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Author Topic: March of the Merkavas  (Read 212 times)

Luxan

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March of the Merkavas
« on: 08 August 2019, 23:12:39 »
XTRO Primitives and TRO 3075 describe a series of Merkava upgrades that kept the venerable tank in service from the days of the Terran Alliance all the way to the end of the Reunification War. Of these, we only get full specifications for the Mk. VI (XTRO) and the Mk. VIII (TRO 3075), though the Mk. VII is pretty well described and an introduction date for the Mk. II is mentioned. So, I wondered what did these earlier designs might have looked like and my brain got to work.

I started with the Mk. II, as it's introduction date is listed as 2294. We don't know if the hypothetical Mk. I is in an any way related to the modern day Merkava but, whatever this "original" Merkava looked like, it exists in a time prior to any playable era of Battletech.

It seems likely that the weapons of the previous versions established the pattern that we see with the Mk. VI and Mk. VIII. That pattern being a main gun, supported with missiles and machine guns. But in 2294, we don't even have prototype LRMs or SRMs available, but we do have rocket launchers. Also, for the main gun, the AC/5 is available but there is a better choice. In an era when BAR 7 armor is the best available (and BAR 6 is the best that is widely available), the Heavy Rifle is clearly superior to the AC/5. The Heavy Rifle does nearly twice the damage, can breach any armor and it's only disadvantage is heavier ammo. So, the Mk. II might have looked something like this:

Code: [Select]
Merkava Mk. II Heavy Tank

Producer/Site: Leopard Armor, Terra
Developing Engineer: Unknown
Introduction Date: 2294
Non-Production Equipment Analysis:
    Primitive Combat Vehicle
    Primitive Rocket Launcher

Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Primitive)
Movement Type: Tracked (Medium)
Mass: 75 tons
Equipment Rating: C/C-X-X-X
BV: 415
Cost (C-bill equivalent): 741,563

=======================================================
Equipment                     Type                 Mass 
-------------------------------------------------------
Chassis/Controls:                                  13.0
Engine/Trans:                 ICE                  39.0
    Cruise MP:  4
    Flank MP:   6
Fuel:                         512 km                2.0
Heat Sinks:                   0                     0.0
Power Amplifier:                                    0.0
Turret:                                             1.5
Armor Factor (BAR 6):         83                    4.0

                     Internal    Armor
                     Structure   Factor
    Front            8           18
    R/L Side         8/8         16/16
    Rear             8           15
    Turret           8           18

=======================================================
Weapons & Equipment                    Location    Mass 
-------------------------------------------------------
1 Heavy Rifle                          Turret       8.0
2 Primitive RL 15                      Turret       2.0
1 Machine Gun                          Turret       0.5
1 Machine Gun                          Front        0.5
Ammo (Heavy Rifle) 18                  Body         3.0
Ammo (Machine Gun) 100                 Body         0.5
Basic Fire Control                     Body         1.0


Crew: 7 (1 officer, 2 enlisted, 4 gunners)
Cargo: None
Notes: None
« Last Edit: 14 August 2019, 11:20:00 by Luxan »

kaliban

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Re: March of the Merkavas
« Reply #1 on: 08 August 2019, 23:22:44 »
how do you build it with BAR6 armor? Do you use support vehicle rules for it?

Luxan

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Re: March of the Merkavas
« Reply #2 on: 08 August 2019, 23:36:00 »
Around 2300, several important technological advancements occur. First, Advanced Fire Control Systems become widely available, greatly increasing weapon accuracy. Second, the Terran Alliance presses its new Long-Range Missile systems into mass production. And finally, the Terran Alliance also puts BAR 7 armor into production, after lingering in prototype phase for about 50 years. And we also see it quickly proliferate to other factions. BAR 7 armor at Tech Rating C is a serious investment, requiring the Armored chassis mod and a 50% increase in structure mass. And on it's face it seems fairly pointless. We don't see any weapons in this age doing exactly 7 damage, so what extra protection does this significant development afford us? Also, the Armored Chassis mod in this age exists ONLY for BAR 7 armor, as BAR 8 requires Tech Level D and isn't available until the 25th century. But there must have been some reason for this this technology to go into production and then rapidly proliferate. Perhaps there was some anti-tank missile developed that this new armor was able to shrug off.

At any rate these new developments probably had the Merkava Mk. II feeling it's age within a few years of it's introduction. So, it seems likely that a Mk. III would soon replace it.

Code: [Select]
Merkava Mk. III Heavy Tank

Producer/Site: Leopard Armor, Terra
Developing Engineer: Unknown
Introduction Date: 2304
Non-Production Equipment Analysis:
    Primitive Combat Vehicle
    Primitive Rocket Launcher

Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Primitive)
Movement Type: Tracked (Medium)
Mass: 75 tons
Equipment Rating: C/D-X-X-X
BV: 521
Cost (C-bill equivalent): 891,625

=======================================================
Equipment                     Type                 Mass 
-------------------------------------------------------
Chassis/Controls:                                  19.5
Engine/Trans:                 ICE                  25.5
    Cruise MP:  3
    Flank MP:   5
Fuel:                         784 km                2.0
Heat Sinks:                   0                     0.0
Power Amplifier:                                    0.0
Turret:                                             1.5
Armor Factor (BAR 7):         80                    4.5

                     Internal    Armor
                     Structure   Factor
    Front            8           17
    R/L Side         8/8         16/16
    Rear             8           15
    Turret           8           16

=======================================================
Weapons & Equipment                    Location    Mass 
-------------------------------------------------------
1 Heavy Rifle                          Turret       8.0
1 LRM-10                               Turret       5.0
1 Primitive RL 15                      Turret       1.0
1 Machine Gun                          Turret       0.5
1 Machine Gun                          Front        0.5
Ammo (Heavy Rifle) 18                  Body         3.0
Ammo (LRM-10) 24                       Body         2.0
Ammo (Machine Gun) 100                 Body         0.5
Advanced Fire Control                  Body         1.5


Crew: 7 (1 officer, 2 enlisted, 4 gunners)
Cargo: None
Notes: Featured Armored Chassis and Control Modification
« Last Edit: 08 August 2019, 23:43:32 by Luxan »

Luxan

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Re: March of the Merkavas
« Reply #3 on: 08 August 2019, 23:39:31 »
how do you build it with BAR6 armor? Do you use support vehicle rules for it?

Yep, all combat vehicles prior to about 2460 are classed as "primitive" and use support vehicle rules up to Tech Rating C.

Luxan

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Re: March of the Merkavas
« Reply #4 on: 08 August 2019, 23:50:45 »
In 2306, the Terrain Alliance developed the first prototype Large Lasers. It was fearsome weapon that, like the Heavy Rifle, could defeat any armor available at the time. So it seems likely that the Merkava might serve as a test bed for the weapon. The Mk. IV is the result of refitting a Mk. III with the new "laser cannon". Unfortunately, the huge heat sink system and power amplifier required by the laser meant removing a machine gun, the rocket launchers, and only having five LRM tubes. Ultimately, the Mk. IV suffered from reduced firepower and, never progressed past the prototype stage.

Code: [Select]
Merkava Mk. IV Heavy Tank

Producer/Site: Leopard Armor, Terra
Developing Engineer: Unknown
Introduction Date: 2312
Non-Production Equipment Analysis:
    Primitive Combat Vehicle
    Primitive Prototype Large Laser

Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Primitive)
Movement Type: Tracked (Medium)
Mass: 75 tons
Equipment Rating: D/F-X-X-X
BV: 435
Cost (C-bill equivalent): 954,844

=======================================================
Equipment                     Type                 Mass 
-------------------------------------------------------
Chassis/Controls:                                  19.5
Engine/Trans:                 ICE                  25.5
    Cruise MP:  3
    Flank MP:   5
Fuel:                         784 km                2.0
Heat Sinks:                   12                   12.0
Power Amplifier:                                    0.5
Turret:                                             1.0
Armor Factor (BAR 7):         80                    4.5

                     Internal    Armor
                     Structure   Factor
    Front            8           17
    R/L Side         8/8         16/16
    Rear             8           15
    Turret           8           16

=======================================================
Weapons & Equipment                    Location    Mass 
-------------------------------------------------------
1 Primitive Prototype Large Laser      Turret       5.0
1 LRM-5                                Turret       2.0
1 Machine Gun                          Turret       0.5
Ammo (LRM-5) 24                        Body         1.0
Ammo (Machine Gun) 100                 Body         0.5
Advanced Fire Control                  Body         1.0


Crew: 5 (1 officer, 2 enlisted, 2 gunners)
Cargo: None
Notes: Featured Armored Chassis and Control Modification

Luxan

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Re: March of the Merkavas
« Reply #5 on: 09 August 2019, 00:00:55 »
With the disappointment of the Mk. IV, the Mk. III would serve the Terran Hegemony for decades. But in 2370, the Hegemony put it's new Short-Range Missile launchers into production. They were similar to unguided rockets, but carried significantly larger warheads and, like the LRM launchers, came with an auto-reloading mechanism. The Mk. V sought to capitalize on this new technology, replacing it's missiles and rockets with 12 of the new SRM tubes. While this system provided devestating short-range firepower and had no minimum arming distance to contend with, the slow Merkavas had difficulty employing the weapons effectively. So, the a call was made to carry a mixed LRM and SRM combination, which would be deployed with the LRM-10 and SRM-4 combination of the Mk. VI. In the end, the Mk. V was in service for little more than a decade, completely replaced by the Mk. VI in 2384.

Code: [Select]
Merkava Mk. V Heavy Tank

Producer/Site: Leopard Armor, Terra
Developing Engineer: Unknown
Introduction Date: 2372
Non-Production Equipment Analysis:
Primitive Combat Vehicle

Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Primitive)
Movement Type: Tracked (Medium)
Mass: 75 tons
Equipment Rating: C/D-X-X-X
BV: 520
Cost (C-bill equivalent): 949,375

=======================================================
Equipment                     Type                 Mass 
-------------------------------------------------------
Chassis/Controls:                                  19.5
Engine/Trans:                 ICE                  25.5
    Cruise MP:  3
    Flank MP:   5
Fuel:                         784 km                2.0
Heat Sinks:                   0                     0.0
Power Amplifier:                                    0.0
Turret:                                             1.5
Armor Factor (BAR 7):         80                    4.5

                     Internal    Armor
                     Structure   Factor
    Front            8           17
    R/L Side         8/8         16/16
    Rear             8           15
    Turret           8           16

=======================================================
Weapons & Equipment                    Location    Mass 
-------------------------------------------------------
1 Heavy Rifle                          Turret       8.0
2 SRM-6                                Turret       6.0
1 Machine Gun                          Turret       0.5
1 Machine Gun                          Front        0.5
Ammo (Heavy Rifle) 18                  Body         3.0
Ammo (SRM-6) 30                        Body         2.0
Ammo (Machine Gun) 100                 Body         0.5
Advanced Fire Control                  Body         1.5


Crew: 7 (1 officer, 2 enlisted, 4 gunners)
Cargo: None
Notes: Featured Armored Chassis and Control Modification

kaliban

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Re: March of the Merkavas
« Reply #6 on: 13 August 2019, 23:11:54 »
Yep, all combat vehicles prior to about 2460 are classed as "primitive" and use support vehicle rules up to Tech Rating C.

do you use any specif software to make the support vehicles? I never found a good for them

Luxan

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Re: March of the Merkavas
« Reply #7 on: 14 August 2019, 11:18:25 »
do you use any specif software to make the support vehicles? I never found a good for them

Not really, I have an Excel spreadsheet with a template for some of the core calculations and tables. But much of it still requires manual intervention.

 

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