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Author Topic: Lance Types  (Read 12423 times)

Cazaril

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Lance Types
« on: 24 October 2014, 18:24:26 »
I've been working on a project to generated lances based on entering just the faction and lance unit code (the codes from the back of "NAIS - The Fourth Succession War - Military Atlas Volume 1&2" and the same were used in "Battleforce")... The sheet will be customizable, so I also wanted to be able to change the lance type. So far I have:

Command:
Assault:
Fire:
Support:
Sniper:
Medium:
Pursuit:
Light:
Recon:
Jp. Recon:
Hy. Recon:
Hy. Jp. Recon:

Regimental:
Aerospace:
Air Support:

Security:
Infantry:

Can anyone think of any others...

Thanks

Caz

martian

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #1 on: 25 October 2014, 02:06:45 »
Striker Lance
Battle Lance

GhostCat

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #2 on: 25 October 2014, 06:51:37 »
These are the most commonly accepted Lance types that I can think of.  All very generic.

Command:   
Support:       
Battle:         
Fire:             

Assault:
Heavy:
Medium:
Light:

Strike:             
Pursuit:           
Recon:
Scout:

Air Lance:

GC

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Blacksheep

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #3 on: 25 October 2014, 07:29:35 »
Headquarters:
Battalion:
Squadron:
Wing:
Company:
Troop:
LAM:

mdauben

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #4 on: 25 October 2014, 09:36:01 »
Isn't Cavalry Lance a canon designation?
Mike

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Cazaril

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #5 on: 25 October 2014, 10:06:48 »
Striker Lance
Battle Lance

What makes a lance a Striker Lance or Battle Lance?

I mean, a Recon lance is just that. Their mission is to scout an area. That's why most seem to be packed with lighter, fast and/or jump capable Mechs. Therefore, Recon is a mission, which dictates a certain type of Mech... While Fire Lance dictates Mechs with LRMs... So what is the Mission and Mech type of the ones you mentioned.

Headquarters:
Battalion:
Squadron:
Wing:
Company:
Troop:
LAM:

Most of these are based on position on the T O & E. While it could be argued that their mission is to command the units under them, they are not unit dependent (well maybe the LAM lance is). In a battalion lance you could have 4 Locust or 4 Atlases, and the commander could do his job just as well. So while I appreciate the input, not really what I was looking for.

Caz

Frabby

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #6 on: 25 October 2014, 10:13:48 »
I fear this is an exercise in futility. Much like WarShip classifications, people can call their lances whatever they like. There is even a BattleCorps story where a Taurian (?) unit deliberately uses misleading lance designations like "Fire Support" for a close-range brawling lance, because they (correctly) think their enemy is listening to their radio traffic.

Very, very, very few lance designations have a fixed meaning that actually says something about the lance. Even a generic idea like "Scout Lance" is apparently not always a fast lance - infamously, the "Scout" lance of Gold Company, 2nd Sword of Light in Wolves on the Border was an Ostscout drift anchored by three slow Panthers.


In fact, the only one I can currently think of is the AirLance (one per company under standard Star League doctrine), which adds two ASF to the four 'Mechs. This, btw, is reflected in the odd fighter bay allocation on Leopards, Unions and Overlords.
« Last Edit: 25 October 2014, 10:17:14 by Frabby »
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martian

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #7 on: 25 October 2014, 10:22:48 »
What makes a lance a Striker Lance or Battle Lance?

So what is the Mission and Mech type of the ones you mentioned.

Battle Lance:
"At a distance, in the thick of it; driest desert, coldest glacier: a battle lance MechWarrior is a jack-of-all-trades. He or she doesn’t need a specialty because they can take the battle to the enemy under any conditions…"

Zeus, Hatchetman, Banshee and Orion


Striker Lance
"Not as fast as scouts, these ’Mechs sacrifice some speed for a heavier complement of close-range weapons. They dash in, stand toe-to-toe with the enemy, then unload a massive barrage of weapons fire. Commanders often send an entire lance of strikers into the midst of the enemy, ordering them to concentrate fire on a single enemy ’Mech and thus eliminating a medium or heavy ’Mech quickly."

Guillotine, Panther, Dragon and Quickdraw

GhostCat

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #8 on: 25 October 2014, 12:31:43 »
Very, very, very few lance designations have a fixed meaning that actually says something about the lance. Even a generic idea like "Scout Lance" is apparently not always a fast lance - infamously, the "Scout" lance of Gold Company, 2nd Sword of Light in Wolves on the Border was an Ostscout drift anchored by three slow Panthers.

 The "Scout Lance" sounds like the way I'd use it, too.  It's main job is really "Point Man", advancing until contact with the enemy is made, then hold that contact until following troops join in.

The "Recon Lance" has a slightly different job, penetrating deep into hostile areas searching for hidden supply and command centers.  So, advanced electronics and fast mobile mechs are required.

GC
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Archangel

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #9 on: 25 October 2014, 16:14:08 »
Battalion:
Squadron:
Wing:
Company:
Troop:

I have never heard of these as lance types.

Battalion - if you are referring to the battalion commander's lance, then it would fall under the command lance designation.  Otherwise, it, as well as the squadron, wing, company and troop, are unit size designations  not lance types.
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Blacksheep

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #10 on: 25 October 2014, 23:47:29 »
Wow.  The original post covers different categories.  The 4th SW Atlases and Battleforce referenced use weight class and somewhat generic categories like Assault Type 1, Heavy Type 5, or Truck for example.  However, there was also "Pursuit," "Regimental," and others listed that were not tied at all to those references.   So it appeared you were also looking for naming conventions that could be grouped together to form additional possibilities.  Therefore, I gave a range of additional options that to me anyway seemed to be in the same vein. 

Battleforce I TO&E for "Moore's Bandits" has lance names like: "Regimental Command Headquarters," "Delany Battery," "Muzak's Observers," "Medical Support," "Battalion Headquarters," "1st Platoon," or "Medium Platoon."  The "7th Crucis Lancers" TO&E has an "Attack Lance" and a "1st Lance."  There is no difference between Recon and Scout unless you elect to subjectively define them so.  Nor is there a difference between Security and Infantry to my mind unless you are thinking of Security as Mall Cops.  Likewise for Fire, Support, and Sniper...in fact I know I have seen a "Fire Support Lance" before. 

Perhaps you should be much more specific as to what you are trying to do exactly.


Cazaril

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #11 on: 26 October 2014, 00:37:10 »
Wow.  The original post covers different categories.  The 4th SW Atlases and Battleforce referenced use weight class and somewhat generic categories like Assault Type 1, Heavy Type 5, or Truck for example.  However, there was also "Pursuit," "Regimental," and others listed that were not tied at all to those references.   So it appeared you were also looking for naming conventions that could be grouped together to form additional possibilities.  Therefore, I gave a range of additional options that to me anyway seemed to be in the same vein.

The sheet that I'm building uses the Affiliation (5 major houses and "other") along with the Battleforce/4th SW Atlas lance code to auto-populate the Mechs in a given unit. And you are correct that neither of those sources give a name to the lance. Where the majority of the lance names I originally posted came from were the old Ral Partha miniature boxed sets (<Recon, Light, Medium, Fire, Heavy, Assault, Regimental, Pursuit> Lance Boxed Set). Add those to the ones that were usually list on a bunch of the original scenario packs, and you pretty much have my list as well as the president for naming a lance based not on it's place in the lance, but on it's function.

As for things like Infantry and Security, it's more of a personal difference in specialization... Infantry are aggressive and move outward to attack, and their additional equipment would support this (the idea that they have only what they can carry or load on the truck). Meanwhile, Security personnel are more defensive minded. Because their mission is to protect, they'd probably have a larger stockpile of available supplies to draw from, but would also allow them to have a lighter pack on assignment (you don't have to carry food and water because you are eating in the mess). It would also not be unreasonable that they might have more access to engineering equipment... So the name, implies mission.

The same with Fire and Sniper... Fire lances would have a higher ratio of LRM equipped Mechs (the books tend toward 50%, I like 75% - 100%). Meanwhile, your Sniper Lance would have more PPCs, Lasers and ACs (line of sight, non-missile weapons) in them.

Things like Regimental Command Headquarters, Battalion Headquarters, 1st Platoon... Those speak to only their position in the TO&E, and that is something that is more of a title. Delany Battery and Muzak's Observers are name of units, that and are a little too specific. Medical Support works, because it specifically states the purpose of a lance. But I also grouped them all under the more generic "support", instead of listing them individually.


I fear this is an exercise in futility. Much like WarShip classifications, people can call their lances whatever they like. There is even a BattleCorps story where a Taurian (?) unit deliberately uses misleading lance designations like "Fire Support" for a close-range brawling lance, because they (correctly) think their enemy is listening to their radio traffic.

I have a simple rule about BattleTech technology... If I can have it now, there is no reason they can't have it then... And the idea of unencrypted communications is mind boggling. But instead of turning this whole conversation off course, let's just set that point aside.

The idea of naming the lances comes, as mentioned above, from the old Ral Partha boxed sets and the original scenario packs... Most started with a Command Lance, then the second lance was usually Fire, Medium or Attack, with the last one being Recon or Pursuit... These designations are meant more as a reminder of what a certain lance's strengths and/or mission are (like 6 months later when you are wondering why you put those four particular mechs together in that lance), as opposed to something you would use externally over the radio ... And although I had a pretty inclusive list, I've seen other descriptors out there and couldn't remember them all, so I figured I'd ask.

So while what I might call a group of four Mechs a "Sniper" lance, you might refer to it as a "Heavy" lance, but as long as I created the sheet and I am the one reading it, the designation has proper meaning... The same goes for you. If you create the lance and name it, as long as you are reading it, it has meaning... And who is reading your TO&Es while you are playing? All your opponent cares about is that your lance is out there, and I doubt he gives half a hoot what you call it...

Caz

pheonixstorm

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #12 on: 27 October 2014, 14:30:08 »
Did you do a search? There are at least 4 threads on the forums covering this already ;)

If you have the books, look up anything that gives a full unit TO&E and you will find a great many more designations.

The basiscs though..

Command Lance
Scout (usually one or more 6/9/6) Mostly a bug lance. Wasp, Stinger, sometimes a P. Hawk leading the team
Recon (usually one or more 8/12/(8)) My latest on this is a Mongoose, 2X Assassins, and a Spider
Strike (S. Hawk, Griffins, usually mobile with good firepower)
Fire Support (High damage or lots of missiles or both)
Cavalry (As per strike but fast, mobile, and jumpy)
Combat/Battle (heavy hitters, mainline unit) Will probably be a mix of mediums and heavies
Assault (when all else fails, very heavy firepower, walking tanks)

Pick your poison and go with it.

Kovax

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #13 on: 04 November 2014, 10:47:14 »
That doesn't even begin touch on possible groupings of "specialty" units:
Anti-Infantry lance (MG and Flamer equipped)
Anti-Aircraft lance (advanced targeting systems, high-angle weapons fire arcs)
Incendiary lance (Flamers, Infernos)
Headhunter lance (dedicated to identifying and taking out command assets)

Kidd

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #14 on: 17 November 2014, 00:19:20 »
I've also seen Force Lances and Battle Lances - probably meaning the same thing; medium to heavy trooper units suitable for general combat.

That's an interesting project. Your spreadsheet would feature at least 3 fields I think - weight, function and motive type. Weight - Light, Medium, Heavy. Function - Strike, Recon, Pursuit, Battle, Assault, Command, Fire, Fire Support. Motive type - Mech, Armour, Hover, Foot Infantry, etc. Maybe a 4th field, Faction - Liao, Steiner, Generic, etc.

I think the real work here is labelling each unit and variant with the proper 'tags'. The rest is just formula writing.

Cazaril

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #15 on: 18 November 2014, 19:18:07 »
That's an interesting project. Your spreadsheet would feature at least 3 fields I think - weight, function and motive type. Weight - Light, Medium, Heavy. Function - Strike, Recon, Pursuit, Battle, Assault, Command, Fire, Fire Support. Motive type - Mech, Armour, Hover, Foot Infantry, etc. Maybe a 4th field, Faction - Liao, Steiner, Generic, etc.

I think you have the wrong concept of what I was trying for...

First,this is a set of spreadsheets... You have to pick the one that matches the formation of the unit you are working with (Command company/no command company, battalion lances/no battalion lances, recon/lightning company/no extra company... etc)

Next, you immediately have to save it to another name. Why? Because once you start playing around with it, you inevitably over-write something you pretty much can't come back from.

Now enter the name of the unit in the proper place

Pick the affiliation: Davion, Kurita, Steiner, Marik, Liao or (basically) Other... The reason I say "basically" is that regardless which Periphery Faction, Comstar, Pirate, Merc or whatever you pick, it all defaults to the same thing..

See, part of the problem is that Excel, while it gives you some ability to program, isn't a program environment. What I mean is, that each cell can only hold so much, so you have to limit what you do... In this case, I'm using about 6 nested loops, each referring to a different part of a VLookup call. This gives me enough room to do 6 different factions, but just barely. The idea of then having the "Lance Type" change the default generated lance would be far more code then a single cell can handle. So you have to minimize the code and do a bunch of stuff manually... But that is OK.

The idea behind the original spreadsheet was to be able to open the correct unit organization, select the Affiliation, and then set the BattleForce lance code for each lance, using the NAIS Atlases as a guide. This would allow someone to quickly generate the default lances from those references for play... Then it grew..

Anyway... Once you've picked the BattleForce Lance Code for each lance from the drop-down menu, you have a basic Regiment... The Lance Codes give you affiliation correct Mechs, along with the code definition (I'm not home so I can't get a real one, but say Lance Code L2 means a lance "80-100 Tons"), and the total weight of the lance...

Now we reach the point it is customizable... If you click in the cell that has a Mech's name in it, a drop-box will appear that allows you to select any approved Mech (currently they are all setup for my own alternate universe - The Caz-A-Verse". But they can be easily reset back to the main-stream universe or another AU.). This allows you to change the Mechs to customize the lance or have it fulfill a particular mission. And when you change a Mech, the Lance Tonnage automatically updates so you know that you are still within the parameters of the Lance Code.

Once you've got your lance constructed, you then select the Lance Type from a drop-down list, which really just acts as a reminder of why you put those four Mechs together (because in 6 months, you may not remember that you grouped them because they were all Snipers, or Fast or whatever the reason)...

At the point you have all the lances setup, you can print it if you want and you have a unit TO&E...

But as a painter, I took it a little further...

There is a checkbox on each row, if you check the box, that lance will show through to the other sheets in the Workbook..

There is a sheet that tidies up the first page, getting rid of anything extra (like the lance code and definition)... There is another that allows someone to enter pilot's name and a tiny amount of info... There is another that breaks everything down by weight and gives you averages for lance, company, battalion and regiment... And still another, that if sorted correctly, will give you a list of the minis and quantity you need to purchase to build the unit...

All of this stuff shows through the moment you check the box next to a lance... And if you only want to build a company, you just don't check the lances with default Mechs and then use just the other sheets for information. Only the basics like Unit name and Company nickname will show through, so that keeps all the default stuff from showing when you don't plan to keep it (at least on every sheet but the first one)...

Anyway, that's the penny tour of how it all works.

Caz

Kidd

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #16 on: 19 November 2014, 03:52:13 »
That's a heck of a lot more ambitious than I'd thought. Even tagging all the units would take quite a bit of time and effort I imagine. Wish you all the best.

Cazaril

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #17 on: 20 November 2014, 11:25:45 »
Even tagging all the units would take quite a bit of time and effort I imagine. Wish you all the best.

What do you mean by "tagging"?

The really ambitious part was actually the part where I defined production in the Caz-A-Verse in a way similar to Objective Raids (where not just which Mechs are made where is listed, but where all the components came from too, including each component's name). This took something like 3 months.

The part where it converts the Lance Code to the default lance is easy with VLookUp... Basically you list the Lance Codes going down a column, and then create a table for each faction going across the Worksheet... So you'd have "L1" (which means "95-120 Tons, 50% with LRMs, all jump capable") then you would have the lance for Davion, then Kurita, then Steiner, then Marik, then Liao, then the default... Then you do the same for each of the other Lance Codes...

This sounds like a lot, but really it isn't... Each House has a specific production, and their lances use only "In-House" Mechs. This gives a certain flavor to each house and really limits the options when creating a lance (which can be changed/augmented when customizing the sheet). The lance creation went pretty quick... Also, at this point you aren't trying to fill a role, you are just trying to stay within the parameters of the Lance Code.

Anyway... Once each House's table is create, you highlight the Lance Codes and all six tables then give it a "nickname"... Then on the main sheet, you enter the formula into each cell. The formula says (paraphrased), look down the list of Lance Codes, then depending on what the affiliation is set to, go over so many cells and put what is in that cell on the main sheet... So if set to Davion and L1, on the main sheet's first Mech cell, you tell it to look in the 1st Davion Mech cell from the table and copy that. Then in the 2nd cell, you tell it to look in the 2nd Davion Mech cell and copy that... And so on...

VLookUp is an interesting command and comes in pretty handy... It is also what makes this all possible.

And before I forget... Your banner is shiny. Recognized the quote immediately and it made me laugh.

Caz


nckestrel

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #18 on: 20 November 2014, 12:21:44 »
Alpha Strike Companion has a force building section, based on First Strike! and the Introductory Box Set, that describes several Formation (Lance/Star/Level II) types.  Where a Unit has a Role (Juggernaut, Skirmisher, Striker, Scout, Sniper, Missile Boat, Brawler, Ambusher), and Formations have Types (Battle, Assault, Striker/Cavalry, Fire, Recon, Pursuit, Command, Support).  There is not a one-to-one Role to Type.  A Battle Lance might have Snipers, Brawlers and Skirmishers for example.  A Fire Lance might have Snipers and Missile Boats.
Several of the Types have subtypes.  Fire Lance has Fire Support (indirect Fire), Artillery Fire, Direct Fire, Anti-Air.  Pursuit has Probe and Sweep. Recon and Striker have Light and Heavy versions.  Assault has Fast Assault. Battle has Light, Medium and Heavy versions.  Command has a Vehicle Command Lance.



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Kidd

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #19 on: 21 November 2014, 01:41:01 »
Yes I do find Lookup very handy and I use it regularly at work.

I had imagined that you would have a table of all the Mechs and variants and their designated Faction, Weight, and Role. Then when creating your lance, you request Davion, Medium, Missile Support and the sheet would pick a random Mech that fits the criteria. If so I think there would be a lot of work involved in populating the table. But now I realise that your spreadsheet is not for generating units complete with individual Mechs is it.

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And before I forget... Your banner is shiny. Recognized the quote immediately and it made me laugh.
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D.Jensen

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #20 on: 30 March 2015, 08:32:24 »
How's this project coming along? I'd love to get my hands on a copy when you're done.  :)

Onisuzume

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Re: Lance Types
« Reply #21 on: 17 April 2015, 04:48:26 »
Wouldn't there be "Jenner", "Panther", and "Dragon" lance types for the Dracs?  :D

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