Author Topic: Cobra Reserve Warrior Questions  (Read 608 times)

Alan Grant

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Cobra Reserve Warrior Questions
« on: 06 April 2024, 12:35:47 »
We know the Clan Cloud Cobra system had a concept of reserve warriors. Field Manual: Warden Clans page 27 devotes some page time to this. Each unit had a contingent of reserve warriors filling other roles and duties. They train to keep up their warrior skills and get some "cockpit" time in the machines they would take into battle someday. They step up when a warrior falls in combat. They competed amongst themselves to determine a line of ascension. Outside of that, their day-to-day revolved around supervising technical/logistical/administrative tasks/activities/details. In times of dire need they might be called upon to aid in technical duties, serve as infantry or pilot vehicles.

This slice of warriors represents the whole range. FM: WC says only the best warriors graduating from the sibkos go to front-line units, the rest to second-line units and some get assigned to the reserves. In addition to new warriors, the reserves are also where near-solahma go until they are too old or unfit to serve even as reserve warriors and then are reassigned to solahma infantry units.

This brings up a few questions.

1. Do you think reserve warriors are at all likely to get a nomination for a Trial of Bloodright?

2. Do you think reserve warrior contingents are biased toward containing a lot of freeborns over trueborns?

3. Do you think all reserve warriors hold the rank of warrior? Or could some of them actually, technically, hold a higher rank such as Star Commander/Star Captain etc.

4. If a warrior is assigned to a line unit (not reserve) at the beginning of their career, or becomes elevated from reserve warrior status to line unit warrior status in the middle of their career, do you think they have some kind of protection(s) against sliding down back to reserve warrior status? I mean short of being declared solahma. I'm basically wondering if a warrior who escapes this fate has a certain level of protection against getting dropped back to reserve status a day/week/month/year later. Or if they might just bounce up and down, in and out, of reserve warrior status, quite quickly.

5. The reserve warriors fight amongst themselves to determine a line of ascension. Do you think there is anything a reserve warrior could do cut in that line? That warrior is 10th from the top on the list but they achieved <blank> and the Star Colonel is promoting that warrior out of the reserves. That kind of thing. If so, ideas on what that might be?

6. Do you think savvy Cobra officers would be able to bring along some reserve warriors into a typical Clan Trial as support staff and install them as combat warriors mid-Trial? I don't mean adding additional equipment, just the warriors. Let's say a warrior gets wounded but their 'mech/BA/ASF is still combat-capable. Would the unit be able to pull the wounded warrior out and replace them with a reserve warrior mid-Trial without breaking the rules?\

7. If another Clan took an entire Cobra unit as isorla as a result of a victorious Trial, and it included reserve contingent warriors amongst the isorla. Do you think they would be treated as warrior caste bondsmen?

Curious to hear your thoughts on these. I'm just looking at this concept with fresh eyes and fresh curiosity.
« Last Edit: 06 April 2024, 12:37:23 by Alan Grant »

AlphaMirage

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Re: Cobra Reserve Warrior Questions
« Reply #1 on: 06 April 2024, 12:54:05 »
1. No, you wouldn't be in the reserves if you were a prospective Bloodnamed
2. Probably more than likely
3. I think we'd need more information of the nebulous 'Support' Warrior to determine what rank they'd hold. Probably determined by their Ascension status.
4. I don't think the Clans do protections and safety nets, you can gain and lose status and rank at the whims of fate or your commanders
5. I think it might be a case by case basis, perhaps that Warrior is a native to that world and is thus more acclimated to it or they have other traits that make them more suitable (not picking a ambitious Warrior that might not fit with the rest of the unit to play a supporting role)
6. I think that would be seen as dezgra, you bid what you have and only that, if you bring in support you bid them in that capacity and cannot replace other warriors.
7. Probably not, they'd be seen as non-Warrior isorla and might be useful in that role within their new clan.

WONC

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Re: Cobra Reserve Warrior Questions
« Reply #2 on: 08 April 2024, 17:09:05 »
A fascinating line of questions!

1. I would think it wouldn't be common, but given that the Cobras have a very different point of view than many other Clans, it could stand to reason that a Reservist who was doing Cloister service might get nominated for their efforts by a grateful/scheming upper-level member.

2. The Cobras are stated to keep their whelps in sibkos until their 21st birthday, with a heavy emphasis on learning to serve The Way as well as on fighting. If that held true for freeborns as well, I'd be inclined to think that there wouldn't be a significantly higher level of freeborns versus Trueborns in reserve units. Perhaps a bit due to inherent cultural biases, but not horribly so.

3. While I agree with your thesis that lower ranking warriors would make up a good amount of the reservists, my thoughts on this go back to the descriptions of Cloister service. The warrior seems to be seconded to their Cloister for training and service, and the reserve system seems custom made for this. Any warrior wishing to take time to do their religious duties would be able to step away without worrying about damaging the strength of the touman. I'd imagine that there is a good amount of upper-level Cloister members on reservist duty at any given time to account for this.

4. I'm not certain on this one, as I don't know if we've had a lot of examples on Cobra military culture to draw from. There's a certain dark comedy to the idea of a Black Adder-esque warrior who manages to weasel their way into active duty, only for another warrior to transfer in and bump him back into the reserves.

5. The Cloud Cobras are nothing if not political, despite their protests to the contrary. Reservist #7 might be able to jump to Reservist #2 by joining the Cloister of their Star Colonel, or becoming the coregn of an ambitious Star Captain, etc.

6. Ooh, maybe? I'd feel pretty bad for the opposing commander who let their Cobra opponent defeat them by getting away with that. Definitely seems like one of those shrewd bidding tactics that get talked of in other Clans.

7. Hmm, again I want to say maybe. Up against a hated foe like the Coyotes? Most likely not. ("But I am a warrior! See this patch?" "Too bad, technician. Keep loading those ammo crates!") Other Clans might see it as a bit of a bonus, netting yourself more trained personnel than you otherwise would in a Harvest trial.
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Alan Grant

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Re: Cobra Reserve Warrior Questions
« Reply #3 on: 13 April 2024, 06:11:20 »
Thanks for the answers, that does help. I thought of one more question. FM: WC tells us that the warriors fight "mock Trials" or "Mock trials" (both word choice is used) to determine the line of ascension. (EDIT: I meant to say "mock battles" or "mock trials" FYI, rather than repeating myself)

I'm struggling to conceptualize how that would be structured.

So much about the Clans focuses on an individual fighting a Trial for 1 thing. Such as Trial of Bloodright in which 1 Bloodname is up for grabs and there can be just one winner. Or a Trial of Greviance in which 2 competitors square off but there can be only one winner.

This line of ascension business hits differently than those others. That has to be a different kind of Trial setup right? You aren't just figuring out who the top warrior is in the line of ascension. You are also determining the list, who is in the number 2 slot, 3, 4, 8, 12 etc.

How would you organize the "mock trials" for that? Opinions welcomed.
« Last Edit: 13 April 2024, 15:39:12 by Alan Grant »

rebs

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Re: Cobra Reserve Warrior Questions
« Reply #4 on: 13 April 2024, 14:12:28 »
I'd posit that Mock trials (or mock battles) are likely fought in simulators, regardless of the nature of the trial.  There would possibly be exceptions, such as un-augmented trials.  A Clan noted for its extremely limited resources (like the Cobras, it's part of their backstory) would probably only allocate combat resources like mechs and ASF to warriors in front line or second line clusters for use in trials. 

So I could see the occasional tournament structure of 1 on 1 trials, with all of them fought by sim to determine the ranking within any cluster's reserves. 

But that's just pure speculating.   :smilie_happy_thumbup:
« Last Edit: 14 April 2024, 05:03:34 by rebs »
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Alan Grant

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Re: Cobra Reserve Warrior Questions
« Reply #5 on: 13 April 2024, 15:41:02 »
I agree that it's probably simulators. I altered that post to say mock battles or mock trials rather than repeating myself. I do think the use of the word "mock" strongly implies simulators.

Still not sure how it's structured though and that's what I'm after.

Let me give a couple examples to underscore what I mean by structure. Is each position on the reserve list fought over like a Trial of Possession? Or is it more like all of you complete this exercise in the simulators... highest score, you are in slot #1, second highest score, you are in slot #2, etc.

That's just two ideas.

I'm trying to figure out what this series of mock trials/battles would actually look like in practice.
« Last Edit: 13 April 2024, 15:43:49 by Alan Grant »

Generic Clanner 24601

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Re: Cobra Reserve Warrior Questions
« Reply #6 on: 13 April 2024, 16:04:34 »
First impression without reading any responses:

1. As a rule no. But it's possible, as the Trials of Bloodright are often political. So, I can see some over-the-hill reserve warrior getting shot for some reason or other. Though you can probably count the number of times it happened on your hands. This is not considering any who fought their way out of reserve status. Still probably hurts them, but more possible than those stuck in it.

2. Yeah. Freeborns are probably more likely to wind up here.

3. This is a tricky one. I would say they would likely have to have warrior status so they can fight at all, though they aren't treated warriors by the Clan while they are in reserves. After all, it's easier to justify a warrior fixing a mech than it is putting a technician in the cockpit.

4. It depends. If it's an old warrior, they'd probably be bounced back. A young warrior who makes it is probably fine until they themselves get old.

5. Probably no cutsies. I would be surprised if they know who the warriors are until they bring them up. The Star Commander just says, "Next!"

6. Absolutely. I am sure this is a trick that has caught many batchals by surprise. Though Clans that pay particular attention to the details of batchals, probably warn the sibkos of this trick.

7. Since they are technically warriors, yes. But how they are treated depends on the Clan. Some would treat them as solmha and some would treat them second line warriors.

EDIT: Clarified a point a little.
« Last Edit: 13 April 2024, 16:09:48 by Generic Clanner 24601 »

WONC

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Re: Cobra Reserve Warrior Questions
« Reply #7 on: 14 April 2024, 01:21:56 »
Let me give a couple examples to underscore what I mean by structure. Is each position on the reserve list fought over like a Trial of Possession? Or is it more like all of you complete this exercise in the simulators... highest score, you are in slot #1, second highest score, you are in slot #2, etc.

I know this will sound like a cop-out answer, but I'd think both choices in tandem would make the most sense. By that I mean, the Cobras have a very unique outlook that is even more "good of the whole" than the average Clan is. So with that in mind, scored simulator tests would make a lot of sense for determining placement in a fair way that benefits the Clan to the greatest extent possible.

However, they're still Clan. Warrior Joe scored well and sits at the top of the ranking for an open slot, but Warrior Kelsey doesn't like her placement in the middle. So she challenges Joe to a Trial of Possession for the top slot, he agrees, and she wins. Boom, Kelsey is now in the top slot. I'm sure someone in the chain of command is miffed at this development, but Kelsey did follow the proper forms and Joe accepted the challenge, so thems the breaks.

I don't think that this is the norm, however. Having all of your reservists constantly feuding and running simulated battles to determine the top dog would be wasteful and dangerous for a Clan with as small a touman as the Cloud Cobras. So maybe there's a semi annual placement challenge that's ran as a grand melee, or maybe a simulated combat trial, etc. One every three to six months, your reservists get to prove that their training time and diligent service has paid off. That would be fitting of The Way, by trying to preserve unity of purpose. Maybe you'd have half a dozen Trials fought in the ensuing weeks after each placement test, where your more aggressive reservists get the chance to either prove they have the gumption to rise up, or they get the boot put to them and are "granted the gift of additional training time" to think about their folly.

Just my 2 cents on the topic.
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rebs

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Re: Cobra Reserve Warrior Questions
« Reply #8 on: 14 April 2024, 05:11:16 »
I like all the ideas above.

What I imagine is maybe once per year (possibly twice per year) there's a tournament of 1 on 1 battles to determine the ranking order, though personal challenges may alter it.  Or maybe not.  Reservists may not have full rights like regular warriors.

Then I would imagine clusters all do this at different times spread out through the year so there's not any time of hectic trials for reservists bogging down the system.

There's a ton of wiggle room with this for players and game managers.
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Gorgon

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Re: Cobra Reserve Warrior Questions
« Reply #9 on: 14 April 2024, 06:08:15 »
That's a very interesting line of questions. How would you organize a reserve unit? Me personally I would lean towards an infantry organization (they are warriors, after all), with 25 reservists to a Reserve Point, with the highest-scored reserve warrior made Point Commander. I think that is the lowest rank you can get away with for a unit like that. It gives them a rank within the general structure of the warrior caste, but an appropriate one, without needing ranks like Star Commander (Reserve).

How many reservists would you think a unit normally has access to? I could see something like a point (of 10 to 25) for a cluster, if it is Mech-heavy. For an Elemental-heavy unit maybe more.
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Alan Grant

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Re: Cobra Reserve Warrior Questions
« Reply #10 on: 16 April 2024, 06:33:54 »
I could see the infantry organization used as a paper organizing structure. What I mean by that is it doesn't represent the day-to-day reality. We know the reserve warriors get assigned to various support details to be part of them or to command them. So odds are they are split up in a lot of different directions.

But just for paper organizing/roll call purposes. Stand in formation and sound off- situations. Sure.

As for numbers, I think it could vary quite a bit. We really just don't know. It could be 10 it could be 100. The latter may sound like a lot but each reserve unit is attached to an entire galaxy. We also know that many warriors who are a cut above the solahma infantry fate end up in the reserve units for a while. It's very possible such reserve warriors are living with the reality that short of a true crisis (massive casualties, massive need for lots of replacements) they may never go (or go back) to a line unit. They may just exist in this near-solahma state until they finally are too old for even that.

So thinking through a specific case study of one warrior. Warrior A did spend some time in line units in his more youthful warrior years. But never earned a bloodname. Eventually Warrior A tested down to the reserve unit and from there moved around to a series of different technical/logistical details for another 10 years. Technically in the reserve unit. However routinely getting bumped down the ascension list as new generations of sibkos graduate. Then eventually ending up in the solahma infantry when the warrior is just too old, too frail, to even have reserve status.

There could be quite a few warriors like that in the reserves. If you think about how that category of warrior is there, and not just the up-and-comer youths, then I think the reserves could actually be quite large.

Then of course there would be a cyclical nature to it. So in more quiet periods the reserve units would likely bulk up with more warriors. While during and after combat operations, the reserve units would look quite depleted as reserve warriors replaced the fallen in line units.

It's kinda fun to think about a reserve warrior who went straight into the reserves after testing out of the sibko. Stayed in a reserve unit for years, a decade even, and then finally gets the chance to join a line unit at age 30 or something. That would be an interesting and atypical Clan warrior story.
« Last Edit: 16 April 2024, 06:37:08 by Alan Grant »

Colt Ward

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Re: Cobra Reserve Warrior Questions
« Reply #11 on: 20 April 2024, 15:25:31 »
We know the Clan Cloud Cobra system had a concept of reserve warriors.

*snip*

7. If another Clan took an entire Cobra unit as isorla as a result of a victorious Trial, and it included reserve contingent warriors amongst the isorla. Do you think they would be treated as warrior caste bondsmen?

See, just like the Scorpions having a handful of Potemkins that were never fluffed as being rented for the invasion, I wondered why Vlad & Marthe never trialed for these warriors when they needed replacements.  Go after a galaxy's reserve warriors in a Trial of Possession and odds are you could get half a galaxy of warriors which would have helped either Clan even if they had a higher ratio of ASF pilots than the Wolves or Falcons typically had on hand.  Would the Cobras fight that hard to retain those warriors who could see action in the Inner Sphere?
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