Monday, October 10, 2016

Unaffiliated 'Mech Production (Part 1: MAF)

Last March, when I showed how Successor State 'Mech production corresponds to one of MW1e's random faction tables, I shouldn't have suggested that all of the 700 "unaffiliated" 'Mechs/yr were built in the Periphery. Some, as with the Bandit King entry on that same table, no doubt represent defections instead of new production; and per the old Davion sourcebook, at least some 'Mechs are built on Terra.

Also, the Mercenary's Handbook adds rebels/secessionists and merchants (cartels) to the list of alternate affiliations, which may be related to MW1e's comment that units without an affiliation may need to "take on a temporary assignment from a local bureaucrat or private corporation to earn the funds to get off-world."

I was hoping to use MW1e's event tables to distribute the 700 Unaffiliated 'Mechs/yr between periphery manufacturing, ComStar manufacturing, corporate security and rebels. Unfortunately, all three tables (General Encounters, Major Events and VIPs) make ComStar as or more common than the periphery, which doesn't fit.

First Look at the Magistracy of Canopus

MW1e says the Magistracy Armed Forces possess only six 'Mech regiments. The regimental profiles in the 3025 Periphery sourcebook seem to list twice that many, but that's deceptive; MAF regiments are said to concentrate most of their 'Mechs into a single battalion, and the deployment table does indeed show all eighteen deployments being commanded by officers of battalion rank.

The battalion weights even conform to Successor State norms (described in 1st edition BattleForce): 30% (5.4, round to 5) are light, 60% (10.8, round to 11) are medium, and 10% (1.8, round to 2) are heavy.

The Magistracy's two 'Mech production sites have
a very low annual output (less than 60 machines per year), and produce mostly Locusts, Wasps and Stingers. The only medium-sized BattleMechs produced within the Magistracy are Shadow Hawks, but usually no more than ten per year. Production for armor, AeroSpace Fighters, and motorized vehicles run roughly 30 each per year.
The Inner Sphere produces 2700 'Mechs/yr for its 385 regiments. At that ratio, the Magistracy's almost-60/yr should support around eight regiments of 'Mechs; are some of its battalions oversized? Does the MAF trade (whether in battle or on the market) its surplus lights for heavies? I notice that the heavy battalions are Taurian mercs, known for salvaging Capellan Thunderbolts.

It's interesting that they produce roughly 30 fighters per year when "There are fewer than one hundred AeroSpace Fighters in Canopian space, most of which are captured and refurbished light or medium craft."

These are the Magistracy's only two weapons-producing facilities, but neither one mentions AeroSpace Fighters or wheeled vehicles (I presume jeeps and APCs), so their product listings must be incomplete; TR:3026 reports the Pike Support Vehicle as a product of "Canopus Industries Alpha," which seems like it could be an Inner Sphere reporting name for the Magesty Metals facility on Canopus.

[Edit, November 13: I take it back; it's unclear whether or not the two BattleMech facilities are the only weapons manufacturers. There may be a third one responsible for the Pike, aerospace fighters and motorized units. /Edit]

To Be Continued: First looks at the Outworlds Alliance, Taurian Concordat and ComStar

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