Author Topic: Quality control in the Successor States  (Read 519 times)

Hominid Mk II

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Quality control in the Successor States
« on: 08 August 2017, 10:58:34 »
TRO: 3050 (First Edition) mentioned in passing that the recovered 2750 era tech then being put back into mass production for the the first time in three centuries didn't quite meet the manufacturing quality control standards of the long-gone Terran Hegemony.

Roughly when might this have been remedied? If ever?
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Re: Quality control in the Successor States
« Reply #1 on: 08 August 2017, 11:27:41 »
I would think that time and repetition would smooth things out. It's hard to put an exact figure on how long, it probably varied wildly depending on the factory, the weapon, etc., but figure by, maybe, 3055 you'd probably have things down to a routine, worked out bugs in the systems, etc.- after all, production was ramped up as much as possible to meet the Clan threat, so you've had plenty of practice!

Note too that in situations like the Streak missile system, you wouldn't start researching how to build a four or six pack if the Streak SRM-2 still isn't coming out right, so by the late 3050s at the most I'd think things are smoothed out- and even that would be a surprisingly long time.
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skiltao

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Re: Quality control in the Successor States
« Reply #2 on: 11 August 2017, 21:10:06 »
It depends on what level of technology and what level of infrastructure was required. If the manufacturing standards hinge on tools which can't feasibly exist without Sphere-wide integrated economies, then you won't see those standards matched until the Inner Sphere increases its number of JumpShips twenty-fold.

It also depends on how useful the Hegemony's exacting standards are in the short term. The Clan Front was a meat grinder, and if the high standards just mean that an undamaged 'Mech would survive in operable condition for two hundred years instead of one hundred, then the Inner Sphere has no real incentive to match it.
« Last Edit: 11 August 2017, 21:13:33 by skiltao »
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Doom

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Re: Quality control in the Successor States
« Reply #3 on: 11 August 2017, 21:24:32 »
I think the issue was related to the Clan invasion. Because they couldn't ease the various weapons, devices, structures, and armors back into production along a planned schedule that would allow ironing out any issues that arose, problems occurred and were not remedied. This is because they couldn't take the time to stop production to eliminate a flaw due to the need to send everything in any condition to stop the Clan advance. I'd say this is why so many of the Inner Sphere 'Mechs in the original TRO 3050 were such bad variants. There simply wasn't an opportunity to put something superior into the field, so they settled for crap. Because weight of numbers was the only thing that could slow the Clans. Ironing out the flaws wouldn't close the technological gap with the invaders, so they went with what they had.

YingJanshi

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Re: Quality control in the Successor States
« Reply #4 on: 11 August 2017, 21:34:09 »
One thing to remember is that the return of SL era tech has been retconned somewhat since the first edition of TRO: 3050 came out.

Basically they eased back on the timeline of when the tech became fully introduced. If you look at the Alternate Eras part of Interstellar Ops you can see that during the 3030s most of the Houses were working with prototype versions of the SL era stuff (basically everything is being handbuilt) and by the 3040s they had full capability of making production grade SL tech. Whereas with the 1st Ed. TRO: 3050 it was basically only available right at 3050s (maybe late 3040s).

But other than that...basically what everyone else has already said.

One thing to note I've just thought of: I've never looked at the MUL to see when the various upgraded and refits were introduced. I would imagine most of them would have an introduction date in the 3040s.

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skiltao

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Re: Quality control in the Successor States
« Reply #5 on: 11 August 2017, 21:43:48 »
Because they couldn't ease the various weapons, devices, structures, and armors back into production along a planned schedule that would allow ironing out any issues that arose, problems occurred and were not remedied. This is because they couldn't take the time to stop production to eliminate a flaw due to the need to send everything in any condition to stop the Clan advance. I'd say this is why so many of the Inner Sphere 'Mechs in the original TRO 3050 were such bad variants.

I certainly can't disagree with that last sentence! Ironically, though, I think TR:3050 actually praises the weapons configurations in the same paragraph it criticizes the quality of the individual components. :)  So the quality thing may be a separate issue.
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Doom

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Re: Quality control in the Successor States
« Reply #6 on: 11 August 2017, 22:05:57 »
I certainly can't disagree with that last sentence! Ironically, though, I think TR:3050 actually praises the weapons configurations in the same paragraph it criticizes the quality of the individual components. :)  So the quality thing may be a separate issue.

Well, let's also remember that the in-universe authors of that TRO wanted the Successor States to fall, so the praise for those variants is suspect at best...

marauder648

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Re: Quality control in the Successor States
« Reply #7 on: 12 August 2017, 07:43:25 »
Also there's QuikCell, who seem to be Space Ikea who've branched out into selling tanks, their stuff is suppose to be REALLY basic with quality control being a vague notion of an idea rather than a rule.
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dragonkid11

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Re: Quality control in the Successor States
« Reply #8 on: 12 August 2017, 09:16:23 »
I still really don't get what took the Successor States so long to implement ex-lostech into their armies when they have full production capability in 3040.

It feels like they couldn't even put those new fancy tech into their elite regiment or so.
« Last Edit: 12 August 2017, 09:32:02 by dragonkid11 »
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marauder648

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Re: Quality control in the Successor States
« Reply #9 on: 12 August 2017, 09:49:22 »
I still really don't get what took the Successor States so long to implement ex-lostech into their armies when they have full production capability in 3040.

It feels like they couldn't even put those new fancy tech into their elite regiment or so.

Training the people how to make the equipment used to make the weapons,
Testing that the systems work.
Making the factories to produce them
Training the staff who work in the factories
Mining/refining materials
Shipping in materials
production
shipping them out

I can see why it would take so long, especially considering the big losses amongst the IS's scientific and research communitiy.
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Re: Quality control in the Successor States
« Reply #10 on: 12 August 2017, 15:27:54 »
I still really don't get what took the Successor States so long to implement ex-lostech into their armies when they have full production capability in 3040.

that might actually be what the quality control issue caused.. they did have mass production at the time. but it took them 10 years to work out the bugs in production so they weren't having to junk 2/3rds of the items built for QC issues.

Liam's Ghost

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Re: Quality control in the Successor States
« Reply #11 on: 12 August 2017, 18:26:15 »
I still really don't get what took the Successor States so long to implement ex-lostech into their armies when they have full production capability in 3040.

It feels like they couldn't even put those new fancy tech into their elite regiment or so.

Some of that seems to be the result of different folks at fasa not talking to each other. We had people writing the original TRO 3050 saying that mechs like the upgraded Jagermech and Victor were far enough along in their development that the Combine was able to capture useable plans in 3039. Then we had Michael Stackpole's novels apparently sticking the heir to the Federated Commonwealth into an ordinary, non-upgraded victor.

It's only relatively recently that we've had the writers trying to straighten things out and create a consistent feel. This clarified timeline has production level examples of lostech appearing as early as 3042 (the BJ-3 Blackjack and the standard version of the Hatamoto series). Really fancy mechs using multiple pieces of new technology start showing up in  the late 3040s. If any writer revisits the era, I imagine we'll find out Victor was even using an upgraded Victor, just customized with a heavy autocannon instead of the gauss rifle.

So they were out there. It was just a gradual process. It's no small feat to completely refit one's entire army.
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skiltao

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Re: Quality control in the Successor States
« Reply #12 on: 12 August 2017, 21:25:24 »
We had people writing the original TRO 3050 saying that mechs like the upgraded Jagermech and Victor were far enough along in their development that the Combine was able to capture useable plans in 3039. Then we had Michael Stackpole's novels apparently sticking the heir to the Federated Commonwealth into an ordinary, non-upgraded victor.

The existence (and loss) of preliminary blueprints of a non-production prototype in 3039 does not in any way suggest that field grade equipment would be expected to be available, even to the heir of the Federated Commonwealth, by 3050.
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Liam's Ghost

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Re: Quality control in the Successor States
« Reply #13 on: 12 August 2017, 21:27:25 »
The existence (and loss) of preliminary blueprints of a non-production prototype in 3039 does not in any way suggest that field grade equipment would be expected to be available, even to the heir of the Federated Commonwealth, by 3050.

The other references to advanced technology mechs already being in service in the same TRO on the other hand... :P The Victor's situation was hardly unique.
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skiltao

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Re: Quality control in the Successor States
« Reply #14 on: 12 August 2017, 21:35:44 »
The other references to advanced technology mechs already being in service in the same TRO on the other hand... :P The Victor's situation was hardly unique.

If you want to go through them one by one, I can. They are all non-issues.
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Re: Quality control in the Successor States
« Reply #15 on: 12 August 2017, 21:41:11 »
If you want to go through them one by one, I can. They are all non-issues.

We have an entire master unit list that indicates when these mechs reached production. The Victor was 3049. Several advanced designs were earlier.

I hardly see how a canon statement of when a mech became available isn't a sign of when a mech was available.
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skiltao

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Re: Quality control in the Successor States
« Reply #16 on: 12 August 2017, 21:46:01 »
You were talking about references within the original TRO*. If you want to claim that later sources and authors (in this case the MUL) disrupt whatever consistency the original TRO had, then yes, of course I will concede that.

*Edit: and Stackpole's trilogy, but that doesn't change the point.
« Last Edit: 12 August 2017, 21:51:36 by skiltao »
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Liam's Ghost

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Re: Quality control in the Successor States
« Reply #17 on: 12 August 2017, 21:55:42 »
You were talking about references within the original TRO. If you want to claim that later sources and authors (in this case the MUL) disrupt whatever consistency the original TRO had, then yes, of course I will concede that.

Except the later sources don't actually change any of these references. The original TRO (sparse though it is on individual entries) treats these mechs as having already been in production. In the victor's case, the text even goes so far as to mention that the Victor was a priority to upgrade because of Prince Victor (since childhood he apparently considered himself destined to pilot a victor), but the Combine captured the plans (during the war of 3039) and put the mech into production, forcing the Federated Suns to set up production in the St Ives compact. All of this has been presented as having already happened in a book that treats fedcom attack on Twycross (september 3050) as the most recent event.

The only thing that can be considered a definite retcon between the original 3050 book and the current 3050 upgrade is the lore surrounding the upgraded Jagermechs in combine service. In the original book, they were being built from plans captured during the war of 3039, in the upgrade the combine didn't get those plans until the clan war began.
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skiltao

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Re: Quality control in the Successor States
« Reply #18 on: 12 August 2017, 22:18:44 »
The original TRO (sparse though it is on individual entries) treats these mechs as having already been in production.

Page 45: "Though still existing in relatively small numbers, improved 'Mech designs are emerging from factories throughout the Successor States," "These 'Mechs were not available to meet the initial Clan invasion, but that offensive has provided a powerful prod for the Successor States to keep their modernization plans in high gear."

Individual entries also talk about production, generally on the order of months. Never years.

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In the victor's case, the text even goes so far as to mention that the Victor was a priority to upgrade because of Prince Victor

The text does not say nor even imply that. You're conflating several separate and unrelated statements. Edit: I can see why you might think that's implied, but that's all just building up to the "irony" statement at the end. The emphasis on increased production, for instance, goes all the way back to the House Davion sourcebook and maybe (IIRC) the NAIS 4th Succession War atlases. /Edit

Next Day Edit: Twenty Year Update (page 17), not the NAIS Atlases. /Next Day Edit

Quote
(since childhood he apparently considered himself destined to pilot a victor), but the Combine captured the plans (during the war of 3039) and put the mech into production, forcing the Federated Suns to set up production in the St Ives compact. All of this has been presented as having already happened in a book that treats fedcom attack on Twycross (september 3050) as the most recent event.

We've already addressed this.

Quote
The only thing that can be considered a definite retcon between the original 3050 book and the current 3050 upgrade is the lore surrounding the upgraded Jagermechs in combine service. In the original book, they were being built from plans captured during the war of 3039, in the upgrade the combine didn't get those plans until the clan war began.

I disagree, but how many retcons there are is irrelevant. The only point I'm addressing right now is whether or not the production timeline as presented in TR:3050, the Blood of Kerensky Trilogy, and other contemporary books (like Twenty Year Update) is coherent and consistent with itself.
« Last Edit: 13 August 2017, 12:22:46 by skiltao »
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