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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

Tales from Tilly Tavern(Btech)

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PainRack
PostPosted: 2011-04-10 04:42pm 

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Joined: 2002-07-07 03:03am
Posts: 7114
Location: Singapura
OOC: Pre Clan sourcebooks loved to have mechwarriors or other people reminisicing war stories,fleshing out Btech fluff while drinking a PPC in a tavern of some sort. As a homage to that twenty year old tradition, here we go.


It was generally too early for the crowd. At twilight, most people would be scarfing down dinners in the mess hall or scurrying about to complete any routine paperwork. In the hangers, techies would be shutting down generators and storing tools, handing over work to the night shift whose job it would be to run inventory checks and repair broken down parts in the workshops.

"Evening McNally. A Steiner if you please."
Geoffrey pushed his way past the bar stools, reaching a booth where 3 other men were seated.
"Who's the new kid?"
"Geoff, meet Tarn. Lance commander, Blood Angels."
"Oh, yours Adam?" Geoff turned to watch the kid as Adam grunted. Periphery of course. The new crop of leaders generally were, even the officers. It was supposed to be hard to tell. Still, somehow, maybe his unfamilarity with crowds, technology and life as a Spheroid in general seperated a Peripheral rat from some farm kid from the Outback. That or the kid simply looked too green, too young while showing the kind of leathery build that spoke of hard labour and exposure to the elements, of having seen hard times while keeping a sense of optimism and naviety.
"So, how's life as a lance kid?"
"We took out McNeil." Tarn spoke in a quiet voice.
"Woah. Hold your horses. McNeil? 2nd coy, Hell on Wheels? I'm impressed kid."
Adam snorted. " He went kapow on her. Close up fighting, physical combat. Lucky punk."
Tarn asked, " You don't approve, boss?"
"Kid. You were thinking entirely of a mech on mech battle between two lances. Campaigns aren't won over single skirmishes like that. You got to think of the big picture."
"We took out an entire heavy lance! A Marauder and that Warhammer."
"And in a real fight, you could had lost us a battle. Look, first of all, great job. You managed to coordinate fire and attack runs to mission kill the Marauder, sidestep that Archer firepower. I particularly liked the way you alpha striked that Ostol. He was a rook sure, but you seized that opportunity and K.O him. And I'm not saying you shouldn't go for physical attacks. BUT. You got to think of the bigger picture. Force preservation."
"I took back 2 mechs and scrapped 3 of theirs!"
"You're not thinking straight. When you're RTB, do you think an umpire would fire a signal flare and signal exercise cut? You got the basic tactics right and you know how to use your lance. But get as damaged as you did in a real fight and its over. Even if we did get your mechs back, they're still stuck in the repair bay for a week or so. Longer if we can't get mech arms or engines up in our forward base. Meanwhile, Hell on Wheels will turn about that Archer and Marauder in just 4 days or less, depending on how the battle flows. Prepacked logistics for gyro are easier to keep than arms or engines."

Geoff was impressed. Some part of the kid mind must had been working, for the next words out of his mouth was "So, what should I had done then?" And the kid clamped down on any scarasm like the word run.
"Run. We're a strike lance. You got the speed and firepower part of those tactics down pat. Now, you got to know when to use it. The commander likes to use us as cavalry and god knows, we now have the weight and firepower to pull it off. But you and yours are still medium mechs on the light side. Using speed to evade firepower is only part of the deal. The other is that of endurance. Keep using your long range firepower to peck away at their armour, and since they're heavies, avoid committing taking out their mechs if it means exposing yourself to short range fire. Its much harder to hit you at range and at speed than it is up close. Now, if they had more long range mechs like the Archer or the Marauder, things might had been more dicey. The MAD S features a gauss rifle and ER PPCs, get tagged by two of those and its game over. "
"Just.... run?"
"Avoid getting hit. While hitting them back. Seriously. Look, those mechs can withstand 3 PPC strikes or so. That means you need to avoid getting hit more than 3 times while your Talon PPC ping away their armour. Meanwhile, any of their PPC hitting you equals to red zone on your armour.
Only commit yourself when you reckon you can take out a mech. Its as simple as that.
If not, out on the actual battlefield, what we do is to simply skirmish with them, soak up some LRMs. waste more of their coolant spewing PPCs at us before moving on. There's always heavier firepower support available on our side. That's why the Angels are so well supported. We get first draw on artillery, airstrikes and aerial support. We can break through, but we can't really break out. That's what Hell on Wheels and Grudgebringer is for."
"So, you're saying Strike Lances aren't supposed to take out mechs?"
"No. I'm saying Strike Lances fight like wolves. Run them dry, run them down, take the kill and move on. If we can't do that, we run through them. If our mobility gets cut down, we die. Yah, I know, speed is life. But the best pilots know how to use their superior awareness to avoid relying on their superior skills to survive. Think about that."
"I... I just don't understand. Hit and run, avoiding superior enemy firepower.... that's what I did!" Tarn moaned.
The last man in the group, McAlister snorted.
"The old fogger is simply saying that assault belongs to us assault mechs. You lighter kids, run around and play. Play with your prey. Leave the massive orgy of destruction, to us."
With that, he finished his snapps and stood up.
"I gotta go. Some night time demonstration for the local nobs on this planet. Next time folks."

The last words before the group scattered was Tarn and Adam arguing over what it meant to commit to take out a mech.
Geoffrey smiled. The kid was new. He would learn that kills wasn't as important to vets as much as time spent on the battlefield, that snap judgement calls and instinct based on what's workable counted more than textbook tactics talking about weight disparity, movement and fire and angle of attack and that the real key to victory wasn't fighting. It was winning.

Tarn whined "I 'm just so confused."

Geoffrey laughter set the kid blushing as the newer patrons entered the bar. Fellow Angels only smiled and greeted them back. Hazing the new recruit was routine. Executing impossible, conflicting and contradictory tactics was the norm. Isn't that what battle is all about?
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PainRack
PostPosted: 2011-04-11 01:42am 

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Joined: 2002-07-07 03:03am
Posts: 7114
Location: Singapura
"And then he said , they don't need scouts, they has a wall of mechs! hahahaha!" McAllister guffawed. The other 3 mechwarriors smirked with him, the continuing argument about strike mechs and horde tactics forgotten by this ancedote.
"So, how did the local militia respond?" Geoffrey asked.
"You should had seen the look on his face. He was glaring at us and trying to butt in, but the nob simply refused to shut up. Ah.... good times. Remember kid, as a merc, you gotta look good so as to impress the employer."
Tarn butted in," Oh, you mean that whole C3....."
"Nah. Its just another 'marketing' idea by Jason and co. Look, you gotta see where C3 tactics come from. The 'standard' C3 company was pioneered by those lousy dracs. A command lance of assault, a strike lance and a combat or fire support lance. Get your fast mechs in close so that those at the rear can pop off their weapons for a range advantage. It WORKs........ but you bloody hell need a well trained, cohesive force to work together or the whole thing falls apart. That whole bull about 'assault tactics' and 'sustained C3 support' is just bullshit we fed to Mercnet so that we can get paid. We simply aren't good enough to practise the kind of sustained waves existing C3 tactics demand. So, we focused on using assaults to do that instead."

"Ok, ok. Look, I know you're confused. Here's the nub. This is how we deploy. Instead of a standard fast lance to provide targeting data, what we do instead is to move in an entire assault company. Traditional C3 tactics require you to have a screening force to stop them from reaching your vulnerable fire support lance and then something to get in close to tag them. That usually translates to maneveur tactics so as to pin down enemy mechs and the like, then spamming down accurate weapons fire to take out mechs faster than they can hit your inclose mech. That or directing fire at your mechs at long range... Its difficult as hell to pull off if you don't know how.

So, we simply ignored the need for a fast lance to get in close. Use our entire company of assaults to spam weapons fire at them like a traditional fire support company. After they get worn down, our assault move in to pin them down and provide the range coordination bonus while our long range stuff continue to plink at them. No running wave of hovercraft or mechs to constantly run in and out. Instead, a wave of assault mechs to get in close and latch on as tightly as possible.

So, we rely entirely on cover as well as our armour to stay alive long enough to provide that range bonus. What, no. It isn't better..... It works better purely because Jason doesn't want to dilute the assault battalion with lighter recon machines and frankly, we aren't trained well enough to pull off that kinda coordinated attack a real C3 company needs. So, with standard Lyran simplicity, we cut out a lot of the bullshit and focus on weapons fire and range.... we gain some... loose slack which translates to being able to be more flexible. But we can't pull off the whole range of tactics the Drac C3 company has and we got more limits set on us.

Our positions are more fixed and less mobile so that we can support each other.
We got to know when the time is right to commit close in work and we take a lot of damage if we aren't careful with our approach. Still, a wall of assault mechs moving in gain creds with our Lyran employers and other Suns officers think our approach is out of the box so... profit!


And Tarn, we go in close to finish the enemy off. We do so only if we judge the moment is right. If the enemy does choose to close in on us though, heh. C3 links weapons fire so well that they're closing in on a storm. Think about that the next time you want to charge someone heavier than you.
Oei! McNelly! One more round!"
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