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Author Topic: Size/composition of an ambitious independent planet’s military (post-Jihad)  (Read 412 times)

Nav_Alpha

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Say you’re an FWL world that came through the Jihad without getting nuked back to the Stone Age and somehow avoided starvation, outbreaks of plagues, etc.
You see the writing in the wall and realise no help is coming from Atreus, so you declare yourself independent - or maybe, the FWL just abandons you in the chaos.

As we get into the 3080s, you want to ensure your independence - no one wants to be forced into being a Regulan or a Cappie when you can be free!
And safety in numbers, right? So, why not lean on your neighbours as well? Force them to fall in line.

So, what kind of military would an ambitious, prosperous independent world with an eye on expansion muster?

I’m thinking it’s obvious to lean toward a lot of infantry and armour with limited Mechs.
But how many Mechs? Is a battalion too much for such a place?
And what about Mercs?

Appreciate some input.


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glitterboy2098

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i suspect that the ex-FWL region had a thriving regional mercenary industry. with the Republic of the Sphere putting restrictions on mercenary units in regards to size, contracts, and so on, and many of the other inner sphere powers following suite with their own versions of such rules, the ex-FWL would end up a haven of sorts, where the older style wild-and-wooly mercenary industry can thrive.

so that would help some with the availability of mechs. it probably wouldn't be hard to hire a battalion or even regiment of mechs, though you might have to hire several smaller sized units to get those numbers.

as far as vehicles and such go, unless they are buying from offworld, i suspect most worlds couldn't produce much more than age of war level tech. if that.

Maingunnery

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You might also end up with a large militia with Primitive Mechs.
Many of them are still pretty decent.
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idea weenie

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My suggestions:
  • Artillery - to deal with enemy Dropships and encourage the raiders to leave earlier than they planned
  • ASF - able to reach anywhere on the planet in less than an hour by going orbital, plus can engage Dropships that are coming in
  • Space Station or few - their entire purpose is to provide deep space tracking to help you determine if there are Dropships coming in (Large Naval Comm-scanner)
  • VTOLs & infantry - send them in on semi-suicide missions to capture enemy Dropships; but note that in the case of pirates this may make them fight harder as they have nowhere to run
  • Bribes: if you have pirates attacking, offer a cash reward for any pirate who shoots/takes out their buddy.  This reward will drop based on time they are on-planet, damage done, and materials stolen/people kidnapped/reputation.  So 'Mad Dog Morgan' might have a multi-million C-Bill reward due to acts of plunder, but the rookie behind Morgan might only have a quarter million because it is the rookie's first (known) mission.  That rookie might be really tempted to make a backshot.
  • Fortifications: local towns need to have some sort of ferrocrete defenses for armored vehicles to park in, to help defend against attackers.  Mechs can use them if they go prone, but that gives them a defense penalty due to being stationary.
  • Small Dropships - larger engines are likely harder to build, so you pick a good cargo/troop transport, and use it to reposition defenders in response to pirate attacks
  • Nukes - if you really expect to face a large force, use nukes to make them want to go anywhere else
  • Simple designs - instead of going with hodge-podge of dozens of different types of units, try to settle on a single Mech design, 3-4 vehicle designs, and just build lots of them.  Keep your design teams handy in case there is a flaw in one design, so they can rapidly fix it and send out the updates.
  • Diplomats - instead of fighting off or conquering your neighbors, try to ally with them.  That way you get most of the benefits of conquering them, without their troops in our streets or having to pay for your troops in their streets.  Just be careful about being pulled into their external affairs
  • Mercs - make sure to get the right ones, where they serve as cadre/trainers, plus a garrison contract.  This way you get trained specialists who can rapidly advance the skill level of your troops, without as much of the casualties as actual combat.  You will likely have to offer a small landhold for the Mercs, but if they know they have a place they can retire to that is often a good deal.  Better are the ones who are fairly decent, but down on their luck.  They know this will be their only chance for a good contract, so will work harder.  Plus it prevents another group from potentially going pirate to survive.

Kovax

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I would figure on hiring several smaller mercenary units, rather than one or two larger ones who might get ideas about setting themselves up as the new planetary government.  Vehicle production depends heavily on the planet's industrial capabilities, which vary widely.

Assuming that you can make standard tanks (Scorpions or Vedettes, possibly supported by an LRM variant of the same chassis) and some form of APC, between those and the Mercs you can probably face down one or two less industrialized worlds without a serious fight.  Another industrialized planet would be nice, but might not be worth the inevitable loss of some of the less replaceable pre-Jihad equipment.  An alliance might be better, depending on the leadership on the other planet, and if they're similarly trying to expand.  Both of you grinding yourselves down to subdue the other would be a worst-case scenario, and leaving both ripe for conquest by an outsider.

Odds are, a 2-4 planet cluster is about all you're going to be able to defend and provide transport between anyway, without some way of increasing your Jumpship and Dropship compliment.  Promoting yourself as a safe tax haven for certain key industries might eventually draw a bit more technological capability for more advanced ground forces, but that will take decades to really come on line, if it happens at all.  You don't start cranking out Battlemechs from scratch overnight.

Colt Ward

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I would use Alula Australius or whatever it was from the MWDA books as a example.  The local lord, whatever Gareth? had formed a sort of power-bloc with neighbors and was known to be a leader in the region per Jessica.  It was a soft-power based coalition based IIRC on their export of some sort of grain and formed a grouping in between Oriente and MSC.  I think it was four to six worlds or systems that formed the coalition.

IMO Kendall during the broken up FWL would have been a great new merc hiring hall- especially since Astrokazy fell under the Rim government.  Kendall was far enough from the Republic that it was not in easy reach for Stone to exert lots of pressure.  The Protector units were originally based off of Kendall, they had their own training grounds there IIRC (still need to get that PDF!  forgot!) and it provides access to several heavy mechs- Hercules & Orion- and later the Quasimodo.  The vehicle factory churns out Bulwark, Galleon and Main Gauche (woo, IFV!) though after the Jihad those lines were disrupted.  And not far off on Westover Aero units are built by that independent world.
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GermanSumo

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actually... for an (even well off) rich independent planet, i would go for .... PO´s. as many as liao would be willing to sell me. the fluff of the po states describes this tank basically renovating the capellans economy that was in shambles. cheap, easy to maintain. put at least a dozen into your major population centers. IF theres money left... top this off with some watchmen (if the fedrats are willing to send some your way). and maybe some ancient standard chargers which nobody wants. those can be handled by aggro or construction mech pilots in case of an emergency. since you cant do much more else with them than melee attack anything in reach.

glitterboy2098

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actually if you are already buying Capellan, why not buy Vindicator's instead of Watchmen?

Tai Dai Cultist

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Build lots, and lots, and then double that, then double it again, of whatever conventional forces the indigenous industry can produce/support.

Exact numbers would depend on factors such as:

Total population: Even a completely agricultural society can permanently maintain 1 to 2 percent of its population in a professional army, although most soldiers in a modern army are not combat troops. 

Balkanization of the planet: Does the planet have a unified command structure or is it a pastiche of independent fiefdoms?

Neighborhood: The military strength of nearby systems is important in a relative sense.  X regiments of troops can be mainly meaningful as a measure against the Y and Z of the neighboring worlds.  Conventional military wisdom states that you want 3 to 1 advantage in numbers when you attack, so if your X is less than 3Y or 3Z you'll look like a tough nut in the local area rather than a threat to the collective area.  And if you want to BE a threat to the local area, you're gonna need to not just keep up with the next planet(s) over but do so triple-times over.

On Mercs:  You'll assuredly want/need them, unless your independent world somehow has mech production facilities.  A podunk world is too far down the totem pole to conduct a buildup by throwing money at an off-world factory.  Mercs, as they did in the Succession Wars, bring you mechs to your otherwise mech-deficient army.  With the collapse of the C-Bill, you can offer what's still valuable: security and land.  Invest them with their own fief, and you'll probably be able to entice them to stick around permanently and maybe even pull off the Company Store on them.
« Last Edit: 07 November 2018, 19:34:59 by Tai Dai Cultist »

GermanSumo

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actually if you are already buying Capellan, why not buy Vindicator's instead of Watchmen?


just because of 200 - 350 k price tag difference. i tried to get the most bang for the buck ;) and i dunno if the capellans still sell the 3025 model in the after jihad era. it may sound ridiculous. but if you get 10 watchman you save 2 million credits. a full house might not care. but individual worlds should (im not telling they always do!). and the watchman and the chargers were my picks IF available. either way. the vindies would also do.

truetanker

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I'd build the Cronus-3M mech @ less than 5 Million a pop, Bulldogs ( standard - aaAC - LRM ) and the APC ( as the Raptor RRV ).

Given that all of these can be built with ease, one only has to procure the Battle Armor suits and Aero.

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Colt Ward

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On Mercs:  You'll assuredly want/need them, unless your independent world somehow has mech production facilities.  A podunk world is too far down the totem pole to conduct a buildup by throwing money at an off-world factory.  Mercs, as they did in the Succession Wars, bring you mechs to your otherwise mech-deficient army.  With the collapse of the C-Bill, you can offer what's still valuable: security and land.  Invest them with their own fief, and you'll probably be able to entice them to stick around permanently and maybe even pull off the Company Store on them.

Actually, you could go the 'recent' Marian route for after the Jihad- buy salvage-quality mechs or ones being retired.  Should have been quite a buyers market for Mechs built with primitive tech after the Jihad when the national militaries re-asserted themselves and started to drink the kool-aid.  Its also why you would approach the few independent factories in the League . . . and also why the Marians were selling equipment to independent powers to make them clients.
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Fallen_Raven

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Grab the nearest Quickscell representative and shake them until designs fall out. The Scorpion, Vedette, and the various weapon carriers are all cheap and easy to produce, and can be maintained out of a modest local industry. If quantity is a quality of its own, then its hard to beat the quality of massed discount vehicles.If nothing else you avoid the classic problem of not having enough units to cover your territories.

After that you buy up all the Retrotech that's flooding the market. The Successor States might not consider a Pathfinder to be a threat, but they still respect a Battlemech more than any number of vehicles. As an added bonus, its cheaper to upgrade Retrotech piecemeal than to buy modern 'mechs upfront.

Once you have a solid ground contingent I'd look into some Conventional Fighters. They aren't going to win any air battles, but they can convince scout planes that there's easier places to look. They're also able to drop bombs as well as their more expensive cousins, providing some valuable threat distance when someone decides to land in the boondocks.
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Nav_Alpha

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So, for context - I’m looking at Orhensen. Between 3080 and 81 it forged a multi world province. Only to get gobbled up by the Republic.
I’m thinking - based on the description on that world being a pretty nasty mixture of fascism and syndicalism - that it coerced its neighbours into the deal.
I’d only go as far as some raids, threats and lots of economic pressure.

I’m thinking a battalion of Mechs, backed by maybe an armoured regiment and a couple infantry regiments would do. On top of say, another mixed battalion or two of mercs.
I figure the infantry is mostly the former militia - now nationalised - while the Mechs are a mix of militia, salvage in the wake of the 1st Marik Militia getting nuked on world by the Word of Blake, plus some mercs offered long term work.
Armour would be a mix of merc and former militia, etc.

Thoughts? Enough to look like a threat but not break the bank?

Equipment break down is probably a lot of 3050 era stuff, some 3025 left overs and a sprinkling of new stuff salvaged from the 1st Marik Militia’s graveyard


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Kidd

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So, what kind of military would an ambitious, prosperous independent world with an eye on expansion muster?

I’m thinking it’s obvious to lean toward a lot of infantry and armour with limited Mechs.
But how many Mechs? Is a battalion too much for such a place?
And what about Mercs?

In the canon DA universe (which I don't fully subscribe to, but eh) many minor battles are being fought with LCTs made up of a reinforced battalion of Mechs and essentially a battalion combat team, as opposed to regimental.

Hence a militia should experience the same 1/3rd downsizing. A strong 3067-era militia would have at most a battalion of Mechs and full supporting arms; a militia in 3130s with a third of that should be very decent.

I mean look at the DA books, the Swordsworn are basically the size of a planetary or (small) regional militia and they're shuffling company-sized forces around. Aim for that.

Composition - for inspiration, take a look at say a NATO brigade, and think of their BT equivalents. Off the top of my head, you'll need Mechs, tanks, infantry, BA (aplenty in DA era), artillery, ASFs... Support arms like engineers for fixed defences, minelayers or chemical troops for sneaky smoke shenanigans, medical because you need to conserve forces, etc...

P.S. re your new post - a less moral Govt wouldn't mind doubling down on the Infernos and flamers and whatever nasty stuff you can think of without going full WMD. The suggested force size is too large I think, see above. And 3060s equipment is not a problem cause post Jihad this stuff is accessible to miltiias too.
« Last Edit: 08 November 2018, 02:47:39 by Kidd »

skiltao

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My first guess would be

[desired size of province] * [total military of Free Worlds] / [total size of Free Worlds]

but I don't know what those numbers are in 3081.
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Hellraiser

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Any world that has a sizable population & industry base  (v/s one where food & supplies are imported to covered domes filled w/ ore miners) is going to be able to get you the following with out too much effort.


1 Division of Infantry  (2 Brigades Foot,  1 Brigade Motorized)
1 Brigade of Combat Vehicles  (Light Regiment, Medium Regiment, IFV Regiment)
1 Lance-Company of Light/Medium mechs
1 Squadron of Light ASF,  2 Squadrons of Light/Medium Conventions Strike Fighters.
1 Battalion+ of random assorted specialty units  (Artillery, Scouts, Engineers, Recon Aircraft)

Not to say this is the norm, there are plenty of worlds with a single ugly PUG regiment, but there are also worlds like Tikonov with 80+ Conventional Regiments & 2-3 Mech Regiments.

So this is a solid "in the middle" kind of world. 
Sure, the quality is lots of Green & Regular with just a few Veteran units/leaders, but its not a single battalion of infantry that's for sure.
In should also be noted that the above is scattered around the entire planet & often answers to different leaders of factions/countries/nobles, etc etc, that all contribute to the above total & in no way suggests that they are all cooperative with each other & oppose your single raiding mech company all together at once.
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Colt Ward

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I think part of your equation that might involve how quickly the planet ramps up their own protective force after the League falls apart.  Depending on when they started will definitely change the experience level of your units since they will have more time for exercises and to a lesser extent effect number of units- if you have the materials, land and cadre you can pump out a LOT of standard infantry in the space of 3 to 4 months.  Infantry is what you will need to occupy any territory.  You can also turn out vehicle crews in about the same amount of time.

The problem will come down to you may have technically capable infantry & vehicle crews but rapid expansion means you are going to promote/take in a LOT of junior officers who will be clueless.  The NCO corp will not be much better.  The glut you are setting up in your personnel pipeline is going to give you a lot of inexperienced leaders . . . and I think you might end up with a lot of marginal ones you might not have wanted to promote in a slower/static growth period.  Your armor/vehicle forces are going to have a bit of a readiness challenge since their experience level for fixing your vehicles is going to be pretty low . . . unless you are drafting entire Peterbilt repair shops.

Planetary militia will have to expand their own training programs as well as finding a new source of officers & senior NCOs who got out of the Fed forces to end up somewhere cushy to retire from.
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