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Author Topic: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion  (Read 74301 times)

Precentor Martial

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The following thread is for discussion of the Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force PDF. You can ask questions of why rules were done in a certain way, a wish list of additions and so on.

Please note, this is NOT a thread for specific errata. Use the "Errata" thread for that work.

« Last Edit: 26 November 2012, 16:39:45 by Precentor Martial »

wantec

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Just starting into it, but on the Budget Modification table (pg 4), might it be handy to add a second faction time table for the Clan Eras? Also, somewhere in the book, if not in this section specifically, I think it might be good to have a table with the beginning & ending dates for the major factions (or at least the ones listed on the Budget Modification table) so that a newer player doesn't attempt to make a St. Ives Compact force in 2750 or 3120.
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monbvol

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Also I noticed that Introvert was not included with the PC Traits.  This strikes me as a bit odd since it is the opposed trait of Gregarious and thus I would think it too would apply.

Aside from that it looks pretty straight forward so far.  I'll have to give it a more thorough look through later.

Mukaikubo

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Nitpick on Page 9:

"‘Mech(BattleMech, OmniMech,
IndustrialMech)
Fighter (Aerospace or Conventional)"

Seems like there should be two "or"s or none for consistency.



The amount of support personnel seems like it's been hugely increased from FM (Mercs) to now; why the change?


Page 15: "To calculate the influence
modifier, add together the trait points (see p. 107, A Time of War)
of each of the following positive or negative traits: Connections,
Gregarious, Rank, Property, Reputation, Wealth, and Enemy.
Add to that sum the leader’s skill ratings in Administration
and Negotiation. Divide the result by 10 and round up to the
nearest whole number. The final result is a multiplier applied to
the starting budget after era and faction multipliers."

Only being able to have "no increase", "double", "triple", etc. seems strange; why not be able to have it proceed in increments of 10%?

Darrian Wolffe

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Questions raised on the first read-through:

1) Re: Budget Modification Table, pg 4: Is the tag "Nondescript faction" supposed to refer to any faction that is not otherwise represented upon the table?

2) Re: Faction Availability & Cost Table, pg 5: Are cost multipliers cumulative?  For example, a Clan unit in a non-Clan force has a cost multiplier of x5.  If that Clan unit also has an XL engine (a x2.5 multiplier), is the total modifier x7.5, or something different?

3) Re: Stage 4 Operating Expenses - Salaries: This one has been bugging me in practically every product from the first Merc Handbook on out...how do you determine (outside of Spacecraft Crews which clearly delineate it) the minimum number of officers for a unit?  ATOW Rank Traits make it obvious if you've done an ATOW writeup for every member of your staff, but that's a little prohibitive even for BattleTech.  This isn't limited to just MechWarriors, by the by; Arnold's sample unit has 98 technical staff: are any of them considered "Officers"?  Finally, in the sample TO&E table given on page 14, Arnold's unit has no delineated commanding officer (traditionally, it'd be one of the MechWarriors...but none of the MechWarriors on the table have the appropriate salary for an "Officer": 1500CB x 1.2 = 1800CB).  Is the Unit CO not expected to draw Officer's Salary?

4) Force Random Background Table, pg 16: A Contract Breach is -25 Rep Points while an Atrocity is -15 and a War Crime is -10?  I can see the argument both ways but are we sure these are the correct values?  Atrocity @ -25, War Crime @ -20 and Contract Breach @ -15 seem to be more in line with how they are portrayed.



The amount of support personnel seems like it's been hugely increased from FM (Mercs) to now; why the change?

That been true since TW/TM came out.  Not a new issue, strictly speaking.  The numbers here are in line with current products.
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nckestrel

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Questions raised on the first read-through:

1) Re: Budget Modification Table, pg 4: Is the tag "Nondescript faction" supposed to refer to any faction that is not otherwise represented upon the table?

I was thinking it meant the force doesn't belong to a particular faction. 
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bronzite

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Although we might presume it to be zero, Base Reputation isn't stated anywhere, nor is there a field for it on the worksheet.

cray

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Hey, folks, here's an early heads up about these rules: they are only force creation rules. I wrote them side-by-side with force operation rules, which answers all the usual questions about contracts, missions, logistics, debt, etc.

If you have questions about contracts and missions, please hold them for the next chapter to be posted.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

**"A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything." --Wash, Firefly.
**"Well, the first class name [for pocket WarShips]: 'Ship with delusions of grandeur that is going to evaporate 3.1 seconds after coming into NPPC range' tended to cause morale problems...." --Korzon77
**"Describe the Clans." "Imagine an entire civilization built out of 80’s Ric Flairs, Hulk Hogans, & Macho Man Randy Savages ruling over an entire labor force with Einstein Level Intelligence." --Jake Mikolaitis


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.

cray

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The amount of support personnel seems like it's been hugely increased from FM (Mercs) to now; why the change?

Actually, I cut out the doctors and lawyers and such and turned most of them into techs or administrators to simplify matters.

Techs increased in number because StratOps, for whatever reason, specifies 7-man tech teams instead of ye olde 1-tech-per-'Mech.


Quote
Page 15: "To calculate the influence
modifier, add together the trait points (see p. 107, A Time of War)
of each of the following positive or negative traits: Connections,
Gregarious, Rank, Property, Reputation, Wealth, and Enemy.
Add to that sum the leader’s skill ratings in Administration
and Negotiation. Divide the result by 10 and round up to the
nearest whole number. The final result is a multiplier applied to
the starting budget after era and faction multipliers."

Only being able to have "no increase", "double", "triple", etc. seems strange; why not be able to have it proceed in increments of 10%?

Rounding seems popular in BT. However, I have no trouble removing rounding.

Just starting into it, but on the Budget Modification table (pg 4), might it be handy to add a second faction time table for the Clan Eras?

I could do that. If things go well with IntOps, the second half of the Budget Modification Table (which lists a bunch of factions) will be drastically shortened and there'll be room for Clan eras.

Quote
Also, somewhere in the book, if not in this section specifically, I think it might be good to have a table with the beginning & ending dates for the major factions (or at least the ones listed on the Budget Modification table) so that a newer player doesn't attempt to make a St. Ives Compact force in 2750 or 3120.

I THINK such a thing exists in IntOps. There are some monster any-era, all-factions discussions in the drafts that the force creation/operation rules were depending on.

Also I noticed that Introvert was not included with the PC Traits.  This strikes me as a bit odd since it is the opposed trait of Gregarious and thus I would think it too would apply.

Introvert didn't strike me as particularly crippling for budget determination, but I can add it.

Questions raised on the first read-through:

1) Re: Budget Modification Table, pg 4: Is the tag "Nondescript faction" supposed to refer to any faction that is not otherwise represented upon the table?

The factions listed in the table are just examples. Nondescript was sort of a placeholder for "any faction that doesn't stand out as especially wealthy."

Quote
2) Re: Faction Availability & Cost Table, pg 5: Are cost multipliers cumulative?  For example, a Clan unit in a non-Clan force has a cost multiplier of x5.  If that Clan unit also has an XL engine (a x2.5 multiplier), is the total modifier x7.5, or something different?

Ooo, good catch. What I usually did in the rules was apply multipliers in sequence: x2.5 and then x5, for x12.5. Would players prefer an additive method or sequential multiplication?

Quote
3) Re: Stage 4 Operating Expenses - Salaries: This one has been bugging me in practically every product from the first Merc Handbook on out...how do you determine (outside of Spacecraft Crews which clearly delineate it) the minimum number of officers for a unit?  ATOW Rank Traits make it obvious if you've done an ATOW writeup for every member of your staff, but that's a little prohibitive even for BattleTech.  This isn't limited to just MechWarriors, by the by; Arnold's sample unit has 98 technical staff: are any of them considered "Officers"?

Even better catch. I'll specify a certain fraction of officers in the rules and give some guidance on helping them stand out in the TO&E.

Quote
Finally, in the sample TO&E table given on page 14, Arnold's unit has no delineated commanding officer (traditionally, it'd be one of the MechWarriors...but none of the MechWarriors on the table have the appropriate salary for an "Officer": 1500CB x 1.2 = 1800CB).  Is the Unit CO not expected to draw Officer's Salary?

Bleh. While I'm responsible for this oversight, I blame you for making me rewrite all the budget example discussions now. :)

Quote
4) Force Random Background Table, pg 16: A Contract Breach is -25 Rep Points while an Atrocity is -15 and a War Crime is -10?

I was kind of carrying over values from prior Merc rules, which put Contract Breach at a very high penalty. However, I can fiddle with those.

Although we might presume it to be zero, Base Reputation isn't stated anywhere, nor is there a field for it on the worksheet.

Oops, yes. I'll make a 0 starting reputation explicit.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

**"A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything." --Wash, Firefly.
**"Well, the first class name [for pocket WarShips]: 'Ship with delusions of grandeur that is going to evaporate 3.1 seconds after coming into NPPC range' tended to cause morale problems...." --Korzon77
**"Describe the Clans." "Imagine an entire civilization built out of 80’s Ric Flairs, Hulk Hogans, & Macho Man Randy Savages ruling over an entire labor force with Einstein Level Intelligence." --Jake Mikolaitis


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.

monbvol

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Well Crippling may be the wrong word but since Gregarious applies it just seems fair if the opposing trait of Introvert should apply as well.

The only other trait that I can see applying that isn't on the list is Title.

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3) Re: Stage 4 Operating Expenses - Salaries: This one has been bugging me in practically every product from the first Merc Handbook on out...how do you determine (outside of Spacecraft Crews which clearly delineate it) the minimum number of officers for a unit?  ATOW Rank Traits make it obvious if you've done an ATOW writeup for every member of your staff, but that's a little prohibitive even for BattleTech.  This isn't limited to just MechWarriors, by the by; Arnold's sample unit has 98 technical staff: are any of them considered "Officers"?  Finally, in the sample TO&E table given on page 14, Arnold's unit has no delineated commanding officer (traditionally, it'd be one of the MechWarriors...but none of the MechWarriors on the table have the appropriate salary for an "Officer": 1500CB x 1.2 = 1800CB).  Is the Unit CO not expected to draw Officer's Salary?

The best I have found for this was in Battletech Field Manual Mercenaries Revised Page 33. It lists the ranks and where they are usually posted (ie Captain/Lieutenant(Admiralty, Support) They command battlemech, infantry or armor companies, or aerospace squadrons. So for a company of Mechs you would normally need a captain to command it and 2 Lieutenants or Sergeants to lead the other two lances). A Battalion would have 2 normal companies and the third would have a Major instead of a captain, Etc. You are correct none of the personnel in the example generated force have any officer pay. I think it would need a Captain for the Mech lance, a Lieutenant for the Armor Lance and one for the Platoon of Infantry. The Dropships as you stated already have their listed requirements(I can't remember where but I wouldn't mind someone reminding me, I made up my own but having the real thing is better). I would guess a Senior Technician is what a company has for its support but its an enlisted position and not an officer.

I couldn't figure out the enlisted scale for the Rank bonus really but here is my interpretation: Sergeant(equivalent of a Senior Technician) is Rank 6 so that gives him a 4x multiplier which is higher pay than a Lieutenant ie Regular Technician makes 800, a Lieutenant Regular Technician would make 1920 [800 x 1.2(officer) x 2(rank 2/2+1)] vs Sergeant Regular Technician makes 3200 [800 x 4(rank 6/2+1)]. Pretty sure I am doing something wrong in that equation so any insight would be appreciated. :)

The multipliers have been cumulative before so I would keep it cumulative to be consistent.

I would Love to see a Dropship/Jumpship update on which ones are common versus Rare, their costs both per mission and to purchase(even if you can't normally buy them a ballpark figure would be nice if you wanted to roleplay getting one somehow). (A nice handy chart instead of reading several paragraphs of it's description from the 3057 TRO or scanning through many sourcebooks to find various models). I'll even take a database somewhere to cross reference them. Also wondering why the prices went up? (lists the price of a Seeker as 100mil for the obsolete version and 115mil for the upgraded one. Going to do some more looking to see where this started and why)

Between missions for Mercenaries or other units and they want to recruit new meat or replace losses taken, they just have to spend money or is that covered in the next section?

Top of Page 10 you have "(5 ProtoMechs, 4 Battle Armors, 84 infantry)" I think this should be 5 Battle Armors as you the number in the unit divided by 5 in the rest of the examples underneath it, or a clarification for IS Battle Armor vs Clan for technician needs.

Like the new format and most of the changes! But you can't be happy all the time right?
Keep up the great work guys I appreciate it!

Mukaikubo

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Rounding seems popular in BT. However, I have no trouble removing rounding.

It's not so much that, as it is the wild lack-of-granularity. If I have a gregarious guy with literally no other qualifications at all, and he starts a mech unit, he gets... double the starting budget? I mean, there are protagonist bonuses and then there's that; it's just that the jump is way too high. My suggested fix would be to round to the nearest 10% (0.9, 1, 1.1, 1.2...) on up; gives much more of a 'sliding scale' for PC-as-commander bonuses.

Alright, next up is going to be using these rules to generate a few units, as a test drive...

Atlas3060

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The following will be a minor nitpick, but it still will be brought up someday.
Stage 3's introduction basically says "Oh go to step 4 to make this step easier", then why not switch the steps?
Never mind it says to review but not actually perform those steps. I'll use this post as a placeholder for another question if not deleted later.

Edit: New question!
How can a House unit go under in debt? They aren't mercs so technically aren't all costs owned by the House itself?
Is this why certain units went on raids more? How could they pay off any debts in peacetime if their leige doesn't sic them on the enemy forces across the border?
« Last Edit: 27 November 2012, 00:07:57 by Atlas3060 »
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Mukaikubo

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It's not so much that, as it is the wild lack-of-granularity. If I have a gregarious guy with literally no other qualifications at all, and he starts a mech unit, he gets... double the starting budget? I mean, there are protagonist bonuses and then there's that; it's just that the jump is way too high. My suggested fix would be to round to the nearest 10% (0.9, 1, 1.1, 1.2...) on up; gives much more of a 'sliding scale' for PC-as-commander bonuses.

Alright, next up is going to be using these rules to generate a few units, as a test drive...

And immediately I have a question!

I'm creating a 3057-3058 mercenary unit, but it applies to any era past the clan invasion I suppose. The availability bonus for first star league equipment is pretty steep, as is the cost penalty. Does this apply to post-Helm Core equipment that is the same as 1st Star League equipment? If not, should there really be no availability penalty at all for getting the first stuff off the asssembly line with, say, LB-10Xs in the early 3040s?

cray

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I'm creating a 3057-3058 mercenary unit, but it applies to any era past the clan invasion I suppose. The availability bonus for first star league equipment is pretty steep, as is the cost penalty. Does this apply to post-Helm Core equipment that is the same as 1st Star League equipment? If not, should there really be no availability penalty at all for getting the first stuff off the asssembly line with, say, LB-10Xs in the early 3040s?

Hmm. The item on the Equipment Availability and Cost Table, "First Star League Equipment for non-Clan force after 2860," actually referred to REAL 1st Star League hardware leftover from, well, the Star League.

However, it's probably better to change it to "First Star League Equipment for non-Clan force between 2860 and 3040," or "Tech E and F Equipment for non-Clan force between 2860 and 3040." Any other suggestions on clarifying it?

Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

**"A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything." --Wash, Firefly.
**"Well, the first class name [for pocket WarShips]: 'Ship with delusions of grandeur that is going to evaporate 3.1 seconds after coming into NPPC range' tended to cause morale problems...." --Korzon77
**"Describe the Clans." "Imagine an entire civilization built out of 80’s Ric Flairs, Hulk Hogans, & Macho Man Randy Savages ruling over an entire labor force with Einstein Level Intelligence." --Jake Mikolaitis


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.

DarthRads

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Stage 2 - Select Force Size (Page 3)

Quote
Note that large spacecraft (DropShips, space stations,
JumpShips and WarShips) are not directly purchased like other
forces due to their rarity and expense. Rather, they are handled in
Step 3 with random rolls
.

Page 6 - Step 2: ACQUIRE LARGE SPACECRAFT

Sorry to nitpick...

Armitage72

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Wow.
Negotiating for a high percentage of Straight Support in a contract just got a lot more important.

"We'll pay you 500,000 C-Bills a month; nearly five times your monthly salary."
"That's nice, but I spend almost 2.5 million every month just for ammo, fuel, and spare parts."

I didn't see food anywhere in the monthly expenses.  Is it included as part of the consumption of spare parts, or will it be part of a general overhead cost in the force operation rules, like in ATOW Companion?

cray

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Food is handled out of salaries. If troops want to eat, they get money to pay for it.

If you want to know the tonnage of food consumed, StratOps provides some guidelines for consumable tonnage.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

**"A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything." --Wash, Firefly.
**"Well, the first class name [for pocket WarShips]: 'Ship with delusions of grandeur that is going to evaporate 3.1 seconds after coming into NPPC range' tended to cause morale problems...." --Korzon77
**"Describe the Clans." "Imagine an entire civilization built out of 80’s Ric Flairs, Hulk Hogans, & Macho Man Randy Savages ruling over an entire labor force with Einstein Level Intelligence." --Jake Mikolaitis


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.

Scotty

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I notice a distinct lack of how to handle rank for non-PC personnel.  Is that deliberately left up to the discretion of the player, or an oversight?

EDIT: Also, as a general observation, getting jumpships and dropships on creation is ridiculously easy relative to how expensive the units are.  They're also hideously expensive relative to their availability, and I'm concerned that might be a hidden trap for less experienced or alert players.

I also notice that the truly random generation seems biased towards sizeable units.  I went into it with a simple "Pick a general idea, and follow the rolls" idea for a mercenary unit, and ended up with a 60 million c-bill budget that I barely used 75% of in getting together an entire combined arms battalion with a pair of dropships and a jumpship.  On the other hand, the operating costs of said unit per month would deplete roughly all of the leftover in about five months, at the very outside, so I suppose there's that.  It's just not very intuitive to save literally half of the starting funds for support and overhead, especially for new players.
« Last Edit: 27 November 2012, 01:39:52 by Scotty »
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Ooo, good catch. What I usually did in the rules was apply multipliers in sequence: x2.5 and then x5, for x12.5. Would players prefer an additive method or sequential multiplication?
Additive, the numbers could easily get out of control otherwise

Page 5, when (and how) does the First Star League modifier end for non-Clan factions (and does this modifier apply for Clan units possessed by non-Clan Forces)

Page 5, How do all the modifiers for having high tech gear interact? For example the modifier for a XL engine and Tech Rating E

Page 5, LAMs are not on the Example Unit Table, but given that they should be making a come back with this book they should be listed and I doubt that they are as easy to acquire or as cheap as an equivalent weight BattleMech

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First off the bat, Great Work!

One thing I did notice is that there are no doctors or medics listed. I recognise that you've simplified the requirements, but required or not, some units will have these. In StratOps one medical team is provided per dropship, for example. And what happens if the unit decides to get a MASH unit support vehicle? Might not be figured into contract payment, but they do need to get paid. Also, what about High level administrates and contract negotiators?

Love the work on expendables and routine maintenance costs and am tickled pink about the 1 ton per 10000 c-bill cost, as that what I used as a house rule. O0 About food being part of salary, how about letting us know what part? Most players of AToW are going to want to know their take home pay.

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Scotty

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Another random observation: the number of administrators seems a bit... very very high.  For infantry, I can understand, since the large number of bodies in an infantry platoon/company means you can handle most of the tech/admin support with people from the unit without very much fuss (much like real life), but for 'Mechs it starts to get silly quickly.

Take, for example, one company of BattleMechs of any kind.  Twelve 'MechWarriors, to start off, means two Admins.  Okay, that makes sense, and would probably be up to running a company or so as... call them "Intel" and "Supply" Admins, with the company CO making tactical and mission-planning decisions, and the XO handling recruitment and the like, and all four of them teaming up for contracts.  It's even technically possible to have the company come together and divvy up one of those admin slots among themselves while in combat, so you'd only technically need one Admin (probably filling the Intel slot) to make a company float.  This amount of admins makes sense for a small unit like this.

...That is, if your company consisted of 12 MechWarriors, 12 'Mechs, and exactly zero techs.  Twelve 'Mechs means 12 tech teams, each consisting of one tech and six astechs, for a total of seven additional personnel, and a total of eight personnel per 'Mech in service.  That's a total of 96 non-Admin personnel to run a company of 'Mechs, just by itself.  That many MechWarriors can handle, at best, one and a half admin/tech slots, or more realistically one admin/tech slot between them in combat situations, for a total of 95 personnel to run the company without running into problems.

That means that the company requires ten extra admins tacked onto the TO&E that do... what exactly?  I could buy (and get right behind) admins for Personnel, Intelligence, Operations, Logistics, Planning/Strategy, Communications, and Training (in case anybody was wondering, that's the seven "S"s used by the military), but that's still a grand total of seven admins, leaving at least three to twiddle their thumbs and get paid for doing little of consequence.  Not to mention that the company CO, XO, and all of the head techs would be performing their own administrative functions regardless of who actually holds the "admin" title, so the number of admins you'd actually need to have a fully functioning 'Mech company is closer to something like four or five than it is to ten.

My suggestions:
  • Instead of one admin per ten personnel of any kind, rounded up, have one admin per twenty personnel of any kind, rounded up.
  • Alternately, allow non-combatants like Techs and Astechs to fulfill administrative duties as well as combatants.  If anything they'd be more effective at it, but that's not really necessary to change.

Option 1 makes a 'Mech company with five admin that can fulfill the basics of Intel, Logistics, Communications, Training, and Personnel easily, of which exactly one admin slot may be taken care of by presumably the officers of the unit.

Option 2, using the 25% rule, allows up to 24 MechWarriors, Techs, and Astechs to take over some of the administrative duties, meaning that up to eight of the hypothetical ten slots could be filled by personnel already integral to the unit (seven of ten if the MechWarriors group up to take on one of the Astech jobs) in a combat situation, and there would actually be a surplus when in a non-combat situation.  This could make a lot of sense, as the last two or three admins would occupy the slots of Personnel, Operations, and Planning/Strategy with barely a hitch.  Or, perhaps, First Aid/Medical duties, with Operations and Planning/Strategy rolled into one.

Interestingly, this problem doesn't exist at all with conventional infantry; they've got enough personnel to handle the tech/admin duties from within the unit.  Conversely, vehicle and battle armor companies get slammed with this hard.  Assuming the average 12 vehicle company, and the vehicles average 50 tons, that's 48 vehicle crew (plus or minus four or so crew) and 84 Techs/Astechs, for a total of around 132 personnel.  With the vehicle crew all trying to help out with administrative duties, you'd still need, at minimum, another nine admins on top of the four the crews can take care of, and to do what?  The battle armor is perhaps the most amusing example.  A company of battle armor is (for the purposes of this example) 64 suits split into 4 platoons of 4 squads of 4 suits each.  They require 13 tech teams of seven personnel each to function at full technical support, for a total of 155 personnel.  Up to five admin/tech slots can be filled by the troopers themsevles, which leaves, at the minimum, 15 different admins attached to the unit (and that's if all five slots the troopers can fill without worry are tech slots!).  If the troopers save everything for the admin duties, that's still 11 different admins attached to the unit that I honestly can't find a use for after the first six or seven.

tl;dr Admins are weird and could probably use some tweaking.  My "official" recommendation with this post is for Option #2.

Of course, this is all assuming that the admins aren't tackling medical duties.  If they were doing that, then there wouldn't be such a huge disconnect with the number of admins needed.   But then, by not denoting doctors and medics... who exactly does that job?  Is it a random admin?  There would be a lot of my gripes answered if, instead of just slapping "admin" (seriously, that word really sticks sideways.  A surgeon/doctor shouldn't have a quartet of "administrators" helping him out on the operation table; they're orderlies and nurses) on it, one Doctor/Medic and four-man team were required per 50 personnel.  That's the same number of additional personnel, but they're clearly defined and not so... out of place.
« Last Edit: 27 November 2012, 03:58:39 by Scotty »
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SCC

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Just realized that there's a glaring omission from the current document: Omni-Mechs, no mention is made of a price or availability modifiers (if any) nor how much buying alternate load outs cost

Scotty, I think part of the problem is that the rules are over generous with tech personal, even for war-time. Using the StratOps maintenance rules let's say a 'Mech needs one round of preventative maintenance a week, if we say that one average 'Mechs work out to be medium weight that means a company needs 12 hours of maintenance a week, if you have one tech team working 40 hours a week (standard CIVILIAN work week) can do a whole companies maintenance and almost have time to replace 10 destroyed limbs, which I would call a force that needs that much maintenance at war, so I might want another team or two.

My advice, unless you are expecting REALLY heavy combat (once per day or more) you only want one tech team per lance, and that hedging your bets and allowing the unit to be broken up

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Cray, on page 10 I see a conversion factor for using combat personnel as techs.  Is there a conversion for using them (or admin or fully trained tech personnel) as astechs?  And is there any bonus for employing industrial exoskeletons?  There is (or was) one for shifting cargo, which seems to be a natural part of astech duties.

SCC

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Asking this here will probably get a quicker answer. Where do exceptionally heavy combat vehicles for the unit purchase prices here and maintenance is StratOps? I'm talking about things like 35-ton VTOLs and 300 Navel displacement hulls

Armitage72

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One thing I did notice is that there are no doctors or medics listed.


Another random observation: the number of administrators seems a bit... very very high...  Of course, this is all assuming that the admins aren't tackling medical duties.

Page 9 of the document.
"A force consists of more than frontline soldiers. It also requires administrators (for everything from contract negotiation to payroll to procurement to medical services)..."

Administrators has become a generic term for "everyone who doesn't fight or repair machines".

Acolyte

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Page 9 of the document.
"A force consists of more than frontline soldiers. It also requires administrators (for everything from contract negotiation to payroll to procurement to medical services)..."

Administrators has become a generic term for "everyone who doesn't fight or repair machines".
Pg 9 also says:
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This step addresses the minimum mandatory "behind the scenes" suppot personnel. Players interested in combat engineers, MASH forces, and other non-mandatory supporting personnel may acquire them in Step 1.

Combat engineers are "Specialist Infantry" on the salary table, but doctors and medtechs are not there.

Scotty, I think part of the problem is that the rules are over generous with tech personal, even for war-time. Using the StratOps maintenance rules let's say a 'Mech needs one round of preventative maintenance a week, if we say that one average 'Mechs work out to be medium weight that means a company needs 12 hours of maintenance a week, if you have one tech team working 40 hours a week (standard CIVILIAN work week) can do a whole companies maintenance and almost have time to replace 10 destroyed limbs, which I would call a force that needs that much maintenance at war, so I might want another team or two.

My advice, unless you are expecting REALLY heavy combat (once per day or more) you only want one tech team per lance, and that hedging your bets and allowing the unit to be broken up

The maintenance cycle is not defined as per week (at least anywhere I could find it), it's basically per day. Still, 1 team per lance isn't bad....

Actually, it's not defined anywhere how often maintenance must be performed, outside of after every battle. I'll posit this to the "Rules Questions" forums as this is not the place this question.

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« Last Edit: 27 November 2012, 11:22:21 by Acolyte »
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Istal_Devalis

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Asking this here will probably get a quicker answer. Where do exceptionally heavy combat vehicles for the unit purchase prices here and maintenance is StratOps? I'm talking about things like 35-ton VTOLs and 300 Navel displacement hulls
I was going to mention that we needed a section for Super-Heavy combat vehicles. In addition, since they now have rules for them, we should have a section for Super Heavy/Collosal mechs too. They're not exactly common, but some allowance should be given for the possibility of having them.

Mukaikubo

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Hmm. The item on the Equipment Availability and Cost Table, "First Star League Equipment for non-Clan force after 2860," actually referred to REAL 1st Star League hardware leftover from, well, the Star League.

However, it's probably better to change it to "First Star League Equipment for non-Clan force between 2860 and 3040," or "Tech E and F Equipment for non-Clan force between 2860 and 3040." Any other suggestions on clarifying it?

Gotcha, I figured that was the case but it was better to be sure. That's a workable change to the wording; I wish we still had the old Tech-1 Tech-2 and Tech-3 categories right about now  ;D Still, it does raise the question of should there be an availability penalty for trying to get advanced Helm Core (or other SL-descendant) equipment post 3040? How long should it go for? Etc... it gets into the weeds of overcomplication pretty quickly. There's already a cost penalty to a lot of the stuff thanks to the XL engine etc cost increase, but for availability something like a -1 or -2 for that more high tech equipment from 3040 to, oh, 3060 or so (dunno what a good breakpoint would be) seems appropriate if there's room for more lines in that table.

cray

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I notice a distinct lack of how to handle rank for non-PC personnel.  Is that deliberately left up to the discretion of the player, or an oversight?

That's not really an issue BT's force creation rules have ever addressed. Ranks and organization of the force are addressed in prior publications like Total Warfare (which provides standard force sizes) and A Time of War, which discusses ranks in section on traits (pg124 has a nice table that, once you have your force organized into lances, companies, clusters, or whatever, should tell you which personnel have what ranks.)

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EDIT: Also, as a general observation, getting jumpships and dropships on creation is ridiculously easy relative to how expensive the units are.  They're also hideously expensive relative to their availability, and I'm concerned that might be a hidden trap for less experienced or alert players

Sure, new availability numbers are welcome. How would you recommend altering the formulas presented in the draft to make large spacecraft less available?

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I also notice that the truly random generation seems biased towards sizeable units.

New cash numbers are welcome, too. How would you suggest altering the basic budget table?

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It's just not very intuitive to save literally half of the starting funds for support and overhead, especially for new players.

That's a good thought to capture when describing how to determine operating costs. "Keep an eye on your remaining cash versus costs."



Cray, on page 10 I see a conversion factor for using combat personnel as techs.  Is there a conversion for using them (or admin or fully trained tech personnel) as astechs?

Hmm. In the force creation rules, I was looking at techs and astechs as equal, just personnel slots to be filled. Even the StratOps maintenance rules don't really utilize the difference between techs and astechs other than to set that high "1 tech and 6 astechs per vehicle" rule.

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  And is there any bonus for employing industrial exoskeletons?

In maintenance operations? Not that I see in StratOps. As you noted, the presence of exoskeletons increases cargo movement rates.



Quote from: Scotty
That means that the company requires ten extra admins tacked onto the TO&E that do... what exactly?  I could buy (and get right behind) admins for Personnel, Intelligence, Operations, Logistics, Planning/Strategy, Communications, and Training (in case anybody was wondering, that's the seven "S"s used by the military), but that's still a grand total of seven admins,

Maybe the word "administrator" is misleading - it suggests someone with authority. When I borrowed it from FM:Mercs, I was thinking of everything from low level file clerks, medic bedpan cleaners, and batmen (not the Dark Knight types) up through quartermasters, chief medical officers, and lawyers. Communications and intelligence tasks can easily require multiple personnel.

I doubt TPTB would allow me to use "REMFs," though.
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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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