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Author Topic: Alternate Munitions Allotment  (Read 1057 times)

YingJanshi

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Alternate Munitions Allotment
« on: 11 January 2017, 01:09:19 »
Anyone have any ideas on the best way to handle alternate ammos for House troops? (Mercs are easy, if you can buy and carry it, you're good.) If you're just doing a pickup game you can just say, alright this slot of ammo is such  and this one is such (or can add it to your force through BV). But how should it be handled in a campaign?

Say you're the CO of a House regiment, would you have to requisition those SG LRMs you want? Or would you get a certain percentage among your regular allotment? Now, obviously if you have LB-Xs on your units you're going to get cluster rounds, and if you're going to need specific ammo types for a mission you'll be allotted them. But what about non-mission specific or general requisitions?

Am curious to hear people's opinions on this (especially ex-service members as they'd have real world experience).

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Colt Ward

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Re: Alternate Munitions Allotment
« Reply #1 on: 11 January 2017, 02:38:18 »
Depends on timeframe of course . . .

I want to say Combat Ops had a table for availability rolls that were for more than just mercs.

Some of the L2 campaign servers had rules for specialty ammo depending on how powerful it was perceived to be, granted it they were for '67.  For instance, in factional flavor the FWL got Swarm I and Semi G for LRMs, CapCon got T-Aug and maybe the other types along with A4 Inferno, LC & FS got Prec & AP ammo for ACs . . . and I am not sure the Dracs had any special ammos.  They may have had the benefit of more Clan equipment & IS Omnis.  I want to say at different times there were rules like-

No more than 1t of a specific kind of special ammo per unit (for instance a LRM carrier could have 1t of Semi-G and 1t of Swarm I if fielded by a FWL player)

No more than 1t of any special ammo per launcher (LRM Launcher has 3 LRM20s, so you can have 3t Semi-G or 3t Swarm-I or any mix of those 2 types as a FWL player)

It should be noted Cluster & Homing/Copperhead rounds were limited for artillery as well.  I cannot remember if Inferno was limited, NARC & Artemis IV compatible ammo was unlimited.
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Col Toda

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Re: Alternate Munitions Allotment
« Reply #2 on: 11 January 2017, 10:59:32 »
Depends on ammo type and house . Most alternate ammo type for the first 6 months to 2 years once it gets made remains in the faction that invents it but major factions ought to make the new ammo types and produce it in a limited quantity if a tactical reason  exists and a far larger volume if a strategic reason exists . Depending on performance and review is whether production is abandoned or not . The more universally useful and occasionally ERA specific is how much you see a special ammo type .  For Example fighting Early Augmented Word of Blake troops with a non-buffered DNI  Armor Piercing Auto Cannon ammo becomes far more valuable as the pilot may take a Critical on any possible critical received so the mech may be banged up a bit but the pilot dies with a fried brain. That was something like a 2  year period in which many factions tooled up for AP ammo . After Buffered DNI started to come out the use of AP ammo nearly completely went away from my perspective . Precision Ammo makes Hover Tanks and such a far more Strategically valuable asset . So as soon as a new alternate ammo effectiveness is felt a demand is made and is pursued by either acquiring a licence to manufacture and paying royalties to reverse engineering the ammo until it can be made and not paying royalties or doing so after a court case and after the cost for reverse engineering it is recouped or having the affiliation indemnify against said suit .  I do not think Precision ammo will ever go away . Things that get made quick all the types of machine gun ammo , Homing Arrow IV , Illumination Arrow IV , ADA Arrow IV , Smoke for everything , Inferno SRM and Incendiary LRMs  . Some ammos LIKE ARRAD LRMS was particularly popular against the WOB but after the Jihad demand tanked . The availability tables are fine for most purposes until and unless the Theater you are fighting and opposition forces DEMAND having special ammo in which those tables just do no make sense . Those tables tend to not be era specific . Some weapon systems having standard ammo just does not make sense at all for instance mech mortars the only ammo types I tend to see is Air-Burst or Semi-Guided and it is used to kill infantry ; battle armor ; Protomechs  and any light fast unit that it is good enough for . Standard rounds are so inaccurate it is pointless to make it and thus DEMAND the alternative ammo to be made .  My Mercenary unit could not count on any particular clients logistical train to provide any of the special ammo types I use so I had to cart around my reloads . I had a thread about the minimum lot size you had to buy if you wanted a factory to retool for a not in demand ammo type like 300 tons  . Logistical Trains tend to be organized by region like say like the Draconis March and  would have a depot . For a not in high demand ammo it would have a limited supply of a Special ammo type depending on utility . For instance Mine Clearing LRM has a low demand but a high utility so they would lay in a bigger supply for it . Anti Laser Aerosol Arrow IV would unlikely to be there at all unless they are Davionistas who expect to saturate a battlefield with it so their ax wielding maniacs can get  close with the clan units without being completely taken down by the better clan laser before getting into range .  Clan Ammo before the Dark Age except Gauss Rifle normally costs mercenaries 2X  - 2.8X base price if it is available at all . Even in the Dark Age when some IS manufacturer's make Clan spec  would know people are willing to pay that kind of mark up so likely fix the after market  prices to that level . ( iI use IS ammo weapons ) . Some ammo types are not available for Clan weapons AT ALL or until the iATM becomes available and some Arrow IV ammo type Never become available for .
« Last Edit: 11 January 2017, 11:09:23 by Col Toda »

Weirdo

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Re: Alternate Munitions Allotment
« Reply #3 on: 11 January 2017, 12:34:24 »
For the love of Cat, paragraph breaks, PLEASE! :o There's a reason the term 'wall of text' is never a positive one.

Now for my actual question...
Depends on ammo type and house . Most alternate ammo type for the first 6 months to 2 years once it gets made remains in the faction that invents it but major factions ought to make the new ammo types and produce it in a limited quantity if a tactical reason  exists and a far larger volume if a strategic reason exists .
Quote
That was something like a 2  year period in which many factions tooled up for AP ammo .
Quote
Things that get made quick all the types of machine gun ammo , Homing Arrow IV , Illumination Arrow IV , ADA Arrow IV , Smoke for everything , Inferno SRM and Incendiary LRMs  . Some ammos LIKE ARRAD LRMS was particularly popular against the WOB but after the Jihad demand tanked .

What's the source for all of these? I'm always looking for official passages that detail the spread of ammo types from their originating faction.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Alternate Munitions Allotment
« Reply #4 on: 11 January 2017, 17:21:26 »
Lol, the only thing I can think of that even touches on the spread would be that availability chart listing modifiers to your rolls- even then, its a 'hard to get a hold of' not . . . 6 months later you can make it.
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YingJanshi

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Re: Alternate Munitions Allotment
« Reply #5 on: 11 January 2017, 18:32:03 »
Guess i should have been a bit clearer in what I was after in my original post.

I'm really curious about the in-universe procedure House troops would have to go through. (Mercs are a whole other discussion.)

Initiate of the Order of Valhalla

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The Lyrans aren't losers.  They're...winning impaired.

Colt Ward

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Re: Alternate Munitions Allotment
« Reply #6 on: 11 January 2017, 19:06:36 »
Nothing I think lays it out but we do get a few examples in fiction.  The FCCW Mechwarrior novel about the Katherine's invasion of New Syrtis, a defending battalion commander managed to get 'a few crates' of Precision ammo to use in his personal Templar (Grayson) in the training & battles for his world.  I do not think we get any word of if any of his subordinates got the ammo.

During Natasha & Phelan's Trial of Position their mechs were equipped with Swarm LRMs, but a Trial of Position is a special circumstance and we never hear of the Clans using that sort of ammunition again.

Like I also said, part of it comes down to timeframe . . . when by 3150 designs are equiped with a standard AC/10 or LACs so that the equipment can make use of the advantages of AC specialty ammo then I imagine it is spread pretty far and wide.  What does it take to get it?  A requisition form submitted in triplicate to the quartermasters/logistics division to see that it is properly routed through your supply lines.  Or turn to Sergeant Peterson to find them among the many confusing rows of warehouses on base . . .

I offered what others have done as solutions for balancing some campaign play.
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SCC

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Re: Alternate Munitions Allotment
« Reply #7 on: 11 January 2017, 19:49:25 »
You know, for those Trials of Position, didn't they face one enemy 'Mech at a time? Doesn't that make Swarm useless?

Weirdo

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Re: Alternate Munitions Allotment
« Reply #8 on: 11 January 2017, 20:18:41 »
All the enemy mechs were still on the field, and I guess standing close enough together while waiting their turn for multiple targets to be hit. The idea was to trigger a melee as soon as possible so that Natasha could legitimately go for four kills, and it probably threw the opposing Warriors off balance, too.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
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Colt Ward

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Re: Alternate Munitions Allotment
« Reply #9 on: 11 January 2017, 20:59:52 »
Yeah, it was to spark a melee so she could take 4 targets.  It was also a big psychological move, part of her hammering the Crusader die-hards.
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Col Toda

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Re: Alternate Munitions Allotment
« Reply #10 on: 12 January 2017, 03:21:08 »
My comments on this is what I have seen in 3 different  Campaigns . With the sole exception of ADA Arrow IV in which I have only seen the once in the latest most recent one . I expect to see it far more often in the future as it is the best ammo to have at either a drop ship LZ or as part of battery of off board artillery against Aerospace Fighter attacks . As for references they are a few scattered ones of legal actions of one faction stealing the tech of another which may or may not get resolved . Free and Black markets in the game exist and ultimately do not require much of it to get the required results . For instance in Battletech only proto mechs and combat vehicles are true attrition units so in most cases having it known you use ADA Arrow IV ammo is enough to get the desired results of greatly reducing aerospace attacks . I load up about 3 tons of it with my advancing units and 8 tons to protest the LZ after being attacked and only some of that ammo is used most but not all opposition forces take a different approach to combating me so ultimately to minimize the use of VTOL and aerospace assets . So even though I tend to carry only 2 reloads of the Air Defense Arrow IV ammo I normally do not shoot off the entire first ton from a launcher before I get the desired result of reducing the number of airborne assets against me . Sadly other special ammo types you have to continually use to get the desired results such as Homing , smoke , illumination ect.  Homing ammo tends to be expended as fast as you can reload it so I very well may run out of the reloads during a multi fight offensive in which I have to depend upon my own supply. 

All house units have a logistical train set up for regular supply all ammo and armor types that should be normally expended that ought to be included such as if you have units with Artemis IVFCS  you should have that ammo in the train constantly being supplied .  The premise I have seen if you are issued a unit that ( Requires ) Special Ammo then that special ammo should be included in your logistical train . If you have Arrow IV launchers AND units with TAG then you should have some Homing Arrow IV as part of your logistical train LRMs and Semi Guided is a much tougher call .  Smoke and Illumination should always be available .  If on a siege or offensive and you have to go through mine fields and have units with LRMs then mine clearing ammo should be available . A military unit has a Quartermaster through which the unit commanders requisition what is required or able to convince the higher ups that it is required to do the job . All alternate munitions reflect a perceived need if it is shared by those above you they will try to provide it , if not they wont . 
« Last Edit: 12 January 2017, 06:26:57 by Col Toda »

The Eagle

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Re: Alternate Munitions Allotment
« Reply #11 on: 12 January 2017, 09:05:14 »


Am curious to hear people's opinions on this (especially ex-service members as they'd have real world experience).

I wasn't a logistics puke, but I was a staff monkey, so I'm at least familiar with the ins and outs.  In the military, "big Army" isn't going to send you anything you didn't ask for, and priority of supply is going to go to the units that are most likely to be in combat.  If both 10th Marik Militia (garrisoning the CapCon border) and the 1st Regulan Hussars (stationed safely deeply within the FWL) both submit requisitions for SG LRMs, for example, the Militia is far more likely to get them than the Hussars.  If a unit is on orders to launch an attack, they will get the highest priority for shipments of supply of any kind because units in combat go through their consumables at a massive rate; I'm not just talking about ammo here, but also fuel, POL (petroleum, oil, and lubricants, which includes things like anti-freeze for ground vehicles), and food (both field-kitchen "cookable" food and MREs). 

In the politics-is-life FWL, perceived loyalty is also going to dictate how much support you'll get from the Federal government, as even Thomas "Marik" played favorites and punished dissenters by playing with their supply shipments.  If anyone is going to have SG LRMs, it's the Knights of the Inner Sphere, and if anyone isn't going to have them, it's the Regulan Hussars.  I'm sure other BT militaries have similar issues; the LAAF under Katherine was more likely to give good stuff to the Jaegers brigade than it was to the Skye Rangers.

But back on the real-life train!  One more thing to mention is that small-batch orders are more likely to get filled than big-batch orders, because it means you're not stockpiling, you're using them for training (and troops need to train on new gear and munitions so that they know what they're doing with it when the bullets actually start flying).  Requesting five hundred tons of SG LRMs?  Unless you're on the schedule to invade Corey or Bolan, not going to happen.  Requesting fifty tons of SG LRMs for training?  Sure, some warehouse on Marik or Oriente probably has that lying around.
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Col Toda

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Re: Alternate Munitions Allotment
« Reply #12 on: 12 January 2017, 09:44:53 »
As an example of general requisition ammo that I can think of is Inferno SRMs or Incendiary LRMs . Both tend to be specifically excluded to use or not by rules of engagement in a theatre . For instance using it in a city with most of the civilian housing is wood or just under super dry grassland the collateral damage is considered too high . This is an example of more availability than utility .  Infernal ammo is popular when collateral damage is not likely or a big deal but potentially a nightmare otherwise . Still you may be carting around 10 tons of the stuff for a year or more before getting around to use it .
« Last Edit: 12 January 2017, 10:12:48 by Col Toda »

 

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