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Author Topic: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization  (Read 1702 times)

nerd

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BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« on: 03 June 2021, 17:53:35 »
Another thing I've been kicking around in my head for a while. Some stuff has been in my head for a while, and I wrote this up after work today. I know per the MUL, Sea Skimmers aren't available outside the Lyran State, but they are quite simple, and I'd expect light hydrofoils to be common in the Inner Sphere. If you don't like them, replace them with Harassers.

   There have been wet navy units available in the BattleTech universe since the release of the original Technical Readout 3026 in 1987, with the Sea Skimmer, Monitor and Neptune vehicles. However, considering the nature of naval Tables of Organization and Equipment as being poorly discussed, and often contradictory at times. In this case, this provides a basis for organizing maritime forces.
   The basis for any sea going force is the watercraft. Depending on size, the organization can vary. Given the small size of most published ships in the BattleTech setting, a different level of organization may be required. On most worlds, the highest wet navy command would be a named fleet. It would then be subdivided into numbered fleets, and those numbered fleets are organized operationally into task forces, and administratively into groups. Often, commanders may wear multiple hats as to the command of units, or when starmobile, are operationally identical with the administrative chain of command. Those groups are made up of squadrons, normally of a single role, but at times, there may be multiple types of craft under a single squadron. Squadrons may have a dual role, as both operational commands or as just administrative commands. When squadrons are divided, the subunits are divisions, which encompass smaller ships, and divisions become patrols. Other arms, such as infantry, and VTOL support, are usually attached at the appropriate level.
   As an illustration, here is an Assault Group from the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns, around 3067. It includes blue water, submarine, and inshore units, as well as attached support elements, and is notionally capable of interstellar transit.

Commander, Naval Assault Group Commodore
   Deputy Commander Light Commodore
   Chief of Staff Light Commodore
      N1 Personnel Leftenant
      N2 Intelligence Captain
      N3 Operations Major
      N4 Logistics Captain
      N6 Communications Captain
   Destroyer Squadron 2 Light Commodore
      4 Rapier-class patrol destroyers Majors
   Submarine Squadron 17 Light Commodore
      1 Seahorse submarine (Tender) Captain
                Submarine Division 171 Major
         12 Neptune submarines (Standard) Two Captains, Nine Leftenants
      Submarine Division 172 Major
         12 Neptune submarines (LRT) Two Captains, Nine Leftenants
      Submarine Division 173 Major
         12 Neptune submarines (SRT) Two Captains, Nine Leftenants
   Coastal Squadron 193 Light Commodore
      4 Mauna Kea command vessels Three Lefteants
      Coastal Division 1931 Major
         8 Monitor Naval Vessels One captain, six Leftenants
      Coastal Division 1932 Captain
         12 Sea Skimmer Hydrofoils five Leftenants, six Sergeants
   Maritime Helicopter Squadron 43 Light Commodore
      Combat Flight Captain
         4 Warrior H-7 Attack Helicopters
      Utility Flight Captain
          4 Ferret Light Scout VTOLs (Cargo)
      Cargo Flight Captain
         4 Karnov-UR VTOLs
   571st Independent Jump Troop Battalion (Maritime) Leftenant Colonel
      HHC Major (XO)
      4 Destroyer born Companies, each of three Machine Gun, and one LRM Platoons
      1 Inshore company, 4 Platoons Machine Guns Jump Infantry
   Support Battalion Major
      Civil Engineering Company Captain
                     Two motorized engineer infantry platoons, four engineering vehicles, two Pompier FireMechs
      Medical Company: Major
         One MASH vehicle, four ambulances
      Security Force Company: Captain
         Three Security Platoons (Mechanized ballistic Rifle Infantry)
      Transport Company Captain
         Four ATAE-70 LoaderMechs
         16 trucks
M. T. Thompson
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Decoy

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Re: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« Reply #1 on: 03 June 2021, 19:02:19 »
Hrrm...are their any provisions for converting available merchant men on planet into CVEs? Or is this mostly battlemech scale units?

Daryk

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Re: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« Reply #2 on: 03 June 2021, 19:42:49 »
That staff needs an N5 Plans officer... I would argue for an O-4.

nerd

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Re: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« Reply #3 on: 03 June 2021, 21:01:19 »
Hrrm...are their any provisions for converting available merchant men on planet into CVEs? Or is this mostly battlemech scale units?
Yes, you could convert a support vehicle into an aircraft carrier. There's a 30,000 ton merchant design in TRO:VA, and with a bit of work, you could convert it into a carrier design. There's also the Luftenberg class supercarrier, and Lysander and Argo submarine carriers.

That staff needs an N5 Plans officer... I would argue for an O-4.
I didn't have one, because I've never seen a Plans shop, and didn't consider it. It's always been part of Operations in my 14+ years.
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Daryk

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Re: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« Reply #4 on: 03 June 2021, 21:08:44 »
The US Navy does like to merge those two (because eh, why plan beyond 72 hours?), but when interstellar travel is part of the equation, you really need to think longer term...  ^-^

warhammer74

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Re: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« Reply #5 on: 21 July 2021, 12:47:36 »
Thats because 72 hour plans if going well.  If not your down to plan (OSWF) Oh Shit We ******

DOC_Agren

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Re: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« Reply #6 on: 25 July 2021, 19:58:10 »
The US Navy does like to merge those two (because eh, why plan beyond 72 hours?), but when interstellar travel is part of the equation, you really need to think longer term...  ^-^
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maxcarrion

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Re: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« Reply #7 on: 19 August 2021, 07:00:17 »
Gosh, that's a seriously terrible Navy.  I hate how terribly thought out bluewater navies in BT are.  You could take apart the whole Navy with a single leopard dropship carrying 2 ASF

Bluewater capital ships are far too delicate to get into mech range engagements.  Rapier Patrol Destroyers will find themselves generally outclassed by bluewater capitals, combat vehicles (not 1 on 1 but anything like cost or weight), air assets and blackwater capitals.  What are they supposed to engage against?  My money would be on mothership style capitals designed to supply and support combat vehicles for long term engagements.

Neptune Submarines, slow, expensive and cramped with a terrible mishmash of weapons on every variant. 

Monitor's - slow and incredibly short range in an environment that is often free from cover or concealment....

At least the sea skimmers and VTOLs have a concrete role to fill and are solid performers within those roles.

nerd

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Re: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« Reply #8 on: 19 August 2021, 20:47:56 »
The problem with the Leopard and 2 ASF is they start taking fire in atmosphere, and crash and burn easily. Every successful hit to a flying craft is a control roll.

Bluewater ships are crippled, as the focus of the game is on Battlemechs, not ships. As for the number of bluewater capitals are limited, the chances of encountering others is limited. The Arrow IV missiles give a nominal standoff range, and a relatively short flight time. Rapiers also have relatively heavy armor (BAR 10) compared to many ships with BAR 7. In this case, it's more an air defense and limited shore bombardment role, and supply local supremacy against any other ships.

Neptunes are not slow in their element. Each hex of depth 2+ water for a BattleMech requires 4 MP, and a PSR. Underwater, they move fast. The weapons, mostly work. The stock Large Laser, LRT-20, and 2 SRT-6s mostly suffers from a lack of ammo. The other legal variants mount more torpedoes and ammo. Every hit, on a 10+, risks a chance of hull breach at depth. Cumulatively, it starts adding up.

The Monitor is a bit of a lemon, I admit, but it's there because it's ridiculously common. When conducting armed presence missions, they are useful with the Jump Infantry squads. These guys are more likely to be running down rebels and guerillas than fighting in an invasion force. If they were higher on the equipment food chain, I'd replace the Utility Flight with a Scout Flight of Sprints
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Daryk

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Re: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« Reply #9 on: 19 August 2021, 20:52:48 »
Underwater, LRT-5s are king. If they ever let us mount LRT-1s on things larger than BA, THOSE would be king.

maxcarrion

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Re: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« Reply #10 on: 20 August 2021, 09:41:10 »
The problem with the Leopard and 2 ASF is they start taking fire in atmosphere, and crash and burn easily. Every successful hit to a flying craft is a control roll.

The whole fleet has almost no anti air capability.  A few LRM-20s and ERPPCs per Rapier and large lasers on the Neptunes is not exactly a fierce anti-air network.  I guess you could put AA missiles in the AIVs.  But Torpeodo Bombs, Anti Ship MIssiles and other external ordinance allows ASF to attack the surface assets from high altitude leaving the fleet with very little ability to return fire.  No flak batteries, none of the smaller craft have any range, the air assets don't have much air to air capacity, absolutely no reach to strike at orbit.  Most of the fleet cannot even submerge in self defence

Neptunes are not slow in their element. Each hex of depth 2+ water for a BattleMech requires 4 MP, and a PSR. Underwater, they move fast. The weapons, mostly work. The stock Large Laser, LRT-20, and 2 SRT-6s mostly suffers from a lack of ammo. The other legal variants mount more torpedoes and ammo. Every hit, on a 10+, risks a chance of hull breach at depth. Cumulatively, it starts adding up.

Neptunes are not slow if you compare them to non-submersible vehicles in a submersible environment.  Demolisher Tanks are not slow if you compare them to the speed of a Neptune on roads.  I mean, literally all of the canon subs are terrible, but there's no reason you can't build subs 50-100% faster that can still pack a punch.  A Rapier can easily outpace the Neptunes it's supposed to be fleeted with.  I'd take lighter, faster subs that can keep up with the lead ships even if that cost me most of the firepower.  There's very little cover in sub combat so everything except the LRTs are usually unnecessary anyway.

My problem isn't really that these are the wrong canon ships, it's that the canon ships are awful.  With twin AC20 the monitors can't engage anything beyond 300ft, anything in the air or anything submerged.  They are river patrol boats made to engage targets very close to the shore not escorts for larger vessels.  Swap the 2xAC20 for a Arrow IV (anti air, guided and unguided arrows), an AC5 (flak and regular) and an LRT5 and suddenly you have a picket ship that can engage air, surface and submersible targets before they can engage your Rapiers, provide shore bombardment from a relatively safe distance and overlap fields of fire.  They don't have the close range punch but there's nothing else in the fleet creating that picket around the capitals against anything other than submersibles.

Daryk

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Re: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« Reply #11 on: 20 August 2021, 10:12:06 »
Now you've given me an idea for the design forum...  ^-^

CVB

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Re: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« Reply #12 on: 20 August 2021, 10:25:09 »
In defense of the Monitor, I think the mental image and intended use by the 1987 TRO:3026 designer was that of the Vietnam era river monitor. See the similarities:



In such an environment, the AC20/SRM armament makes more sense:

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Daryk

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Re: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« Reply #13 on: 20 August 2021, 10:56:03 »
He did pretty much say that:
They are river patrol boats made to engage targets very close to the shore not escorts for larger vessels.

maxcarrion

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Re: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« Reply #14 on: 20 August 2021, 11:04:33 »
He did pretty much say that:

He did, but the fleet is vastly lacking in capability to spend such a substantial quantity of it's resources on such a niche and ultimately separate role.  Why is a destroyer, blue navy fleet running such a large amount of it's displacement weight in river patrol ships.  Displacement hull River patrol ships make precious little sense on a modern battlefield as they are deeply vulnerable and un-maneuverable compared to the alternatives, such as jump mechs, WIGE, VTOL, amphibious ground and hovers.  A big, slow, short range, Vietnam style river patrol boat is incredibly niche when a hovertank can cover twice the ground and take to the land if the need arises and is it really the job of the bluewater navy command, as part of a deepwater battlegroup?

Daryk

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Re: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« Reply #15 on: 20 August 2021, 11:13:31 »
Honestly, BT hovercraft have the same disadvantage real world ones had compared to displacement craft: lack of armor.

CVB

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Re: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« Reply #16 on: 20 August 2021, 12:20:13 »
He did pretty much say that:
Quote
They are river patrol boats made to engage targets very close to the shore not escorts for larger vessels.

It was more in response to
Quote
Monitor's - slow and incredibly short range in an environment that is often free from cover or concealment....
.

I see the Monitor mostly as an RPG or campaign scenario vehicle, not as something I would select for a force intended to win in a one-off game. I guess I'm just one of those wargamers who are actually roleplayers insisting on playing only majors and above
 :-[  ;)
"Wars result when one side either misjudges its chances or wishes to commit suicide; and not even Masada began as a suicide attempt. In general, both warring parties expect to win. In the event, they are wrong more than half the time."
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I'm willing to suspend my disbelief, but I'm not willing to hang it by the neck until it's dead, dead, dead!

nerd

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Re: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« Reply #17 on: 20 August 2021, 14:30:21 »


It was more in response to.

I see the Monitor mostly as an RPG or campaign scenario vehicle, not as something I would select for a force intended to win in a one-off game. I guess I'm just one of those wargamers who are actually roleplayers insisting on playing only majors and above
 :-[  ;)
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IMBTU, wet navy personnel stand about at the same level as other conventional troops, and much neglected, but slightly lower as they are weird to the MechWarrior nobility of the Inner Sphere. And these guys, as a nominally star mobile unit, are oddballs. It just takes four Mammoth class DropShips and three transport dropships.
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Cannonshop

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Re: BattleTech Wet Navy Organization
« Reply #18 on: 20 August 2021, 16:44:12 »
I'm gonna refrain from pointing out what everyone else has pointed out, and just address a single thing:

what is it for? what does it do?

If you're going to garrison, it doesn't have to be dropship portable in the same way a combat force is.  if it has to be dropship portable, then most of your fleet is too slow to be of use for the investment needed to move and support it.

much of the rest of it, is too big.

"Dropship Portable" forces need to have a killer application-a job they do that can't be done adequately by other types of units.  a squadron of subs to attack underwater fortifications too deep for 'mechs to attack safely? makes a certain amount of sense.

FAST riverine forces to move special forces, recon, and such up via river systems? again, makes sense, particularly in places where tree cover makes aviation-based recon less effective, or where you're trying to get teams in 'under the radar' to mark targets for your 'mech forces and the enemy's got a good ADA radar coverage.

Monitors are for terrorizing villages.  That's really all they're good at, or good for-they're less manueverable tanks that can't leave the road they're on and won't find cover or concealment easily to work as ambush units.

Coastal blue-water boats make some sense if your major targets are in an island chain or on a peninsula, or where the only 'land' approaches require swimming in deep water, or for maritime strike at coastal fortifications.

but they work significantly better as garrison units, because of the difficulty in schlepping them.

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