Saturday, July 29, 2017

Bandit Kings (part 1): # Battalions vs # Worlds

P1e covers a number of the most notable Periphery bands. Seven of them control only a single world each, and range from less than a company of 'Mechs on up to two battalions (six companies)--exactly like a newly generated MW1e player unit.

The mid-size kingdoms basically have 2/3rds of a battalion for every world they control beyond their fourth. This is pretty well in line with the Draconis Combine (240 battalions for 350 worlds) and the Inner Sphere as a whole (1155 battalions for 1700-1800 worlds).

It would seem you don't need any 'Mechs to survive as an alliance of one to four worlds. The Inner Sphere has only about 450 well settled worlds, with the remainder of the 1700-1800 being client worlds (colonies, outposts and such), so perhaps these 'Mech-less kingdoms in the Periphery likewise consist of one main world and zero to three client worlds. I notice that the flag of Morgraine's Valkyrate has two large dots (presumably one for each of its major worlds) and three small dots (presumably one for each of its minor worlds).

I forgot to include the Illyrian Palatinate (4 worlds, "several companies" of 'Mechs) on that chart. Which was lucky, because it would have made those patterns harder to recognize.

Monday, July 24, 2017

MW1e Units Deploy in Groups of 1d6 Companies

I've realized something about MW1e's Unit Size chart. Ignore the top half of it; short version, you have ~12% chance of starting with 4 'Mechs, 25% chance to start with 8 'Mechs, and a 50% chance to start with a full 12 'Mech company. (Long version here.) What interests me right now is the 1d6 table at the bottom.

Although a battalion typically consists of 3 companies, it could be short a company (or have an extra) and still be referred to as a battalion; so rolling 2-4 on this table puts you in a group which consists of 2-4 companies. Likewise, a regiment could be short a battalion and therefore consist of only 5-6 companies.

It Gets Better:

If a deployment group consists of 1d6 companies, that's an average of 42 'Mechs per group, which is about right for a battalion with a command lance. In turn, three such groups would average 126 'Mechs, about right for a regiment with battalion and regimental command groups (a total of 128 'Mechs, per BF1e); at most you'd get 18 companies (which amounts to five battalions plus command elements, like the 42nd Avalon Hussars).

Intriguingly, the Mercenary's Handbook does indeed have you roll 3d6 to determine initial unit assets. (NPC units roll 3d6 on the table to the right, while PC units roll 2d6 plus their Leadership score--i.e., a Leadership skill roll; your unit's fortunes are literally two parts luck and one part leadership).*

The Mercenary's Handbook chart isn't linear, of course. I'm curious to see how much of that is because bigger units tend to have a better ratio of support and auxiliary units. Won't get to that for a while, though.

Next Time: Bandit Kings!

*This sentence was salvaged from an October 2016 post, which was otherwise trash and has since been deleted.