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Author Topic: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?  (Read 1424 times)

Alan Grant

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Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« on: 05 December 2021, 17:32:58 »
The FedCom RCT in 3050 included an artillery battalion.

I'm wondering what you'd that would consist of. As a "typical" or "average" example of such a unit in 3050-3060.

I know there are a lot of variations. We get hints of that in the books. FS Field Manual does a great job of this with the Ceti Hussars, detailing their artillery. Some RCTs also roll this unit in with other units such as an armored regiment, while in others it's a separate unit under the armor brigade. Yet other units have more than a battalion, with some even having a rare artillery regiment and so forth.

But I'm just focusing on what to expect as composition in a typical artillery battalion as might be dictated by RCT doctrine on paper. What specific make/model vehicles and about how many of each you'd expect might be average. Or that the military planners intended.

Opinions welcomed.
« Last Edit: 05 December 2021, 17:34:55 by Alan Grant »

AlphaMirage

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #1 on: 05 December 2021, 17:54:43 »
I'm going to cover this in my Point Barrows fan Fic guide. I think Thumpers mostly with maybe 4 to 2 Snipers. Long Tom are fluffed as rare and are really heavy.

You also have LRM carriers for 'close range' indirect fire support

Alan Grant

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #2 on: 05 December 2021, 19:26:53 »
Oh, related to my original post, just what artillery vehicles are available in this time period?

The few things I've seen referenced have been been designs not common (like vehicles the Com Guards might be using in this era). But I'm wondering if I'm overlooking a resource somewhere for common arty vehicles among the Great Houses.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #3 on: 05 December 2021, 19:45:14 »
Thumper, Marksman, Ballista, and Sniper. For LRMs you have Striker, Hunter, LRM carrier, and Sturmfeur.

Alan Grant

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #4 on: 05 December 2021, 20:01:55 »
Thanks! But what "Sniper" vehicle are you referring to?

I see one in the Jihad and post-Jihad era but not 3050-3060.

It's entirely possible I'm in error.

Good catch on the Ballista though, I wasn't familiar with that one despite owning that book.

Cannonshop

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #5 on: 05 December 2021, 20:08:49 »
The FedCom RCT in 3050 included an artillery battalion.

I'm wondering what you'd that would consist of. As a "typical" or "average" example of such a unit in 3050-3060.

I know there are a lot of variations. We get hints of that in the books. FS Field Manual does a great job of this with the Ceti Hussars, detailing their artillery. Some RCTs also roll this unit in with other units such as an armored regiment, while in others it's a separate unit under the armor brigade. Yet other units have more than a battalion, with some even having a rare artillery regiment and so forth.

But I'm just focusing on what to expect as composition in a typical artillery battalion as might be dictated by RCT doctrine on paper. What specific make/model vehicles and about how many of each you'd expect might be average. Or that the military planners intended.

Opinions welcomed.

Likely 3 long-toms and their associated ammunition trail.  you have to consider the prominence (or complete lack of same) in over-all battletech doctrine.  The manning requirements for a Long-Tom means you're basically using a Company to service a single weapon, and Artillery really isn't prominent (or in many cases, useful) with the rest of the composition of a FedCom's RCT.  The LRM units are usually integrated into the other branches at the company or battalion level as 'fire support' units.

As the 3050s progress, probably see multiple Arrow-IV types replacing the Long Toms, possibly including some local version of the Chaparral, or a modified LRM carrier chassis, or the Lyran-born Arrow IV variant of the Demolisher.

but with notable exceptions, Arty isn't a prominent part of Davion doctrine any more than it's a prominent part of DCMS or FWL doctrines, so you're like to see relatively little in terms of unit types beyond what's been captured or purchased by individual commands, and less standardization. (basically if it's made in the Inner Sphere between 3055 and 3067, you're likely to find it in some FedCom organization throughout the double monarchy-unless it's Word of Blake specific.)

Thanks! But what "Sniper" vehicle are you referring to?

I see one in the Jihad and post-Jihad era but not 3050-3060.

It's entirely possible I'm in error.

Good catch on the Ballista though, I wasn't familiar with that one despite owning that book.

Look up TRO: 2750 for the 4/6 Sniper artillery tank.
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VhenRa

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #6 on: 06 December 2021, 01:20:17 »
Well, we know it's stated to be 36 artillery pieces.

Probably heavily thumpers and snipers. IIRC description is for more then a few units they are towed guns, not self-propelled.

For self-propelled units... I wouldn't be surprised if more then a few pieces are essentially done on improvised hulls converted from other types. [Think adhoc WWII style platforms]

Metallgewitter

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #7 on: 06 December 2021, 02:49:38 »
Does the FedCom also have Arrow IV platforms? In the TRO 3055 in the lore for the Scarabus it states that the TAG unit was useless at first until they introduced a Arrov IV variant of the Thunderhawk. Are there any others?

CVB

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #8 on: 06 December 2021, 03:06:09 »
According to the MUL the Fedcom had the Thunderhawk, the Catapult C3, the Yellow Jacket, the Pilum and the Schiltron available, however only the Cat existed before 3059 (and the YJ only from 3067).
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Paladin1

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #9 on: 06 December 2021, 09:03:16 »
The composition of a FedCom artillery battalion in 3050 is going to largely depend upon which part of the FedCom the parent unit is from along with the type of RCT it is attached too.

Lyran RCTs attach their artillery battalions directly to one of their armor units in the Armor Brigade and, as such, are largely self-propelled units.

Davion RCTs, on the other hand, attach their artillery battalions to the Armor Brigade itself instead of any particular regiment and can be either self-propelled or towed.

Normally, I would expect a mixture of Thumper and Sniper artillery pieces that basically mirrors the weight classification of the parent RCT, but I don't have any solid data to confirm this aspect.

Assault RCTs would have a higher mix of Long Tom artillery, although Sniper artillery pieces would still make up the majority of the unit.

Very few FedCom RCTs during this time period had entire Artillery Regiments, but there are a few in existence, so keep that in mind as well.  Personally, I would expect this to the the only place you'd find an entire Battalion of Long Toms, and then only if the other Battalions were Snipers exclusively.

All that being said though, I'd argue that it doesn't matter what is "historical" so just build out your Artillery Battalion how you see fit.  When I built the 33rd Avalon Hussars RCT, I gave it a full Battalion of Long Toms because of the fact that it was attached to an RCT built around a Reinforced Assault Regiment designed to be the heaviest unit in the Avalon Hussars Brigade, on par with the 8th Crucis Lancers and Davion Assault Guards.

Long story short, it's your decision.

VhenRa

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #10 on: 06 December 2021, 09:33:52 »
Looking at FM Federated Suns for artillery regiments?

42nd Avalon
3rd Ceti [1st Ceti also has 2 battalions of arty]
1st Crucis [8th Crucis also has a 2nd battalion of arty]
2nd Davion Guards [This is a reinforced regiment with four battalions... learn to fight in the shade boys, learn to fight in the shade]


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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #11 on: 06 December 2021, 10:31:08 »
Couple things to consider.

1.  TRO 3025 = Only "Intro" tech Artillery we had at the time they fluffed RCTs was the Long Tom "train" of vehicles.  95 tons of trailer stuff.

2.  4th SW Atlas books have Regimental Org Charts gives most "MECH" Regiments a mix of Long Toms & Snipers.  (8/4 ratio IIRC is most common)

3.  The only "canon" Sniper "vehicle" at the time was a 50 ton tank published in BT Mag that had another 50 ton trailer IIRC.

4.  TRO 2750 = We get SLDF Tech vehicles Marksman/Thor using Sniper/Thumper artillery respectively.  Neither of which is in production come 4th SW.

5.  Since all these "early" references we have gotten some Age of War? era Intro Tech Artillery like the Ballista that uses a Sniper & was also in production in the SW eras, or the "Thumper TAV" from Mechwarrior Darkage that also had an earlier version produced in the FWL using Intro Tech.


So what would I expect.

Minimum of 4 Long Toms based on the 4th SW atlas.
More likely 8-12 in the entire battalion.  Long Tom carriage trains here.
Another 4-12 Snipers as well in the form of the Ballista.
A full 12 Thumpers in the form of the Thumper TAV Intro version
Since its 3050-3060, throw in at least 4 Arrow units in the form of Chaparrals sold by C* post Tukayyid, some Demolisher-Arrows, finally that Arrow version of the 70-ton "Striker Upgrade" who's name I can never remember.

Given the rarity of Long Tom & Arrow both in that era, I'd cap either of those at 12 units max no matter the RCT they are assigned to.
Most likely less for each of those with at least 30-50% of the Battalion guaranteed as Sniper/Thumper mix.

LRM Carriers are not actually "Artillery" so I would only use those to fill out shortages in an emergency & wouldn't be a regular thing.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #12 on: 06 December 2021, 11:14:13 »
Padilla is the A4 tank you are forgetting.

The Ballista's fluff says it kept serving with minor upgrades into the Succession Wars.  A ICE, basic plate, and a gun tube . . . pretty easy stuff for the era.

I agree with Paladin, with the scavenger nature of late Succession Wars a lot of your artillery vehicles are going to be re-purposed hulls like happened IRL to get more systems on the line.  Even now a lot of artillery and artillery support vehiclesFREX, IIRC you can put a Thumper in a Hetzer- which is common as dirt- instead of the BFG . . . heck, might even be able to put a Sniper, I just cannot remember what I did when trying a while back.  LRM/SRM Carriers are also good for putting artillery on.
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epic 2.0

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #13 on: 06 December 2021, 12:03:31 »
in addition, take a look at Galtor Campaign a bit too.  While some stuff has definitely been surpassed since then, the 782nd Davion Guard Auxiliary is a full artillery battalion.  2:1 ratio of Sniper to Long Tom. 
I would argue that it may even more likely be like this (as the Thumper just wasn't in those early items, such as 4SW Atlas either):  5:3:1 Thumper/Sniper/Long Tom, with as suggested earlier, slight variation based on the weight of the unit (Assault unit getting heavier arty, light RCT getting more Thumper)

So, a full arty battalion, medium RCT, would probably be around 16-20 Thumper pieces, 8-12 Sniper, and 3-4 Long Tom. 

As the tech progresses, Arrow IV starts phasing out whichever is less locally produced based on which side of the FC you are in; with copperhead shots also giving some life to the existing tubes once they become available beyond the CC. 

Hellraiser

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #14 on: 07 December 2021, 16:32:32 »
Padilla is the A4 tank you are forgetting.
No, Padilla is a SLDF tracked tank w/ XL Engine.

What I'm thinking of is a double sized Wheeled "Striker"

Wait for it........ go go google fu............... Pilum
https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Pilum

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Colt Ward

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #15 on: 07 December 2021, 18:05:11 »
Technically you could still have Reaper artillery even if you were doing for bottom of the barrel assets.

Yeah, Pilum . . . but I would swear we get a wheeled one called Padilla though maybe that is a MWDA creation to cause confusion- like the Demon & Partisan.
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Hellraiser

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #16 on: 08 December 2021, 00:59:32 »
Technically you could still have Reaper artillery even if you were doing for bottom of the barrel assets.

Yeah, Pilum . . . but I would swear we get a wheeled one called Padilla though maybe that is a MWDA creation to cause confusion- like the Demon & Partisan.

We do, and it is, a MWDA Creation/Mini, the Wheeled "Padilla" trades in the Tracks & Arrow Launcher for a Sniper I think.

I actually really like the mini, it's just not the thing I was thinking of.
I can NEVER remember the name Pilum.
But that Arrow-Pilum gets introduced right around Bulldog in the late 50's so that is an option for the Era if its in the last couple years.
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Metallgewitter

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #17 on: 08 December 2021, 04:22:02 »
The tube artillery Padilla is actually a Jihad version introduced by the Word as a last ditch measure to defend Terra. I think the original Padilla died out (not sure if they restarted production when Comstar reopened the military industrial complex on Terra). Who knows maybe some houses have still some old artillery mechs like the Helepolis collecting dust in some old boneyard. Though that makes me wonder: I only read about three distinct tube artillery weapons: Thumper, Sniper and Long Tom. Are there any others? Or are those the "universal classifications" in the BT universe?

CVB

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #18 on: 08 December 2021, 04:35:32 »
There is also the BA Tube Artillery, but otherwise its just the three types you mentioned.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #19 on: 08 December 2021, 10:16:22 »
BA Tube artillery is a much later invention.  Not sure what the exact date turned out to be, but more a Dark Age system rather than Invasion era- in fact, I THINK it was Republic only in the Dark Age.
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Hellraiser

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #20 on: 08 December 2021, 10:41:58 »
Yep, 3 tubes is the standard for your basic generic Tube Arti.

Other stuff you see sometimes:
Arrow, BA-Arti, & the 3 Tubes in their lighter short range "Snub/Cannon" versions.

Finally you have Cruise Missile Arti also introduced in the Jihad IIRC but its so large its only used in Fortifications, Dropships, & the rare Super-Heavy Vehicle maybe.  Just too heavy to see frequently on the ground battlefield.
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Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

CVB

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #21 on: 08 December 2021, 22:51:42 »
BA Tube artillery is a much later invention.  Not sure what the exact date turned out to be, but more a Dark Age system rather than Invasion era- in fact, I THINK it was Republic only in the Dark Age.

I know, but the question was about the "universal classifications" in the BT universe.
"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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dgorsman

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #22 on: 09 December 2021, 01:49:04 »
Regarding the out-of-production Star League artillery vehicles, I highly suspect they would be along the lines of not having multiple clones of Vedette/Scorpion tank designs, so would still be appropriate (technology permitting, of course).
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Metallgewitter

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #23 on: 09 December 2021, 02:34:36 »
Yep, 3 tubes is the standard for your basic generic Tube Arti.

Other stuff you see sometimes:
Arrow, BA-Arti, & the 3 Tubes in their lighter short range "Snub/Cannon" versions.

Finally you have Cruise Missile Arti also introduced in the Jihad IIRC but its so large its only used in Fortifications, Dropships, & the rare Super-Heavy Vehicle maybe.  Just too heavy to see frequently on the ground battlefield.

I find it somewhat amusing that a missile system which was developed before the space age is actually reintroduced in the Jihad / Dark Age of the BT universe. IThen again it was probably replaced by more efficient tech as time went on (as you said the system itself is bulky and heavy). Still waiting for someone to build a submarine with cruise misssile launchers (which would perhaps make sense for water rich worlds)

AlphaMirage

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #24 on: 09 December 2021, 07:20:59 »
I find it somewhat amusing that a missile system which was developed before the space age is actually reintroduced in the Jihad / Dark Age of the BT universe. IThen again it was probably replaced by more efficient tech as time went on (as you said the system itself is bulky and heavy). Still waiting for someone to build a submarine with cruise missile launchers (which would perhaps make sense for water rich worlds)

I just made a 200 ton mini submarine in the Combat Vehicles section armed with a CL/50 and 2 rounds. Its kind of a WOB Vengeance weapon as its not quite powerful enough to blow up most things but it can cause some terror

Hellraiser

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #25 on: 09 December 2021, 09:44:53 »
Still waiting for someone to build a submarine with cruise misssile launchers (which would perhaps make sense for water rich worlds)
Several Subs with Multiple Arrow launchers in canon.   Possibly some Tube Arti too, I forget.
But I don't think we've gotten a new Sub in a TRO/Sourcebook since Cruise Missiles showed up.
A Dropship & a Super-Heavy Tank w/ 1 round of ammo is what I can recall.
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3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

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Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Colt Ward

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Re: Typical RCT artillery battalion composition 3050-3060?
« Reply #26 on: 09 December 2021, 10:36:40 »
I find it somewhat amusing that a missile system which was developed before the space age is actually reintroduced in the Jihad / Dark Age of the BT universe. IThen again it was probably replaced by more efficient tech as time went on (as you said the system itself is bulky and heavy). Still waiting for someone to build a submarine with cruise misssile launchers (which would perhaps make sense for water rich worlds)

The Large Template blue water navy ships has sort of been left off- and I absolutely expect no more for the forseeable future with the recent emphasis.  With that said, the rules exist for you to make them and in the fan section you can see some of creating ships to offer such capabilities.  It honestly gets down to a crit problem- you run out of crits for systems faster than you do tonnage of course.  I know there was a discussion of destroyer vs cruiser for firepower/coverage- basically a single Long Tom & CM destroyer vs a cruiser with 2 Snipers and a CM launcher.  Make something like the Wyrms as submersible carriers  or a IRL Oscar rip off with the CMs . . . still, you get to crit problems.

Just like with Artillery IRL, do not confuse BT's Cruise Missiles with what they are called IRL- the CMs are more like Soviet Scud launchers or the old US 50s/60s Honest John or Lance systems, though elements of those are also reflected in the Arrow IV system.  Bluntly, just like 80s or later (prob more like 50s) artillery, IRL cruise missiles are too accurate for BT . . . both of them suffer from the fact unlike direct fire battlefield weapons, aiming/launching them are based on math formulas where the variables and their effects are easily known.  When 2+2=Hitting the target (not getting into IRL accuracy calculations) . . . then that does not work for this game when the same would not apply to a AC/10 hit.
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