Sunday, May 10, 2015

FWL 3025 Manufacturing: Lost in Oriente

Looking at a map, it seems to me that the...
Regulan Hussars are supplied from Gibson and Wallis
    (66 'Mechs per year / 15 battalions)
Defenders of Andurien are supplied from Shiro III
    (62 'Mechs per year / 15 battalions)
Protectorate Guard, Sirian Lancers and Silver Hawks are supplied from Kalidasa and Oliver
    (89 'Mechs per year / 21 battalions)
Stewart Dragoons are supplied from Stewart
    (28 'Mechs per year / 6 battalions)
Fusiliers of Oriente, Oriente Hussars and Orloff Grenadiers are supplied from Calloway IV
    (44 'Mechs per year / 39 battalions)
Marik and federal forces are supplied from Irian, Keystone, Thermopolis, Kendall, Tematagi and Savannah
    (197 'Mechs per year / 81 battalions)
Oriente doesn't make sense. They should produce at least 50 more 'Mechs per year to support that many battalions. 

The House Marik book says "another seven production lines are currently shut down (due to component shortages) or disabled." (From context I think it means production sites, so Irian's dormant Guillotine line doesn't count). Seven inactive sites, plus four semi-active sites inferred from production numbers, should make eleven. I've identified maybe ten candidates:
  • In 2987, Lyran regiments crippled a much-prized "secret" light 'Mech manufacturing facility being constructed on Ling. (House Marik, page 44)
  • Marik's capture of Asuncion and Bernardo in 2840 significantly scaled down Capellan BattleMech production capability. Known lines include Crusaders (Kallon) and Fleas (Earthwerks). Liao began trading secretly with Asuncion in 2995. (House Marik page 34, House Liao pages 52 and 120, Wolf's Dragoons page 105, and TR:3050)
  • Kong Interstellar on Connaught produces some Ostsol parts. (TR3050)
  • A major storehouse on Bordon contains the bulk of Allied Aerospace's Phoenix Hawk LAM program. (TR:3025) This is as (or more) promising as what's said of Spiders, Vulcans, Trebuchets, Shadow Hawks, Goliaths and BattleMasters, which comprise 15% of the Free Worlds League's annual production. 
  • StarCorp Industries has at least one Longbow production line in the Free Worlds League. The original Stardate writeup says it's manufactured in limited numbers in "most" of the Successor States, but I don't know which (if any) worlds are listed; TR:3058 lists one world each for Marik, Steiner and Davion, but claims in the text that all three lie in the Free Worlds League. 
  • The Abbey District and Duchy of Tamarind are the only multi-world provinces with neither strong neighbors nor known production facilities. Although they're described as "torn apart" by the war, they might (like the Zion Province) possess disabled 'Mech production sites. 
Asuncion, Bernardo, Emris IV and Ling all lie in Oriente's sphere of influence. I'm inclined to place two of my inferred Stinger lines in the Earthwerks facilities on Asuncion and Bernardo, because switching from Stingers in the 3025 House book to Fleas in TR:3050 is convenient for continuity. Oriente's shortfall could be explained by unused capacity (lines shut down due to component shortages) on those or other worlds.

Another possibility is that Oriente builds more aerospace fighters or tanks than the other major provinces, and trades to make up its shortfall in 'Mechs.

To be continued later. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

FWL 3025 Manufacturing: Assault Shortage

...the Free Worlds League has had a serious shortage of assault 'Mech production capacity for the past 20-25 years.  ...  As a result of this problem, the League's assault battalions have become increasingly populated with Orions, Warhammers, and other lighter 'Mechs, placing them at a distinct disadvantage against equivalent units from the Lyran Commonwealth, which are well-stocked with new Zeuses and Goliaths. (page 114)
The shortage no doubt began with Anton's Civil War (the Irian plant reopened quickly*, but perhaps not at full strength). I suspect it also coincides with upgrades to the Lyran Furillo plant, and a general retooling of Commando lines to produce heavier 'Mechs.
used without permission

I could dismiss the remark about new Lyran Goliaths since the closest similar statement in the Steiner book names Zeuses and Atlases instead; however, it squares with TR:3025's assertion that the majority of Goliaths are in Steiner hands, and it's possible that the FWL only recently recaptured a Goliath factory from the Lyrans. Stewart is a bit far from the border, but Oliver is an attractive candidate: it's the Goliath's original production site, it's right on the border, and it loses production capacity so regularly that a silenced Goliath line wouldn't be remarkable.

It's convenient that Orions, Warhammers and "others" (which I'll take to be Marauder-Ms) are named specifically, because I can assume the Lyrans produce an equal number of assault 'Mechs. Likewise, since the book doesn't note any similar shortfall or advantage against Capellan forces, I'll assume that assault 'Mechs occupy a similar fraction of Capellan manufacturing.
Except for the period between 2953-68, when it controlled the Liao Atlas and Victor production facility on Carver V, the only new assault 'Mechs produced by the Free Worlds League during the past century have been Awesomes, BattleMasters, and Goliaths. As a result, the League's regular regiments have become increasingly dominated by medium, 45-60 ton 'Mechs like the Phoenix Hawk, the Hunchback, and the home-grown Hermes II. (page 115)
The "45-60" tons might look like a typo, but I'm not sure it is. A lance of 45-60 ton 'Mechs (210 tons) is about average for MW1e's "medium lance," which I believe corresponds with the typical weight of BF1's regular medium regiments. Regardless, medium 'Mechs aren't dominant due to production--Marik production of mediums is actually shorted a bit in favor of heavy 'Mechs. The mediums just aren't suffering as much attrition.

To be continued later.

*EDIT:  it did reopen quickly once they started rebuilding it, but they didn't start rebuilding it for close to a decade.