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Author Topic: Thirty ton army design challenge  (Read 508 times)

Liam's Ghost

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Thirty ton army design challenge
« on: 06 February 2020, 23:42:44 »
Imagine for a moment that you are authorizing the equipping of an army for a small state. You will be equipping the equivalent of ten mech regiments (say around twelve hundred mechs).

You have access to only introductory technology, and your mechs are limited to a maximum mass of 30 tons and a maximum engine rating of 180.

(Your nation can also build tanks and internal combustion engines of any size and can field roughly five times as many, which isn't the direct focus of this challenge but could potentially influence some of your decisions)

What kind of mechs would you have your designers turn out?
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

(indirect accessory to the) Slayer of Monitors!

Iron Grenadier

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #1 on: 07 February 2020, 04:00:06 »
I'd probably copy the Fire Javelin 10F and Valkyrie QA for the 'mechs.

Sabelkatten

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #2 on: 07 February 2020, 05:12:42 »
I'd go with two basic designs:

9/14 20-ton scout, 4 tons armor, 2xML or ML+Flamer

6/9 30-tonner, 6 tons armor, lots of variants:

-(Fire Javelin)
-PPC + ML + SHS
-LL + LRM5 + SHS
-AC/2 +2xML
-3xLRM5 + ML
-3xML + LRM5 + 6xJJ
-LL + Flamer +6xJJ
-SRM6 + ML + Flamer + 6xJJ

Should cover most needs.

EDIT: Stats for universal light mech, 30 tons:

Code: [Select]
Omnilum ULM-30-A

Mass: 30 tons
Tech Base: Inner Sphere
Chassis Config: Biped Omnimech
Rules Level: Introductory
Era: Clan Invasion
Tech Rating/Era Availability: E/X-X-E-A
Production Year: 3070
Cost: 2,322,125 C-Bills
Battle Value: 476

Chassis: Unknown Standard
Power Plant: Unknown 180 Fusion Engine
Walking Speed: 64.8 km/h
Maximum Speed: 97.2 km/h
Jump Jets: Unknown
    Jump Capacity: 0 meters
Armor: Unknown Standard Armor
Armament:
    9.0 tons of pod space.
Manufacturer: Unknown
    Primary Factory: Unknown
Communications System: Unknown
Targeting and Tracking System: Unknown

================================================================================
Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Internal Structure: Standard                      51 points                3.00
Engine:             Fusion Engine                180                       7.00
    Walking MP: 6
    Running MP: 9
    Jumping MP: 0
Heat Sinks:         Single Heat Sink             10                        0.00
    Heat Sink Locations: 1 LT, 1 RT, 1 RL
Gyro:               Standard                                               2.00
Cockpit:            Standard                                               3.00
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA    R: SH+UA
Armor:              Standard Armor               AV -  96                  6.00

                                                      Internal       Armor     
                                                      Structure      Factor     
                                                Head     3            8         
                                        Center Torso     10           15       
                                 Center Torso (rear)                  5         
                                           L/R Torso     7            10       
                                    L/R Torso (rear)                  4         
                                             L/R Arm     5            10       
                                             L/R Leg     7            10       



================================================================================
Loadout Name: A                                              Cost: 2,952,300
Tech Rating/Era Availability: E/X-X-E-A                       BV2: 835

Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jumping MP: 6  (Standard)
    Jump Jet Locations: 3 LT, 3 RT                                         3.00
Heat Sinks:         Single Heat Sink             12                        2.00
    Heat Sink Locations: 1 CT, 1 LT, 1 RT, 1 LL, 1 RL
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA+LA+H    R: SH+UA+LA+H

Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Medium Laser                                 HD        3         1         1.00
Medium Laser                                 CT        3         1         1.00
Medium Laser                                 RT        3         1         1.00
Medium Laser                                 LT        3         1         1.00
                                            Free Critical Slots: 32

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      3    Points: 8
6j         2       2       0       0      1     0   Structure:  3
Special Abilities: OMNI, ENE, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA


================================================================================
Loadout Name: B                                              Cost: 2,929,550
Tech Rating/Era Availability: E/X-X-E-A                       BV2: 825

Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jumping MP: 6  (Standard)
    Jump Jet Locations: 2 CT, 2 LT, 2 RT                                   3.00
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA+LA+H    R: SH+UA+LA+H

Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Medium Laser                                 HD        3         1         1.00
Medium Laser                                 RT        3         1         1.00
Medium Laser                                 LT        3         1         1.00
LRM-5                                        RA        2         1         2.00
@LRM-5 (24)                                  RA        -         1         1.00
                                            Free Critical Slots: 33

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      3    Points: 8
6j         2       2       1       0      1     0   Structure:  3
Special Abilities: OMNI, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA


================================================================================
Loadout Name: C                                              Cost: 2,860,488
Tech Rating/Era Availability: E/X-X-E-A                       BV2: 731

Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jumping MP: 6  (Standard)
    Jump Jet Locations: 3 LT, 3 RT                                         3.00
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA+LA+H    R: SH+UA+LA+H

Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Large Laser                                  CT        8         2         5.00
Flamer                                       RA        3         1         1.00
                                            Free Critical Slots: 35

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      3    Points: 7
6j         1       1       0       0      1     0   Structure:  3
Special Abilities: OMNI, ENE, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA


================================================================================
Loadout Name: D                                              Cost: 2,892,988
Tech Rating/Era Availability: E/X-X-E-A                       BV2: 691

Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jumping MP: 6  (Standard)
    Jump Jet Locations: 3 LT, 3 RT                                         3.00
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA+LA+H    R: SH+UA+LA+H

Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SRM-6                                        CT        4         2         3.00
Medium Laser                                 RA        3         1         1.00
Flamer                                       LA        3         1         1.00
@SRM-6 (15)                                  HD        -         1         1.00
                                            Free Critical Slots: 33

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      3    Points: 7
6j         2       2       0       0      1     0   Structure:  3
Special Abilities: OMNI, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA


================================================================================
Loadout Name: E                                              Cost: 2,728,050
Tech Rating/Era Availability: E/X-X-E-A                       BV2: 809

Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Heat Sinks:         Single Heat Sink             11                        1.00
    Heat Sink Locations: 1 CT, 1 LT, 1 RT, 1 RL
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA+LA+H    R: SH+UA+LA+H

Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PPC                                          LT        10        3         7.00
Medium Laser                                 RA        3         1         1.00
                                            Free Critical Slots: 39

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      3    Points: 8
6          2       2       1       0      1     0   Structure:  3
Special Abilities: OMNI, ENE, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA


================================================================================
Loadout Name: F                                              Cost: 2,549,300
Tech Rating/Era Availability: E/X-X-E-A                       BV2: 717

Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Heat Sinks:         Single Heat Sink             11                        1.00
    Heat Sink Locations: 1 LT, 1 RT, 1 LL, 1 RL
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA+LA+H    R: SH+UA+LA+H

Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Large Laser                                  CT        8         2         5.00
LRM-5                                        RA        2         1         2.00
@LRM-5 (24)                                  RA        -         1         1.00
                                            Free Critical Slots: 39

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      3    Points: 7
6          1       2       1       0      1     0   Structure:  3
Special Abilities: OMNI, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA


================================================================================
Loadout Name: G                                              Cost: 2,574,000
Tech Rating/Era Availability: E/X-X-E-A                       BV2: 657

Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA    R: SH+UA

Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2 Medium Lasers                              CT        6         2         2.00
Autocannon/2                                 RA        1         1         6.00
@AC/2 (45)                                   RA        -         1         1.00
                                            Free Critical Slots: 44

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      3    Points: 7
6          2       2       1       0      1     0   Structure:  3
Special Abilities: OMNI, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA


================================================================================
Loadout Name: H                                              Cost: 2,546,050
Tech Rating/Era Availability: E/X-X-E-A                       BV2: 726

Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA+LA+H    R: SH+UA+LA+H

Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Medium Laser                                 CT        3         1         1.00
LRM-5                                        CT        2         1         2.00
LRM-5                                        RA        2         1         2.00
LRM-5                                        LA        2         1         2.00
@LRM-5 (24)                                  HD        -         1         1.00
@LRM-5 (24)                                  RL        -         1         1.00
                                            Free Critical Slots: 38

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      3    Points: 7
6          1       2       1       0      1     0   Structure:  3
Special Abilities: OMNI, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA, IF 1

 :)
« Last Edit: 09 February 2020, 06:19:38 by Sabelkatten »

Ruger

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #3 on: 07 February 2020, 05:32:33 »
I would have to say a mix of Javelin (anti-armor), Fire Javelin (general trooper), Valkyrie (long-range fire support), Spider (mobile recon), and a mix of Flea and Locust (anti-infantry/fast skirmishers).

Maybe some Falcon for additional heavy trooper. Or something similar to it, but 5/8/5 with a large laser ilo the medium, the MG’s in the arms ilo the rear torsos and a half ton less ammo and a half ton more armor.

Ruger
« Last Edit: 07 February 2020, 05:46:04 by Ruger »
"If someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back." - Malcolm Reynolds, Firefly

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Daryk

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #4 on: 07 February 2020, 05:48:54 »
Can't reach the Spider with a maximum engine size of 180.

With the ability to build bigger tanks, I think the 'mechs are better focused on jumping designs.  6/9/6 at 30 tons and 7/11/7 at 25 are both doable, and let's not forget 3/5/3 at 30 tons either (fast Urbanmech clones FTW... they have 12 tons to work with at max armor).

Ruger

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #5 on: 07 February 2020, 07:17:59 »
Can't reach the Spider with a maximum engine size of 180.

Oops.

 :-[

Right. No 8/12/8 then. Guess just the speedy bugs then for 8/12 or 9/14 movement recon and the like.

Edit: I also like the concept of an intro-tech Battle Hawk:

Code: [Select]

                 BattleMech Technical Readout

Name/Model:         Battle Hawk BH-K105
Designer:           Ruger
Source(s):          Custom Mordel.Net Units
Technology:         Inner Sphere
Technology Rating:  D
Tonnage:            30
Configuration:      Biped BattleMech
Era/Year:           Late Succession Wars / 3049
Rules (Current):    Introductory
Rules (Era):        Introductory
Rules (Year):       Introductory
Total Cost:         2,227,940 C-Bills
Battle Value:       775

Chassis:             
Power Plant:          150 Fusion
Walking Speed:        54 kph   
Maximum Speed:        86.4 kph 
Jump Jets:           
    Jump Capacity:    150 meters
Armor:                Standard
Armament:             
    3 Medium Lasers
    1 SRM 4
    1 Machine Gun
Equipment                                                             Mass                     
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Internal Structure:                          Standard                  3.00                     
Engine:                                     150 Fusion                 5.50                     
    Walking MP:                                 5                                               
    Running MP:                                 8                                               
    Jumping MP:                                 5                                               
Heat Sinks (Single):                            11                     1.00                     
Gyro:                                        Standard                  2.00                     
Cockpit:                                     Standard                  3.00                     
Armor Factor:                                   96                     6.00                     
    Type:                                    Standard                                           

                                    Internal         Armor     
                                    Structure        Value     
    Head:                               3              9       
    Center Torso:                      10             16       
    Center Torso (rear):                               3       
    R/L Torso:                          7             10       
    R/L Torso (rear):                                  3       
    R/L Arm:                            5              9       
    R/L Leg:                            7             12       

================================================================================================
Weapons and Ammo                                       Location          Critical     Tonnage   
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Machine Gun                                               H                 1          0.50             
Jump Jet                                                  CT                1          0.50             
Machine Gun (Ammo 100)                                    LT                1          0.50             
SRM 4 (Ammo 25)                                           LT                1          1.00             
3 Medium Lasers                                           RA                3          3.00             
SRM 4                                                     LA                1          2.00             
2 Jump Jets                                               RL                2          1.00             
2 Jump Jets                                               LL                2          1.00 

Ruger
« Last Edit: 07 February 2020, 08:54:06 by Ruger »
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Starfury

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #6 on: 07 February 2020, 08:25:11 »
I wouldn't build Mechs at all.  I would save the fusion engines for aerospace fighters, elite vehicle regiments, and then build tanks/infantry carriers/etc.  Infantry and combat vehicles may not be as survivable as Mechs in BT, but they're far easier to maintain, arm, transport, are less expensive, and work well in combined arms regiments.

Atarlost

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #7 on: 07 February 2020, 15:53:21 »
I'm with Starfury.  There's not much benefit to mechs over vehicles until the armor gets thick enough to resist penetration.  Yes, they can jump at this tech level and tanks can't, but VTOL movement is better than jump.  There's some room for a jumping urban warfare specialist, but that's kind of niche. 

Daryk

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #8 on: 07 February 2020, 17:26:50 »
It's not just urban warfare, though.  A 'mech can bring a heck of a lot more firepower to bear (in a more survivable package) than any VTOL.  Tanks are barred from heavy woods, and hovers from all woods.  They're still niche, it's just a bigger niche than that.

Atarlost

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #9 on: 08 February 2020, 00:12:46 »
It's not just urban warfare, though.  A 'mech can bring a heck of a lot more firepower to bear (in a more survivable package) than any VTOL.  Tanks are barred from heavy woods, and hovers from all woods.  They're still niche, it's just a bigger niche than that.

Battles occur around places where people are.  Forests impassable to tanks don't.  Historically they get turned into firewood and furniture and housing or just cleared for agriculture.  By the time a world can think about mass producing tanks the area near major cities and the spaceport will be logged out.  Any tree farms would have access roads for logging trucks and would thus have to count as light woods. Isolated stands of heavy woods are just artillery targets if you don't have your own infantry in them already. 

Light mechs have questionable durability and VTOLs aren't as fragile under TW as in the past due to rotor changes and "bringing more firepower" is nonsense.  It's not the number of guns on a platform that matters; it's the number of guns in the army.  Fusion engines are limited and there is no substitute for ASF, while there are substitutes for mechs. 

Daryk

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #10 on: 08 February 2020, 05:45:48 »
Read the OP again...

Atarlost

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #11 on: 09 February 2020, 00:51:41 »
Read the OP again...

The relevant bit is this paragraph:
(Your nation can also build tanks and internal combustion engines of any size and can field roughly five times as many, which isn't the direct focus of this challenge but could potentially influence some of your decisions)

Hellraiser

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #12 on: 09 February 2020, 03:14:44 »
Locust-2L      (Its from an early source, some author's variant, I forget where, but Drop the MG's for a 180 Engine & 2nd ML.)
Javelin-10F
Valkyrie-QA     Vindicator-1R


Heavy APCs



Edit,  realized I had a better choice for Firesupport.
« Last Edit: 16 February 2020, 00:12:53 by Hellraiser »
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Cannonshop

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #13 on: 09 February 2020, 12:34:22 »
The most perfect weapon system ever concieved;

Urbanmechs!!!

as many variants as possible, but urbies.  I don't mind my 'mech units being very, very, very, slow.

I beats the Urbie to death with my CHARGER!!!

kindalas

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #14 on: 12 February 2020, 02:06:49 »
I don't think that artillery cannons count as intro tech.

But they should because they are nice and add something different to the mix.

Armed with the main gun of an Urbanmech and a sawed-off artillery cannon the Trooper is the most common of the mechs use by the small state during the initial buildup of their armed forces.

It was intended to provide rapid area effect support to the infantry and tank forces that made up the primary components of small state's military.

The initial prototype was slightly slower then the current Trooper but it had a second larger laser and more ammunition to support the artillery cannon. It is still being produced in small numbers to support the slower heavy tank battalions of small state.

Code: [Select]
Trooper

Mass: 30 tons
Chassis: Standard Biped
Power Plant: 120 Fusion
Cruising Speed: 43.2 kph
Maximum Speed: 64.8 kph
Jump Jets: None
     Jump Capacity: 0 meters
Armor: Standard
Armament:
     1 Small Laser
     1 Thumper Cannon
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3145
Tech Rating/Availability: D/X-X-X-D
Cost: 2,005,965 C-bills

Type: New
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Experimental)
Tonnage: 30
Battle Value: 499

Equipment                                          Mass
Internal Structure                                    3
Engine                        120 Fusion              4
Walking MP: 4
Running MP: 6
Jumping MP: 0
Heat Sink                     10                      0
Gyro                                                  2
Cockpit                                               3
Armor Factor                  104                   6.5

                          Internal   Armor   
                          Structure  Value   
     Head                    3         8     
     Center Torso            10        15   
     Center Torso (rear)               5     
     R/L Torso               7         11   
     R/L Torso (rear)                  3     
     R/L Arm                 5         10   
     R/L Leg                 7         14   


Right Arm Actuators: Shoulder, Upper Arm, Lower Arm, Hand
Left Arm Actuators: Shoulder, Upper Arm, Lower Arm, Hand

Weapons
and Ammo                   Location  Critical   Heat    Tonnage
Thumper Cannon                RT        7        5       10.0 
Small Laser                   LA        1        1       0.5   
Thumper Cannon Ammo (20)      LT        1        -       1.0   
6 Heat Sinks                  LT        6        -       6.0   


Daryk

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #15 on: 12 February 2020, 05:49:34 »
Artillery Cannons are like Blazers, Rocket Launchers, Recon Cameras, and Remote Sensor Dispensers... Succession War era tech, but "experimental".

deathshadow

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #16 on: 14 February 2020, 20:42:09 »
First one needs to think about what such a military would be facing -- and that's probably going to mean being outclassed in both tech and tonnage. The solution in this situation is always "Quantity has a quality all its own" so you need 'mechs that can work together to equal larger 'mechs. This means throwing lances at one or two heavies being the norm, entire companies needed to face off against enemy lances.

So one needs to think like the US or Soviets during WWII. Where the OPPOSITE of the BattleTech mindset comes into play. In BT there's this noodle doodle nonsense about the "expense" of training warriors and how they're a "warrior elite" like medieval knights. That thinking needs to be thrown in the trash in favor of what Zhukov once said: Meat is cheap.

Much akin to the old German tanker joke, where "One of our Leopards is worth ten Shermans, but these blasted Americans always have that eleventh Sherman."

The next concern is logistics - supplying with ammo, the expense of training and providing qualified pilots, parts supply train and commonality. As such the designs should all likely be the same weight and use the same engine with only rare exceptions such as specialized forces; aka scouts.

Something the Clans figured out with Omni's

Some equipment -- like machine guns perhaps -- would be required on most platforms for "peacekeeping" (riot breaking) during "peacetime". Likewise utility aspects -- like articulated hands -- would also have to be "essential" to all platforms so that they're "hangar queens" when stood down from actual warfare.
 
Likewise there's some stuff that's bulky and not as effective in "introductory".. to that end I would NOT use any of the autocannon. Missiles would be a necessary evil and generally provide more bang for the buck. I'll stack a LRM-15 against a AC-10 any day.
 
Take a lesson from the USMC -- every soldier is a rifleman FIRST.

Since we're basically talking GI (General Issue), I would likely field the vast majority of units as:

Title: Bagramyan
Chassis: 30 tons, 4/6/0, 6.5 tons armor, 11 standard sinks
Armament: PPC, 2xML, 2xMG@0.5
Cost: 2,098,440
BV: 749
Deployment: 1 in 2

Two of which gives you the long range firepower of a Warhammer, mix in a third they could probably go toe to toe with a Marauder II. Two of these would have superior heat profiles to a single whammy if range bracketing is used properly.

For fire support, we just swap the PPC, sink, and one ML for a LRM-15 with two tons of ammo:

Title: Konev
Chassis: 30 tons, 4/6/0, 6.5 tons armor, 10 standard sinks
Armament: LRM-15@2, ML, 2xMG&0.5
Cost: 2,071,340
BV: 655
Deployment: 1 in 4

This design should hang back and use indirect fire when possible, laying mines and providing cover for the grunts in Bagramyan's to move up.

Likewise an in-fighter may be wanted for more urban versatility and late battle oomph. Let the PPC's on the rank-and-file open up some holes, then exploit those holes with SRM's just as a LB-20x would on more advanced units.

Title: Vatutin
Chassis: 30 tons, 4/6/0, 6.5 tons armor, 11 standard sinks
Armament: 6xSRM-2@2, 2xMG@0.5, flamer
Cost: 1,876,190
BV: 568
Deployment: 1 in 6

Six SRM-2's gives you a good sanding capacity, and I chose -2's because statistically more smaller launchers are likely to do SOME damage sooner, as well as opening the door to specialty ammo such as inferno. In terms of cost and BV, I'd take this over the best Urbie any day.

From there you need a scout. Scouts SHOULD be expensive, they should NOT be used as anything more than a harasser from long range, and they will violate the "same engine" policy.

Title: Khudyakov
Chassis: 30 tons, 7/11/7, 4.5 tons armor, 10 standard sinks
Armament: LRM-5@2
Cost: 2,797,540
BV: 580
Deployment: 1 in 12

The tactics for this unit is again to SCOUT, not engage, finding the enemy, using it's superior mobility and cover to at BEST act as a harasser. It should stay in its medium range using its maximum jump to avoid being hit, plinking the enemy with the massive amount of ammo it carries as an annoyance. You don't march your lightly armored fast movers up to point blank range.

Plink plink, plink plink, his missiles went plink plink plink... While piloting my Jenner K, what to my surpise... a little Clan Dasher was following me, almost half my size.

Note my deployment figures. A "standard" company would field 6 Bagramyans, 3 Konev, 2 Vatutin, and a single Khuyakov. In field use such a light company would be expected to be put against a heavy or even assault lance of "tournament legal" tech. Just as the reds and US army did the Germans.

... because they're all cheap to make; for the cost of a single Victor or Thug, you can get an entire lance. Hell their uniform small size could be used to standard all of a military's dropships to double-stack them (which was done in one of the books haphazardly...) further enhancing deployability and possibly making up for their overall lack of speed.

Beyond the 'Mechs I would certainly supplement with vehicles. Proper artillery units and LRM carriers topping the list. Depending on the loyalty and mindset of the faction, I might also consider deploying some of the classic "one shot heavy guass" hovercraft / Baka bombs.

Title: Durak
Type: Hovercraft
Chassis: 20 tons, 13/20/0 ICE, 1 ton armor, single crew
Armament: None
Cost: 193,667
BV: 17

Technically a "desperation weapon" you still gotta love that a charging attack from one of these would be equal to a ballistic hit that rolls on the kick table... and with that type of speed you can easily push it up into the 20+ points of damage range.

I would also consider perhaps breaking the "30 ton only" rule for command units. Unit commanders are better trained, a valuable resource, and should be in heavily armored units. At the same time I would restrict their firepower to similar to the light units so that said commanders have the presence of mind to stay the hell back, and to keep parts and ammo commonality.

Something like:

Title: Zhukov
Chassis: 60 tons, 4/6/0, 12 tons armor, 15 standard sinks
Armament: PPC, LRM-15@2, 2xML, 2xMG@0.5
Cost: 4,922,260
BV: 1,306
Deployment: 1 in 36 (company commander)

Violates the overall concept, but reserved for company commanders so very low production numbers overall. Consider it the "high" in a "high low mix". Whilst not maintaining chassis compatibility, it at least chooses from the same weapons loadout as our top two other designs.

If operating in the "modern" era where you're facing off against more advanced opponent I would design from the START for these to have field kit upgrade paths to more recent gear. That means all designs should be "ready" to swap to FF armor, double sinks. The PPC equipped could then easily go with the ER flavor as a drop-in, but I'd retain the medium lasers and use the excess mass to add more of them. The Vatutin would get the most changes, swapping the standard-2's for fewer streaks so as to conserve ammo. Again, Streaks are a logicians dream.

Hence the fieldkit upgrades would go something like this:

Title: Bagramyan (Clan Invasion Field Kit)
Chassis: 30 tons, 4/6/0, 5.5 tons FF armor, 10 Double Sinks
Armament: ER PPC, 4xML, 2xMG@0.5
Cost: 2,466,340
BV: 868

Title: Konev (Clan Invasion Field Kit)
Chassis: 30 tons, 4/6/0, 6 tons FF armor, 10 Single Sinks
Armament: LRM-15@2, ML, 2xMG&0.5, CASE
Cost: 2,207,840
BV: 712


Title: Vatutin (Clan Invasion Field Kit)
Chassis: 30 tons, 4/6/0, 6 tons FF armor, 10 Double Sinks
Armament: 2xStreak-4@1, 3xML, 2xMG@0.5, CASE
Cost: 2,390,340
BV: 765

Title: Zhukov (Clan Invasion Field Kit)
Chassis: 60 tons, 4/6/0, 11 tons FF armor, 10 Double Sinks
Armament: ER PPC, LRM-15@2, Streak-6@1, 2xML, 2xMG@0.5
Cost: 5,648,260
BV: 1,520


Reasonable field kits that should have low turnaround times that would not significantly impact the supply chain. Biggest struggle would be Streak ammo production.

In general I like the overall idea of this "challenge" as it's something that's just plain screwball with IS militaries. Whilst playing a wide variety of units is cool and fun, it's not realistic for any of the House militaries to be doing. REAL militaries usually have massive numbers of "grunt" units that are all the same, and for very good reasons. If one were to take c-bill cost and the overall logistics into account, a force equipped in this manner would have far higher "operational readiness" and handle the wear-and-tear of a prolonged conflict in a far better manner than a military whose TOE is spit out by the random unit tables for any IS faction. A good parts stockpile will kick the backside of "field recycling and salvage" any day in terms of reliability, time, and effort.

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Daryk

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #17 on: 14 February 2020, 20:56:54 »
Nice overall, but three main things:

1) At 20 tons, the Durak has a crew of 2, not 1 (1 crew per 15 tons of Combat Vehicle, per TM).

2) The Khudyakov should trade one of those LRM-5s and ammo for 2 tons more armor, a Recon Camera, and a Remote Sensor Dispenser.  Those last two items are SW-era (if "experimental" per the rules).  They're huge force multipliers for recon units.

3) Jump Jets are useful for more than just scouts.  And at half a ton for light ones, they're doable.

deathshadow

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #18 on: 14 February 2020, 21:29:24 »
1) At 20 tons, the Durak has a crew of 2, not 1 (1 crew per 15 tons of Combat Vehicle, per TM).
Hmm, both vee and skunk let me select one. Since unarmed it seems silly to have a second; though I can't make heads nor tails of the train wreck that is TM, which is why I still pull out BMR or better, the old Compendium.

Seriously, the current rule books are a mess of undersized text, nonsensical willy-nilly content arrangement, and so forth. I wouldn't have any of them if I'd not gotten them as swag for having once run these forums.

The Khudyakov should trade one of those LRM-5s and ammo for 2 tons more armor, a Recon Camera, and a Remote Sensor Dispenser.  Those last two items are SW-era (if "experimental" per the rules).  They're huge force multipliers for recon units.
I'd assume experimental is off the table... also I've never heard of those... and the big sticking point?

It says "LRM-5@2" -- aka there's only one launcher with two tons of ammo. I probably should have put "1x" at the start. The way I play fast movers the ammo would be more important than experimental tech.

3) Jump Jets are useful for more than just scouts.  And at half a ton for light ones, they're doable.
But not worth the weight if you're below 5 jump where you break even for rank and file military units. Since I stuck to 4/6 to put firepower to give them a CHANCE against heavies, I didn't bother with jump.

I have rarely if ever found jump below 5 to be anything more than a hindrance and giving the opponent the advantage unless the terrain is really REALLY strange and unnatural.

They were 4/6/0 for the simple fact I was thinking of them as "Heavy 'Mechs chopped in half". Warhammer, Catapult/Archer, etc. I almost tried to make one that was LRM-20@2 + 2xML, but it just wasn't practical as it cut into the armor too much.
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Daryk

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #19 on: 14 February 2020, 21:37:01 »
Hmmm... When I punch a 20-ton Hovercraft into SAW (v 0.7.1), I get a crew of 2... which version are you using?

Ah, missed the notation on the LRM-5 (not "5s") there, but if Experimental rules are on the table, you still can't go wrong with a Recon Camera and Remote Sensor Dispenser for a recon unit.

In urban (or otherwise very restricted) terrain, even 3 jump jets can be worth it.

deathshadow

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #20 on: 14 February 2020, 22:09:54 »
Hmmm... When I punch a 20-ton Hovercraft into SAW (v 0.7.1), I get a crew of 2... which version are you using?
My bad, SAW doesn't do it. Lost it when I moved it over from Vee. In HM Vee it will default to 2, but lets you lower the crew count.

but if Experimental rules are on the table, you still can't go wrong with a Recon Camera and Remote Sensor Dispenser for a recon unit.
I'll have to look at 'em. If I can find them in the train wreck that are the current manuals.

In urban (or otherwise very restricted) terrain, even 3 jump jets can be worth it.
People say that a lot, I've never once found it to be true.... but then my playstyle is often way different such as refusing to hold or go into such terrain outright, and instead moving up long range stuff to pound from a distance with indirect fire as support. The idea of moving a slow infighter into such terrain is the opposite of competent tactics to me.

Hence my disdain for Inner Sphere pulse lasers, the ultimate in stupid.
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Daryk

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #21 on: 15 February 2020, 05:44:11 »
The rules for Remote Sensors are on page 375 of TacOps (under "Alternative Munitions).  The (vehicular) Dispenser is on page 236 of Tech Manual.  Recon Cameras are on page 337 of TacOps and the relevant errata is below:
Quote
For ground units, a Recon Camera instead allows the unit to act as a spotter for LRM indirect fire (see p. 111, TW) against a single target per turn and still make a weapon attack or spot for artillery (at normal visual ranges) with no additional to-hit penalty. To spot for LRM indirect fire, the unit must ‘hit’ the target using the same rules and ranges as TAG as appropriate for that unit.

Rog on jump jets... whatever works for you!  :thumbsup:

deathshadow

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #22 on: 15 February 2020, 06:27:39 »
the same rules and ranges as TAG as appropriate for that unit
1) that's OP, I'd never allow that in gameplay. Probably why it's not tourney legal.

2) I'd be more likely to put that on the GI and in-fighter than the recon unit. My recon gets close enough for that to be useful after the jump modifier, it's too blasted close to begin with. Part of why I'm so enamored of IJJ's and partial wing. If you're gonna soar, SOAR... EVERY turn. Otherwise it's just dead weight.

Also likely why I'm a Raptor F and Grendel A fan...
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Daryk

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #23 on: 15 February 2020, 06:49:46 »
How is it OP?  It's only for indirect spotting, and requires a to hit roll?  ???

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #24 on: 15 February 2020, 07:08:34 »
I'd focus my heavy hitters into my vehicles, with mechs being reserved for cavalry strike roles and heavy recon. 

ICE MBTs, and maybe fusion Medium tanks and direct support vehicles, with artillery and missile support vehicles to back them up.

Mechs would be there to provide specialty terrain capability, and rapid movement (compared to the armored units), and durability that VTOLs lack, even as light mechs.

Like another person said though, I'd devote at least half of my fusion engines for ASFs, and a decent piece of my ICE production for APCs for the infantry, including artillery tow vehicles.

deathshadow

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #25 on: 15 February 2020, 20:38:54 »
Like another person said though, I'd devote at least half of my fusion engines for ASFs, and a decent piece of my ICE production for APCs for the infantry, including artillery tow vehicles.
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Hellraiser

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #26 on: 16 February 2020, 00:10:38 »
Title: Khudyakov
Chassis: 30 tons, 7/11/7, 4.5 tons armor, 10 standard sinks

Doesn't this break the rules for the Fusion Engine limit of 180?
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Daryk

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Re: Thirty ton army design challenge
« Reply #27 on: 16 February 2020, 00:16:35 »
I could have sworn that was 25 tons when I first looked at it (with a 175 rated engine).

 

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