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Author Topic: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)  (Read 4005 times)

DOC_Agren

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #30 on: 17 March 2020, 06:37:55 »
And until the Star League tech came back avail the Dragoons were the only ones who had it regularly available.  Also having a backdoor key to the HPG network, that Comstar had no clue was available, helps lots, so they had the ability read other people intel data too.

Hope there more to come
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

wolfcannon

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #31 on: 17 March 2020, 08:14:28 »
Who says half the tech crew isn't WolfNet, or that the suspected agent is?  SI-Tzu is not operating from complete or necessarily accurate in-universe information sources.  The Mask hasn't done very well at infiltrating WD for obvious reasons, and the letter referencing Nova Cat & Goliath Scorpion bloodnames definitely rates investigation.

Side note:  I still don't see how a single mercenary group, even one as powerful as a couple of RCTs, manages to have an intel service that's so well-respected.  The Clan Watch certainly didn't have that much effectiveness or reach, and intel is one of the areas where institutional knowledge & training is key to success.

Maybe because Wolfnet had the distinction of being able to crack the houses intel via all the SL tech at their disposal.   Remember these guys were freeborn, so the code of the clan warrior, while yes they had to learn, but being freeborn and operating in the Inner Sphere among barbarians they should have had all the bells and whistles that “good” clan warriors abstain from.
Daniels Avenger                Clan Coyote
General Jennifer Daniels    Galaxy Commander Jim Skyes
                                        Omicron Galaxy
Clan Wolf in Exile
328th Assault Cluster(the Lion Hearted)
Star Captain James Sword

J-H

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #32 on: 21 March 2020, 08:26:49 »
I'm hoping to get to this again soon.  I'd been writing by doing voice-to-text while driving and then cleaning it up later.  With everything going on, I haven't been driving much lately.

Motsognir

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #33 on: 31 March 2020, 22:20:38 »
I've just finished catching up on your enjoyable story J-H, hope to see more of it. Hopefully, we will see some improvements to the Confederation in the years to come rather than Sun-Tzu just crash and burning/getting assassinated.

idea weenie

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #34 on: 01 April 2020, 20:27:42 »
I am enjoying the story too.  Say 'hi' to Isis for us   :thumbsup:

J-H

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #35 on: 02 April 2020, 08:29:54 »
I found myself driving yesterday, so I got another section out.

Sian, April 5, 3049
Beta Continent, CCAF FTX Area Charlie


Two months and one field training exercise later, I'm feeling okay. I am not a great MechWarrior, but I'm not dragging down the Red Lancers in my company either. My accuracy suffers a little bit as part of command, but I can generally stay at mid- to long-range and pound away with my large laser and AC10, or be moving and giving orders. Moving, shooting, giving orders all at once is somewhat harder.  More practice should make the moving and targeting more automatic so that less focus is required.

I have a regular company I'm working with that is “mine,” composed of a light recon lance, a medium trooper lance, and my heavy command lance. MechWarriors are sourced about equally from planetary militia members going full-time and the Red Lancers.  Assault mechs are few and far between. House Liao:  We do more with less!

It's funny; since I know what to look for, it's easy to spot the signs of poverty or lack of resources almost everywhere behind the scenes. Too many replacement parts are being handmade. Maintenance and repairs are slow. Technicians for the militia are under-qualified and learn mainly through apprenticeships. This is normal. This is normal for them on a capital world. It makes me feel better that my goals are not to save the whole Inner Sphere as such, but just to bring the Capellan people up to a better standard of living, and kind of drag everybody else up with us over time.

Red Lancers 'Sun' Company
Recon Lance
Raven (with ECM)
Firestarter
Javelin-10F (4MLas)
Jenner

Command/Heavy Lance
Sun-Tzu, CTF-2X (Llas, AC10, 2 MLas, SRM4, uparmored)
Orion ON1-K
Thunderbolt 5SE
Crab
All have long range firepower closing to medium.  No jumpjets except T-Bolt.

Medium Lance
Vindicator
Vindicator
Wolverine 6K (Laser variant, more armor & endurance at the cost of JJs)
Wyvern


I receive word that Lieutenant Colonel Chan's Leopard has arrived in system, and record and transmit a message to him. I have the benefit of knowing what his lance composition is thanks to our liaison office.

“Colonel Chan, welcome to Sian. I hope your transit has been as swift and pleasant as can be hoped for. You are probably tired of sitting and waiting, so rather than having you land near the palace and go through numerous formalities, I would like to invite you to join me and a company an extended field exercise as our opfor. It'll be a good chance for us to learn more about each other, and specifically evaluate my strengths and weaknesses in a more realistic setting. Since you've only brought one heavy Lance, I'll spot you two lights and two mediums from force to bring you to parity with my command. Map coordinates, Landing codes, etc will be transmitted shortly.”

Half a day later, I received his response. “Your grace, thank you for your consideration. I appreciate your offer. It will be a good trial with which to start our training program. Real combat exposes weaknesses and flaws that will not show up in short simulator battles. I will have our ‘Mechs configured for the standard low power training settings per your message, and we'll see you in 5 days. After finishing a couple of engagements as you have planned, I suggest a few additional scenarios reflecting a less even balanced forces going one way or the other, including ones based on uneven information, simulated air support, and other battlefield complications.”

I lay further bait in my trap with my reply:  “Well bargained and done.”

I really, really want to get a freezer factory and some other technical aid going, but the officers of Wolf's Dragoons are Clan-raised. Winning their respect will make them take me much more seriously. I just have to view this as an investment of time.

Also, it's a hell of a lot of fun. I pretty quickly picked up that the full-on “empathy with the common man and sharing everything alike” thing is not going to fly well in the palace... So yes, we do have nice field gear, including an ultrasonic mosquito repellent and top-tier rations. I made sure everything fits in our cockpits, as I certainly don't want a trailer full of snivel gear following us around and giving away our position in the field.  Still, compared to what I was used to when camping and hiking back home, this is luxury camping combined with ‘Mech piloting.

I assign Colonel Chan my company's Jenner, piloted by a militia pilot with some natural talent and not much experience, and the Javelin, piloted by an older semi-retired MechWarrior. He also gets the Wolverine, not jump capable, and one Vindicator. This is a strategic decision on my part to make sure that he is tied down with at least one non jump capable unit.

I retain the Raven, which still has capabilities that are state secrets and gives me an edge, and the Firestarter, in hopes that I can use the weakness of single heat sinks. I keep the other Vindicator and the Wyvern, giving me some good jump capable firepower. For all with the best ‘Mechs in MechWarrior Online were close in brawlers, the risk aversion, lower rate of fire, and need for maneuver means that most of us are running mixed builds with LRMs. Our long-range is medium range for the Clans, but at least that’s better than short-ranged weapons. Clan OP, please nerf.

Unfortunately, only the Raven and my Cataphract are equipped with triple strength myomers. I pushed for all of our Ravens to be equipped with TSM. It would be very expensive for someone to load lrms with the anti-TSM gas to deal with perhaps one in 40 of our ‘Mechs, and the Ravens already carry plenty of equipment that is slated for destruction if non-recoverable. If I end up taking a battalion or a couple of regiments against the Clans, I want TSM on all of them, so that we can match or exceed their speed and maneuverability.

Dragoon Lance:
Patrick Chan - Thunderbolt TDR-5SE
Crusader 3L
Griffin
Guillotine

All are jump-capable and able to fight at long range, with three of them having additional close-range firepower.
« Last Edit: 03 April 2020, 22:30:21 by J-H »

drakensis

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #36 on: 03 April 2020, 15:03:20 »
I don't follow how you've tied him down with a design that doesn't jump - all four 'Mechs you assigned to Chan customarily have jumpjets. So he's fully jump mobile unless one has been modified not to use them.
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Sir Chaos

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #37 on: 03 April 2020, 15:16:42 »
I don't follow how you've tied him down with a design that doesn't jump - all four 'Mechs you assigned to Chan customarily have jumpjets. So he's fully jump mobile unless one has been modified not to use them.

The Thunderbolt -5S doesn´t have jump jets. Neither does the Crusader, unless it´s the -3L variant.
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J-H

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #38 on: 03 April 2020, 17:17:59 »
I may have my variants confused.  Every regular Thunderbolt (except the one with flamers) has jumpjets, and the base Crusader does too.  The Wolverine, I think, does not.  This is based on my memories from the novels and HBS BT.  The loaner Wolverine is the one with no JJs.

Iron Grenadier

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #39 on: 03 April 2020, 17:32:00 »
You can always use sarna.net to look up all the current battlemechs and more -
https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Category:BattleMechs

The base Thunderbolt and Crusader do not jump.

J-H

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #40 on: 03 April 2020, 17:44:11 »
Galen Cox must have been running a variant then, or I'm misremembering.  I'll have to go update things later.

Iron Grenadier

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #41 on: 03 April 2020, 18:06:00 »
Galen Cox must have been running a variant then, or I'm misremembering.  I'll have to go update things later.

He was using the "5M" model that was introduced by the FWL in 3049, and yes that jumps. I think before that he had the baseline "3R" model that doesn't jump.


J-H

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #42 on: 03 April 2020, 22:32:31 »
Thanks everyone.  Post updated:
T-bolts switched to TDR-5SE.  Not sure where it's manufactured, but it was introduced in 2910 and is thus likely widespread.
Wolverine switched to 6K, which is what I'd pick - 2 tons of armor extra and removes the ammo dependence of the mediocre AC/5.
Crusader switched to the 3L.  The 3049 Marik version with the XL is one of those tech retcons, and I just don't want to deal with that issue.

Good?

J-H

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #43 on: 30 April 2020, 17:20:57 »
Oddly enough, writing without text to speech is hard.  At 9k words, this is still short, but it's more fiction than I've ever written in one place!
I have a list in my head of some specific scenes I want to hit, so there may be some time jumps.  I feel guilty about that, even though Cannonshop does it all the time and it's fine.  Just me learning.


The area for our training exercise is one that we've been working in for a couple of days. This is important because it means we’ve left plenty of fresh tracks through the canyons, up the hillsides, and in the mud. With near equal forces, and the Dragoons having more jump-jet equipped Mechs than mine, I'm very concerned that we won't be able to outmaneuver them... Thus controlling information is going to be the key to setting up a favorable engagement. Beyond that, I'm simply hoping that we can win or put in a good showing in a mid-range to short range brawl. Whoever can pick off an enemy or two first will probably win.

The entire area is surrounded by forest of light to moderate density, but with most of the trees shorter than a ‘Mech. At the western end is a midsize lake, lying hard against the western side of a small mountain. East of the mountain is a low area of what used to be a flat-topped mesa that has since been cracked and eroded away to form several canyons with small mesas on top.  Paths have been beaten or blown in to get on top of some of the mesas, but not all. There are a couple of small streams running through there that run around the base of the mountain to feed the main lake. If we had an equipment advantage, I would look to exploit it, but couldn't come up with anything for this...

I split my forces into three groups. The jump-equipped group is composed of the Firestarter, The Vindicator, the Wyvern, and the Thunderbolt. I lead a smaller and much higher value target group composed of my TSM cataphract and the Raven. Together, we can outrun anything the Dragoon's are feeling except the Javelin & Jenner. The Raven’s ECM blankets the entire area in a massive static that makes non line-of-sight Communications nearly impossible. Copying from my sort of cousin, I am tapped into seismic sensors.  The other non-jumpjet equipped portion of my lance is composed of the Orion and the Crab, both of which are best more at long range than close up.

My Orion & Crab head up onto one of the western mesas, with the east-facing part of the mountain in range.  The jump-capable lance moves more to the middle, and my small, fast pair is close to the eastern edge.  My assumption is that the Dragoons will make a play for commanding fire from the mountain.

Their Griffin jets up onto the mountain, and starts taking fire from the Orion & Crab, who collectively outgun it substantially.  This is a long range exchange of fire.  The Griffin takes several hits during its initial landing, but after that, stays moving and does a good job jinking and dodging.  After about half a minute, the Dragoon Thunderbolt, Vindicator, and Crusader jump up to join it.  On my end, the Thunderbolt, Wyvern, and Vindicator leap up to join the Orion & Crab, leaving the balance of firepower even.  Armor is sanded off, and the Crab suffers a disabled large laser pretty quickly from an unlucky hit.
My Firestarter stays low, cautiously working its way closer, while I and the Raven sprint through the canyons, moving north and planning to circle west.  Coming near to a junction, we pause and I check seismic...  Paydirt.  I send a signal; the Orion & Crab disengage down a ramp, while the T-Bolt, Wyvern, and Vindicator jump forwards but down into canyon, shielding them from direct fire from the mountain.  The Firestarter joining them just in time for the four of them to meet the opfor  Wolverine, Guillotine, Jenner, & Javelin.  They start firing, while I come around a junction at the far end and alpha-strike the Guillotine’s rear.  Trapped, it and the Wolverine don’t last long.  The Jenner & Javelin jump up and away after searing off half the Raven’s armor.
We then retreat farther away through the canyons, being up 8-6.  Monitoring seismics, I watch the 6 remaining foes cluster together, and cautiously advance across the mesas, using jumpjets to leap across the canyons...moving a bit south of us.  The eight of us set up in a firing line down below, and, knowing where to look, turn the virtual left side of the Jenner to electronic slag when it leaps into view, disabling it.  The odds are eight to five at that point.  Lt. Colonel Chan and his two remaining pilots are flat-out better than I am, and better than most of my Command lance - I can tell by how they move and react - but the Raven degrades their automatic targeting aids enough that we are able to put shots on target about as much as they are.  I'm able to use my Cataphract's extra speed to be "not where they are aiming" a few times when they practice "pop and shoot," and their Javelin is overheated by my Firestarter, then popped while disabled.  Wearing them down over a tense half-hour, the two remaining Dragoon 'Mechs disengage, surrendering the field to us.

I smile inside my neurohelmet.  I did it.  I used ECM, seismics, and communication relays that they did not have, but I was able to pull out a victory.  I suspect it'd break down against a large-scale Clan unit charging through incautiously, but in a battle of equals - I end up with one killed 'Mech, 3 half-disabled 'Mechs, and a lot of armor damage on my side for 6 downed foes.

We rendezvous at the main lake a couple of kilometers away for a post-battle assessment and discussion.  Chan looks satisfied.  His initial comments after greeting me are:  "Good performance.  If we'd been more aggressive initially, you would not have been able to pull off that trick, nor would it have worked if we had air or satellite cover to spot your location.  I was surprised how well you kept track of our location, also."  He raises an eyebrow.

"Lt. Colonel, I simply used all my available options to the best possible extent.  CCAF has long had to make do with lighter forces and cunning on the battlefield versus, say, the weight of metal or high-tech weaponry.  The Red Lancers are not trained to fight as our foes fight, though.  I look forward to learning your experience and your exposure to a wider breadth of combat doctrines and tactics."

It's mid-afternoon, and my Javelin pilot who made the mistake of getting overheated gets dispatched to pick up the pallet of supplies and luggage dropped off with the Dragoon 'Mechs.  By the time he returns, it's suppertime, and I mostly sit back and watch the Mechwarrior talk between the older mechjocks in my unit and the younger Dragoons.  Chan's the only one over the age of 50.

After we're finished eating, I wash my own mess kit and motion for the Lt. Colonel to go for a walk with me along the beach...

Next time:  I have enough self-control to not ask "How's the weather on Strana Mechty?"

idea weenie

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #44 on: 30 April 2020, 18:07:20 »
Washing your own mess kit?  They will realize something is seriously different about you   ;)

David CGB

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #45 on: 30 April 2020, 22:14:27 »
Washing your own mess kit?  They will realize something is seriously different about you   ;)
More likely screaming then realized
Federated Suns fan forever, Ghost Bear Fan since 1992, and as a Ghost Bear David Bekker star captain (in an Alt TL Loremaster)

J-H

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #46 on: 30 April 2020, 23:17:26 »
Screaming will begin when social reforms start.

J-H

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #47 on: 04 May 2020, 22:58:39 »
It turns out that writing up a 'Mech battle is a lot harder than playing MWO or HBS-BT.  I tried MegaMek a bit and the interface is making it hard to do what I want to do.  I will press on, taking inspiration from Cannonshop's ability to do BattleTech without many, if any, 'Mech battles, and numerous short posts.

...

We walk away from the camp, feet crunching on the pebbles for a little while.  I start.  “I believe you were raised in a culture that values directness, so long as that directness does not criticize the caste system where some are more valued than others.  The Capellan state is also burdened with a caste system, albeit of a different sort – but we normally value indirectness.  I will need to be able to communicate well with others, so I will be speaking in your manner instead of in the flowery and indirect poetry to which both my people and the Draconis Combine prefer to use."

"Comstar is reading everyone’s mail, and my assumption is that most or all codes used for interstellar traffic have been broken.  Messages they can’t decode draw more attention, if they involve noteworthy people or organizations.  You are here, with the people you brought, because I listed off some names associated with visions and spirit quests – names that nobody off Outreach should be aware of.”  I pause and look at him.

“Go on.”

“About four years ago, the Comstar exploration ship Outbound Light jumped into the Huntress system.”  He stiffens.  That’s a name he wasn’t expecting.  “What is the reaction of a powerful, prideful, and vastly outnumbered but individually superior force when they are threatened with discovery – and thus vulnerability – in their own homes?  Can it be anything other than invasion?  Accounting for travel times and logistics, I would expect to see them establishing footholds in the outer periphery, perhaps now.  The Maskirovka simply does not pay much attention to the edge of the far side of the Inner Sphere, but the signs should be clear in a year or less to anyone who is watching."

"My question to you, then, is whether you and the Dragoons are a people who would stand by and watch the people of the Inner Sphere, including the civilians on Outreach, be reduced to caste-bound servants.  Whether you and the Dragoons would prefer that the children of your body be treated as second-class, second-best, because your great-to-the-tenth grandfather happened to be on the right side of a civil war between exiles.  If that is what you wish, then I shall learn a bit of fighting, and that will be the end of this contract.  If you despise the idea of the Smoke Jaguars conquering Sudeten or Coventry, or the Burrocks taking Rasalhague, or the Dragon of the Combine being replaced with the Jade Falcon… then you must decide to act, or in your inaction, allow this to happen. 

"If you need time to think, take it.  We will not be able to speak so freely of these matters within the Palace, though.”

His face is pale.  I hope I don’t cause a heart attack.  “How do you know of these things?  You speak of places I have not been to, Clans I have not thought of, in many years.”

“Does it matter?  I am right, and you know it in your bones.”

I spin on my heel, and walk back towards the camp.  I have no desire to talk about being SI’d or to give a full explanation, and he’s likely got much thinking to do.  Release the butterflies.

Shadow_Wraith

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #48 on: 04 May 2020, 23:28:42 »
Nice update

ThePW

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #49 on: 05 May 2020, 00:02:06 »
Nice update

The report to Wolf Actual should be... provoking.

drakensis

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #50 on: 05 May 2020, 01:18:18 »
Some of that information is incorrect, but that might be intentional on Sun-Tzu's part.

I'm specifically referring to Outbound Light's arrival at Huntress, which was in 3048 - so four years before the end of the invasion. From other time-queues, it's currently 3049 or 3050 - shortly before the start.
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J-H

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #51 on: 05 May 2020, 08:29:35 »
That...doesn't make sense.  Maybe that's why I've always had it in my head as 3045.  If it arrives in 3048, and it's a ~ 1 year journey down the Exodus road, then that means the Clans panicked, held their Councils & trials, assigned their corridors, mobilized their units, picked and started conquering their logistics bases in the deep periphery, and started hitting the IS proper all in about an 18 month timespan.  I guess that does feed the ridiculous Clan logistics failures even further.

But yes, that's what I "knew" so SI-fail there.  :( I also don't remember any of the canon Lostech caches in Capellan space, if there even are any.

georgiaboy

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #52 on: 05 May 2020, 12:54:38 »
Hooeee Boi, the SI just dropped a grenade into his hand, pulled the pin and handed him the pin.


The SI got some of the info wrong, the invasion corridor is backwards.


But the Dragoon knows that there is no way that the SI can know any of that information, unless He has been there, or has infiltrated them totally.


Knowing that CS has compromised all communication, he will have to travel to Outreach to give the Information to Jamie.
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Sir Chaos

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #53 on: 05 May 2020, 13:41:00 »
Hooeee Boi, the SI just dropped a grenade into his hand, pulled the pin and handed him the pin.


The SI got some of the info wrong, the invasion corridor is backwards.


But the Dragoon knows that there is no way that the SI can know any of that information, unless He has been there, or has infiltrated them totally.


Knowing that CS has compromised all communication, he will have to travel to Outreach to give the Information to Jamie.

The Dragoon has no way of knowing that Sun-Tzu got it wrong - the Dragoons haven´t had any communication with the Homeworlds since the 3020s. They would not even know that invasiona corridors existed, much less who got which one. So he has to assume that Sunnyboy has somehow infiltrated the Clans, or vice versa.
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georgiaboy

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #54 on: 05 May 2020, 14:16:01 »
The Dragoon has no way of knowing that Sun-Tzu got it wrong - the Dragoons haven´t had any communication with the Homeworlds since the 3020s. They would not even know that invasiona corridors existed, much less who got which one. So he has to assume that Sunnyboy has somehow infiltrated the Clans, or vice versa.


Ahh but here is something the Dragoon does know.


It is one year travel to and from the Home Worlds.


There is no Spheroid HPG network between the Clans and Sian.


So, how would SI be communicating with his infiltrators?
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Sir Chaos

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #55 on: 05 May 2020, 14:25:56 »

Ahh but here is something the Dragoon does know.


It is one year travel to and from the Home Worlds.


There is no Spheroid HPG network between the Clans and Sian.


So, how would SI be communicating with his infiltrators?

Those infiltrators could have physically travelled to the Inner Sphere. They could be part of the Clans´ advanced scouts (which the Clans did not have, but the Dragoons don´t know that), or of a party sent to look what happened to the Dragoons - which would explain how Sun-Tzu knew the Dragoons were sent by the Clans.
"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl."
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"Ultima Ratio Regis" ("The Last Resort of the King")
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J-H

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #56 on: 05 May 2020, 16:09:09 »
The invasion corridors are deliberately wrong, to the point of including a non-invading Clan.  It's dangerous to be the prophet with all the answers... especially when those answers start being less reliable over time. 

More importantly, there are indications that the Jade Falcons are respected rivals, where the Smoke Jaguars are less respected; the mental picture created is of a despised foe harming an ally, rather than a respected rival.  None of the Clans I listed are ones friendly to the Wolves, and the Wolves weren't mentioned at all.  I don't recall if the Burrocks are Crusaders, but I know they have ties to bandits, so they are a better choice to mention than the Coyotes, Star Adders, Goliath Scorpions, etc.

This does put LtC Chan in a bind.  Most Dragoon MechWarriors at this time are not from the Homeworlds, so even the WolfNet operatives he brought may not be cleared for this discussion.  Sun-TSI mentioned Comstar reading everyone's mail, and then brought up Comstar again right before naming the Clans.  It's really nothing that can't be gleaned by a couple of years of deep-space SIGINT work.  Where there's one jumpship, why not two?
« Last Edit: 05 May 2020, 16:10:51 by J-H »

drakensis

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #57 on: 06 May 2020, 00:06:51 »
That...doesn't make sense.  Maybe that's why I've always had it in my head as 3045.  If it arrives in 3048, and it's a ~ 1 year journey down the Exodus road, then that means the Clans panicked, held their Councils & trials, assigned their corridors, mobilized their units, picked and started conquering their logistics bases in the deep periphery, and started hitting the IS proper all in about an 18 month timespan.  I guess that does feed the ridiculous Clan logistics failures even further.

But yes, that's what I "knew" so SI-fail there.  :( I also don't remember any of the canon Lostech caches in Capellan space, if there even are any.
Outbound Light was captured 27 September 3048. Leo Showers was elected ilKhan on 12 December that year. The trials to decide participation were over and advance parties departed 21 February 3049, with the main forces assembling in June that year and advance parties hitting the periphery from August through to September 3049. Probably they used jumpships and warships with K-F drives to get there in six months.

The Inner Sphere was invaded 7 March 3050, not quite 18 months after the Outbound Light was captured.
"It's national writing month, not national writing week and a half you jerk" - Consequences, 9th November 2018

J-H

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #58 on: 25 May 2020, 16:59:43 »
The next week of exercises is quite difficult. I lose a little more often than I win, and I'm sure the Dragoons appreciate the opportunity to get some first-hand experience against a raven and try different techniques. Ravens have been deployed in combat against Davion raids, so it's not like I'm giving away too much. Still, it is an opportunity for them to get some extended practice against ECM. I leverage the EW capabilities for all that they are worth. I think if I had the choice, I'd rather be driving a Battlemaster with a full-time sensor and electronics warfare operator in the backseat. Well, maybe five or ten years from now I'll get that chance.

Aside from after-action reviews, there's not much training going on outside the cockpit. 8-12 hours a day of battle and maneuver is enough to exhaust anyone, and it's not like I really need additional instruction in unaugmented combat. With my size, I don't think I'm ever going to match an Elemental in combat. If everything goes well I shouldn’t be partaking in a individual trials anyway. Ridiculous system.

On the sixth and final evening before our Dropships are due to take us back to the capital, Lieutenant Colonel Chan pulls me aside and we go for another walk.

“I will have to get authorization for anything at all, but you are right. I've seen enough in the last 35 years to be sure that the place I came from should not be replicated here. I would not want my grandsons to grow up to where I grew up, or their children in turn. I know well enough with my role would be there at best at this age. Training the young.” He smiles at that, and I allow a small smile to creep onto my face at his joke.

He stops and stares me in the eyes. “What do you want?”

“I want the Capellan people to be prosperous, happy, and freer than they are. Secure borders, peace, and alliances. The path to achieving all that involves defeating the invaders, and working with others to do so. I understand that you are constrained in your options. In a perfect world, we'd gain access to your underground factories and the ability to copy what you are already doing by hand so that I can deploy with an entire battalion of Dire Wolf Omnimechs.”

Keep going, don’t let him pause and think about that bit of information I just dropped.  No need to mention the stick of disclosure.  “Realistically speaking, and to cut through the haggling, I ask for only three things.”

“First, assistance and training from Blackwell in very rapidly setting up a large factory on one of several worlds under my personal control near the FedCom border.  A factory capable of producing enough double heat sinks to re-equip several regiments per year at the very least. Of all the gaps be closed, heat management is one that produces the greatest return in battle. We can work out the details, but I assume that you do not have the industrial capacity to produce refits for your five regiments of ‘Mechs. The carrot for Blackwell would be a guaranteed share of the production of the factory, to be used first to re-equip your own forces, and then for Wolf’s Dragoons to export or resale as desired. The CCAF can't bring that many regiments or transport capacity to the table, but if we can become a critical supplier for refit kits for the combine or” – and I get a bit quieter for the next few words – “Even the Federated Commonwealth, that produces a lot of goodwill for us.”

“Second, I want you or another team to work with us to train my battalion and multiple other units to fight against Clan tactics, and to help us experiment with how to fight against enemies with Mechs that are cooler, faster, longer-ranged, and tougher than they have any right to be.” “Third, I want copies of portions of your data files on Star League technology. So much has been lost, and Comstar bears part of the blame for this, that I know that we are not performing near our potential when it comes to making jumpships, terraforming equipment, or even parts and tools for factories. I'm not talking military tech necessarily, just things that will improve overall industrial productivity and improve the quality of life for my people. Did you know that on at least a quarter of our planets, we have peasant rice Farmers whose lives are not substantially different from how peasant rice farmers live 1200 years ago? It's simultaneously ridiculous, embarrassing, and heartbreaking.”
 
“I admire Hanse Davion for his pursuit of academic knowledge and rediscovering lost technology. I assume that you have much of this technology somewhere, if only to maintain or provide repairs for anything you left stored somewhere out in the periphery before entering the Inner Sphere.  I believe you have a duty to your fellow man to share it, and of course there’s profit in doing so as well.”

He responds as we continue walking.  “I will consider it. When Colonel Wolf received your message, we had some long staff discussions about what you might be looking for. We purposely did not bring any plans along with us, but the Blackwell team is will be aware of what materials are required so that we can work on potential factory sites.”

If he's not going to mention sharing the same information with the Federated Commonwealth, I'm not going to bring it up. It'll have to happen. Outreach can't very well share information with me without sharing it with them, unless they want to risk some serious consequences from the Federated Commonwealth. I feel that my terms are sufficiently generous that he will realize that yes, I am serious.

I am counting somewhat on the Dragoons being willing to move and oppose the Clans faster than in canon, but hopefully I’ve delivered enough of a kick in the butt that they realize they can’t stay static.

Maingunnery

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Re: Hard Mode (A Sun-Tzu SI)
« Reply #59 on: 25 May 2020, 17:15:26 »

"near the FedCom border"....

That might be a really bad idea, it could become too tempting.
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