Author Topic: The Hanseatic Crusade  (Read 1300 times)

Nerroth

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The Hanseatic Crusade
« on: 13 November 2023, 20:14:39 »
Operational Turning Points: Hanseatic Crusade covers the war which broke out in 3140 between the Escorpión Imperio and the Hanseatic League. While other products, such as Touring the Stars: Braunschweig and Spotlight On: Hellion Keshik, cover certain plot points from this conflict in greater detail.

In OTP:HC, there is a breakdown of each of the Galaxies and regiments which fought in this campaign; as well as a series of campaign maps covering the first five waves of the invasion, through to the decisive battle for Bremen.

So, I was wondering if it was possible to consider whether or not this material could be used to develop a strategic-level campaign, based on one (or more) of the game system(s) to be found in Interstellar Operations: BattleForce - and, indeed, if such a setup might be useful as a "training ground" for wars to be waged at such game level(s) in the Inner Sphere.

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On the one hand, it should be possible to use the maps in OTP:HC to create a map suitable for use at the Inner Sphere at War level - or, perhaps, to consider a Tamar Rising-esque "hexless" map, where players draw 30-light-year circles from the system they are in, so as to determine how far they can jump from one turn to the next. Plus, at the Abstract Combat System level, there is a hex map of Braunschweig which could be used as a Planetary Combat Map for that key battle.

On the other hand, we don't have official ISaW-level data on what the starting abilities for each side would be, nor how the information we have on each realm's production centres would translate into RPs.

On a side note, I wonder if there would be a need (or use) to account for each side's communications options. The Hansa had a surplus of JumpShips, but no HPGs; the Scorpions had working HPGs (which were unaffected by the Blackout), though they elected to keep their WarShips (plus the mobile HPG aboard them) at home throughout the campaign.

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Does anyone have any thoughts on how the Hanseatic Crusade might - or might not - work at an ACS or ISaW level?

And more importantly: would you consider it to be just big enough of a war to be interesting, yet just self-contained enough of one to be viable as an on-ramp into the strategic side of BattleTceh tabletop gaming?
« Last Edit: 14 November 2023, 17:45:30 by Nerroth »

Nerroth

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Re: The Hanseatic Crusade
« Reply #1 on: 14 November 2023, 17:34:15 »
From my reading of the optional ComStar and Interstellar Communications section of IO:BF, one might be able to establish the rules by which the Hansa and Imperio would be obliged to operate in a would-be Hanseatic Crusade scenario for ISaW.

On the one hand, the Hansa has neither HPGs nor Black Boxes, but does have a surplus of JumpShips. By my understanding of the Effects of ComTech Table, as well as the samples provided for the 3025 House and near Periphery states elsewhere, the Hansa would presumably have a ComTech rating of 2: the highest one can have without access to fax machines. It can of course use the "pony express" method of relaying orders, plus it can establish Standing Orders - which reflects the way the HDF responded to the onset of the invasion historically.

On the other hand, Clan Goliath Scorpion retains its ability to construct real-time HPG networks, granting it a ComTech rating of 10... for worlds already in the Imperio by the start of 3140. As noted in my last post, the Scorpions kept their three WarShips (and their mobile HPGs) at home throughout the Hanseatic Crusade - which means that, unless they have a large stockpile of mobile HPGs to bring with them (which might be an expensive ask), of establishing repeater relays in deep space along the way, or perhaps of building new HPGs on conquered worlds as they go (however long that might take), they too might end up being reduced to using a de facto ComTech rating of 2 while on worlds without HPGs of their own.

All of this is complicated by the highly dispersed nature of inhabited systems in this region of the Deep Periphery. For Wave 1 of the invasion, the nearest target Hansa world (Novgorod) to the nearest Imperio border colony (Khanquest) is a three-jump travel distance. So even once the target world is secured, the Scorpions would need to place an HPG relay station (or park a spare JumpShip with a mobile HPG installed) in order to bring Novgorod into their preexisting HPG network. Which is not an issue in peacetime, but which might be a problem in the midst of a wide-scale shooting war...

So, while the Imperio would be well-placed to respond to any Hansa incursions that took place during the long "cold war" that existed between 3080 and 3140 - at least on worlds which had their HPGs up and running, that is - it would not take long for the Scorpions to run into significant communication delays of their own once in the midst of Hansa space.

Does any of the above seem reasonable, or ought the respective ComTech values be different from those proposed in this post?
« Last Edit: 14 November 2023, 18:26:06 by Nerroth »

Nerroth

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Re: The Hanseatic Crusade
« Reply #2 on: 22 November 2023, 16:26:03 »
Another point of difference between the Hanseatic League and other major Periphery states (such as the Magistracy of Canopus or the Taurian Concordat) is in how its military, economic, and political centres are distributed.

While Bremen stood as the seat of the Council of Merchants, external trade was focused on three "open" planets (Bergen, Bruges, and Lübeck). While, on the eve of the Hanseatic Crusade in 3140, the League's main military factories were on (or in orbit of) Antwerp, Braunschweig, and Falsterbo.

Militarily-speaking, of the nine ground-based Regional Defense Forces and three aerospace Convoy Defense Forces in service as of 3140, all but one were on rotating duty across Hansa space; only RDF 6 was on permanent station, being assigned to the key world of Braunschweig. Lübeck, in addition to being one of the three "open" worlds noted above, also hosted the Lübeck Military Academy from 3116 onwards. With the exception of Bremen, which had no "private" military forces present, each world in the League had a mix of militia and mercenary companies; the factories each have their own copay-sized corporate security forces present.

In strategic terms, this would make things very different to wars involving the near Periphery powers. in which the battle for the capital would have a much bigger impact on the realm's capacity to fight. Which, in hindsight, made it surprising that the Imperio only went after Antwerp after the battle for Bremen; might a would-be ISaW player on the Scorpion side make a different set of choices instead?

Nerroth

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Re: The Hanseatic Crusade
« Reply #3 on: 26 November 2023, 19:41:45 »
Things are quite different for the Imperio by the eve of the Hanseatic Crusade.

Between the use of their Hughes-class space station, their major upgrades to the pre-conquest facilities they found in Nueva Castile, plus the new factories set up on Valencia (to include one capable of constructing new HPGs) when that world became the Scorpions' second capital, the Imperio had managed to bring their military-industrial base up to full Clantech standards by 3140 - albeit not quite matching the cutting edge of technology as seen among the Council of Six Clans of the contemporary Inner Sphere and near Periphery.

Beyond the nine worlds of Nueva Castile proper, the Imperio had established seven new colony systems prior to 3140. In a total lack of coincidence, each of these colonies was placed in the direction of the Hanseatic League. However, many of these worlds are more than one jump away from one another, perhaps indicating how difficult it is to find readily habitable worlds in this region of the Deep Periphery, beyond those those which had already been settled prior to the arrival of Clan Goliath Scorpion.

In military terms, the Scorpions had six Galaxies in their touman by 3140: Alpha, Hellion, Tau, Mu, Seeker, and Omega. All six of them would be fully committed to the invasion. With three Trinary-sized Keshiks and thirty-one Clusters to go around (plus four more Clusters later added via Grunt Galaxy, as noted below), this compares not entirely unfavourably to some of the Cluster/Keshik numbers offered for the smaller Council of Six Clans in Field Manual: 3145. Not least since those Clans' ability to deploy their armed forces continues to be hindered by the lingering effects of the Blackout.

They also had a number of Provisional Garrison Clusters, raised on the worlds of the Imperio. In the run-up to the invasion, the size of these PGCs was doubled, so as to provide a ready-made source of occupation forces for the worlds to be seized from the Hansa. A number of Trinaries would later be culled from each PGC in order to create an ad hoc "Grunt Galaxy", which was used in the climactic battle for Bremen.

Beyond this, the  three WarShips with which the Scorpions escaped the Homeworlds were still in service - complete with their on-board HPGs. However, while these were apparently used to assist the establishment of HPG relays to the new colony worlds, they were kept at home during the invasion proper.
« Last Edit: 26 November 2023, 19:52:16 by Nerroth »

Col Toda

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Re: The Hanseatic Crusade
« Reply #4 on: 01 December 2023, 03:48:54 »
From the sound of things The Hanseatic League was doomed by any faction that was willing to spend the resources and time to get it done .

The Scorpion Imperio was kicked out of Clan space for choosing to evolve and install a new Logistics Caste . Ie the lack of was the primary reason the Clan Invasion Era failed . 

The Haseatic League was the most oppressive nation published with the least capacity for upward social mobility . You were a Citizen with property or a surf : a slave tied to a Citizen's property  .  Any invader even the most brutal Clanners or even Pirates taking over held better promise than staying in the League.  Should a planet fall all those Citizen defenders have a choice retreat to another world in which they becomed dispossessed and lose citizenship and become a serf or try to become a bondsman to the winners and stay in any power structure .

As for the Serfs ; almost all of them would rather die betraying the League so their children have a better future .

Bottom line the Hanseatic League was doomed as soon as anyone with enough resources chose to commit them . The armed conflicts that preceding that destuction and the time to do it is just foot notes .




Nerroth

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Re: The Hanseatic Crusade
« Reply #5 on: 05 December 2023, 21:57:06 »
The reason why the Scorpions were Abjured by the other post-Reaving Homeworld clans was due to their being caught trying to incorporate Eridani Light Horse genetics into their breeding program. The various caste evolutions which the early Imperio experimented with over in Nueva Castile were all post-Abjuration developments - as, indeed, was their continued use of ELH genes in order to create new Trueborns.

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As for the Hanseatic League:

It is notable that, after having been only offered the briefest of side glances in Handbook: Major Periphery States, and later on being conspicuous in its absence in Interstellar Players 3: Interstellar Expeditions, the first sourcebook to look at them in any real detail... was the one outlining their being conquered by the Goliath Scorpions. And that the material presented alongside said sourcebook (such as Touring the Stars: Braunschweig) made a further point to portray the League in a way to ensure that the Council of Merchants would, shall we say, not be missed by their former subjects...

Even so, there are other factions in BattleTech, such as the Marian Hegemony, which are equally, if not more objectionable on account of their societal structure. Certainly one would see the Marians as the "bad guys" when compared to, say, the Magistracy of Canopus. Yet even if one would much sooner choose Canopus IV over Alphard as a place to live in the BT universe, the MAF would still not have an easy time defeating the MHAF, though the latter has of late spent much of its resources causing trouble for itself in the territory of the reconstituted Free Worlds League.

My point being is that even if one was to see Clan Goliath Scorpion as a lesser of two evils, one would still have to account for how their touman would succeed in defeating the HDF, and thus in bringing the Hansa worlds into a unified Scorpion Empire.

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Also, I failed to note earlier that the Scorpions left one Cluster from each Galaxy on reserve duty in the Imperio for the duration of the war.

Conveniently, OTP:HC has a wave-by-wave breakdown of which Galaxies and RDFs were on which world during each phase of the conflict. While SO:HK and Spotlight On: Schmidt's Petraries each have both Strategic BattleForce- and Abstract Combat System-scale data for those respective formations, as they existed in 3140.
« Last Edit: 05 December 2023, 22:06:31 by Nerroth »