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Author Topic: ACS/ISaW Naval Forces - 3rd SW through the Brush Wars  (Read 1258 times)

The Purist

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As there are no warships or specific rules for creating naval forces (yet) in ACS/ISaW other than the Aslt and AS wings we sat down and tried to come up with a workable set of rules to use for now (3rd, 4th SW and the Brush War period).

The Aslt DS wings appear to be something of a generic conglomeration of various DS used in the game. As was discussed in another thread the number of combinations of transports and aslt DS make set Units almost impossible to list so a generic Unit makes sense. We started with using AS and A-DS as the core of the naval group. Such units are purchased outside of the Combat Command construction framework and, in fact, are not allowed to join CCs at all. We also did a rough design of a Carrier sqdn within an A-DS wing to add a bit of flavour. This sqdn is composed of a Vengeance, an Achilles and two Avenger DS and have (roughly, not an exact conversion) the following CT stats:

Move: 5; Arm: 12; S:3; M:2;L:1 with AT40 (holds two AS wings). This CT could be used for SBF or SSBF and forms part of the Carrier Aslt DS wing for ACS. This sqdn can only be bought with its two fighter wings (to ensure the cost is high).

For ACS the carrier sqdn joins two regular A-DS and ends up with stats of:

CC, DC, FS, LC - Move:4; Arm:36; S:9; M:10; L:7. The transport values vary by House. Note that at least two fighter wings must be purchased for the carrier sqdn.

FWL - Move:4; Arm:33; S:9; M:9; L:3. Same as above for transport values and the required fighter wings.

Periphery - Move:4; Arm:54; S:13; M:16; L:7. Same as above for transport values and the required fighter wings.

The RP cost for the carrier wing is 36 plus the cost of mandatory fighter wings (and any JS). Fluff has the Vengeance being built in only three locations (one each in the DC, FS and FWL). As such we allow for one being built per year in the DC, one in the FWL and two per year in the FS. This production slot can be sold, traded, swapped as players wish (diplomacy?)

A-DS wings are purchased individually and are grouped into TFs of various sizes which then move as any other CC from system to system. The only difference is they can be broken up as needed.

With these basic rules we figure it is possible to defend jump points or hold "naval" forces closer to a planet to guard against pirate jump points.

These TFs can 'train' at training centers like of CCs as well as carry out most other movement and combat missions. They are treated in all respects as 'flexible' Naval Combat Commands.

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We also have found that large AS battles can be time consuming and have started 'doubling up' wings to reduce the number of CUs in a battle (and fewer dice to roll). Since AS fighter sqdns are allowed to be as large as 6 Units (flights) and a wing can hold four sqdns with a max of 40 Elements, oversized sqdns and wings (36 Elements) do not violate the rules.
« Last Edit: 20 July 2017, 17:26:50 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

SCC

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Re: ACS/ISaW Naval Forces - 3rd SW through the Brush Wars
« Reply #1 on: 23 June 2017, 06:28:22 »
Personally I'd assume that every regiment/combat command gets DS transport for free as part of it's set up costs.

And 1SW has costs for assault weight aero wings, which don't exist, I'd say they could well be DS groups that don't come free with other unit types, so the only stuff be don't have construction rules for are WarShips, and there we only need costs (I'd assume they'd have to be built at shipyards)

The Purist

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Re: ACS/ISaW Naval Forces - 3rd SW through the Brush Wars
« Reply #2 on: 23 June 2017, 09:05:43 »
Generic transports are the way we are going as the Aslt DS wing do not have the necessary transport capacity for the combat commands. By the time you purchased enough DS-A wings to carry all the vehicles and infantry there would be a massive surplus in mech and AS capacity.

As we are playing late 3rd SW to (potentially) the Clan invasion our intent is to use the DS-A wings as to clear path for the "off map" transports. If you win the AS battle you can land, lose it and,... we haven't really decided how to handle that. Simple solution is the transports don't arrive, the RP spent on the moves in ISaW are lost and the usual supply costs are imposed as per the orders chosen.

Trying to figure out what would happen to transports when attacked by 2, 3, 4 or more fighter wings and assault DS would probably result in a massacre. So far as I know from the various novels and canon history such massacres appear to be relatively unheard of in large scale operations.
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

Onion2112

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Re: ACS/ISaW Naval Forces - 3rd SW through the Brush Wars
« Reply #3 on: 15 May 2018, 21:04:24 »
Hi Purist,

I know this is an older post, but I was wondering how your rules for Assault Dropships were working out in your campaign?
Or if you had any further modifications?

Also did you set restrictions on where these Wings could be built/placed?
ie for FWL only available on Clipperton or Loyalty (and probably others)

I ask as although the 3/4 SW scenario doesn't list naval yards on its factory list, the 1/2 SW scenarios does, and I wondered if you may have incorporated this information..

Have any/many of the players heavily bought into purchasing these Wings?

The Purist

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Re: ACS/ISaW Naval Forces - 3rd SW through the Brush Wars
« Reply #4 on: 16 May 2018, 13:42:52 »
We are certainly using this rule but we have tightened it up a bit to better meet the ISaW Combat Command requirements.

These bullet points sum up the requirements:

- a naval command requires a  minimum of three Aslt A/S wings and these must have jumpships. Any ground troops or lt/med/hvy AS wings added did not need jumpships if the cargo capacity could hold them. The command cannot be broken up and the CV wing cannot enter the atmosphere (for obvious reasons).

- we also did a closer conversion of the CV Sqn to come up with better CT values. The adjustments were minor although the CV wing is still powerful but with a smaller RP cost (30 RP). A true CV wing must have two ASF wings purchased with it. A command with no carrier wing is not so restricted.

- the "one and only one" Mech regiment requirement was dropped when it was realized that the regiment would likely be dropped on the first available available enemy planet to be disposed of or used as armour replacement points to save on supply costs. Instead we added 16 RP (light reg't's RP cost) to the cost of the command. We may drop that too, an open discussion item.

- thanks to Worktroll we have the shipyards that were available for the 3025 era and naval commands must be raised there. Players have all saved at least one training centre for a shipyard planet (if required).

- using the fluff canon we limit carrier wings to production in the DC (1 every 12 months), FWL (1 every 12 months) and FS (1 every 6 months). The production slot must be used or lost and at least a full 6 or 12 month cycle must elapse before another can be built. If the navy does not call for a new CV wing, the companies build other dropships. New production can be sold to the CC and LC by the producers (none sold so far but then again, none built).

The result is a quite expensive "Naval Command" that are actually pretty hard to kill. While they do get shot up, killing Aslt DS wings is not easy and the CV wings are a few points stronger (about 3 points on avaerage except the FWL which is 3 points weaker). Thus far only the DC has lost a full naval command when the Karishima and two regular Aslt DS wings went down over Kessel. Two other commands were shot up but they also mangled five LC naval commands. Thus far the DC has  not laid out the large cost for a replacement command.

I was surprised players have seldom added more than two or three ASF wings to the naval commands until I realized they were saving the empty capacity for the AS wings in the ground commands that were part of an invasion or defence. This way the naval commands could "carry in" extra wings and fight in the Periphery zones, not something the rules allow if the generic transport units are used.

Naval commands spice up the 'interstellar' game as they make assaulting a planet protected by such a command something of a challenge (they are usually deployed in pairs if available). They make raiding problematic and when combined with ground based wings can make an approach to a planet tricky. They tend to attract each other and the outcome of a naval battle can decide a campaign (depending on what both sides can bring to the battle). No one has added Aslt AS wings to ground formations yet as they have terrible tactics values and take serious punishment from ground fire. Unless absolutely needed for ground support they tend to stay in orbit to help battered wings recover morale during a battle (if one lasts long enough for morale to matter).
 
Sample cost for a reliable green Naval Command might be (CV wing) (30x2 [js]) + (24x2 [js]) + (24x2 [js]) + 12 (med AS wing) + 15 (hvy AS wing) x 1.5 [reliable] = 275 RP (366 RP).
« Last Edit: 23 August 2018, 23:41:35 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

worktroll

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Re: ACS/ISaW Naval Forces - 3rd SW through the Brush Wars
« Reply #5 on: 15 June 2018, 20:27:34 »
One experience we're not keen to repeat from the series of strategic-level "Grand Council" games of the past, is the "aero stack of doom" phenomenon.

Short form, the biggest aero force always wins. If you lose aero, you lose all. Which distracts from the giant stompiness ;)

Yes, it may be real-world accurate. But BT is not always real-world accurate, quineg?

W.
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
* The Housebook series is from the 80's and is the foundation of Btech, the 80's heart wrapped in heavy metal that beats to this day - Sigma
* To sum it up: FASAnomics: By Cthulhu, for Cthulhu - Moonsword
* Because Battletech is a conspiracy by Habsburg & Bourbon pretenders - MadCapellan
* The Hellbringer is cool, either way. It's not cool because it's bad, it's cool because it's bad with balls - Nightsky
* It was a glorious time for people who felt that we didn't have enough Marauder variants - HABeas2, re "Empires Aflame"

The Purist

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Re: ACS/ISaW Naval Forces - 3rd SW through the Brush Wars
« Reply #6 on: 16 June 2018, 14:01:41 »
We had similar thoughts regarding "death stars" and the like both on the SSRM and PCM. Elsewhere I mentioned the largest land and a/s battle we had was at Kessel. The build up of commands on and above the planet culminated in a battle involving 20 ground commands and 10 more "naval". Needless to say it took weeks to resolve before the LC abandoned hope of winning the attrition battle and withdrew.

As we have seen over years with other games that face such a dilema due to open ended rules, I have been mooting "command limits" for maximum forces allowed in a fight. The obvious choice is to base this on the force commander's rating. As per the table on page 367 a veteran commander might max out at 6 ground commands but leadership rating of 4 could be used to limit the number of naval commands. I believe you already know what an a/s battle involving some 70 wings looks like  :o
« Last Edit: 20 August 2018, 13:05:21 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

worktroll

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Re: ACS/ISaW Naval Forces - 3rd SW through the Brush Wars
« Reply #7 on: 16 June 2018, 16:12:11 »
I like that idea. (thinks)
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
* The Housebook series is from the 80's and is the foundation of Btech, the 80's heart wrapped in heavy metal that beats to this day - Sigma
* To sum it up: FASAnomics: By Cthulhu, for Cthulhu - Moonsword
* Because Battletech is a conspiracy by Habsburg & Bourbon pretenders - MadCapellan
* The Hellbringer is cool, either way. It's not cool because it's bad, it's cool because it's bad with balls - Nightsky
* It was a glorious time for people who felt that we didn't have enough Marauder variants - HABeas2, re "Empires Aflame"

Alsadius

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Re: ACS/ISaW Naval Forces - 3rd SW through the Brush Wars
« Reply #8 on: 16 June 2018, 20:54:45 »
One experience we're not keen to repeat from the series of strategic-level "Grand Council" games of the past, is the "aero stack of doom" phenomenon.

Short form, the biggest aero force always wins. If you lose aero, you lose all. Which distracts from the giant stompiness ;)

I haven't played ISaW or similar, but from a design point of view the natural counters there would seem to be fixed defences and the gigantic size of the Inner Sphere. It does you no good to have a Stack o'Doom that can beat your enemy's fleet if it's so far away from where your enemy is attacking that it'll take six months for it to show up. Given that every nation has long, sprawling borders, this means you'll need to split things up at least a moderate amount no matter what you do. And once you split them up, a nation with no great WarShip fleet can still wear down any attackers through use of in-system assets like fighters, DropShips, and stations, or it can launch deep strikes on the infrastructure that supports the WarShips and let them wither.

The Purist

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Re: ACS/ISaW Naval Forces - 3rd SW through the Brush Wars
« Reply #9 on: 16 June 2018, 23:50:51 »
That is true to a point but an offensive towards major industrial areas would naturally draw in the naval assets. One counter to naval stacks are the fighter garrisons. The extra fighters granted to even a minor industrial world can make a difference.  We have allowed garrison wings to be non-standard, or built from squadrons so the best use of the points can be achieved. Like the ground  garrisons once they are set the wing's  composition is fixed. Details are noted in the appropriate cell of the spreadsheet.
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

 

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