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Battletech Welcome to the Jungle

xachariahxx

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I still feel like gutting a jumpship would be crazy, if there's any hope of ever getting in running again and most of the mass is still around.

Maybe it won't happen in your lifetime and it's outside of the scope of the story, but your children's children might have that thing up one day.
 

The Whispering Monk

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I still feel like gutting a jumpship would be crazy, if there's any hope of ever getting in running again and most of the mass is still around.

Maybe it won't happen in your lifetime and it's outside of the scope of the story, but your children's children might have that thing up one day.
These modifications don't preclude that though. If the Pinto is as badly damaged as appears, you'll have to pull all the major systems anyway in a future repair. So you're essentially just getting a jump start on an eventual return to service by pulling those systems now.
 

Speaker4thesilent

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Umm...no, you'd accelerate towards the star, sling shot around and then continue accelerating. THe closer you can get to the star the bigger a boost you get. Granted that's much more complicated navigationally than the simplified straight line most gamers assume is possible, but then so is the sort of route any dropship would actually have to take to get from the jump point to the

Other way around. You can, if you have problems with navigation, use a simple single burn and turnover route (although a triangle instead of a single line because the star is in the middle) but that would take much more energy and time than a more complicated route, either the slingshot I described above, or use multiple course corrections would require less fuel and time than that. As ling shot route is infact faster and consumes less fuel than a theoretical straight line through the star (assuming you could do that or the star wasn't in the way).
Hmmm, didn’t think you could get close enough to a star to slingshot around it without getting cooked. Knew it was a thing with planets, moons, etc, because I’ve read the Halo books where that was a plot point.
 

The Unicorn

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A Titan carrier dropship with its 18 ASF carried around 3,000 tons of cargo. So 9,000 tons for 54 ASF plus - say - 1,000 tons for 6 small craft still leaves 10,000 to 15,000 tons of cargo. Enough perhaps to install some anti-ASF weapons on the station?
Probably a lot more - you also have the mass dedicated for the engines and armor you can use (the point is to be hidden, if someone is shooting at your base you already lost) and since it's a base not a ship you can build out from the original hull.

Hmmm, didn’t think you could get close enough to a star to slingshot around it without getting cooked.
Getting cooked isn't a problem because you can sling shot at any distance, the effect is just better the deeper into the gravity well you can get, however I was wrong, you can't sling shot around the sun when talking getting from one planet to another in the same star system - the entire point is to slingshot around something moving and within a star system the star is by definition not moving.
You can still use the basic route to get around the star (dive to a close orbit, then boost out at he right point in the orbit) you just don't get any slingshot assist.
 
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Knowledgeispower

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On another note I suspect the next convoy to Catachan will include a Squadron or two of decent ASFs which Katrina has managed to scrape up to help defend the only current source of stuff like endosteel and DHS and Ferro series armor the Lyrans have along with a whole bunch of parts and materials for setting up those 5 captial scale weapon emplacements and the materials for a fair few regular turrets as well
 
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Crazyone47

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In the back of his mind, the possibility of seeing King Crabs marching off of newly-built assembly lines flickered back to life.

If we can pull this refit off. If Lostech really is as good as we always heard it was, then maybe …
Genuine question...
Can this be pulled off and if so how long would it take Starcorp to pull off revived King Crab production?
A decade, two decades.
Dont know why but Crans always seemed cool to me in battletech.
And what other economic effects will the Catachan Core cause?
In the Lyran Commonwealth and what about Capellan or Draconis Combine?
 

Brian-88

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Battletech timeline seems to have different (stunted?) development of computer technology, so it's quite likely Dwarf Fortress was never made TTL.
BT has insanely dense storage medium, like SSDs on steroids. Their operating systems and processors seem to be complete garbage, though.

I really want to see what kind of ASF they come up with for dropper duty. Just going hog wild and expanding the ERPPC line extensively would probably be the best bet for logistics and long term marketability. Maybe sell the Gauss line to Olivetti and build another ERPPC line in its place?
 

Knowledgeispower

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BT has insanely dense storage medium, like SSDs on steroids. Their operating systems and processors seem to be complete garbage, though.

I really want to see what kind of ASF they come up with for dropper duty. Just going hog wild and expanding the ERPPC line extensively would probably be the best bet for logistics and long term marketability. Maybe sell the Gauss line to Olivetti and build another ERPPC line in its place?
Much as it pains me to say this Olivetti doesn't make Mechs that really could use Gauss in a practical way. Defiance on the other hand. Very much so.
 

Brian-88

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Much as it pains me to say this Olivetti doesn't make Mechs that really could use Gauss in a practical way. Defiance on the other hand. Very much so.
Right, way better choice with Defiance. They could probably afford to clone the tooling and make multiple lines as well. See Atlases headcapping Kurita mechs with gauss rifles in no time, as God intended.
 
Interlude 4-AH

Speaker4thesilent

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A/N: Trying to get back into the swing of things.

Interlude 4-AH​

Nuevo Lisbon, Fatima, Fatima System
Tamar Domains, Tamar Pact, Lyran Commonwealth
October 22nd, 3016


Andrew Holmes had been just a little bit pissed off to be pulled away from his Griffin. As the Commonwealth’s primary fire brigade unit, the Third Royals spent a lot of their time moving from one threatened area to another, and Andrew had been intending to spend as much time as he could today training.

Instead, he’d been told to go to the spaceport, no reason given. Since he was a mere Sergeant, he got.
His orders had not directed him to a particular location, but an NCO with the single gold band of a Staff Sergeant had been waiting for him.

That, in and of itself, was unusual. Staff Sergeants were not messengers, nor were they errand boys. At least not for a mere Sergeant.

Something was up.

Almost against his will, Andrew felt himself getting interested. He had questions, but the Staff’s manner indicated that no answers would be forthcoming, so he kept his mouth shut and tried to engage his brain.

There’d been some rumors floating around that a new Thunderbolt variant was being introduced. If that was the case, he could see a few getting shipped to the Third Royals for testing.

That still didn’t make a lot of sense to him, though. He was a Griffin pilot, and having him test a bigger, slower, ground-bound ‘Mech seemed counterproductive if the entire point was getting the best of the LCAF’s best to test a new variant.
Well, unless the really crazy rumors are right and they stuffed it full of enough Lostech that they could up-engine it and make it fly like the Eridani Light Horse had done with some of their Thuds.

That thought turned the left side of his lips up in a smile.

Can’t even think that with a straight face, he admitted to himself, and pushed the thought aside, still trying to figure out what he was being called on for.

Nothing came to mind. He was damn good, and he knew it, but he hadn’t done anything recently that should have brought him to the attention of the Powers That Be for either reward or punishment.

… Well, not unless his last Sergeant Major had discovered what he’d gotten up to with the man’s daughter …

Somewhat concerned, he allowed himself to be led into a Mech hangar well away from the busier parts of the Spaceport.
He was so distracted looking for an ambush that he didn’t realize his guide was approaching one Mech bay in particular until they arrived.

“Sergeant Holmes, good of you to be prompt,” the familiar voice of General Pete Steiner spoke up to his side. Distracted as he was, he still managed to snap to attention before his eyes managed to find the man who commanded his regiment.
“General, reporting as ordered,” he managed, feeling like he’d stripped a metaphorical gear with how fast he’d shifted mental tracks.

Hell, maybe they did figure out how to make those new Thuds fly.

“At ease,” the steel-haired officer replied with a wave of one hand. Now that he had something like permission, Andrew shot his eyes up to the ‘Mech in the bay. He didn’t find what he expected. For starters, the machine wasn’t one he recognized at all.
“I picked you for this because you have experience with the Phoenix Hawk,” his CO said, drawing his eyes and his attention back down to ground level. Seeing that he had Andrew’s attention again, he continued. “The Archon has seen fit to ship us a pair of a new ‘Mech design. Or at least a new variant. What’s your first impression, Sergeant?”

From a lot of officers, that would have been a trap. From this one, it was an honest request for an intelligence assessment based on what was directly visible, i.e. what the enemy would be able to determine if they had a few moments to think before a fight … or before an ambush.

“Shorter than a Griffin, but wider,” he pronounced after a moment to guesstimate the height of the gunmetal gray machine, “beefier than the Pixie, though. Probably a fifty-tonner.”

At that mass it could be anything from a Scout-Hunter to Medium Cavalry to a mid-range Brawler, though the PPC would tend to rule that out. Also …

“Jump-capable based on the torso vents,” he added, then reflexively knit his brows as he did some quick and dirty math. “Fast too, if the jet capacity is what I think it is. Probably a Cavalry ‘Mech. Skirmisher.”

Which meant the two lasers he could see were probably it for secondary weapons.

“Probably also pretty fragile, runs hot, or both,” he concluded his assessment.

But when he turned back to look at the general, the old man was grinning.

“Oh, I dearly hope that the Combine makes the same assessment you did the first time they run into her,” he said. “Would it surprise you, Sergeant, to learn that that ‘Mech is more heavily armored than your Griffin?”

His first thought was that the jump jets were fakes. An attempt at misdirection. A quick glance would seem to rule that out.
But that doesn’t make sense! With the way the feet are designed, there’s even more surface area than a Griffin’s. They’re clearly designed for enhanced traction and stability on landing after a long jump.

Besides, a one- or two-use trick wouldn’t have General Steiner grinning the way he was.

“Uh, yes, Sir, it would,” his mouth answered on autopilot before his brain even realized that the General had asked him a question that he hadn’t immediately answered.

“You may have also heard about us retaking Sevren, and both the Rasalhague Regulars and the Sword of Light losing a battalion of ‘Mechs in the fighting there.”

That seemed like an abrupt change of subject.

“Rumors at least, sir,” he acknowledged.

“Well ‘Mechs of this model got their first field test there, and they beat the Teak Dragon like a rented mule. Nothing worse than armor damage in exchange for a battalion of the Dragon’s finest.”

On the face of it, that seemed impossible, but Pete Steiner wasn’t in the habit of telling tall tales. Hell, the only way that would make sense is if- the lightbulb above his head went on.

“… Sir, would this have anything to do with the rumors about the new Thuds?” He inquired.

The general smiled.

“Very good, Sergeant,” he replied. “This is a Phoenix, an old Rim Worlds Republic design. I’m told that it was a popular ‘Mech a couple centuries ago, right up until the manufacturers tried to swap the PPC for an autocannon. This version is an improvement on that. One packed to the gills with Lostech.

“That’s the good news. The bad news is that we no longer have effective doctrine for how to get the best use out of Lostech-equipped units,” the general explained. “Figuring the tactical part of that out is going to be up to you and a few others as more of these Mechs roll in.”

That was … not the sort of assignment a Sergeant usually got.

“Now, to be clear,” he continued, “what I want from you is the practicalities. How this ‘Mech best fights and how it can be best fought, just in case. I’ve got Captains for the logistics and other fiddly bits, but when it comes to fast, jump-capable ‘Mechs, you’re one of the best in the service.”

“Now that I’m confident I can do, Sir,” the younger man responded. “Is there anything in particular you want me to start with?”
“I’ll leave that to your discretion. The Captain will handle the rest, just don’t break it until we get the first shipment of spares,” the general responded, showing a clear understanding of the average enlisted man’s capacity for destruction.
“Yes, Sir, I can manage that.”

XXXXX​

It didn’t take Andrew long to figure out why there wasn’t another test pilot along for the briefing. The other Phoenix that the Third had received was in the neighboring bay with Techs and Astechs crawling all over it.

Made sense. They’d need to be familiar with the systems to make sure they could fix anything that went wrong. Also-
“So what’re you planning on testing today?” The crew chief, a Sergeant Major, inquired as he was familiarizing himself with the new cockpit.

His initial impression was that the manual was admirably accurate. His second was that he didn’t like the new Neurohelmet. The lack of mass had him checking every few seconds to make sure it was situated correctly.

“Basic maneuvering at first,” he answered. There was always a period of adjustment when you strapped into a new ‘Mech. The manuals swore that the fancy neurohelmet would help with that, but he’d believe that when he experienced it.
“If that goes well, I’ll move on to some short jumps,” he further elaborated after some thought.

“Just so long as you keep it vertical,” the Tech said as he closed the hatch.

… he was definitely going to tell the grease monkeys working on the spare to be studying up on post-fall maintenance.
Andrew made an executive decision not to give him the satisfaction.

With one last check of his neurohelmet, he cranked the ‘Mech’s fusion engine to life.

Then he spent twenty minutes double checking that all the indicators were reporting something more or less in line with reality and configuring the MFDs the way he wanted them while he waited on the computers to finish all the self-tests.

Tedious, but at least he’d almost certainly never have to do it again. It wasn’t like opportunities to break in a new variant of ‘Mech came around every day.

Only when the last set of indicators flashed green did he finally get on the radio.

“This is Sergeant Holmes. I have all green. Permission to move to Proving Grounds for maneuver testing?”

“Permission granted, Sergeant. Just make sure all the paint stays on it,” the tower responded.

“Jokes on you, Control, it ain’t got no paint on it yet,” he shot back, then checked to make sure there were no crunchies underfoot before carefully walking the Phoenix out of its bay.

He’d been prepared for some difficulty with the process. He’d certainly had enough trouble adjusting from the Phoenix Hawk to the Griffin when he moved up to the Third Royals.

“Either five tons of difference is a hell of a lot easier to adjust to, or they weren’t bullshitting about the Neurohelmet,” he muttered as he made the turn and followed the painted lines out of the hanger.

The following two hours were tense, but mundane. His father had once described learning how to pilot a ‘Mech as learning how to ‘drive by the seat of your pants,’ and that was what he was doing. Acustoming himself to what the normal sounds and vibrations of the ‘Mech were, how the ‘Mech felt in normal operation. That way, if something went wrong, he’d know about it before the alarms could start. Again, it felt oddly easy. He wasn’t sure if that was him being more experienced or if the neurohelmet was that much better than the last one he’d been issued.

He did the entire maneuvering course twice at a walk; the extended surface area of the new machine’s foot made placement more important than he was used to. A place he could have settled his Griffin’s foot into was quite a bit too small for a Phoenix’s foot. He could just see somebody getting one of the surface extensions caught in rubble and ruining an ankle joint.
“Note to self, ask the grease monkeys to take a real close look at the ankle actuators,” he said out loud to help fix the thought in his brain. They should be more rugged than average to handle the added stress of landing from jumps, but the Quickdraw existed, so one could never be sure.

XXXXX​

His third run of the course he did at half speed with no problems. The fourth run, he did at combat speeds.
Then he did a fifth just to make sure.

“I swear the ride is getting smoother,” he commented idly before hitting the radio.

“Control, this is Sergeant Holmes. Preparing to move from mobility tests to jump tests. How are the skies?”

“No low flying clouds, dropships, or ASFs to worry about. You’re clear to proceed,” came the response.

For just a moment, he hesitated. Jumping a ‘Mech was one of the most difficult tasks in a Mechwarrior’s life. There were a dozen excellent cadets who failed their jump qualifications back at the Nagelring despite working their asses off.
It was also the one thing that might do real, serious damage to his borrowed ‘Mech if he botched it badly enough.

But it still needed done. He just had to remember that he wasn’t in his Griffin. The Phoenix was smaller and had more power going to the jets. He thought back to his time in the Lyran Guards when he piloted a Phoenix Hawk. For all that the Phoenix was larger than that, the thrust to weight ratio was more or less identical.

Then he pressed down on the foot pedals and-

“Jesus, fuck!”

A deluge of sensory feedback made him flinch, which made him apply uneven thrust, which put the ‘Mech into a counterclockwise lateral spin.

Thankfully, he wasn’t an idiot. He’d been aiming for a short jump, so he had plenty of reserve thrust, which he applied to straighten the jump out in the remaining second before hitting the ground, lightly flexing the Phoenix’s legs on impact to allow the myomers to take more of the force.

“You alright in there, Sergeant?” Came Captain Halloway’s voice over the radio. A glance out of the cockpit revealed that he’d drifted left by twenty-five or thirty degrees before he regained control.

“Yessir,” he shot back, still waiting for his pulse to slow back into his normal range. “These fancy new Neurohelmets give a lot of extra information during a jump. Wasn’t expecting it.”

There was a couple seconds of silence before the captain got back on the radio.

“Go ahead and come on back to the hangar, you’ve put in a good day’s work,” he ordered.

Which kinda got the Sergeant’s hackles up.

“Sir, prefer not to end the day on that note. Multiple reasons, sir.” Not only was it better to ‘get back on the horse’ after a poor jump, but he also wanted to dig into the feedback the neurohelmet had given him. Normally, he kept a close eye on his MFDs during a jump, but the flinch had made him close his eyes. And he’d still been able to recover.

“And I’d prefer not to have something break or have a faulty component fail. We’ll do it my way, Sergeant; let the Techs look her over.”

There was only one acceptable answer to that, but he knew what was going to be first on the agenda tomorrow.

XXXXX​

Nuevo Lisbon, Fatima, Fatima System
Tamar Domains, Tamar Pact, Lyran Commonwealth
December 6th, 3016


“-something to be aware of while jumping,” newly promoted Staff Sergeant Holmes said, wrapping up a response to a question from one of the Lieutenants in third battalion’s skirmish company.

“And if I may circle back a bit?” General Steiner nodded his assent, so the sergeant continued. “I really can not overemphasize the importance of aggressive torso twisting. The Phoenix is a damn impressive ‘Mech, but it’s not actually magic, and the side torsos are a vulnerability.

“Take any hit you can on the left arm. Keeping the lasers there intact would be nice, but if you take hits to your engine shielding, you ain’t gonna be usin’ ‘em,” he said, tapping the table in front of him for emphasis.

Captain Halloway spoke up in the brief silence while the others were considering his remark.

“We do recommend requesting the lasers in the left arm be relocated elsewhere in any refit. We consider their placement the only real flaw in the Phoenix’s design.’

General Steiner looked around the room, but no more questions appeared to be forthcoming.

“Good brief, and good work to everyone involved. We’re going to need to develop good habits quickly. At this point, I think it’s safe to let you all know that the Archon has slated us as the first regiment to transition to Lostech components, but that won’t matter if we don’t make good use of them.

“With only a handful of exceptions, everybody but our air defense lances will be swapping ‘Mechs for either one of the new Thunderbolts or Phoenixes that we have been testing, and our Riflemen are going to be upgraded with Freezers while Trellshire Heavy Industries works on an advanced armoring scheme for them. We’ll be rotating back to Sudeten for the duration of the upgrade cycle. Commander’s intent is to do the upgrade company by company with Light companies switching to the Phoenix first since they’re more likely to have adjustment issues. At this point, the only question is going to be how long it takes Olivetti Weaponry and the Catachan Arms Corporation to supply enough of our new gear. The Quartermaster’s Corp swears they can do it in less than a year and a half.”

Everyone laughed cynically at that promise, then General Steiner resumed the briefing.

“Then it’s a matter of waiting for an opportunity to remind the Combine why they shouldn’t take the Pride of Tamar lightly.”

A/N: Many thanks to Lordsfire, Seraviel, and Yellowhammer for idea bouncing, error correcting, and canon compliance checking. Also, TS is now borking my formatting when I try to post. Wonderful.
 

Knowledgeispower

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On another note I wonder what other designs found on Catachan are being planned to be put into production if not on said planet. Because there's a fair few of them that are low hanging fruit. The Mackie Variant for one. The Mackie canonically was a easy mech to make
 

Blasterbot

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happy to see you back writing this. the sergeants opinion is noted. though you do get more ability to fire behind you with the MLasers in the arm. ability to aim them higher and lower too. but you do have that right arm for that so having a dedicated shield arm is an argument.

edit: with the doctrine as it seems to be going it might be that they would prefer you lose an arm and withdraw than lose the arm and try and get stuck in with a couple medium lasers. this is a medium that costs as much as an assault if I am remembering right.
 
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