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Author Topic: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?  (Read 2106 times)

Hellraiser

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #30 on: 13 August 2018, 12:05:01 »
actually it is not wise to rely on this.. a good clan player can easily exploit terrain to engage your force piece meal, especially given the clan mechs will have a mobility advantage over most IS heavies and assaults.

And a good IS player isn't going to make that easy.

Clan big boys like the Warhawk-C that I mentioned are not going to have any sort of mobility advantage & will get steam rolled in a Skill/Range v/s Tonnage/Numbers match up.


Clan Mediums are hands down the deadliest weight class against your typical IS forces.   The Grendel on unlimited terrain is nearly immortal.

Remove large/limitless maps from that equation & IS Numbers/Mass has a much better chance.

That said, in the above case, its still a coin toss v/s my original example where I'll bet on the IS side almost every time.
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Paul

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #31 on: 13 August 2018, 13:16:26 »
To respond to Paul . . .

Doesn't look like we'll end up agreeing. That's OK.


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if there was a Shadow Cat B was in the Falcon force its star mates would have to keep 6 hexes away to avoid using the ECM bubble?

Yep.


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I do not think so, the friendly ECM bubble is part of the battlefield terrain.

I find that stance indefensible. The duel is being interfered with by an outside force, be it Clan or IS.
Now, the slightest of interference doesn't result in a nullification of the duel or a TOG between Clanners, but that doesn't change what it is. If you want ECM, bring it yourself, don't rely on an ally that just happens to be close enough, even if those proximity circumstances aren't suspect.


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It WOULD be a violation of a Trial if say someone had charged into Roderick & Stephanie's trial to put Roderick in a ECM bubble- but if there was a battle ready IS mech (or Clan) that formed the Circle as invited, then its ECM bubble would be terrain in that circle just as any woods or building.

'That formed the circle as invited'
Huh?


Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #32 on: 13 August 2018, 13:28:35 »
I find that stance indefensible. The duel is being interfered with by an outside force, be it Clan or IS.
Now, the slightest of interference doesn't result in a nullification of the duel or a TOG between Clanners, but that doesn't change what it is. If you want ECM, bring it yourself, don't rely on an ally that just happens to be close enough, even if those proximity circumstances aren't suspect.

I'm finding I agree with Colt Ward on this particular issue.  If ECM happens to be on the battlefield for any reason, it's essentially "terrain".  If the Trial is being fought in a minefield, the Trial isn't called into question if someone takes damage from a mine.  Sure, if one party dishonorably seeds the grounds prior to the start of the trial with mines, that's another thing entirely. 

But I'm not seeing a member of the Circle of Equals emitting ECM as the same thing as boobytrapping the battleground.  Is there any indication that a Circle of Equals consisting of mechwarriors piloting their 'mechs are expected to power any equipment down?  And if not, why would ECM be uniquely expected to be shut down?  ECM affects both sides equally. Yet if your side feels the other side is getting more of an advantage than yours by the ECM, then you don't invite mechwarriors piloting ECM mechs to participate in the Circle of Equals.

Besides, the radius of an ECM bubble coming from the edge of the battleground isn't gonna make a big impact unless the agreed-upon battlefield is a single 16x17 hex mapsheet.. and even then it's still highly manageable.
« Last Edit: 13 August 2018, 13:32:02 by Tai Dai Cultist »

Colt Ward

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #33 on: 13 August 2018, 14:02:21 »
Paul, in the Anvil Stephanie invited Roderick's unit to form part of the Circle of Equals for their Trial of Possession.  The cluster she rode with formed the rest of the Circle while the remaining regiments and clusters held positions IIRC.
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Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #34 on: 13 August 2018, 14:09:54 »
Paul, in the Anvil Stephanie invited Roderick's unit to form part of the Circle of Equals for their Trial of Possession.  The cluster she rode with formed the rest of the Circle while the remaining regiments and clusters held positions IIRC.

and if my memory serves, they formed a circle a kilometer across. A bubble with a 180m radius doesn't take a very big bite out of that area.

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #35 on: 13 August 2018, 15:01:31 »
If ECM happens to be on the battlefield for any reason, it's essentially "terrain".  If the Trial is being fought in a minefield, the Trial isn't called into question if someone takes damage from a mine.  Sure, if one party dishonorably seeds the grounds prior to the start of the trial with mines, that's another thing entirely. 

I cannot bridge your illogical stance.
If I Thunder LRM a location in the Circle of Equals, you're telling me that's not interference?



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Is there any indication that a Circle of Equals consisting of mechwarriors piloting their 'mechs are expected to power any equipment down? 

There should be. Using a unit to form the circle is only done in unaugmented Trials. It shouldn't be (and until recently, wasn't) done with active units. You reckon that might be because of the problems it introduces?
Just because a novel writer does something, doesn't mean it's correct or logical. We may have to live with it, but that's another issue.


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ECM affects both sides equally.

????
No. My team's ECM affects you, not me.


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then you don't invite mechwarriors piloting ECM mechs to participate in the Circle of Equals.

Corrected.



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Besides, the radius of an ECM bubble coming from the edge of the battleground isn't gonna make a big impact unless the agreed-upon battlefield is a single 16x17 hex mapsheet.. and even then it's still highly manageable.

So's not being there at all. Or having the system shut down.


Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #36 on: 13 August 2018, 15:09:11 »
I cannot bridge your illogical stance.
If I Thunder LRM a location in the Circle of Equals, you're telling me that's not interference?

No, I'm saying if the trial is on a pre-existing minefield that's something that just has to be dealt with by the participants.  Just as an ECM bubble is on the edge of the "playing area".  If the ECM mech leaves the circle and enters the interior of the battlefield, THAT'd be analogous to firing Thunders into the Trial.

To use another terrain analogy for ECM:  if there's buildings on side A's "deployment zone" for cover/standing in but not in B's... obviously that's an advantage for A.  But it's just something B has to deal with/overcome.  Same as "friendly" ECM potentially being present along some edge of the battle.


Quote
...
There should be. Using a unit to form the circle is only done in unaugmented Trials. It shouldn't be (and until recently, wasn't) done with active units. You reckon that might be because of the problems it introduces?
Just because a novel writer does something, doesn't mean it's correct or logical. We may have to live with it, but that's another issue.

Well I can't claim to have never decreed myself having a better understanding of the BTU than this writer or that.. so I feel where you're coming from.  But it's not a recent development for the Clans and their Rules to be terribly "flexible" depending on the circumstances.  Could I see a mech participating in the Circle of Equals emitting ECM being a problem?  Sure.  Can I ALSO see the same circumstance NOT being a problem?  Also, sure.
« Last Edit: 13 August 2018, 15:11:52 by Tai Dai Cultist »

Paul

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #37 on: 13 August 2018, 15:16:15 »
If the ECM mech leaves the circle and enters the interior of the battlefield, THAT'd be analogous to firing Thunders into the Trial.

Here we find common ground.
I'll note that Colt Ward seemed to indicate earlier that he'd have no problem with that event. Maybe I misunderstood that.


Lagbreaker

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #38 on: 13 August 2018, 17:23:35 »
What are people's thoughts about the best strategies for the Inner Sphere to use against Clan forces (that is, Clan tech and Clan-level skill of pilots)?

In particular:

(1) It seems to me like the light weight class of IS units is pretty doomed against the Clans, due to the ease of hitting fast-moving units with Clan pulse lasers.  So if an IS player wants fast units, they should probably choose fast mediums or heavies rather than light units that rely mainly on speed for defense.  Does that sound right?

(2) Should you take as many long-range weapons as possible?  Or give up on the long-range game and just try to close in to short range and fight the battle there?

(3) What about if you're trying to take on the Clans with 3025 tech?

(4) Just in general: what works against the Clans given their many advantages?

(Obviously this is intended for those eras when the IS has no access to Clan tech)

My thoughts from a purely game mechanical point of view:

1) You can use lights, but don´t overdo it. Your lights should mount pulse lasers and have good armor.
Check the armor on your lights. A single Gauss or cER-PPC hit (or 2 hits from a medium pulse laser) shouldn´t be enough to take off a leg or a side torso.
If you select IS units restricted by faction than sometimes you wont have a good light mech pick. In that case you have to rely on mediums to fill that role.
You can also take light vehicles instead of light mechs. The Minion, the Lightning are fast and accurate. For longer range firepower the Main Gauche, or Scorpion (LRM) are decent an cheap tanks.

2) I rarely would skip long range weapons entirely, clan opponent or not. It´s entirely possible to end up having more raw long range firepower than your clan opponent if you focus on that aspect. In my experience it is uncomfortable for clanners if you can field multiple long range weapons per mech and (somewhat) keep up in movement speed.
For example for heavies you can use depending on the era:

Grand dragon-5K, Maelstrom, Ninja-To, Argus-2d, Rakshasa-1A, Hercules, etc.

Or you can go the 4/6 speed wall of steel route (FWL is quite good for this):

Orion, Perseus, Apollo, Warhammer, Blackjack Omni-E, Avatar-O, -B, -C, etc.

BV-wise, you want to have the most bang for you buck. Mechs like the Falconer are not good value in a BV game, even if the fluff depicts is as a nemesis against clan. In that price range you could field a Warhammer-9d. I is just as fast, sturdier and more accurate.


For close range combat focus on speed, armor and (pulse) firepower. Premier examples are the Wraith an the Lightray-4W. They can hunt down clan lights and mediums, backstab or charge heavier and slower units. Good heavy examples are the Black Hawk KU, Rakshasa-2A, Ti Tsang, etc.
 
3) Same principles apply but w/o pulse lasers.

4) As others have allready mentioned terrain and map size are important.

In general, flat featureless terrain that isnt to big tends to favour the IS. You need fewer turns to get into closer range and there is nowhere to camp/hide for your opponent. The more terrain there is the more a clanner is able to leverage the firepower, or more abstractly the BV imbalance, by exposing himself to only one IS unit, while obstructing LoS to all others.

Map Size is something you have to negotiate with your opponent. I´d comfortably play with a trinary of clan mechs vs an IS opponent and equal BV on a 3x3 map (roughtly 50 x 50 in megamek). Plenty of room to move, flank, backstab and camp IMHO. Other clan players might disagree and mumble something about phone booths.

Colt Ward

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #39 on: 13 August 2018, 17:32:35 »
So a few things . . .

First, we do have other instances of mechs forming the Circle of Equals or at least hanging at places around that battlefield-

Anastasia's last fight with Alaric was inside a Circle composed of Wolf mechs & vehicles.  Nik Kerensky was killed when he responded to Widowmaker mechs violating the circle, not only were Widowmaker mechs, probably Wolf mechs, and other Clan leadership mechs observing the Trial as part of the Circle.
 I want to say there is a instance of it in Roar of Honor when its a single combat, and we have implications that in some cases a commander's previous bid is waiting outside the Circle to be called in.  But I would not expect mechs/vehicles to form the Circle when we are talking about a terrain feature (BlaBlah Woods, Yadayada Mountains), African continent, or the whole world.

Second, IF a mech moved into the circle and ran about it would be a violation- if it had ECM or not.  What I was suggesting as still being terrain in the strictest sense was a mech forming the circle.  One of my early examples was a mech moving about its own fight as part of the Trial inside the same Circle- one of the regional type Circles rather than '2 square klicks' type where you can see across it.

To use the JF Coventry example . . . if I am RP'ing a Falcon (for some reason) sibko warrior on Coventry for a Trial of Position and my cluster has been ordered to follow strict zell (say Level 2 guidelines) we go against the entrenched Lyran/ELH/WD forces.  My star hit the line and challenges opposing forces of equal worth.  My Summoner has challenged a Salamander 6S- I know it has Artemis IV- and I want to get in close enough to use the UAC/20 to open up that assault.  Instead of running through woods, or putting woods between me and my opponent, I follow my starmate in his Shadow Cat B and place the Shadow Cat's ECM between us.  Meanwhile the Shadow Cat pilot is maneuvering against a Lyran heavy or whatever and is not moving under my orders or direction in any way to give me benefit- the Shadow Cat is maneuvering in order to gain his own advantage against the Lyran.  Which is fluff/story for the fight, but SHOULD be how a RP'er behaves even IF controlling all Clan forces- each point should move independently of the others though I admit I do have a hard time being wide open for a doublecross from IS players.
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Kitsune413

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #40 on: 14 August 2018, 03:19:04 »
You said for era's without advanced tech....

Ask your opponent to bid.... choose your force and ask him to only take the forces he thinks can defeat it.

Other wise they just gobble up pre-star league era tech and knock around Star League tech pretty good too.
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Sabelkatten

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #41 on: 14 August 2018, 08:08:49 »
Well, arguably the most interesting way to do it is to design an IS force, then both players bid to be the clan player - lowest BV bid gets to be clan. :)

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #42 on: 14 August 2018, 10:57:49 »
Yeah that sounds super fun. :)
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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #43 on: 14 August 2018, 11:05:58 »
For bidding I prefer a variation of the Tukayyid system, I think it holds closer to the fluff of how they bid.

But yeah, I have thought about doing the same for a Invasion era campaign.
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massey

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #44 on: 14 August 2018, 11:48:53 »
In my experience, you want standard engines, thick armor, close range firepower, and heavy terrain.  Clans will eat you up at range, but if you can keep out of line of sight long enough you'll force the Clan player to come to you to engage.

Battletech weapon design has always been a balance between damage, weight, heat, and range.  Clan missiles have a huge advantage in weight, and the other Clan weapons tend to have advantages in damage and range.  If you can eliminate the range advantage with your movement selections (by keeping out of LOS or staying in heavy terrain), you even the odds to a degree.

Clan mechs also can't carry any more armor than you.  Grind them down in a war of attrition by keeping them in close.  Heavy terrain means they can't make full use of their movement mods and that'll let your non-superhuman pilots score easier hits.

As far as the Clan honor argument goes, I've never felt that the "rules" as published in any game book really capture the spirit of them.  It isn't chivalry, and it's not about ensuring a fair fight.  In the books, Elementals clearly didn't follow it.  I always thought the idea was "if you're dumb enough to let those Elementals get on your mech, then clearly you aren't very good as a warrior, and you get what you have coming to you".  But that's not reflected in the game rules that were published.

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #45 on: 14 August 2018, 11:57:11 »
As far as the Clan honor argument goes, I've never felt that the "rules" as published in any game book really capture the spirit of them.  It isn't chivalry, and it's not about ensuring a fair fight.  In the books, Elementals clearly didn't follow it.  I always thought the idea was "if you're dumb enough to let those Elementals get on your mech, then clearly you aren't very good as a warrior, and you get what you have coming to you".  But that's not reflected in the game rules that were published.

Agreed, this is insightful.  The point of Clan honor seems to be to ensure that the best warrior wins, not to promote some abstract ideal of "fairness."

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #46 on: 14 August 2018, 12:13:58 »
As far as the Clan honor argument goes, I've never felt that the "rules" as published in any game book really capture the spirit of them.  It isn't chivalry, and it's not about ensuring a fair fight.  In the books, Elementals clearly didn't follow it.  I always thought the idea was "if you're dumb enough to let those Elementals get on your mech, then clearly you aren't very good as a warrior, and you get what you have coming to you".  But that's not reflected in the game rules that were published.

Lol, sort of the same sort of discussion about taking backshots or hitting shut down mechs.
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Charistoph

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #47 on: 15 August 2018, 10:58:33 »
As far as the Clan honor argument goes, I've never felt that the "rules" as published in any game book really capture the spirit of them.  It isn't chivalry, and it's not about ensuring a fair fight.  In the books, Elementals clearly didn't follow it.  I always thought the idea was "if you're dumb enough to let those Elementals get on your mech, then clearly you aren't very good as a warrior, and you get what you have coming to you".  But that's not reflected in the game rules that were published.

Actually it is about a certain amount of flamboyance.  The greater the risk of a combat, the more glorious the win.  The more glorious the win, the greater your chances to have your genetics continue and merged with other powerful genetics.  Remember how Trueborns (the vast majority of Clan front-liners, even among the Wardens) procreate and their focus that come from that.  They can totally dedicate themselves to the fight as a result.

Clan bidding is about deliberately setting up an unfair fight so you can have your star shine, but not so much that it becomes a burning meteor.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #48 on: 15 August 2018, 11:34:05 »
The Trial system is about removing as many uncontrolled factors from combat so that it can be a 'fair' contest to determine who is the better warrior in a objective manner . . .

 . . . the hypocrisy comes in that warfare is chaotic, period.  When you add in that under the ideal, the starting point is supposed to be balanced what finally happens in the Circle of Equals has each warrior trying to unbalance it in their favor as much as possible while still pulling off a dramatic victory.  The ideal is that two forces meet in a pre-determined area where both sides know everything about the ground that is being fought over and both sides are as evenly matched in equipment/experience or the mix as possible.

But once the terms are set, each warrior starts 'cheating' (as in, 'if you are not cheating, you are not trying') . . . by setting tactics, adjusting weapon loads as possible (on Omni) to emphasize the impact of the plan (Ulric's requiring energy load outs for Tukayyid to counter Focht's drawn out fight), trying to find some thing the other side may have overlooked (Roar of Honor where they set the dried field afire) that gives you a tactical advantage, using misdirection and any other trick in the book.

The Trial system can be fun to engage in, both as a Clan and IS player- its about manipulating the play and showing flair for the Clanner and for the IS its about beating a Clanner at his own game.  With that said, I cannot really remember playing on the IS side against a Clanner using zell . . . might have to look into that for the future.
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massey

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #49 on: 15 August 2018, 14:50:58 »
Actually it is about a certain amount of flamboyance.  The greater the risk of a combat, the more glorious the win.  The more glorious the win, the greater your chances to have your genetics continue and merged with other powerful genetics.  Remember how Trueborns (the vast majority of Clan front-liners, even among the Wardens) procreate and their focus that come from that.  They can totally dedicate themselves to the fight as a result.

Clan bidding is about deliberately setting up an unfair fight so you can have your star shine, but not so much that it becomes a burning meteor.

Yeah, but you have to keep in mind that cheating to win is still better than following the rules and losing.  It's really a matter of being able to justify your actions to the rest of the Clan.

I remember the old parody game Hackmaster (from the Knights of the Dinner Table comic).  It had a class that had to follow a strict code of honor.  The Knight Errant, I think.  But as they went up in level, they could break the rules more often, because they came up with better excuses.  So you must accept the surrender of an honorable opponent, except you can get in one more round of attacks after the surrendered, because "my arm was already in motion".  And then if they picked up their weapons again to defend themselves, obviously their surrender wasn't sincere, and they were planning on betraying you.  So then you don't have to accept their surrender anymore, because it's a trick.  Better keep hitting them because of their dishonor.

Many Clan warriors operate that way, and they're definitely sore losers.  And with their honor system, there is definitely an aspect of "if you lost because he cheated, that's your own damn fault for falling for it."

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #50 on: 16 August 2018, 22:24:19 »
Yeah, but you have to keep in mind that cheating to win is still better than following the rules and losing.  It's really a matter of being able to justify your actions to the rest of the Clan.

I remember the old parody game Hackmaster (from the Knights of the Dinner Table comic).  It had a class that had to follow a strict code of honor.  The Knight Errant, I think.  But as they went up in level, they could break the rules more often, because they came up with better excuses.  So you must accept the surrender of an honorable opponent, except you can get in one more round of attacks after the surrendered, because "my arm was already in motion".  And then if they picked up their weapons again to defend themselves, obviously their surrender wasn't sincere, and they were planning on betraying you.  So then you don't have to accept their surrender anymore, because it's a trick.  Better keep hitting them because of their dishonor.

Many Clan warriors operate that way, and they're definitely sore losers.  And with their honor system, there is definitely an aspect of "if you lost because he cheated, that's your own damn fault for falling for it."

Also remember, a Clanner can backtrack a bid a little without losing face, and can pay to bring in more than that, even.  It's only when you won before the bid (aka Wolcott) do they accept how well they were beaten.  Alternatively, they short-sheet themselves so bad they don't even have time to backtrack to a previous bid to correct themselves, which happened to most of the Clans on Tukayyid.
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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #51 on: 17 August 2018, 06:04:33 »
There always were 3 basic strategies .
1 : Drown them in cheap combat vehicles . In the first campaign VS the Clans no clan really used them or proto mechs so it worked well on the defensive particularly on prepared ground . Not so well on the defensive . Example A Condor moving from hull down position to hull down postion 7 hexes apart . + 3 for movement +2 for hull down plus their movement plus range . Have all hills with minefields and tunnels through them that are too low for mechs to walk through and combat vehicles go at top speed . Hells Horses was created as a Clan that used combat vehicles because this tactic was too successful .
2 Attrition the Clans depend on Shock and awe blitzkrieg overrun tactics . During the Clan invasion if they did not win decisively quickly they did not have enough supply on hand for a protracted fight . Any loss on there part in the early years came with a logistical supply train nearly a year long . Most of the problem is Clan endo steel and Ferro Fibrous armor supply is finite and half as bulky as the inner sphere counter part .  The Stone Rhino was the only mech they could use a lot of inner sphere componants on . Half of the wins against the Clans was a situation of out lasting not out fifhting .
3 In the later years Inner Sphere tech became different as wholly opposed to inferior .  A Battlefied that is bombarded with laser inhibiting aerosol Inner Sphere  Arrow IV ammo not only provides a smoke effect it reduces laser damage by 2 points per hex.  I provided Artillary support to a bunch of Davionista Axe weilding maniacs . Normally Clan lasers cut the enemy to ribbons before they get melee range .

As for the issue of the cost vs efficacy the light mech in a universe with pulse lasers , targeting computers and precision ammo is just an expensive target . that 150 bay can be replaced with 3 light vehicle bays . I use cheap replacible attrition combat vehicles for the light mech roles. Combined Arms becomes the norm durring and after the Jihad . The Clans kick started the light mech reduced presence but everyone has a hand in that now .
« Last Edit: 17 August 2018, 08:19:49 by Col Toda »

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #52 on: 17 August 2018, 21:43:53 »
I agree with most of what is said here, with the exception of long-range weapons.  If you try to play the range game with the Clans, they will win it.  Their weapons have superior ranges and their pilots are better.  As a Clan player, I would love it if my opponent was willing to hang back and allow me to hit on 6 or 7 when they need an 8 or 9. When facing the Clans as an IS player, I close range as quickly as possible.  It's painful, but you likely out-mass them by quite a bit and physical attacks make up for a lot, especially Kicking.

And I know it will likely be controversial, but I tend to prefer Introductory Tech/3025 'Mechs vs. the Clans, as I've found that IS XL engines are a death sentence when facing the Clans.  Maybe not all 3025 'Mechs, but there should be a fair number of standard engines in your force if you can swing it.  You may have less guns, but you have much more staying power. 

As someone stated before, you WILL take losses.  But if 1 'Mech from your company walks off the board and no 'Mechs from that Clan Star do so, then you still won.

Oh, and the death of the Light 'Mech is an artifact of 3050 and above tech rather than just the Clans.  Star League tech, rightly implemented, gave us Mediums that are faster than most Lights.
« Last Edit: 17 August 2018, 21:47:18 by E. Icaza »
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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #53 on: 17 August 2018, 22:24:40 »
you want some ranged just to get in hits while you are closing. but IMO they need to be effective hits. big LRM's, Gauss rifles. (if there are any available), etc. so you can do some damage as you close. but your main advantage is going to be up close where you can leverage your close in firepower and willingness to do physical attacks.

Trailblazer

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #54 on: 18 August 2018, 00:09:44 »
Yeah, I don't think the question is "Do you want to close with the IS against Clans?"  Obviously you do.  The question is whether you want to give up totally on fighting at long range while you try to close.

SCC

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #55 on: 18 August 2018, 03:45:31 »
you want some ranged just to get in hits while you are closing. but IMO they need to be effective hits. big LRM's, Gauss rifles. (if there are any available), etc. so you can do some damage as you close. but your main advantage is going to be up close where you can leverage your close in firepower and willingness to do physical attacks.
Handheld Weapons are probably the answer here, take a design with all close in weapons, and add a pod with a LRM and a few shots.

glitterboy2098

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #56 on: 18 August 2018, 04:27:17 »
Handheld Weapons are probably the answer here, take a design with all close in weapons, and add a pod with a LRM and a few shots.
Unless you can handheld an LRM 20 this isn't really a good option. Note my emphasis on effective hits. 2-3 damage plinks from an AC2 or a LRM5 just aren't going to help much. But a good 10 point hit from a PPC? Or a couple 5point clusters from a big LRM? That'll wear down their armor enough that once up close you have a chance of exploiting the damage.

Charistoph

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #57 on: 18 August 2018, 14:24:49 »
I agree with most of what is said here, with the exception of long-range weapons.  If you try to play the range game with the Clans, they will win it.  Their weapons have superior ranges and their pilots are better.  As a Clan player, I would love it if my opponent was willing to hang back and allow me to hit on 6 or 7 when they need an 8 or 9. When facing the Clans as an IS player, I close range as quickly as possible.  It's painful, but you likely out-mass them by quite a bit and physical attacks make up for a lot, especially Kicking.

Don't forget one of the more successful long ranged weapons against the clans have their ranges measured in mapsheets, and those weapons are not easily countered by what a clanner usually brings to the field.
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Natasha Kerensky

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #58 on: 21 August 2018, 23:03:45 »

Clanners enjoy advantages in speed, firing accuracy, and sheer firepower.  As long as you're willing to break zellbrigen, which is kind of sucker's game if you're not a Clanner, these advantages can all be countered at relatively low cost in BV using force multipliers and tactics that have received little or no discussion upthread:

Restricting Mobility -- Terrain is great.  Preplaced mines are better.  But mine dispensers, Thunder LRMs, and Thunder Arrow IV that can lay minefields in the path of a Clan unit's forward movement are best.  Same goes for fluid guns/sprayers and oil slicks.  Or cheap/fast/disposable blocking units like the Flatbed Truck from TRO 3060 (use the up-armored variant for extra frustration!).  If the three hexes in front of a T-Wolf have mines, oil slicks, or blocking units, the T-Wolf either has to reduce its movement from an 8-hex/+3 TMM to a 4-hex/+1 TMM or risk leg damage, risk falling damage, or waste time and firepower on blocking units.

Reducing Accuracy -- Burning terrain is great.  But smoke (and chaff!) warheads in grenade launchers, SRMs, LRMs, and artillery that can reactively and selectively lay down smoke between a Clan unit and your units are best.    If you put a couple smoke hexes between you and the D-Wolf A doing overwatch duty on the hill, you negate its pulse laser modifiers.  Put in three hexes of smoke and D-Wolf A is blocked from firing on your unit.  A more risky but potentially effective play is to bring fluid guns/sprayers with paint/obscurant ammo into play.  They max out at three hits, but that's a +3 TM to the Clan unit for the rest of the game.  At higher tech levels, don't forget to use ECM to generate ghost targets when it's not

Limiting Firepower -- Infernos.  Infernos.  Infernos.  Plasma cannons.  Inferno artillery if available.  But infernos, infernos, infernos.  Even with their freezers, most Clan units will be crippled if you can max out their external heat points (15 under the rules).  That's three-quarters of a Stormcrow Prime's heat points, enough to reduce it to single ER medium laser without overheating.  (Its movement will add heat!)  If the Stormcrow is stupid enough to max out it firepower even with the inferno bath, then the +15 overheat will cut its MPs in half (to 3/5) and inflict a +2 TM to it fire.

Obviously, you want to combine and max these out whenever possible.  A Mad Dog facing three hexes of mines, firing through one or two smoked hexes, and suffering 15 points of external heat is in a bad place. 
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Getz

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #59 on: 22 August 2018, 20:35:30 »
I don't always us it because it's a pain to keep track of on a table top, but I like to use something fast loaded with Infernos (often J Edgars) to range ahead of my main force and set strategic sections of the map on fire.  Advancing behind a huge wall of smoke really cuts back the incoming long ranged fire...

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