Author Topic: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)  (Read 10754 times)

The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #90 on: 01 October 2017, 13:44:19 »
<<Game Note: The Third SW Campaign Game: Apr - Jun 3019>>

LC-DC Front: The series of Combine defeats on Lyons, Kimball II, Konstance and Alexandria had badly depleted the active regiments facing the Lyran sector of the Dieron District and few resources short of replacements could be sent to aid the defenders due to events on the Federated Suns front. While the commands were rebuilding as best they could Komephoros was attacked by the 32nd Lyran Guards in May.  The large garrison put up a spirited defence that did not collapse until June, badly damaging the attacking Lyran formations. Marfik was also attacked by the large elite 4th Skye Rangers and fell after a brief but bloody fight. By the end of June nine Combine commands had mustered to block any further advance into the district not knowing that eleven Lyran commands were preparing to exploit their success and extend their drive towards Kessel and beyond.
 
DC-FS Front: The planned Combine counteroffensive to retake Valentina and Delacruz was overtaken by renewed Federated Suns attacks that quickly took Capra and assaulted Waldheim. The 8th Sword of Light, 4th An Ting and 5th Galedon Regulars were badly mauled in the early fighting but special operations sabotage helped delay further AFFS attacks as reinforcements were directed to Galedon V and Kaznejov. A further attempt at counterattack was itself foiled by Federated Suns sabotage operations disrupting transportation networks behind the lines. By the end of June Weisau had also fallen to Federated Suns as both sides reinforced with additional ground and naval commands. 

FS-CC Front: With the Combine being hard pressed on two fronts the Capellan Confederation was forced to cancel plans to counterattack the FWL attack on Hall and redirect forces against the Federated Suns. The hastily prepared Capellan attacks were aimed at the Terran Corridor striking Formalhaut and Northwind in May. Better prepared attacks were directed against Caph and Saffel in June but fighting on both planets would continue into July. The attacks caught the Federated Suns off balance and it scrambled to redirect any nearby forces to prevent the loss of access to Terra. By the end of the June resistance on Caph was on the verge of collapse while the AFFS and CCAF both brought forward more troops and naval forces to feed the growing battles.

CC-FWL Front: With the calls from Luthien for support becoming more strident by the hour, Janos Marik sent a message to the Capellan Confederation offering to let the garrisons of the remaining five occupied League systems withdraw without interference. Maximillian Liao declined the offering stating, ‘Where a Capellan Mech places its foot, there it remains. No force in the galaxy can move it!’

Long in preparation the FWL launched a full assault by eight commands against Cronulla, Goodna and Kujari in April lead by Wolf's Dragoons and all three planets quickly fell to the attackers, their garrisons overrun and captured. Ventabren was attacked in May by three Oriente Hussar commands followed by a heavy assault on Suzano in June. As June came to a close the FWL was beginning to scale down operations on the Capellan front in order to support planned operations against the Lyran Commonwealth.

FWL-LC: The liberation of Galestio was launched in May by the 9th Orloff Grenadiers as a small opening move against the Lyran Commonwealth in support of the calls for aid from the Draconis combine. Recognizing the debt owed to Combine for support during the civil war and afterward the FWL concentrated six additional  commands near Uhuru, Shiloh and Stewart with plans to attack Rahneshire and threaten Hesperus II. Still more commands from the Capellan front, including a number of Guards units, had orders to shift towards Wing and Zosma for follow on attacks against the Isle of Skye.>>

Alexandretta, Alexandria, Apr-Jun, 3019

As news arrived from the front of Lyran advances into the Kessel Prefecture the command staff of the 1st Mechanised Brigade breathed a sigh of relief. The 1st Rifles third company arrived as planned in May and were hardly off their dropships when they were ordered out on full exercises to introduce to them to the brigades style of fighting wars. RHQ also received a replacement drone carrier and the 1st Horse Artillery received the last Sniper artillery system that they would see for some time. The 1st Service Battalion took possession of a full flight of four Planetlifter transport aircraft for heavy cargo lifts but the battalion was also to start training in lifting Mechs for the 13th Light Dragoons that would be assigned to support the airmobile scout infantry of 13th Commando.

Turning to commercial needs the brigade could now concentrate on the cadre and garrison mission it had signed on for back in December, 3018. As the Alexandria planetary garrison was rebuilding the brigade was tasked with training the new regiments and battalions and carrying out exercises was part of the program. This gave the command the opportunity to examine its own tactics and doctrine in order to evaluate how effective the brigade had been in past battles and where it could improve for future encounters.

The Combat Command organisation in use since 3016 had proved to be flexible in providing each of the reinforced battalions with a potent combined arms force. Despite the success of mixing Mech, armour and mechanised infantry companies into the battalion commands there had been instances where one of the companies got into trouble without the other companies being immediately able to come to its aid. It usually turned out that the infantry suffered the worst of the effects when coordination and cooperation broke down in the heat of battle but the tanks and Mechs had also had their share of trouble, especially in difficult terrain.

In order to try and counter the effects of having three differently armed companies finding themselves fighting separate battles on the same piece of ground it was decide to look at integrating the combined arms concept further down into the companies themselves. With each line company in the brigade consisting of four lances or platoons Colonel Bedford and Lieutenant-Colonel Talbot looked into examples from the past on how best to make this ‘square’ formation work best within a triangular, three-company battalion ‘Task Force’.  The particular tactic that was under consideration was known as “Caterpillar”.

The idea behind ‘caterpillar’ was to have a combined arms company-sized “combat team” consisting of two lances of medium and heavy Mechs, a platoon of heavy armour and a mechanised infantry platoon mounted in armoured personnel carriers or even heavier infantry fighting vehicles. The combat team would be broken into two manoeuvre teams, each with a Mech lance and conventional platoon. While one manoeuvre team advanced from one position to another it would be covered from an ‘overwatch’ position by the combat team’s other unit. Once in position the first manoeuvre team would cover the advance of the second until they reached their new position. The process would be repeated from one tactical bound to the next with each combat team in a task force advancing in line, with brigade support elements, RHQ and artillery, coming up from behind and reconnaissance troops out front.

The main problem with implementing the doctrine came from the current organisation of the brigade itself. Founded as a combined arms formation it had been organised around three battalions of three like companies plus supporting troops. Where the new theory called for a battalion task force to field six Mech lances, three tank and three infantry platoons, each balanced task force would actually field four Mech lances, four tank and four infantry platoons. There were not enough Mechs to meet requirements and too many tank and infantry platoons.

As nothing could be done about the current TO&E the brigade staff looked at modifying the combat teams and task forces to make best use of the equipment the brigade possessed. Lieutenant-Colonel Talbot’s HQs of the 1st Rifles was chosen to be the test bed for the new doctrine and was organised under the new guidelines.

Task Force 1.1 – HQ 1st Rifles (command)

Combat Team Alpha:
HQ Pltn, A Coy, 1st Rifles; 1st Trp, A Sqn, 11th Hussars; 2nd Lnc, A Coy, 17th Lancers; 3rd Lnc, A Coy, 17th Lancers

ACS Combat Team (+) Stats – Move: 4; TMM: 1; Armour: 17; Sh: 5; Md: 5; Lg: 4 Spec – IF1

Combat Team Bravo:
HQ Trp, A Sqn, 11th Hussars; 2nd Trp, A Sqn, 11th Hussars; 1st Pltn, A Coy, 1st Rifles; 1st Lnc, A Coy, 17th Lancers

ACS Combat Team (+) Stats – Move: 5; TMM; 2; Armour: 16; Sh: 5; Md: 5; Lg: 3 Spec – IF2

Combat Team Gamma:
HQ Lnc, A Coy, 17th Lancers; 3rd Trp, A Sqn, 11th Hussars; 2nd Pltn, A Coy, 1st Rifles; 3rd Pltn, A Coy, 1st Rifles

ACS Combat Team (+) Stats – Move: 5; TMM:2; Armour: 14; Sh: 5; Md: 5; Lg: 1 Spec – IF1

Task Force 1.1 ACS Combat Unit (+) Stats –

Move: 5; TMM: 2; Armour: 47; Sh: 15; Md:15; Lg: 9 [8], Special (IF1)

It was expected by the brigades’ command staff that the combat teams that had fewer Mech would be at a significant disadvantage in armour and firepower versus the team with a full two Mech lances but this did not prove to be the case. With the heavy tanks from the 11th Hussars and a handful of Goblin medium tanks carrying some of the 1st Rifles SRM and assault infantry, the conventional troops added some significant weight to the formations overall firepower. Task forces formed from other sub units would be lighter but should maintain similar characteristics in the own weight class.

With six months remaining on the current contract it was felt that, barring a new attack by the Draconis Combine, there would be ample time to test the theory and even rotate additional troops from the brigade’s other sub units through the new command. If the theory proved itself, the new organisation would not only be more economical but it would allow the task force to engage more conventionally organised Mech battalions of similar weight on at least an equal footing. The task force should also be superior in overall mobility to conventional armour in its weight class while maintaining a marked advantage in fire power. Lieutenant-Colonel Talbot’s task force would use the terms of the contract and fill the role of ‘enemy force’ in training the Lyran garrison troops. At the same time the Lyran facilities and training grounds could be used to introduce the brigade to the new organisation and tactics.
« Last Edit: 18 October 2017, 12:48:08 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

Daryk

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #91 on: 01 October 2017, 14:04:17 »
Hmmm... I wonder how three lances of 'mechs, one lance of Goblin variants, and two Platoons of infantry (embarked in the Goblins... one MG variant per lance makes this work) would stack up...

snakespinner

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #92 on: 01 October 2017, 20:08:14 »
Only one way to find out through the use of violence on the field of battle. }:)
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The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #93 on: 12 October 2017, 10:13:26 »
<<Game Note: While campaign game grinds its way through the summer of 3019 and the brigade continues with its current contract there is time fill in the gaps in the history with some details that have an impact on the battles fought using SBF, Scaled SBF and ACS. Here is a bit concerning a command and control vehicle that fits into the game as a Tac HQ Lance at battalion level. It makes for a good objective for an enemy as the loss of MHQ levels, however small, can have serious impacts on SBF/ACS 'tactical' levels in formations.>>

Operational Command Control in the Universe of Lostech

Since the collapse of the Star League, Kerensky's departure and the depredations of the Succession Wars the availability of fully functional advanced Mobile Headquarters has become something of a rarity. They exist in various forms throughout great houses at the regimental level but what is not well documented is how battalion commanders manage to keep control of their sub units on a mobile battlefield. There are a small number of heavy and assault Mechs that mount computer equipment that add some advanced control but this is limited by to the nature of the Mech and its role as a combat vehicle first above all other tasks.

Since the early days of motorised warfare mobile tactical headquarters used to control battalion level actions have existed in various forms of soft-skinned and armoured vehicles packed with maps and radio equipment. Later on, even before space flight carried the military to the stars, basic computer systems and data analysis equipment were added, permitting enhanced command and control. The Star League saw this command ability peak with deployment of the Mobile Headquarters linked to satellite and warship data feeds from orbit. With the loss of advanced technologies armies had to revert to systems more basic but certainly more advanced than early map and radio tactical headquarters of the middle and late 20th century.

By the mid-3rd Succession War the Inner Sphere armies all deployed one version or another of a Mobile Command Vehicle that was economical and equipped with enough communication and basic computer equipment to improve the battalion commands view of the battlefield. The 15 ton version fielded by the 1st Mechanised Brigade was one of these vehicles.

Effectively an armoured box on tracks the MCV 15(s), short for "Mobile Command Vehicle, 15 ton, SRM", fills the role of a battalion level tactical headquarters vehicle (Tac HQ). With a movement rate of 6 it is fast enough to get out of trouble coming its way, especially if its escort is on hand. It carries 3 tons of communication equipment allowing the battalion commander some basic computer power to augment its directional radio suite and standard radio kit. With a crew of 5 headquarters staff including the adjutant, intel officer and three NCO technicians the MCV 15 could receive information from the battalion's company commanders as well as regimental headquarters and form a picture of what was going on around them. Armed with a forward and rear mounted machine gun with a half ton of ammunition and an SRM 2 (usually with one or both tubes loaded with smoke rounds), with one ton of ammunition, the vehicle was never intended to become involved in direct combat. The 3 tons of armour is heavy enough to absorb one or two solid hits from a light or the lighter medium Mechs and most light and medium tanks but its true survivability is based on speed and its escort vehicles.

In the case of the 1st Mechanised Brigade each battalion Tac HQ has been escorted by a Pack Rat reconnaissance vehicle mounting a medium laser and two standard models each carrying a heavy assault or SRM squad. In the brigade's three plus years in action this escort had proved to possess enough firepower to allow the Tac HQ to disengage and redeploy to a new position without loss.

MCV 15(s) - Alpha Strike  Stats:

Size: 1; Move: 6; TMM:2; Arm:2; Str:2; Sh:1; Md: 0*; Lg: 0 - Spec EE, MHQ3, SRCH

Cost: 207,000 C-Bills

PV: 12
« Last Edit: 18 October 2017, 12:49:54 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

Daryk

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #94 on: 12 October 2017, 19:53:01 »
If the 15 ton version ever gets caught by a headhunter unit, you might consider taking an MG variant Goblin (the one with 5 tons of "infantry compartment") and tossing 3 tons of communications equipment into it.  That gives the vehicle the equivalent of 4 tons of comms gear (enough to leverage satellites), and two more tons for the staff and bodyguards.  Plus, the Goblin itself is respectably armed and armored for a C2 vehicle.

DOC_Agren

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #95 on: 12 October 2017, 23:18:25 »
If the 15 ton version ever gets caught by a headhunter unit, you might consider taking an MG variant Goblin (the one with 5 tons of "infantry compartment") and tossing 3 tons of communications equipment into it.  That gives the vehicle the equivalent of 4 tons of comms gear (enough to leverage satellites), and two more tons for the staff and bodyguards.  Plus, the Goblin itself is respectably armed and armored for a C2 vehicle.
Interesting idea, stealing it
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #96 on: 13 October 2017, 11:57:22 »
The problem with this is that the design rules base IT# on tonnage with no accounting for volume. There just isn't room for 14-16 infantry in the space provided in a 45 ton vehicle. You just can't replace 1 ton of ammunition with a squad of infantry. Had the infantry compartment been tonnage and had that compartment taken up a significant volume (spaces) within a vehicle it would be ok but as it is,....

We limit infantry carriage to single squads (similar to the Bradley, Warrior, Marten, BMP IFVs).

We also wanted to keep the MCV from becoming an "advanced" system within the scope of late 3rd and 4th SW as well as the Brush Wars leading up to the introduction of recovered Lostech in the decade before the Clan Invasion.

After all, in the real world even a 65 ton Israeli Merkava only carries a squad and this cannot be altered by leaving out 12-15 rounds of 120mm ammunition. I know,... real world and BT Uni have issues but making minor adjustment for reality doesn't detract from the game much.  :)

Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

Daryk

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #97 on: 13 October 2017, 18:15:17 »
I actually laid out a Goblin hull in Visio, and I think there actually is enough volume for the MG variant to work (i.e., 5 tons of foot infantry).  Don't get me wrong, it's REALLY tight, but it could be done...

DOC_Agren

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #98 on: 16 October 2017, 17:54:35 »
The problem with this is that the design rules base IT# on tonnage with no accounting for volume. There just isn't room for 14-16 infantry in the space provided in a 45 ton vehicle. You just can't replace 1 ton of ammunition with a squad of infantry. Had the infantry compartment been tonnage and had that compartment taken up a significant volume (spaces) within a vehicle it would be ok but as it is,....

We limit infantry carriage to single squads (similar to the Bradley, Warrior, Marten, BMP IFVs).

We also wanted to keep the MCV from becoming an "advanced" system within the scope of late 3rd and 4th SW as well as the Brush Wars leading up to the introduction of recovered Lostech in the decade before the Clan Invasion.

After all, in the real world even a 65 ton Israeli Merkava only carries a squad and this cannot be altered by leaving out 12-15 rounds of 120mm ammunition. I know,... real world and BT Uni have issues but making minor adjustment for reality doesn't detract from the game much.  :)
So your MCV is basicly a Command Van, from the 1st edition Mechwarrior Game but able to do the job.  I like that
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #99 on: 21 October 2017, 12:58:26 »
<<Game Note: The Third SW Campaign Game: Jul-Sep 3019>>

LC-DC Front: With the fall of Marfik and Komepheros in June the Lyrans had removed all of the Combine bases from their path of advance towards Kessel. In July the LCAF struck at Kessel with four command led by the elite Skye Rangers supported by five naval dropship commands. Waiting for them were 3 commands led by the 3rd Dieron Regulars supported by two naval dropship commands along with the timely arrival of two more commands (12th Dieron and 11th Legion of Vega). This set off a race towards Kessel and triggered a massive aerospace battle in the atmosphere and near space around the planet.

Both combatants reinforced in August and by September ten Lyran and nine Combine commands were engaged with both sides suffering heavy losses. With numbers and an edge in overall unit quality favouring the LCAF it is likely the planet will fall if the DCMS cannot find fresh troops to bolster the defence. A few commands from the Rasalhague district have been shuffled in order to free up the 1st Proserpina Hussars from Orestes and the 4th Arkab Legion has moved forward from the Benjamin District towards Vega to backstop the Dieron District defences. Whether this will be enough to halt the Lyran offensive remains to be seen.
 
DC-FS Front: The May and June offensive launched by the Capellan Confederation likely spared the Galedon District from having to defend Kasnejov and Galedon V itself. When the July attack on these planets failed to materialize after the fall of Waldheim, Capra and Weisau, the DMCS launched its own counterattack against Waldheim with four commands in August, led by the veteran 5th Galedon Regulars, the 7th and 8th Sword of Light and 4th An Ting commands. Supported by more than half of the admiralty’s available assault dropship wings and their attendant fighters, the attacking force found the Federated Suns had withdrawn. A follow up attack on Capra in September was less fortunate as the 1st Sword of Light, 12th Galedon Regulars and 15th Benjamin Regulars commands ran straight into the Eridani Light Horse and 3rd NAIS Cadre reinforced by the 42nd Avalon Hussars and 2nd Ceti Hussars. Theses last two commands had been transiting through Capra after withdrawing from Waldheim and were resting when the attack came. After a sharp fight the outnumbered Combine troops withdrew.

The DCMS has concentrated twelve Commands between Misery and Galedon V along with strong naval forces for a  counterattack. At the same time intelligence estimates the Federated Suns has a similar number of commands in the area but notes nearly half are smaller mercenary formations. With the collapse of the Capellan offensive in August time to take advantage of any Federated Suns weakness opposite the Galedon District may be limited.

FS-CC Front: While the AFFS high command may have been caught off guard by the sudden Capellan offensive it did not take them long to recover. Supplies intended for the offensive against the Draconis Combine were diverted to the new combat front along with naval assault dropship reserves, the complete commands of the 12th Vegan Rangers, the Blue Star Irregulars and the Crater Cobras. By August the Capellan offensive was spent with most of the commands participating severely battered, some even needing to be ransomed and paroled when they found they could not withdraw from the planets they had invaded. Federated Suns losses were also high but with so many mercenary commands involved the regular army units were spared the worst of the casualties. By the end of September all four planets in the Terran Corridor had been cleared of Capellan troops.

CC-FWL Front: With the liberation of Suzano in July the last of the FWL planets occupied by the Capellan Confederation before and during the civil war of 3014-15  had been liberated but the cost had been high. Of the three Oriente Hussar commands that attacked Ventabren one may be disbanded to make up losses in the other two. At Suzano the 2nd Regulan Hussars and 3rd Guards also suffered heavy losses and it took the diversion of the 4th Marik Militia, headed for the offensive against the Lyran Commonwealth, to finally drive off Hurloc’s Hussars, Vincent’s Commandos and to overcome the large, if somewhat poorly motivated garrison. By the end of August all fighting had ceased and this front fell silent for the first time in more than four years.

FWL-LC: With the offensive aimed at driving the Capellans back over the border nearing an end by July the FWLM was finally able to complete the concentrations of troops and supplies necessary to attack the Lyran Commonwealth.  Carefully staged preparations placed twelve federal, provincial and mercenary commands opposite the Isle of Skye and Rahneshire districts. Notably absent was Wolf’s Dragoons, all five regimental commands were packing up to leave the Free Worlds League as the contract expired. The entire force boarded their dropships, rendezvoused at Park Place and jumped away, course unknown.

Lyran intelligence had spotted part of the buildup opposite Denebola and Wyatt and cancelled further transfers to the Draconis front but they missed the bulk of the troops massed opposite Rahne and Solaris. Even so, when the attacks fell on Wyatt and Phecda in August the Lyrans had no large reserves available. The 5th Donegal Guards were pummeled on Phecda III while 17th Arcturan Guards managed to execute a fighting withdrawal from Wyatt to Cor Coroli. Algorab and New Kyoto fell easily while Rahne’ s garrison put up a stout defence thanks to a recently constructed fortress build to protect the industrial complex outside the shire’s capital city. The 10th Skye Rangers on Solaris withdrew to Hesperus II in September in case the FWLM was thinking the unthinkable and planning to attack the industrial heart of the Commonwealth.   

Lampole, Cuirusia, Alexandria, September 3019

As the summer months wore on and the brigade continued training both the Lyran planetary defence forces,  its own replacement troops and the newly minted Task Force 1.1 battalion combat unit. Colonel Bedford had only recently noted in a command staff meeting that the company and lance commanders needed to be wary of the creeping inefficiency that came with a unit slipping into ‘a routine’. He need not have worried.

In early August the news vids were full of reports of successful naval and ground actions against the Draconis Combine, especially the heavy fighting on Kessel. A week later word arrived at Alexandria that the Free Worlds League had launched a large and apparently successful offensive across their border with the Lyran Commonwealth. Unfortunately for the 1st Mechanised Brigade its personnel were still largely from the League planet of New Delos, although combat losses and attrition had thinned the numbers substantially since 3015. While the majority of the population understood that the brigade was not a branch of league’s military or government there were incidents whipped up by local provocateurs, Combine and Skye separatists certainly doing their best to undermine Tharkad’s grip on the planet.

While professional relationships with the garrison troops remain good, overall it soon became necessary to restrict the movement of brigade troops when off base. Inevitably there were clashes and in late September riots broke out near the base used by the 4th Dragoon’s and a local armoury was ceased. The local police were incapable (or unwilling) to deal with the armed insurrectionists and the local reserve officer was loath to turn weapons against his neighbours. With nearly a thousand armed men and women marching on the base Lieutenant-Colonel Beaufort ask brigade headquarters for instructions. He was told to defend his position with all means at his disposal but admonished to keep any loss of life to a minimum. With only four months to run in the contract Colonel Bedford did not want it to end with a large loss of life of ill-advised and gullible civilians.

Taking his cue from the colonel and with police and reserves unwilling to intervene, Lieutenant-Colonel Beaufort was able to convince the local police to turn over riot gear and crowd control gas to his unit so they might render ‘aid to civil power’, as the euphemism for use of troops in dealing with riots was termed. The battalion commander also ensured that every platoon and lance had video recording equipment, and strict orders to record everything, before he deployed the battalion.

The ‘rebels’ were largely on foot with only a handful of light armoured vehicles to support them. As they advanced on the base they were suddenly confronted by a lance of Mechs, all carrying missile launchers. With a click they opened the tubes and fired off a number of projectiles that bracketed the march column, exploding into plumes of white tear gas that the wind carried into the formation. Hovercraft APCs then appeared on both flanks, deploying armed riot troops, each flank accompanied by another lance of Mechs, while a brace of Saladin hover tanks slid into view behind rebel column.

As the line of rebels milled about any semblance of discipline they might have had quickly began to break down. Before a true panic could set in that might lead to any loss of life Beaufort rolled forward in his command vehicle and through a load speaker called on the would be ‘patriots’ to drop their weapons and return peacefully to their homes. Not being total fools when confronted with the obvious firepower arrayed against them most of the rebels dropped their weapons and headed home, many still gagging on the fumes, eyes burning from the riot gas.

A few hardcore instigators tried to stem the desertion but they were ignored by the retreating crowd. Their actions did, however, make them stand out and hovercraft APCs with snatch squads slid in to make the arrests. The day would have passed without bloodshed at all but for one diehard who possessed an SRM launcher. He fired both missiles at an APC and was fortunate enough to score a hit that disabled the vehicle, shrapnel from the explosion killing two troopers, wounding two others as well as three nearby unarmed rebels. It was all the Dragoons could do to prevent his erstwhile compatriots from lynching him on the spot. Lieutenant-Colonel Beaufort’s close proximity also allowed him to maintain control of his own troops, not a few who understandably wanted revenge.

A day after the ‘battle’, all the videos and audio recording were turned over to the local authorities who used the information to make further arrests. While some tried to make the event out to be a massacre of civilians by ‘barbarian mercenary scum’ there was plenty of evidence to the contrary and the board of inquiry was quickly concluded.

At a dinner held for the brigade’s senior officers at the end of September John Beaufort had to endure many jibes about the 4th Dragoons’ ‘first battle’ since becoming a permanent command within the brigade.

« Last Edit: 25 May 2018, 13:28:09 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #100 on: 11 December 2017, 00:38:13 »
<<Game Note: The Third SW Campaign Game: Oct - Dec, 3019>>

LC-DC Front: The Lyran offensive to take Kessel had all but succeeded but the cost to both sides had been incredibly high. The commands of both combatants had been pummeled and by October both were trying to pull units out of the lines to absorb a few replacements. In November the Dieron District command took the risk of denuding the Federated Suns front further and transferred the 18th and 24th Dieron Regulars along with the 5th Sword of Light to Kessel. These transfers along with the attacks by the 4th Arkab and 1st Prosepina Hussars striking at Phalan and Accrington finally tipped the scales in the Combine’s favour. The infusion of fresh troops at Kessel along with their nine aerospace wings began driving the Lyrans back towards their dropships. The Lyrans tried to counter by sending in the 10th Lyran Guards and 11th Lyran Regulars but it wasn’t enough. With the Free Worlds League making further gains in the Isle of Skye the Lyrans had nothing left to send and come December the Lyran command admitted defeat and began to withdraw back to Konstance, Komephoros and Kimball II.

The military strength of both sides was effectively crippled. Of the twelve Lyran commands committed only three possessed strength enough to defend the front lines on the newly captured planets. Two more commands were brought up to 60% strength by pillaging the remaining seven of most of their remaining troops. Of the remaining seven, five were earmarked to be scrapped and rebuilt from scratch. The DCMS was in no better shape. Only the 5th Sword of Light, 3rd and 18th Dieron and 2nd Legion of Vega could be considered combat effective and only after transfers from the other commands on Kessel. Both fleets had suffered heavy losses in assault dropships and their attending fighter wings. As 3019 drew to a close the Lyran and Kurita militaries had fought each other to a bloody standstill and the point of mutual exhaustion.
 
 
DC-FS Front: With the heavy fighting already in progress on Kessel resources to support the counterattack in the Galedon District were in short supply. As a result, the DCMS limited their goals to attacking with one group of three commands striking Capra again in October, Delacruz in November and Weisau in December. The AFFS, having defeated the Capellan offensive near Terra, had reversed the transfer of forces from their Galedon offensive and met each Combine attack with more forces than were expected. Meeting heavier than expected resistance from both aerospace and ground forces the Combine attacks failed to make any real progress other than to further bloody both sides.

With heavy losses suffered on two fronts the Draconis Combine let the offensive run down. The Federated Suns, also facing heavy losses on the Capellan front, seemed content to consolidate their grip on the four systems already captured and began rotating weakened commands to the rear. 
 
FS-CC Front: As much as the AFFS command had wanted to follow up their successful defence of the Terran Corridor with an offensive into the Tikonov Commonality heavy losses had compelled them to limit their counter thrust to heavy attacks against Ronel, Small World and New Home, the last two being jumping off points for the Capellan offensive. The Capellans lost the 3rd and 4th Confederation Reserve Cavalry almost in their entirety, while the 2nd Reserve were badly damaged. Sung's Cuirassiers, Hamilton’s Highlanders, Cochrane’s Goliaths and Laurel’s Legion were crippled, while the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Chesterton Voltigeurs suffered serious damage in the attacks. 1st Confederation Reserve Cavalry, Freemonts’ Cuirassiers, Justine’s Grenadiers and Lothar’s Fusiliers all suffered more damage defending against AFFS counter strokes.

The AFFS did not get off lightly as the Addicks DMM, 3rd Crucis Lancers, 5th, 8th, 12th Deneb Light Cavalry, 22nd and 33rd Avalon Hussars as well as the Blue Star Irregulars and Crater Cobras were all mauled defending their worlds. The 41st Avalon Hussars, 2nd New Ivaarsen Chasseurs and all four regiments of the 12th Star Guards suffered further losses during the counterattacks. Nearly one-third of the commands engaged may be scrapped in order to rebuild the other commands. First Prince Hanse Davion, recognizing the role mercenary commands played in defeating the Capellan offensive, promised the rebuilding of the commands most effected even if it meant, as it would in some cases, from the ground up.


CC-FWL Front: The only fighting that took place along the League/Capellan border in the last quarter of 3019 involved Capellan raids against Hall, Zion, Suzano and Ventabren. Three of these four raids failed badly due to the presence of strong defences or units resting and refitting on the planets since their liberation. Only the supply raid against Zion showed a positive return but at the cost of nearly 50 % of the raiding force from Warrior House Lusann.

FWL-LC: The Free Worlds League offensive into the Isle of Skye gathered steam in October and November only slowing due to exhaustion of the lead attacking formations in December. Plans for transferring additional commands from the Capellan frontier were cancelled due to increased raids by House Liao and diplomatic efforts to convince Sian to cease these attacks and to concentrate on the Federated Suns front appear to have fallen on deaf ears. As a result only two Regulan commands began to move coreward by the end of December.

Nevertheless, by the end of 3019 Solaris, Zaniah, Fianna, Lamon and Gacrux, all defended only by garrisons, had been added to the list of captured planets. The Lyran response was tepid at best as the lack of nearby reserves meant no serious opposition could be mounted until commands could be brought up from the Bolan and Alarion Districts as well as the transfers of two Royal Guards commands from Tharkad. By the end of December seven Lyran commands were on Hesperus II, two more were on Sarpsborg and five were in place on Summer and Skye. However, this concentration was only achieved by weakening the defences along the rest of the frontier with the Free Worlds League. Should the FWLM strike towards Loric, Cavanaugh or Poulsbo there is little left in these sectors to stop them. 

Headquarters 1st Mechanised Brigade, Alexandretta, Alexandria, December 3019

The last three months of the brigade's current contract were expected to pass without incident. The training regime established earlier was coming to a close with the planet's garrison forces becoming fully active. Internally, the last two months of 3019 was expected to pass quietly as the brigade began dismantling semi-permanent and temporary facilities as they began preparing to leave Alexandria. This all suddenly changed in November.

While the activation of Task Force 1.1 had gone smoothly and the senior company and battalion officers from the other sub units had rotated through the training schedule, it was not expected to activate Task Forces 1.2 and 1.3 until much later in 3020. The order came in early November and with it the training schedule was advanced as well. The sudden change raised eye brows throughout the brigade and rumours that something was up were reinforced in December by the arrival of the final two Sniper artillery vehicles that would complete the 1st Horse Artillery's 2nd Company. The favoured rumour was that the brigade was 'going home' and that a new contract with the Free Worlds League was in the offing. Other rumours had the brigade moving to the front near Konstance to join a renewed Lyran push to capture Kessel. Still other rumours had the brigade moving up to the Tamar Pact to allow regular Lyran forces to be released to the fighting fronts, or a new contract with the DCMS to aid the Combine against House Davion.

When Colonel Bedford himself left for Galatea in advance of the brigade in early December betting pools regarding the next assignment were flush with the troopers money. The brigade command staff let the rumours run their course but said nothing, not least of all because, beyond a move to Galatea on Dec 31st, they were themselves not entirely sure of what was to happen next.

While the command staff went about establishing the two new Task Forces they ensured the troopers remained busy and fully occupied with the changes to the TO&E. Both new TFs lacked the same weight in Mechs and tanks and the infantry was almost without exception mounted in wheeled APCs. This meant both new combat units were significantly lighter than TF 1.1 but due to their reinforced status they would still be challenge for most medium mech battalions that they might encounter and superior to most potential enemy armoured battalions.

Task Force 1.2 – HQ 11th Hussars (command)

Combat Team Alpha:
HQ Trp, 3rd Trp, B Sqn, 11th Hussars; 2nd Lnc, B Coy, 17th Lancers; 3rd Pltn, B Coy, 1Rifles

ACS Combat Team (+) Stats – Move: 6; TMM: 2; Armour: 12; Sh: 4; Md: 4; Lg: 2 [1], Spec – [IF1]

Combat Team Bravo:
HQ Pltn, 1st Pltn, B Coy, 1st Rifles; 2nd Trp, B Sqn, 11th Hussars; 1st Lnc, B Coy, 17th Lancers

ACS Combat Team (+) Stats – Move: 6; TMM: 2; Armour: 10; Sh: 4; Md: 3; Lg: 2 [1] Spec – [IF2]

Combat Team Gamma:
HQ Lnc, 3rd Lnc, B Coy, 17th Lancers; 1st Trp, B Sqn, 11th Hussars; 2nd Pltn, B Coy, 1st Rifles;

ACS Combat Team (+) Stats – Move: 5; TMM:2; Armour: 12; Sh: 3; Md: 3; Lg: 4 [3] Spec – [IF1]

Task Force 1.2 ACS Combat Unit (+) Stats –

Move: 6; TMM: 2; Armour: 34; Sh: 11; Md:10; Lg: 8 [5], Special [IF3]

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Task Force 1.3 - HQ 17th Lancer (command)

Combat Team Alpha:
HQ Lnc, 2nd Lnc, C Coy, 17th Lancers; 2nd Trp, C Sqn, 11th Hussars; 3rd Pltn, C Coy, 1Rifles

ACS Combat Team (+) Stats – Move: 5; TMM: 2; Armour: 13; Sh: 4; Md: 4; Lg: 3 [2], Spec – [IF1]

Combat Team Bravo:
HQ Trp, 3rd Trp, Cc Sqn, 11th Hussars; 2nd Pltn, C Coy, 1st Rifles; 1st Lnc, C Coy, 17th Lancers

ACS Combat Team (+) Stats – Move: 5; TMM: 2; Armour: 12; Sh: 3; Md: 3; Lg: 2 [1] Spec – [IF2]

Combat Team Gamma:
HQ Pltn, 1st Pltn, C Coy, 1st Rifles; 1st Trp, C Sqn, 11th Hussars; 3rd Lnc, C Coy, 17th Lancers;

ACS Combat Team (+) Stats – Move: 5; TMM:2; Armour: 11; Sh: 3; Md: 3; Lg: 2 [1] Spec – [IF1]

Task Force 1.3 ACS Combat Unit (+) Stats –

Move: 5; TMM: 2; Armour: 36; Sh: 10; Md:10; Lg: 7 [4], Special [IF3]

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The last two weeks on Alexandria saw the 1st Mechanise Brigade oversee the passing out parades for all four militia and infantry regiments, the three tanks battalions and the battalion of garrison Mechs that made up the planet's conventional static defence force.

With the formal contract terms completed the brigade finished packing up its equipment, loaded it all into the cargo holds of the transports and lifted off the planet bound for Galatea and their next assignment.

And the rumours still ran wild.



« Last Edit: 02 June 2018, 11:44:12 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

snakespinner

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #101 on: 12 December 2017, 01:26:46 »
I'll have to fire a few long toms at the suspense before it kills me.
Alright where are you sending them. :)) ;)
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The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #102 on: 13 December 2017, 09:16:36 »
Can't say at the moment. Colonel Bedford is reportedly looking at three contracts, one of which had caused him to make the trip to Galatea before the contract on Alexandria had expired.

Come January the brigade will be moving to Galatea and won't be engaged. At the same time I am also waiting on the House orders for Jan 3020 to be submitted so the news may be a few days coming. All eyes are on the Isle of Skye and the Dieron District at the moment.
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #103 on: 29 December 2017, 15:45:38 »
Galaport, Galatea, January 22th, 3020

As the transports carrying the personnel and equipment of the 1st Mechanised Brigade burned in from Galatea’s star’s zenith point an ST-46 Shuttle separated from the main group and accelerated ahead at nearly two Gs. Arriving some three days before the main body the shuttle was met on the concrete landing field by the brigade’s commander, Colonel Richard Bedford. After a brief period to clear customs and security the brigade’s senior officers met up with their commander and his aide and moved quickly to the brigade’s temporary headquarters in a reserved barrack’s area.

Colonel Bedford led the way into the briefing room followed by his brother and the brigade’s headquarters company commander, Major Thomas Bedford. Following the major came Major Thomas Burgh, the commander of the veteran airmobile scouts of 13 Commando, Lieutenant-Colonels John Talbot, commanding officer of the 1st Rifles, John Falstof of the 11th Hussars and Thomas de Scales of the 17th Lancer. Coming in behind the line combat battalion commanders came Lieutenant-Colonels John Beaufort of the 4th Dragoons, Thomas Montagu of the 1st Horse Artillery, John Ligny of the 1st Service Battalion and Philip Valois, commander of No. 1 Fighter Group. Arranging themselves around a circular briefing table with a built in flat video screen there was surprisingly little chatter. Having spent the last three weeks aboard ship making the jumps from Alexandria back to Galatea, most topics for idle conversation had long been exhausted. Everyone seemed anxious to get on with the briefing that would finally put an end to the rumours and speculation regarding a new contract.

Colonel Bedford began his briefing by explaining that he was offered an opportunity at no less than four lucrative contracts. Two of these were rated top secret by the House agents who would only discuss the terms with the colonel himself. The fourth he dismissed almost immediately, despite the cash offered, as it came from House Liao.

“Considering the history of New Delos, the makeup of our brigade’s personnel and the recent Capellan’s involvement in Duke Anton’s rebellion, I am not yet ready to work for Max Liao.”

The oldest hands around the table nodded knowingly, understanding fully what the Colonel was getting at. All accept Philip Valois. He had placed his money on a long shot bet that the new contract would be with the Capellan’s. Despite being from the Lyran Commonwealth he still knew Duke Anton’s attempt at ceasing power had pitted family against family and thrown the Free Worlds League into chaos, nearly crippled the League military, both Federal and Provincial, and did massive damage to the economy. Despite the civil war being over for more than four years the wounds for many League citizens still felt raw.

Calling up a schematic of the Inner Sphere Colonel Bedford opened a 3D graphic file of the Lyran Commonwealth.

“The first contract I considered was with House Steiner. As good as our relationship is with their liaison branch, the current political situation has had its effects. The contract would either have seen us involved against House Marik forces currently attacking into the Lyran Commonwealth or sidelined in some backwater freeing up Lyran regular forces for use elsewhere. The combat pay would have been excellent but I do not want Marik blood on our hands quite yet. Should we be tucked away in a long term garrison contract we would have to accept low pay and the brigade would have suffered an atrophy of skill sets for lack of any real action.”

This time it was John Beaufort’s turn to grimace as he realized his C-Bills were lost. Entering a few keystrokes the map swung over to display the area of the Inner Sphere controlled by the Draconis Combine.

“Just how big is the senior officer’s pool on the new contract, Thomas?” The question was directed to his brother.

“Well, Richard, I have 1000 on our going home to the League. There are battalion pools as well as a general brigade-wide pool. I would suggest the totals are well into the tens of thousands by now.”

Richard Bedford gave quick glance and slow smile to his other officers, "I recall and old saying about fools and their money."

“Next I looked very hard at a contract from Luthien and House Kurita. Frankly, I was more than a little surprised they approached us with an eight-month combat contract considering the events of the last three and a half years but the agent seemed sincere enough. We would have been tasked supporting attacks against Davion’s bases in the Galedon District. The pay and salvage terms were superb but transport and supply reimbursement were totally lacking. Absorbing these costs, especially the repeated hiring of military dropships and jumpships, made the otherwise rich terms seem less attractive and in the end I declined the offer.

Bedford did not even bother to look up as John Talbot let slip a one-word expletive. The screen then rolled over the Davion border and came to halt in Davion controlled space, zooming in on the region between the Terran Corridor down towards the border with the Sarna Commonality. Everyone around the table stirred and more than one or two smiles broke out as the implication of what was to follow became clear.

“Davion has also offered an extremely rich eleven-month combat contract where we will support at least three, perhaps four, seek-and-destroy planetary assault missions aimed at specific Capellan worlds and/or military units. Each assault is to take place within one jump of start point, we spend the month destroying or neutralizing the target and then jump out again by the beginning of the next month. The intent is not conquest of planets but the disruption of the Capellan economy and attrition of its line commands.”
 
“The jump away from the target planets will be not be back where we came from but to a totally different system, also within 30 light years. The intent here is to make tracking the pattern of attacks as difficult as possible. This will mean we will be taking every spare part, Mech, tank and APC as well as our entire supply stock pile with us. We will have one month to refit before we jump and hit a new target. The process will be repeated until the contract expires, or we are simply too understrength to continue.”

John Ligny, commander of the brigade’s service and technical support battalion spoke first.

“Any chance to hurt Maximillian Liao is a welcome task, sir, but that pace will strain our resources to the limit. One bad engagement, with only one month between attacks, and we could find ourselves with numerous holes in our tables of organization very quickly. We can offset losses by making use of salvage as much as possible but repairs take time and there may not be as much of that as we need.”

“That’s true,” replied Bedford. “That is why I am putting a good portion of our treasury balance and advance into pre-ordering two flights of aerospace fighters to top up Number One Group and a few heavy tanks. I also agreed to ‘Payment in Kind’ for salvage rights. We will keep captured salvage and its value will be deducted from the final payment. This will allow us to press captured and repaired equipment into service as soon as possible. We will see about hiring a few more Tech Teams for you by the time we make the first combat jump.”

Calling up a series of spreadsheets, Bedford continued.

“We already have roughly six combat loads for every weapon in the brigade with four more loads being ordered as we speak. Once we have our advance in hand we will sink much of that into more supplies. Thanks to the transport and supply reimbursement clauses of the contracts we should be able keep the orders coming in throughout the next year. The only challenge will be ensuring these supplies meet us at each stop. For that we have been assured our procurement agents will be advised of our withdrawal destination as soon as it is safe to do so. Still, there will be some delays before the supplies catch up. To offset this we will make maximum use of captured stocks were ever possible and trade what we cannot use for what we need.”

John Falstof, commander of the 11th Hussars, raised his hand and spoke next.

“What sort of ‘support’ are we going to be providing, sir? Most mercenary commands possess ten combat or combat support battalions plus their own aerospace wing. We have five battalions and just under two wings, so we aren’t really structured at this time to fight other commands one on one.”

“That’s true, John, we aren’t up to fighting full commands on our own yet and we won’t have to. We will augment either a regular AFFS or mercenary command dropping on the planet. We will certainly be employed at the sharp end of the fighting but it would not serve our employers purpose to leave us exposed to destruction if it undermines his own ability to complete the mission. All the same, we will need to be wary of being used as bait. Our rate of pay is more than excellent but dead men can’t spend gold. It wouldn’t be the first time Hanse Davion has exposed a mercenary unit in order to bait some other trap.”

Looking around the table he waited for further question or comment but was only met by looks from his officers who were busy mulling over the information provided in their own minds.

“Alright then, there will be time for more questions both before we depart and en route to our first jump off point.” Holding up a hand to forestall the obvious question, Bedford continued. “No, I do not know that destination yet.”

“The brigade arrives in three days. We need to transfer the entire contents of the brigade to the new dropships by the 31st and lift off on February first. If everyone moves with a purpose the troops could be granted 24 hours leave, local area only, before we depart.”

With final nod and half smile Richard Bedford picked up his tablet and with a wave dismissed the meeting.


« Last Edit: 07 January 2018, 13:25:19 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #104 on: 06 January 2018, 13:07:47 »
Lollanda, Formahaut, March, 2nd, 3020

The Contract

Article I -The First Mechanised Brigade has been hired by House Davion for combat operation along the Liao border between Formalhaut and Alcoyne.

Article II - The First Mechanised Brigade will report for duty on the 1st day of March, 3020 and remain under contract with House Davion until the 31st day of January, 3021. The brigade will employ a total 766 combat and support squads as of the first day of this contract. Additional forces will not be covered by the terms of this contract. The First Mechanised Brigade will take all reasonable measures to maintain its combat and support strength at the levels mentioned above.

Article III - The First Mechanised Brigade will have access to supplies and maintenance services of the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns as required. The cost for supplies and maintenance services are not covered by the terms of this contract and must be negotiated separately.

Article IV - House Davion agrees to pay the First Mechanised Brigade 25,000 C-Bills per squad per week for the duration of the contract totalling not more than 842,600,000 C-Bills. A sum equaling 210650,000 C-Bills will be paid in advance on the first day the First Mechanised Brigade reports for duty on Formalhaut.

Article V - The First Mechanised Brigade will place itself under the direction of the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns. The AFFS will implement this direction through the assignment of a liaison officer to the First Mechanised Brigade throughout the period covered by this contract. The First Mechanised Brigade is guaranteed to retain internal coherence and the consistency of its command structure within the usual limits of this assigned command status.

Article VI - The Armed Forces of the Federated Suns agrees to provide interplanetary or interstellar transport. Should the First Mechanised brigade provide its own transport services the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns agrees to pay the First Mechanised Brigade a sum equalling 200% of its transportation costs to and from its objective destination. These payments will be released one month after they have been incurred.

Article VII - The Armed Forces of the Federated will compensate the First Mechanised Brigade at a rate of 125% for the cost of all supplies the brigade to provide at its own cost. Said supplies will be delivered by normal supply runs under the direction of the Federated Suns Navy.

Article VIII - All military equipment and war materiel recovered by the First Mechanised Brigade from the enemy forces, depots, garrisons, industrial or civil centers, prisoners and other sources will be subject to the terms under "Payment in Kind". The First Mechanised Brigade shall keep any captured or recovered equipment and supplies but the Federated Suns reserves the right to assign a fair and equitable value to such materiel, whch shall be deducted from the final payments to the brigade. If the brigade has been paid in full the amount assigned shall be refunded to the federated Suns.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

First Mechanised Brigade - Administrative Statistics, 02 March, 3020

The hiring of commercial dropships to move the brigade from Galatea to Formalhaut cost the organization 3,421,745 C-Bills. Awaiting the arrival of the brigade on Formalhaut were 13 military dropships hired for one jump out and one return jump.

The brigade's full combat and support strength, personnel and supplies amounted to over 23,716 metric tons.

Personnel - 3590 (combat, support and admin)
BattleMechs - 96+7 (active plus spare)
Aerospace fighters - 34
Heavy vehicles - 36 + 2
Light vehicles - 341 + 8 (includes combat, maintenance, support and transport)

Jumpships hired for first objective assault:
3 Overlord
3 Leopard CV
1 Triumph
5 Seekers
1 Condor

The rountrip costs = 3,920,000 C Bills.

Mission Target: Epsilon Eridani

« Last Edit: 25 May 2018, 13:38:34 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
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snakespinner

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #105 on: 08 January 2018, 19:38:28 »
Expensive transport costs.
Your just going to have to capture some dropships to play with. O0
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The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #106 on: 11 January 2018, 13:33:54 »
Forming Up for the Assault

For the assault from Formalhaut the First Mechanised Brigade is deploying four reinforced combat battalions, including one reconnaissance battalion. There is also one understrength artillery battalion, one service battalion (maintenance/supply) and one aerospace fighter ‘group’, consisting of just under two standard fighter wings. The ‘brigade combat group’ consists of an understrength battalion consisting of the brigade’s tactical headquarters and its’ infantry escort, an airmobile commando-scout company and the brigade Mech Command Lance. There is also a High-Scout Drone Carrier platoon and observation aircraft flight (four aircraft) attached to the brigade headquarters. However, as the drone carriers and observation craft are normally attached to the combat and artillery battalions as needed, this platoon is shown only for administrative purposes.

This first graphic shows the Brigade Combat Group at the platoon/troop/lance level. Note the infantry of No 13 Commando are represented as parachute infantry but they also have the equipment to operate as jump infantry.

This second graphic shows the make up the 1st Service Battalion and its five companies; hospital, maintenance and three transport/supply companies. Most of the 2000 techs and astechs are assigned to this battalion. Even so, the brigade is not quite self-sufficient where technical support is concerned. The 1st Service Battalion’s mission is to throw supply forward from the planethead and/or dropships. The supplies can either be stockpiled in field supply depots or delivered to each of the forward battalion’s ‘A’ Echelon.

This third graphic shows the composition of a typical combat battalion’s A Echelon. It comprises of a company strength maintenance and supply formation. There is one medical platoon with tracked ambulances, one maintenance platoon and three supply/transport platoons. The A Echelon’s job is to collect supplies from the service battalion or a forward supply depot, delivering these to the forward battalion's companies, allowing the brigade to operate significantly forward of the landing zone.

Within each company of the battalion there is also the company/squadron ‘B’ Echelon. The B Echelon is a platoon/lance size unit usually consisting one tracked or hover ambulance, one maintenance/recovery vehicle and two supply vehicles for ammunition and other stores as well as the company ‘baggage’. This unit collects supplies and spares from the A Echelon, permitting a company to extend its operating range ahead of the battalion and brigade.

(part 1 of 3)
« Last Edit: 19 February 2018, 14:09:49 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #107 on: 11 January 2018, 13:46:11 »
Forming Up, Part II

This next graphic shows the current composition of the Artillery Command (1st Horse Artillery). The battalion is only two companies strong at the moment plus its tactical HQ. It is planned to add a third artillery company as well as two anti-aircraft lances. Future plans also call for at least one forward observation platoon mounted in hover APCs (sensor variant) to better control the fire missions, whether the mission involves one battery or the entire battalion. The brigade's observation aircraft platoon and drones give the artillery a degree of accuracy above that of normal spotters.

The two aerospace fighter wings of No. 1 Fighter Group adds significant firepower to the brigade but its short time as part of the brigade has proved expensive to maintain and losses even more expensive to replace. The group consists of two fighter wings totalling 34 craft as of the current March 3020 mission. The group can also form one large reinforced wing but the mix of aircraft in the same formation would hobble the fast light fighters and prevent them from making use of their high speed and manoeuvrability. The Group could also form three small wings, taking advantage of the abilities of each weight class but these smaller wings would have only two-thirds the strength of standard aerospace wings found throughout the Inner Sphere.

The debate on whether to go with heavy or light formations has not yet been resolved but the lower expenses involved with light craft plus their manoeuverability may yet carry the argument.

(Part 2 of 3)
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #108 on: 14 January 2018, 12:56:36 »
Forming Up, Part III


The fighting power of the brigade comes from the three combat battalions, the specialist reconnaissance battalion supported by artillery command and aerospace fighter group.

Task Force 1.1 is the heaviest in the brigade and is composed of almost all of the heavy Mechs and armour in the brigade. The infantry company is also ‘heavy’ in that it is supported by a number of Goblin medium tank variants and a Bulldog LRM tank supporting the wheeled APCs (srm). The trade off come in lower speed and the tactical disadvantages that come with it. The battalion and its component combat teams does pack a heavier punch compared to a standard battalion.

Task Force 1.2 is rated ‘medium’ in weight. It has fewer heavy Mechs and most tanks are light Hunters and Scorpion models with only a brace of Vedettes, one Golblin, SRM carrier and Demolisher adding heavier firepower. The lighter equipment means more speed along with lower combat strength but as the battalion is over strength its can still punch above its weight.

Task Force 1.3 is also rated as ‘medium’ but has a larger number of heavy Mechs than does TF 1.2. to compensate for a lighter tank force. The tank squadron has only one Goblin and three Vedette medium tanks backing up Hunters, Scorpions along with two wheeled APCs filling in as tanks. Overall faster than TF 1.1 and 1.2 it still has firepower and armour enough to compete with brigade's other combat battalions.

Task Force 1.4 is the specialist reconnaissance battalion that possesses only one medium Phoenix Mech in its command lance. All other Mechs are Locust variants, Hermes, Jenner and Javelin models. The tank squadron is made up of all hover tanks, namely Scimitars, Saracens and Pegusus medium models. The infantry is also mounted in hover APCs, with plans to replace one carrier in each platoon with a ‘sensor’ variant to aid in reconnaissance and screening mission.

____________________________________________________________________________________________



« Last Edit: 19 February 2018, 14:18:27 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #109 on: 18 January 2018, 12:50:09 »
<<Game Note: The Third SW Campaign Game: Jan-Mar, 3020>>

LC-DC Front: The frontier between the Lyran Commonwealth and Draconis Combine was almost eerily silent throughout the first quarter of 3020. A Combine attempt to seize the initiative by striking near Morningside and Fatima in February was stalemated by Commonwealth defences reacting to the incursion. However, it was simple mathematics that brought the attacks to a halt. Neither side had the troop density or the resources to commit along this front. The Lyran Commonwealth was trying to deal with the advancing Free World League offensive and the growing risk of worlds within the Isle of Skye rebelling over the perceived inability of Tharkad to protect the member planets. Dissatisfaction had been growing and more than a few suspected Aldo Lestrade and his supporters were behind the unrest. On the Combine side of the border the DCMS was also hampered by the need to divert needed reinforcements to the Galedon District as the Federated Suns returned to the offensive in January.

DC-FS Front: The Federated Suns launched a renewed offensive that sidestepped the known Combine concentrations by attacking Schirmeck and Senorbi with six combat commands in January. As the Combine forces shifted to counterattack they were met head on by the follow up wave that arrived at both systems while a smaller Federated Suns force retook Waldheim. Losses were heavy on both sides but the presence of three commands belonging to the Sword of Light (1st,7th and 8th) helped hold the front. Though badly battered the 1st Sword of Light led four commands that retook Senorbi in February while the 8th commanded three other commands that fought the Davion regiments to a standstill on Schirmeck. By March the planet was still under the Davion flag but the offensive along this axis appears to have been held. Waldheim was once again firmly in control of the Federated Suns by the end of March as both sides prepare for the next round. Intelligence report on both sides noted that commands being committed to the new fighting are notably below full strength.
 
FS-CC Front: With their weight firmly planted on their right in the Galedon District the Federated Suns decided to try and keep the Capellan’s off balance by launching a series of spoiling attacks along their border with Liao. These attacks appear aimed at finishing off crippled Capellan commands or simply drawing others into combat in order to maintain the initiative and further attrition the already weakened CCAF. January saw the 5th and 8th Deneb Light Cavlry, freshly rebuilt from the late summer battles, strike Nanking and finish off Sung’s Cuirassiers and the remnants Cochrane’s Goliaths before withdrawing in early February. In February, the 5th Davion Guards, 2nd Chisholm Raiders and Bell Training Battalion struck Alrescha, mauling MacGregor’s Armoured Scouts and then the 1st Ariana Fusiliers who jumped in to reinforce the defences. In March, the 8th Crucis Lancers, Swann’s Cavaliers and the 1st Mechanised Brigade landed almost on top of the rebuilding 2nd Confederated Reserve Cavalry, House Lusann and the 2nd New Hessen Irregulars. The opposition proved better prepared than expected and the 8th Crucis Lancers took significant damage but managed to again cripple the 2nd Reserve Cavalry and batter the Hessen Irregulars. Swann’s Cavaliers and the 1st Mechanised Brigade also badly damaged House Lusann before pulling back and withdrawing towards their drop ships at the end of the month.

CC-FWL Front: By January it seemed to have finally sunk into the Capellan command that they could not maintain a two front war against their stronger neighbours. With nearly 50% of the CCAF officially unfit for action all offensive activities along the Free Worlds League’s border were suspended but for two raids by Kingston’s Legionaires and Stapleton’s Grenadiers, freshly released from their ransom and parole. Both January raids were quite successful but the FWLM was not in the mood to tolerate such actions considering their full focus was on the Lyran front. The two commands used in the recent raids were traced back to Bentley and Westerhand where they were attacked in February by two commands of the Fusiliers of Oriente, the 15th Marik Miltia and the 5th Defenders of Andurien.  After a month of near no-quarter fighting, what was left of the two Capellan commands managed to withdraw to Sian where it is believed they may be merged into one understrength formation. Marik losses were moderate by comparison but, despite a clear opportunity to exploit the success, the attacking force withdrew in order to avoid draining resources from the offensive against the Lyran Commonwealth.

FWL-LC: In January the number of commands committed to the FWL drive into the Isle of Skye had risen to sixteen, organised into three waves. Between January and March, five to six commands attacked two systems, the attack wave then withdrew while the next wave moved up to maintain the occupation or finish off the defences. The third wave then passed over the recently targeted systems to strike the next pair of systems while the first wave rested and repaired what damage they could. These attacks secured four more planets in the centre and on the right wing of the attack. The first Lyran counterattacks came in March as two commands (11th Arcturan Guards and 9th Lyran Regulars), supported by the Hsien Hotheads and Cranston Snord’s Irregulars, retook Rahne and its factory complex. The 23rd Marik Militia, Stewart Juggernaut and 21st Centauri Lancers made the Lyrans pay a steep price even though their own losses forced them to retreat.

By the end of March the number of Lyran systems that had fallen to the FWL offensive has grown to 12 (Solaris, New Kyoto, Fianna, Lamon, Caledonia, Vindemeatrix, Algorab, Zaniah, Gavrux, Phecda III, Wyatt and Alchiba) with Thorin and Mizar in a state of rebellion. The outbreak of rebellions is ostensibly caused by the lack of success by the LCAF in stopping the Lyran drive but internal politics between Skye and Tharkad are believed to be in play as well. Lyran intelligence has also spotted five new FWLM commands in the forward zone between Zaniah and Wing. Lyran plans for a counterattack are also complete with ten commands concentrated between Carsphaim and Haddings apparently aimed at the centre of the incursion near Gacrux  and Vindemeatrix. Five more command stand on the defensive at Hesperus II, Skye and Summer. Both combatant fleets have also concentrated in the region, the odds much more even after Lyran losses at Kessel in late 3019. April may see levels of combat not seen since the early days of the Second Succession War.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 25 kilometers north of Madison, Epsilon Eridani, Week 2a March, 3020
The plan developed by Marshal Neale Wago for the attack on Epsilon Eridani was simple enough. The 2nd Confederation Reserve Cavalry had been battered on two separate occasions during fighting for the Terran Corridor in Davion space in 3019. Now known to be supported by two smaller commands while it rebuilt the idea was to land two mercenary commands north of the 2nd Cavalry’s base at Madison. The attacking mercenaries would land early in the second week of March and draw off as many defenders as possible. In the second half of the week the 8th Crucis Lancers would land south of the city and, if all went well, finish off the weakened Capellan reserve command. Besides destroying the target commands the attacking force was to sew as much havoc as possible by destroying or disrupting other military targets on the planet without risking unnecessary losses. The assault force was then to withdraw before any Capellan reinforcement could arrive from nearby systems.

As the 1st Mechanised Brigade was not a full command in its own right, two mechanised infantry battalions from the 8th Crucis Lancers had been attached to the unit for the duration of the battle. This gave the brigade six combat battalions, an artillery battalion and the Brigade Headquarters Battle Group for the ground battle. The brigade’s two fighter wings would also support the assault alongside five other aerospace fighter wings and a support fleet of four assault dropship wings including the Vengeance class carrier FSS Enterprise.

On March 3rd, 3020 the attack force jumped into the Epsilon Eridani system and began burning in-system at more the one-g intent on covering the usual 5 day transit in just four days. A fleet of jumpships large enough to carry as large a force as that which was committed to the assault could not hide its arrival. It did not even try. The defending aerospace fighters numbered only four wings but they rose from the planet surface and met the Davion force more than two days out from the planet. The Davion naval units, normally forming a second echelon behind the lead wave of fighters, was in the fore on this occasion. While it exposed the valuable and rare Vengeance to more direct damage, the Davion admiral was willing to take additional damage in order to get the fighters under the guns of his heavy ship. Considering the weight of firepower arrayed against the defenders it was with some surprise that a few Capellan fighters managed to escape and return to their base near the capital of Madison while a few other damaged fighters were forced to surrender. It was noted that none of the survivors were of House Lusann, the warrior house fighters having fought 'to the last man'.
 

Task Force 17.1, Davion 7th Fleet
Enterprise CV Wing [r]: aslt; r13; arm – 25:39; s:11; m:13; l:9  shaken
   7th Interceptor Wing [r]: lt; r13; arm – 17:18; s:3; m:3; l:0 – Spec: BOMB3
    8Th Interceptor Wing [r]: lt; r13; arm – 17:18; s:3; m:3; l:0 – Spec: BOMB3
17th Naval Aslt Wing [r]: aslt; r13; arm – 36; S:9; M:12; L;9
18th Naval Aslt Wing [r]: aslt; r13; arm – 36; S:9; M:12; L;9
19th Naval Aslt Wing [r]: aslt; r13; arm – 36; S:9; M:12; L;9
8th Crucis Lancers Aerospace Support Group
1/8th Crucis Lancers Lt Aero Wing [r]: lt; r15; arm – 14:18; s:3; m:3; l:0 – Spec BOMB3
2/8th Crucis Lancers Hvy Aero Wing [r]: hvy; r19; arm – 23:27; s:9; m:9; l:3 – Spec BOMB6
Swann’s Cavaliers Aero Wing [r]: hvy; v27; arm – 25:27; s:9; m:9; l:3 – Spec BOMB6
No. 1 Group, 1st Mechanised Brigade:
   Sussex Wing [r]; lt; r15; arm – 16; s:6; m:6; l:1 – Spec: BOMB3   
   Kent Wing [r]; hvy; r15; arm – 22:24; s:10; m:11; l;5 – Spec: BOMB:5

Epsilon Eridani Defence Brigade
2nd New Hessen Irregulars Aero Wing [r]; med; r18; arm – 2:21; s:6; m:6; l:1 – Spec: BOMB4 surrendered
House Lusann Aero Wing [f]; hvy; v27; arm - 0:23; s:8; m:8; l:2 – Spec: BOMB5 destroyed
1/2nd Confederation Reserve Cavalry Aero Wing [r]; med; r17; arm - 1:21; s:6; m:6; l:1 – Spec: BOMB4 surrendered
2/2nd Confederation Reserve Cavalry Aero Wing [r]; hvy; r17; arm - 3:23; s:8; m:8; l:2 – Spec: BOMB5  routed

As the battered remnants of the defending fighter formation withdrew the dropships belonging to the 1st Mechanised Brigade and Swann’s Cavalier began aligning themselves for their insertion into the atmosphere while the balance of the fleet took station above the northern island continent holding the capital and major military installations.

<<to be continued...>>
« Last Edit: 19 February 2018, 14:01:18 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

snakespinner

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #110 on: 19 February 2018, 02:20:43 »
Now that was a decisive aerospace battle. O0
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
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Growing up is optional.

The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #111 on: 22 February 2018, 13:27:59 »
Timm’s Hill, Central Plains, 20 km north of Madison, Epsilon Eridani

Week 2a-3a, March, 3020

Swann’s Cavaliers and the 1st Mechanised Brigade were hardly on the ground when aerial reports of troop movement in and near Madison began to come in from the aerospace reconnaissance flights. With the decisive defeat of the Capellan aerospace forces the skies and space around Epsilon Eridani were the sole domain of the Davion assault force. Mechs, armour and mechanised infantry were soon spotted moving north in two sets of march columns organised into five formations.  The size of the of the columns soon led the Davion command to conclude that House LuSann and the 2nd New Hessen Irregulars were taking the field to block the Davion mercenary forces from closing on the capital from the north.

The 1st Mechanised Brigade formed up in two formations as it marched south on the right flank of the Davion line. On the brigade’s right were the three main combat task forces, Task Force 1.1 formed on the right with Task Force 1.2 in the centre and Task Force 1.3 on the left. The brigade’s left wing was formed by the Headquarters Battle Group, less No. 13 Commando, 3rd Battalion of the 1/8th Crucis Lancer Mechanised Infantry Regiment, 3rd battalion 2/8th Crucis Lancers Mechanised Infantry and two medium tank battalions from Swann’s Cavaliers. Task Force 1.4.1 and 1.4.2 were formed by adding No 13 Commando to the 4th Dragoons and then splitting the oversized battalion into two smaller task forces for reconnaissance missions. Coming up behind the brigade’s left was the brigade’s “Artillery Command”, consisting of both companies of the 1st Horse Artillery. Finally, orbiting high above the island continent was No 1 Group, consisting of the two aerospace wings belonging to the brigade.

Opposing the 1st Mechanised Brigade were elements of both House Lusann and the 2nd New Hessen Irregulars driving hard from the south in a column consisting of three mixed formations. The first formation consisted of the Irregulars 3 light and medium Mech battalions. Immediately behind the Mechs came a large formation of six medium tank battalions from both the Irregulars and House Lusann. Following as best they could were the two artillery battalions belonging to the two commands.

Colonel Bedford, in liaison with both the Davion command and Swann’s Cavaliers, noted that the Capellans were coming out of their positions near the city and suggested both commands deploy and let the engagement take place as far from Madison as possible. This would further divide the defenders and limit intervention in the planned landing by the 8th Crucis Lancers to just the understrength 2nd Confederation Reserve Cavalry. With the new plan agreed to by the Davion Marshal , the 1st Mechanised Brigade deployed along the slopes of Timms Hill, a long high ridge placed amongst pasture lands crowned by a large dairy farm, and prepared to meet the Capellan attack.   

Timm’s Hill and the Highland Diary Farm

1st Mechanised Brigade (+) [r]

Formation Alpha:

Task Force 1.1 (+) [r]: r17; Hvy; Mov: 5; TMM: 2; Arm -  47:55; S:19; M:18; L:13; Tac:4; Mor:7; Skill 4 (shaken)
Task Force 1.2 (+) [r]: r20; Med; Mov:6; TMM:3; Arm – 43; S14; M:13: L:11; Tac:3; Mor:7; Skill:4
Task Force 1.3 (+) [r]: r19; Med; Mov:5; TMM:3; Arm - 41:45; S:12; M:13; L:8; Tac:4; Mor: 7; Skill:4

ACS Formation Stats - Mov: 5; Tac: 3; Mor: 7; Skill: 4; Spec – (IF4), MHQ2

Formation Bravo:

Bde HQ BG [r]: r17; Lt; Mov: 8; TMM:5; Arm – 14:20; S:7; M:6; L:3; Tac:1; Mor:7; Skill:4 (shaken)
3rd Bn 1/8th C.L Me Inf [r]: r16: CI; Mov:6; TMM:2; Arm – 3:21; S:8; M:5; L:1; Tac:4; Mor:7; Skill:4 (broken)
3rd Bn 2/8th C.L Me Inf [r]: r19; CI; Mov:6 TMM:2; Arm - 4:21; S:8; M:5; L:1; Tac:4; Skill:4 (unsteady)
1st Bn Swann’s Arm’d Cav [r]: v26; CV; Mov:7; TMM:3; Arm – 15:24; S:6; M:9; L:3; Tac:4; Mor:6; Skill:3
2nd Bn Swann’s Arm’d Cav [r]: v26; CV; Mov:7; TMM:3; Arm – 12:24; S:6; M:9; L:3; Tac:4; Mor:6; Skill:3  (unsteady)

ACS Formation Stats - Mov:6; Tac:2; Mor:7; Skill:4; Spec – (IF1), MHQ2

Formation Charlie:

1st Mech Bde Arty Cmd (-) [r]: r17; CV; Mov:3; TMM:1; Arm – 18: S:3; M:1; L:0; Tac:5; Mor:7; Skill:4

ACS Formation Stats - Mov: 3; Tac: 5; Mor: 7; Skill: 4; Spec – Art-LT/S12, MHQ2

Formation Romeo: (after week 2a)

Task Force 1.4 (+) [r]; v22; Mix; Mov:8; TMM:4; Arm - 34; S:12; M:11; L:4; Tac:0; Mor:7; Skill:4

ACS Formation Stats - Mov:8; Tac:0; Mor:7; Skill:4 – Spec: RCN

VS

2nd New Hessen Irregulars Battle Group

Formation Charlie:

1st Bn 2nd New Hes. Irr [r]: r14; Lt; Mov: 6; TMM:4; Arm – 0:24; S:6; M:6; L:0; Tac:4; Mor:7; Skill:4 (destroyed)
2nd Bn 2nd New Hes. Irr [r]: r14; Lt; Mov:6; TMM:4; Arm - 0:24; S:6; M:6; L:0; Tac:4; Mor:7; Skill:4 (destroyed)
3rd 2nd Bn New Hes. Irr [r]:  r13; Med; Mov:5; TMM:4; Arm – 4:34; S:7; M:7; L:5 Tac:4; Mor:7; Skill:4 (routed)

ACS Formation Stats - Mov: 5; Tac:5; Mor:7; Skill:4 – Spec: RCN

Formation Delta:

1st Bn New Hess. Irr. Armored [r]: r16; CV; Mov:7; TMM:3; Arm – 7:21; S:9; M:9; L:3; Tac:3; Mor:7; Skill:4 (retreating)
2nd Bn New Hess. Irr. Armored [r]: r16; CV; Mov:7; TMM:3; Arm – 4:21; S:9; M:9; L:3; Tac:3; Mor:7; Skill:4 (routed)
3rd Bn New Hess. Irr. Armored [r]: r16; CV; Mov:7; TMM:3; Arm – 15:21; S:9; M:9; L:3; Tac:3; Mor:7; Skill:4 (unsteady)
1st Bn House Lusann  Armored [f]: v22; CV; Mov:6; TMM:3; Arm – 0:21; S:9; M:9; L:3; Tac:2; Mor:6; Skill:3 (destroyed)
2nd Bn House Lusann  Armored [f]: v22; CV; Mov:7; TMM:3; Arm – 4:21; S:9; M:9; L:3; Tac:2; Mor:6; Skill:3 (retreating)
3rd Bn House Lusann  Armored [f]: v22; CV; Mov:7; TMM:3; Arm – 1:21; S:9; M:9; L:3; Tac:2; Mor:6; Skill:3 (routed)

ACS Formation Stats - Mov: 7; Tac:3; Mor: 7; Skill: 4

Formation Echo:

2nd New Hessen Irr Arty [r]: r18; CV; Mov:3; TMM: 1;Arm – 0:30; S:3; M:0; L:0; Tac:7; Mor:7; Skill:4 – Spec: Art-S12  (destroyed)
House LuSann  Arty [f]: v25; CV; Mov:3; TMM: 1;Arm – 0:30; S:3; M:0; L:0 Tac:6; Mor:6; Skill:3 – Spec: Art-S12  (destroyed)

ACS Formation Stats – Mov: 3; Tac: 7; Mor: 7; Skill: 4 Spec – Art-S12 (2)      

Despite the pronounced advantage in weight and firepower on the side of the mercenaries, the New Hessen Irregulars' Mechs proved remarkably hard to hit. In the opening engagements little damage was done to the Capellan Mechs while their return fire chipped and scoured away at the mercenary’s own armour. Late in the second week of March the Davion fleet sent in its three assault dropship wings to help pin down the fleet-footed Liao Mechs. Within days The New Hessen Mech regiment had been shattered with barely a lance making its way back to the city.
 
The medium tanks belonging to House LuSann, attached to the New Hessen command, drove headlong into the mechanised infantry loaned from the 8th Crucis Lancers and in a series of point blank encounters brutalised the defenders. The Davion infantry and their APCs, fighting from hastily prepared emplacements, supported by the guns of the 1st Horse Artillery and two wings of aerospace fighters from their parent command, replied with devastating fire.  By the time the two sides parted at the end of the second week in March House LuSann’s armour had lost over ninety percent of its strength while Lancer’s infantry was nearly shattered. It took the intervention of 1st Mechanised Brigade’s Command Company to hold the line at significant cost in damaged and crippled Mechs. 
 
The New Hessen Irregular’s own armour traded blows with the attached armour from Swann’s Cavaliers and were beginning to get the upper hand that threatened to separate the brigade from their allies to the east. The 4th Dragoons, having been recalled from their reconnaissance role, came charging back to the brigade’s lines and took the Hessen armour in the flank. Once again it was the aerospace dominance that help decide the issue as the fighters from No. 1 Group maintained continuous bombing and strafing runs against the swift Capellan tanks. By the third week in March, with news from south of the defeat of the 2nd Reserve Cavalry, the Hessen’s broke contact and bolted for the city of Madison, hoping the attackers would not follow them into the city.

The final blow to the Capellan attack came when the two artillery battalions, finally arriving behind the battle were first pummelled by the assault drops ships and the fighters of the 1st Mechanised Brigade and then overrun by the combined strength of all three task forces of the brigade’s main battle line. As the remnants of the Hessen and House LuSann forces routed from the battlefield both artillery battalions lay smashed at the feet of the mercenary Mechs. Major Ligny’s tech teams were already moving amongst the wreckage before the victorious battalions had even moved beyond line-of-sight of the battle.

<<to be continued...>>
« Last Edit: 23 February 2018, 13:40:49 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #112 on: 23 February 2018, 12:57:31 »
Timm’s Hill, Eastern Slopes

The veteran command Swann’s Cavaliers formed the left wing of the Davion defence on Timm's Hill. The Cavalier’s medium and two heavy Mech battalions formed on the left of the line, refusing their left flank. The Cavaliers remaining heavy tank battalion supported the commands motorised infantry regiment on the right along the eastern end of the ridge and linking the Cavaliers to the 1st Mechanised Brigade to the west. The Cavaliers artillery battalion was deployed well behind the ridge to support the motor infantry battalions with the command’s heavy aerospace fighters and a Davion light wing standing by to assist with ground support operations.

Coming towards the Cavaliers was House LuSann’s Mech regiment consisting of a veteran medium Mech battalion supported by its motorised infantry battalion. With its medium tank regiment given to the Hessan Irregulars it had received in exchange the Hessan’s mechanised infantry regiment. Combined with its own mechanised infantry regiment , veterans all, the House LuSann battle line collided with Swann’s Cavaliers defences along the eastern slopes of Timm’s Hill. 
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Swann’s Cavaliers (-) [r]

Formation Delta:

1st Bn Swann’s Cavaliers [r]: v24; Med; Mov:5; TMM:4; Arm – 16:30; S:9; M:9; L:3; Tac:4; Mor:6; Skill:3
2nd Bn Swann’s Cavaliers [r]: v24; Hvy; Mov:4; TMM:2; Arm – 35:38; S:12; M:12; L:8; Tac:5; Mor:6; Skill:3
3rd Bn Swann’s Cavaliers [r]: v24; Hvy; Mov:4; TMM:2; Arm – 38; S:12; M:12; L:8; Tac:5; Mor:6; Skill:3

ACS Formation Stats - Mov:4; Tac:5; Mor:6; Skill:3

Formation Echo:

3rd Bn Swann’s Arm’d Cav [r]; v26; CV; Mov:6; TMM:2; Arm – 29:30; S:9; M:12; L:3; Tac:3; Mor:6; Skill:3
1st Bn Swann’s Motor Inf [r]; v22; CI; Mov:6; TMM:3; Arm – 1:9; S:6; M:3; L:0; Tac:2; Mor:6; Skill:3 (retreating)
2nd Bn Swann’s Motor Inf [r]: v23; CI; Mov:6; TMM:3; Arm – 2:9; S:6; M:3; L:0; Tac:2; Mor:6; Skill:3 (broken)
3rd Bn Swann’s Motor Inf [r]: v21; CI; Mov:6; TMM:3; Arm – 0:9; S:6; M:3; L:0; Tac:2; Mor:6; Skill:3 (destroyed)

ACS Formation Stats - Mov:6; Tac: 3; Mor:6; Skill: 3

Formation Foxtrot:

Swann’s Cavaliers Artillery [r]: v28; CV; Mov:3; TMM:1; Arm – 30; S:3; M:0; L:0; Tac:6; Mor:6; Skill:3; Spec – Art-S12

ACS Formation Stats – Mov: 3; Tac:7; Mor:7; Skill: 4

VS

House LuSann Battle Group (-) [f]

Formation Alpha:

1st Bn, House Lusann [f]: v22; Med; Mov:5; TMM:4; Arm – 13:34; S:9; M:9; L:3; Tac:4; Mor:6; Skill:3
2nd Bn, House LuSann [f]: v21; CI; Mov:6; TMM:3; Arm: 0:9; S:6; M:3; L:0; Tac:3; Mor:6; Skill:3

ACS Formation Stats – Mov: 5; Tac:4; Mor:6; Skill:3

Formation Bravo:

1st Bn, New Hessen Mech Inf [r]: r17; CI; Mov:6; TMM:2; Arm – 15:21; S:8; M:5; L:1; Tac:4; Mor:7; Skill:4
2nd Bn, New Hessen Mech Inf [r]: r17; CI; Mov:6; TMM:2; Arm – 21; S:8; M:5; L:1; Tac:4; Mor:7; Skill:4
3rd Bn, New Hessen Mech Inf [r]: r17; CI; Mov:6; TMM:2; Arm – 21; S:8; M:5; L:1; Tac:4; Mor:7; Skill:4
1st Bn, House LuSann Mech Inf [f]: v22; CI; Mov:6; TMM:2; Arm – 6:21; S:8; M:5; L:1; Tac:3; Mor:6; Skill:3
2nd Bn, House LuSann Mech Inf [f]: v21; CI; Mov:6; TMM:2; Arm – 3:21; S:8; M:5; L:1; Tac:3; Mor:6; Skill:3
3rd Bn, House LuSann Mech Inf [f]: v21; CI; Mov:6; TMM:2; Arm – 15:21; S:8; M:5; L:1; Tac:3; Mor:6; Skill:3

ACS Formation Stats – Mov: 6; Tac:4; Mor:7; Skill:4

Much as had occurred on the Capellan left facing the 1st Mechanised Brigade the medium Mechs of House LuSann used their superior mobility to frustrate the heavier battalions possessed by Swann’s Cavaliers. Unlike the fighting to the west the Cavaliers soon adjusted and used their superior numbers to pin down the Capellan force and then to begin picking it apart. The Cavaliers own medium battalion screened off the Capellan Mechs while one heavy battalion annihilated the motorised infantry battalion. The second heavy battalion manoeuvred around the opposite flank and engaged the enemy medium Mechs from long range. Seeing the end of the regiment fast approaching Colonel Wang Yong turned his remaining Mechs south and began withdrawing.

To the left the six battalions of mechanised infantry put in a mounted assault directly into the lines of the Cavaliers dismounted motorised infantry and supporting heavy tanks. The initial assaults went very well and the Capellans drove back the centre and right hand battalions, inflicting near fatal losses. The Cavaliers heavy armour then counterattacked, supported by the artillery and two fighter wings, restoring the situation and badly damaging two of House LuSann’s battalions in the process. At this point the New Hessen infantry overran the Cavaliers left hand infantry battalion, destroying it in detail before withdrawing as the heavy tanks swung east again. Even so the heavy tanks pounded on the Hessen’s first battalion, nearly destroying its first company before they could break contact. With the Mech regiment withdrawing on the right and the combined armoured regiments smashed on the left, the Capellan mechanised infantry decided that discretion was the better part of valour and disengaged to the south. As the APCs hastily collected their charges and withdrew it became apparent that the four remaining battalions were the only intact Capellan combat formation north of the capital and its spaceport.

<<Coming soon - Denoument and Epilogue>> 
« Last Edit: 23 February 2018, 13:28:32 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #113 on: 03 March 2018, 11:12:50 »
Epsilon Eridani - 8th Crucis Lancers Battles the 2nd Confederation Reserve Cavalry - Climax, Denouement and Epilogue

For all the fighting that the 1st Mechanised Brigade and Swann's cavaliers saw north of the city, the main objective was the 2nd Confederation Reserve Cavalry. It was this battle that would determine the success or failure of the Epsilon Eridani attack.

Parassus National Park, Epsilon Eridani, weel 2b, March 3020

Colonel Margaret Fonn knew that her command faced a serious challenge. Having been in heavy action on two occasions since the previous summer the 2nd Confederation Reserve Cavalry had been in need of long term rest and refitting in order to rebuild the command. It was pulled from the line in late December 3019 and sent to Epsilon Eridani in January 3020 to begin this rebuilding. In order to avoid diluting the veteran status replacements were being introduced slowly so they could be integrated into the battalions and regiments. When the Davion jumpships had appeared at the Nadir jump point the overall strength was still more than twenty percent below its allowed table of organisation. The defeat of the aerospace forces by a significantly larger Davion force made the long term prospects for the command highly suspect. Of the more than 60 aerospace fighters that rose to intercept the incoming attack force only three returned in any condition to fly and two more would never fly again. Nevertheless, the Capellan force commander was determined to make the Federated Suns troops pay a dear price for their attack on her command.

The Davion dropships had landed close enough to the capital of Madison that the need for large scale reconnaissance was not needed. When nearly forty percent of the Davion dropships grounded north of capital, with the balance remaining in orbit, the Colonel believed she knew what to expect. The Davion commander was trying to draw her forces out and pin them down so the larger force could land later and outflank the defences. Fully recognizing the age old caution against splitting one’s forces she gambled that by ordering a rapid assault on the attacking force to the north before they could become fully established her troops might inflict enough damage to deter any further advance from that direction. She could then use interior lines to shift troops from the north to back up the Reserve Cavalry in its own fight when it came. Only a few days after the battles north of the city began the ground tracking stations at the spaceport reported the mass of the dropships still in orbit were beginning their decent and would ground in a national park south of the city within the next 12 hours.

*****

Marshal Wago of the 8th Crucis Lancers was also well aware of the risk he had taken in splitting his command but the naval victory over the Liao aerospace forces had granted him the rare gift of aerospace supremacy. Including the assault dropships the assault force had ten wings of aerospace craft available to support ground operations and he intended to make the most of the weight of firepower they could bring. The initial attack by the two mercenary commands would be supported by the entire fleet until his own Crucis Lancers had grounded. Only when contact was imminent with whatever defences remained uncommitted to the north would he withdraw AFFS aerospace elements to support his command.

With the main focus of the AFFS on the Draconis front the forces in the Terran Corridor and the Capellan March could not be supported to the full extent required to truly punish the Capellan Confederation for its recent offensives into the Federated Suns. Instead, selected commands along this front would be reinforced with mercenary units and sent on ‘punishment raids’ aimed at directly targeting CCAF commands that had taken part in the recent attacks, and were known to be rebuilding after they retreated. The 8th Crucis Lancers’ task was to seek out and destroy the 2nd Confederation Reserve Cavalry on Epsilon Eridani along with any installations of military value. Time was of the essence as the command was to land, defeat the defences, destroy military infrastructure, collect what salvage they could, destroy what salvage they could not and then withdraw before any reinforcements arrived. With these objectives in mind the 8th Crucis Lancers began to deploy into seven combat formations as soon as the dropship ramps had lowered to the ground.

*****

The Capellan cavalry were both outnumbered by the larger Davion command as well as outweighed and outgunned. What the Capellan formation had was an advantage in manoeuvrability and they made the best of it. The first contacts with the Davion attackers came soon after landing as the two forces advanced on each other. Both sides had sent light and medium armour ahead of their Mech and other formations and these initial contacts set the tone for the coming battle. The Capellan Mech and tanks did their best to keep the range open to make it more difficult for the Davion gunners to score on their targets. Using speed to deter hits the Capellan troops slowly fell back towards Madison and then veered to the west and north towards the spaceport. By the beginning of the third week in March a frustrated Marshal Wago redirected the fighters of the Enterprise to join the aerospace fighters of the 8th Crucis Lancers. The assault dropships were also warned to be prepared to switch to supporting the Lancers drive against the Capellan Reserve Cavalry.

It was at this point the situation for Colonel Fonn’s troops went from being a long shot to near certain death or capture if the battle continued. The constant air attacks made remaining on the battlefield almost impossible. After one of the cavalry’s artillery battalions was almost completely destroyed by air attacks and the other badly shot up the survivors were ordered to disengage and disperse in the woodlands west of Madison. As the Capellans began to fight a rearguard action towards the spaceport and possible escape Marshal Wago redirected aerospace forces against the transports sitting on the pads and runways, effectively blockading the entire force. With the writing on the wall the 2nd Reserve Cavalry were ordered to disperse and go to ground and the dropships ordered to get out anyway they could.

As the third week of March drew to a close the spaceport erupted in flame and smoke as every serviceable dropship capable of flight ignited their engines and began a massed launch. Davion fighters and the assault dropships tried to intercept and while they did shoot down or damage a number of fleeing dropships they could not stop them all. Considering the declining strength of the Davion aerospace forces, pressing the attacks may have cost more than it gained. On the ground the 8th Crucis Lancers had been hurt, especially the light and medium tanks and Mechs of the medium battalion. The two motorised infantry regiments had also been roughly handled and 1/8th Infantry had its third battalion almost destroyed.

It was time to withdraw.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Enterprise Carrier Division

Enterprise CV Wing [r]: aslt; r14; arm – 25:39; S:11; M:13; L:9  shaken
     7th Interceptor Wing [r]: lt; r14; arm – 11:18; S:3; M:3; L:0 – Spec: BOMB3
     8th Interceptor Wing [r]: lt; r14; arm – 10:18; S:3; M:3; L:0 – Spec: BOMB3  shaken

17th Naval Aslt Wing [r]: aslt; r14; arm – 25:36; S:9; M:12; L;9
18th Naval Aslt Wing [r]: aslt; r14; arm – 25:36; S:9; M:12; L;9 unsteady
19th Naval Aslt Wing [r]: aslt; r14; arm – 25:36; S:9; M:12; L;9

8th Crucis Lancers Aerospace Support Group

1/8th Crucis Lancers Lt Aero Wing [r]: lt; r16; arm – 8:18; S:3; M:3; L:0 – Spec BOMB3 broken
2/8th Crucis Lancers Hvy Aero Wing [r]: hvy; r20; arm – 7:27; S:9; M:9; L:3 – Spec BOMB6 unsteady
Swann’s Cavaliers Aero Wing [r]: hvy; v28; arm – 21:27; S:9; M:9; L:3 – Spec BOMB6
No. 1 Group, 1st Mechanised Brigade [r]:
   Sussex Wing [r]; lt; r16; arm – 11:16; S:6; M:6; L:1 – Spec: BOMB3   shaken
   Kent Wing [r]; hvy; r16; arm – 19:24; S:10; M:11; L:5 – Spec: BOMB:5



In all three engagements the aerospace wings of the Davion assault force had been extremely active in lending air support to the ground troops and they had paid the price. Supporting the 1st Mechanised Brigade and then Swann’s Cavaliers had cost the 8th Crucis Lancers a fair number of craft. More losses were suffered after the Lancers landed and required help in dealing with the Capellan 2nd Cavalry. Bringing in the Assault Dropship Wings exposed them to heavy ground fire and their relatively low speed and large size meant these wings took serious if not crippling damage. Finally, the interception of the escaping Capellan troopship and transport dropships added further losses even though captured salvage mitigated the worst of the damage.

As the Davion commands pulled back to evacuate the planet before reinforcements could arrive they made their best attempt to destroy what salvage they could not carry away but they could not destroy even a significant portion of it. The Capellan commands managed to make use of significant quantities of salvage to help rebuilt battered battalions even if they were now part of regiments that might only count one or two combat units. Despite this the Davion assault, while more costly than first envisaged, had accomplished its goal of further disrupting the Capellan military’s plans for rebuilding its exhausted forces. In the first days of April the 1st Mechanised Brigade and other Davion forces rendezvoused with their jumpships and jumped away to Nopah in Federated Suns space to get what rest and refitting was possible before the next mission.


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

« Last Edit: 26 May 2018, 00:55:28 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #114 on: 24 March 2018, 12:13:44 »
1st Mechanised Brigade Headquarters, Cocula Starport, Nopah, Federated Suns, Apr12, 3020

 
The remnants of the Capellan defenders did not try to interfere with the Federated Suns withdrawal from the planet and the retreat went smoothly. The return jump from Epsilon Eridani to Nopah went without incident and the week long transit to the planet, despite the usual discomfort of being abort troopships, was a welcomed period of rest for the troops and time for the techs to begin cataloguing the damage to the brigade’s equipment and the captured salvgae. Mercifully, the long range nature of the combat had meant that while many units had sustained damage no units were so badly damaged that they would need to be written off. With the current stock of spares, captured salvage and some well-placed purchases, Major Ligny believed the repairs could be completed in about five to six weeks.

Once grounded the brigade began to sort itself out and make itself ready for the next mission. If all went as per plan they would jump again in early May to strike a new target in Laio space. There was some doubt about this as an early debriefing noted that the 8th Crucis Lancers had suffered far heavier damage than had been expected. If it was to be used again in May it would have to jump with significant damage unrepaired. Unofficial rumours had the next attack being delayed until June. Regardless, Colonel Bedford know that the brigade had to be as ready as possible by May in case the assault was to go forward as planned.

The performance of the brigade was not quite up to expectations. This was, without doubt, partly due to the recent reorganising of the brigade and its sub units. Companies and even lances and platoons were fighting together under the new organisation for the first time and despite the presence of veteran and even elite pilots, crew and squads, return fire failed to score many hits on the counterattacking Liao troops. For their part the Capellan troops had been composed of mostly light and fast medium Mechs supported by light and medium armour and their supporting infantry. They used speed to sweep into range, score a number of hits, even though the damage was often slight, and then pull back out of range.

Task Force 1.1, the brigade’s heaviest, and therefore slowest command, took the worst of the damage followed by the brigade’s combat support battalion composed of the light Mechs of the 13th Dragoons and the Brigade’s HQ guard. Task Force 1.3 also suffered moderate damage in its own exchanges with the Capellan Mechs. Things were different when the Capellans  pressd their attacks. The light Mechs of the Combat Support Battalion smashed the enemy’s medium armour handily once the range came down and the enemy were caught in a melee but the Davion infantry they tried to support suffered punishing losses. Damage may very well have been even heavier had the attacking Federated Suns forces not possessed total aerospace superiority that blanketed the attacking battalions in high explosive and armour piercing shot. The brigade’s ground forces only truly began to score regularly once the retreating Capellans were disrupted and no longer capable of putting up effective resistance.

For their part, the aerospace fighters of No.1 Group had performed very well. The Group’s three squadrons had pressed home attack after attack in support of the ground troops and suffering moderate damage, even if no fighters were totally lost. When the Capellan dropships made their massed attempt to burn for orbit No. 1 Group’s fighters were in on a number of kills. The fall of the spaceport and captured salvage would go a long way to repairing the damage received. Lieutenant Colonel Valois and his second-in-command Major Catherine Woodville looked forward to the arrival of the final flight of light Centurion fighters that would complete the three line squadrons bringing the group’s fighter squadrons all up to standard strength.

The 1st Mechanised Brigade’s command staff were confident the new organisation and tactics were valid. All the same they understood the brigade would need to continuing training in the in combined arms tactics designed to counter enemy manoeuvre. When their equipment was not in line for repairs or servicing the brigade’s companies and squadrons were to spend their remaining time Nopah in continued training. By the time the brigade jumped out on its next mission Colonel Bedford wanted the battle drills to be second nature to every soldier down to the newest rifleman.

As the last week of April approached it was confirmed via the Federated Suns Liaison Office, Captain Roger St. James, that the next attack would be delayed until June. Major Ligny and Captain Edward Kent, the brigade’s senior engineer, took the opportunity to seek permission to present a proposal to the command staff that they believed could increase the firepower of the brigade without a marked drop in manoeuverability. The meeting was set to follow the monthly summary report to be held the last week of May.

To be continued…
« Last Edit: 26 May 2018, 01:02:39 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #115 on: 04 May 2018, 15:15:13 »
Agriplex Auditorium, Cocula Agricultural College, Cocula, Nopah, Federated Suns, 23 May, 3020

Since the battle against the Capellans in March on Epsilon Eridani the 1st Mechanised Brigade had used its time on Nopah to refit damaged equipment and replace losses. While losses in the recent battle were not excessive they did use up a number of spare vehicles and captured salvage just barely made good the balance. A series of lectures presented to the senior officers and company NCOs had been intended to keep the leadership up to date on events within the brigade so they could pass on developments to the troops. The lectures had been well received and the latest one was thought to be of particular importance as it was directed at the development of the Brigade’s fighting strength and plans for future expansion and procurement of the most modern kit available wherever possible.

For the past two years the command staff had been working with John Ligny II, commander of the Brigade’s Service Battalion and recently promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, and his lead engineer, Captain Edward Kent. Captain Kent was a gifted designer and had recently put the finishing touches on what was known as ‘Project 3000’. Today the engineer would be presenting his design suggestions to the Brigade’s senior officers, the battalion and company commanders, their second in command as well as the regimental and company sergeant-majors.  As the staff members settled themselves in their seats Colonel’s Bedford and Ligny gave Captain Kent a final nod of encouragement and withdrew to a side table to the left of the podium.

Showing only a little nervousness Captain Kent approached the lectern, adjust the microphone and cleared his throat, the sound amplified, carried across the room stilling the remaining conversations as the audience made their last adjustments to make themselves comfortable.

“Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen”, he began. “In the past we have had held these larger briefings to roll out changes to the Brigade’s organisation or to explain the changes in doctrine and how the Brigade could make the most economical and effective use of its equipment. Today’s briefing is more theoretical as it will introduce you to plans for new equipment that does not exist at this time. “Project 3000” is an examination of equipment available on the arms markets today but looks at ways in which it might be improved or otherwise modified to become more effective and better suit our needs.”

Picking up a small remote the Captain pointed it towards a small computer and projector that came to life and lit up a large screen on the stage.

First Mechanised Brigade, Project 3000 – Future Plans for Improved Task Force Mobility and Firepower   
   
After only a brief pause the engineer continued…

“From the day the first tribal group picked up a club or pointed stick to defend its territory against other humans there has been infantry. With each technological advance in weaponry the infantry has been compelled to adapt or face certain defeat and destruction.  Offensive weapons advanced from fire hardened pointed stick, to a stone flint spear or axe while defensive measures such as leather shields and armour were developed to protect the infantryman. Ranged missile weapons, first thrown by hand, then assisted by the atlatl, then by the advent of the bow, forced the enemy to develop defensive tactics to augment shield and armour.”

“With the coming of bronze and then iron weapons came other tactical advances such as mounting infantry on a chariot or on horseback. Early use of animal power increased mobility and gave us the ‘Dragoon’ followed by the cavalryman. Infantry was again compelled to developed countermeasures by the development of better armour and improved tactics. From Egyptian axemen to Greek Hoplite to Roman Legionnaire to the medieval armoured ‘man-at-arm’ the technological leap-frog between the infantryman and more powerful battlefield weapons has continued. The coming of gunpowder gave infantry a massive increase in firepower and threatened the knight/cavalryman with obsolescence. The early machineguns and breach loading artillery develop just over a millennia ago all but drove the mounted soldier from the field and forced infantry to first disperse and then burrow underground to survive. Mobility itself was strangled in the trenches and barbed wire that could run for hundreds of miles while advances were often measured in yards.”

“The arrival of the internal combustion engine in old earth’s first global war allowed armour, artillery and soldier to be combined into an armoured fighting vehicle that returned mobility to the battlefield and heralded a new form of cavalry. The infantry was also challenged by the arrival of the tank but soon found a way to marry itself to the mobile armoured forces by mounting itself in trucks and soon after, purpose built armoured carriers to transport them across a kill zone. Infantry was now able to close with and assault the enemy, support the tanks and also keep pace with an advance once the enemy’s tactical and operational depth had been penetrated and reserves had been exhausted. Through the period between the 21st and 24th centuries the infantryman, mounted in fully functional combat vehicles formed one leg of a three-legged stool alongside the main battle tank and ground support aerospacecraft that made up the modern air-land battlefield.”

“The arrival of the BattleMech was thought to be the end of the conventional arms, the infantry in particular. The infantryman, when exposed to enemy firepower was vulnerable as ever to an enemy that could bring truly massive firepower to bear. However, the combination of tactics, equipment and supporting arms allowed the infantry to survive the modern battlefield and fulfill its traditional role to both take and hold ground. In fact, for the last thousand years, despite the advancements in ‘mobile’ warfare platforms, the infantryman is still the backbone of most House and Periphery state armies. A tank or BattleMech only controls the ground it stands on and, perhaps, only the area within range of its primary weapons.”

“The modern infantry force is still carried into battle by truck, armoured personnel carrier and dedicated infantry fighting vehicles. Known as IFVs, such as the tracked Goblin or the faster Maxim hovercraft, the IFV is both tank and infantry carrier combining mobility and firepower to move the infantry forward. The problem with these two advanced models is that the Goblin is slow, only as fast as many medium or heavy Mechs, and its base model is not that well armed. The Maxim is both well armed for a hovercraft and fast but the loss of a single craft can ground an entire infantry platoon. Moreover, the Maxim is not a vehicle that lends itself well to close support of both armour and Mechs due to the potential damage to its lift gear.”

“In our experience over the past five years we have found that our own infantry force have done well in its wheeled APCs and the few Goblins that have come our way. However, more firepower coupled with speed is what is required to help the infantry drive home its assaults in company of the armour and Mech forces within each of our task forces. With the destruction caused by the Succession Wars, including the present third war we are now engaged in, new vehicle designs have been few and far between as industry focuses on maintaining current designs. With this in mind our engineering team has designed a new IFV based on a modified Hunter light tank. The core of Project 3000, the new vehicle has the name “IFV 3000”, also known as "Warrior".

“Rather than requiring new factories or dedicated production lines to build the IFV the 3000 program requires the lower hull, chassis and drive train of the Hunter, spare armour plate and a modest industrial complex to carrier out the conversion. The conversion could be done at a heavy machinery plant or service facility or perhaps an agro or industrial Mech repair or maintenance shop. That in itself is a challenge but one the command is working on solving. Let’s take a look at Project 3000 in more detail.”

Clicking the remote a schematic was displayed on the large white screen

“The IFV 3000 is a 35 ton tracked infantry combat vehicle designed to carry infantry into battle behind armour similar to the Goblin’s but with more speed and a better weapons suite. Somewhat slower than the standard APC it is still faster than the majority of heavy Mechs and tanks. The vehicle uses the 175 Magna Standard fusion engine of the Hunter but the upper hull, turret and main weapons systems are removed, it would be better described as ‘rearranged’, to accommodate the new design. The vehicle possesses 7 tons of Star Slab standard armour with an unmanned turret carrying its main weapons. The engine is moved forward to the centre of the vehicle to allow a rear mounted infantry compartment capable of carrying one squad and their kit, with exit doors to the rear and on the top of the rear deck behind the remote turret. The crew - drive, gunner and commander -  sit in the main hull thus reducing the turret and overall vehicle profile.”

“The remote turret is broad but relatively flat and includes a medium laser and two SRM 6 launchers, each with one ton of reloads stored in the hull. Rounding off the weapons is a standard machine gun with a half-ton of ammunition. With all weapons mounted in a fully rotating turret the vehicle has excellent firepower in a 360 degree arc to protect itself and its infantry squad.”

“The vehicle stats are as follows. Note that the cost covers an almost ‘bottom up’ forecast of this build.”

Size: 1; Move: 5/8; TMM: 2; Arm: 4; Str: 2; Short: 3; Med: 3; Lg: 0; PV: 20; Cost: C-Bill 569,700

“Since each infantry company in the Brigade has a mixed headquarters platoon that includes two mounted squads and two LRM APC variants, the 3000 program has also designed a company fire support vehicle to replace the APCs currently in service. The FSV 3000 is also based on the Hunter light tank but the heavier firepower and ammunition requirements mean less armour is carried than on the IFV version and infantry compartment is removed. The vehicle has five tons of Star Slab standard armour and the crew of three is again housed in the hull. The unmanned turret, once more designed to lower the silhouette, contains four LRM 5 launchers and a machine gun supplied by three tons of LRM reloads and one half-ton for the machine gun stored in the main hull. This gives the vehicle significant long range and indirect fire capability for its size but for close in protection the single machine gun was augmented by a hull mounted medium laser to discourage an enemy form getting too close. The main difference between the FSV and the standard Hunter light tank is the heavier close range firepower and it could be argued that the Hunter could fill the role but the for the fact that the FSV 3000 build is considerably cheaper.”

“As before the cost factors in an almost complete new build and the stats read out as follow.”
 
Size: 1; Move: 5/8; TMM:2; Arm:3; Str:2; Short:2; Med:2; Lg:2; PV:18; Cost: C-Bill 611,550
 
“Lest our tank commanders feel left out Project 3000 also has proposed a redesign of the Vedette medium tank, renamed “Cromwell”. Cromwell is designed to keep pace with the IFV 3000 as well as most medium and faster heavy Mechs. The standard 60 ton Manticore in use by the brigade is considered a bit too slow for the proposed manoeuvre tactics used in the Brigade but it is a mainstay in every military that can obtain them. The Cromwell’s hull is a stretched and reinforced Vedette chassis increasing the weight to 55 tons and replacing the internal combustion engine with a Core Tek 275 fusion plant capable of moving the vehicle at just over 86 km per hour. The vehicle is protected by 7 tons of Protec Tech 6 standard armour, which is borderline adequate for a tank of this weight. To achieve the speed required meant certain sacrifices had to be accepted. Nevertheless the armour is better than that on the Hetzer or Vedette and equals that of the Goblin despite Crowell being 10 tons heavier.”

“The turret mounts a single PPC and an SRM 6, with 1 ton of SRM reloads in the hull. There is machine gun with one-half ton of ammunition in the front hull along with an LRM 5, also with one ton of reloads. The Cromwell is a faster, lighter scaled down Manticore that gives up some armour and weapons in exchange for higher speed, making the vehicle more difficult to hit. Considering the complexity of this redesign Cromwell is unlikely to be made available until the Brigade has access to a major industrial scale workshop. The vehicle stats are…”

Size: 2; Move: 5/8; TMM: 2; Arm: 4; Str: 3; Short: 2; Med: 3; Lg: 2; PV: 28; Cost: C-Bill 2,469,348

“In summary, none of these vehicles are currently available to the Brigade nor do we anticipate their becoming available in the near future. However, with current trends in industrial recovery it is anticipated that within the next three to five years we may be able to begin procuring these designs via one or more minor arms dealers or via specific contracts or licencing deals. In the meantime, the brigade’s command is exploring providing PKR-T5 “Pack Rat” reconnaissance vehicles as combat replacements for lost APCs within the infantry companies. The Pack Rat is faster and better armed than our wheeled APCs and just as well protected. These carriers should increase the firepower of our combined arms task forces sufficiently to justify the additional cost.”

“This concludes today’s briefing. We will take a 15 minute break before opening the floor to questions or comments. Thank you.”

*****

As the gathered officers and senior NCO made their way to the various refreshment tables near the front of the auditorium Colonel Bedford caught the attention of Lieutenant-Colonel Talbot, commander of the 1st Rifles and Task Force 1.1.

“John, give the senior command staff 20 minutes to relax and mingle then have them return to the base. We will be getting our orders in the next 24 hours and I want a full report on the Brigade’s status by 0800 hours tomorrow morning.”

Noting the quizzical look on the infantry commander’s face Bedford held up a hand to forestall the question he knew was coming.

“I can’t tell you anything now but I do know it means we will likely be seeing some heavy combat. Be sure to issue 72 hours leave passes to those who are in line for, or are deserving of them. I have no doubt it will be last chance the troops will have to relax for some time. Carry on.”

 “Aye, Richard. We’ll see to the arrangements,” Talbot replied.

With that the two officers exchanged informal salutes and the commander of the mercenary brigade turned on his heals and strode up the shallow stairs leading to back of the auditorium, his administrative assistant and batman following close behind. John Talbot turned to begin getting the word to the other battalion commanders.



« Last Edit: 26 May 2018, 01:03:44 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #116 on: 22 May 2018, 14:35:13 »
1030h, Hangar 11, Cocula Spaceport, Nopah, May 25th, 3020

The level of security around Hangar 11 was impressive with an outer layer of infantry and light Mechs, an inner layer of medium tanks and Mechs and the close perimeter of a lance of heavy Mechs and and mechanised infantry. Inside the empty hangar were rows of chairs, enough to hold the command staffs and senior unit commanders for all the regiments in the Davion strike force. Near the front wall was projection screen, a clutch of large computers and a holotank. As the commander of the 1st Mechanised Brigade and his senior officers entered the hangar their identification cards were scanned and they were ushered to their seats.

Within a few minutes the hangar was beginning to fill with other officers and, with the exception of a few aides, no officers seemed to be below the rank of major. The room was called to order in loud ‘clack’ of heals coming together as every officer stood to attention. Marshall Neale Wargo entered the open hangar space and proceeded immediately to the dais where he introduced an aide, Major David O’Rourke, who was on the Marshall’s intelligence and operations staff. The major turned on his own computer notepad while a senior technician turned on the projection device and holotank. Once the devices were adjusted and focused the briefing got down to business.

“Gentlemen,” Major O’Rourke began, “the target of the coming assault will be Alrescha, in the Tikonov Commonality”.

Pausing briefly to allow the outbreak of murmurs to subside, the Davion major continued.

“As we know this target was hit a few months ago where MacGregor’s Armored Scouts and the Ariana Fusiliers were badly shot up. Since then we have learned the Fusiliers have moved on but the Scouts have remained, rebuilding and reinforced by a newly rebuilt New Hessan Armoured Scouts. For those of you who do not recall the intelligence briefing from the middle of last year, this particular New Hessan mercenary command was shattered in the Free World’s League final offensive to liberate the worlds occupied by House Liao during the Anton Marik civil war.”

The view screen came alive with a three dimensional view of the Alrescha system which then drew closer to the third planet in the system and the strike force’s target. Zooming in further the view changed to a low orbit view of the capital city of Cord and the nearby spaceport and small industrial park. Rail lines led to and from the city, spaceport and countryside that showed heavy agricultural use.

“As per your orders packets we will lift off at 2250h tonight for Nopah’s zenith point and jump to Alrescha dead on 0000h June 1st. Latest reports place MacGregor’s scouts with seven of nine regiments in its command placed in bivouacs near the capital. One standard second line militia regiment, a planetary infantry regiment along with one light and one medium tank battalion are also at the capital. At the  spaceport, thirty-five kilometers southeast, is a third infantry regiment and medium tank battalion also belonging to the planet’s defence forces. naturally, the aerospace force for both the MacGregor Scouts, the planetary defence forces and the Hessen mercenaries are also based there. Capellan forces should muster two light and two medium wings, almost all squadrons should be at or near full strength.”

The view swung approximately 150 kilometers to the east to major town with an intensive rail network. The view ‘descended’ to a lower altitude and bought up view of major grain storage facilities and rail maintenance facilities. There were also signs of significant military style emplacements near the rail complex and grain handling buildings.

“The New Hessen Armoured Scouts with one additional motor infantry and one medium tank regiment from MacGregor's Scouts are based here at the town of Banfield. The have adopted defensive positions to protect the agricultural complex, rail maintenance facilities and other likely infrastructure targets.”

Zooming out to a view of the entire planet the screen then scrolled up a list of place names, locations and descriptions.

“Referring again to your packets you will find your targets. The entire command will jump into the Alrescha system at the zenith point along with the carrier group based around FSS Enterprise. As we discovered earlier this month at Ronel, the Capellans have committed their limited naval strength in hopes of deterring or deflecting our attacks. As this is a full assault and the command has ample carrier dropships for more than 60% of the combined aerospace forces we will seek a naval battle, if offered, as soon as possible. Note that we have no information that Capellan naval forces are in system but, to ensure aerospace security, Enterprise, her escort forces and fighters will remain in high orbit once we make planetfall.”

“We will land the 8th Crucis Lancers and 1st Mechanised Brigade approximately in the level plains 20 kilometers west of Banfield. Swann’s Cavaliers will drop just 5 kilometers south of the rail facilities. While Swann moves on the rail complex the bulk of the Lancers will strike the agriculture complex. First Mechanised Brigade will adopt a broad screening position to the west and push out a forward reconnaissance force to report on the approach of MacGregor’s Scouts and the planetary defence forces if they come along to the party.”

“Once the targets at Banfield have been reduced and the New Hessan command destroyed or captured, the entire force will wheel west and come up to support Colonel Bedford's brigade. MacGregor’s Scouts are to be dispatched and spaceport occupied. Other industrial targets of opportunities can be taken out as we march west.”

Setting down his remote the Davion officer came out from behind the dais, cleared his throat, pausing as his eyes swept the room.

“Gentlemen, while our primary targets are the military formations on the planet, the grain handling facilities and rail complex are targets of opportunity and a means to draw the defenders out into open country. By striking Banfield we split the defences and can hopefully defeat the enemy in detail while divided. While we are targeting these facilities to draw out the defenders let me clear,” the major paused once again before half-turning and pointing to the screen,

“We are not going to Alrescha destroy the grain or other essential infrastructure necessary for the maintenance of the civilian population. New Avalon does not want to risk disrupting the civilian food supplies and giving the Liao regime a propaganda victory to cover a military defeat. We also do not want to spark a round or tit-for-tat reprisals that target civilians.”

“That is all for now. More details are in your packets and the memory sticks they contain.” Pausing to check his watch the major finished with, “We have about 12 hours before we boost. Return to your units and ensure your final preparations are met. Colonel Swann, Colonel Bedford, notify your liaison officers when your commands are ready.”

The major turned to the seats where Marshall Wargo and his staff were seated, “Sir, is there anything you wish to add?”

Marshall Wargo strode quickly to the dais and took the offered lapel microphone.

“Thank you major.” Turning to the assembly he added, “I only want to add that we have a strong combat force and our opponent has been bloodied badly these last few months. Don’t let that fact mislead you, the Capellans are no slouches in combat and they are fighting for their homes. They will not be push overs but victory will be ours. Good luck and we will see you on the ground.”

With that the assembled officers all rose and stood to attention, Major O’Rourke offering the collective salute to the Marshall as the force commander turned and strode down the centre aisle of chairs towards the hangar's exit.

As the assembly broke up Colonel John Talbot turned to his own commander, Richard Bedford, with a raised eyebrow quipped, “Screening position? Forward reconnaissance force? Is it just me or have we just been asked to hold off eight or ten regiments with five battalions.”

“Colonel Talbot, I am surprised at your attitude,” Bedford replied with a half-smile. “We have six battalions, or,... almost six."

More seriously, “We will look at the entire package when we get back to the dropships. Call the officers together, company and squadron commanders and their execs. Make sure Major Burgh is there."

After a brief pause, "Let’s see what kind of cards we have been dealt.”
« Last Edit: 22 May 2018, 14:51:08 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #117 on: 25 May 2018, 14:02:44 »
1800h, Dropship Clementine, Cocula Spaceport, Nopah, 25th May, 3020

The officers briefing was drawing to a close as the last questions were raised and answered by the Brigade’s command staff. There was clearly plenty not to like in the Davion plan, the timetable for clearing Banfield and defeating the New Hessan Scouts not the least of them. The good news was that the three wings of dropship transports that would carry the 8th Crucis Lancers would be concentrated in three landing sites west of the town along with the ten dropships from the 1st Mechanised Brigades which were to set down on the planet. As on Epsilon Eridani, the three Leopard aerospace carriers hired by the Brigade would remain in orbit carrying a squadron each of its light, medium and heavy fighters. The other 18 fighters would base themselves on the surface close to the three Overlord Mech carriers. The Brigade’s mission was to protect the landing sites from attack from the main forces of the Capellan garrison to the west until the 8th Crucis Lancers and Swann’s Cavaliers could dispatch the defenders of Banfield and return.

To assist with this mission the brigade was given the 2/8th Crucis Lancers Mechanised Infantry Regiment less its third battalion. The 2/8th’s third battalion mustered little more than a company, its losses from the March battle not having been replaced. This reduced battalion would form part of the landing zone security battalion along with the remains of Swann’s Cavaliers two remaining motorised infantry battalions, themselves each no larger than a large company. A medium tank battalion from 1/8th Crucis Lancers Armoured Regiment was to bring the 2/8th up to strength in order to reinforce the 1st Mechanised Brigade. Finally, the Crucis Lancers own artillery battalion would also remain behind in the drop zone, Marshall Wargo wanted his command to move as quickly as possible, and could be called on for additional fire support if not otherwise engaged.

The additional forces added three battalions to the 1st Brigade’s own four combat battalions. The mixed battalions that composed Task Forces 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 formed the main combat formation of the brigade while a reinforced Task Force 1.4, consisting entirely of fast light Mechs, hover tanks and hover APC mounted infantry, would provide reconnaissance and advanced screening. The Brigade’s own “HQ Combat Group” added a short battalion based around the Command Lance, a platoon of armour and No. 13 Commando, the Brigade’s own special operations airmobile scout company.

Providing aerospace support was the Brigade's own No. 1 Group. For this mission, Lieutenant-Colonel Philippe Valois and his second-in-command, Major Catherine Woodville, had organised the Group into three small wings, each wing consisted of two squadrons of similar class fighters, rather than two wings of 18 mixed  craft. The idea came from the major, who believed that the squadrons should be kept ‘pure’ to take advantage of their individual class characteristics. Major Woodville was also and advocate of developing the Brigade’s aerospace force into a full multi-task force that could take on any role required by the mission and that No. 1 Group should expand to three full wings with 54 aerospace fighters.

The three Davion battalions, formally dubbed the 2/8th Crucis Lancers Mechanised Regiment, would form a second formation of strictly conventional troops and were to cooperate with the Brigade in accomplishing its mission and defend the dropships and landing zones as well as cover the rear of the Lancer's attack. The term ‘cooperate’ was meant to cover the fact that a Davion Lieutenant-Colonel and regimental commander would not readily subordinate himself to a mercenary officer even though Colonel Bedford was technically his superior in rank. The orders packet was also clear that the Davion regiment also had first call on their artillery battalion.

While not entirely enthusiastic about the arrangement, including the fact that he would not have time to coordinate plans with his counterpart until making planetfall, Colonel Bedford intended to make the best of the situation as long as it did not threaten his own command. For now, he had been nurturing another plan that had occurred to him earlier that morning during the briefing at Hangar 11. As the Brigade’s own briefing was breaking up the Colonel signalled Major Thomas Burgh, commander of No. 13 Commando, Lieutenant-Colonel Talbot, his de facto second-in-command and commander of Task Force 1.1, and his own brother, Major Thomas Bedford, to remain behind. He directed them to a side table where he had a small folder with hard copies of parts of the briefing packet he had received that morning.

“Major Burgh, how are the men and women of No. 13 today?”, offering his hand to the special operations commander, nodding to the other two officers.

“Just fine , sir. Ready for your orders,” Burgh replied.

“That’s good, Tom. I think I have a special party for you and your company and I want your thoughts on using No. 13 for a high altitude insertion behind the lines to ensure we see what is coming long before it even comes over the horizon.”

Major Burgh’s arched an eye brow but his impassive face gave away little else.

“Do tell, sir. Sound like this might be right up our alley.


<<... to be continued>>
« Last Edit: 26 May 2018, 12:22:07 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #118 on: 26 May 2018, 12:33:11 »

1500h, Dropship Clementine, 29th May, 3020

In the five days since lifting off from Federated Suns world of Nopah the plan for the proposed high altitude drop behind enemy lines had been refined after two additional meetings with Major Burgh and the two officers most concerned with the plan’s execution. While it had been reduced in size considerably since Richard Bedford’s first iteration it was now considered a critical part of the Brigade’s overall plan for the assault on Alrescha. It also meant that one of the dropships would have to alter its final approach vector slightly in the final approach but if all went well it would still hit the landing zone without incident.

Thomas Burgh had almost immediately suggested that trying to insert the entire company plus two lances of light Mechs via a high altitude insertion from more than 20,000 meters as too large and too easily spotted. With the Davion navy and the mercenary’s own aerospace carriers in orbit the movement of large ground formations would be easily tracked, even if the exact type of formation may not be readily known. The terrain was mostly open country and with a few reconnaissance flights most of the missing details could be filled in from the air. Instead of placing the entire company on the ground without their transport the plan was modified to insert a surveillance force into the area near the spaceport to observe the activity of the ground and aerospace forces based there.
   
Nine handpicked members from the company led by Captain Joanna Flanders would execute the insertion at first light as the dropships thundered by south of the spaceport heading for their landing zones 120 kilometers to the east. Dressed in light pressure suits due to temperature and lack of breathable air, the approach would be steep and velocity extremely high. Once outside the dropships the high altitude would allow the teams to glide the many kilometers to the north and their own drop zone. Three teams, each consisting of a demolitions expert, sniper and communications specialist, would target their landing on the south side of a small woods five kilometers south of the spaceport near Cord. Each trio would jump with a small canister containing their special gear and once on the ground establish three listening posts within visual line-of-sight of the spaceport. As the terrain was mainly open farmland with numerous small copses of light woods they teams should have plenty of good choices for setting up and camouflaging each position.

 
The communication gear was capable of direct narrow beam signals to the mercenary dropships in low orbit, which could then be relayed to the brigade. The teams were to report activity around the spaceport and whether the enemy might be mustering forces for a major counterattack or moving troops closer to the spaceport in a prelude to evacuation. If the conditions proved favourable enough the teams would be the eyes and ears that could guide a ground drive aimed at isolating the enemy formations from the spaceport and their dropships. If so isolated, the enemy may be convinced to surrender rather than fight to the last man and risking destruction to the city of Cord.

Christened “Cavalier”, the final details would be completed en route but there was just enough time to get the suggestion to the Davion Marshall’s command dropship before the jump from the Nopah system. No one was under any illusions that the plan would be immediately accepted and that there would be numerous questions and second guessing. In the end all Major Burgh and Captain Flanders were interested in was whether it would be “go” or “no go”.

*****
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

The Purist

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Re: The First Mechanised Brigade (The Rams Head)
« Reply #119 on: 26 May 2018, 13:02:47 »
Headquarters MacGregor’s Armoured Scouts Command, Cord, Alrescha, Tikonov Commonality, 4th June, 3020

Colonel Adam Bailey was not pleased with the situation. His command had been badly mauled back in February and while replacements had been steady his command was still integrating the new troops into their sub units. The sudden news that an enemy force was approaching the planet and was less than three days from entering orbit was more bad news. The system had no recharge station and recent solar activity had obviously hidden the jump impulse given off by the attacker’s arrival. Had it not been for a chance patrol extended by a squadron leader out beyond the planets single moon, Piscium, the incoming dropships might have been missed entirely until it was too late.   

Judging from the size of the attack force it soon became clear that the Davion invaders had assault dropships and this probably meant a marked aerospace advantage. If the enemy possessed an advantage in space he would not play the game by their rules. As the enemy advanced he would monitor their approach with only his fast, agile light aerospace squadrons, avoiding combat until the attacker was committed to his final approach. This would deny the assault dropships the advantage of a space battle and they would have to enter the atmosphere if the Davion commander wanted their heavy firepower in play, placing the large cumbersome craft at a disadvantage. Once entering the atmosphere he would hurl all four wings at the dropships and try to penetrate their escorts to bring down as many loaded craft as possible. Operating in the atmosphere would make maneuvering more difficult but fighting heavy odds in space would just lead to an early defeat. With less than 48 hours before the enemy hit the atmosphere he raised the alert status of all forces to maximum and the governor declared Marshall Law.

Alrescha Defence Brigade – Aerospace

MacGregor’s Armored Scouts 1st Aerospace Wing (light) [r] - r17; Mv:6; Arm:19; S:4; M:4; L:0 – BOMB3

MacGregor’s Armored Scouts 2nd Aerospace Wing (medium) [r] - r17; Mv:6; Arm:21; S:6; M:6; L:1 – BOMB4

New Hessen Armored Scouts Aerospace Wing (light) [r] - r13; Mv:6; Arm:19; S:4; M:4; L:0 – BOMB3

Alrescha Garrison Aerospace Wing (medium) [r] – r13; Mv:6; Arm:6; Arm:21 - S:6; M:6; L:1 – BOMB4

ACS Stats (each wing) - Move:6; Tactics:4; Mor:7; Skill:4


*****


Dropship Clementine, 12 hours from orbit, Alrescha, Tikonov Commonality, 5th June, 3020


Commodore Wu’s stood easily on the bridge of the Clementine under the artificial gravity imposed by its deceleration as it approached the planet of Alrescha. Next to the Clementine’s Captain, who was also the commander of the small mercenary flotilla of dropships, stood a less comfortable Colonel Richard Bedford. Both men were focused on the main viewing screen which held the face of the Davion naval commander, one Rear Admiral Francis Drummond. All senior officers aboard Clementine as well as every other dropship in the fleet was awaiting the word to execute the final alterations of course that would commit the invasion force to the landing or direct them around the planet pending the outcome of an aerospace battle.

“Good afternoon, Gentlemen”, he began. “As we have mentioned the Capellans seem to have learned from the last few battles. They do not appear disposed to meeting us in space where we can administer a proper drubbing. I am not sure I blame them considering we have the advantage in numbers and firepower.”

Steepling his fingers in front him chair Admiral Drummond continued,

“As discussed before leaving Nopah the fact that the Capellans have begun committing their own naval assets to battle means we will need to keep Enterprise and her escorts in high orbit in case they show up. We will close with planet for a while longer in the hope of convincing the opposition we will try to punch through his aerospace defences. However, we will break off at almost the last minute and have the transports and carriers make an orbit of the planet. This will give the fighter wings time to drive off or tie down the defenders. Make your calculations to orbit the planet along the flight path being sent to you now.”

The admiral turn away from the screen briefly and gave someone off-screen a quick nod.

“While the dropships make the orbit with the Enterprise and its fighters, the fighters of the ground commands will hit the atmosphere and engage the enemy defences, shooting them down or driving them back to their bases. At the end of the orbit the troopships will then begin the landing escorted by both of Enterprise's fighter wings until their weapons are clear and they can complete the landing protected by their own guns. Once it is clear the dropships are safely on their way down the fighters will then break off and return to the Enterprise. Good luck. Drummond out.”

The view screen faded and was replaced by a magnified view of the planet, green-blue and swirled with white cloud against the black of space.

Turning to his own aerospace commander and his senior pilot's second in command Richard Bedford added, “Ok, Philippe, get the Group ready. Any final thoughts?”

“No sir, we’re ready. We will launch in one hour, no bombs.  I want every craft configured for a dogfight. We will dive straight in with the Davion and Cavalier's fighters. My only concern is that the Crucis Lancer heavy wing is not 100 per cent, even with two months to replace losses. Their third squadron has only one functional flight.”

“So,… their heavy wing is about as strong as ours then.”

Well,… yes, I suppose that is true. Glass half full, Colonel.” Valois added with a smile. “Don’t worry, we’ll clear a path for you Richard.” 

“Of that I have no doubt, Group Commander. Good luck.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Valois and Major Joanna Flanders came to attention, Philippe Valois, as senior officer, offered a sharp salute. Both officers turned on their heels, a bit more carefully under the effects of the artificial gravity, and left the bridge.

Turning to the view screen that now held the green-blue of the planet Alrescha, Richard Bedford quietly said, “Now we wait.” A casual glance at his wrist watch told him the aerospace forces would likely engage each other within the next ten or eleven hours.

Davion 8th Brigade – Aerospace Command

8th Crucis Lancers 1st Aerospace Wing (light) [r] – r15; Mv:11; Arm - 18; S:3; M:3; L:0 – BOMB3

ACS Stats - Move:11; Tactics:0; Morale:7 Skill:4

8th Crucis Lancers 2nd Aerospace Wing (heavy) [r] – r19; Mv:5; Arm - 21:27; S:9; M:9; L:3 – BOMB6

ACS Stats - Move:5; Tactics:5; Morale:7; Skill: 4

Swann’s Cavalier Heavy Aerospace Wing (heavy) [r] – v27; Mv:5; Arm – 24; S:9; M:9; L:3 – BOMB6

ACS Stats - Move:5; Tactics:4; Morale:6; Skill: 3

No. 1 Group – 504th (Nottingham) Wing (light) [r] – r14; Mv:10; Arm – 12; S:4; M:4; L:0 – BOMB2

ACS Stats - Move:10; Tactics:0; Morale:7; Skill:4

No. 1 Group – 501st (Gloucester) Wing (medium) [r] – r14; Mv:6; Arm – 12; S:5: M:6; L:2 – BOMB2

ACS Stats - Move:6; Tactics:4; Morale:7; Skill:4

No. 1 Group – 302nd (Krakow) Wing (heavy) [r] – r16; Mv:5; Arm – 19; S:8; M:8; L:4 – BOMB4

ACS Stats - Move:5; Tactics:5; Morale:7; Skill: 4

*****
« Last Edit: 02 June 2018, 11:48:49 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War