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Author Topic: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?  (Read 8917 times)

massey

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #120 on: 25 January 2019, 11:18:35 »
Its funny, but when you dig under the shell, the typical Clan warrior is, by human standards, an incredibly abused and traumatized child solider.  While really all one can do (from the POV of the Inner Sphere) is put them down as efficiently as possible, its still a hideous, ongoing tragedy, seeing the ostensible ideals of the Star League reduced to sociopathic child-soldiers and the idea that anyone too old to serve their hive purpose is best dead.

While this is a beer and pretzels game, and arguably it's not "serious" sci-fi, I think at least some of the authors took that exact view.  It's Logan's Run plus Brave New World and THX 1138, and the whole thing is a great big tragedy.  I thought the Jade Phoenix trilogy implied that a lot.

marcussmythe

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #121 on: 25 January 2019, 11:30:47 »
While this is a beer and pretzels game, and arguably it's not "serious" sci-fi, I think at least some of the authors took that exact view.  It's Logan's Run plus Brave New World and THX 1138, and the whole thing is a great big tragedy.  I thought the Jade Phoenix trilogy implied that a lot.

Sometimes the best commentary is subtle.  I love “Left Hand of Darkness”, but Discworld addressed a lot of serious stuff subtly.

To haul this back to ‘on topic’ - you really cant fight the clans in the classic battletech mech smash duels in a box.  Not well - the game designers of the time went to great effort to make sure they had the tools to always win that fight.  You fight the clans the way the Russians fought the Germans.  Combined ops, defense in depth, space for time, artillery, good enough tools mass produced to hell and back - Terra ALONE has to have more industrial base than the entirity of clan space... and you grind them down and wear them out.

Basically, the clans are utter death on the tactical map.  So you best them with logistics at the operational and strategic layer.

Colt Ward

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #122 on: 25 January 2019, 12:41:45 »
To haul this back to ‘on topic’ - you really cant fight the clans in the classic battletech mech smash duels in a box.  Not well - the game designers of the time went to great effort to make sure they had the tools to always win that fight.  You fight the clans the way the Russians fought the Germans.  Combined ops, defense in depth, space for time, artillery, good enough tools mass produced to hell and back - Terra ALONE has to have more industrial base than the entirity of clan space... and you grind them down and wear them out.

Basically, the clans are utter death on the tactical map.  So you best them with logistics at the operational and strategic layer.

Some of the Clans had logistical problems, which is a feature of how they operate and very much in line with their IC nature.

While I disagree with you about how they performed tactically on the whole- because racking up a number of kills (6 or 7 mechs?) during a Revival Invasion without having your mech damaged is also a statement for the Bloodnamed in your Bloodhouse.  In fact, that was part of what pissed Vlad off so much . . . his armor got scratched at range by a mech half his size.  Carew tells him that is part of why he hates Phelan- especially since none of the rest of the star got scratched IIRC.

Strategically, during Revival you are right . . . they bore in for the objectives to force the capitulation of the opposing forces.  Reading WCSB, JFSB and ER 3052 to a lesser extent you find that not all of the enemies were destroyed but the HQ/capital/dropships were captured forcing the surrender of any remaining defenders.  The operational tempo is also higher than the IS norm- part of that is b/c of how easy Omnis can be repaired but part is also the Clan mentality.  But that higher operational tempo also exacerbates the logistics weakness.
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marcussmythe

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #123 on: 25 January 2019, 13:09:05 »
Some of the Clans had logistical problems, which is a feature of how they operate and very much in line with their IC nature.

While I disagree with you about how they performed tactically on the whole- because racking up a number of kills (6 or 7 mechs?) during a Revival Invasion without having your mech damaged is also a statement for the Bloodnamed in your Bloodhouse.  In fact, that was part of what pissed Vlad off so much . . . his armor got scratched at range by a mech half his size.  Carew tells him that is part of why he hates Phelan- especially since none of the rest of the star got scratched IIRC.

Strategically, during Revival you are right . . . they bore in for the objectives to force the capitulation of the opposing forces.  Reading WCSB, JFSB and ER 3052 to a lesser extent you find that not all of the enemies were destroyed but the HQ/capital/dropships were captured forcing the surrender of any remaining defenders.  The operational tempo is also higher than the IS norm- part of that is b/c of how easy Omnis can be repaired but part is also the Clan mentality.  But that higher operational tempo also exacerbates the logistics weakness.

Do we disagree?  I was saying that the Clans were made to be unbeatable on the tactical layer - your point about Vlad whacking 6-7 mechs without a scratch goes to that point.  So cheat, really hard, from the beginning.

Colt Ward

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #124 on: 25 January 2019, 13:29:17 »
I thought on the previous page you advocated all the Clans followed the Jaguar 'Charge!' mentality to show off.  Looking back I guess that was massey who was saying that sort of thing.
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massey

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #125 on: 25 January 2019, 13:45:53 »
I thought on the previous page you advocated all the Clans followed the Jaguar 'Charge!' mentality to show off.  Looking back I guess that was massey who was saying that sort of thing.

I'm saying certain clans would follow that strategy.  The more aggressive your Clan, the more aggressive you have to be to stand out.  But not all Clans will be that way.  The Wolves, for instance, seem to be more tolerant of creative thinking, and tend to reward people who don't rigidly follow the rules.
« Last Edit: 25 January 2019, 13:47:43 by massey »

grimlock1

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #126 on: 25 January 2019, 18:19:18 »
Unless you can very clearly hear from the GM that clans must obey zellbringen, assume they will gleefully toss it out the window at the earliest moment they can. I have never seen anyone obey zellbringen if it wasn’t forced on them.

That’s how you get moments like when they replayed Tukayyid at gencon and 9/10 clan mechs targeted an intro tech crab in turn 1.

You cannot rely on the craptastically stupid rules that zellbringen forces on clan mechs.


So my advice is use terrain. Do whatever you can to get the maps to be the most hilly, wooded, LOS-blocking terrain as possible and negate the huge range advantages.

Uh... I stuck to Zell because it played to my advantage. 
"I shall fight you honorably.  If you use that C3i you've sunk so much BV into, we shall learn how long a Preta can stand up to a Warhawk, an Executioner, and a Hellbringer."

And the other player stuck to Zell because he was worried what would happen once I was free to focus fire.
Those 2/3 pilots + VDNI were still nothing to sneeze at.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #127 on: 25 January 2019, 18:23:33 »
So you interpreted the use of the network as violating the duel?
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Apocal

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #128 on: 26 January 2019, 08:29:19 »
So you interpreted the use of the network as violating the duel?

I thought we were allowed to do that? Zell was supposed to be as much about demonstrating honor in upholding the spirit as it was a particular set of rules for battlefield conduct, was it not? If someone is doing something that obviously violates the spirit (like using C3 or obviously maneuvering to whack your guys at the right moment to do max damage) why not warn them and if they keep trying, break zell and start owning them with focused fire?

Jellico

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #129 on: 26 January 2019, 16:55:25 »
Sometimes the best commentary is subtle.  I love “Left Hand of Darkness”, but Discworld addressed a lot of serious stuff subtly.

To haul this back to ‘on topic’ - you really cant fight the clans in the classic battletech mech smash duels in a box.  Not well - the game designers of the time went to great effort to make sure they had the tools to always win that fight.  You fight the clans the way the Russians fought the Germans.  Combined ops, defense in depth, space for time, artillery, good enough tools mass produced to hell and back - Terra ALONE has to have more industrial base than the entirity of clan space... and you grind them down and wear them out.

Basically, the clans are utter death on the tactical map.  So you best them with logistics at the operational and strategic layer.


In some ways I would argue the reverse. In a 2 x 2 box with a "balanced" force the IS will win. That may be an artifact of BV2 under valuing armour or Zel being too handicapping.

Clan forces before the great slow down of 3058 were simply more mobile. They win by moving between strategic positions faster than IS forces, whether by having a higher average ground speed, or by having better access to DropShips and JumpShips.

There is a real conflict between how the Clans are fluffed and how they have to operate to actually be successful. eg
Can't do logistics. Run a successful campaign at the end of the longest continuous logistics tail in BT ever.

Can't do strategy. Rely on maneuver warfare. Even at a tactical level. The Jaguar charge is iconic but in a balanced game big slow scary Dire Wolves can't retreat fast enough to buy space to benefit from their weapons and pilots.

Can't use combined arms. The number of times a Clan solved a problem in the Invasion by dropping BA or an ASF on it. Heck on the offensive a Clan force mix is perfect because of the limited collars available.

Then you have oddities like Clan Mechs carrying TAG in 3050.

I sometimes get the feeling that FASA created a genuinely awesome and effective military force by design or accident then found that they had to nerf it. We still dig up the fossilized remnants occasionally which stick out like a rabbit in Cretaceous rock.

marcussmythe

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #130 on: 26 January 2019, 17:04:37 »
Part of the problem of course is that you have more than 1 writer, with more than one PoV, and no apparent communication between.  Further, the clans are the anointed ‘bad guys’, and like every good fictional badguy they have to win overwhelmingly until they suddenly lose at the 11th hr.

Beyond that - the Clans have a bad case of being as capable as the author needs them to be to drive plot - and in fairness represent diverse societies with many different perspectives and takes on how to ‘be clan’

I suppose its ‘do what works for you’.  Once youve unhinged your jaw to swallow ‘Rhode Island Conquers Europe’, you might as well just have fun with it.

truetanker

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #131 on: 27 January 2019, 15:49:09 »
Then you have oddities like Clan Mechs carrying TAG in 3050.

Except we're told that the clans do use FASCAM rounds in the form of Arrow, as well as Standard rounds, which requires TAG to function in a reasonable account. Warrior vs. Warrior is for personal gains, but a Clan debacle requires self sacrifices from time to time... supposedly genetic material isn't just " seed ", ( it's a family game but the content has to match ) it could be blood DNA as well for a clone... if enough material is salvageable.

What I'm saying is while Aero is the first to go in a Batchall, conventional forces are still on the table... being usually the next to be chopped. Mechs are " King " but not always.

In the games settings, it's just stompy robots and battle armor vs. whatever... But in canonwise, it's not true. Conventional do hold more sway over giant stompy robots... it's just most people don't play like that.

Which is why it's considered
oddities
and all.

What I'm trying to say is, while FASA created an awesome force, they didn't give it the next level treatment... like telling the Authors to have fun, but make sure it's a unified downfall together not piecemeal like it is currently. Sure the Jags were treated roughly, look what they've done... Orbitary Turtle Bay, mistreatment of all POWs ( they deemed them inferior ) and their use of heavy handed tactics to civilians, as their right but these where more brutal than it should have been... so putting TAG on 3058 mechs? Well, they did have Arrow launchers and we're also told and shown they had every weapon that the SLDF-iE would have had.... ( retcon'd of course ).

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grimlock1

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #132 on: 28 January 2019, 12:16:37 »
So you interpreted the use of the network as violating the duel?
Yep.  We both saw it as a 3rd party interfering with a duel.

I thought we were allowed to do that? Zell was supposed to be as much about demonstrating honor in upholding the spirit as it was a particular set of rules for battlefield conduct, was it not? If someone is doing something that obviously violates the spirit (like using C3 or obviously maneuvering to whack your guys at the right moment to do max damage) why not warn them and if they keep trying, break zell and start owning them with focused fire?

As to aggressive maneuvering of engaged units... that's getting border line.  We weren't playing with Tac Ops Blocking/Defending rules, so as long as none of the bystanders actually did anything to interfere, it was just rude.   And in this case, it was the Clan player(me) who had the numerical advantage.
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Iceweb

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #133 on: 28 January 2019, 12:25:07 »
Yep.  We both saw it as a 3rd party interfering with a duel.

I have to ask were you using targeting computers? 

It seems unfair to say I can use computers to get better hit number, but you can't use computers to get better hit numbers. 

Then again the boards have many a times talked about the clan's mentality of rules for you but not for me.

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #134 on: 28 January 2019, 12:59:12 »
The difference is that you can use your targeting computer to boost your own shots, I can use my own targeting computer to boost my shots, but the moment I use my buddy's c3 computer to boost my shots, he's helping in the duel.
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massey

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #135 on: 28 January 2019, 13:40:04 »
That's why I think a roleplaying element has to be involved.  You could make arguments both ways in regards to the use of certain electronic systems, when an opponent is participating in the combat and when they're not.  If a guy positions himself to take shots on your back, is he breaking the rules of a duel, even if he doesn't fire?

Part of Clan honor is how well you justify your actions to the other guys in the Clan.  If they look at it and say "oh of course the Inner Sphere were cheating, or at least they were going to cheat" then it's okay.  If they see your actions and they call you a wuss, then obviously it was dishonorable.

That's why I think it comes down to how aggressive and competitive the Clan happens to be.  You're trying to one-up the other warriors.  Let's say Star Commander Steve (piloting a Thor) engages a Warhammer pilot in a duel.  The Warhammer has been upgraded specifically for this hypothetical, and it carries advanced weapons, DHS, and a C3 unit.  Star Commander Steve notices that the Warhammer is receiving data transmissions from a Hunchback that keeps moving closer to his mech.  The Hunchback doesn't fire, but it keeps staying within 100 meters or so and it keeps sending the data transmissions.  Steve thinks this is against the spirit of the rules, and it's unfair.  So what does he do?

If Steve is a member of Clan Wolf, he claims the Hunchback is violating the terms of the duel, and he calls in the rest of his Star to combine fire on it and blow that sucker to hell.  Was it technically violating the rules?  No, but everybody could see what it was doing -- it was feeding info to its buddy and was waiting for a good opportunity to fire.  Wolf warriors appreciate the flexibility this attitude gives them on the battlefield.

If Steve is a member of Clan Smoke Jaguar, he ignores the Hunchback.  Not because he's dumb, but because his Star has four other guys with an average age of about 19, who when they get back to base will all say "Steve sucks, I could have beat that guy even with the Hunchback there."  They're all gunning for his job.  To distinguish yourself in that Clan, you need to take big bold risks.  This may also be why the Jaguars suffered a relatively large number of humiliating defeats, walked right into obvious traps, etc.  They also appeared to be a bit more forgiving of a failure that you could pin on "Inner Sphere treachery", and that could explain why they were willing to break their bids so often.

Sartris

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #136 on: 28 January 2019, 13:48:13 »
sometimes it's good to just go back and read the rules

Quote from: TW pg 275
Area-Effect Weapons: Area Affect Weapons (as well as any system that requires multiple units to operate, such as TAG, C3, semi-guided LRMs and so on) by their nature violate Zellbrigen. No Clan warrior will use any area-effect weapon system or special munitions while fighting at Honor Levels 1, 2 or 3. Only at Honor Level 4, when dueling rules do not apply, will a Clan warrior use such systems.

A Clan warrior’s response to an Inner Sphere unit declaring an attack using such a system against a Clan unit depends on the honor level in use. At Honor Level 1, the Clan warrior upholds all the rules of dueling, regardless of the type of weapon used. At Honor Level 2, the duel degenerates into a free-for-all, with the violators—the unit that fired the area effect weapon, designated with TAG or used a C3 system—open to attack by any Clan unit. At Honor Level 3, the use of area-effect systems renders the entire ritual of zellbrigen null and void.

Colt Ward

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #137 on: 28 January 2019, 14:37:18 »
Yeah, and the discussion about ECM & BAP let alone sitting in woods has come up before, ad naseum.

massey, its not the Clan but the Bloodhouse the warriors are trying to impress . . . you want to make a name to get a sponsor- one of the 24 for the Trial of Bloodright named by one of the holders.  If you cannot get a sponsor, then you want to make a showing that gets you one of the 7 slots set up by the Bloodhouse Leader- anything but that Grand Melee slot.  Its unfortunate that we do not really have any insights into the Bloodhouse politics though I guess not a surprise since say in FMFS we did not have a break down of the Sandoval or Hasek families & politics . . . or from what I remember, a break down of say Oriente/Regulus/Tamarind/Andurien/etc for the FWL.

Honestly, I think the best looks we ever got at the Bloodhouse politics were the BoK and Way of Clans trilogies.  For instance, the Kerenskies were the one Bloodhouse that did not take their protege to Clan Council meetings until Natasha showed up with Ranna.  The Nygrens suffered a bit of stigma b/c of the genetic material they won from the Falcons was not for the 'quality' they originally thought, which had stymied Carew's advancement.  House Demos (?) suffers from a attraction to gambling- which might support massey's assertion where risk-taking for attention in combat.  Cyrilla's pride that the Wards did not lose any warriors in the Invasion would seem to indicate they were a Bloodhouse that valued a more pragmatic approach-  the Bloodname Trial's entries would support that IMO.  I do not remember as much about the WotC series, but with Marthe, Aiden and Ravill I think we can get a pretty decent look at the Prydes.  Crichell?  That must have been a snake-pit for House politics b/c of what he was doing to maintain his warrior status.  How many unblooded Crichells were involved in the cover up by Elias with being promised one of the 7 slots the next time a bloodname came up?  How often did he send a Bloodnamed Crichell into a situation where that warrior and other Falcons would get killed so that he could pay up on the 7 slots- or send one of the 7 unblooded he owed favors to on suicide missions (also, how dumb was Christu to not look things up like Vlad)?

Later on the bits get more rare.  saKhan Marco Hall's ability confounded the Ghost Bear geneticists, since he had what they felt was a above expectation performance- IMO that would be b/c of the Black Widow's tutelage.  Galaxy Commander Snuka was older when he won his bloodname, eschewing that flashy show some tried to use to garner attention (distrust of ristars IIRC) which IMO indicates that he is outside the norm for his Bloodhouse with his attitude of dislike for showy warriors.

While I dislike Malvina, I think the MWDA Falcon books give insight into some of the Falcon house politics with regards to Pryde, Hazen, Malthus and a few others.  I look forward to hearing more about Noritomo Helmer and Stephanie Christu, but for the Falcons of the time getting nominated for a Bloodname would I imagine require devotion to Malvina's Mongol perversion.  She has control of the Bloodhouses enough that she persuaded some of the undecided of the 'rightness' of her cause by rewarding them with rank and I think Bloodnames by carrying out her Mongol-based orders.  Through combat and success along with pressure on individual Bloodnamed she will very likely change the nature of her Clan by raising followers to Bloodnamed status.  She is also trying to co-opt warriors who hold to the old standards like Stephanie.
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massey

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #138 on: 28 January 2019, 18:23:40 »
You've got to play Bloodhouse politics to get your Bloodname, sure.  But you're also playing politics within the Clan to get promotions, and to pass on your genetic material.  And I just think the more aggressive your competitors are, the more aggressive you've got to be.  Eventually, of course, you're so aggressive that you bite off more than you can chew every time, and those guys get killed.  So it basically becomes "be as aggressive as you can get away with".

In the Jade Phoenix trilogy, it's noted that Elementals have much more of a team-first attitude.  To be effective, they have to work well with the other members of their point.  And as I recall zellbrigen doesn't really apply to them.  I think it's because they know that they can't take a mech down by themselves.  The only Elementals dumb enough to try that wouldn't live long enough to pass on their genetic legacy.

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #139 on: 28 January 2019, 18:53:49 »
But your first stage of competitors are your unBlooded in the same Bloodhouse, and some of those who are nominated are just regular mechwarriors (or Elementals, etc) rather than officers.  Sure, having rank helps you get noticed and makes it more likely you will find a patron among the 24 bloodnamed (if the Bloodhouse has not been Reaved) but its not a prerequisite.  Also, I think the Bloodhouse has more control over their genetics and contributions to the sibko program.  IIRC the only determination we have about that sort of control would be Phelan who kept his genes from being used until Ranna earned her Bloodname- but he was also the Bloodhouse Leader due to his rank IIRC.


As for your last point . . . *coughJakeKabrinskicough* . . . though one Ghost Bear Elemental DID comment about how stupid a Elemental was that took on a assault mech singlehanded.
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grimlock1

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #140 on: 29 January 2019, 11:28:41 »
You've got to play Bloodhouse politics to get your Bloodname, sure.  But you're also playing politics within the Clan to get promotions, and to pass on your genetic material.  And I just think the more aggressive your competitors are, the more aggressive you've got to be.  Eventually, of course, you're so aggressive that you bite off more than you can chew every time, and those guys get killed.  So it basically becomes "be as aggressive as you can get away with".

In the Jade Phoenix trilogy, it's noted that Elementals have much more of a team-first attitude.  To be effective, they have to work well with the other members of their point.  And as I recall zellbrigen doesn't really apply to them.  I think it's because they know that they can't take a mech down by themselves.  The only Elementals dumb enough to try that wouldn't live long enough to pass on their genetic legacy.

For purposes of proper battles, Zell seems to revolve around the Point.  A Point of Elementals, a Point of Protos, a Point of infantry.  Aero fighters seem to be a bit of an exception.  They seemed to seek out 1v1 combat in the Blood of Kerensky books, ie. Tyra Miraborg's narrative segments. Don't know about vehicles.  Vehicles are already a crew, so the "lone warrior" bit is already out the window...
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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #141 on: 29 January 2019, 12:32:15 »
Its interesting how our strategy discussion (which was really a tactics discussion) has headed into the direction of the psychology of the people involved on both sides of the Clan Invasion.  The -societies- involved shaped the armed forces, the soldiers, and the leaders on both sides - and define in large part how it played out.  The Clans have sharp edge supertech and supersoldiers, and a military-focused enough society to support a armed forces out of -any- comparison to the same population of inner sphere people - an even more impressive acheivement when you consider the tiny populations that somehow pay the care and feeding of massive warship fleets!  At the same time, their ‘WITNESS ME’ society and cultural mores that ensure that their strategic and operation decisions are made by the best guy in a knife fight undermine a lot of that.

On the flip, we have an inner sphere thats wrecked itself to the point its -less- economically productive than a postage stamp of people on marginal worlds after an exile, Comstar making everything worse every way they can, and distrustful feudal lords who see an existential threat to their society as a grand opportunity for chronic backstabbing disorder.  Sure, some militaries are something like vaguely competent, but a Zukov or a Patton would look at the inner sphere way of war and -weep-... and thats before we get to political appointees and social generals.

Not sure if have point, but worth noting that many of our coversations about what the Clans and/or Sphere coulda/woulda/shoulda done different/better are based on 20/20 hindsight, information not available to the actors, and the fact that in many cases what we can coolly assess as the ‘right’ thing to do was poltically, economically, and likely paychologically impossible for those players - even if it was something they could contemplate - which likely they could not.

grimlock1

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #142 on: 29 January 2019, 17:37:22 »
Its interesting how our strategy discussion (which was really a tactics discussion) has headed into the direction of the psychology of the people involved on both sides of the Clan Invasion.  The -societies- involved shaped the armed forces, the soldiers, and the leaders on both sides - and define in large part how it played out.  The Clans have sharp edge supertech and supersoldiers, and a military-focused enough society to support a armed forces out of -any- comparison to the same population of inner sphere people - an even more impressive acheivement when you consider the tiny populations that somehow pay the care and feeding of massive warship fleets!  At the same time, their ‘WITNESS ME’ society and cultural mores that ensure that their strategic and operation decisions are made by the best guy in a knife fight undermine a lot of that.

On the flip, we have an inner sphere thats wrecked itself to the point its -less- economically productive than a postage stamp of people on marginal worlds after an exile, Comstar making everything worse every way they can, and distrustful feudal lords who see an existential threat to their society as a grand opportunity for chronic backstabbing disorder.  Sure, some militaries are something like vaguely competent, but a Zukov or a Patton would look at the inner sphere way of war and -weep-... and thats before we get to political appointees and social generals.

Not sure if have point, but worth noting that many of our coversations about what the Clans and/or Sphere coulda/woulda/shoulda done different/better are based on 20/20 hindsight, information not available to the actors, and the fact that in many cases what we can coolly assess as the ‘right’ thing to do was poltically, economically, and likely paychologically impossible for those players - even if it was something they could contemplate - which likely they could not.

In a sense psychology is critical to tactics.  The aim in warfare is to break the other side's will to fight. If you don't do that, the war will never end. Yes there will almost always be hold outs, ie Fedayeen Saddam, or Edo, but until the bulk of the population no longer supports the conflict AND believes they can make a life in a post war world, a population will continue to fight, even then absence of governmental leadership.

If you don't understand the opposition's psychology, you don't know where to apply pressure.

The fundamental shift for the Clan invasion is that the leaders and citizens of the sphere couldn't picture what life would be like if the Clans won. Spheroids on border planets had become accustomed to periodic "conquest."  New flags, new currency, the rent is still due on 20th, but payday is the 15th. Yes, that's a simplification but The Fed Suns didn't spend 20 years fighting insurrections on the their acquisitions from the 4th War.

Davion, Steiner, (Theodore) Kurita, Thomas Marik, Magnason, despite having egos that could only come from being hereditary monarchs, all loved their people.  Faced with the informed decision of billions of civilian deaths, versus their subjects living in the Wolf and Ghost Bear occupation zones, I think many of them would yield. Jade Falcon or Smoke Jag occupation zones... not sure about that. 

But they didn't have a crystal ball. Nobody knew what the Clans would do with the civilian populations.  Were civilians being slaughtered?  Was Sommerset being turned into a slave labor planet?  Did every man, woman and child on the conqured plants have an appointment in room 101 of the Ministry of Love?  Faced with those possibilities, neither the leadership, nor the unconquered population is likely to yield. 
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BloodRose

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #143 on: 03 February 2019, 00:11:57 »
Okay, before we discuss tactics we first have t discuss the power disparity.
At the beginning of the invasion the IS and Clan forces each have a Mech that has a polar opposite on the other side: the Warhammer and the Hellbringer. Both Mechs weigh in at a similar amount (70 and 65 tons respectively) and both are designed and outfitted for a roughly similar role and both have a similar loadout (assuming prime Hellbringer)
Firstly, both Mechs are intended to fight primarily at medium to long range until the enemy is softened up for the killing blow. In doing this both carry a primary armament of two PPC's, and backing this up on each is a six tubed short range missile launcher, laser array and a pair of MG's for dealing with Infantry, but even here we are seeing the disparity already.
>PPC's
The Warhammer carries two regular IS PPC's that can do 10 points of damage and hit out to a respectable 18 hexes, but the Hellbringer carries two CERPPC's that are swatting targets with 15 points of damage each, at a range of a whopping 23 hexes, easily out ranging and gunning the Warhamer.
But what about the fallback weapons?
>Laser Arrays
The Warhammer can call on a well rounded array of two Medium Laser's and two Small Laser's, giving it a nice bit of fallback for dealing with anything that gets within its minimal range. Its a nice backup and can deter lights from getting cocky, or finish off opponents crippled by the cannons, with the ML's hitting out to 9 hexes for 5 damage and the Small Lasers out to 3 hexes for 3 damage. Nice? Well, the Hellbringer only gets three CERML... But these are doing 7 damage out to 15 Hexes - nearly as far as the IS PPC!
Well this is already looking bad, but what about the missile systems?
>Missiles
The Warhammer gets a SRM 6, a nice close ranged punch for ripping through criticals like no tomorrow. It is a respectable weapon once again, and is the same as that used on the Atlas, and can be loaded with specialist munitions for other tasks. By comparison the Hellbringer gets a CSSRM6 that is essentially just like the SRM6, except there is none of this "well I missed and wasted ammo" or "I hit but only with one missile" malarkey, if you hit then every missile hits and if you miss then all the missiles miss.
Things are looking bad but its nothing yet....
>MG's
Both Mechs get two MG's. Same range and damage. But the Hellbringers are lighter of course.
And then we move on to
>Hellbringer only!
Because it can only get better amiright? No. The Hellbringer also carries four A-pods (essentially giant claymores) and a Antimissile system for point defence. And if that was not enough the Hellbringer also mounts a BAP to detect hidden units and pathfind, a ECM to provide that nice interference bubble, and the final nail in the coffin, a Clan Targeting Computer that really lets it bring the pain with precision.

Can the Warhammer recover?

>Armour
Both The Hellbringer has lighter armour, but even so the Warhammer's is nothing spectacular, although it does have the edge here. however this is offset by the fact that its opponent is pounding it with massive pinpoint damage groups at ranges it can only dream of.

>Speed
The Warhammer has a fairly average top speed of 6 hexes at a run. Compared to the Hellbringer that tops out at 8 hexes in a run, making it as fast (or faster in some cases) as most IS Medium Mechs, and completely outpacing the Warhammer.

>Cooling
The Warhammer should have the advantage here with its 18 heatsinks as opposed to the Hellbringers 13.... But the Warhammers are singles whilst the Hellbringer mounts doubles, easily out doing the IS mechs capability.

In conclusion the Hellbringer is faster than the Warhammer, whilst carrying superior (almost double) firepower and enough cooling to effectively use it whilst the fire control systems in it let the Hellbringer shred the IS Mech with highly accurate shots and the ECM and BAP add an extra depth to its defence. Armour is a noneissue as the Clan Mech hits hard enough to nullify the IS Mechs armour anyway.
And this is a Clan mech that is 5 tons lighter than the IS mech....

So, as you can see the Clans completely out power the IS Mechs, so in a one on one duel you will lose. But who said anything about 1v1? If you are fighting using BV then use that BV. Bring LRM carries and spotters, infantry platoons, pattons and scimitars, bulldogs and saladins. Hetzers are excellent when fitted with AC-10's. You have access to cheap units, use this. If you swarm them with fast units whilst your main line moves up, all the while keeping up a constant bombardment then you can destroy them. But one on one? Equal terms? Forget that, in material alone they will rape you like a snowman in hell. With those clank pilots vs your basic bod IS guy? Your a long metallic smear.
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Or at least it would be if someone would stick more heatsinks in!

Greatclub

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #144 on: 04 February 2019, 02:31:11 »
>Cooling
The Warhammer should have the advantage here with its 18 heatsinks as opposed to the Hellbringers 13.... But the Warhammers are singles whilst the Hellbringer mounts doubles, easily out doing the IS mechs capability.

The Loki dumps more heat, but it also generates a lot more. Worse, it doesn't bracket or volley well, and the streaks & AMS make it inconsistent. Firing both PPC and walking will drop the speed next turn, something it's to thin-skinned to afford. The Whammie can at least afford to 2-1-2.

The Hellbringer Prime might have more firepower, but can't use what it has as effectively. The Warhammer can ride its heat scale. The Hellbie is ridden by it's heat. I'd still bet on the Hellbringer, but not by as much as the disparity in BPV indicates I should be able to.

In my opinion the Hellbringer needs two things to be among the best warfighters in the clans. First is one more heatsink. Second is more armour. Still, we're comparing a high tier IS mech to a clan lemon, and the lemon comes out ahead.

Rifleman VS Vulture - now that's a matchup that goes entirely to the clan mech, despite its failings.

massey

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #145 on: 04 February 2019, 12:29:53 »
The Loki dumps more heat, but it also generates a lot more. Worse, it doesn't bracket or volley well, and the streaks & AMS make it inconsistent. Firing both PPC and walking will drop the speed next turn, something it's to thin-skinned to afford. The Whammie can at least afford to 2-1-2.

The Hellbringer Prime might have more firepower, but can't use what it has as effectively. The Warhammer can ride its heat scale. The Hellbie is ridden by it's heat. I'd still bet on the Hellbringer, but not by as much as the disparity in BPV indicates I should be able to.

In my opinion the Hellbringer needs two things to be among the best warfighters in the clans. First is one more heatsink. Second is more armour. Still, we're comparing a high tier IS mech to a clan lemon, and the lemon comes out ahead.

Rifleman VS Vulture - now that's a matchup that goes entirely to the clan mech, despite its failings.

The Loki was clearly "inspired by" the Warhammer.  I'd say it's a knock-off but the Clan tech makes it so much more powerful that it's hard to criticize it.  But I think the design intent was obviously to give a mech the Warhammer's weapon configuration (but upgraded), give it more speed, and do all that with a lighter chassis.  "It'll be a Warhammer, only 5/8 movement, the weapons do 50% more damage with 50% more range, and it'll be 5 tons lighter!"  The weaker armor and lower heat capacity are afterthoughts.  It's really a marvel on engineering when you think of the goal it set out to achieve.

On the tabletop, while the Loki is inspired by the Warhammer, you don't use it like a Warhammer.  Now I actually like the mech, but you've got to play to its strengths.  At long range with high to-hit numbers, you fire a single ER PPC.  You can do that all day long with no problems.  At longer ranges with moderate to-hits, you can follow a 2-1-2-1 firing pattern with both PPCs, and while you'll lose movement, you only slow down to the same speed as a normal Inner Sphere heavy mech.  In a situation where the Warhammer will be firing 2 PPCs at you (say needing 10s), you'll probably be in a better range bracket than him and you'll have the targeting computer.  You'll probably be firing back needing sevens, maybe even sixes because he doesn't have as good a movement profile as you do (and that's not counting your better Clan pilot).  So the Loki will want to hang out in that 13-14 hex range if it can get it.

As you get closer, the Loki will switch to firing a single ER PPC, 2 ER mediums, and the Streak 6.  If the Streak misses, you can walk and gain no heat.  If the Streak hits, the 12 damage you do to the enemy is more important than the 4 heat you take.  If you get into trouble with your heat, you can lay off the PPCs entirely and just go for 3 ER mediums and the Streak.

The Loki doesn't hit the heat break points that a lot of Battletech players love, but it's not really supposed to.  It's more of a concept mech, proof of how badass Clan technology is.  It's like the Man O' War, an 80 tonner with 5/8 movement that still has lots of room for weapons, or the Gladiator, a 95 tonner with 4/6(8)/4 and massive firepower.  It doesn't matter that they're not ultra-efficient, they were designed to be amazing feats of engineering.  The were designed to make 3025 players say "Holy crap!"

Sir Chaos

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #146 on: 04 February 2019, 13:24:25 »
The Loki dumps more heat, but it also generates a lot more. Worse, it doesn't bracket or volley well, and the streaks & AMS make it inconsistent. Firing both PPC and walking will drop the speed next turn, something it's to thin-skinned to afford. The Whammie can at least afford to 2-1-2.

The Hellbringer Prime might have more firepower, but can't use what it has as effectively. The Warhammer can ride its heat scale. The Hellbie is ridden by it's heat. I'd still bet on the Hellbringer, but not by as much as the disparity in BPV indicates I should be able to.

The Hellbringer Prime can use its speed to stay out of the Warhammer´s range and snipe it to death with a single ER-PPC from 19-23 hexes, or to stay at 10-15 hexes and use one ER-PPC and two ER medium lasers, putting out half again the damage the Warhammer does even with both PPCs (15+7+7=29 versus 20), occasionally dropping one ER medium if, between movement and the AMS, heat gets too high.
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ckosacranoid

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #147 on: 05 February 2019, 13:50:22 »
I have not really read the thread much, but there is only one very easy tactic....

Nukes, its the only way to be sure to win....or no one wins in that case, but who cares, your dead anyway....

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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #148 on: 05 February 2019, 14:35:12 »
I have not really read the thread much, but there is only one very easy tactic....

Nukes, its the only way to be sure to win....or no one wins in that case, but who cares, your dead anyway....

Weirdo tried that and missed.
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Re: Strategy for IS fighting Clans?
« Reply #149 on: 05 February 2019, 15:21:55 »
I did not!

Almost does count with nuclear weapons!
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