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Fan Articles / Re: Here come the guns! Artillery in Battletech
« Last post by Elmoth on Today at 03:37:18 »
Question regarding mercs.

I lnow mercs in the real world work differently  but I am interested in the comment that says that.merc command do not seem to use arty and they should. (Because it resonates well with me).

Do mercs in the real world tended to have integral arty? Not the ragtag 20 mn band that did coupa in africa in the 70s, but current highly organized units like Wagner or Blackwater (to out an example on either side). I was under the impression that they have manpads and the like, as well as personnel carriers, but that heavier equipment (tanks, artillery, aircraft...) are not theirs, but belong to their employer if they are being used.
Cool, thanks for the link!  :thumbsup:
Fan Fiction / Re: Vignettes of the General War
« Last post by Liam's Ghost on Today at 03:03:13 »
It's interesting that the Volga and the Akula are both approved in such large numbers, despite being only 40kilotons apart in size.  I suppose they compliment rather than competing-the Volga has docking collars, the Akula doesn't, the Akula has a rather heafy fore-quarter autocannon battery, the Volga has modestly impressive broadside lasers, but still, you think one design or the other would win out.

It's also shocking to see the Federated Suns go for a high-low battleship fleet with Pendragons to lead and 'Revenge' to follow around, I thought for sure one design would win out there as well.

In the Capellan case, they're mostly funding anybody who looks like they can get something into service. It would be more efficient in the long term to concentrate on a single design, but they're still busy throwing everything at the wall and hoping something will stick.

On the Davion side, Alexander Davion wants his prestige ship, but he also wants a strong battle line quickly, so he's trying to split the difference for the time being.
I saw some posts about this new Citadel shade - Soulblight Grey. Basically, it does a better job for whites than Apothecary White, IMHO. Have a look:

The paint process:

- Prime with Corax White
- cover with Soulblight Grey, being careful to soak off any pooling
- 2 medium white drybrushes with Corax White
- my traditional ghostbrush with white primer, to hit the edges
- Detailing

That's it! Nice clean darker lines, suitable for ComStar, or Arcturan Guards.

Anyone else used this?
BattleTech Miniatures / Harimiadir Singh
« Last post by worktroll on Today at 02:51:12 »
So when I did Duke Ricol's Red Hunter group, some time ago, the Crusader mini had not been released. So now I had some, I had to replace the proxy Thunderbolt I'd been using with Singh's true ride:

If you think the pose looks a little funny ... SchwerpunktPrinzip donated me this mini, as it originally came with two right legs. I decided to address that ... removed the leg on the left, turned it round, moved the SRM pack to the now-outside, and put it on. Came out in a nice dynamic running pose.

I suppose I should have photographed him in with all the fuel tanks ...

So during my painting break (see 1st Oriente Hussars), I did do some simple stuff to get back warmed up for bigger things. So I addressed some of the terrain pieces I got with the 2nd (IIRC?) CAV kickstarter. Now that I'm more or less exclusively playing Alpha Strike, these will be useful! A nice mix of chemical tanks, ammo dumps, and POL dumps.

Arrayed of course for best use, and with container stacks of food and uniforms providing blast protection. I believe they call this the "Donblastov" approach ...

As the second Oriente brigade, the Oriente Hussars were always considered to be worth less than the Oriente Fusiliers. Fielding a once impressive 11 regiments,[1] over time the formation was reduced in strength, down to a mere 5 regiments by the beginning of the 31st century. As the FWLM was unified and reformed in the 31st century things improved for the Hussars; following the Military Reform Act of 3046 the LCCC began to treat the Hussars and the Fusiliers more equally, assigning equipment and supplies in accordance with the demands placed upon the various units (much to the anger of the Fusiliers.) The various Hussar regiments are trained and equipped for defensive tactics and were generally not issued with the best equipment. During many wars such as the Reunification War, the Andurien Secession, or Operation Guerrero, only a single regiment from the Hussars would be assigned to the front lines, with the main body of the brigade being held in reserve.

The 1st Hussars - "Allison's Hope"- remained loyal to Janos Marik during Anton's revolt, and fought on Villanueva and Leyda during the Andurien Secession Crisis. During the Clan Invasion period, the 1st Hussars were based on Trellisane under the command of Colonel Roger Harsila, but had standing orders to participate in exercises against the Oriente Ducal Guard on Tamarind. "Accidents" are common during these exercises, as though the two units respect each other, they do not like each other. The 3058 exercises, for example, destroyed two live-fire ranges and inflicted 132 million M-Bills of damage.

Perhaps as a consequence, the 1st Hussars did not participate in Operations Guerrero or Bulldog.

The unit's Command Lance consisted of the CO's Orion ON1-K, backed by a Thunderbolt TDR-7M, Wolverine WVR-6M, and Hunchback HBK-5N.

The Direct Fire Lance is composed of a Marauder MAD-3M-DC, Stalker STK-3H, Archer ARC-2R, and Crusader CRD-3M.

And the Recon Lance contains a Phoenix Hawk PXH-1, Raven RVN-3L, Stinger STG-3G, and Wasp WSP-3M.

Further reconnaisance capability is provided by a platoon of J Edgar hovers - three stock versions, protecting a battle rebuild carrying two medium lasers, TAG, and a Beagle Active Probe:

Heavy fire is provided by an Assault Platoon of Zhukov heavy tanks:

And fire support from an Artillery Fire Platoon of Chapparals.

Infantry support is based around two Field Gun platoons armed with AC-10s, and two infantry platoons (Laser & SRM) with an integral Heavy Tracked APC. Fire direction for the Chapparals is the responsibility of the platoon of Light TAG equipped Achileus Battle Armour.

So it's been a while - April to be precise - since I posted a unit. Had a break over the Aussie winter - a bunch of things , climatic & personal, but I needed a break. And now I'm back with renewed enthusiasm!

So the paint work:
- Prime (grey)
- Base light brown
- Dark brown 'details'. The vehicles got a version of a Russian desert camo seen in Syria, but I just couldn't be bothered doing (poorly) dark brown geometric shapes all over the 'Mechs,  so they got dark brown bands. Medium brown shapes broke up the spaces and overlapped the dark brown parts.
- Then I decided to add highlights - green for Oriente. So I did patches at ankles, wrists, and cockpit for the 'Mechs, and simple green rectangles on the vehicles.
- Blackened parts to be metallic later
- Ghostbrush of white to bring out edges in the dark brown mainly
- Hit with Agrax Earthshade (brown Citadel "shade")
- Drybrushed metallics
- Cockpits meant to reflect inner glow, so dab of yellow, then heavy cover with Citadel contrast orange.

(And yes, I know that ain't the Chapparal's canon cockpit. But damned if I'd do those sun-rooves ...)

The basing is meant to represent patches of snow on desert - much like the Altiplano in South America. Think high desert plains.

Happy with the outcome! I have minis for pretty much 8 units on hand, so this should keep me going until the BT KS2 delivers (I hope!)

As always, the more comments/questions/critiques, the merrier!
BattleMechs / Re: Filling in the Syberian AutoMechs (Open Thread)
« Last post by HABeas2 on Today at 02:40:29 »
I'll play around with them some more. Maybe I'll have a world where the Star Empire crossed with Syberians? We could throw in other crossovers for kicks.  ;D

Suit yourself. The California Nebula is a crossover playground. We just presented each system with a lacking in FTL as a means of keeping franchises separate and "unspoiled." Things get very weird when they mix and match (as we saw in WttNC's opening fic, when Grimdark killed one of the Fellowship.)

Yeah, it would be neat if you included it.

As soon as she gives the okay, sure.

Cool! Here's the Vedette Tripod TankMech. I went with the 3 ton cockpit but I also added 10% to the conversion system for the third leg and rounded up. It ended up coming out even. I also added a conversion slot and track slot for the center leg.  I also tried to put it in your format.

I'd have let you get away with the conversion system staying the same mass as normal. Tripods already take the hit on tonnage for their configurations in the increased internal structure and armor mass. The added slots I would keep, yes. That is, if I were to introduce tripod AutoMechs beyond the Emplacement and non-converting ones. I just didn't want to add more complexity to something that we don't really see in our Transformers. That's why the convertible schemes tended to get chassis locked to Biped or Biped/Quad limits. (My War of the Tripods adventure shows some neat tripod 'Mechs that could easily be AutoMech-driven, and fluffed out as a heretofore-undiscovered "alien" faction.)

Wouldn't the cockpit be replaced by the Drone's CPUs?   I also imagine there'd be cargo planes and other transports. Although an AirlinerMech would be cool. I'd imagine many of the passenger versions would have been reconfigured to tankers or cargo planes. 

I imagine there'd be other kinds or civilian vehicles/mechs with most pressed into military service. Like a Agro Mech swapping the harvester for a mine sweeper and cargo bay for mine dispensers.

Humans don't have to ride in the head do they? The Star Empire puts people in any location. The Sandman LAM also had those rescue pods carrying 2 passengers per .5 tons. And wasn't there a rule somewhere were extra crew weigh .5 tons each? That could be three different passenger classes, infantry, second class, and first class.

I always though passengers had to be in Infantry Bay of some kind.

A few things worth note: Cargo space on BattleMechs is not that new a concept, but is generally illegal in standard unit construction, especially in the case of bays for infantry. (And yeah, Wrangler, you'd ideally want an infantry bay for human passengers, because that represents a space in which there's seating, maybe some safety equipment, and gear stowage compartments.) The Syberians would have generally kept any human-transporting capacity to their vehicle AutoMechs, eschewing the conversion capabilities for more comfortable passenger/cargo space. Converting vehicle AutoMechs could also have some space set aside like that, but it would only be considered safe as long as the unit remained in vehicle mode. (After that, Syberian health/life insurance companies probably just wouldn't cover.)

As I indicated earlier in this thread (somewhere), the only reason you aren't seeing civilian/human-passenger units among the AutoMechs of this Syberia TRO is that they've naturally fallen into disuse by the time IE's teams arrived. Covering units such as those would almost certainly require a Syberian version of the Support Vehicle TRO, which would skew toward more vehicle/aerospace AutoMech-driven units than 'Mechs.

(I know nothing of this Sandman LAM. Was that an official design someplace?)

Infantry can ride in cargo compartments.

They can; it's just not as safe or comfortable. That wouldn't stop a Syberian AutoMech from putting their smaller drones in the same space, though. That's how we get our deployer units, after all.

- Herb
Fan Fiction / Re: Vignettes of the General War
« Last post by Liam's Ghost on Today at 02:05:20 »
Terran Hegemony

The Terran Hegemony has long maintained an air of comfortable invulnerability from aggression, despite numerous conflicts, both large and small, with its neighbors over the last two and a half centuries. A significant part of that security comes from its unbelievably massive navy, which as of 2577 counted over four hundred capital ships ready in all respects for service and approximately eighteen hundred ships in various levels of reserve. The Hegemony has, since the late 24th century, based its acceptable fleet strength on what it calls the "Five Powers Standard", which states that the Terran Hegemony Navy must have sufficient available fleet strength, both in terms of active ships and those which can be reactivated to service quickly, to engage in a full scale naval war with all five of the Hegemony's neighbors. Simultaneously.

To achieve this goal, the Terran Hegemony has over the generations leveraged not only its tremendous industrial advantage, but also a degree of strategic ambiguity. The Terran Navy's capital ship strength can be broadly defined to fall into five groups. The first of these is the Active Fleet, which contains all of those ships which are currently manned and in active service. This is what is commonly seen by the public and the media of each state as the Terran Hegemony navy, and as of the end of the Malagrotta war, numbered some four hundred capital ships of various types, from the Farragut and Monsoon to the humble Vincent.

The second group is the ready reserve, which is composed of ships which may be made promptly ready for service. These ships are fully operable and even have a full designated crew assigned, however they are not actively deployed, and their crews (with the exception of a small caretaker staff) are generally on temporary assignment elsewhere in their port of call. Terran doctrine dictates that ships in the ready reserve may be made ready for service in all respects within a day of orders to sail, and the Hegemony has become so proficient in this procedure that most strategic planners both within the Hegemony and without tend to regard the ready reserve as part of the Hegemony's active fleet strength rather than as a reserve force. To maintain overall competency among crews, ships regularly rotate between the active and ready reserve fleets, and as ships are periodically taken out of service for major overhauls, upgrades or other refits, additional ships from the third element of the Navy, the Fleet Reserve, are activated to temporarily take their place.

The Fleet Reserve, possibly the largest single component of the Hegemony's capital ship fleet, is composed of ships kept "in ordinary", which is to say deactivated, but preserved for later use. Though the common assumption is that this reserve force is composed of older, now obsolete vessels, and this is largely true, as of the end of the Malagrotta War the fleet reserve was home to hundreds of the Hegemony's most modern front line designs, some of them going directly from the shipyards and into reserve. The theory behind this is that it allows the Navy to ensure an additional large reserve force of modern ships is available if needed, without the cost of keeping them fully manned and operational. This contingency would be fully utilized following the "Never Again" proclamation.

The fourth element of the navy is the Deep Reserve, sometimes described as the "boneyards", composed of ships considered either so obsolete or so thoroughly worn out that the possibility of reactivation, even in extreme circumstances, is all but nil. Over the last half a century, the Hegemony has actually been trimming down this fleet of virtual relics. The last pre-dreadnoughts stored in the Deep Reserve were finally scrapped by 2550, and many other ships that have been kept for very shaky reasons have been steadily following them to the breakers. Accurate numbers of ships in this deep reserve are hard to come by, and it is even harder to quantify how many of these ships may somehow still be fit for service. While the Hegemony puts little effort into preserving these hulls, WarShips have in general proven surprisingly resilient to the ravages of time, and ships like the Cruiser, Dart, and the oldest examples of the Essex and Lola may still be available for service in the Hegemony's time of need.

The fifth part of the Hegemony's capital ship fleet is its most ambiguous, as it is composed of those capital ships that the Terran Navy does not officially acknowledge. Ships like the Nightwing, Tracker, and other rumored designs are not found on Navy Rolls and may not be operated by navy personnel at all. As such, no data is available on the numbers or disposition of these ships.

With such an embarrassment of riches, one might be forgiven for assuming that the Hegemony is unconcerned by the events of the Malagrotta War and the "Never Again" proclamation. And indeed, Hegemony pundits have expressed little to no concern over what a naval arms race might mean to the Hegemony's own security... and endless concern over what it might mean for the Great Houses. Ian Cameron in particular has openly railed at the foolishness of indulging in such an expensive and destabilizing venture, predicting that if the Houses do not turn away from this destructive path, it will lead  to sphere wide economic recession at best, or a truly cataclysmic war between houses at worst. He has made endless calls for arms reduction talks, build holidays, and the creation of a joint coalition to deal with the "destabilizing threat" of the Taurian Concordat. And as a measure of good faith, the Director General has ordered the demobilization of several hundred ships from the active fleet, and the scrapping of what remains in the Hegemony's deep reserve, which on the surface represents the single largest reduction of arms in recorded history.

Beneath the surface, the story is a bit different however. The Terran Hegemony had observers present aboard Davion ships during the Malagrotta war, and thus were front row witnesses to the disastrous defeats House Davion would suffer from the conflict. Even before the war had concluded, Admiral of the Fleet Jannisa Franklin had her staff gleaning every lesson they could from what they had observed, and she had already ordered a fleetwide audit of the Terran Navy in the light of these revelations. She would later describe the conclusions of these studies as "demoralizing". While it was determined that Hegemony fleet clearly retained its dominant position, the weaknesses in the Terran Monolith were already clear. The Navy's most modern ships, when compared to the fighting observed in the Malagrotta war, were universally deemed not fit to face modern threats (described as either lackluster, objectively insufficient, or criminally defective). The core of the fleet, the Battleships, was composed almost entirely of a class that despite the best efforts of yards and admirals to keep it current, was already two centuries old and fast approaching block obsolescence. The escort fleet was dependent on the modern Baron and the century old Vincent, both of which were now clearly insufficient for the task they were given, supported only by old Essex and Lola class ships which were reaching the end of their service lives. For mid grade ships the picture was a little better, but even there the expensive, modern Avatar suffered from clear systemic problems, and the Congress, while an exceptional picket ship, lacked the firepower to match against the mid sized capital ships currently being fielded by the other powers. Ultimately, it was determined that the Hegemony's only major advantage against its neighbors was shear numbers, and the margin was thin enough that the Navy was either dangerously close to or simply unable to meet the Five Power standard.

It was in this context that Ian Cameron observed Alexander Davion's "Never Again" proclamation. While Admiral Franklin argued for either a clean sheet rebuild of the Hegemony Navy, or a visible demonstration of the Terran Hegemony's power against one of their adversaries while those adversaries still fear that power, the Director General has adopted a more diplomatic path while simultaneously working to keep the Hegemony's lead over its neighbors. Thus, while publicly the Hegemony has moved several hundred ships out of the active fleet, it has also been quietly reactivating and manning every front line WarShip in the Fleet Reserve and moving them into the Ready Reserve (meaning the number of ships immediately available for any major conflict has actually increased despite the Director General's cuts). In addition, the Hegemony navy has embarked on a large scale modernization program with the stated goal of "streamlining and modernizing the fleet to reduce dependence on raw numbers". The catch is that despite "reducing dependence on raw numbers" this program reportedly includes authorization to build more than fifteen hundred additional ships for the Hegemony Navy, with thirty new ships already completed and another one hundred and eighty already laid down. The speed and efficiency of the massive Terran Yards is already clear, with an upgraded Baron class destroyer going from keel laying to commissioning in six months, and a new Congress or Avatar taking only nine months. Reportedly the biggest bottleneck the Hegemony is currently facing is meeting the need for trained crews for these new ships, and even that appears to be a temporary hiccup at worst. 

And there is the concern of what the Hegemony intends to do with its expanding fleet. Director General Cameron has repeatedly stated that if the houses are currently unwilling to consider stopping this arms race, then the next logical step is to remove the destabilizing influence that helped to spawn it. To that end, throughout 2579 he has made diplomatic overtures to the Hegemony's neighbors to form a coalition force to restrain further Taurian aggression, and if necessary bring them to heel by force. Responses to his call have been at best lukewarm, and in the case of the Free Worlds League, openly hostile. However, by all accounts, large numbers of Terran WarShips may still be on the move, whether the other Great Houses are willing to back their play or not.

918 Active WarShips (including the Active Fleet and Ready Reserve)
18 Farragut class
90 Monsoon class
100 Avatar class
10 Avatar class (block II)
100 Riga class
80 Congress class
10 Congress class (block II)
300 Baron class
10 Baron class (block II)
100 Lola class
80 Vincent class (Mark 37)
20 Vincent class (Mark 37A)

1040 Reserve WarShips (Fleet Reserve)
3 Dreadnought class
30 Black Lion class
240 Quixote class
106 Aegis class
60 Riga class
100 Lola class
1 Hedgehog class
250 Essex class
240 Vincent class (Mark 37)
200 Vigilant class (2320)
50 Bonaventure class (2317)

240 Under Construction or Refit
10 Glorious class
30 Avatar class (block II)
60 Congress class (block II)
80 Baron class (block II)
60 Vincent class (Mark 37A conversion)

1410 Authorized
100 Royal Sovereign class
50 Glorious class
60 Avatar class (Block II)
50 Kimagure class
130 Congress class (Block II)
300 Whirlwind class
210 Baron class (block II)
320 Vincent class (Mark 37A conversion)
200 Chatham class
What is a TIT or a TAT?  Unfamiliar naval ship designations  ;D

Never heard of

Terran Invasion Transport
Terran Assault Torpedocarrier


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