Register Register

Author Topic: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?  (Read 8647 times)

Demon55

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2576
  • Victory is life and death before dishonor!
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #60 on: 25 August 2018, 13:16:33 »
Stay in cover until they get close enough for you to have decent to hit numbers. 

Put mines in their axis of advance. 

Lure them into a city that has your infantry/Battle Armor strategically placed and ambush them.

Try to get them to over-extend themselves and use defeat in detail against them. 

Tai Dai Cultist

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7127
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #61 on: 25 August 2018, 13:21:24 »
Not applicible to CBT but honestly the best way to defeat a Clan invasion:

Hide when they land.

Then bomb their barracks once they settle in-garrison.  Clanners are way easier to kill asleep in their beds than awake in their cockpits.  Plus you've got a bunch of pristine Clan-tech materiel for your own troops once they re-establish control of the world again.

Colt Ward

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 16551
  • Gott Mit Uns
    • Merc Periphery Guide- Bakunin
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #62 on: 25 August 2018, 13:49:29 »
Knight's Tale suggestion . . .

For Demon55-

Your strategy would work against the IS, against the Clans (at least Invasion era, some Clans later would not be able to duplicate) you are giving up the planetary-strategic initiative.  They are going to be just plain faster than your IS forces- and what COULD catch a Clan attack would not enjoy the experience.  While I do not fully buy into the 'decision cycle' theory it provides a apt description for what happened to IS forces when facing the Clans- I like to use the description of the Trial of Possession for Icar.  A Clan binary supernova (I think) defeated a merc heavy mech regiment & armored brigade simply by aggressively pushing the pace in a way the IS was not prepared for at the time.  They took out a battalion with support in a blocking position on a river, hit the CO as she tried to rally the shattered BN with more mechs, and then captured the dropships before too many could off planet along with the capital.

Sure, hold some ground that gives you a tactical advantage- lay mines and plot artillery strikes.  Meanwhile the Clan force which is likely 25% faster if not more, has bypassed you to reach the objective.  Speed, aggression, and lavish use of force should define Clan strategic play setting up very interesting tactical fights.  Imagine what it was like for AFFC scouts lances in Phoenix Hawks, Wolfhounds, Javelins, Valkyries and Commandos to run into Kit Foxes, Mist Lynx, Ice Ferrets, Adders and Vipers. And when the IS commander gets his eyes poked out- the only way to measure enemy movement is from where your scouts, mech & armor, are no longer reporting . . .
Colt Ward

Beware the vengeance of a patient man.
Clan Invasion Backer #149

marcussmythe

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 766
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #63 on: 25 August 2018, 14:13:20 »
Insurgent tactics.  The clan idea of a fair game is to show up, ask what your defending with, and then make sure they bid enough to win.  Their ideal fair fight is ‘I have more range than you, more speed than you, and more armor than you, and if you dont line ip to be slaughtered by my technological superiority, your unworthy and my people may burn your cities from orbit’

So dont even bother to play their game.  Poison wells.  Bomb barracks.  Nukes on ASFs to take out those warships.  Indocrtinate your population well in advance of their landing, and make sure that you have special operations teams that can anger them into reprisals against the population, such that the populations of the worlds they will take stay in permanent overt or covert rebellion.

The writers at FASA gave you a game thats not really winnable on the TT, and then gave the mongol hordes orbital deathlasers to make sure even if you win, its at their sufferance.  Dont play the suckers game.

Ruger

  • Battletech Volunteer
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3757
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #64 on: 25 August 2018, 15:08:38 »
Poison wells.

That doesn't work so well unless you are never planning to come back...if you want to actually us the world later, there needs to still be something you can use...

Ruger
"If someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back." - Malcolm Reynolds, Firefly

"Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall...Stand with me." - The Doctor, The Doctor Falls, Doctor Who

glitterboy2098

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 8190
    • The Temple Grounds - My Roleplaying and History website
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #65 on: 25 August 2018, 21:52:27 »
Knight's Tale suggestion . . .

For Demon55-

Your strategy would work against the IS, against the Clans (at least Invasion era, some Clans later would not be able to duplicate) you are giving up the planetary-strategic initiative.  They are going to be just plain faster than your IS forces- and what COULD catch a Clan attack would not enjoy the experience.  While I do not fully buy into the 'decision cycle' theory it provides a apt description for what happened to IS forces when facing the Clans- I like to use the description of the Trial of Possession for Icar.  A Clan binary supernova (I think) defeated a merc heavy mech regiment & armored brigade simply by aggressively pushing the pace in a way the IS was not prepared for at the time.  They took out a battalion with support in a blocking position on a river, hit the CO as she tried to rally the shattered BN with more mechs, and then captured the dropships before too many could off planet along with the capital.

Sure, hold some ground that gives you a tactical advantage- lay mines and plot artillery strikes.  Meanwhile the Clan force which is likely 25% faster if not more, has bypassed you to reach the objective.  Speed, aggression, and lavish use of force should define Clan strategic play setting up very interesting tactical fights.  Imagine what it was like for AFFC scouts lances in Phoenix Hawks, Wolfhounds, Javelins, Valkyries and Commandos to run into Kit Foxes, Mist Lynx, Ice Ferrets, Adders and Vipers. And when the IS commander gets his eyes poked out- the only way to measure enemy movement is from where your scouts, mech & armor, are no longer reporting . . .

not to mention, if you rely on fixed defense, you open yourself up to the same fate as Sharon Bryan

mines and such are very useful to control the clan mobility advantage.. but you yourself need to be mobile so you can have some control over when, where, and how many clan units you engage at a time.

Jellico

  • Spatium Magister
  • Freelance Writer
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4393
  • BattleMechs are the lords of the battlefield
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #66 on: 26 August 2018, 03:53:26 »
As a Clan player I like it when an IS opponent opts for broken terrain.

Under BV an IS force will match me for firepower at all range brackets while out massing me in armour. On average I will have a mobility advantage (through hard learned experience that slow Clan Mechs get swarmed) but the IS will have lighter elements that are more mobile than me.

My only chance of victory is to isolate elements of the IS force and overwhelm them with minimal losses.
Broken terrain lets me block lines of sight and isolate opponents.

Trailblazer

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 472
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #67 on: 26 August 2018, 10:43:28 »
Under BV an IS force will match me for firepower at all range brackets while out massing me in armour.

Except for the "range 24+" bracket, which becomes pretty important with Clan tech in clear terrain...

Jellico

  • Spatium Magister
  • Freelance Writer
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4393
  • BattleMechs are the lords of the battlefield
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #68 on: 26 August 2018, 15:26:40 »
Really? That is more theoretical than practical. There are only a couple of weapons that produce meaningful damage at that range. Also holding said range is largely impractical. Eg. A 4/6 Mech can advance faster than a 5/8 Mech can retreat.

Unless we are talking the old Firemoth with an ERLL game. And of course there are plenty of small fast IS Mechs that can close the range and brawl.

Trailblazer

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 472
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #69 on: 26 August 2018, 17:06:19 »
Really? That is more theoretical than practical. There are only a couple of weapons that produce meaningful damage at that range. Also holding said range is largely impractical. Eg. A 4/6 Mech can advance faster than a 5/8 Mech can retreat.

Unless we are talking the old Firemoth with an ERLL game. And of course there are plenty of small fast IS Mechs that can close the range and brawl.

You're right that there are only a few weapons that can do this, but the CERLL is one of the most common weapons on canon configs, let alone the sort of brutal custom configs you can put together.

Stormcrow Prime and Kit Fox Prime can both back up six hexes per turn, so since we're talking about a clear board, they can basically shoot IS 4/6 'Mechs with impunity.  Or take a Cauldron-Born A or Fire Falcon B, turn your back to the IS enemy and flip the arms!  Now you're controlling the distance at a rate of 8-12 hexes per turn.  Or if you're Hell's Horses, just bring Donars.

To prevent fast IS brawlers from coming in to wreck you, just combine this strategy with a couple of Warhawk Cs or Huntsman As and give those IS lights the old CLPL treatment once they start their approach.

Elmoth

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1168
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #70 on: 26 August 2018, 17:26:08 »
Isn't the map size somewhat problematic with constant retreat?

Trailblazer

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 472
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #71 on: 26 August 2018, 17:37:06 »
Isn't the map size somewhat problematic with constant retreat?

Totally, what I just said goes for infinite maps. On limited maps Jellico is right that you want terrain, although I think you also want some big clear areas to make use of the range advantage.

Although on a limited clear map that's big enough, that Fire Falcon B could lead 4/6 IS mechs in circles almost endlessly unless badly outnumbered.
« Last Edit: 26 August 2018, 18:20:57 by Trailblazer »

Getz

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 603
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #72 on: 27 August 2018, 08:59:12 »
You're right that there are only a few weapons that can do this, but the CERLL is one of the most common weapons on canon configs, let alone the sort of brutal custom configs you can put together.

Stormcrow Prime and Kit Fox Prime can both back up six hexes per turn, so since we're talking about a clear board, they can basically shoot IS 4/6 'Mechs with impunity.  Or take a Cauldron-Born A or Fire Falcon B, turn your back to the IS enemy and flip the arms!  Now you're controlling the distance at a rate of 8-12 hexes per turn.  Or if you're Hell's Horses, just bring Donars.

To prevent fast IS brawlers from coming in to wreck you, just combine this strategy with a couple of Warhawk Cs or Huntsman As and give those IS lights the old CLPL treatment once they start their approach.

This can be hard countered with smoke screens - and even with infinite maps, constant retreat ultimately means you abandon the objective and lose.

I fell out of favour with heaven somewhere, so I'm here for the hell of it now...

Kit deSummersville

  • Precentor of Lies
  • Freelance Writer
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 9233
  • The epicness continues!
    • Insights and Complaints on Twitter
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #73 on: 27 August 2018, 09:15:25 »
Isn't the map size somewhat problematic with constant retreat?

Not boring your opponent so they never play with you again is another problem with that tactic.
Looking for an official answer? Check the Catalyst Interaction Forums.

Freelancer for hire, not an official CGL or IMR representative.

Everyone else's job is easy, so tell them how to do it, everyone loves that!

Millard Fillmore's favorite BattleTech writer.

Colt Ward

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 16551
  • Gott Mit Uns
    • Merc Periphery Guide- Bakunin
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #74 on: 27 August 2018, 11:37:38 »
This can be hard countered with smoke screens - and even with infinite maps, constant retreat ultimately means you abandon the objective and lose.

If the IS comes out chasing the Clan force, then typically with their speed they can get around the IS to the objective.
Colt Ward

Beware the vengeance of a patient man.
Clan Invasion Backer #149

Kos

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 234
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #75 on: 27 August 2018, 11:46:04 »
Hrm yes clan mechs can range and evade you in some circumstances.  You can stop it with area control tactics like mines or artillery as has been discussed previously, or combined arms with stuff like VTOLS and hovers that they can't outrun. However, Clan forces won't always be able to do this, depending on maps, terrain ect. So, it helps to take a balanced force that can handle various clanner shenanigans, instead of just focusing on one type of situation.

I, personally (and I usually don't play advanced rules games with mines and artillery), try to take a mix of particular units vs. clans: Mostly, hard to kill 'Zombies' and cheap vees and short ranged brawlers to out-armour the clanners and kick 'em in the teeth, with a few fast units, to chase them down if necessary, and long-range to provide support while closing.
     

Trailblazer

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 472
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #76 on: 29 August 2018, 19:38:01 »
One more point I wanted to add about effective, very long-ranged weapons like the CERLL, CLB5-X, ATMs and to a lesser extent the light gauss:

Their main utility on a realistic battlefield is the way they can force your enemy to attack you, thus giving you the opportunity to exploit the many advantages of a defensive position in BattleTech.  (Among these advantages are the opportunity to stay in cover, the chance to fire without attacker movement penalties or alternatively to use your MP to set up an ideal shot rather than close distance, and greater ease of employing indirect fire.)

If you have a force set up in a safe stand of woods, or a big force of LRM boats deployed behind a hill, that gives you a huge advantage in combat, but only if you can coax your opponent into firing range.  By themselves, these defensive formations are no good to you.  But put a Fire Falcon B in that stand of woods, or a couple of Donars above that hill, and suddenly your enemy has to start advancing on your defensive force or else be picked apart.  (That also makes them, and not you, the one who are making the game boring and un-fun if they decline to attack, by the way.)

truetanker

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 6295
  • Clan Hells Horses 666th Mech. Assualt Cluster
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #77 on: 03 September 2018, 15:24:36 »
I remember a Solaris Juckyard battle, guy took a Zues-6S against me in a MAD II.

Hit me with that LRM and LL damage, AC missed, did a PPC back, I jumped and he walked.

He retreated to a corner where I couldn't see him, fine. I Jumped again and landed on top of a Trash wall, barely making my PSR... He kept moving backwards and after a few turns I realized he was waiting for the counter, a D20, to get to 0 signaling end of the Bout.

Well I preceded to fire PPCs, a Large and a Medium ever other turn to damage ALL the Trash walls separating him from me... didn't care if I heated or not. Needing 9's to hit on most, good thing immobile targets get -4 to-hit!

Turn 18 he tried to run when the last wall came down...

I was like +3 heat when I jumped down...didn't care...2 PPCs, 2 Medium Lasers and a Large one connected to take out his ammo! Your 17 points vs my 38... in one turn!

* BOOM... Buzzer sounds... And the Zeus goes down! Folks, the crowd goes wild! As the Maruader limps of the field. *

I fell a couple of times...

Yeah play turtle with me will ya?

TT
Khan, Clan Iron Dolphin
Azeroth Pocketverse
That is, if true tanker doesn't beat me to it. He makes truly evil units.Col.Hengist on 31 May 2013
TT, we know you are the master of nasty  O0 ~ Fletch on 22 June 2013
If I'm attacking you, conventional wisom says to bring 3x your force.  I want extra insurance, so I'll bring 4 for every 1 of what you have :D ~ Tai Dai Cultist on 21 April 2016
Me: Would you rather fight my Epithymía Thanátou from the Whispers of Blake?
Nav_Alpha: That THING... that is horrid
~ Nav_Alpha on 10 October 2016

Siegfried Marcus

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 163
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #78 on: 16 November 2018, 20:53:00 »
I know I'm late to the party as usual, but this is topic near and dear to my heart.  I look at things from an in-universe perspective rather than BV balance.

The fundamental tactical problem is that the Clan generally has an advantage in both range and speed.  This makes it very difficult for the IS forces to engage at all, especially if the Clan is willing to retreat after doing enough damage (i.e. "We have killed enough of you today; we will be back tomorrow with fresh armor and more ammo."

I am mostly just reinforcing points already made, except #4.

1. Artillery - This is the one class of weapon that actually out-ranges Clan weapons.  Tube artillery even out-ranges Arrow IV.  Although it requires huge numbers of shells, artillery can effectively zone out certain range brackets, forcing the Clan to either close to where you can hit them, or back off to where they can't hit you.  Also, artillery can disrupt a fighting withdrawal by aiming for the hexes that the Clan will need to reach by turn X in order to stay ahead of your advance.  Artillery also doesn't require good gunners to have a chance of hitting and, it murders BA.  In the bigger picture, artillery can force the Clan to attack a certain position rather than allow constant harassing fire.

2. Cover - If you can force the Clan to attack you, it is ideal to hide behind hills and then pop up to shoot at close range.  I favor weapons with a decent short-range bracket so that you can use guns from a larger area.  This tactic is especially strong if you have hidden spotters and lots of LRMs.  If you must attack, it is wise to advance under very thick smoke cover.  The goal should be to block LOS, not merely raise target numbers.  If you have a second very strong force positioned to cut off their retreat, you can force an engagement.  Otherwise you can pepper them with artillery as they run away.  At close range, Clan mechs are superior, but hardly invincible. 

3. Vast Numbers - This doesn't apply to a BV restricted fight, but if you are tasked with defending a planet from a Clan attack, through everything you've got at them.  A company of Scorpions isn't a threat to a Clan star, but a company of Scorpions in addition to your already large force is a great addition.  Scorpions are very numerous (as per lore), can survive an ERLL hit, and have fairly decent range.  Vedettes are even better.  The hard part is finding crews willing to die to start wearing down the Clanners armor.

4. Pursuit - Let's say you've given the Clan more than they bargained for.  They are worn down, so they don't stick around when your Second Scorpion Company arrives to reinforce.  If they can get away, it's only a matter of time before they patch up and return as strong as ever.  (Meanwhile most of your losses can't be recovered.)  You need a force that is fast enough to engage Clan mechs in full retreat.  That means hovers, vtols, or aircraft.  The Pegasus comes to mind.  The force has to be large enough to finish off the damaged mechs.  Ideally this force would be part of the main battle, but could also catch up to them later.

Here is my AU story set in the Free Rasalhague Republic.
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=52953.0

Hellraiser

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7941
  • Cry Havoc and Unleash the Gods of Fiat.
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #79 on: 17 November 2018, 00:51:50 »
especially if the Clan is willing to retreat after doing enough damage (i.e. "We have killed enough of you today; we will be back tomorrow with fresh armor and more ammo."
Never in 28 years of clan fluff have I heard of them doing this.

Contrary to CBT rules gaming, they are actually fluffed quite often as opening up at their extremely, better than you range, but they also just keep coming closer & closer getting more accurate as they do.

They don't play the range bracket game.

Not that they wait to shoot you up close, just that they start shooting the minute they are in range & keep moving forward.
Given their accuracy, your L1 Intro mech is normally swiss cheese by the time your in short range for your SRM/ML's to give a good full alpha going back at them.
3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

The_Caveman

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1246
  • A Living Fossil
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #80 on: 17 November 2018, 03:26:04 »
Don't be afraid to fight dirty: artillery, melee, infantry ambushes, mine fields, vehicle swarms, swarms of Mechbusters, IEDs...

If you're giving the Clanners a fair fight 'Mech-on-'Mech, you're doing it wrong.

But they will salute your honorable death.
Half the fun of BattleTech is the mental gymnastics required to scientifically rationalize design choices made decades ago entirely based on the Rule of Cool.

The other half is a first-turn AC/2 shot TAC to your gyro that causes your Atlas to fall and smash its own cockpit... wait, I said fun didn't I?

Sartris

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 8761
  • Hear me now and believe me later
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #81 on: 17 November 2018, 11:39:51 »
Never in 28 years of clan fluff have I heard of them doing this.

Contrary to CBT rules gaming, they are actually fluffed quite often as opening up at their extremely, better than you range, but they also just keep coming closer & closer getting more accurate as they do.

They don't play the range bracket game.

Not that they wait to shoot you up close, just that they start shooting the minute they are in range & keep moving forward.
Given their accuracy, your L1 Intro mech is normally swiss cheese by the time your in short range for your SRM/ML's to give a good full alpha going back at them.

Playing by the zell rules out of TW by the book allows for some fiddling but it doesn’t support max range sniping well. You get dezgra points for willingly moving out of range or LOS. Also I imagine more kills = more glory so hanging out at 23 hexes is not going maximize your kill count. In addition, the wolf and falcon rosters in the original sourcebooks have enough KIA and WIA to indicate they weren’t playing it safe.

Colt Ward

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 16551
  • Gott Mit Uns
    • Merc Periphery Guide- Bakunin
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #82 on: 17 November 2018, 12:53:25 »
The fundamental tactical problem is that the Clan generally has an advantage in both range and speed.  This makes it very difficult for the IS forces to engage at all, especially if the Clan is willing to retreat after doing enough damage (i.e. "We have killed enough of you today; we will be back tomorrow with fresh armor and more ammo."

Yeah, they will not break off the fight IMO until the battlefield is cleared . . . but yeah, then they could retreat to the JS to re-arm and even repod for a different phase of the campaign.  It happened on Tukayyid and at least WCSB gives indications it happened on other Invasion planets.  Roar of Honor pretty much shows it happens if the Trial plan is for a long fight.  Operation Icestorm the POV Falcon Star Colonel does it against saKhan Conner Rood.
Colt Ward

Beware the vengeance of a patient man.
Clan Invasion Backer #149

Siegfried Marcus

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 163
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #83 on: 17 November 2018, 13:45:00 »
Never in 28 years of clan fluff have I heard of them doing this.

Contrary to CBT rules gaming, they are actually fluffed quite often as opening up at their extremely, better than you range, but they also just keep coming closer & closer getting more accurate as they do.


Maybe when fighting mechs in open-field battles that feature prominently in lore.

What about at New_Caledonia?  "Rather than break her bid and call in reinforcements, Star Colonel Lara Ward ordered her forces to retreat, laying ambushes as they went for their pursuers. Eventually the militia forces were weakened enough for the Wolf units to make a successful counterattack at Iron Island, defeating them and conquering the planet."  Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 59.  (actually taken from Sarna.net)

Or Dell, "... Khan Ulric Kerensky kept his forces just outside the defensive perimeter and instead skirmished with the Guards at Issel, Bainbridge and Cossin. These attacks caused little material damage but were psychologically devastating. The end came when Marshal Shremp made the decision to abandon the fortifications and meet the Wolves in Mercer Valley."  Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 62

There are also examples that seem to imply something other than a headlong charge into battle.  At Unzmart: "Initially the defenders made a good show of themselves, holding back the two Novas for three days along the shores of the Hester-Kester Fjord."  CWS 61.  Three days is a long time, and if the Clan didn't break through on days one and two, they must have withdrawn.  They certainly couldn't have been advancing the whole time.

Granted my examples are from Clan Wolf (which is the the one I'm most familiar with), but they also come from 3050.  After 3050, the Clans were much more willing to adapt their customs to fighting the Inner Sphere, especially with Ulric as IlKhan.  Also, both of my first two examples are much more extreme than simply maintaining range and withdrawing from the field after an extended fight.  On many occasions the Clans attacked brigade or even division size forces.  These encounters may not be as cool as mech on mech action, but they are nevertheless part of the lore.

If you are fighting a Clan force that insists on using the tactics you describe, the task becomes vastly simpler.  A very large number of Hetzers ought to do the job.  Demolishers, Axels, anything with armor and an AC/20.  Back them up with Hetzer SRMs.  Even PBI's are good if the Clan is going to just walk right up to you.  Just be sure to deploy your full brigade or whatever. 
« Last Edit: 17 November 2018, 13:52:21 by Siegfried Marcus »
Here is my AU story set in the Free Rasalhague Republic.
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=52953.0

Colt Ward

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 16551
  • Gott Mit Uns
    • Merc Periphery Guide- Bakunin
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #84 on: 17 November 2018, 14:12:15 »
I think the difference is that tactically they will not really do that . . . but strategically it is very likely to happen, though it depends on the Clan.  For example, I am not sure we have ever heard any such thing happening with the Jaguars.
Colt Ward

Beware the vengeance of a patient man.
Clan Invasion Backer #149

The_Caveman

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1246
  • A Living Fossil
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #85 on: 17 November 2018, 15:54:46 »
Selective interpretations of Zellbrigen are par for the course with Wolf. They use it more to hamstring their (Clan) opponents than anything else, staying just enough within the letter of the law not to become dezgra.

Falcons are usually too caught up in their own pride to think laterally, but it does happen. Jaguars, on the other hand, just didn't think.
Half the fun of BattleTech is the mental gymnastics required to scientifically rationalize design choices made decades ago entirely based on the Rule of Cool.

The other half is a first-turn AC/2 shot TAC to your gyro that causes your Atlas to fall and smash its own cockpit... wait, I said fun didn't I?

Siegfried Marcus

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 163
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #86 on: 17 November 2018, 17:28:44 »
Zell applies explicitly between mechwarriors, and does not include combat vehicles or PBIs.  Battletech understandably focuses on combat between mechs, and this shapes our perception of the Clans, but that doesn't mean that the Clans behave the same way toward planetary milita.  In fact, we are told they do not.

I'm also having trouble imagining "never a step back" on a tactical level.  Take Unzmarkt, The Clan is attacking trying to break into or out of a particular beachhead.  They are facing an armored division!  So does the Star Captain say something like: "Well strategically, we are trying to drive back the enemy and vanquish the division, but tactically, I am only trying to eliminate just one more company.  Those other companies that are flooding in to fill the gap in the line, they are not part of my tactical objective.  So my work here is done, and good thing too, because (not coincidentally) my auto-cannon is empty and my armor is low (otherwise I would decide to take on another lance or two, tactically that is)."  The IS forces are described as having a "strong defensive line" that "held back" the Clan for three days.  So the Clan was trying to break the line, but couldn't have done it in one continuous action.  If they attack and fail to break through the line, how do they break off the attack with enemies to their front without "tactically" retreating?  But never mind retreating, it is nearly impossible to imagine that they were constantly advancing, yet couldn't break through for three days.

I think it makes more sense to see the constant advance as the Clan's preferred tactics.  In many cases it was successful, but when that wasn't feasible or failed, they would either call in reinforcements (and presumably wait for their arrival) or stop advancing.  Furthermore, I don't think the Clans saw this as particularly problematic after the first few waves of Revival.  The honorable tactics of Clan warriors were meant to be used against their equals, not virtually unlimited numbers of tanks and infantry backed by artillery.  Zell does not even apply to them, and the Clans soon reasons why the IS should not be treated the same as Clan opponents.

Even the Smoke Jaguars did not always charge headlong into battle.

Albiero: "Backed up against the ridge line the militia's armored battalion used artillery to trap the Clan forces."  Invading Clans Sourcebook, p. 66 (again from Sarna).  So the SJ's were unwilling to continue their attack up the ridge, in fact, it sounds like they retreated to cover for a time. 

Port Arthur: "They (SJ's) immediately engaged the First Proserpina Hussars at Zuave Vale, forcing them to fall back to secondary positions at Disher. Here the Smoke Jaguar attack bogged down, forcing saKhan Weaver to order a "headhunter" Star to locate and destroy the First Hussars' command company."  Invading Clans (sourcebook), p.69.  How did the attack become "bogged down" if the Clan is always advancing until one side is defeated?  Furthermore the SJ's were "forced" to change tactics, suggesting they couldn't take the secondary positions with an immediate direct assault even if they wanted to (which you know they did).

During the reprieve in '50-'51, the IS had time to prepare against the Clans with intelligence and training from Wolf's Dragoons, yet the Clans were still generally successful against the Successor States because they adapted to the IS's style of warfare.  Besides, I think the OP's question is more interesting if we assume the Clan has some tactical flexibility.
Here is my AU story set in the Free Rasalhague Republic.
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=52953.0

Colt Ward

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 16551
  • Gott Mit Uns
    • Merc Periphery Guide- Bakunin
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #87 on: 17 November 2018, 19:30:48 »
During the invasion they were not focused on wiping out all the enemy opposition.  Most of the battle descriptions in WCSB & JFSB is about how the Clan forces punched through the opposition to capture the capital or enemy DS to force their surrender.  Let the armor surround my DZ, I am going to punch through its thinnest side and race for my objectives- thanks for getting a battalion or three of your tanks out of position.
Colt Ward

Beware the vengeance of a patient man.
Clan Invasion Backer #149

Siegfried Marcus

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 163
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #88 on: 17 November 2018, 20:35:06 »
Let the armor surround my DZ

Who said anything about that?  I'm imagining concentrating all available forces around the capital or other vital objective.  Let the Clan march around the whole planet if they like, but defend the capital/spaceport.  It's the Clan's job to conquer, so they are obliged to assault it (as on Rasalhague) or wipe it out with air power (as Phelan Kell suggests the Ghost Bears would have done).  The OP's question seems to assume that the defender is familiar with Clan tactics and objectives.  Once battle is joined, it's ok to charge forward to get into range faster, especially if you know the Clan won't withdraw.  If you are talking about the examples I cited, they are from canon, so we can only assume that both defender and attacker had some legitimate reason for fighting where they did.  I was not saying to emulate their strategy, only showing examples where the Clan force did not always charge headlong into battle.

Edit: I should add that I don't think it's necessary to use the city to defend and provoke the Clan into an airstrike or orbital bombardment, only to concentrate forces around the objective so that when the Clan does attack, it can all be brought to bear in the same battle.
« Last Edit: 17 November 2018, 23:47:38 by Siegfried Marcus »
Here is my AU story set in the Free Rasalhague Republic.
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=52953.0

Siegfried Marcus

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 163
Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #89 on: 17 November 2018, 23:09:36 »
Playing by the zell rules out of TW by the book allows for some fiddling but it doesn’t support max range sniping well. You get dezgra points for willingly moving out of range or LOS. Also I imagine more kills = more glory so hanging out at 23 hexes is not going maximize your kill count. In addition, the wolf and falcon rosters in the original sourcebooks have enough KIA and WIA to indicate they weren’t playing it safe.

But the Clan won't be playing by zell if they are fighting mostly tanks and inf.  There's not much honor to be had in toasting vehicles and even less in sticking around to let your mech get pounded by endless waves of inferior soldiers unworthy of sharing the same battlefield with you.  As for casualties, don't most of those come from Tukayyid when they finally face a "worthy" opponent? 
Here is my AU story set in the Free Rasalhague Republic.
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=52953.0

 

Register