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Author Topic: BBC-76: Land Carrier with 'Mech Launch Capability  (Read 1395 times)

Taintberner

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BBC-76: Land Carrier with 'Mech Launch Capability
« on: 14 February 2020, 14:09:19 »
Hi all, longtime lurker, first-time poster. I'm running a narrative campaign (first time!) this year with a group, and am trying to have a fun gimmick/twist for every mission. This month we're doing a supply convoy escort through a canyon, and while I was looking at different train options, I stumbled onto a Dropzone Commander miniature that was very intriguing:



Basically an aircraft carrier. With tank treads. It is immensely stupid and impractical, so I thought - perfect for Battletech!

It takes up about three hexes using Heroscape 1.75" terrain. Now, it's my first time designing a unit in any tabletop game, much less Battletech. To my interpretation, it's a Super-heavy Support vehicle, with double AC/5 on each side, plus 2 LRM-10s on the top. I decided the command bridge would be the "turret" and slapped a Gauss Rifle on-top. Please let me know if this doesn't make sense.

Now, and this is where this gets very silly, I ginned up the idea (I know the scale is off, but bear with me) that it could store a lance  of 'Mechs (or maybe just two) in it's hull instead of cargo... and deploy them from the flight deck, giving them a +2 boost to their Jumping MP for their first movement - so now you can charge to the front line, mechs safely stored away, and then launch them directly into the fray!

I get that a lot of this is homebrew, but I was hoping for your input on how to make this "work" with the specifics. I started a record sheet but I keep going back and forth on armor, and not sure what to do about the fact that it takes up 3 hexes. It's not really a "Mobile Structure" I don't think? I figured I could make it work with 3/5 Cruising/Flank MP, and let mechs stand on top of the deck as Level 2 terrain (or behind it, as mobile cover)

My plan for the scenario is that it starts out disguised as simply a hardened superheavy cargo carrier "Banal Bringer of Cargo" alongside some standard supply trucks. The launch deck folds up, so it doesn't look like a carrier deck. Like this:



Partway through the scenario, as they're getting bogged down with the Clan lance assaulting them, the carrier basically turns hard left/right and blocks the narrow canyon path for the unwitting supply trucks - before revealing it's true identity as a mobile Battletech carrier, and launching a 'Mech piloted by the humiliated mercenary they defeated last scenario; who saw all his comrades killed and jumped into a recently emptied nuclear missile silo to try and escape - only to have his jumpjets malfunction on the way down, breaking every bone in his body, and the evil weapons R&D company that is haunting the shadows of the campaign hooks him up with military grade experimental prosthesis and straps him into a new 'Mech, hiding in the bay of this experimental Land-Carrier prototype, ready for combat trials.

So, the "Banal Bringer of Cargo" is now the "Ballistic Battlemech land-Carrier"-76. And if they manage to defeat it, they can salvage it and use it for the rest of the campaign - with some possible upgrades. I was thinking, being able to up the JJ boost MP from launching, adding a new weapon to the turret, upgrading the engine for added MP, more armor, some sort of targeting boost?, or just scrapping the deck and replacing them with artillery cannons. All of these would be pretty expensive and forcing my players to pool their money.

Please let me know what you think! Any input is greatly appreciated. I'm still working on a Record Sheet, but I'd love your thoughts on it.
« Last Edit: 14 February 2020, 14:12:16 by Taintberner »

Luciora

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Re: BBC-76: Land Carrier with 'Mech Launch Capability
« Reply #1 on: 14 February 2020, 15:33:20 »
I had a discussion about this a while ago.  I still think it's a neat flavor idea, for like an AU or something. 

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=61917.msg1421567#msg1421567
« Last Edit: 14 February 2020, 16:58:44 by Luciora »

Taintberner

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Re: BBC-76: Land Carrier with 'Mech Launch Capability
« Reply #2 on: 14 February 2020, 16:03:15 »
Great thread, thank you for linking to it.

My original thinking was inspired by the MW3 MFBs. Now I was thinking to myself - what if, you could put a couple guns on it, give it a way to launch mechs into action, and run some minor rearm & repairs, as 4 mechs are crammed into there packed like sardines?

So it's main purpose is really a Force Multiplier, a sort of fortress breaker per se.

Imagine you're in a Clan lance dug into an entrenched fortress. You got AA covering the skies. Long guns from the turrets can pick off mechs at range. And of course, you've got a Lance or two to go out and engage the enemy. So you think you're sitting pretty, right? Looking out at the horizon, sipping your coffee, not a care in the world. And suddenly 2-3 of these Land Carriers crest over the horizon. They're screaming at you with flank speed, gauss rifle and everything else firing, trying to weaken your fortified walls. They're taking some hits, sure, but they ain't letting up as they charge you head-on.

Then suddenly - BLAM - they smash through your walls. All the way through your walls, with a full 120 degree firing arc covered ahead of it. The rear door drops, and a lance of 4 mechs come piling out like troops leaving a Chinook helicopter. Now you're in CQC with a full lance of mechs covered by a support vehicle with Gauss/AC5/LRM fire laying down the law. Seems like it'd be a real fun time.

Or hell, you could just boost their jump jets by launching the mechs from the carrier deck (I'm adapting this from like Gundam or some other mech anime, admittedly) and plop them over the walls, giving indirect fire support from the LRMs. While this isn't really a "serious" unit per-se (the faction that develops this unit in my campaign are basically mad scientists who constantly have god-awful ideas that blow up in everyone else's faces) I wanted to try and think through how it would work.

I am Belch II

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Re: BBC-76: Land Carrier with 'Mech Launch Capability
« Reply #3 on: 16 February 2020, 05:53:07 »
I would like to know more!
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Taintberner

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Re: BBC-76: Land Carrier with 'Mech Launch Capability
« Reply #4 on: 22 February 2020, 13:04:51 »
Okay! Well, here is the record sheet I put together before our session next Wednesday. I think this generally all makes sense?

Luciora

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Re: BBC-76: Land Carrier with 'Mech Launch Capability
« Reply #5 on: 22 February 2020, 13:09:10 »
Looks fun.  Reminds me alot of the land battleships from OG Gundam, and the hovercarriers from Gundam X.

Hellraiser

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Re: BBC-76: Land Carrier with 'Mech Launch Capability
« Reply #6 on: 22 February 2020, 16:01:34 »
The only real problem I see with this in universe is unlike a true Watercraft carrier, this one is easily replaced by a Dropship.

But I love that model regardless, Lol
3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

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Luciora

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Re: BBC-76: Land Carrier with 'Mech Launch Capability
« Reply #7 on: 22 February 2020, 16:51:27 »
I think people are being too meta whenever dropships are mentioned.   If someone wants a game about a ground based crawler,  they should be able to have one, and have fun.  Not worry about efficiency.

Hellraiser

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Re: BBC-76: Land Carrier with 'Mech Launch Capability
« Reply #8 on: 22 February 2020, 19:54:09 »

It takes up about three hexes using Heroscape 1.75" terrain. Now, it's my first time designing a unit in any tabletop game, much less Battletech. To my interpretation, it's a Super-heavy Support vehicle, with double AC/5 on each side, plus 2 LRM-10s on the top. I decided the command bridge would be the "turret" and slapped a Gauss Rifle on-top. Please let me know if this doesn't make sense.

........It's not really a "Mobile Structure" I don't think? I figured I could make it work with 3/5 Cruising/Flank MP, and let mechs stand on top of the deck as Level 2 terrain (or behind it, as mobile cover)

I suppose you might be able to do it as a Super Heavy Support.

But I actually like the idea of Mobile Structure too.

Either way I would not call those LRM10s & AC5s.

I'd call each of those Turrets a 6-rack of Arrow-IV tubes allowing it to lay down serious artillery support.

The side guns are Twin Gauss or Twin Ultra-20 depending on the era your playing in.

I say give that thing some beef to it.
3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Taintberner

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Re: BBC-76: Land Carrier with 'Mech Launch Capability
« Reply #9 on: 22 February 2020, 23:16:59 »
Looks fun.  Reminds me alot of the land battleships from OG Gundam, and the hovercarriers from Gundam X.

I think Battletech can have a little anime, as a treat

I think people are being too meta whenever dropships are mentioned.   If someone wants a game about a ground based crawler,  they should be able to have one, and have fun.  Not worry about efficiency.

So I'm not strictly adhering to Campaign Operations since due to timing we only have about 4 hours a session, and this campaign is all structured on one planet. As far as my players are concerned, they have one modified Leopard to haul everything around - and I scribbled this out already, but the idea is if my players manage to disable and salvage this piece of heavy machinery, they can hook this up to the Leopard via cargo ropes and drag this thing around the planet from point A to point B. Here's the OC planetary map I dreamed up for this:


High-res version here: https://i.imgur.com/jSwuO87.jpg

They just left Fordham and are getting wrapped up on the Western continent of Marston currently. Like I said, there's levels of silliness to it, but I only have 3 players so far and am trying to work around that.

I suppose you might be able to do it as a Super Heavy Support.

But I actually like the idea of Mobile Structure too.

Either way I would not call those LRM10s & AC5s.

I'd call each of those Turrets a 6-rack of Arrow-IV tubes allowing it to lay down serious artillery support.

The side guns are Twin Gauss or Twin Ultra-20 depending on the era your playing in.

I say give that thing some beef to it.

The scenario is set in 3050. My plan is to make it a little soft now, so they can pick it up and beef it up for the rest of the year. This is during a convoy escort through a tight canyon where there's 6 unidentified Clan Smoke Jaguar mechs ready to lash out at them, and I have to roll a 1D6 every time they get Line-of-Sight on an enemy mech (1-no contact 2-light 3,4-med 5-heavy 6-assault)

I glued an extra bit onto the command deck in the back to be the Gauss Rifle. When I tried to explain my idea to a different group, they told me the L/R side weapons would only be able to fire on the Left & Right arcs. Which isn't so bad, considering my plan of having this BBC turn traitor and block the road for the poor defenseless supply trucks just trying to get by. Were they wrong? I dunno.

For the record, it'll be going up against 2 Wolverines and 1 Hatchetman. 
« Last Edit: 22 February 2020, 23:31:57 by Taintberner »

Luciora

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Re: BBC-76: Land Carrier with 'Mech Launch Capability
« Reply #10 on: 22 February 2020, 23:37:24 »
 I didn't want to sound harsh, I just think the game is big enough and the rules flexible enough, you can play with many different kinds of ideas, no matter how silly or inefficient they might be.  I'd say land carrier types would be something one could encounter on a Periphery or remote planet that has a decent tech base, but may be inconvenient or unable to rely on dropships for movement and storage.

Taintberner

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Re: BBC-76: Land Carrier with 'Mech Launch Capability
« Reply #11 on: 23 February 2020, 16:19:43 »
No offense taken! I'm very happy to have your input.

Hellraiser

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Re: BBC-76: Land Carrier with 'Mech Launch Capability
« Reply #12 on: 23 February 2020, 17:58:22 »
The scenario is set in 3050.

I glued an extra bit onto the command deck in the back to be the Gauss Rifle. When I tried to explain my idea to a different group, they told me the L/R side weapons would only be able to fire on the Left & Right arcs. Which isn't so bad, considering my plan of having this BBC turn traitor and block the road for the poor defenseless supply trucks just trying to get by. Were they wrong? I dunno.

For the record, it'll be going up against 2 Wolverines and 1 Hatchetman.

Given the 3050 timeframe, Ultra-20's are out.    I'd say LB10X instead of AC5 on the sides.   No Minimum & dual purpose v/s mechs/vehicles.

Although as I understand it now the players are not in the clan mechs,  you have 3 IS mechs going up against the Carrier AND a star of clan mechs?  (Limited view sniping?)

I only skimmed before & thought it was a Lance + Carrier v/s a Star.

I feel like that could be dangerously close to a TPK if they don't get lucky with a lot of 1 roles.

Also,  Side mounts on vehicles have the same arc as a RA/LA does on a mech only w/o crossing into the front (torso) arc as well.   
So its JUST the Arm portion, not the Arm+Torso the way a mech arm can do.

3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Taintberner

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Re: BBC-76: Land Carrier with 'Mech Launch Capability
« Reply #13 on: 24 February 2020, 11:22:23 »
Yeah, I think you're right on the AC5.

It's 3 IS mechs and the Carrier starting out against a broken up Star of Clan mechs - they don't all activate all at once, but are staggered through the canyon. And then the Carrier is going to Tokyo Drift to its side, block the road so the trucks can't get past without risking skidding, and then it's going to launch an Orion from the deck, and then start attacking the IS lance.

The players are all pretty damn good, and I'm pretty poor - they totally wiped me last scenario. I think I have it relatively balanced - for each LOS roll there's a 33% chance I'm at a disadvantage (nothing/light), a 33% chance it's on even ground (medium), and a 33% chance I have an advantage (heavy/assault) - but since there's three of them in sync and I've got five LOS contacts (plus the Orion & Carrier later on) they can keep divided and pick apart piece by piece with a combined 465 tons between their three mechs.

Much thanks for the firing arc info. That's a huge help!

Taintberner

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Re: BBC-76: Land Carrier with 'Mech Launch Capability
« Reply #14 on: 10 March 2020, 18:50:22 »
Sorry for the double post, but I have a trip report! I made the mistake of cutting the armor down to 25 per side in order to try and "balance" things. This was a catastrophic mistake, as my enemy's 2 Wolverines and 1 Hatchetman proceeded to boost straight to the rear and straight core the poor bastard. However, it did an incredible job launching a Marauder from the deck and driving my players wild! Never saw it coming.

Wolf72

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Re: BBC-76: Land Carrier with 'Mech Launch Capability
« Reply #15 on: 20 April 2020, 14:28:41 »
How about Thunderbolt-20's for missiles.
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