mortars

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DSS
08/23/23 05:46 AM
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I did a quick search, and did not find anything about Mortars, probably the simplest artillery system possible. A heavy mech sized mortar, or even a heavy infantry mortar, would be a easy support weapon that could be built anywhere, would not require any special tech, and would not be too heavy, perfect for lighter mechs.

Simple maths time

A SRM missile, assuming 10% of the ammo bin is the feed system, comes in at about 9 KG. Even if you doubled the mass to add the propellant charge and a frag casing, add a metal tube to the rear torso of a mech with a simple feed system that drops the mortar into the tube would not mass more that half a tonne. If the rounds were double the mass of a SRM, that would give you 50 rounds per tonne. A heavy infantry mortar (120mm) in use today has a range of up to 10kmand is able to damage vehicles with a near miss (even though this version is designed to be towed by a jeep or such, it can be broken down and carried by infantry over short distances). Such a system mech mounted with a range of 2 maps, 50 rounds per tonne, and a damage of 2 in one hex would actually be less than what we can do now.

Artillery systems are one of the two weapon systems in battletech i have always had problems with, comparing what we have now to what the game gives you. The other is autocannons. What are autocannons? Are they multi barrelled gattaling type guns like the A10 or the main battle tank guns in use today (up to 155mm bore, self loading guns either with or without rifling). Having the explanation of they can be both is a poor get out card, as they would have different ranges and damage potential.
Requiem
08/23/23 06:00 AM
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… and did not find anything about Mortars

https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Heavy_Mortar#Mortar_Squad

https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Light_Mortar

https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Light_Mortar_(Battle_Armor)
Get thee to Coventry … Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious by this daughter of Tharkad … Our army shall march through. Well to New Avalon tonight.
Karagin
08/23/23 10:54 AM
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The game has Mech Mortars, found in the newer rule books. There are also infantry mortars; they have been in the game since the TRO3026 and MW1 RPG came out in the mid to late 80s.

The Infantry versions do, if my memory recalls, have a max of 2 or 4 points for damage to mechs and vehicles. The MechMortars have a fixed damage rate and work similar to LRMS as far being indirect.

Also, keep in mind that this game is a simulation, NOT a direct translation of combat. The ranges of the weapons are nerfed all to hell. If we want to get into it, the AC2 and AC20 should have their ranges flipped, along with a whole host of other things, but keep this in mind: it's a game. One that is set up to play on a map that is 17 by 22 (or so) in size or a board that is the size of a tabletop, hence the idea of short ranges, more minor scales.

If your group wants to double or triple the ranges, have at it. I have been in groups that have done that. All they did was change the overall size of the hex, and we continued on with playing. One thing, the more extra stuff you add, the slower the game becomes, not faster.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
DSS
08/25/23 04:08 AM
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thanks for the replies, my search missed those completely. I have all the rule books upto the clan invasion, but missed the bits about mortars totally, must be old age lol.
ghostrider
08/25/23 12:23 PM
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Mech mortars were introduced after the clan invasion. So none of the books before then would have information, which is why I didn't chime in before now.

The game and reality has a lot of things that don't match. The large fact is that in the game barn sized units have a hard time hitting another barn sized unit at even 30 meters, much less further. LRMs use to have a range of 21 hexes. With each hex being 30 meters, 630 meters was about max for a non artillery ground weapon to have a chance of hitting. That isn't even a half a mile.

The wiki on this site is decent for finding out information on things.

Autocannons are weird. The description suggests they fire a burst of 3 to 5 'rounds'. That is misleading as it is not a round as described for ammunition purposes. As a round is considered the damage output, ie an ac 20 fires of a burst that does 20 damage if it hits, you would consider a 5 round burst to do 4 points per 'shot'. Yet a 3 round burst would do about 3.7 damage, though the game does not break it up into individual shots.
In one of the earlier rule books, the game also suggests there is a range in the size of an AC barrel as well. 185-200 mm is considered an AC 20.
So an Autocannon might be considered a very large machine gun, firing bursts.
Note that they do not possess multiple barrels, except the rotary versions of it.

As the little searching I did, there does not seem to be a flight time for mortars, which is odd, as a game turn is supposed to be 10 seconds. yet unless fired directly at a target, the arc should require time for gravity to exert it's effect on the projectile, just like normal artillery. Even a single turn might work.
Karagin
08/25/23 07:52 PM
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Ghostrider, if you look in the glossary of the early BT novels, they tell you what an Autocannon is, and that is a CASSETTE feed CHAINGUN-like cannon, so the bursts of rounds hit doing the "damage" makes sense for what it is. They also plugged the barrel length, aka the MM part, in things as well to cover it. One of the Compendiums did give that info.

Again, trying for real life to BT is a sure way to go nuts. One of the Keiths brothers wrote and article for FAR and AWAY magazine that offered ways to do it, and my group has used and still uses many of the suggestions from that article. I am sure the wiki here should have it since Frabby loves to include all the non-canon stuff as canon with a simple tagline.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
Frodybuzz
02/08/24 02:40 AM
188.163.121.236

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Hi there


Edited by Frodybuzz (02/08/24 02:40 AM)
FrabbyModerator
02/08/24 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Mech mortars were introduced after the clan invasion.


That depends on who you ask.
In the 1989 MechWarrior computer game, Wendall Puritan (of TRO:3025 notable pilot fame) is the proud owner of a SCP-1N Scorpion modified to carry "twin autoload heavy mortars". No stats or anything are given, but the mortars are there...
Karagin
02/08/24 11:56 PM
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And when did the video game become fully canon Frabby?
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.


Edited by Karagin (02/08/24 11:57 PM)
FrabbyModerator
02/09/24 04:31 AM
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That’s not easily answered.
Back in 1989 when the game came out, the IP was not yet split. And there was no definition of canon as nobody felt a need to define what BT canon was.
It’s an official product.
We can really only state that it was ruled to be official-but-not-canon with the first official ruling on what constitutes canon. As far as I’m aware, that was Herb's ruling in reply to my inquiry on the forum back in 2008.

There’s a case to be made for the MechWarrior video game having been canon until it was demoted to apocryphal status in 2008.
Karagin
02/09/24 09:49 AM
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Frabby, no one considered the video games canon, and FASA stated that when MechCommader was the hot thing unless they said it was, it wasn't. Just as the Battletechnolgy stuff was not canon or the MechForce stuff was not canon.

But hey, I get it; you like the stuff, and you will put it up and push for it. Also, the IP was split; video games were video games, and the tabletop was the tabletop game. Two different worlds.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
FrabbyModerator
02/09/24 04:05 PM
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Not so.
BattleTechnology is advertised as a BattleTech product in several of the early sourcebooks, with no indication that it was anything but canon. It was considered fully canonical in its time. Probably has something to do with the Keith brothers and Stackpole providing content, and the magazine being a supplemental publication to the novel line as the early timeline evolved.

And the computer games were, well, official *BattleTech* computer games. The IP split didn’t happen until 1995, six years after the release of the MechWarrior game. In the early days of Sarna most if not all users seemed to consider the Crescent Hawks and the Blazing Aces canon.

But don’t take any of this as terribly important. It was early days, CGL has been doing a great job of curating canon and salvaging obscure apocrypha. I just felt it was a funny sidenote to this thread that a 'Mech with mortars in the 3025 timeframe had appeared in an official product as early as 1989.
Karagin
02/09/24 10:06 PM
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Please give me one book that lists Battletechnolgy as an official FASA product; it was never official.

Just because it had the name on it didn't make official canon, Frabby; Sam Lewis made that precisely clear many times; YOU keep trying to include the stuff that is not officially canon, which adds to the confusion.

I understand wanting to have all the stuff related to the game in one setting, but if it is not in the sourcebooks and not coming from the company with full endorsement, it's NOT canon. The videos were their own thing; they existed within their setting and, while expanding the reach of the brand, didn't offer a link right to the tabletop-game setting.

If you read the fluff a lot of stuff has been there, but there were never stats for it or it was a one off mention, go read the armor description on the Marauder, reads similar to Ferro-Fibrous long before we ever saw the TRO2750, doesn't mean the mech had it until we got the rules for it.

The Keiths Brothers also wrote articles for Far and Away magazine related to Battletech, does that make those canon? What about the StarDate Magazine? Those were in-house magazines for a long time for FASA, are they canon? MechForce and it's version aren't, you keep trying to tell us they are, so which is it? What was the original word from FASA on these things, because Herb's word is not important since he was around when this stuff was original out.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
ghostrider
02/10/24 04:09 AM
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I don't remember seeing anything about the scorpion tank in the game. Then again, I never got past the clan mission, where you escape from the clans. Thought you had to save the others, and kept dying. I didn't bother so much with the storyline anyways. I liked just running the lance.

There is an issue with what is and what isn't canon. The retcons have changed more then a few things. And that isn't even getting into the rule changes.

I know more then a few 'canon' sources have characters doing things that were/are against the rules.
Things like ER circuits that allow greater range and damage without increasing the weight of the energy weapon comes to mind here. The fact that no one, other then Comstar, could build the circuitry before the Helm Core was found shows some bs to the time line. Yet there are so many referrences to people having equipment with the ER circuits, and they never made the kits/weapons.

The sensor baffling building materials was another one. This would make a lot of sense why sensors are so bad in the cities. Yet it was only in the MAC adventure pack from what I have seen.

Things only work, when the main story needs it to. Then, it just vanishes.
FrabbyModerator
02/10/24 04:20 AM
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FASA did a lot of advertising for licensed BT products in FASA products. There are many FASA books with ads for the Crescent Hawks games (but not for the first MechWarrior game, which is the one product of concern here).

Regarding BattleTechnology, at a quick glance I only found an ad in the back of the Sorenson's Sabres scenario pack that lists BattleTechnology among other third-party BattleTech products, with the caption "Explore the BattleTech universe with these fine products." I distinctly remember another, more direct ad for BattleTechnology as a BattleTech product. Fwiw, the "BattleTech - The Early Years" book reads "A licensed supplemental for BattleTech" on the spine.

Ultimately, I'm a bit unsure what you are getting at though. Since we have a clear definition of canon now, it doesn't matter how or even if canon was defined in 1989. I said there's a case to be made for MechWarrior having been canon in its time, and I stand by that.
I do take issue with your claim though that I am trying to include stuff that is not officially canon. What I want is a clear idea of what is considered canon, and we have that now. The other official/sanctioned products are apocrypha. Herb didn't name them such but acknowledged that apocrypha exist.
FASA never bothered to define canon, as far as I know. Which also means they never officially excluded any licensed BT products from canon, as far as I know. If you can point me to a specific ruling from Sam Lewis on this point I'd actually be very interested to see that.
ghostrider
02/10/24 11:38 AM
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I was under the impression that everything that used the Battletech name and logo was canon when it first came out.. Otherwise it was a copyright violation. Maybe FASA and the others got paid for others using the Battletech name.
I only learned of the lawsuit about the unseen mechs from the wiki here. I did not keep up with this in the beginnig of the game.
It is interesting that the original video game had the reference to the mortars. As stated, I don't remember seeing it, but as stated, I didn't pay much attention to the story. I ran it like a normal mercenary unit. Didn't hunt down the 'enemy'.

As for clear definition of canon, that isn't quite true. The cartoon is a good point to this. Some of the books and video games still do things that aren't in step with the game itself. The main thing that seems canon is the use of stompy mechs fighting each other for the houses. Even some of the fluff in the TROs doesn't fit well, and I am talking of the newer stuff, not the 3025 one.

One thing I always thought was odd, is the jury rigged small lasers on rebel mechs. Taking the laser from house hold items and being able to increase their power to damage 'normal' armor sounds off. The concept of not having the materials for a military grade laser, yet common house hold items can be converted to be used, doesn't sound like they have a shortage. And with this, it should be more likely people have made man portable lasers. So threatened cities would have far more small laser turrets around the city for defense. But again, logic isn't great with the game.

This also leads to why mortars were not in the game sooner. It isn't like the concept would have been lost to time. I can see large ones fitting mechs, not being abundant, but it would be used in low tech worlds. I know this comes from it not being thought of, or in rule books before it was.
Karagin
02/10/24 01:03 PM
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Ads DO NOT mean the products are canon Frabby. Really, that is your justification and claim? An ad?

My point is this stuff was never canon and never has been. Things cherry-picked and brought forward are expectations; that doesn't make the rest of the stuff canon.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.


Edited by Karagin (02/10/24 01:04 PM)
Karagin
02/10/24 01:07 PM
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Ghostrider canon means it's part of the story and offical. Third party stuff is not always canon UNLESS the company say it is. Things like BATTLETECHNOLGY and other magazines, unless published by the parent company in-house, are not canon; they are third party items offering an outlet of support only.

They may have an okay to do things, but that doesn't mean the stuff is canon, which is what I am trying to get Frabby to understand.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
Karagin
02/10/24 01:16 PM
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Quote:
FASA did a lot of advertising for licensed BT products in FASA products. There are many FASA books with ads for the Crescent Hawks games (but not for the first MechWarrior game, which is the one product of concern here).

Regarding BattleTechnology, at a quick glance I only found an ad in the back of the Sorenson's Sabres scenario pack that lists BattleTechnology among other third-party BattleTech products, with the caption "Explore the BattleTech universe with these fine products." I distinctly remember another, more direct ad for BattleTechnology as a BattleTech product. Fwiw, the "BattleTech - The Early Years" book reads "A licensed supplemental for BattleTech" on the spine.

Ultimately, I'm a bit unsure what you are getting at though. Since we have a clear definition of canon now, it doesn't matter how or even if canon was defined in 1989. I said there's a case to be made for MechWarrior having been canon in its time, and I stand by that.
I do take issue with your claim though that I am trying to include stuff that is not officially canon. What I want is a clear idea of what is considered canon, and we have that now. The other official/sanctioned products are apocrypha. Herb didn't name them such but acknowledged that apocrypha exist.
FASA never bothered to define canon, as far as I know. Which also means they never officially excluded any licensed BT products from canon, as far as I know. If you can point me to a specific ruling from Sam Lewis on this point I'd actually be very interested to see that.



I will check my copy of that Battletechnolgy collection, don't recall seeing that. And Sam's comment was in one of the StarDates before the magazine shut down in the Q&A section.

Ads also do not mean that anything is canon, they are ads. Ads are sources of revenue, Just like the ones here on Sarna.

Are the articles in CHALLENGER or DUNGEON magazines canon? Those had ads for FASA products at different points. Third-party stuff means they have a license to publish without the fear of being sued, that is all, it doesn't mean the stuff is considered canon or can be used in official events.

As for your taking offense, I got nothing; if questioning your handling of the wiki is upsetting you, then let's take this over to the private messages.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.


Edited by Karagin (02/10/24 01:19 PM)
ghostrider
02/11/24 12:05 AM
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I was bringing up the issue that if someone gets money for doing something with a copyrighted name, it has to have the ok to do so, or it is a crime. So if I were to write a story for the game, and sold books, I would be in violation of copyrights, as I do not have permission to do so.
The issue of removing certain names of units from the game came about as the companies refused to allow the people that created them to use them. They are still canon, yet they are not anymore.

As for adding in non canon/partially canon stuff, we had that discussion before. At the start of the article, saying it is not canon, or even fully canon would go a long way to stopping this argument.
But that is something Nic has to decide and deal with.

Working on the wiki takes time and effort, with getting crap for some things. But it has to be accurate or there will be someone that goes into lawsuits.
Is the writer that got fired, have all their input removed from being canon? Are they under contract to avoid using their ideas elsewhere? I don't know, and really don't need to. This is just questions to try and prevent more arguments on the subject. I would assume an NDA, and possibly a non compete agreement was done. But there is still a possibility that some future idea could be added and disputed. I don't know.

The essay a while back said fusion engines exploded, that is in the wiki. Does this mean it is canon? It was pointed out that fusion engines did not explode. So this is one conflict that causes issues with anyone looking thru the wiki to find answers. Video games have fusion engines explode a lot. Which causes more conflicts with people trying to find out what is canon. And this happens in units that are energy weapons only, so ammo explosions aren't the case.
FrabbyModerator
02/11/24 04:56 AM
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Funny enough, we seem to agree on 99% of the facts but differ on the interpretation.

Quote:
As for your taking offense, I got nothing; if questioning your handling of the wiki is upsetting you, then let's take this over to the private messages.


I am not taking offense, rather I'd say I am nonplussed as to why you would attempt to school me of all people on the issue of canon.

It was me who prodded Herb into providing a canon definition, it was me who built Sarna's canon article and Canon Policy from that definition, and it was me who subsequently pushed for a purge of fanon on the wiki. Before 2008 there was no such definition (that I'm aware of).

And that seems to be what’s at the core of our respective arguments:

In the absence of an official definition - as was the case in 1989 and apparently until 2008 - I propose that anything legally published as a BattleTech product would have been considered, well, a BattleTech product - and thus a source shaping and defining the shared universe.
You’re right of course that a mere ad doesn’t canon make. What it does though is show how acutely aware FASA was of these licensed products. And if FASA didn’t want them to be canon despite them being tagged and advertised by FASA themselves as BattleTech products, then the onus was on FASA to make that clear.
I consider this implicit and self-explanatory. There are two points of evidence I can cite: FASA did actually place a disclaimer into the Stardate magazine’s imprint to clarify that its content was not canon; and conversely, BattleTechnology magazine was treated by then-Line Developer Randall Bills as canon well into the early 2000s/FanPro era. On the old CBT website there was a document for download ("Ask the Precentor Martial") with LD rulings and one of the items there was Randall explicitly reaffirming that yes, the BattleTechnology 'Mech were canon.

Your position is the mirror image of mine. You apply the definition from 2008 to the 1989 situation and retroactively argue that it would already have applied back then. And… I don’t see that.
A clearly stated official FASA policy might change my mind, hence I would like to read that Sam Lewis statement and see what he actually said (ruled) on the matter.

We can absolutely agree on what the ruling is now, and has been since 2008. But before that I feel you’re drawing conclusions based on a ruling that was only made much later and thus didn’t apply yet.

And, again: The relevance of all this is basically nil since 2008.

Quote:
As for adding in non canon/partially canon stuff, we had that discussion before. At the start of the article, saying it is not canon, or even fully canon would go a long way to stopping this argument.
But that is something Nic has to decide and deal with.



Yes, absolutely. And the Sarna BattleTech Wiki has been doing exactly that for over 16 years now. Because that Frabby dude thought it was important.
Karagin
02/11/24 11:28 AM
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I am not applying any definition other than if it's not in the official books, IT IS NOT CANON. That is what I have said. Fluff information is not canon if it was then go look at the original TRO3025 and see that a certain mech would have had a forced piloting role, I recall right I believe it was the Jenner, but that never took and was forgotten about. Yet it's there, but it's in the fluff.

A Battletech product is an official product from the IP holder, a.k .a. stuff from FASA, FANPRO, WizKids, or CGL. NOT third-parties. Those third parties are doing their operations under an agreement for a short-term deal. For example, the old NOVA Warbooks, will you tell me those are canon products?

Actually, can we agree? Herb is not the LD anymore, so does it still stand?

Again, this would be better suited to a PM discussion.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.


Edited by Karagin (02/11/24 11:29 AM)
CrayModerator
02/12/24 05:54 PM
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Since this thread has gone WAY off the original topic of mortars, I'm going to hit a pause on it. If you want to continue discussing the definition of canon, start a new thread after reviewing the posting rules.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.
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