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Author Topic: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion  (Read 80479 times)

Jackmc

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #180 on: 10 December 2012, 00:06:07 »
So are you saying water raids have been retconned out, Cray?

We're not saying that they don't happen, but what you have to understand is that Battletech has an inherent selection bias.  Since it is a game that revolves around conflict, said conflict is going to be grossly overrepresented in the literature.  The books don't cover the 99.9% of human population that has plentiful access to potable water because there is no conflict there.

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monbvol

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #181 on: 10 December 2012, 00:28:13 »
Everything space in Battletech is so screwed up from a construction point of view that it is usually best avoided.

If you really want an idea why try and figure out the density of a dropship.  Mass/cubic meters.

Or the exit velocity of one point of fuel for an ASF.  For ease of calculations pick a 25, 50, 75, or 100 tonner.

jh316

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #182 on: 10 December 2012, 01:23:43 »
Fair enough. Piracy in general doesn't make a bit of sense in Battletech anyway. If you're somehow rich enough to have a personal jumpship and dropships, and keep them in working order, what are you needing to pirate for? If you don't have those, who is going to rent them to you? Anyone with those kind of resources would be better off either being mercenaries or being traders.

Maybe it's a conspiracy to keep the mercenary business running. Most mercenary work is going to be out in the ass-end of nowhere stopping pirate raids. Maybe it's a giant conspiracy where the mercenaries pay the pirates for raids so that they'll still have employment.

I mean, think about it. What are they even going to steal? Most military jumpships have a capacity of a couple hundred tons, tops. Unless they land on top of a platinum mine or a fusion plant factory I can't imagine it being worth the cost to get there and the risk of getting killed.

Raiding other planets in the same system could be viable, though, but pretty limited.
« Last Edit: 10 December 2012, 01:29:48 by jh316 »

SCC

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #183 on: 10 December 2012, 03:45:18 »
Anybody got any ideas about acquiring disposed MW's under these rules? I'm looking at testing them out using the Against the Bot rules and wanted to grab some to pilot any salvage I pick up.

idea weenie

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #184 on: 10 December 2012, 07:53:04 »
One idea for pirate water raids is they are trying to steal processed water, rather than freely available.  The water is already filtered, purified, and clean to drink, vs freely available water having all sorts of contaminants in it.  This saves the Pirate group wear and tear on their water filtration equipment, assuming their equipment can even handle the local 'water'.

While stealing the water, they also help themselves to whatever else is available.  Bank has safe deposit boxes?  Use a Mech to knock them over and carry them off.  Locals have a jail nearby?  See if there are any recruits.

cray

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #185 on: 10 December 2012, 10:35:00 »
Fair enough. Piracy in general doesn't make a bit of sense in Battletech anyway. If you're somehow rich enough to have a personal jumpship and dropships, and keep them in working order, what are you needing to pirate for?

I actually try to answer that in the Force Operations chapter by making pirate missions focus on getting critical goods (spare parts for JumpShips, DropShips, and 'Mechs, plus ammo, food, and the like) to keep their pirate operation, er, operating. Things like platinum, slave girls, and marble counter tops (for their mud huts on their scarcely inhabited pirate dens) are just icing on the cake after those necessities.

Quote
If you don't have those, who is going to rent them to you? Anyone with those kind of resources would be better off either being mercenaries or being traders.

A lot of BT's pirate forces are the product of military forces that went bad and are not in a position to get legal employment elsewhere. For example, a House force that fled an assignment against the Clans would have a lot of "dereliction of duty" and "cowardice in the face of the enemy" charges dangling over its members like a Firing Squad of Damocles. That sort of thing even carries over into the civilian world - "dishonorably discharged" or "wanted for desertion" really doesn't look good on a civilian resume. There are many civilian businessmen who would be leery of signing a contract to use a JumpShip and/or DropShip (i.e., the ships the newly minted pirates ran away with) that has recently been stolen from a House.

To be sure, you could find non-pirate work for them, but you're not going to be carrying luxuries between New Avalon and El Dorado in your JumpShip or getting merc garrison duty contracts on Mizar.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

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**"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.

jh316

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #186 on: 10 December 2012, 10:52:13 »
That's actually a really good point. When I think of pirates it's a bunch of guys running around the periphery with jumpships and stealing whatever isn't bolted down, but never really thought about the idea that they could be forced into that by being unable to get legal employment elsewhere. I'll have to use that in my next campaign, usually when I run pirate games I have them in the role of privateers, being funded by one house to annoy backwater worlds of another house.
« Last Edit: 10 December 2012, 10:55:01 by jh316 »

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #187 on: 10 December 2012, 10:59:46 »
That is actually the bigger source of piracy in the history of Battletech.

The Bandit Kingdoms survived until the Clan Invasion despite being pains in the rear to everyone they could simply because they were too useful to the Stiener and Kurita to bribe into bothering the other.

jh316

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #188 on: 10 December 2012, 11:22:03 »
I can see my next campaign now. They were former House special forces, that were accused of a crime they did not commit. But if people have a problem, that no one else can help, they can hire them.

cray

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #189 on: 10 December 2012, 11:56:23 »
I can see my next campaign now. They were former House special forces, that were accused of a crime they did not commit. But if people have a problem, that no one else can help, they can hire them.

Please tell me they'll be pursued by Tommy Lee Jones (pardon for mixing shows).
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.

Armitage72

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #190 on: 10 December 2012, 18:42:13 »
On the topic of spare parts, would a `Mech or vehicle with the Non-Standard Parts Quirk cost more to supply with spare parts, since it can't use the same generic parts as the rest of the unit?  Or does that fall into the category of a GM call... if they want to be bothered?

cray

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #191 on: 10 December 2012, 22:59:31 »
On the topic of spare parts, would a `Mech or vehicle with the Non-Standard Parts Quirk cost more to supply with spare parts, since it can't use the same generic parts as the rest of the unit?  Or does that fall into the category of a GM call... if they want to be bothered?

I like that. I'll try to work non-standard parts (and there's an easy to repair-type quirk, right?) into the costs.
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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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #192 on: 10 December 2012, 23:01:16 »
There is an Easy to Repair but it offers a -1 to the TN of the repair roll so I'm not sure how much that would actually impact the cost of repairing said unit.

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #193 on: 11 December 2012, 01:01:56 »
-1 AsTech to the team assigned to it, to reflect the easier maintenance cycle requiring less work to complete?

Difficult to Maintain could add an AsTech on the flip side.

These quirks are already assigned on a per-unit basis, so I don't see it being too much micromanagement to subtract one AsTech per incidence of Easy to Maintain, and add one per instance of Difficult to Maintain.  It also wouldn't *hugely* affect personnel requirements, unless you have an entire company of Wasps and Stingers or somesuch, and even then it would be exactly one less Admin.
« Last Edit: 11 December 2012, 01:03:54 by Scotty »
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jh316

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #194 on: 11 December 2012, 02:26:35 »
If going for quirks, Gas Hog could be a good one. It only doubles consumption above cruising speed, so a 1.5x or 1.25x peacetime modifier would be best.

Also, I'm thinking the Bad Reputation quirk could impact availability, but I don't know if it would increase or decrease it. It could go either way IMO, increasing because of people not keeping stocks of them, or decreasing because people are more willing to get rid of them. Prototype and Non-Standard Parts would likely increase the availability modifier.

Perhaps ASF with the Atmospheric Flier quirk could get a bit of a discount on fuel burn rate?
« Last Edit: 11 December 2012, 02:36:59 by jh316 »

wellspring

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #195 on: 11 December 2012, 17:08:04 »
Those rules are poorly defined, though, due to the maintenance/repair cycle being poorly defined. Under RAW, depending on how often you have battles, it can take 8 hours to make 10 tons of fuel or it could take months to do so.

You know, i forgot to mention this.

Quote from: Strat Ops, pg166
Unless agreed otherwise (or dictated by the conditions of a specific scenario), players have eight hours between each scenario during which they can carry out maintenance and repairs. If players are tracking time across days, weeks, months and so on, then each day provides eight hours of productive work. This is referred to as the Maintenance/Repair Cycle.

That had me scratching my head the first few times I read that chapter, not just because it's not clear but just because it's hiding right there at the beginning and it's easy to miss.

The wording is pretty explicit. A maintenance cycle is 8 hours long. For one-offs, assume you get one cycle between scenarios. However, if you're running a campaign, you get one cycle per day. (The next paragraphs provide a way to work overtime and add crews).

That's where my proposed change to the asTech list comes from. My read from earlier in the thread suggests that Cray added all those techs for compatibility with Strat Ops. However, that same chapter specifies that a full-strength tech team is only required for a fraction of a full maintenance cycle. Since the "one Tech per Mech" rule is firmly entrenched in the fluff, we keep that. But a medium mech only needs one hour of maintenance per 8 hour maintenance cycle (actually, the exact wording says you only need one roll between battles in a campaign). Either way, that suggests that asTechs can be a shared resource, though you'll always need at least 6 so you can form a tech team. You can do a lot by just extending what we already have.

I agree that StratOps is a little opaque in places, but the length of a cycle is very clear.

(Also, the same chapter specifies 1 unassigned tech team per 4 assigned tech teams. Is this being dropped for Interstellar Ops?)

Regarding medical staff, page 169

Quote from: Strat Ops pg 169
A combat force possesses one Medical Team for each operating theater (see MASH Equipment, p. 228, TM) installed in the command’s attached Support Vehicle contingent. Each DropShip, JumpShip or Large Naval Vessel Support Vehicle also carries the equivalent of a Medical Team as part of its crew. WarShips have the equivalent of two Medical Teams per 100 individuals incorporated into their crew, while a Space Station has three per 100 individuals. A unit can augment this allotment of personnel by including additional operating theaters in its design.

That's pretty clear as well, and I hope it's retained for Interstellar Ops, both for compatibility and by popular demand. Poof! You inherit the existing assumptions and rules for medics rather than adding new ones.

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #196 on: 11 December 2012, 18:37:33 »
The wording is not explicit. It says that you assume that the maintenance/repair cycle is 8 hours long, but if you're tracking time between scenarios, then "each day provides 8 hours of productive work." It doesn't say that this 8 hours of work is another cycle. If anything, you would get from that wording that a cycle is one day, since you get 8 hours of productive time per day, and it makes no sense for the 16 non-productive hours a day to count as two other cycles. You can then extend that with overtime to 12 hours of productive time per day, which again wouldn't make sense if it was an 8 hour cycle because then you'd have half-cycles that aren't mentioned anywhere.
« Last Edit: 11 December 2012, 18:45:18 by jh316 »

boilerman

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #197 on: 12 December 2012, 01:03:22 »
I like what I see, now that the semester is done I will read it more thoroughly.  I did notice a possible errata item, but you ask that we post it for discussion first so:

p12 under spare parts
Quote
Monthly generic spare part consumption (by tonnage) is 0.1
percent of a vehicle, DropShip, WarShip, or battle armor unit’s
mass. Conventional jump, mechanized, and motorized infantry
consume 1 percent of a squad infantry compartment’s mass.

I see no actual mention of the consumption rate for 'Mechs in the spares section.  I'd assume it's 0.1% like the other non-infantry units but you know what they say about assuming.
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cray

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #198 on: 12 December 2012, 14:56:54 »
p12 under spare parts
I see no actual mention of the consumption rate for 'Mechs in the spares section.  I'd assume it's 0.1% like the other non-infantry units but you know what they say about assuming.

I'll clarify that.
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


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boilerman

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #199 on: 12 December 2012, 17:35:59 »
Another one:

p12
Quote
Ammunition: For each ammo-using vehicle and infantry force,
the controlling player must decide what type of ammo is carried
for each weapon.
...
 After making
the decision, the controlling player must decide on the monthly
usage of ammunition. The peacetime consumption is onequarter
of the vehicle’s or infantry force’s ammunition capacity...

I think we need so clarification here too.  First the controlling player must decide on the monthly ammo consumption rates and then it's stated the monthly rate is 1/4 of capacity.  So is the controlling player determining which ammo types are used or the overall rate of use?  If it's the former I'd say ammo would be used at the same rate for each ammo type  since each has its own characteristics a soldier needs to be familiar with, and if it's the later I'd say stick with the 1/4 value.  One quarter seems to me to be a nice compromise between meeting training requirements and conserving resources.

Also there is a compound word in there: "onequarter."
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boilerman

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #200 on: 14 December 2012, 02:24:03 »
Excuse me if this has been covered, but...
p13
Quote
...while the Invader has 19.75 tons per burn-day and uses
59.25 tons per month holding station against the local
star’s gravity.

Shouldn't the fuel consumption for an Invader Class JumpShip be 1/10th of that?  Per the note for the Advanced Aerospace Unit Fuel Table on p147 Strategic Operations:
Quote
*Space Stations and JumpShips burn one-tenth as much fuel per day to maintain
station-keeping thrust.

Even 3 burn-days at 1/10th G in my opinion is far too much.  Gravity at Sol's zenith and nadir jump points is only about 0.000006 G.
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cray

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #201 on: 14 December 2012, 10:54:20 »
Excuse me if this has been covered, but...
p13
Shouldn't the fuel consumption for an Invader Class JumpShip be 1/10th of that?

The Invader uses 19.75 tons per burn-day, and a burn-day is a day spent at 1G. Since the Invader only develops 1/10th of a G, it thus uses 1.975 tons per day. For a 30-day month of stationkeeping, that's 59.25 tons per month, which is what the entry says.
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.

boilerman

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #202 on: 14 December 2012, 11:02:28 »
I was wondering if that was what you were doing, but it still seems ridiculously high.  House rule I guess.
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cray

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #203 on: 14 December 2012, 11:16:10 »
I was wondering if that was what you were doing, but it still seems ridiculously high.  House rule I guess.

The stationkeeping fuel consumption was established in AT2R, if not earlier. I know it's high, considering the gravity being "fought" - I mean, really, you can just let the JumpShip fall for a few weeks at most stars and they won't move far - but it avoided near-infinite fuel endurance from trivial amounts of fuel. If you want an excuse, you can chalk it up to the inability of JumpShips to throttle their giant engines down low, or liquid hydrogen boil off.

I do now have a temptation to bolt a small craft to the stern of a JumpShip and use that for stationkeeping. You'd only need a few tons of thrust at most to hold station...
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.

wellspring

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #204 on: 14 December 2012, 11:46:57 »
Another one:

p12
I think we need so clarification here too.  First the controlling player must decide on the monthly ammo consumption rates and then it's stated the monthly rate is 1/4 of capacity.  So is the controlling player determining which ammo types are used or the overall rate of use?  If it's the former I'd say ammo would be used at the same rate for each ammo type  since each has its own characteristics a soldier needs to be familiar with, and if it's the later I'd say stick with the 1/4 value.  One quarter seems to me to be a nice compromise between meeting training requirements and conserving resources.

Also there is a compound word in there: "onequarter."

Might I suggest multiplying consumables consumption (spare parts, fuel, ammo) by the unit quality salary modifier? Elite units spend more time training, that's one part of why they're so expensive to maintain. Times 1.2 for Clan warriors, who conduct more live fire exercises and for whom day-to-day governance requires internecine combat.

On another note, from before:

2 million a month? It shows 228,000 in my pdf. And jumpships use generic aerospace spare parts, same as dropships and fighters.

We caught some errata! On page 12 (first column, under Spare Parts), parts consumption is 0.1% of mass. In the example on the next page, it's 0.01%.

And, technically, you only get to generate 10 tons of fuel per fusion engine you have, and you can only do that after a battle during the maintenance cycle. The maintenance cycle is just the time between battles, no matter how long that may be, as indicated by the fact that you only make one maintenance check between battles with no mention of time. So if you're between battles, with RAW you can't actually generate any fuel until after your next one.

With 10 tons per fusion engine, if you have Mechs and support vehicles, it should be plenty. Add to that, and I think I covered this already, a maintenance cycle is 8 hours per day, unless you choose not to track calendar time, in which case why are you playing Interstellar Ops? RAW definitely lets you do this unless you specifically choose not to.

Quote from: Strat Ops p166
If players are tracking time across days, weeks, months and so on, then each day provides eight hours of productive work. This is referred to as the Maintenance/Repair Cycle.

Also, finally found that quote from Strat Ops I was looking for:

Quote from: Strat Ops p168
It is common practice for a ’Mech, fighter, or other vehicle to be accompanied only by a Technician during transport (and the appropriate vehicle bay included provision for their accommodation and life support needs). When the unit reaches its destination the Technician then draws on a common pool of AsTechs to form a technical team.

Which contradicts:

Quote from: Cray's Bowl of Awesome, p9
The minimum technical support personnel are outlined in Strategic Operations, page 168. A technician team consisting of a tech and six astechs is
required for each combatant, and for purposes of force creation is rigidly assigned to each specific combatant:

I'd like to get back on the question of techs and admin people. This is important, especially since  none of the canonical DropShips include room for any of the asTechs or support people, and as written, Strat Ops specifically doesn't roll them into the cubicle weight. Every force will require at least one more dropship and JS hardpoint to fit all the support staff, and that's new for this setting. Plus, a gang of scruffy ne'er-do-wells fighting for fun and profit from their Union can't do maintenance on their Mechs while in flight. They have to wait to link up with their asTechs riding in the Mule nearby. Or revised DropShip designs.

This gets much worse since people playing IO will probably want to incorporate elements from SO: SAR, MASH, salvage/recovery units, IndustrialMechs for loading/unloading cargo, etc. Each of those capabilities adds their own bulk plus their logistical tail.

You can find a way to square the text I quoted in IO with SO using that magical phrase for the purposes of force creation, but I don't think we should. IMO you can be consistent with SO (actually, more consistent than we are now) and get a better outcome. Not "better" as in shootier, but better as in more consistent with the setting and more fun to play.

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #205 on: 14 December 2012, 12:14:03 »
The stationkeeping fuel consumption was established in AT2R, if not earlier. I know it's high, considering the gravity being "fought" - I mean, really, you can just let the JumpShip fall for a few weeks at most stars and they won't move far - but it avoided near-infinite fuel endurance from trivial amounts of fuel. If you want an excuse, you can chalk it up to the inability of JumpShips to throttle their giant engines down low, or liquid hydrogen boil off.
That has to be the most frustrating response I hear on the boards from the writers and game developers, "it's there, we have to live by it."  And this is not the first time I've heard it.  Yes, it should be applied to a good many things because changing them would change the dynamics of the game, or the fiction considerably, but this is not one of them.  You have 2 words in a table in a book that I would wager most in the BT community have never read.  I thought part of the reason for the TW series of rulebooks was not just expansion, but clarification and even some correction of minor details.

But of course, here I am ranting about what I consider a minor detail when I can just as easily ignore.  Please excuse the rant.
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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #206 on: 14 December 2012, 12:24:18 »
Oh I too know there are certain things I shall be ignoring in favor of making sense to myself at least.

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #207 on: 14 December 2012, 13:18:59 »
That has to be the most frustrating response I hear on the boards from the writers and game developers, "it's there, we have to live by it."

No, we don't have to live by it, but retcons are often not trivial processes. The easiest retcons are when line developers and writers realize, "Oops, no one really intended that and the retcon impacts almost nothing." It gets progressively harder to retcon something when you're stepping on toes of other writers or, worse, a line developer, and even harder when there solid decision behind some rule.

For example, fuel consumption during stationkeeping had some writer and developer backing to avoid ridiculously (but realistically) small fuel usage. The current rule is a handy rule of thumb that meshes well with fuel capacities of stationkeeping spacecraft. The 1/10th of a burn-day thing isn't a big deal except to particularly realism-interested players because most players aren't going to calculate stellar gravity at jump points.  Changing it requires changing fuel usage rules of everything from satellites to WarShips (scattered across 3 core books), and adds the complication that fuel consumption is not consistent at the standard jump points of various stars - while equal in theory, not all proximity limits actually have the same gravity level.

So, fine, 1/10th of a burn-day while stationkeeping. Simple, easy, and gives most ships months of stationkeeping fuel, and the BT universe doesn't stagger under the contradiction compared to, say, the dichotomy between economies and military sizes. Changing something like that would be pushing a boulder up hill.

If I had to pick something worth fighting over a change, it'd be the new numbers of supporting tech personnel. Stationkeeping fuel? That ain't the fight to pick.
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.

idea weenie

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #208 on: 14 December 2012, 13:50:11 »
The stationkeeping fuel consumption was established in AT2R, if not earlier. I know it's high, considering the gravity being "fought" - I mean, really, you can just let the JumpShip fall for a few weeks at most stars and they won't move far - but it avoided near-infinite fuel endurance from trivial amounts of fuel. If you want an excuse, you can chalk it up to the inability of JumpShips to throttle their giant engines down low, or liquid hydrogen boil off.

What are some of the changes, if we decided to make station-keeping to be 1% of a Burn-day, rather than 10%?  This gives Jumpships a longer endurance, but they would still want to top off their tanks every month or so.

Using the Invader as an example, at .01G holding thrust, it would burn ~6 tons per month, and Sarna gives it 50 tons of fuel capacity.  So instead of trying to fill up every 2 weeks (59.75 tons per month at .1G station-keeping), it only has to fill up every ~6-8 months from attached Dropships.  We could add extra fuel costs for arriving and departing, at regular and pirate points to reflect various navigational maneuvers used.

The extra fuel costs would be expressed in Burn-days, so the basic math remains the same.  For example (in addition to station-keeping) maneuvering at a regular Jump Point only uses a quarter Burn-day (drift in, then accelerate out), while maneuvering at a pirate point uses a full Burn-day (detach Dropships, accelerate out of the point and assume a circular orbit around it, then later break the orbit, get inside the pirate point, dock Dropships, then jump).

jh316

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Re: Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion
« Reply #209 on: 14 December 2012, 16:00:39 »
For my games, I'm definitely going to house rule the astech bit. Probably 6 astechs for every 5 techs or fraction thereof as the minimum. 6 astechs and 5 techs is what it'd take to maintain 5 assault mechs in an 8 hour day (assuming each of the 5 techs are dedicated to their one mech). With the option of having more astechs but meaning that much more salary to pay for.

Really, 6 astechs and 5 techs (4+ 1 extra per strat ops) per lance is probably a good baseline to aim for. And if you get desperate I'm sure you could combine some of the techs that aren't currently working on anything into a full technical team, even if they wouldn't like it. The only time you could ever need a full 6 astechs for every 1 tech is if you're in a dedicated combat salvage unit or something, stripping and rebuilding machines 12 hours a day.
« Last Edit: 14 December 2012, 16:17:06 by jh316 »