Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Mechwarrior Anachronisms and considerations


Notes after a lot of MWO with my team. 

  1. Mechs wouldn't have exposed cockpits, it would be like a modern-day tank or even better built into the helmets of the pilots and monitors in the enclosed cockpit. 
  2. Armor is not all ablative. if Armor Reduced Damage mechanic some weapons that are not up to the scale of vehicles and tanks would deal no damage. 
    1. In MWO a 16 mico pulse laser mech would have a High damage output vs an ER larger laser. It can kill another Assault mech. should it?
    2. If the mechanics change that bigger weapons is harder to protect against Zerg vs Protos or Swarm vs High-Quality units (far above the median) would be tricker and a more fun balance. Right now with the knowledge of drones - a ton of swarming Locusts or Fleas or Pirannah mechs would be more effective. Cost per Ton goes up as the mech goes up. its not a linear relationship. 
    3. Right now in MWO I leveled up my Artic Cheata in a few games to 91 sp vs my heavier mechs. slower mechs just die against a light mech. In the real world, a lighter unit can penetrate heavier armor with a limited opportunity (Rockets). After which the opportunity is lost. 
  3. When one imagines the Quadrillion usd industry of warfare and the amount of material. Imagine that 20ton "Light Mech" Required huge Open Pit mines on Earth or harvesting a ton of Silicate and Metalic asteroid ore. instead of the hundreds of thousands of dollars per unit of a soldier, its like taking more expensive tanks 

Reimagining Mech Combat in a Hard Scifi. 

Mechs are Quickly prototyped, a NON-mech culture will quickly improvise mechs if the terrain and logistics use need it. Mechs are practical in worlds with 0.8 atmosphere and areas with a thicker atmosphere that can provide concealment. 

The combat zone or context terrain is filled with ECM chaff and noise to make obrital superiority as negated as possible. Large Orbital Mass Drivers or Weapons Of Mass Destruction that can make the Low Planetary Orbit inhospitable is this big red button both sides are stopping themselves from pressing.  

Imagine a sector where a large number of worlds are currently contested. Especially when the worlds are heavily fragmented and those with Orbital Access profit from the conflicts. 

For every Ton of Mech there is about 2-3 Tons of Mobile Logistics and Support. a giga ton of mechs is about 2-3 gigaton of support. Several hundred Exaton of material was processed to build all that infra and hardware. 
  1. Supply Lines are made up of Boring Machines, mobile factories and Mining tools. Mobile HQs move around a network of Terraforming Worm Tunnels. 
    1. Non Conflict Zones - an opulent Monopoly of the Trading guilds are where all sides get to meet. A strict tit-for-tat and de-escalation policy - like prisoners exchange or surrendering are part of the terms to keep peace.  
  2. 10-30 Tons - "Light Mechs". These are mechs like armored vehicles like the Oshkosh JLTV or Humvee. But they are designed to range about 500-800km on rough terrain. They carry only 2 pilots: driver and EW/gunner. The primary weapon is a 25mm with some special rounds like HEAT rounds mounted on a robotic Point Defense Turret. Up to 20% of its mass is ammunition. They can carry Missiles - missiles here can one-shot heavier mechs.
    1. Some have anti-radar veil and materials and disruptive camo.  
  3. 30-60 Tons "Medium Mechs" . There are a huge variety of specialized Medium mechs: from Missile/Drone Platforms (Drone platforms are EW platforms), Point Defense Platforms, to Laser Platforms OR a more high endurance Light Mech designed to range 2000km on a powerful reactor.  
    1. These mechs tend to up a crew of 3-4. 
    2. Missile Platforms are designed to remove Orbital probes and targets. 
    3. Point Defense platforms are meant to defend these 
  4. 70-100 tons are "Heavy Mechs". 50% of these mechs range from larger platforms of the Specialized Medium mechs to 50% are Supply mechs to Add double or triple the Light or Medium Mech operational range.  
  5. 100+ Ton mechs are mostly mobile bases and hangars.   
What is interesting is that while the Mech Warrior may run a mech, support an logistics run small armies of drones and automated supply chain tools. Cepheus Engine TL 9 or Mneme TL 11ish would have these end to end supply chains making mech  warfare possible. 

Mech Warfare is only an outcome in Adverse Terrain Ground Combat where mechs would be engaging 5-10km away depending in the curvature of the world and the terrain. In most cases Orbital Superiority is key - but the Complex Worlds mean complex relationships and in this complexity something strange arises - like a world where mech pilots are a profession and there are daily raids into enemy territory as part of a long term strategy to either gain ground or divert attention for a particular strike. 

in this world 
Light mechs trying to sneak in to divert attention and resources for Medium mechs to make calculated strikes.  When heavy mechs appear its for pushes and calculated gambles that can be a set back to one side in years. Bases move, and where people think there are bases are Traps - of either a ready heavy lance or kill drones to displace the main base's position. 

Special Tech
  1. Large Hypersonic Ground Missiles. mechs equipped with missiles that create a huge firing blast radius and can damage vehicles in its wake. Sometimes fired on railgun. Once fired the missile the effects can be felt before the sound and aftermath can be heard. 
  2. Kill Drones (unpiloted mechs). Someone said "why not overwhelm the other side with Drones" which requires a lot of wireless connections - that can be hacked - Human Independent Operations and Augmented with Context Analysis (like hidden orders and event-triggered information) allows human-led teams to go deep into the territory and perform devastating actions.  Kill Drones are kept as patrols where EW superiority is guaranteed in a given location. 
  3. EW Chaff or Natural Interference Active Radar or Sensors will find several gigatons of Chaff littering the battlefield make mechs invisible at a certain range. Also ACTIVE radar is a candle in the night. 
  4. Wheeled Mechs. Light Mechs with a Single ATV wheel in the center is a common ATV mech. The legs fold up for the large but ultra light gyroscopic balanced wheel. It reduces the wear and tear of the leg joints. Some mechs fold into a cycle. 
  5. Armored Personnel Carrier. Exoskeletons have about a 20-100km range depending on the TL level. Some mechs really serve as APCs carrying 100-150kg personnel and their kits to combat zones along with their Mules (mule sized mechs that carry supplies). Special forces with Invisibility cloaks and micronukes are still valuable tactical options. 

Hopefully Found a Developer

I'm busy with my ERPNext projects so I cannot learn Javascript (particularly Reactjs) to make the apps. Its also kinda my advocacy to get more filipinos have access to Open Source technology. The Bill of Materials System would be a FUN project to make an APp or a Spreadsheet for. ideally a Customized APP so other Game Designers can make their Vehicles, Mechs, Buildings, etc... using the Bill of materials system. 

Bill of materials is basically a Table where every row is a component and there are Columns for Cost, Weight, Volume, Power Requirement/Output, and Special Features. Creating a Google Sheet where game designers can put tables of their Components and their Rules for Building a Ship, Mech, Base, Station, etc... would be awesome for world builders like me.
Bill of Materials is how most of construction and engineering view such projects - teach BOM gamification will help people have fund and be creative with it. 

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