Monday, March 2, 2015

MW1e: Mech Production Rates

The old House Marik sourcebook says the Free Worlds League manufactures "an estimated 500 'Mechs per year," and the old House Liao sourcebook lists eight manufacturers totaling 400 'Mechs per year. The other three House books don't say how many 'Mechs they build.

However, from the Attack by Natives table I suspect that at least some tables in the first edition MechWarrior RPG (hereafter MW1e) are carefully non-arbitrary, and from my survey of Notable Pilots I know that numbers in MW1e can correlate systematically with numbers in other books. (Humans, writers especially, like to be consistent and will reuse numbers when they can.) In particular I want to look at the chart where players roll a d36 to choose their starting faction. Chances/36:
7 - Davion
6 - Kurita
5 - Steiner
5 - Marik
4 - Liao
2 - Bandit King
7 - Unaffiliated (i.e. e.g.,  periphery)

I doubt it's a coincidence that Marik gives you 5 chances and produces 5x100 'Mechs/year, or that Liao gives you 4 and produces 4x100 'Mechs/year. I think it's reasonable to take Davion production as 700 'Mechs/year, Kurita 600/year, and Steiner 500/year for a total of 2700 'Mechs produced annually across the whole Inner Sphere.

I also want to look at the "Standard Enemy Forces Table." It's easy to find the chance of any 'Mech turning up in a given lance type, and I've roughly calculated the chance of each lance type turning up during a "Battlefield Encounter."

If I take the ratio of Valkyries to other light 'Mechs encountered as also being the ratio of Valkyries to other light 'Mechs manufactured annually, and assume there are [30% of 2700] light 'Mechs produced annually, MW1e yields an annual production of 128.4 Valkyries. This is close to the 130 cited in TR:3025.

This vindicates my assumption about annual Davion, Kurita and Steiner production rates, and shows that the lance table is at least a reasonable guide for individual 'Mechs. It doesn't have every 'Mech on it, of course, so I'm hoping (for instance) that more precise calculations will push the Valkyrie entry up to 146/year to cover both Valkyrie and Spider production.

BattleForce says that 30% of all 'Mechs are light 'Mechs, but I'm reluctant to assume that same 30% also applies to annual production. Hopefully more precise calculations will let me discard that 30% weighting factor.


  1. I like these numbers. Production numbers--especially old school production numbers--are always interesting to me.

  2. That's good, because I've got a lot of notes on this, and I'm hoping to post a bunch about it.

  3. Please do. I'm also reading the old books again and I'm curious what you make of them. Cheers!