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Author Topic: ISaW 3145 Faction Abilities?  (Read 695 times)

Iracundus

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ISaW 3145 Faction Abilities?
« on: 04 May 2018, 21:39:57 »
Is there any official list of 3145/3150 Faction Abilities?

I've been wondering for example if the Federated Suns still has Superior Doctrine and Brilliant Minds.  Certainly under Caleb, it could be argued that they lost Superior Doctrine though not to the point of getting Flawed Doctrine. 

If there is no official list, maybe we can brainstorm up a list of Abilities for all the factions in this era?

Onion2112

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Re: ISaW 3145 Faction Abilities?
« Reply #1 on: 07 May 2018, 10:29:20 »
My interpretation of the Federated Suns superior doctrine is that it’s related to their use of combined arms - which no one else really does as well. So even despite the influence of Caleb I’d lean towards them retaining that particular faction ability in 3145/50

For the Federated Suns in this era I’d consider adding a Production Specialist: Battle Armour attribute mainly due to the fact they apparently field greater numbers of battle armour than other factions ie 1-2 “reinforced” battle armour regiment per RCT or LCT.


Onion2112

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Re: ISaW 3145 Faction Abilities?
« Reply #2 on: 07 May 2018, 20:48:35 »
For the Raven Alliance, my opinion is to maintain some of the elements of the 3/4SW Outworlds Alliance, except drop the Lostech: Battlemechs (primarily the Snow Raven influence) and Flawed doctrine.

Most Clans in my opinion would have Superior doctrine, except maybe the Snow Ravens, as they are overly Aerospace centric, but I would just leave that aspect empty (or generic) for them, but I'd remove the Flawed Doctrine from the old Outworlds Alliance, in re-incarnation as the Raven Alliance, as the Raven influence would likely have at least fixed this.

I'd definitely maintain "Unsteady" for their ground forces.

Obviously keep Production Specialist: Aerospace & decentralised state.

Iracundus

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Re: ISaW 3145 Faction Abilities?
« Reply #3 on: 08 May 2018, 07:07:11 »
I would argue the Federated Suns has lost Superior Doctrine and is now just generic level.  Why? 

Quote
"Decades of relative peace led to complacency and a drop in readiness, as the AFFS slackened many of its training programs and discontinued its March-wide war games.  The constant pressure to draw down militaries saw the Suns decommission nearly all their National Guard Mech forces, leaving planets again protected primarily by conventional tanks.  The age-old specter of "social generalism" found fertile ground in the return to the neo-chivalric ideals of the SUccession Wars.  This saw such blunders as assigning Marshal Aaron Rosenblatt, a man of no real military skill, to command a premiere front-line command.

...

Jon Davion and his hand-picked successor, Davion-Roos, had spent the last five decades decentralizing the command structure, setting up independent supply lines, and hardening the Davion army against another decapitating blow like the Jihad.  Caleb Davion wiped away nearly all their reforms in his first five years in office.  Despite the HPG network failure and the time it added to all communications, Caleb had returned his nation to a system where all command authority ran back to New Avalon.

p. 71 Field Manual 3145

Similarly while the Clans might certainly have Fanatic Offense and definitely State Run, I am doubtful about Superior Doctrine as they buy into the cult of the Mechwarrior even more.  That was how the Clans got defeated in the first Invasion despite having superior technology.  They likely also had Inferior Foreign Intelligence.  I see the Clans advantage lying in having higher Technology Ratings.

If I had to take a stab at 3145, I would think of the following (Inner Sphere Houses for now, in alphabetical order), though admittedly many are largely unchanged because I am not convinced there is enough evidence to argue for a faction wide advantage or disadvantage:

Capellan Confederation:
Closed State, Poison Pill, State Run, Superior Black Ops

Draconis Combine:
Fanatical Offense, Fanatical Defense, State Run, Superior Black Ops

Federated Suns:
Brightest Minds, Decentralized State, Open State, Superior Counterintelligence

Any case to be made for Dug-In, or Fanatical Defense?

Free Worlds League:
Decentralized State, Inferior Black Ops, Inferior Counterintelligence, Merchant King, Parliamentary Chaos, Supply Problems

Is SAFE in 3145 still that bad?  If not, then maybe shed some disadvantages

Lyran Commonwealth:
Flawed Doctrine, Merchant King, Superior Black Ops, Superior Counterintelligence

The dire state of the Commonwealth could be argued to be reason for a whole host of disadvantages from Supply Problems to Stalled economy or Unstead (since there is a line in Field Manual 3145 about some balking at following the Archon's orders).   However I am wary of just piling on disadvantages.
« Last Edit: 08 May 2018, 08:03:43 by Iracundus »

Onion2112

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Re: ISaW 3145 Faction Abilities?
« Reply #4 on: 08 May 2018, 21:55:08 »
Incidentally, prior to your post I had actually been trying to come up with my own 3145 list of faction attributes, but had been procrastinating - so thanks for getting this ball rolling.

Sorry to harp on one attribute, but my belief that Superior Doctrine was given to the Federated Suns in the ISaW game primarily as a bonus, given that their Standard Combat Command composition (unlike any other faction in 3025) are already a fully contained unit - ie an RCT. So for game purposes this was given to reflect this, and I think its warranted. Whereas all the other factions CC's would be more ad hoc type formations and less likely to be as co-ordinated. Also this attribute didn't exist for the FS in either the 1SW or 2 SW scenarios, and the FS RCT concept was introduced in the 3SW.

And even by 3145 and despite the disruption of Caleb, the RCT didn't disappear (for me an LCT is just a 40% sized RCT), and almost the whole army is organized this way

Even despite by 3145 most nations have copied this to a small extent, it is really only a combat command of 1 unit of each type (more like a mercenary CC)...not the massive Combat Command size of an RCT

I have/had previously read those parts of the FM:3145 you have posted and considered these affects on the Fed Suns military.

For me the drop in readiness and poor training, is reflected in the individual units experience and loyalty (and even strength %) ie 3143/44 there were probably a lot more green units....but the battle experience most units would have gained would have removed some of this. The 1st Periphery Guards and 1st Avalon Hussars are both mentioned as being ceremonial units needing retraining. Id even suggest the pre-exile Julian exile rating of the 1st Davion Guards would have been Green or Regular. Then theres the Questionable 3rd Fed Suns ACav which is related to its poor unit cohesion (the E to V drop for the 1st FS AC is another example or poor training etc...).

Just looking at the Fed Suns order of battle it has a more questionable loyalty feel about it, which has negative side affects in the ACS system, questionable loyalty is also a side affect of poor commanders, lack of cohesion or lack of supplies.

The AFFS decommissioning of National Guard mech units for me means...no garrison mech units when rolling for random Fed Suns garrisons - but most inner sphere republic era states (except maybe Liao) appeared to decommission their garrison mech units.

As for the decentralised command structure created by Jon Davion and Ms Davion-Roos....well the Fed Suns in 3025 (despite being a decentralized state) must have had a centralized command structure (I'm not sure this statement is true in anyway given the independence of the march lords (even militarily) - the Victoria War and Draconis Reach conflict being examples even in the Republic era)

The Command stagnation post Palmyra could easily be reflected in a temporary "Command Stagnation" attribute until Julian pops up again for me in a 3145 ISaW game scenario this would be no offensive operations by AFFS forces until he reaches a capital world of some sort. Or just add "unsteady" until he pops up.

Anyway that's an essay

With the Lyrans, I would remove "flawed doctrine" - I don't think my argument above about the "superior doctrine" of the Fed Suns RCT applies here, plus the Lyrans no longer seems to use the LCT, and have actually disbanded some RCTs, and have quite a few more "free" mech regiments compared to the AFFS. I would add "unsteady" as this seems to fit the current status of the Lyrans.

With the "new" re-unified FWL, I would remove the parliamentary chaos, given the two main causes of the chaos in the first place (Andurien & Regulus) are now independent states. Not sure about the SAFE problems

The Capellans could be considered for Fanatical Defense, possibly even fanatical offense, or even dug in....I'm not sure about these - their improved military deserves some sort of bonus in my belief though.

Id leave the Draconis Combine as is
« Last Edit: 08 May 2018, 21:58:42 by Onion2112 »

Iracundus

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Re: ISaW 3145 Faction Abilities?
« Reply #5 on: 09 May 2018, 07:24:47 »
Some quick thoughts off the cuff:

I don't see that many questionable units in the Field Manual.  While they still have LCT/RCT's they have also resurrected some degree of "social generalism" in the general culture, and social generals are one of the examples given in IO as warranting Flawed Doctrine.  The great centralization under Caleb (to the point where a unit was unable to purchase office supplies for 6 months due to Caleb failing to approve a purchase request) would have caused a lot of paralysis and waiting for superiors to give approval before budging approach.  It is not just about the individual units' quality or loyalty, or the occasional incompetent political appointee commander, but the overall internal culture.  The combined effects of these IMO would offset any benefit from LCTs/RCTs, enough anyway to abstractly be a wash at the ISaW level, meaning a generic level. 

The Lyrans may have absorbed enough in the FedCom era to remove the Flawed Doctrine perhaps. 

Not sure I know enough about the new FWL to really get a good grasp of their situation.  Although the two main troublemakers became independent, I am not sure the others would necessarily be that much more united.  I got the feel that the new FWL came about due to individual members realizing they would be picked off individually by the Lyrans or Wolves otherwise

For the Capellans, Fanatical Defense and Dug-In (along with Despotic State and Stalled Economy) were more appropriate perhaps during the Romano Liao era, against the Canopians and Anduriens.  Not so much in the 3145 era.
« Last Edit: 09 May 2018, 07:29:06 by Iracundus »

Onion2112

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Re: ISaW 3145 Faction Abilities?
« Reply #6 on: 09 May 2018, 09:29:50 »
In 3039 3 of 94 AFFS units were questionable
In the FM:FS (just before a civil war) 7 of 96 are questionable (but 3 of these 7 are Sarna March units)
In 3145 13 of 71 are questionable (with 3 of the 71 being with Julian)
It’s not far from 20% which is a significant jump - poor leadership does impact loyalty/reliability 

The doctrine of using the RCT/LCT (with its associated combined arms) is what is a superior doctrine

Supply problems would  fit under the supply problems attribute

My opinion is that the description for flawed doctrine in the ISaW isn’t actually describing a doctrine - and I’d suggest this is why it wasn’t applied to the FS in the 1SW scenario. Plus the Lyrans until the 4SW always had a doctrine that was all about using as many Heavy and Assault mechs as possible, with no real tactics - this was the flawed doctrine.



Iracundus

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Re: ISaW 3145 Faction Abilities?
« Reply #7 on: 09 May 2018, 09:37:59 »
I did pose a question as to whether it was an error in the 1st SW scenario, since the very description of Flawed Doctrine in IO cites the example of the Suns in the 1st SW with its internally divisive military.  The other example given was Steiner's social generals, not specifically about wanting as many Assaults as possible.  Both these examples suggest it is the overall culture permeating the military at all levels, rather than specifics about individual units' experience or loyalties, or their individual commanders. 

Is there any hope of getting an official list of abilities?
« Last Edit: 09 May 2018, 09:46:48 by Iracundus »

Onion2112

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Re: ISaW 3145 Faction Abilities?
« Reply #8 on: 09 May 2018, 10:09:38 »
Yes the IO description under flawed doctrine does make it sound that way, and really it is describing a Flawed Command Structure

Perhaps when the Shattered Fortress book comes out there might be a ISaW scenario

worktroll

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Re: ISaW 3145 Faction Abilities?
« Reply #9 on: 15 May 2018, 07:04:30 »
For the record, I've just gone through all the background matter I have access to, and there's no factional abilities for Dark Age. Tech levels, yes, but not factional abilities.

I'm thinking "Leader's Imaginary Friend" needs to be included.
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Onion2112

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Re: ISaW 3145 Faction Abilities?
« Reply #10 on: 15 May 2018, 21:23:46 »
Probably not in 3145 as the Mason problem got “cured” on Palmyra in 3144

3135ish it’s valid though, Sorry this is weak but maybe it could be called the Russell Crowe ability? Since Caleb seems to be inspired by elements of characters in two of his movies? Or perhaps Commodus Nash ability

worktroll

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Re: ISaW 3145 Faction Abilities?
« Reply #11 on: 15 May 2018, 22:09:09 »
If Liao never got "BatShit Crazy God-Emperor" ability ... ;)
* 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"

Iracundus

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Re: ISaW 3145 Faction Abilities?
« Reply #12 on: 16 May 2018, 09:33:41 »
Leader abilities is something else entirely from faction abilities IMO.  I did wish there were more actual "ruling" actions or things for ISaW players to do to give the feel of being a House Lord.  My idea would be abilities that only have time limited or location limited effects.

Obvious abilities for leaders include giving a bonus (or penalty) to combat where the leader is actually located, to represent particular military skill , or ability to inspire troops (or the opposite).  Economic abilities might include giving a bonus to the RP production of a world that the leader is on. 

Of course such opens up covert ops opportunity such as assassination. 
« Last Edit: 16 May 2018, 09:35:36 by Iracundus »