Author Topic: Best dropship for airborne deployment  (Read 406 times)

FedRatCowboy

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Best dropship for airborne deployment
« on: 18 May 2024, 01:43:36 »
Just as the title says. Which dropship is the best for an airborne drop into a hot landing zone for a battalion size element of battlemechs.

Also which type do you drop first? I say drop the assault/ heavy battlemechs first to establish a beachhead, then follow with light and medium battlemechs to press attacks.

What say you
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Re: Best dropship for airborne deployment
« Reply #1 on: 18 May 2024, 11:34:41 »
Any DropShip capable of hauling a mech battalion is the exact LAST ship you want to use for a hot zone drop, as that's pretty much begging to lose the entire battalion to a fighter strike or bad piloting roll. I highly recommend splitting the group up between company and lance-sized transports.
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Daryk

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Re: Best dropship for airborne deployment
« Reply #2 on: 18 May 2024, 13:08:44 »
With that (very correct rubric), I'd go with one Union and six Leopards.

Hellraiser

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Re: Best dropship for airborne deployment
« Reply #3 on: 18 May 2024, 13:14:44 »
Define "Airborne Drop" ?

We have several different levels that we see in canon.

1.  From Orbit - Needs Cocoons to cross the Atmospheric Barrier  (Near-Space HALO Jumps)

2.  High Altitude - See #1 but this time your inside the Atmosphere & don't need Cocoons.   Still a very long drop.  In theory is a hovering Spheroid so everyone is in the same LZ.

3.  Medium Altitude / High Speed Drops - See Aerodyne (Leopards) & Jumping Right out the Doors as the DS screams across the sky.

4.  Hover just high enough to avoid flame back black - IE. The NovaCat Special -  They are literally just a few elevation levels above the terrain & the mechs are dropping right out of the doors onto the ground.  Low & slow pass over the target.   Seen as very rare, dangerous, & difficult to do IIRC.



For my own personal choice of "best option" for each.

1 - Overlord
2 - Union
3 - Leopard
4 - Confederate or Fortress    (But really, Don't do this)
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Colt Ward

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Re: Best dropship for airborne deployment
« Reply #4 on: 18 May 2024, 17:33:34 »
1.  From Orbit - Needs Cocoons to cross the Atmospheric Barrier  (Near-Space HALO Jumps)

Also remember that depending on era & faction there are warships that can drop from orbit.
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Re: Best dropship for airborne deployment
« Reply #5 on: 18 May 2024, 17:39:17 »
Another factor would be the number of doors, the more doors the DS has for its Mechbays the faster it can drop all of its 'Mechs during this vulnerable process.
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Hellraiser

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Re: Best dropship for airborne deployment
« Reply #6 on: 18 May 2024, 18:36:59 »
Also remember that depending on era & faction there are warships that can drop from orbit.

I don't think I excluded that in my description, that said, its a bit of an outlier with only 3? Warships IIRC that have that capability spread across 3 different Eras/Factions very little overlap.
 

Another factor would be the number of doors, the more doors the DS has for its Mechbays the faster it can drop all of its 'Mechs during this vulnerable process.
Agreed, this is why I picked Leo for #3, the 1 Mech/Door ratio is best for that high speed "horizontal" movement I feel.
I feel like a "Super-Leo" doing #2 moving across the sky is going to scatter across several states, LOL.   
Do we even have an Aerodyne w/ that kind of Mechs/Doors ratio that would take a bunch of turns to kick them all out?  Conquistador maybe.
But if my RCT Command group is dropping like that we have bigger problems already.
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Paul

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Re: Best dropship for airborne deployment
« Reply #7 on: 19 May 2024, 09:19:11 »
Which dropship is the best for an airborne drop into a hot landing zone for a battalion size element of battlemechs.

As many have said, a single DropShip is likely a bad choice, unless you have aerospace superiority. Or if you can keep it out of ground fire range (plausible even in a hot drop zone situation, but risky to put it mildly)

But if you had to use a single dropper, I think consideration should be given to the Lee. It's not able to drop as many 'Mechs per turn as an Overlord, but it's more survivable, and you can bring other stuff once you do get to set down.


Quote
Also which type do you drop first? I say drop the assault/ heavy battlemechs first to establish a beachhead, then follow with light and medium battlemechs to press attacks.

Yes, that's definitely the sequence. Once those are down, the enemy likely still has incentive to keep shooting the Dropper if they can, but they'll at least have to start splitting their attention some. Which is another reason to drop the slow ones: they'll be easy enough to hit to push that decision. If you first drop a bunch of Mechs that can easily make a 4+ to hit +cover/LOS blocking, they'll keep focusing any available attention on the DropShip. Which is bad.

The solution is just ignore Paul.

FedRatCowboy

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Re: Best dropship for airborne deployment
« Reply #8 on: 21 May 2024, 09:58:25 »
Ok maybe I should have been a little more clearer in my question. How I define an airborne drop is when you have your forces, in this case a battalion of of forces, in this case 36 Battlemechs, dropping from say 500 meters directly into a hot LZ.

Here is the scenario which I have envisioned:

The Warren PMM has gotten pinned down and surrounded by I Corps of the Taurian Concordat during Operation MADATOR. While still having unit cohesion, they need to break out of their salient. You are 4th Battalion commander of the Warren PMM. You were late to the party due to Jumpship malfunction. Your battalion is composed of mainly heavy and medium designs, but the battalion does have a lance of light recon Battlemechs and a lance of Assaults.

Command wants a airborne drop directly on top of the HQ element of the I Corps to disrupt command and control as the Warren PMM breaks out. You have a escort of 8 aerospace fighters, 8 Corsairs, for CAP and strafing runs as needed.

Now what Dropship(s) are you choosing?

Bonus: When the door open and the first Battlemechs drop this is playing over the I Corp comm frequencies for psy-ops.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7BLGt0wU48&list=RDn7BLGt0wU48&start_radio=1
« Last Edit: 21 May 2024, 10:47:33 by FedRatCowboy »
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Hellraiser

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Re: Best dropship for airborne deployment
« Reply #9 on: 21 May 2024, 12:50:53 »
in this case 36 Battlemechs, dropping from say 500 meters directly into a hot LZ.

Command wants a airborne drop directly on top of the HQ element of the I Corps to disrupt command and control as the Warren PMM breaks out. You have a escort of 8 aerospace fighters, 8 Corsairs, for CAP and strafing runs as needed.

Now what Dropship(s) are you choosing?

Bonus: When the door open and the first Battlemechs drop this is playing over the I Corp comm frequencies for psy-ops.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7BLGt0wU48&list=RDn7BLGt0wU48&start_radio=1

1. Yikes, that's far too close IMO for that many mechs, kiss em goodbye if things aren't perfect.

2.  Only 8 ASF for cover, another Yikes.

3.  So my first thought is 9 Leopards frankly but I doubt any transport unit is made up of that.
     Next up, is 3 Unions I suppose.  Maybe with an Intruder for the extra ASF Pair & some Infantry to capture people.

4.  I'd never put something like an Overlord over enemy lines with that little aircover.
    Enemy HQ has got to have a decent security force & Reserve companies of Mechs/Tanks can't be that far away.
    I think you need to add a 0 to your elevation figure for the drop & a Leo-CV in orbit w/ 6 more fighters coming down.

5.  FYI.  You can't play over just I-Corp Frequencies AFAIK, you don't know them, so you broadcast over every band in the open.  (I think)
     That song is very corny.   The only psy-ops it will cause me is laughing.   
« Last Edit: 21 May 2024, 16:54:33 by Hellraiser »
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dgorsman

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Re: Best dropship for airborne deployment
« Reply #10 on: 21 May 2024, 14:01:43 »
Battalion level drop is probably not going to be one directly onto the combat area, but rather within a short march distance.  Aside from the ground fire (a Taurian Corps field HQ will have substantial air and ground defenses), the close confines of a large scale assault drop will also risk mid-air collisions and similar fratricide - that's why this doesn't happen outside of highly unusual situations such as the ComGuards on Huntress or the Smoke Jaguars on... Matamoras, I think it was, where they dumped an entire Clan Overlord onto a city.  This will allow the commander to properly marshal their forces before marching on the objective if they're making an organized attack, or for the units to start grouping up and moving on individual targets if they're going the 'little groups of paratroopers' method.  This also reflects the fact we're talking about a Periphery March Militia force here, not the Crucis Lancers or a Brigade of Guards formation, so their experience in combat drops and close assault operations will be limited at best.

First out the door are pathfinders, infantry if possible due to low signature but might be able to pull off with a light Mech or two.  They take a look around and ensure there isn't an ambush set up, no minefields, ground conditions are what surveillance thought, and so on.  Once the LZ is determined safe they employ beacons to guide the combat units to the correct areas before moving out to give advance warning of counter attack as well as doing what they can to stall any advancing forces, such as destroying bridges and overrunning pickets/recon units.  First combat units out the door are the battalion command lance, as that makes them first on the ground and gives them the opportunity to direct formations as they land and report in.  Then the fast attack lances, which quickly move out to set a perimeter for the remaining heavier forces.

Given those parameters, and the typical resources of a March Militia formation, it will be several Karnovs for the pathfinders (or a Leopard if going with Mechs), followed by several Unions in close succession so each lance has time to clear the LZ before the next group starts hitting the ground.
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Natasha Kerensky

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Re: Best dropship for airborne deployment
« Reply #11 on: 21 May 2024, 18:03:04 »
If the Taurians can get 8 Corsairs over the top of the FedRat HQ, then the Taurians should just drop bombs on the FedRat HQ.  Forget strafing or dropping mechs.  That’s needlessly risking fighter or mech assets to do something that can be done more safely with simple, higher-altitude bombing runs.

To help the Taurians breakout, I’d drop the battalion of friendly mechs behind the FedRat line where the Taurians salient is trying to breakout.  (Not right behind but somewhere behind.)  Force the FedRats to choose between preventing the breakout or getting hit in their rear.  Numbers are always important, but setting the numbers aside, a battalion of mechs advancing on their rear flank instantly creates a no-win dilemma for the FedRats.

It’s a staple of BT fiction, but drops right on top of HQs make no sense.  Unless the guys in the HQ are idiots, they’ll always be well-defended by nearby air cover, AA, and a security force (and maybe fortifications).

In the real-world, air drops are done against targets behind enemy lines with limited or no defenses — think capturing bridges slightly inland in Normandy to facilitate allied movement over waterways after D-Day.  Units are incredibly vulnerable when they’re being airdropped, so they’re not dropped on top of well-defended or hardened targets.

In this case, the Taurians would pick a lightly defended area behind the FedRat line — a safe distance from that line but near the salient — ideally one away from air cover, without organic AA, with limited ground units, and with rapid access to the front.  Like a crossroads.  Maybe the Taurians have to kill off the APCs and light tanks guarding the crossroads, but they don’t have to deal with local AA, fighters scrambling from a nearby airfield, and or a major force of mechs.

Honestly, the ICBM-like ability to repeatedly project force anywhere on a planet within tens of minutes from dropships and aerospace fighters makes the whole idea of frontlines or battle lines somewhat obsolete.  But assuming those lines exist, that incredible capability should be used to project force where the enemy is weakest and friendlies are strongest.  That won’t be on top of an HQ.  But behind the enemy facing a salient from friendly forces is that kind of spot.

FWIW...
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Daryk

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Re: Best dropship for airborne deployment
« Reply #12 on: 21 May 2024, 18:14:54 »
I think it's the FS dropping into the Taurian HQ, not the other way around.  Given the superior FS position, my only question is "Why??"  Land the battalion and reinforce the forces encircling the Taurians without risking losses to a combat drop.

Paul

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Re: Best dropship for airborne deployment
« Reply #13 on: 21 May 2024, 18:33:04 »
How I define an airborne drop is when you have your forces, in this case a battalion of of forces, in this case 36 Battlemechs, dropping from say 500 meters directly into a hot LZ.

Gotcha.
Those exact circumstances will cause the DropShip to crash and be completely destroyed the second it loses 1 control roll.
So follow up question:
- Is it important to you to hotdrop 36 Mechs
Or
- Is it important to you to drop those *while* the DropShip is something that can be shot at?

If the former, then the altitude should be raised until ground fire is no longer an option.
If the latter, then you should consider a contingency in case the DropShip crashes faster than expected.


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You are 4th Battalion commander of the Warren PMM. You were late to the party due to Jumpship malfunction.

I like the premise. So they're cavalry by dint of only just now showing up.


Quote
Your battalion is composed of mainly heavy and medium designs, but the battalion does have a lance of light recon Battlemechs and a lance of Assaults.

Those recon guys should drop last, assuming they're not among dropship debris.


Quote
Command wants a airborne drop directly on top of the HQ element of the I Corps to disrupt command and control as the Warren PMM breaks out. You have a escort of 8 aerospace fighters, 8 Corsairs, for CAP and strafing runs as needed.

How likely are 8 fighters to be confronted by the Taurians?


Quote
Now what Dropship(s) are you choosing?

Ah, if we can have multiple, then several of the suggestions in this thread are solid. Any permutation of "as many as you'll let me" will significantly reduce the odds of a single crash removing a significant portion of the incoming force. Leopards for example can drop all 4 of their 'Mechs in 1 pass. (and also can bring 2 of the 8 fighters you have, each)
Unions need several turns because of their doors.


Quote
Bonus: When the door open and the first Battlemechs drop this is playing over the I Corp comm frequencies for psy-ops.

Funny!

I think it's the FS dropping into the Taurian HQ, not the other way around.  Given the superior FS position, my only question is "Why??"  Land the battalion and reinforce the forces encircling the Taurians without risking losses to a combat drop.

Well, the starting premise is: combat drop on the HQ, so the supporting narrative needs reasons for that to happen, not reasons why it wouldn't happen. Maybe their commander made a booboo. Maybe their commander wants the 4th battalion dead. Or at least humiliated. And he can break out regardless of what happens in the HQ fight. Maybe the MIIO handed him a napkin with a strange suggestion on it.

I would say that if I'm breaking out of an encirclement, having the opposition lack the kind of cohesion to both realize what's up, and then have a reduced ability to coordinate a response is pretty attractive. I'd likely choose as you did myself, and have them hit the encirclement from the outside, though one downside is that the move will be telegraphed. And one advantage of a wacky plan like combat dropping the hostile HQ is that they'll think you're setting up for a ground attack for quite a while on your way down to the surface, since that'd be the logical thing to do.
Now sometimes doing the unexpected is how legendary victories are achieved. Sometimes that's how you snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. But for our purposes, OP needs that combat drop.

The solution is just ignore Paul.