversees somewhat understrength from what the proper tables say they should have. It's also not uncommon for military units to deploy at full strength but immediately see some of that strength chipped away through all forms of equipment breakdowns and failures, and human attrition through health emergencies, emergency leave for individuals and other factors. Some of that may be replenished, but that can take time.

So what does that mean for Battletech? You have a 'Mech Star, but one of the 'mechs is down for repairs. Or the mechwarrior got into a Trial of Greviance yesterday and ended up with a broken limb and a cracked skull.

I almost never see this kind of practical reality portrayed within the universe. Aside from a few tabletop scenarios laid out in books that portray units as damaged or low on ammo because this is week 3 of a campaign and the unit is has been worn down by combat. Or a few Field Manuals/sourcebooks that will mention a unit is still rebuilding after a recent battle/campaign/war.

I think if the universe was more realistic, you'd see more units existing in some version of that state more of the time. It would feel more like a near-constant problem actually, particularly in war time, or periods of intense military activity, when human and material resources are being drained faster than they can be generated and shipped out.

It shouldn't be that surprising either. Given how rough and tumble Clan Warrior life is. Even away from proper combat against another Clan or Spheroid opponent. They are often training with the real equipment, which puts that equipment in danger of being actually damaged somehow ( wow that jump jet landing did not go as planned...). They are often engaging in all manner of Trials, even among their comrades, and that can result in unexpected injuries and death, even when the unit is just sitting in a quiet garrison.
« Last Edit: 10 January 2024, 07:38:11 by Alan Grant »

 

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