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Author Topic: Just because you _can_ doesn't mean you should ... the Papercraft WiGE  (Read 1538 times)

Simon Landmine

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In a couple of scenarios I set myself the challenge of amphibious warfare. Unfortunately, in any operation that requires extended 'wading ashore' by 'mechs, I found that, unless using highly experienced pilots, they would inevitably take substantial losses from falls and the resulting breaches. What was needed was a way to get 'mechs across deep water at speed, and then have them debus under their own power, rather than requiring the timely process of them being unloaded from cargo stowage. That, however, would require a 'mech bay, the weight of which was likely to be prohibitive. Naval Support Vessels could take the weight, but tended to be fairly slow - and, obviously, had to stop at the shore. (I have a couple of designs for those, too, though ...)

Hover vehicles weren't up to the weight requirement, but the design bureau obviously had too much cheese one night, and the next morning, this monstrosity was planned out ...

I give you (because you're not going to pay for it) the Papercraft WiGE Mech Landing Craft ...

Nicknamed the Papercraft by some wag on account of the BAR 7 armour, this is not something that you would want to bring within line-of-sight of any enemy with real firepower (although there is enough to defend against small arms). At 240 tons, the engines are barely capable of getting the lumbering beast up into ground effect, and the weight of the 'mech bay meant that it was not possible to implement the structural reinforcement that would be required to make a support WiGE amphibious, so you're going to have to hope that you make it to solid ground to deploy your cargo. The Rocket Launcher 10 is more a sop to military who refused to countenance something unarmed, although field modifications often replace it with a Vehicular Grenade Launcher, so as to be able to at least slightly shield the disembarking 'mech with smoke.

However, if the circumstances are right, the Papercraft does offer some tactical flexibility ... once moving and at speed, it can deliver 'mechs across the water much faster than they can achieve under their own power - and can also transport heavy 'mechs much faster than then can move across difficult terrain (as long as there are no woods!). And if there is a potential unguarded route ashore, or around a flank, they can potentially deliver a 'mech more swiftly than the enemy would expect.

Code: [Select]
Papercraft WiGE Mech Landing Craft (Standard)
Mass: 240 tons
Movement Type: Wing in Ground Effect

Power Plant: Fusion
Cruising Speed: 54 kph
Maximum Speed: 86.4 kph
Armor: BAR 7
Armament:
  1 Rocket Launcher 10

Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3025
Tech Rating/Availability: D/X-E-D-C
Cost: 7,807,563 C-bills

 
Type: Papercraft WiGE Mech Landing Craft
Chassis Type: Wing in Ground Effect (Large)
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Standard)
Mass: 240 tons
Battle Value: 401

Equipment                                         Mass (tons)
Chassis/Controls                                   41.5
Engine/Trans.                                      42.0
    Cruise MP:5
Flank MP:8
Heat Sinks                    0                     0.0
Fuel                                                0.0
Armor Factor (BAR 7)          124                   6.0

                          Internal   Armor   
                          Structure  Value   
     Front                   24        28   
     Front R/L Side        24/24     20/20   
     Rear R/L Side         24/24     20/20   
     Rear                    24        16   

Weapons
and Ammo              Location    Tonnage   
Rocket Launcher 10     Front        0.5     

Cargo
    Bay 1:  Mech (1)                1 Door   

Notes:
Advanced Fire Control(0.5 tons)

NOTE At present, at least up to MegaMek 0.47.11, any 'mech deployed from a 'mech bay in a Large Support Vehicle will deploy the same hex. As the Papercraft is a Large Support Vehicle, this immediately violates stacking, so the 'mech cannot be moved until the Papercraft leaves the hex. There is currently a query to clarify this behaviour.
"That's Lieutenant Faceplant to you, Corporal!"

Things that I have learnt through clicking too fast on 'Move Done' on MegaMek: Double-check the CF of the building before jumping onto it, check artillery arrival times before standing in the neighbouring hex, and don't run across your own minefield.

"Hmm, I wonder if I can turn this into a MM map."

maxcarrion

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My 2 cents, YMMV

If you are doing an amphibious landing under fire - don't bring unmodified mechs.

WIGE, VTOL, Hover, smaller naval assets and mechs with UMU all provide vastly superior performance to an assault mech walking along the seabed.  Medium jumping mechs like Wolverines can also use Jump platforms (a fast naval ship - these can easily build to 5/8 or faster) with a helipad or similar flat deck which races to within 150yards of the shore and the Woverines jump jet the rest of the way to land.  These platforms could also provide withering supporting fire if you bring ones that are also heavily armed.  These platforms don't neccessarily need the mech bays themselves as they could "receive" the mechs onto deck from a transport ship so could be built very much like a landing craft.

If you want to airlift a mech, internally in a support WIGE is not very efficient.  Lift Hoists on VTOLS, small craft and dropships (like leopards) are all fine options when not under fire.  I generally wouldn't put a heavy/assault mech without UMU on a naval platform as they are very much a fish out of water as it were.

Simon Landmine

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If you are doing an amphibious landing under fire - don't bring unmodified mechs.

Oh, gods, definitely!

WIGE, VTOL, Hover, smaller naval assets and mechs with UMU all provide vastly superior performance to an assault mech walking along the seabed.  Medium jumping mechs like Wolverines can also use Jump platforms (a fast naval ship - these can easily build to 5/8 or faster) with a helipad or similar flat deck which races to within 150yards of the shore and the Woverines jump jet the rest of the way to land.  These platforms could also provide withering supporting fire if you bring ones that are also heavily armed.  These platforms don't neccessarily need the mech bays themselves as they could "receive" the mechs onto deck from a transport ship so could be built very much like a landing craft.

They're all a lot faster over the water, but don't have the resilience or flexibility of a 'mech once they hit land. (Although I also built some rather more useful naval support vessels for offloading 'mechs as landing craft (but with bays, for rapid offloading), but there's currently a potential bug in their deployment mechanic in MegaMek, so pending rules confirmation, I'm not putting those up.)
The jump platforms sound like a good idea, though - where are the rules for those?

If you want to airlift a mech, internally in a support WIGE is not very efficient.  Lift Hoists on VTOLS, small craft and dropships (like leopards) are all fine options when not under fire.

Yep - although Leopards, and other DropShips, are a rarer thing. This was designed to be one of those answers to a question that nobody asked ... or that already has better answers. :-) As you say, a VTOL with a lift hoist is a better way to airlift.

I generally wouldn't put a heavy/assault mech without UMU on a naval platform as they are very much a fish out of water as it were.

And, as the battle goes on, quite often a tinned fish in the water ...
« Last Edit: 17 December 2020, 11:41:45 by Simon Landmine »
"That's Lieutenant Faceplant to you, Corporal!"

Things that I have learnt through clicking too fast on 'Move Done' on MegaMek: Double-check the CF of the building before jumping onto it, check artillery arrival times before standing in the neighbouring hex, and don't run across your own minefield.

"Hmm, I wonder if I can turn this into a MM map."

maxcarrion

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 352
They're all a lot faster over the water, but don't have the resilience or flexibility of a 'mech once they hit land.

I mean, yes, there's some truth to that but 12x50T WIGE or Hover tanks can make a pretty impressive impact on a beach and potentially drive back opposition long enough for a landing craft to get in unmolested with land forces - 4 battlemechs take up the same bay space on a naval vessel and, as mentioned, may not even make it to shore.

maxcarrion

  • Master Sergeant
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  • Posts: 352
The jump platforms sound like a good idea, though - where are the rules for those?
There aren't many rules for them - I literally just made them up just now. 

But I do know that mechs can stand on the decks of Naval Support Ships and ships can get within 5 hexes of shore - that's really all there is to it.  Maybe worth exploring a bit.

Simon Landmine

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  • Posts: 1079
  • Enthusiastic mapmaker
I mean, yes, there's some truth to that but 12x50T WIGE or Hover tanks can make a pretty impressive impact on a beach and potentially drive back opposition long enough for a landing craft to get in unmolested with land forces - 4 battlemechs take up the same bay space on a naval vessel and, as mentioned, may not even make it to shore.

Oh, definitely. I envisioned the LZ being cleared by WiGEs and Hover Tanks, to be honest. But, this being BT, you need to get 55-ton boots on the sand at some point, and often the sooner the better. :-)
(I also made a slightly-better-armoured WiGE for carrying vehicles to shore at reasonable speed, allowing you to unload heavy tracked tanks once the light stuff has cleared enough room for them to land - I've just not posted it yet - two light vehicle bays or one heavy.)

There aren't many rules for them - I literally just made them up just now. 

Drat! They seemed such a good idea! (Large Naval Support Vessels are not yet supported in MM, unfortunately, and I don't think 'mechs can us non-Large Naval Support Vessels as jet-skis and surfboards ... although I might double-check. Thanks for the suggestion!)
"That's Lieutenant Faceplant to you, Corporal!"

Things that I have learnt through clicking too fast on 'Move Done' on MegaMek: Double-check the CF of the building before jumping onto it, check artillery arrival times before standing in the neighbouring hex, and don't run across your own minefield.

"Hmm, I wonder if I can turn this into a MM map."

maxcarrion

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 352
Oh, definitely. I envisioned the LZ being cleared by WiGEs and Hover Tanks, to be honest. But, this being BT, you need to get 55-ton boots on the sand at some point, and often the sooner the better. :-)
(I also made a slightly-better-armoured WiGE for carrying vehicles to shore at reasonable speed, allowing you to unload heavy tracked tanks once the light stuff has cleared enough room for them to land - I've just not posted it yet - two light vehicle bays or one heavy.)

I made one for my Imagineer Support Carrier Battlegroup which had a whole raft of combat vehicles and this was my light vehicle bay delivery vehicle

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/non-combat-vehicles/nessie-support-wige/msg1187731/#msg1187731

As part of this

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/non-canon-units/imagineer-bluewater-pocket-battlegroup-all-custom/msg1198264/#msg1198264

 

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