With a lever big enough I can move the world

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4 months 1 week ago #68205 by DanZilla
DanZilla replied the topic: With a lever big enough I can move the world

Anne wrote: I enjoyed the story, though it has been long enough that a link to chapter one might be in order.


Here are links to the first two parts... MageOhki also revised them a little since first posting.

With a lever big enough I can move the world (Chapter 1)

With a lever big enough I can move the world (Chapter 2)
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4 months 1 week ago #68206 by Anne
Anne replied the topic: With a lever big enough I can move the world
Thank you ever so much!

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3 months 4 weeks ago #68291 by DanZilla
DanZilla replied the topic: With a lever big enough I can move the world
With a lever big enough I can move the world (Part 4) is now available for your reading pleasure...

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3 months 3 weeks ago #68294 by Kristin Darken
Kristin Darken replied the topic: With a lever big enough I can move the world

Anne wrote: I enjoyed the story, though it has been long enough that a link to chapter one might be in order.


It shouldn't be difficult to find anything in the Library, while there are a lot of different sub-categories.. they are pretty self-explanatory - either universe specific or by genre for anything that isn't otherwise separated out. Getting to the Library is as simple as taking the

Main Menu option "Read Stories"
Sidebar (Left) Menu "Library"

These Battletech stories are four (of the most recent) entries of 11 in the "Unique Sci-Fi" section.

Fate guard you and grant you a Light to brighten your Way.

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3 months 3 weeks ago #68303 by Schol-R-LEA
Schol-R-LEA replied the topic: With a lever big enough I can move the world
Oddly enough, despite being a long time player of CBT, MW RPG, the older MW and MC games (I haven't played anything newer than 2011 so far, but I mean to change that) and fan of the books, I am only just now reading this series, which I had completely missed up until now.

Out, damnéd Spot! Bad Doggy!

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3 months 3 weeks ago - 3 months 3 weeks ago #68307 by Schol-R-LEA
Schol-R-LEA replied the topic: With a lever big enough I can move the world
Reading a bit more, I would have to add that I have always been of the opinion that the primacy of BattleMechs is best explained sociologically, since they are a close analogue to knights - whose station in life dictated their tactics as much as the reverse did.

In both cases, you have a society which cannot afford - or at least, rarely tries to employ - mass maneuver beyond the size of a battalion or at most a regiment[1]; where travel times are long and going any real distance prohibitively expensive for anyone who isn't wealthy and/or privileged; the social structure is feudal and decentralized, with local governments have a large amount of autonomy from the larger states they nominally belong to, with both loyalty and military service being personally pledged to lieges by vassal; significant amounts of piracy and brigandage on the periphery (or the Periphery, if you will, though there's plenty of it going on in the Inner Sphere, too) and mercenaries are often the ones who are the best positioned both to do the fighting, and to travel freely from place to place.

While such a situation could also evolve along the city-state or empire routes, the specific technology - and perhaps just as crucially, the existence of ComStar, meaning that communication over interstellar distances was relatively fast compared to travel, but usually limited to the equivalent of telegrams due to cost - would have encouraged feudalism instead.

In such societies, there would invariably be a greater emphasis on individual combat and small unit tactics, rather than the mass tactics of, say, phalanges, legions, pike or musket squares, or rifle platoons (while mounted knights in a larger battle would be formed up for mass charges, more complex equestrian maneuver would have required a lot more training as a unit than you could expect from an army whose composition would ebb and flow as obligatory service periods end for different knights at different times). Even when fighting in groups, a knight's training would predispose them to fighting as individuals, or as small teams, and the same is true for Mechwarriors.

There's also the fact that, even with hundreds of inhabited worlds, there was very little in the way of mass industry, and what there was invariably got wrecked again once the next round of fighting began. Similarly, even with the Ares Convention prohibiting attacks on JumpShips, trade was mostly limited to specialty goods, with most manufactured products serving local (or at least, in-system) needs. One part of the world lore which makes some sense in this regard is that you could often salvage part of a mech, whereas tanks were often total write-offs, meaning that a mech could be maintained and passed down the generations in a way other vehicles couldn't.

It is notable that, just as this was being to change, lore-wise, with the growing amount of restored lostech and the growing importance of ground troops again during and after the Fourth Succession War, FASA introduced the Clans, whose society was all about single combat. This was a deliberate move to re-rail the series once they realized the implications of what Hanse Davion was doing (the fact that it gave them an excuse to introduce entirely novel mech designs which could replace the Unseen didn't hurt, either).

So, the supremacy of the BattleMech was mainly because it fit with the needs and ideals of the society, IMO.

1) Most medieval 'armies' had less than 10,000 under arms, often with fewer than 500 mounted knights of rank, perhaps a couple of thousand dismounted knights from the lower nobility or trained common men-at-arms, maybe another thousand mercenaries - who were often specialists such as the Genoan crossbowmen at Crecy, or the ubiquitous Swiss pike units towards the end of the period - and the rest being whatever levies the nearest allied lord could raise, with these often outnumbering the rest by a significant factor but rarely having much actual value in the battle itself. Even bigger battles, such as Crecy, rarely involved more than 30,000 on both sides. Note that in BattleTech scenarios involving larger actions, there's sometimes a lore-related handwave that, "oh, both sides had deployed infantry and tanks, but they always scatter once some BattleMechs reach the field", with the underlying assumption that the battle may be bigger than what you are playing, but the sector you're taking part of is the point which matters.

Out, damnéd Spot! Bad Doggy!
Last Edit: 3 months 3 weeks ago by Schol-R-LEA.

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3 months 1 week ago #68451 by DanZilla
DanZilla replied the topic: With a lever big enough I can move the world
With a lever big enough I can move the world (Part 5) is now available...
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2 months 3 weeks ago #68641 by null0trooper
null0trooper replied the topic: With a lever big enough I can move the world
On a roll!

With a lever big enough I can move the world, Part 6

With a lever big enough I can move the world, Part 7

Forum-posted ideas are freely adoptable.

WhatIF Stories: Dream A Little Dream For Me

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2 months 3 weeks ago - 2 months 2 weeks ago #68644 by Court
Court replied the topic: With a lever big enough I can move the world
“The more you use…”

The less you lose.”

This principle, or rather the Clan's complete lack of understanding of this principle, is why I stopped reading the Battletech books. The books were so clearly designed to create approximately even battles for people to have fun pushing miniatures across a table and rolling lots of dice, that it severely detracted from their quality as books.

(Not that there is anything wrong with rolling lots of dice. I have played plenty of games that involved rolling lots of dice.)
Last Edit: 2 months 2 weeks ago by Court.

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2 months 3 weeks ago - 2 months 2 weeks ago #68651 by Schol-R-LEA
Schol-R-LEA replied the topic: With a lever big enough I can move the world
I keep getting distracted by other things, and so I'm still only on part 2 so far.

TL;DR: And now, I take this thread as an excuse to reminisce about my old game runs. Please laugh along with me, or maybe at me, your call.

I am tempted to ask if you'd be willing to cameo one of my Merc commander characters (either Israel Brahmaputna Kintaro, Petra Mythandros, or Gavin Bullock). Because every writer loves it when fans try to get their self-inserts included into canon ;-)

However, even setting aside the sheer gall of asking this (even as a joke), it is hard to see how they would fit into it. If I recall the timeline of my old game right, Rae would still be in his first or second year at An Ting University (which wouldn't be shuttered until later that year); he would fight in the Fourth Succession War, but would be set up to take the fall for a superior officer's mistakes. He survived by fleeing to the newly-stablished FedCom, and was running Kentaro's Razors by around 3031.

Trying to figure out how to fit a minor Canopan noble into this would be a strain, even if I could actually recall where in the timeline she would have been (the series of runs I made the Mythic Heroes Legion for never got off the ground).

Gav would be a teenager at this point (the campaign involving Saint's Bricks was set during the War of 3039), but of all of them, he'd be the one you'd be most likely to run into - he's from Castor (though his family still make a thing about being New Dallasites, generations after that world was abandoned), where he's milking cows, sneaking his dad's cigars out behind the school gym, and counting the days until he's old enough to enlist in the FWLM.

Now I am trying to picture what Sgt Apone from Aliens (who was sort of my character model for Bullock, or at least one of them) would have been like as a teenager. Go figure.

Still, it would strain credulity if he just happened to be anywhere near the wreck of the SLS Nelson, assuming that it even occurred to Kiki to go looking for it and she thought she could slip it out from under Julian Tiepolo's nose (which might be enough of a scandal to put a more competent Primus at the helm to act as a speed bump for Myndo Waterly's ambitions later on down the road). It would be fun, though.

And yes, we did put rather more role-playing into our runs than is usual for a tabletop miniatures tactical game. While we weren't exactly playing the Mechwarrior TTRPG, we did try to give our unit commanders personalities and plausible motivations, and would even write out brief cribs about some of our unit's mid-level officers' personality quirks. We would sometimes roleplay out the tabletop miniatures equivalent of cutscenes, working out the decisions they would make about TOE, hiring and purchasing, choosing which missions to sign on for, and interacting with the principals and whatever local groups the units would encounter.

And none of this is even counting the 'Action Hero All-Stars' pick-up runs my friend Sophianna set up, where all of the commanders and MechWarriors were named after - and based on - characters such as Snake Plissken, Jack Burton (I think there was a third Kurt Russell character around too), John McLain, Sara Connor, Jules Winnfield (who apparently went to seminary school after he left the mob, as he was the unit's chaplain as well as a MechWarrior), John Rambo, Hannibal Smith, Rooster Cogburn, Lara Croft, and Harry Callahan, with the medics being Dr. Pierce and Dr. Quinn. That was a lot of silly fun.

Out, damnéd Spot! Bad Doggy!
Last Edit: 2 months 2 weeks ago by Schol-R-LEA.

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