Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Many 'Mechs of Lazarus Long

The most misleading of the
covers Google gave me.
Last night I finished reading Time Enough for Love by Heinlein. The novel's framing and structure are interesting (I've spotted at least four ways that the whole narrative might be the hallucination of a dying man) and the moral lesson (that investing in the companionship and well-being of friends and family is what makes for a satisfying life) is fair enough.

But I mention the book because BattleTech seems to have taken inspiration from it. Stackpole did, for sure; its discussion of human breeding is a clear model for certain aspects of Clan culture, and Stackpole's old Warrior Trilogy author bios (which present the author as a time traveler on the run from ComStar) are an extraordinary match for a conversation late in Heinlein's novel.

Intriguingly, the few clues the book gives about the period 1980~2200 match up with what I recall of BattleTech's history for the same period, and it'll be interesting to find out how well the rest of Heinlein's "future history" lines up. (If I'm lucky, it'll bridge BattleTech with Renegade Legion.)

Friday, October 2, 2015

First Step to 3025 Assault Production Numbers

In previous posts, I have determined...

Annual 'Mech production by House:
700 Davion
600 Kurita
500 Steiner
500 Marik
400 Liao
Marik annual production includes 34 assault 'Mechs:
4 Goliath
7 Awesome
11 Stalker
12 BattleMaster
plus 85 heavy 'Mechs which take the place of assault 'Mechs:
21 Marauder-M
22 Warhammer
42 Orion
Steiner's production probably matches those 'Mechs I just named with assault-weight 'Mechs. So, 34+85 assault 'Mechs/year from Steiner.

Meanwhile, the House Davion book gives the Suns exactly 25 assault 'Mechs per year (20 Victors and 5 Atlases from Quentin).

For reasons I'll explain in a later post, I suspect assault 'Mechs to be 10% of the Inner Sphere's overall annual production. So, 270 total from all parties, less 119 from Steiner, 34 from Marik and 25 from Davion. This leaves 92 for Kurita and Liao to split.

As always, MW1e's events tables are my guide to generic conflict on any given border, which should correspond to how often assault 'Mechs are employed (and therefore lost and replaced).

I.e., the proportion of major conflicts on any given border:
Davion/Kurita 10/36
Liao/Davion 5/36
Kurita/Steiner 8/36
Steiner/Marik 7/36
Marik/Liao 6/36

Steiner is probably directing 8 portions of their assault production toward the Kurita border and 7 portions toward the Marik border, while Davion is probably directing 10 (much smaller) portions towards Kurita and 5 portions towards Liao; figure Kurita is being pressed with 80 increments of assault 'Mech production pressure/year. Assuming Marik directs 6 portions towards Liao, Liao would be pressed with only 24 increments. So Kurita is probably building 71 assault 'Mechs annually, and Liao 21.

Quick Plausibility Check: if Davion+Kurita+Liao produce 25+71+21 assault 'Mechs out of 700+600+400 total 'Mechs annually, that would make assault 'Mechs 6.88% of their annual production. That's very close to Marik's (34 / 500 = 6.8%).