04: Turn Structure

The “basic” turn sequence is straightforward, and consists of the following steps;

  • 0) Allocate initial forces (First turn only)
  • 1) Allocate special resources and any required transportation. Since most resources are fixed, this is usually only a question of “special” and “trade” resources.
  • 2) Make Economy rolls – or pay to skip them.
  • 3) Make Trade rolls, assigning jumpships and cash expenditures as desired/necessary.
  • 4) Spend money on bribery (If desired) – and make your Politics roll.
  • 5) Spend money on overtime (If desired), and allot construction points.
  • 6) Make Research rolls. As a note, the Inner Sphere is presumed to be quite conservative, and rarely makes major advances.
  • 7) Movement and Attacks; Outsystem movements will require the assignment of a jumpship. As a rule, this sort of thing requires that orders be passed through the bureaucrats, that the ship be sent, the units collected, moved out to the jump points, etc, etc, etc. All of this takes time. Quite often, a lot of time. Base times for some of the most common actions are given below, but, given the number of permutations of activities and battles, questions should be resolved by “common sense” and player discussion.

 

Common Activities versus Months Required :

Deliver something which is already aboard OR pick up something which is willing to come-These may be combined at one location 1
Conduct A Raid (Snatch and Grab) 0
Conduct A Raid (Diversion or Destructive) 1
Search for evading units 1
Military Reconnaissance 2
Invasion; Opening Engagements 1
Strategic Assessment 1
Assault and Defense 1
Mopping Up 1
Pacification 1
Administration 1
Resource Transport, Trade, or Exploration 3
Slow In-System Orbital Shift (Installation) 12
Technological Exchanges 3
  • 8) Assign Jumpships and Dropships (If desired) and make Exploration roll.
  • 9) If desired, pay for and make an Espionage roll.
  • 10) Spend Money (Q.V. “Cash”).

   Optionally, players may decide to assume that they are consolidating their control during turn one. If this option is taken, they should simply add whatever forces they can produce in turn one to their initial force distributions and skip step seven.

 

Demobilization :

 

   Demobilization is the final refuge of an out-numbered, defeated, or utterly demoralized unit; they stash their equipment somewhere, blend into the local population, and settle down to wait. The only problem with this is attrition. Some will settle down and either start or settle families. Others may become mercenaries. Many or most will find their skills, and their equipment, becoming rusty. Accidents and disease will take their toll, leaving some equipment lost indefinitely or held by children and casual friends. A “demobilized” force can be reawakened if somebody with a claim on their loyalty comes through – but it’d better be soon, as is illustrated by the chart below;

 

Collection Attempt Percentage Recovered
Next Turn 80%
2-4 Turns 70%
5-8 Turns 50%
9-16 Turns 40%
17-40 Turns 20%
41-80 Turns 10%
81+ Turns Forget it. Try for new recruits.

 

   Despite the occasional “WWII-Style Japanese Holdout”, who can usually be dealt with by local police, there comes a time when units demobilize on an automatic basis. This will occur whenever the controlling player decides orders it, when a unit “Collapses” (Q.V. Morale), or “Routs” (Morale again) and there are no steady “friendly” forces handy to collect them, when less then 25% of the original force survives and there is no prospect of pickup or escape in the immediate future, and when the extra time provided by Hiding, Guerilla Warfare, and Counterstrike, defensive tactics runs out without relief. Forces which have suffered “massive” defeats (If there is any debate, ask a neutral player), casualties of 50%+ without also inflicting serious damage (In CP – not men. It’s unfair and inhumane – but the loss of a bunch of infantry means a lot less to most drivers/pilots then the loss of few heavy units. Drones do not count), which were “abandoned” when other forces were evacuated, or are running short of supplies on inhospitable worlds, will demobilize on an 8+ if not reinforced with fresh troops and resupplied as necessary.

 

 

Planetary Assault And Defense :

 

Any Planetary Attack can generally be divided into the following steps;

1) Arrival in the host system. This normally occurs at a Jump Point, and forces the attacker to deal with any jump point defenses. There are at least two major variations on this.

  • 1A) Arriving at a “pirate” jump point. While this bypasses most jump point defences, save for Fusion Mines, a (2D6) roll must be made. 2; Mis- jump. Unless equipped with a usable double-jump capacity the ship is lost in interstellar space. 3-6; Arrive safely, 7-11; Arrive safely, and the defender will not have time to concentrate his / her aerospace forces if the system contains more then one inhabited world. 12; Catastrophic drive failure. The jumpship and dropships are destroyed.
  • 1B) Arriving with a warship. Warships moving towards inhabited worlds are generally destroyed by Fusion Cannons (QV). The same goes for those which attack fixed jump point defences. The only real point to bringing a warship lies in dealing with pirates, dropships – or other warships – in the absence of fixed Defenses. Such a conflict can be dealt with using the “Battlespace” rules. If these are not available the following quick-and -dirty system should suffice for our purposes.
Ship Type Primary Weaponry Effects Of A Hit
Warship 4, 10/20/30 Range One Damage Level
Dropship 1, 6/12/18 Range Two Damage Levels
Heavy Fighter Group (Ships/4), 2/4/6 Range Three Damage Levels
Medium Fighter Group (Ships/5), 2/4/6 Range Four Damage Levels
Light Fighter Group (Ships/10), 1/2/3 Range Five Damage Levels

   Damage Levels are : Negligible, Minor, Light, Moderate, Severe, Wrecked, and Vaporized. The “Effects of a Hit” listing indicates how badly a hit from such a weapon will damage that specific type of unit. Units are subject to a +1 penalty on their target numbers per level of damage they take – but “vaporized” is still dead – not “+6”. Warships may fire in any direction, lesser ships may only fire in their forward arcs. Otherwise, most Aerospace rules may be used unchanged.

   Warship Thrust Ratings are 3/5. Warships may try to jump out, succeeding on a base of 4+ – if they have the necessary power available. They may also carry up to thirty fighters. Sadly, any unit meant to travel via “jump” may not employ a Fusion Cannon. The gargantuan residual magnetic fields they produce disrupt the jump field, with potentially lethal results.

2) Burning into the inner system. This will ordinarily allow the defender to concentrate his or her mobile (IE; orbital installations are out) aerospace units on or about the target world. If the attacker splits his or her forces to assault multiple planets, the defender may or may not do the same. There is, in general, no way of hiding a dropship’s drive flare, although their precise position may be electronically concealed.

  • 2A) Optionally, the players may agree that it is possible to try and “Sneak” a limited number of dropships into a system – or even onto a planet. This requires the installation of an ECM system, special drive baffles, extra supplies, and anti- detection coatings, as well as a full turn. The basic procedure is simple; “you” avoid detection by taking several months to move into the system under absolutely minimal thrust. This generally won’t work if the system has jump point defenses – and may well fail anyhow; the defender will spot the incoming ships on a roll of (11 – The number Ships involved). The additional gear costs some 200 CP per dropship as well. Attempts at undercover thefts, sabotage, and instigating revolts, may be adjudicated by a neutral player or run as MechWarrior scenarios.

3) Arrival in planetary space. This usually begins an aerospace combat – but either side may choose to withhold a portion, or all (in the case of the defender), of it’s forces for later use – or for trying to intercept the attacker’s forces on the low-altitude map.

4) Defining primary target zones (Optional). Most worlds may be assumed to boast some (1D6+4) primary target areas – strategic cities, industrial zones, and research centers which, with their associated areas of countryside (Given the speed of “modern” military units a strong garrison can easily be said to exert “control” in a radius of 250 KM or so.) effectively dominate the place. These will generally be distributed across (D6) 1-2; A major continent/area, 3-4; Two continents or areas, 5; Three modest continents / areas, or 6; Many small islands / habitable zones. Whoever controls these foci controls the planet. Planets may be given more elaborate descriptions if some of the players care to take the time for it, but this is only really common for player-“designed” worlds. If a more elaborate description of the planet is available, skip this step and use that description instead.

5) Establishing a drop zone. There are four major variations; A) The defender either has no, or chooses not to commit, his (or her) remaining aerospace assets – and the attacker chooses a drop zone well away from primary target areas. Such a drop is unopposed unless the defender happens to have some units in the area by sheer coincidence (On a 12, 11+ for major worlds. In this happens the defender may decide what was going on. War games are a favorite). B) The attacker chooses a drop zone well away from primary target areas, and their defenses – but the defender both has – and elects to commit – surviving aerospace assets to contest the drop. These will arrive as the units involved enter the low-altitude map on a 7+. On a 4+ they arrive 1D6 turns later. On a 2+ the attacker will have had time to arrange his units as desired but will suffer a -50% penalty on the Aerospace Availability table, as most of his/her aerospace fighters will be busy refueling. The defender may intentionally accept a negative modifier on this check, but a result of 1- cancels the -50% penalty (The defender mistimed it and was too late). The defender does get a “+1” bonus on the roll to determine if coincidental forces are available, adding an additional +1 if a negative modifier on the “arrival check” was accepted. In both “A” and “B” the defender has plenty of time to organize his or her defenses – and thus gets to draw a total of six “extra” battlecards over the course of the invasion. C) The attacker chooses a drop zone near his/her primary targets and the defender both has, and elects to commit, aerospace units to contest the drop. A roll is made as in case “B”, above – but the defender may shift the result by up to two points either way. Defensive ground forces are available on an 8+, and can be set up already on a 10+. The defender receives a +2 bonus on these checks if he or she chooses to restrict the forces employed to light and medium units. D) As in “C”, but the defender has no, or elects not to commit, aerospace forces. In this case, if the defender elects to contest the drop and rolls a 5- on force availability, the attacker may launch an aerospace attack on the units sent while they’re still heading towards the zone. In any of the cases, the defender is never required to make a force availability roll. He or she may always simply elect to sit tight.

6) Opening Engagements normally involve lots of scouting and possibly some light reconnaissance units. Despite orbital surveillance, a planet is a very big place; simply finding your opponent’s units can take quite awhile. This will, however, allow each side to locate the others major troop locations. The defender may, however, conceal up to 10% of his / her troops on a 4+, 25% of his / her troops on a 7+, and 50% of his / her troops on a 10+. The attacker may conceal up to 10% of his or her troops on a 9+. The attacker may also opt to skip “opening engagements” entirely, allowing the defender to draw three extra battle cards to use during the campaign, and forcing both sides to rely on last-minute scout reports. While this is a common tactic in snatch-and-grab raiding – since it also prevents the defender from concentrating his / her forces on a small raiding group – it’s generally poor tactics in an serious invasion.

7) Strategic Assessment mostly involves getting the scouting reports sorted out, setting up strategy, and alloting forces. Thanks to the speed and flexibility of “modern” combat gear, most of the complex, large-scale, positional maneuvering of past centuries is no longer relevant. On the other hand, the defender still needs to select a basic strategy, and the attacker must decide how to deal with it. While many defensive strategies are available, the following list comprises some of the most common. The players will just have to determine the benefits and penalties associated with other strategies by mutual discussion. The attacker may opt to skip this stage if he or she already skipped stage 6, and if his/her objectives are sharply limited (IE; An objective raid).

  • 7A) Hiding. This may mean in caves, under the ocean, in the depths of a continent full of vast trees, or under camouflage in a mountain ravine. The usual intent is to await reinforcements – or for the attacker’s units to either “pull out” or to spread out until they’re vulnerable. Sadly, if no such opportunity arises within four turns, a shortage of supplies will force the defender’s units to demobilize. Worse, the attacker gets a 9+ chance of locating the defender’s forces in each turn, adding “+1” per successive turn. Once located, or if the defender decides to come out, this becomes a normal series of battles allowing the attacker one extra battlecard per turn spent in hiding. In essence, this is only truly useful in tying up the attackers units. It also counts as “failing to mount a defense” for the purposes of determining loyalty modifiers – and permits the attacker to assume full control of the planet by the end of the turn, skipping steps 8 – 11.
  • 7B) Fortification. The old “castle” idea. The defender picks out some inaccessible location and fills it up with missile launchers, field works, bunkers, walls, traps, and other fixed defenses. In addition, the defender may spend 5 MCr to add 2500 CP “worth of” installations, miniunits, and ultralight units, hastily assembled or “drafted” from the local militias. While all of this junk does provide massive advantages if and when it’s attacked, it has one major disadvantage; An attacker with enough units can simply leave some of them to keep the defender from coming out and take over the planet with the rest. Fortified units still require supplies, and will be forced to surrender in four turns if not relieved. They may sortie – but this allows the the attacker to draw two bonus battlecards per turn in which the defender has remained fortified. To simulate the advantages of major fortifications with standard maps, the defender gains a “+2” modifier against the attacker’s weapons – and the attacking units base movement rates are halved.
  • 7C) Defence In Depth. Usually used when there are a series of targets which the attacker needs to take sequentially – such as a string of well- defended outposts along a river – this technique is a linear version of “fortification”. While it offers less of an immediate benefit, it does let the defender take maximum advantage of planetary loyalty by producing a string of battles, rather then a single decisive conflict. If this tactic is chosen, the defender may expend 5 MCr to supplement his / her forces with 2500 CP “worth of” installations, miniunits, and ultralight units – hastily assembled or drafted from the local militias. These forces are then divided into up to 5-10 groups for the attacker to deal with one by one. Any forces successfully withdrawn from each successive group may be hastily repaired, and added to the next. The attacker, unfortunately, does not get to repair things, although they may be withdrawn if too badly battered to be of use.
  • 7D) The Grand Melee’. This is pretty simple; both sides commit most or all of their available forces to a great, big, head-on, battle. This is generally pretty stupid – for at least one side. If the forces and commanders involved are at all balanced, it’s stupid for both. Given that the defender is normally severely outnumbered by the attacker’s concentrated forces, this isn’t often chosen as a “primary” strategy. It does commonly result from failed attempts at other strategies. Neither side gains any unusual advantage in such a battle, although the defender does get his/her roll on the defensive advantage table.
  • 7E) Dispersal. This involves “scattering” all your forces, and permitting the attacker to spread out, in hopes of being able to strike at smaller and more vulnerable groups. Unfortunately, this also permits the attacker to consolidate his/her control of the planet far more quickly. Victory will allow the attacker to take full control – and begin drawing on the planets resources, economy, and production, next turn (Rather then having to deal with steps 8 – 11). While the attacker may elect to keep all of his or her forces together, this extends the campaign almost indefinitely. Accepting the gambit means that up to 25% of the defenders available forces may be used to strike at detachments as small as 10% of the attackers. Once this initial series of battles has been re- solved, repairs may be made (Although the losing side from each battle suffers a “+2” modifier on the required rolls) and both sides may concentrate their forces for the final Grand Melee’.
  • 7F) Guerilla Warfare. The defender scatters. While this results in a 20-point morale penalty, and so may result in the complete disappearance of any infantry, it reduces the attack, and defense to a long series of lance-to-lance or even unit-to-unit battles. It also means that the players only get to draw one “set” of battlecards to use throughout the entire series – although the defender does get twice as many as usual. The units which just happen to encounter each other should be selected at random. Routed units “vanish”, at least for the purposes of the players. Surviving units may be used again, repaired until supplies run out, or even captured. Annoyingly, Guerilla warfare, once begun, ordinarily continues for at least three turns.
  • 7G) Counterstrike. This is basically a try at reversing the situation; the defender goes out and tries to hit the attacker’s supply lines, bases, repair points, patrols, and flanking units. This offers some advantages; it triples the attackers effective maintenance costs – and means that the defender’s units will usually have the advantage in any confrontation. Sadly, it also means that the defender will have no secure bases, will be unable to perform major repairs – suffering a +3 modifier on all repair rolls – and will be very vulnerable to pursuit. In practice, this can be resolved by a series of battles wherein the “defender” wipes out some modest group of attacking units (The attacker should pick out a reasonably composed patrol or scouting group up to about 2% of his or her total force. The defender may then attempt to assault it with any units which he or she has available, and chooses to commit. A roll may then be made on the following table;

2) The “Attackers” force is bait. The attacker may field up to 25% of his or her net force three turns after the battle begins. Flight will only be successful if the “defender’s” units are notably lighter and faster then the attackers (Ask a neutral player if there is any debate over the subject).

3-4) The “Attackers” force is bait. The attacker may roll on the Defensive Advantage table.

5) Other “Attacker” forces are nearby. Up to 10% of the “Attackers” net force may engage whatever force the defender committed in an hour or so – if they’re of equal or greater speed. If they’re slower, they have only a 50% chance of catching the defending units.

6) The defender’s base of operations is found. The Attacker may attack whatever units were committed by the Defender with up to 1/2 of his or her available forces, although there will have been sufficient time for repairs, and the defender gets to make and use two rolls on the Defensive Advantage chart. If the defender so chooses, such bases may contain up to 20% of his or her remaining forces.

7) As “6”, above, unless the “defenders” units are notably more mobile then the attacker’s (Consult a neutral player if there’s doubt)

8-9) Clean getaway unless the “Attacker” employs special means of finding the units involved (EG; Tracer Pods, a VTOL following them, or some such device).

10) A clean getaway.

11) A squeaky clean getaway with traps. Draw an extra battlecard for the next fight.

12) The “Defender” may elect to “switch” to the “Entrapment” tactic. If he or she does not choose to do so, treat this as an “11”. As a side benefit, the “defender” gets to extend the campaign for two additional turns.

  • 7H) Mobile Warfare. This involves concealing any heavy units and relying on being an irritant – lobbing a few LRMs here, hitting a patrol there, and so on. While this does concede control of the planet to the attacker, the eventual result is a fairly simple choice for the attacker; he or she can simply ignore the pests (At double the usual maintenance costs), until they’re forced to give it up by supply shortages (1D6 turns) or send out whatever he / she’s got which is fast enough to keep up. In essence, the defender selects a movement “breakpoint” – splitting the attacker’s forces into two groups and fighting them one after the other. The defender does get to determine a defensive advantage for each battle.
  • 7I) Entrapment. This is an attempt to use the defender’s greater knowledge of the terrain, and local conditions, to lure the attacker into some difficulty. Common situations include avalanche and flash-flood zones (Whether natural, or created by artificial (IE; Explosive) means), luring the attacker into an area with limited access, which has been filled with explosives and traps, which exposes him or her to a crossfire while limiting his / her ability to strike back (As in a narrow ravine or pass), that hinders particular classes of units – or which can be easily turned into an inferno. Attempts at Entrapment can be rolled on the following table – applying a +1 modifier for every 10 resource “points” invested in planetary environmental defenses.

2-6) The attempt fails, gaining no advantage.

7) Attacker greatly inconvenienced. Defender may draw three extra battlecards.

8) Supplies Lost (Attacker must pay two extra turns worth of maintenance to resupply), and the defender gets three extra battlecards.

9) Attacker stuck on the “receiving end” of a crossfire while unable to reply to it. To simulate this, the defender may inform the attacker that he / she may not attack this turn twice during the ensuing battle.

10) 15% of the attackers forces are destroyed.

11) 40% of the attackers forces are stuck, and will require until next turn to salvage.

12) 25% of the attackers forces are destroyed.

13) 40% of the attackers forces are destroyed.

14) 50% of the attackers forces are destroyed.

15+) 60% of the attackers forces are destroyed.

   Since the defender’s units need to be on hand to exploit whatever vulnerability the entrapment attempt has created, a Grand Melee’ is the usual next step.

  • 7J) Scorched Earth. NOT a popular tactic, the idea here is to deny an attacker any profit from his or her victory. This is generally a disaster for everyone. Destroying mines, factories, and the major cities can easily wreck a world. Unless the attackers are alien, terrifying, and utterly remorseless, this will also reduce the defenders basic loyalty scores by 10 on ALL of the planets he/she controls (This “defensive” tactic MAY NOT BE USED when defending non-player worlds!). The precise results are up to a neutral player – but always includes a loyalty “swing” of at least 60 points in the attacker’s favor, a morale drop of 20 points in the defenders forces, and the loss of up to 50 points from each of the planets scores. On the other hand, there are some advantages for the defender; he/she can press anyone and anything handy into service, drop buildings on the enemy, and build horrific booby traps. This equates to gaining 2500 CP worth of locally built miniunits and infantry and effectively doubles the number of casualties said “defender” manages to inflict in battle. It also leaves the attacker with a world which needs a LOT of assistance. Funds provided for emergency assistance and reconstruction are, however, effectively doubled. If the planet is rebuilt to previous levels the “attacker” gets a further +20 loyalty bonus. “Fortifying” yourself in a planet’s cities, and major facilities, is a more practical variant on this tactic. While this produces a 10-point drop in the planet’s loyalty, the defender gains 2000 CP worth of assorted installations, miniunits, and ultralight units hastily “drafted” from from the local militias / adapted for combat. This leaves the attacker with a modest dilemma; going in and fighting will, win or lose, reduce the planetary production, economy, and research scores by five points each.
  • 7K) Suicidal Frenzy. Also known as the “Kamikaze Technique”, this stunt involves things like having LAMs jump into the middle of enemy supply dumps and blowing them up, crashing “truckloads” of explosives into enemy battlemechs, and so on. In extreme cases this might even involve the use of tactical nuclear weapons. In general, such a defense destroys two extra, similar, units for every one which the defender manages to take out on the “battlefield”. Unfortunately, the user’s troops suffer 40% morale penalty. Soldiers don’t like taking orders which offer them no chance of survival. They tend to desert. There is a 50% chance that any unit which “routs” will join the enemy after the campaign. The others blend into the general population. Unlike most of the other tactics, “Suicidal Frenzy” is ordinarily used in conjunction with another tactic, typically B, C, D, G, N, or P. Most of the others are not well- suited to this variation – typically offering no more then double the inflicted casualties.
  • 7L) Contest Of Champions. This tactic has two major advantages; it lets the “loser” get his or her mobile forces out with little or no damage – and it lets the “winner” begin with a zero, rather then a negative, loyalty base and control of any planetary installations. A contest of champions is not necessarily final. Either side can refuse to accept the results – however this will result in a “-15” penalty on that sides next “politics” check. Minor variants include contests of one or two lances, gutting installations before turning them over, and so on. In general, there is no direct penalty for minor “infractions”. It just means that other opponents will be somewhat less likely to accept such an offer – and such contests are usually to the advantage of the defender.
  • 7M) Negotiation. This is fairly obvious. If the attacker tries for a “negotiated surrender”, the defender may adjust the resulting roll by up to two points if this tactic was selected. This option does offer two other benefits; it permits even the weakest garrison to stall for a bit – and it allows the defender to draw three extra cards if it doesn’t work.
  • 7N) Stronghold. This straightforward defense relies on taking a stand in bothersome terrain – in a swampy delta, islands surrounded by rocks and reefs – or some other such limitation. This has straightforward effects; the defender may select any one type of “limiting terrain” (See; Battle- cards), and may expend 2 MCr to add up to 500 CP worth of installations and miniunits to the area’s defenses . Otherwise, this is similar to C or D.
  • 70) Treachery. While not a widely-accepted or overly practical technique, defense-by-treachery involves things like poisons, kidnaping, assassination, strapping remote-controlled explosives to small children, bribery, and all too many other underhanded techniques. Such a “defense” can be quite effective. It can also be a disaster, even if successful. Like it or not, the actions of the military reflect on the the government which controls it.

2) You trigger a Succession (As per a negative Politics roll).

3) Garrison deserts and spreads tales. -5 on all future Political rolls. You lose.

4) Garrison deserts to the attacker. On the other hand, the attacker loses 10% of his / her forces to toxins and diseases.

5) 25% of garrison deserts. Planetary loyalty score is reduced by 10 points. On the other hand, you do manage to capture and ship out 10% of the attacking force as well as whatever you wish to of your own. This includes enemy aerospace units and dropships, but does not include jumpships unless at least four

were sent.

6) You not only fail, but disgust everybody as well. -10 on your next Political roll.

7) No effect – but if the attacker wins he/she tries your commanders for war crimes. -10 on your morale base for the next two turns.

8) Ruin enemy morale, reducing it by 40 points for the course of the planetary campaign.

9) You win, you’ve committed a major atrocity, and every unit which was in the garrison at the time will be hunted down and destroyed in 1D6 turns. The attacker loses 50% of his or her forces – and is forced to withdraw.

10) Attacker pulls out if you expend 1D6 MCr.

11) Attacker abandons / loses 50% of his forces pulling out. You may salvage them. On the other hand, you suffer a -5 loyalty penalty on every planet you control.

12) Capture attackers forces, although some 25% of them will be lost thru self-destruction.-25 on your next political roll.

  • 7P) Standing Fast. A common tactic when short of data or simply overly-cautious, Standing Fast is popular with the locals as well. It involves nothing more then the garrison holding it’s positions, calling up the local militias, and putting up minor local defenses. This raises the loyalty rating by +10 for the duration of the conflict – and permits the defender to select one defensive advantage per battle, in addition to whatever he or she rolls normally. Of course, this does tend to leave the defenders forces scattered about in many small groups. The attacker has a choice; he or she can readily sweep them up one by one with his or her massed forces – but this will take at least one extra turn – or the attacker can split his / her forces up to attack more then one at a time.

   The Attackers Options are relatively limited. They normally include; a) Dealing with whatever- it-is the defender has decided to do (After all, the attacker is the only one who has to get done with something), b) Simply ignoring the defender (Not often a viable tactic, but possible if/when the attacker possesses such grossly overwhelming forces that he/she can afford to spread them out and still feel confident of beating anything the defenders can come up with), c) Simply demanding surrender (This rarely succeeds unless the local garrison is grossly overpowered – and there’s no real prospect of being relieved. Negotiations require a month and, if a neutral player decides that such a demand is plausible, allow a roll on the chart given below), d) Treachery, blackmail, and terrorism (Usually involving holding as much of the population hostage as possible. This is effectively identical to the Treachery defense – as noted above – with a +2 bonus on the roll and a reversal of attacker and defender) and, finally, e) Giving up and simply going home, usually with anything good which was lying around loose. This allows the attacker to make a single roll on the “Conquest Acquisitions” chart. If the attack was a raid going after some specific objective, that can be grabbed by dealing with whatever defenses are around it.

 

Negotiated Surrender : .

3-) Gross diplomatic blunder. Defenders are now convinced that a horrific death awaits them if the attacker wins. The Suicidal Frenzy tactic will be used with no morale penalty.

4) Refusal. Defender uses delay to haul out and repair anything even remotely battleworthy. This equates to around 5000 CP worth of Old Inner Sphere junk. If not destroyed on the battlefield, this stuff will all fall apart within 2 turns; it only gets 1/2 it’s usual internal structure due to corrosion anyway.

5) Progress is being made – slowly. Roll again next turn with an extra +1 modifier.

6) Refusal. Defender uses delay to get ready – and gets two Defensive Advantages per battle.

7) Refusal. No effect.

8) Defender will accept a Contest Of Champions to resolve the issue (Q.V.).

9) Negotiated Withdrawal. The defending forces will pull out peacefully. If the nobles of an independent planet are allowed to retain their rank they’ll stay – at a “cost” of 10 points off the planet’a production score to pay their maintenance costs. There is a 3 in 6 chance that the defense will require a token battle to save face / prove that they tried.

10) Fealty; An “independent” world’s defender’s will accept becoming part of the attacker’s realm without a fight. Worlds belonging to larger political systems pay 2D6 MCr to get their forces out – if they so choose. There is a 3 in 6 chance that the defense will require a token battle to save face / prove that they tried.

11+) Independent worlds as per 10. Worlds which belong to large political groups demobilize their garrisons. There is a 3 in 6 chance that the defense will require a token battle to save face / prove that they tried.

Surrender Table Modifiers :

  • Attacking Forces; Superior; -1, Overwhelming; +1, Absurdly Overwhelming; +2
  • Clan World; All rolls modified towards 8 by 2
  • Conditions Offered; Poor; -1, Superb +1.
  • Loyalty; (-15)-; +2, 0-; +1, 20+; -1, 40+; -2
  • Relief Prospects; Good (Almost a standard for player-controlled or inner sphere worlds); -2, and None Whatsoever; +1

8) Assault And Defense is basically the time needed to fight (Or talk) everything out after a strategy’s been adopted.

9) Mopping Up involves dealing with holdouts and setting up sieges around installations which have elected to sit tight (And aren’t worth what a direct assault would cost), hunting around for concealed reserves, setting up secure bases, and generally settling in to stay. While this takes no real attention on the player’s part, it takes up his forces time for a month or so. While this requires forces at least three times the size of a standard garrison, it is possible to send most of the primary assault force somewhere else now.

10) Pacification involves quashing hotheaded militiamen (Hopefully without provoking too much more unrest), quelling riots, arresting looters, getting the power and water back on, and so on – in general, getting things settled down again. (Getting all of this get done in one month is an amazing feat – but we’ll stretch a point for the sake of playability and presume that a policy of limited warfare meant that there actually wasn’t much damage in the first place). Once again this requires no real attention from the player – but his or her forces will be busy. Once this stage is finished, one can move on to;

11) Administration involves getting a few of your own directors in charge, putting production facilities to work making the equipment you want them to make, trying to set things up to collect taxes, and generally bringing the planet’s various resources under your control. Once you’ve gotten to this step the world will become a functioning member of your interstellar empire / protectorate / federation / duchy / whatever as of the next turn.

12) Withdrawal is fairly simple; you may now pull out any units you do not intend to leave as a part of the permanent garrison.

 

Battle Aftermath; Repairs :

 

   Repairs are not such a big problem in level-4 play; You’re a government. You’re building your own battlemechs. You have the technology, and the parts, and the money, and you usually have the time. You also usually have quite a few units to worry about, rather then a dozen or two. The result is the same as it is with human beings; triage.

   In level-4 play units are quickly dumped into one of the following damage levels. If the exact condition of a particular unit’s disputed, let a neutral player classify it. Once so classified, units may be salvaged or sent in for repair. The percentages given are the portions of the unit’s CP “cost” which can be gained by taking it apart for spare parts – or which will be required from your spare-parts stockpile to repair it. The die roll given is made to see if the technicians get it done in time for the next battle. If not, try again next time.

   Repair checks may be rolled whenever one side or the other has a week or so, facilities, and a stock of spare parts handy. In longer campaigns, that usually means roughly once per month. Some tactics can make things easier or more difficult – but the basic idea is always the same.

Damage Categories : .

  • Negligible; A few dents in the armor and so on. Nothing of importance. Salvage 80%. Any repairs are covered by normal maintenance costs, and can be accomplished with a field maintenance kit.
  • Minor; Armor damage up to about 50%. Salvage 70%, Repairs are covered by normal campaign maintenance costs, get done on a 4+, and can be accomplished with a field maintenance kit.
  • Light; Devastated armor, turret jams, flooded locations, heat sinks, jump jets and small amounts of IS damage. Salvage 60%, Repairs 10%, get done on a 6+, can be accomplished with a technician’s outfit (About a ton)
  • Moderate; Singleton lost limb, weapon damage, actuators, modest amounts of IS damage, computer systems. Salvage 50%, Repairs 20%, get done on a 7+ – and requires some heavy repair equipment (5 tons worth).
  • Severe; Two lost limbs, gyro and/or engine hit, severe IS damage on R/L torsos, sensors. Salvage 25%, Repairs 30%, get done on an 8+ – and can be accomplished with a 20-ton shop.
  • Wrecked; Three lost limbs, engine and/or gyro destroyed, or severe CT IS damage. Salvage 10%, Repairs 50%, get done on a 10+ requiring a major repair facility (300 Tons minimum).
  • Vaporized; Blown to bits. Fairly obvious, if a bit unusual. Salvage 0%, Repair N/A (You just have to build a new one somewhere).

   As a note, unarmored infantrymen don’t die as readily as the rules imply. Quite a few infantry “casualties” are injured, stunned, busy carrying the injured, or are otherwise out of the fight – but not dead. Medical Equipment allows “repairs” on infantry units up to a limit of 80%. The rest are either dead, or too badly crippled to return to combat. If no medical equipment is available infantry is “self-repairing” up to the 50% level – given a month or so. If the local planet has a positive loyalty score in regards to the “owner” of the unit, it may be added to the limit on the amount of “repair” possible.

 

Battle Management; Sampling :

   “Sampling” (optional) is a fairly common idea in statistics, but a rarity in war. On the other hand, full planetary assaults may easily involve battles large enough to become nearly unplayable or numerous enough to become tiresome. To reduce such things to a manageable scale the players may agree to assume that each unit employed actually represents several units (Four is fairly common) or that the results of a few smaller battles may be taken as typical of the other battles. The second approach is only recommended for advanced players, since selecting a typical subsection of an army, and a typical situation, is an exercise so complex and full of judgement as to allow for endless argument unless the players are far more cooperative then usual.

 

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