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1* I've always asked myself this : why are the pilot not better protected? I mean, all it needs is a cockpit included in the torso and some video sensors in place of the head. But no, they feel obligated to expose an exceptionally skilled and specialized warrior to heavy weapon shooting.˛** One of the main reasons for putting the cockpit in the hard-to-defend head as opposed to the well armored torso is the ejection system. With the cockpit in the head, all the ejection system has to do is fling the pilot straight up as high as it can and then deploy the parachute for a nice and (supposedly) safe landing. If the cockpit is in the torso, then not only are you going to have to punch a hole through the thick torso armor (assuming any is left by the time the pilot ejects) but you also are limited to either straight forward or up at an angle, probably about 45 degrees above horizontal max. You could send the pilot backwards away from the enemy (assuming that the pilot wasn't flanked and attacked from the rear), but that would require placing the cockpit behind the internals of the torso, and generally the rear armor is weaker on 'mechs than the front armor as you're not supposed to let the enemy get behind you.\˛Also putting the cockpit in the torso puts the pilot closer to the ''miniature star'' that the 'mech has for a power plant. And depending on which rules you follow, will explode like a bomb if overloaded or breached.˛** The cockpit is a pen and paper contrivance. If you look at several of the mechs, they actually do keep the head in the torso. The Urbanmech and Scorpion are two models. The Spider actually does keep the pilot in the chest due to size constraints, but the problem is as the troper above says: you can't eject from it and it has a [[ArmoredCoffins reputation for being a deathtrap mech]].˛** First, while the torso has more armor than the head on all but the very lightest Battle Mechs, it also tends to get ''hit'' much more often. (This is especially true once the 'Mech starts to take enough damage for the transfer rules to come into play.) And second, torso-mounted cockpits are actually available as optional but canonical experimental gear. They have pretty much the disadvantages alluded to above -- the pilot can't eject, so destroying the center torso ''will'' kill him or her, and is more vulnerable to damage from his or her machine's heat buildup once the cockpit's also relocated life support suffers a critical hit. The torso cockpit is also more cramped than a normal one, so it's actually harder to control the 'Mech from there. On the plus side, without the cockpit getting in the way you can put more and bigger weapons and/or equipment into the head...˛** The lack of ejection doesn't really make a ton of sense. As he originally stated, it's not a matter of "where do you locate the glass cockpit" it's "why have a glass cockpit at all?" There's really no reason why the cockpit can't be located on the top of the mech, but without the exposed bubble. A simple hatch on the top of the mech the way an actual tank has would allow one to get in and out, while still being able to be positioned behind the torso armor from any angle save above. And with the hatch on the top, you could still have an ejector seat that launches you out of the top of the mech.˛*** Touched on in several pieces of fluff text: the reliability of electronic sensors (or the ability to jam them) versus the reliability of the old fashioned Mod.0 Mk.I eyeball. The ''Marauder'', for instance, was noted to have a sensor system that severely limited its pilot's physical field of view, which was stated to have cost its pilots at least one battle when the sensors were rendered less effective in hindering terrain. Even with advanced electronics, being able to directly locate an enemy is still crucial. Alternately, consider that 'Mechs are not necessarily moving on a more or less 2D plane as a tank might. Many 'Mechs can jump, and being able to look out the viewscreen and tell where that 50-ton flying chunk of steel is going is a good sign as to how to react. If a 'Mech's electronic sensors are disabled in some fashion, at least a 'Mechwarrior with a viewport to look out isn't stuck being unable to see very far out past one's 'Mech.˛*** There's also an answer that goes hand-in-hand with the setting's ShortRangeLongRangeWeapon problem, and the relative lack of electronic warfare and electronic counters. A 'Mech is a huge, complicated piece of electronic machinery, and is canonically packed with ECM and ECCM already. . . that's what those Sensors slots in the head are for. Just by being what it is, a 'Mech puts out a huge amount of electromagnetic interference, and its fire control systems are about as good as they can get at punching through it all, hence things like Artemis, Streak, and so on taking up extra tons and crits. With all this EM littering any battlefield, dead reckoning through a glass canopy is most efficient.˛* A bit of FridgeLogic that gets a [[LampshadeHanging lampshade the size of a dropship hung on it]] in the cartoon-related {{sourcebook}}. [[spoiler: One: How do you evacuate an entire planet's population in a matter of hours? Two, how in Kerensky's name did a Star Colonel get the authority to evacuate an entire planet? That's something akin to having a Major stroll into Guantanamo Bay and declare a complete evacuation of the entire island of Cuba.]]˛** A Star Colonel of 'Mechs is in fact getting very close the highest promotional rank (as opposed to elected) in the universe. Only a Galaxy Commander would outrank you. Military forces in TabletopGame/BattleTech are significantly smaller than today because they pack significantly more firepower, so it's not unreasonable.˛** Just because a planet is inhabited, doesn't mean it's gonna have a large population. Unless someone knows where a definite number is given, for all we know Somerset had only the training academy and a city/town or two.˛** Actually, pulling up the sourcebook in question, the in-character document states: "Somerset has been totally depopulated. Not a single citizen of the Federated Commonwealth remains. According to Major Steiner's report, this event occured in less than an hour. As of the 3045 census, the population numbered roughly one million people." And for the second: Even so, bump it up to a colonel, or heck, even a general isn't going to have the authority (to use the above analogy) to say, "Ok, all Cuban citizens, you have been ordered to evacuate the island." Of course, after the above quote, it also kicks in the FridgeLogic/[[FridgeHorror Horror]]: The population must have already been evacuated (It even gives some facts, that the dropships could only, at most, carry about 10k people and they were moving too fast to be that full), therefore they must have not only been evacuated beforehand, but according to comments made by the Falcons, been enslaved as well.˛** Regarding the Star Colonel getting the authority to make the evacuation, you're forgetting about Clan law: IIRC, he lost a Trial of Possession for the planet. The Clans are bound by their laws of honor to follow the terms set forth in a Trial that is executed in accordance with Clan laws. The Clans could(and canonically, did) re-invade at a later point, but in the immediate aftermath even the ilKahn of the Clans would not have been allowed to stop the Star Colonel from following the terms set forth - and as the Star Colonel noted, he was following the agreement to the letter, and if the action was in accordance with the letter of the challenge then it is allowed. Even if someone above him could stop it, the Star Colonel in question was the ranking officer of the planet's forces at the time and had full authority to issue such an order even without the Trial if the situation warranted it.˛* Something that bugs me on the games: How is a 30 ton mech STEALTHY? I mean, you are supposed to get into the enemy base, scan the building (less than 100 meters in [=MW4=]: Mercenaries) and not be noticed? Granted, they are night missions, but still, how can't you notice a 30 ton mech size of a building next you? '''Especially''' when it's painted bright pink? Even if you were asleep you should hear when such thing stops next to you.˛** Well, you do have a few heavily armed pals shooting up the other side of the base which is kind of a distraction. Maybe every one in the buildings was busy watching that, or they were all hiding in bomb shelters in the basement or whatever the TabletopGame/BattleTech equivalent is and couldn't hear you. Besides you had your radar switched off and could paint your mechs in colours that camouflage you better so maybe they did not spot you.˛** I guess it's stealthy by comparison, but it seems like a small, fast recon vehicle would be even harder to spot in the mayhem. Weirdly, this is exactly what happens on most other recon missions in the games--you cause the mayhem, but the actual recon is done by someone driving a Swiftwind or something similar.˛** Part of that is that it's a computer game. The appeal is, for most of the fanbase, doing everything in a mech. Yes, a swiftwind makes more actual sense, but it's hardly "fun". Remember also, TabletopGame/BattleTech sensors are generally crap, as they have to, among other things, overpower the local interference from jamming devices, be those attatched to a mech or other vehicles or the just plain massive fusion powerplant running the base-to-be-scanned.˛** As for hearing the mech, again, computer games. The computer games have never once done Melee combat, in spite of it being a prominent part of the source material, largely because it's very difficult. Same for good stealth action, look how difficult it is to convey in games actually about stealthy shenanigans. In a game where exploding the enemy is the main draw? Be glad any stealth was thrown in. Some of that holds for the Board Game as well, it'smostly there because vehicles of even twice the weight are easier to "mission kill" than a mech.˛* How did the clans, who's collective military forces number around 110,500 (Citation [=BattleTech=]: Warriors of Kerensky) men manage to hold onto numerous occupied planets. That number is not enough to hold onto Iraq on Earth, and replacing losses is not easy for the clans.˛** {{Planetville}}. ''[=BattleTech=]'' plays that trope so straight it's not even funny, even for the capital worlds of entire Successor States. Heck, the Word of Blake took ''Earth'' (the one planet we actually do all know firsthand from real life) away from 'secular' [=ComStar=] easily enough.˛** Also, for most people in-universe, being conquered by a different state means hauling down the old flags and putting up the new ones with the only real change being where your taxes are sent each year and, if you are a nobleman, who you have to swear allegiance to. On a lot of the border planets that have been regularly fought over, they generally have this system down to a fine art.˛** It's mentioned in the novels. Clan warriors that are disgraced or too old are a separate garrison force and aren't frontline troops. They might also use their own version of non-mech vehicles: at least one clan even in the invasion force is fond of integrating mechs and conventional armor. My guess is the military forces listed there are the biddable forces they use for direct invasion, and not the support that they use to administer worlds.˛** The forces required for garrisons in TabletopGame/BattleTech are vanishingly small. In 3020, a backwater world of only a million or less inhabitants was considered fully garrisoned by a company of 12 mechs. Even in the 3050s, a Full Regimental Combat team was considered enough to garrison a major world...consisting of 104 mechs, 210 tanks, and about 2000 infantrymen.˛* Forgive me if this question is explained somewhere in the TabletopGame/BattleTech 'verse, since my familiarity with the setting begins and ends with ''VideoGame/MechWarrior 2'', but how do [=MechWarriors=] deal with motion sickness? (This question applies to any setting with [[WalkingTank Walking Tanks]], really)˛** Probably through training and just getting used to it; not everyone in real life suffers from motion sickness and it is possible to get over it. Even the most rudimentary Mechwarrior training programs last about 2 years, if you can't get over it by than you will probably have to wash out or switch your branch of service. According to Wiki/TheOtherWiki motion sickness is triggered by the ears telling the brain one thing (you are moving) and your eyes tell it another (you are not moving). You get sick because the brain assumes that one of them is hallucinating and vomiting gets induced to remove any toxins that might be affecting your sensory organs. Now keep in mind that Mechwarriors have to have (at least) above average motor control and reflexes (making it easier to compensate for the fact that they can't "see" the Mech walking) and that they use neurohelmets to do all fine motor skills like walking. Between all these things it probably isn't that much of a problem.˛** A later book explains that potential Mechwarriors, at least in academic settings, are given what is known as the 'tin cap test,' a basic neurohelmet hooked up to a scale model 'Mech. People who can compensate for the drastic difference in perception versus sensation are basically unaffected by the test. Those who ''can't'' tend to vomit violently due to a combination of nausea and neuro-feedback. A fairly safe if rather disgusting way to weed out anyone who doesn't have the biological buffers necessary to pilot a 'Mech without becoming motion-sick.˛* ''VideoGame/MechWarrior 2'' depicts energy weapons as bolts. ''VideoGame/MechWarrior3'' and beyond depict them as continuous beams of light. Which is canon?˛** For lasers, continuous beams (though they last very, very briefly for safety reasons). [=PPCs=] fire what looks like lightning; one model deviates slightly by firing what appears to be "ball lightning", though there is no difference ascribed to this function over or under other examples of PPC. In general, ''[=MechWarrior=] 3'' is considered to have the closest look to what's described in the books.˛* Why hasn't the Inner Sphere expanded in the centuries since the Exodus? It's not like the constant warfare decimated civilian populations, what with the Ares Conventions and all, and the Word of Blake Jihad only happened towards the end of the current timeline. In fact, the House Davion sourcebook even hints that the growing population of the Inner Sphere may necessitate expansion in the future (the book was written during the Succession Wars). What happened to that?˛** The Ares Conventions (which had in fact been suspended when the Star League was founded) were completely ignored during the first two Succession Wars (the two most savage conflicts in the game's timeline, a form of limited warfare based on the Conventions only came into play during the Third War) and one major loss was Jumpship production, in addition to the huge losses of existing vessels. The few factories that were left could only produce a dozen or so on a yearly basis at best and spare parts were rare; large scale colonizations of unknown territory would require a logistical capacity that had been destroyed. Plus the Successor States were focused on their neighbors from the Fall of the Star League until the Clan Invasion; they couldn't spare the funds, troops, and ships to establish new worlds because that would leave their borders undefended. Finally they would either have to choose to control these colonies very indirectly or make huge concessions to [=ComStar=] to set up Hyperpulse Generators so they can actually speak with the frontier. While colonization may have been possible after the discovery of the Helm Memory Core (probably what the House sourcebook was alluding to) and a ton of Lostech; the Clan Invasion, the [=FedCom=] Civil War and the Jihad (which all pretty much happened back to back to back) all provided a significant distraction.˛** The Inner Sphere is also mostly surrounded by the Periphery States, who are more trouble than they're worth to conquer and use for expansion. Plus, in many cases it's not worth it to colonize an entire new planet - with as heavily as the franchise relies on {{Planetville}} and LandOfOneCity, overcrowding often isn't a problem considering that the Capellan Confederation, the smallest of the Successor States, controls over two hundred systems (most of which have at least one habitable planet in them). The early Succession Wars killed billions with the unrestrained use of nukes and destruction of terraforming equipment, and Lostech kept them from expanding into less-habitable worlds.˛* Clansmen shun the use of contractions, yet they are perfectly fine with combining words in other ways, such as quiaff (Query Affirmative) and quineg (Query Negative), even batchall (battle challenge). Is this a DoubleStandard?˛** No, the Clans just hate apostrophes. ˛** And speaking of which, the Clan pilot in the ''VideoGame/{{MechWarrior}} 2'' intro video uses contractions over and over and over again.˛** The games (Mechwarrior 2 in particular, 3 and 4 were generally better) had a tendency to be inconsistent regarding Clan speech. The explanation for why contractions are not allowed but combinations (and inventing entirely new words, usually borrowed from Russian) are fine is that the former demonstrates laziness while the latter was done to fill gaps in the English language. I believe that quiaff/quineg were brought in to remove any ambiguity from their speech or at least that's what the sourcebooks said.˛* What's with the inconsistency in the size of 'Mech to cockpit ratios? The 75 ton ''Timber Wolf'' has a cockpit that looks like it fills most of the center torso, while the 50 ton ''Hunchback'' has a cockpit that looks relatively small compared to the rest of the 'Mech, meaning the lighter ''Hunchback'' appears to be ''larger'' than the ''Timber Wolf''. And that's just one example. Compare this ''[[ Commando]]'' with this ''[[ Catapult]]''. The ''Catapult'' should be larger, but the ''Commando'''s cockpit takes up less space than the ''Catapult'', indicating that the ''Commando'' should be larger. I'm sure there are other examples, but these two are the only ones that I can think of right now.˛** Honestly? at least back in the [=FASA=] days the answer is totally SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale, literally. They hadn't really thought through actual relativistic scales for the various mechs, as the minis were intended to be tokens or pawns on the board as opposed to actual [=WYSIWYG=] miniatures. And so a ''[=BattleMaster=]'' looks to have a roomy cockpit with a reasonable view, while an ''Atlas'' has tiny little eye windows that a [=MechWarrior=] would have no hope of relying on for combat.˛* Why can't vehicles use double heat sinks? Is there an in-universe explanation for this that can handwave Game Balance Issues?˛** It mostly ''is'' a game balance issue. Since fusion engines always come with ten free heat sinks regardless of type, any fusion-powered combat vehicle with double heat sink technology would have a free dissipation of twenty heat points per turn right off the bat -- and it still would only need to track heat for its ''energy'' weapons, so unlike for 'Mechs any missile or ballistic systems it also carried wouldn't even have to come out of that. Definitely edging into GameBreaker territory there. As for in-universe reasons, well, the ''[=TechManual=]'' vaguely blames their "increased bulk and other factors" for making them unsuitable for vehicular use...˛* Why does so much material from novels to games feature fusion reactors blowing up? The source material has made it clear again and again that a breached reactor ''shuts down'' - not as a failsafe, but because the reaction can no longer be sustained. If writers want StuffBlowingUp they can get the same dramatic effect from ammo explosions, which ARE an established danger in the source material and game rules.˛** purely rule of cool for the cases of fusion reactors going off like that in the novels and while standard rules do indeed don't have reactors going off like bombs their exists optional rules to have them. ˛*** This is known as Stackpoling, after Michael Stackpole, the author who loves make mechs go boom.˛* Okay, my last contact with TabletopGame/BattleTech was before they shut down [=WizKids=], so please explain one thing. WHY DID DEVLIN STONE SABOTAGE THE SAME REPUBLIC HE'D INVENTED?!˛** In-universe who knows... Out of Universe because you can't have peace in a *war*game.˛* [=ComStar=]. So Blake founded [=ComStar=] to preserve humanity's progress since the creation of the Star League, Toyama takes over, and suddenly you have what is basically the Medieval Catholic Church in space. So, how much of [=ComStar=] was a maskirovka? Did the people at the top understand that they were just putting on a show or did all of [=ComStar=] after Toyama really think there was some kind of mystic element to their actions? Did the entire Inner Sphere nobility understand it was all an act and just decided to go along with it? And the Word of Blake, were they true believers in some kind of religious dogma or did they just fear losing their base of power?˛** At first they generally knew it was all a show. The issue was later that eventually the people at the top started dying, retiring, what have you, and needed to be replaced. [=ComStar=] was forcibly pouring the kool-aid down the throats, and ROM was purging any heresy, and a lot of the lower ranks were true believers. When they were promoted they still believed. We don't really know how many 'generations' of leadership it took but pretty quickly they were all fervent believers.˛** At first, the rulers of the Inner Sphere were too busy beating each other senseless to care. After the Free Worlds League got interdicted due to blowing up a [=ComStar=] facility after finding out that the Captain-General's sister, a [=ComStar=] acolyte, was being used as a spy and was feeding the FWL bad info that put them on the back foot of a four way war, people realized that [=ComStar=] pretty much had their collective genitals in a vise if you didn't like their politics. It wasn't until 3052, when the Draconis Combine was able to get a mole into the First Circle, and Myndo Waterly got too big for her britches and developed an 'externally induced cerebral hemorrhage' that the whole religious thing started to wear off.˛** This is basically how normally-secular organizations radicalize. Most such organizations start as seemingly sane and secular agencies until the next generation come sin and begins changing them. depending on how... driven the next generation is, they can begin enacting changes that break from the original vision. Over time, you see an ideological drift, especially as the lower ranks are promoted up, because often those who most fervently believe in something will also be the ones most driven to excel at promoting that thing, which feeds into their suitability to be promoted.˛** A story at the beginning of the 2nd Succession War sourcebook actually explains what Blake and Toyama were really up to. [[spoiler: The religion idea was actually Blake's to begin with, believing that, using Earth's history, religions were often the largest repositories of knowledge, and that a religious mind would be the perfect framework to protect and sustain that knowledge. [[GoneHorriblyRight He probably should have thought of the damage fanaticism could do as well...]]]]˛* Here's one for the 2018 game; you start out puttering around in a ''Leopard'' dropship that carries six mechs, but you eventually upgrade to the ''[[ Argo]]''; a CoolStarship [[StarshipLuxurious Luxurious]] with onboard bays for eighteen mechs. The thing is, a key feature of the ''Argo'' is prototype Lostech that permits the dropship to "daisy chain"; link up with ''other'' dropships so a Jumpship can take the whole shebang through FTL in one swoop. How the heck do the mechs get from the ''Argo's'' mech bays to the ''Leopard's?'' Do dropships regularly link collars and transfer mechs between them?˛** Yes. The daisy-chain system includes a way to transfer mechs.˛* Lostech. All right, Operation Holy Shroud eliminated a lot of scientists and engineers, the Succession Wars killed billions and destroyed factories and research facilities. [[NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup And nobody ever backed up their work?]] Suspension of disbelief is one thing, but on hundreds of planets across the Inner Sphere, ''nobody'' saved a backup copy of any advanced technology until the Grey Death Legion found the Helm Memory Core?˛** Lostech wasn't rendered Lostech in one fell swoop. It was a gradual grind through the First and Second Succession Wars, during which not only research facilities, but factories and repair stations where obliterated to deny them as assets to the enemy, or to attempt to cripple the enemy's ability to make war. Lostech, more or less, comes in two forms: what most people think of is "We know this thing exists but have no idea how it works," which is actually the minority of Lostech in ''[=BattleTech=]''; and the more common "we understand what this does and how it works, we just don't have the ability to build it anymore." You can't just build a Gauss Rifle in your garage, it requires a specialized factory to produce it to tolerances sufficient for use in [=BattleMech=] combat, and that factory requires specific equipment to function and specific supplies to keep functioning, that equipment and those supplies require other specialized equipment and supplies to be made to usable standard, and so on. The systems that survived to see use in the Succession Wars era were the ones that were easy to reproduce and didn't require a lot in the way of specialized components in manufacture, maintenance, or infrastructure to support their manufacture and maintenance. Backups were kept (the [=UrbanMech=], for instance, wouldn't exist if not for backups of everything that went into making it, picked up by other manufacturers when the company who made it got bombed into oblivion) but for a lot of things, the primary factories and research facilities making those advanced pieces were destroyed, then the backups were destroyed, then all existing examples were destroyed while trying to destroy something else.


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