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Author Topic: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion  (Read 95205 times)

Neufeld

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I notice that all the tables that mentions years and eras ends with 3130. This could obsolete the product before it is even out, since it is likely that the BattleTech timeline has reached 3250 before or just after IO comes out. Just imagine the amount of complaints there will be, if 3250 box set and IO are released within months of each others , of the type "I just bought IO and now it is outdated!". And if anyone believes IO is out before the first 3145 products, well, I got some swampland in Florida to sell you.

So, I suggest that you expand the Force Creation Era table on page 3, the Budget Modification table on page 4, and the Large Spacecraft table on page 7 to cover at least years up to 3250, or at least 3145.

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We will be used to subdue the Capellan Confederation. We will be used to bring the Free Worlds League to heel. We will be used to
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SCC

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Third issue: Admins. NOT a fan of the admin rules. Do admin costs get lower when it's a large government operation? I don't see it, even with "economies of scale" or off-camera administrative divisions picking up some of the tab. Big organizations (including governments) usually add layers of extraneous process and procedure. So in practice, you usually have what economists call diseconomies of scale. So your numbers low-ball admin requirements for large armies, which require oodles of support staff, and overstate requirements for small forces like mom-and-pop merc units and pirate gangs.

(And since personal credibility on this came up, I'll stipulate in advance that I have no military experience. I do have considerable experience in organization science as a researcher, educator, and former practitioner in both the public and private sectors.)

You're projecting modern prejudices about government operation (circa 1900's one Biritish/UK party's goal was a single tax, and we're talking something like stamp duty which caused the American Was of Independence here, not Income tax) on this which tend towards very large organizations, likely the functions that a modern government has to perform that lead to such large organizations are more spread out in BT

Forgot to add: cray, when using a units real price, not the abstract ones given, how many significant figures should we round to?
« Last Edit: 29 November 2012, 02:59:20 by SCC »

Mukaikubo

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Thank you for spelling out your run through Mukaikubo; I'm still only part way through my test runs and it was a helpful reference, but the following caught my eye.

According to Dropships and Jumpships, the book referenced for the Invaders being very common.  The Union is an uncommon design, in fact it's the minimum that all military dropships are.  The minimum roll modifier for them being +1 (0 for average and +1 for military).

I only mention this because how rare a ship is could change wildly from era to era..  A master chart would be very nice, but could be cumbersome given how many ship types there area and all the different eras.  Though perhaps an inclusion in the MUL would help this, if it can't be added to a print or pdf product?

I'm confused. I was pretty sure that the Union is common; in fact, one of the first sentences on the sarna entry for it is "A common design in use across the Inner Sphere, there are a large number of Union variants, the most notable include..." and I'd always been under the impression that a Union was basically the 'default' military dropship... and in fact, FM Mercs (revised) has a non-upgraded Union like I was using in a tie for the 2nd highest availability number for all dropships. Does Dropships and Jumpships contradict this?  ???


Also, posted the stuff of mine Cray's commented without rejection on in the errata thread.
« Last Edit: 29 November 2012, 08:46:34 by Mukaikubo »

Mukaikubo

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I'm in the middle of creating a 3030s era mercenary heavy battalion (2 mech companies, 1 vehicle company, 1 infantry/artillery 'company') and I was wondering; if your force requires multiple dropships, how exactly could you go about handling this? The rules as written seem to only envision and give examples for a single dropship. Also, this is going to get hilarious fast when I have an entire battalion and maybe one Union as a transport, but that's the way the mercenary cookie crumbles I guess.


Edit: NEW QUESTION! What should I consider the 'ammo capacity' of a towed artillery piece to be for calculating ammo usage? I'm going with 4 tons, so the cost of a ton of ammo per month so I can keep going.
« Last Edit: 29 November 2012, 10:17:48 by Mukaikubo »

Davout73

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Instead of basic budget chart that starts at 10M and ends at 360M, my suggestion would be to have one chart that starts at say 10M and increments to say 75M, and then apply a unit size modifier.

So If Arnold is building a company sized force, he would roll the dice, find his base number, and apply a unit size modifier.  That way you can have a size modifier for every type of unit out there, instead of having to come up with a chart (or charts) to cover every eventuality.

Dav
« Last Edit: 29 November 2012, 10:42:36 by Davout73 »
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
Every Man Must Be Tempted, a KNT Universe series: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/every-man-must-be-tempted
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Archameades

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Quote
The rules as written seem to only envision and give examples for a single dropship.

I didn't get the impression that we weren't allowed to roll for multiple dropships.  Indeed if someone was rolling a regiment sized unit, they may even need multiple jumpships.

Quote
Does Dropships and Jumpships contradict this?

This could be where the era modifiers come in.  Yes, the Union and Leopard are the only military dropships listed as uncommon, the rest are rare or unique.  Civilian Dropships like Mule, Monarch and Behemoth are the common ones.


A side question, are there any rules anywhere for training ammunition?  So a unit could expend more in training, but keep a lower cost?

Kronos_Riker

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Read through and tried out this set.

Much easier than the rules in FM:Mercs, but a bit dismayed when Medical Staff was included with Admins.  I prefer a separate listing for Medical staff for expenses. That way, I can account for that unexpected viral outbreak that could sideline 50%-90% of the unit and put a drain on expenses.

Otherwise, So far, So Good. :)

krazzyharry

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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.

I don't think it is that bad.  When I was a combat engineer company first sergeant I had 2 comms guys, 2 in my supply shop, an CBRN NCO, an Ops NCO, training/construction/night shift NCO, two RTOs, a 2 man intel team, plus  the commander and I had a driver each.  I also had 4 medics plus my maintenance team (I wish I had the wrench turners that StratOps calls for) .  This is for less than 90 trigger pullers.

I know trying to relate RL to BT kills a catgirl but the numbers work out.  I think there should be a separate requirement for medical staff to support StratOps and for completeness.

Does Dropships and Jumpships contradict this? 

I think TRO 3057 overrides Dropships and Jumpships.  TRO3057 says nothing about the availability, only that the Union is what all other dropships are compared to.  Based on fluff from books and such I would agree that they are fairly common, at least post-3039.

edited for additional comments
« Last Edit: 30 November 2012, 13:15:18 by krazzyharry »

SCC

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krazzyharry, those would all be uniformed personal and part of your unit, right? They're not part of what we're talking about (I think), more likely the administrators covers clerks or civilian personal attached/working or the unit

Scotty

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Indeed.  I'm talking specifically about the required number of admins above and beyond what the unit itself can take care of.  Your unit of 90 combat personnel would be able to handle 11 of those jobs themselves when not in the middle of combat, and seven of them if the unit was getting shot at right that second, according to this set (and in these rules, would only need to handle 10 of them!  A 90 person infantry company has one tech team, for a total of 97 personnel, and ten required admins.  Technically five if it's a government unit, against all logic).

Contrast that with a 'Mech company, which has ten administrators, but the 'Mech company can only handle a single job among themselves!  That leaves nine administrators above and beyond the amount of essential personnel in the unit.  One of my posts above mentioned that infantry neatly sidestep this problem by virtue of having enough bodies to take care of whatever.  The beef I have with it is that things like 'Mech companies get stuck hauling around an additional 90% of their combat personnel as administrators (and 700% of their strength in technical personnel), while a company of infantry like yours only requires, under these rules, something like 3% more personnel as administrators.  Ten percent if you feel like having your infantry do one job each and one job only.
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wellspring

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krazzyharry, those would all be uniformed personal and part of your unit, right? They're not part of what we're talking about (I think), more likely the administrators covers clerks or civilian personal attached/working or the unit

To be fair, the rules already account for using combat troops as part-time administrators. Among IS units, especially ones which have conventional infantry already, this isn't an issue. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the Clans, who probably don't use warriors for admin duties as a matter of ideology.

To me, this debate is important because: a) small units like merc companies should have less admin support than they require under these rules, while big organizations require disproportionately more administrative overhead. b) Canon units don't cart this much support staff along with them, so we'd have to retcon them in (especially into things like dropships).

One way to square the circle is to add the ability to add local temporary contractors to fulfill some/all of your needs. This is common in real life, a great plot hook for the RPG, and fairly painless to implement. It also is a system we can apply to requisitioning DropShips/JumpShips for a unit that does not have organic space transport assigned to it but for strategic/plot reasons needs to move to another world.

(While I was typing Scotty made his post. I think it's an excellent point.)

krazzyharry

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krazzyharry, those would all be uniformed personal and part of your unit, right? They're not part of what we're talking about (I think), more likely the administrators covers clerks or civilian personal attached/working or the unit

An assigned (hired) is an assigned person regardless of their job.  Technically, if you are creating a merc unit everyone is a civilian.  I view the administrators as low-density personnel, in other words those with a specialty the is not the same as the majority of the unit or in limited slots. A merc commander needs contract specialist and logistics guys just as mush as trigger pullers, maybe even a little more unless you want a tank gunner who spent the last 12 hours on the range to walk in and negotiate you 5 year garrison/pirate-hunting contract.

I can't figure out what the issue with the extra personnel is anyway other than salaries and seats.


Scotty

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My issue is how the efficiency of the unit suffers as a function of what kind of unit it is.  Let's look again at a couple examples.

Take a company of mechanized hover infantry, to be different.  Twenty troopers per platoon, four platoons in the company, a total of 80 troops.  That's well within the boundary for requiring only one tech team (which is honestly pretty silly for mechanized infantry all by itself).  That make a total of 87 troops.  87 troops requries (by the rules) nine administrator slots.  The infantry unit can fill ten slots during non-combat situations, or six when in combat conditions, meaning that only three admins are required, at least, by the letter of the rules, while as many as nine can be used to avoid overstressing personnel.  Nine personnel is an 11(.25)% increase over the 80 combat personnel of the company.  The seven technical personnel are an 8(.75)% increase over the 80 combat personnel of the company.  Using combat personnel to cover for admin slots, that can drop down all the way to 3 admins and 7 technical personnel, which means that the total non-combat personnel for the unit is only 10 people, or a 12(.5)% increase in required manpower.

Now take a company of 'Mechs.  One person per 'Mech, twelve 'Mechs in the company, for a total of 12 combat personnel.  Each 'Mech requires its own tech team, which is fully 84 technical personnel, and a total personnel count of 96.  That means that a single 'Mech company requries no less than 10 administrative slots worth of support personnel.  Up to one administrative (or tech, but that doesn't change anything here) slot may be filled by the MechWarriors in the unit, so at least nine additional personnel are required.  That's an absolutely absurd (compared to our infantry company) 75% increase in personnel!  The tech teams are even worse, at 600% more personnel, but with 'Mechs that at least is a justifiable personnel cost.

That's where the unbalance I'm complaining about comes from: the relative efficiency of the administrative personnel.  An 80 person infantry company should not be more efficiently managed than a single twelve person 'mech company.
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Archameades

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Quote
That's where the unbalance I'm complaining about comes from: the relative efficiency of the administrative personnel.

A relatively easy fix to this problem; would be to allow combat personel to double shift for administrative and technical duties.  At the same time allowing technical support personel to double shift for administrative duties.  A chief tech spending a few hours a night assisting the quater master to ensure all the correct parts are requisitioned, isn't so far fetched. 

Additionally, administrative personel to double shift to provide help as Astechs, when required..  After all, how much training do you require to move ammunition crates around and hold a piece of armour so it can be welded into place?

These changes would allow smaller commands to cut down on additional staff, so long as everyone pitches in.  While government units would likely have all the spots filled with dedicated admin staff.

Thoughts?

Scotty

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A relatively easy fix to this problem; would be to allow combat personel to double shift for administrative and technical duties.  At the same time allowing technical support personel to double shift for administrative duties.  A chief tech spending a few hours a night assisting the quater master to ensure all the correct parts are requisitioned, isn't so far fetched.

I actually mentioned this a couple times when I first brought my problem with it up, but that approach seems to have been ignored in favor of people telling me that the numbers are fine how they are. :-\
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Kansas City players, or people who are just passing through the area, come join us at the Geekery just off Shawnee Mission Parkway for BattleTech!  Current days are Tuesdays in the afternoon and evening.  I can't make every single week, but odds are pretty good that somebody will be there.

monbvol

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The problem is the perspective I think.

While the ratio of support personel is higher for a mech company than an infantry company in terms of combat personel it is in line with the total number of personel overall.  Which I am actually rather fine with.  The more complicated the item that needs supporting the less other personel are going to be able to pull double duty due to needing more specialists.

SCC

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Can someone explain to me why each 'Mech or vehicle needs it own tech team?

Davout73

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Can someone explain to me why each 'Mech or vehicle needs it own tech team?

It doesn't, but if you have less than the minimum required, you can run into issues with repairs and the like.

Dav
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
Every Man Must Be Tempted, a KNT Universe series: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/every-man-must-be-tempted
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SCC

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Do you mean the six astech Davout? Or is there some rule about each 'Mech actually NEEDING it's own tech team?

Davout73

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Do you mean the six astech Davout? Or is there some rule about each 'Mech actually NEEDING it's own tech team?

My experience is MekHQ based, if I have a repair and the tech team is not fully staffed, the target number is higher.

Also, it would make sense in many small units thats if you have 12 mechs, you may have fewer techs than mechs

I've always thought 1:1, or 1>:1 was a goal, not the norm.

Dav

Edited
« Last Edit: 01 December 2012, 01:46:20 by Davout73 »
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
Every Man Must Be Tempted, a KNT Universe series: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/every-man-must-be-tempted
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

Minerva

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I actually asked about this on the off-topic forums when in-house playtesters complained about high ammo expenses and uses. The thread is here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,23855.msg532907.html#msg532907

I prefer to use official documents and think tank studies as basis of my arguments for suitable historical analogies because they are not anecdotes.

Read for example MCO 3501.23 head stamped 20 Sep 95. Marine tank crew training has two live ammunition training events per year with total ammunition use of 96 sabot training rounds and 96 heat training rounds. They are full sized and essentially real ammo. Document is also available on request (send me your email).

I just got whiplash. :) Feel free to battle to the death (or cordially discuss) with the playtesters here who think the admin personnel numbers are way too high. Last man standing will get their numbers used in the rules.

I prefer to use official documents and think tank studies as basis of my arguments for suitable historical analogies because they are not silly.

Read for example G. E. Blume: Allocation of Units in a Typical Field Army, CGSC Thesis, 1972. This is not official position (but if you like it is presented in the same thesis side by side). I simply calculated the relative percentages of different arms compared to combat (maneuver) units.
You should be able to find it in: http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm/singleitem/collection/p4013coll2/id/2002/rec/1 It is also available on request from me.

Daryk

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Additionally, administrative personel to double shift to provide help as Astechs, when required..  After all, how much training do you require to move ammunition crates around and hold a piece of armour so it can be welded into place?
...

Back in reply #29, Cray mentioned he was treating Astechs as Techs with regard to skills.  StratOps appears to disagree, but doesn't shed much light on the difference between the two beyond calling Astechs "semi-skilled".

Armitage72

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Changing the subject...

I'm having difficulty understanding the following paragraph, from "Alternate Flexible Force Construction".

Quote
Second, starting cash is not unlimited. Roll 1D6 twice. If the
result is an odd number, treat it as -1. If the result is even, treat
it as 1. Multiply that by 2D6 and then by the force’s peacetime
monthly operating costs. The final number is the current
amount of money in the bank (or debt) the force possesses.

You roll 1d6 twice and check the result.
Do you add the rolls together?  If so, why not call it 2d6?
Do you only determine if one die is odd or even?  Then what's the second 1d6 for?

I can't figure out what is supposed to be done with the two 1d6 rolls.  Maybe I just have bad reading comprehension.

Davout73

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Maybe the number should be derived from the total of "combat personnel", and not "all personnel"?

Dav



My issue is how the efficiency of the unit suffers as a function of what kind of unit it is.  Let's look again at a couple examples.

Take a company of mechanized hover infantry, to be different.  Twenty troopers per platoon, four platoons in the company, a total of 80 troops.  That's well within the boundary for requiring only one tech team (which is honestly pretty silly for mechanized infantry all by itself).  That make a total of 87 troops.  87 troops requries (by the rules) nine administrator slots.  The infantry unit can fill ten slots during non-combat situations, or six when in combat conditions, meaning that only three admins are required, at least, by the letter of the rules, while as many as nine can be used to avoid overstressing personnel.  Nine personnel is an 11(.25)% increase over the 80 combat personnel of the company.  The seven technical personnel are an 8(.75)% increase over the 80 combat personnel of the company.  Using combat personnel to cover for admin slots, that can drop down all the way to 3 admins and 7 technical personnel, which means that the total non-combat personnel for the unit is only 10 people, or a 12(.5)% increase in required manpower.

Now take a company of 'Mechs.  One person per 'Mech, twelve 'Mechs in the company, for a total of 12 combat personnel.  Each 'Mech requires its own tech team, which is fully 84 technical personnel, and a total personnel count of 96.  That means that a single 'Mech company requries no less than 10 administrative slots worth of support personnel.  Up to one administrative (or tech, but that doesn't change anything here) slot may be filled by the MechWarriors in the unit, so at least nine additional personnel are required.  That's an absolutely absurd (compared to our infantry company) 75% increase in personnel!  The tech teams are even worse, at 600% more personnel, but with 'Mechs that at least is a justifiable personnel cost.

That's where the unbalance I'm complaining about comes from: the relative efficiency of the administrative personnel.  An 80 person infantry company should not be more efficiently managed than a single twelve person 'mech company.
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
Every Man Must Be Tempted, a KNT Universe series: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/every-man-must-be-tempted
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

Acolyte

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Just made a few units, and gotta say I like it! Done good work. Couple things:

Other people can debate the number of admin staff (hmm, maybe just call them staff...) but I find the number reasonable. You've also managed to pretty elegantly add in some things I've read in fluff - the foisting off of paper work to administrative branches in the regular forces, and certain mercenary captains buried in their paperwork. It's great, it's consistent with the universe. As for the basic medical requirement, I think getting rid of this is good too. You're, for the most part, dealing with young, healthy, fit people that have a lifestyle tends to keep them fit. They would mostly be needing the occasional painkiller, stim, or bed rest and perhaps the odd finger splint or such, and this is well within the Medtech Skill that is given in basic training (in AToW at least). You are also likely to have someone who showed aptitude and was given some extra training. In the rare case that they need more - battle or training injuries for example - they would be sent to a dedicated medical unit. I say keep that as is.

So the other side. It currently is not possible to make said dedicated medical unit. At least not without your doctors and medtechs earning a base salary of 500, slightly above as astech.

What I'd do is treat them like combat personnel. ie. say you have a medical unit with 2 MASH units and 2 SOAR vtols. You'd have 8 vehicle crew, 10 doctors, 40 medtechs. You'd need 5 tech squads of 7. This adds to 93 total people, requiring 10 admins. If some of the doctors wanted to do some paperwork (provided they had legible handwriting) they could act as some of the admins. You have 50 doctors/medics (which is why the 5th tech squad) treated as foot infantry for spare parts reflecting medical supplies, to at the very least replace medicines that have an expiry date. Everything else is covered by the vehicles. All that would be required would be Doctors and Medics to be listed on the salary chart. I'd also add a "high level admin" to reflect lawyers, contract negotiators and others who don't fit but should be paid more. And again, not every force would have such a unit, or need such people, especially if they are part of a larger force.

One other point, these rules make perfect units. They have all the technical and administrative staff they need. This is good in some ways as it allows you to make "headache free" units for those people who just wanna blow stuff up.  O0 So from that aspect it's fine. I imagine that the rules for lack of staff and support will be covered in the Operations part, so maybe there is a better place to mention that you don't have to have 100% tech support.

Now, a couple of questions. How about combat personnel acting as astechs instead of full techs? You'd still have your tech per unit, but maybe the crew/pilot is just helping out. How about techs/astechs doing some of the admin work? Say, a senior astech that does paperwork in addition to regular duties.

Thank You
   - Shane
BTW, sorry about the long post :-[
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idea weenie

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Additionally, administrative personel to double shift to provide help as Astechs, when required..  After all, how much training do you require to move ammunition crates around and hold a piece of armour so it can be welded into place?

These changes would allow smaller commands to cut down on additional staff, so long as everyone pitches in.  While government units would likely have all the spots filled with dedicated admin staff.

I'd allow for larger admin/support personnel allowing higher bonuses.  I.e. the guy who is doing duty as administrator and intel officer is not going to be able to do both jobs as well as a dedicated doctor or administrator.  So a small unit might have penalties for various situations, simply because their personnel don't have the time/dedicated training.  I.e. A small unit won't have the services of a dedicated cybernetics doctor, but they will make sure to get as good a GP as they can, with an eye towards trauma surgery.

To have the larger commands get less efficient, you could impose a second rule that requires administrators to watch other administrators.  Essentially, the next level of administration takes up 1/10 (FRD) of the prior level of support personnel.  So if you have 37 support personnel, you need 3 additional administrators to keep them from stepping on each other.  If you have a super force with 146 support personnel, you need 14 (146/10, FRD) extra administrators to keep them coordinated.  Those 14 administrators then need another (14/10, FRD) admin type to coordinate them.  That last guy needs no extra help (1/10 FRD), but will likely be listened to during meetings.


I'm having difficulty understanding the following paragraph, from "Alternate Flexible Force Construction".

You roll 1d6 twice and check the result.
Do you add the rolls together?  If so, why not call it 2d6?
Do you only determine if one die is odd or even?  Then what's the second 1d6 for?

It looks like it is trying to simulate a range from -12 to +12, without a zero.  The first die determines the magnitude (2-12), the second determines the vector (+ or -).

Personally, I'd go with 4d6-14.  This gives a nice bell curve centered around zero (ranging from +10 to -10), rather than two ragged peaks centered around +7 and -7.  It also makes the math easy.  It also shows that most mercenary units fold after 1 year, since the debt only goes up to 10 months.

Other options:
5d6-17: 12 months in debt to 13 months ahead, bell curve is around .5
6d6-21: 15 months in debt to 15 months ahead, bell curve is around zero.
« Last Edit: 01 December 2012, 14:05:29 by idea weenie »

cray

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Much easier than the rules in FM:Mercs,

That was my hope. FM:Mercs made you roll for each combatant over a period of months. I figured there had to be a faster way.

Quote
but a bit dismayed when Medical Staff was included with Admins.  I prefer a separate listing for Medical staff for expenses. That way, I can account for that unexpected viral outbreak that could sideline 50%-90% of the unit and put a drain on expenses.

I've seen that stated several times now. I guess I'll break them out or encourage the addition of MASH units.




I didn't care for the style of the Base Budget table, while I know I am free to do whatever I please.  I would prefer to see something similar to the alternate mercenary creation rules in Mercs Supplemental for size escalation.

Use a table like:                      With a modifier for force size like:
2  -  7,500,000                         Lance X 1
3  -  8,000,000                         Company X 3.5
4  -  9,000,000                         Battalion X 9
5  -  10,000,000                       Regiment X 25
6  -  12,000,000
7  -  14,000,000
8  -  17,500,000
9  -  20,000,000
10 -  24,000,000
11  -  32,000,000
12  -  40,000,000

My original draft sort of did this, but I ran into problems with combined arms units. Those numbers you're providing are fine for 3025-era 'Mech forces, but this is an all-era, all-unit set of rules. 40 million is great for a lance of Atlases, but what's it mean for a force of infantry, tanks, 'Mechs, and aerospace fighters?



I notice that all the tables that mentions years and eras ends with 3130. This could obsolete the product before it is even out, since it is likely that the BattleTech timeline has reached 3250 before or just after IO comes out.

As far as I know, I'm not supposed to be concerned beyond 3150 and I only have material through c3135 to base the rules on.



I'm in the middle of creating a 3030s era mercenary heavy battalion (2 mech companies, 1 vehicle company, 1 infantry/artillery 'company') and I was wondering; if your force requires multiple dropships, how exactly could you go about handling this? The rules as written seem to only envision and give examples for a single dropship. Also, this is going to get hilarious fast when I have an entire battalion and maybe one Union as a transport, but that's the way the mercenary cookie crumbles I guess.

Keep rolling for all the large spacecraft you want. You could build a pirate lance with 5 Monoliths and 27 Excaliburs if you like, and the dice are friendly.

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Edit: NEW QUESTION! What should I consider the 'ammo capacity' of a towed artillery piece to be for calculating ammo usage? I'm going with 4 tons, so the cost of a ton of ammo per month so I can keep going.

I'd have to look up towed artillery pieces. If they don't have a given ammo capacity, I'd set it at 1 ton capacity and then figure training usage from there.



A relatively easy fix to this problem; would be to allow combat personel to double shift for administrative and technical duties.  At the same time allowing technical support personel to double shift for administrative duties.  A chief tech spending a few hours a night assisting the quater master to ensure all the correct parts are requisitioned, isn't so far fetched. 

The rules already address combatant personnel pulling double duty as technical and administrative personnel. What did you want different than those rules?



Read for example MCO 3501.23 head stamped 20 Sep 95. Marine tank crew training has two live ammunition training events per year with total ammunition use of 96 sabot training rounds and 96 heat training rounds. They are full sized and essentially real ammo.

192 rounds per tank, or about 10 tons per year, versus an ammo capacity of about 1 ton per tank?



Changing the subject...

I'm having difficulty understanding the following paragraph, from "Alternate Flexible Force Construction".

You roll 1d6 twice and check the result.
Do you add the rolls together?  If so, why not call it 2d6?
Do you only determine if one die is odd or even?  Then what's the second 1d6 for?

I can't figure out what is supposed to be done with the two 1d6 rolls.  Maybe I just have bad reading comprehension.

The idea is to figure out if you have cash in the bank (positive balance) or if you're carrying debt (negative balance). So, there's two rolls.

The first is a 1d6 roll to give a random positive or negative result. An odd 1d6 roll (1, 3, or 5) means you're negative. An even roll (2, 4, or 6) means you're positive.

The second roll (2d6) is determine the size of your debt or credit in terms of monthly peacetime operating costs.

Example: Hanse doesn't like random starting budgets and decides to build a giant government force of about 100 'Mech regiments, 300 tank regiments, 500 infantry regiments, and scores of DropShips and JumpShips, calling it "the 3025 AFFS." While it's fun to build the force of your dreams, you might still end up in debt. Per the flexible force construction rules, Hanse first rolls 1d6 to see if his 3025 AFFS force is in debt or has a credit. He rolls a 3: an odd numbered result that means he's in debt. He then rolls 2d6 to see how big that balance is (in terms of the 3025 AFFS's peacetime monthly operating costs): an 11. Well, shit. Hanse's dream force, which he hopes to use to crush the Capellan Confederation, is running in the red to the tune of 11 months of peacetime operating costs. Hanse will probably have to marry some rich banker's daughter or something to keep this munchy "3025 AFFS" force running.

Does that make sense? How would you recommend rewording the debt/credit balance in flexible force construction if it isn't sensible?
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.

Daryk

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Cray, I just have to say that's the most hilarious example I've ever read!  Bravo!  ;D

Acolyte

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Cray, I just snarfed coffee out my nose! ;D Please tell me that's going to be in the book!

   - Shane

Hold on! It says "Roll 1d6 twice". This is probably the confusion, as you should only be rolling it once to get plus/minus, then rolling 2d6 for months.
« Last Edit: 01 December 2012, 16:01:06 by Acolyte »
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Armitage72

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Cray, I just snarfed coffee out my nose! ;D Please tell me that's going to be in the book!

   - Shane

Hold on! It says "Roll 1d6 twice". This is probably the confusion, as you should only be rolling it once to get plus/minus, then rolling 2d6 for months.

Exactly what I was about to post.
Cray's example makes perfect sense, but it doesn't account for the second 1d6 called for in the instructions.  That second 1d6 is what was confusing me.

 

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