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Seer

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Argo running costs
« on: 18 August 2020, 15:54:18 »
Hi everyone. I've been trying to calculate the monthly costs of the Argo using current BT rules for HBS' Battletech. I'm not interested in how much it's worth, just how much it costs to run. There have been threads on the former but not the latter afaik (please direct me if otherwise). The minimum costs should involve spare parts, fuel, and salaries. The Argo only uses laser weaponry so there's no ammunition costs (and it never sees combat anyway). I'm writing this down here for reference purposes and to facilitate any necessary corrections.

1) Spare parts
Campaign Operations rulebook (CO, p. 24 of the pdf) is consulted to find:
Quote
Monthly generic spare part consumption (by tonnage)... Space stations and JumpShips, which are lightly stressed vehicles, only use 0.01 percent of their mass in spare parts per month. The cost of the generic spare parts is ... 15,000 CB per ton for fighters and large spacecraft. This cost is multiplied by the cost multipliers listed on the Equipment Availability & Cost Table (see p. 14). Players operating more advanced equipment will generally find their spare parts to be more expensive.
The Argo is classified as a Civilian Spheroid DropShip but behaves more like a space station, as stated in the House Arano sourcebook (HA, p. 63 of the pdf):
Quote
The Argo is too large to land on a planet, much like the similarly-sized Behemoth... The Argo was in effect a mobile space station, providing supply and temporary habitation for teams on dangerous missions in unsettled space.
The HA sourcebook states the Argo's tech base but not its tech rating, which I've presumed to be E level (Advanced) since this is a Star League era ship. Cost modifier for "Tech E and F Equipment for non-Clan, non-ComStar Force between 2860 and 3040" is x5.0 (CO, p. 14) as it's acquired in 3028. The Argo has the additional problem of being left derelict for hundreds of years and in need of extensive refits and repairs, but in the HA sourcebook it somehow lacks the "Difficult to Maintain" quirk... so I've added that on (x1.25) but feel free to ignore it if you wish. Its unique grav deck design could give it the "Non-Standard Parts" quirk (x2.0), I think, but fortunately you can get the machine shop running after an upgrade, so we'll handwave that away. As the rules state, these modifiers are added sequentially to per ton costs.

Argo's weight is 97,000 tons, 15,000 per ton cost, tech rating E modifier x5.0, difficult to maintain quirk modifier x1.25. As you divide by 1,000 to get 0.1% of mass for 'Mechs etc., for the Argo it's divide by 10,000 to get 0.01% of mass.

Calculation:
97,000 ∕ 10,000 = 9.7 tons of spare parts
15,000 x 5.0 x 1.25 = 93,750 CB per ton (75,000 without the quirk)
93,750 x 9.7 = 909,375 CB in spare parts per month (727,500 without the quirk)
If you want to be brutal and add in the "Non-Standard Parts" quirk it comes to 1,818,750 CB per month. :fine_print:

2) Fuel:
In the HA sourcebook (p. 65) the Argo is rated as follows.
Quote
Fuel: 500 tons (5,000)
Tons/Burn-day: 8.83
The CO rulebook (p. 24) states
Quote
DropShips and WarShips are assumed to use 15 burn-days of fuel per month, while JumpShips and space stations are assumed to use 3 burn-days per month for station-keeping.
The Strategic Operations (SO, p. 34) rulebook states
Quote
One burn day is equal to the number of tons of fuel used per day if traveling at 1G of acceleration. To determine the amount of fuel used during transit, multiply the burn day value by the number of days of travel and the G-rating.
The Argo is still a DropShip when it comes to fuel consumption. While the player will know exactly, if they keep track, how many burn-days are spent traveling vs orbiting a planet or sitting on a JumpShip, in order to implement fuel costs an assumed average must be used. The Argo can increase its thrust from 1G to 2G with upgrades, which means its fuel consumption should be tracked by the ongoing costs of its drive upgrades. The assumed average should be practically implemented across these upgrades.

The Argo uses fusion reactors to power its drive system, so fuel costs are either incredibly expensive or free. Hydrogen costs 15,000 CB per ton (SO, p. 179) unless you can produce it yourself:
Quote
Hydrogen fuel can be produced by any unit with a fission, fusion or solar power plant at no cost if it is not undergoing repair or modification, at a rate of 10 tons per Maintenance/Repair Cycle unless local conditions (such as lack of water) eliminate this option.
As the ship has enough water to implement hydroponics as well as a swimming pool, water is obviously not a concern (and gives an indication of how luxurious it is). According to SO (p. 166):
Quote
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.
The Argo's reactors are undergoing repair or modification at intermittent intervals, but these fuel costs could be factored into the upgrade cost itself. So its ordinary per month fuel costs could be calculated as follows. Burn days per month is 15, 8.83 tons burned per day, 10 tons produced per M/R cycle, and an assumed 20 M/R cycles per month (four 5 day weeks, unless someone wants to tell me otherwise).

1G:
8.83 x 15 x 1 = 132.45 tons burned
10 x 20 = 200 tons produced
thus, 67.55 tons fuel surplus per month
I.e. no fuel cost at 1G

1.5G:
8.83 x 15 x 1.5 = 198.675
10 x 20 = 200
thus, 1.325 tons surplus per month

2G:
8.83 x 15 x 2 = 264.9
10 x 20 = 200
thus, 64.9 tons deficit per month

In an average month, the Argo would only burn more than it produces if it's traveling at 2G. Of course, the Argo has a 500 ton fuel capacity, so it would still have 435.1 tons remaining by the end of the month.

500 / 64.9 = 7.7 months until you would need to purchase hydrogen or run out of fuel completely (since the player can't reduce speed). 500 tons of hydrogen would cost an eye-watering 7,500,000 CB, and to avoid that massive expense you'd have to break down the cost to 974,500 CB a month (64.9 tons), which is hardly cheap. In short, it makes little sense to travel at 2G unless you can afford to fill the low-G pool with C-Bills instead of water.

Turning that around, if you limp along at 1G you could feasibly sell the surplus for a cool 1,013,250 CB, or 19,875 CB at 1.5G. That would be a neat way to keep the operation afloat and help afford initial repairs to improve the Argo. With spare parts and 2G fuel burn alone, monthly costs come to 1,883,875 CB! Now to salaries.

3) Salaries:
In the HA sourcebook (p. 65) the Argo's crew is listed as
Quote
17 officers, 67 enlisted/non-rated, 3 gunners, 66 bay personnel, 83 First Class Passengers
When we acquire the ship in the game there are certainly no passengers, nor will there be, so those can be safely disregarded. The crew thus numbers 153. Apart from them, there are Technical, Medical, and other Administrative staff to consider.

The following is drawn from the table on p. 25 of the CO rulebook, and half are treated as regulars (x1.0 modifier):
17 Officers = Vessel Crewmen with the officer modifier (x1.2)
67 enlisted/non-rated = Vessel Crewmen
3 gunners = Specialist Infantry
66 bay personnel = Vessel Crewmen with the green modifier (x0.6)

Total cost:
(1,200 x 17) + (1,000 x 67) + (960 x 3) + (600 x 66) = 129,280 CB per month

Technical:
The Argo (HA, p. 65) has
Quote
Bay 1: BattleMech Cubicles (12)
Bay 2: Small Craft Cubicles (6)
In the game, of course, the latter are done away with and it has 18 'Mech cubicles, so they'll be treated as such. For a fully staffed 'Mech Bay the following is required: 1 tech plus 6 astechs (SO, p. 168) per 'Mech. Lance officers are assumed to be MechWarriors and so don't figure into salaries here. This amounts to 126 personnel total, broken down as 18 techs and 108 astechs.

Total cost:
(800 x 18) + (400 x 108) = 57,600 CB per month

Medical:
As per SO, p. 168:
Quote
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.
The Argo has up to 3 Field Hospitals (HA, p. 65) plus one med team integrated into the crew, which, from memory, is counted as your initial med points before any upgrades. Each med team equates to 1 doctor plus 4 medics/nurses, so a full medical staff after upgrades comes to 20 personnel, broken down as 4 doctors and 16 medics/nurses. Curiously, these are folded into Admin staff in CO, despite their special role, so instead Field Manual: Mercenaries will be consulted. There, in terms of productivity, medics/nurses are considered regulars, doctors as veterans (x1.6), and surgeons as elite (x3.2) (FM:M, p. 150). This could be implemented as med point bonuses or salary costs; the latter will be done here. It could also be argued the final med bay upgrade is for a surgeon rather than a doctor. A full medical staff thus comes to 1 surgeon, 3 doctors, and 16 medics/nurses (FM:M, pp. 148). IMO, a surgeon is nothing without an anesthesiologist or at least a nurse anesthetist (i.e. an elite nurse), thus, optionally, they could be included as well. The latter is my preferred option.

Total cost:
No special staff: (2400 x 4) + (640 x 16) = 19,840 CB per month
"Full" med staff: (4,800 x 1) + (2400 x 3) + (640 x 16) = 22,240 CB per month
+1 anesthetist: (4,800 x 1) + (2400 x 3) + (2048 x 1) + (640 x 15) = 23,648 CB per month :thumbsup:
or +1 anesthesiologist: (4,800 x 2) + (2400 x 3) + (640 x 16) = 27,040 CB per month

Administration:
As CO describes (p. 21):
Quote
The basic administration requirements are one dedicated administrator per ten non-administrative members of the Force, rounded up. These “administrators” include not just “paper pushers” and “bean counters,” but also doctors, intelligence, communications, quartermasters, lawyers and other supporting noncombatant personnel.
Admin staff is calculated using the number of technical personnel (which includes ship crew) plus each 'Mech must also have one dedicated admin (18 total) who are all treated as regulars. Also as above, medical staff have been separated out using FM:M rules.

Admin calculation:
153 + 126 + 20 = 299 personnel
299 / 10 = 29.9 rounded up to 30
30 + 18 = 48 admin staff
500 x 48 = 24,000 CB per month

Taking the above into consideration, total salaries are:
129,280 + 57,600 + 23,648 + 24,000 = 234,528 CB per month

Conclusion:
At last, total costs can be calculated:
Crew salaries: 234,528
Fuel: 0 (1.5G assumed)
Spare parts: 909,375
= 1,143,903 CB per month, or, with 2G fuel costs, 2,118,403 CB per month :)

I'll have to think about how to implement this across the various upgrades, but it's a start. I might do the Leopard in a future post as well.

Side note:
The Argo takes up two docking collars on a JumpShip which should double its travel costs compared to the Leopard to 60,000 CB. Though assumed JumpShip costs can be as high as 50,000 per jump (FM:M, p. 166), so 100,000 CB instead...

References:
Campaign Operations
Strategic Operations
House Arano: The Aurigan Coalition
Field Manual: Mercenaries (revised)
« Last Edit: 19 August 2020, 15:01:18 by Seer »
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Frabby

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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #1 on: 19 August 2020, 01:47:24 »
I always take issue with the wording "takes up two docking collars" as I feel this is misleading. You can jump DropShips with the Large DropShip Quirk with a single collar, and as such you can carry them on JumpShips with only one harpoint (such like the Scout or Magellan) just fine. Due to their sheer size, the GM might rule that they block a second (adjacent) hardpoint; but they don't need that second hardpoint for anything.

In the special case of the Argo and its MCDS, you need (and thereby block) additional collars only when carrying smaller vessels on the Argo.

Hmm. It occurs to me that this makes the MCDS marginally useful, as it can effectively negate the Large DropShip Quirk.
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Seer

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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #2 on: 19 August 2020, 09:07:24 »
In the special case of the Argo and its MCDS, you need (and thereby block) additional collars only when carrying smaller vessels on the Argo.

This is true, as HA (p. 63) shows:
Quote
DropShips (of any mass) can stay docked while the DropShip with the MDCS is connected to a JumpShip. The JumpShip must have a number of Docking Collars left free equal to the number of DropShips connected to the MSDC, or safety circuits will prevent the jump from occurring.
Strictly speaking, there's nothing preventing a jump from occurring if the Argo alone is docked to a single collar. Visually, in the game, the ship is always docked in such a way its sheer mass blocks a second collar, which could be the devs abstracting how the ship requires two docking points with the Leopard attached. Either way, the player should pay more as you're effectively using two collars.
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Elmoth

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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #3 on: 19 August 2020, 09:35:33 »
The Argo has the leopard attached, so that is exactly the case. 2 collars used for 2 dropships.

Gigastrike

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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #4 on: 19 August 2020, 10:09:45 »
So if we're talking about the Argo in a realistic sense (or at least in universe, without and special player privileges), how long would it take for a house military or Comstar to try and steal/destroy the ship?

MarauderD

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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #5 on: 19 August 2020, 11:22:53 »
So if we're talking about the Argo in a realistic sense (or at least in universe, without and special player privileges), how long would it take for a house military or Comstar to try and steal/destroy the ship?

About 30 days after it became functional, and visited a planet with a HPG.  ComStar would be all over it.  Failing that, I think both the TC and MoC would do the same thing.  Let alone the great houses.  While they would be last to hear about it, and they might try to bribe the PC to hand it over, they would be absolutely ruthless in acquiring it.  (DEST teams, MI6, SAFE, LOKI, Maskirovka, etc)

idea weenie

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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #6 on: 19 August 2020, 11:50:09 »
I always take issue with the wording "takes up two docking collars" as I feel this is misleading. You can jump DropShips with the Large DropShip Quirk with a single collar, and as such you can carry them on JumpShips with only one harpoint (such like the Scout or Magellan) just fine. Due to their sheer size, the GM might rule that they block a second (adjacent) hardpoint; but they don't need that second hardpoint for anything.

In the special case of the Argo and its MCDS, you need (and thereby block) additional collars only when carrying smaller vessels on the Argo.

Hmm. It occurs to me that this makes the MCDS marginally useful, as it can effectively negate the Large DropShip Quirk.

I figure the 'taking up two collars' is due to the extra field energy needed to contain the larger Dropship.  Later Dropship developments had better KF systems integrated in their hull and would lose that penalty.

So initially it might be Dropships that are 50kton or lower take up 1 Docking Collar, larger Dropships take up 2 due to their size
A first tech upgrade changes that to Dropships 60 ktons or smaller only needing one collar, anything larger takes up 2.
The next tech upgrade changes that to 70 ktons, aso

Essentially, you divide the Dropship mass by the capacity mass, round up, and that is the number of Docking Collars you need.  If you want more detail, you could have this separated for both Dropship and Jumpship capacity, so a 55 kton Dropship might be built in a newer factory so its divisor is 60 ktons.  However, it is wanting to travel via the ancient Jumpship "Lucky #32", which only has a capacity of 15 ktons per collar.  Result is that Dropship will need 4 Docking Collars to be safely jumped.

This could be extended both forwards and backwards, maybe using the Shatterzone table style
1 kton -> 1.5 kton -> 2.5 kton -> 4 kton -> 6 kton -> 10 kton -> 15 kton -> 25 kton -> 40 kton -> 60 kton -> 100 kton


But the overall economic look at the Argo was quite interesting, thank you for putting it together.

Seer

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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #7 on: 19 August 2020, 13:39:07 »
Speaking of the Leopard, I'll get on that now. Like the Argo its running costs are ongoing in the game, so they should be properly represented. This should be easier, anyway.

1) Ammunition
Unlike the Argo, the Leopard does see some action so ammunition expenses should be taken into account. At the least, 'peacetime' costs should be represented to keep the gunner's skills up to scratch. As CO (p. 24) states:
Quote
The peacetime consumption of ammunition by ammunition-using units in the Force is one-quarter of the vehicle’s or infantry Force’s ammunition capacity. This represents ammunition spent to maintain the skills of the Force. Divide a unit’s ammunition tonnage and cost of ammunition by 4 to get the monthly peacetime ammunition expenditure. This cost is based on standard ammunition... This represents inexpensive training ammunition being expended.
In Technical Readout 3057 (revised, p. 12) the Leopard carries 6 tons of LRM 20 ammo. The TechManual (p. 295) lists its ammo cost at "30,000 / 5,000", presumably CB per ton. Sarna lists the cost at 30,000 so that's the figure I'll go with.

Calculation:
6 / 4 = 1.5
180,000 / 4 = 45,000
I.e. 1.5 x 30,000 = 45,000
So the Leopard consumes 45,000 CB worth of ammo per month.

2) Spare Parts
In TRO 3057 (Ibid.) the ship's mass is 1,900 tons. As it's an Aerodyne DropShip its spare parts usage is 0.1% of mass, 15,000 CB per ton. It doesn't have any special modifiers/multipliers, unlike the Argo. It's just a Leopard.

Calculation:
1,900 / 1,000 = 1.9 tons of spare parts
15,000 x 1.9 = 28,500 CB in spare parts per month.

3) Fuel
TRO 3057 (Ibid.):
Quote
Fuel: 137 tons (5,480)
Tons/Burn-day: 1.84
Safe Thrust: 4
Maximum Thrust: 6
The ship has a fusion engine (Star League V84), but there's a complication concerning its fuel consumption. After the Argo is acquired it's used almost exclusively for combat drops, spending the rest of its time docked, so it would use vastly less fuel than ordinary. The assumed 15 burn-days a month here is too much for most of the campaign or a career. Instead, the 3 burn-days a month typical of a JumpShip will be used to represent its fuel use for combat drops.

Calculation:
1.84 x 3 x 4 = 22.08 tons burned
10 x 20 = 200 tons produced
thus, 177.92 tons surplus per month.

This is quite a large surplus, to the value of 2,668,800 CB, and that's indicating it wouldn't be a good idea, as floated earlier, to allow the player to pocket the proceeds of any surplus hydrogen produced. It'd cover most of the costs of running your merc company.

Side note: Interestingly, however, it does indicate how wealthy the company who owns the Argo plus at least one other DropShip could be, assuming they find a buyer and continue to have no trouble with water supplies. Given the enormous cargo capacity of the Argo, it'd be pretty easy to arrange storage for any surplus hydrogen until a buyer could be found, or kept and used if necessary. Anyway, moving on.

For good measure I'll include the standard 15 burn-days:
1.84 x 15 x 4 = 110.4 tons burned
10 x 20 = 200 tons produced
thus, 89.6 tons surplus per month.

So even if the standard 15 burn-days were used, you would not have to purchase fuel at the end of the month. The cost of fuel for the Leopard is thus 0 CB per month.

4) Salaries
Standard crew for a Leopard (Ibid.) is
Quote
2 officers, 4 enlisted/non-rated, 3 gunners, 12 bay personnel
That comes to 21 personnel. As above,
2 Officers = Vessel Crewmen with the officer modifier (x1.2)
4 enlisted/non-rated = Vessel Crewmen
3 gunners = Specialist Infantry
12 bay personnel = Vessel Crewmen with the green modifier (x0.6)

Total cost:
(1,200 x 2) + (1,000 x 4) + (960 x 3) + (600 x 12) = 16,480 CB per month.

Technical:
After the Argo is acquired, all tech teams are transferred to its superior facilities and work on the Leopard ceases. Until then, it maintains 4 tech teams (or 1 per 'Mech) of 4 techs and 24 astechs. Ideally, you could divide pre- and post-Argo expenses, and this is possible if you bother to mod the SimGameConstants.json after you get it, but it's impractical for most people. So I won't count the following expense here, but the possibility remains for the dedicated:
(800 x 4) + (400 x 24) = 12,800 CB per month.

Medical:
Every DropShip has a medical team as part of its crew, so 1 doctor with 4 medics/nurses. The cost is simple, using FM:M rules:
(2400 x 1) + (640 x 4) = 4,960 CB per month

Administrative:
As above,
21 + 5 = 26 personnel (54 including tech staff)
26 / 10 = 2.6 rounded up to 3 (6 including tech staff)
(6 + 4 = 10 admin staff if you include 4 'Mechs)
500 x 3 = 1,500 CB per month
(or 500 x 10 = 5,000 CB per month including tech staff)

Remembering that tech staff aren't counted here, total salaries come to:
16,480 + 4,960 + 1,500 = 22,940 CB per month (or 39,240 CB with tech staff).

Side note: A standard Leopard has only 15 bunks, yet here a full staff would come to 64... even the 3056 upgrade only doubles capacity (2 people per 15 bunkrooms). How on earth do all these people fit? Even if you abstracted away everyone but the actual crew, it's still too many for the pre-3056 Leopard. Mysteries abound. It made sense in DropShips & JumpShips (pp. 38-39) because the crew was 9 plus 6 Mechwarriors, but not anymore.

Conclusion:
Total costs are as follows:
Crew salaries: 22,940
Fuel: 0
Spare parts: 28,500
Ammunition: 45,000
= 96,440 CB per month (or 112,740 CB per month with tech staff).

Rather modest compared to the money pit that is the Argo.

So if we're talking about the Argo in a realistic sense (or at least in universe, without and special player privileges), how long would it take for a house military or Comstar to try and steal/destroy the ship?
IMO, as soon as they could organize the forces to do so. It'd be a case of 'first come, first served'. A ship that rare and that advanced would be an incredible prize.

But the overall economic look at the Argo was quite interesting, thank you for putting it together.
You're quite welcome.
« Last Edit: 20 August 2020, 07:48:43 by Seer »
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Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #8 on: 19 August 2020, 13:55:21 »
I have to say, that's a lot less than I figured it'd cost to operate the Leopard...and way higher than I realized to operate the Argo.
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Seer

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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #9 on: 19 August 2020, 14:21:49 »
Annual running costs for the Argo total nearly 14 million CB, not including repairs and upgrades, while the Leopard will set you back, ordinarily, a bit under 1.5 million. It makes sense though, right? She's a huge, one-of-a-kind ship that crashed into a moon, and then pirates squatted and tore her apart for scrap. I'd be surprised if she weren't massively expensive compared to a Leopard.

I don't think I've overlooked anything or done anything outlandish either. Most of your costs in BT come from fuel (if you're unfortunate enough to have to buy hydrogen), ammunition, and salaries. Spare parts usually aren't a huge expense except in special cases like Clan equipment or stuff with certain quirks.
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Elmoth

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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #10 on: 19 August 2020, 15:03:52 »
I can see IS powers just offering to trade the Argo for another dropship of the PCs choosing, even including a 10 year free rental of a jumpship. I know my RPG friends would jump at that chance quite readily. And I think they would be correct in doing so.

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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #11 on: 19 August 2020, 16:19:54 »
I don't have Combat Ops, so it's harder for me to run the calcs myself, but how does it compare to the cost of running an Overlord annually?
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Seer

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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #12 on: 20 August 2020, 08:23:50 »
For a standard Overlord, keeping in mind the above...
Ammunition:
200 rounds Autocannon/5 ammunition (10 tons) = 11,250
30   rounds Autocannon/20 ammunition (6 tons) = 15,000
96   rounds LRM 20 ammunition (16 tons) = 120,000
∴ 146,250
Spare Parts: 145,000
Fuel: 0
Salaries:
C: 127 = 96,760
T: 42 + 252 = 134,400
M: 5 = 4,960
A: 10 + 42 = 26,000
∴ 262,120 for 473 staff

Monthly total = 553,370 CB per month
Annual = 6,400,440 CB

It's easy enough to do once you know how. Keep in mind these are just ordinary, peacetime running costs for the ship itself, with the assumption it's carrying a full complement of 'Mechs and other vehicles (not including their crews). I'm also assuming, except in a few cases, that most staff are regulars: salary costs could be higher in that case, but could also be lower if it's not carrying a full load. Combat costs and losses are an entirely different matter as well, and depends on what actually happens in play. You may have to repair things, replace things, use much more ammo, face shortages of fuel, etc. That'll get expensive real quick. If the Argo took major damage the costs could be ruinous. But that's beyond the scope of this thread.

Something didn't seem right to me, so I went back to SO (p. 168) to double check my work and found this:
Quote
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.
That makes more sense from a passenger capacity point of view: only techs are transported with their accommodation in the cubicle. The CO & SO rulebooks don't specify anything else about the "common pool"; it's only mentioned once. If you wanted to account for it, I guess you'd have to find alternative transportation for the hundreds of astechs needed to support a battle-ready force. That particular logistical difficulty is abstracted away by the rules.

Taking the Overlord above, if it's assumed your admin and your astechs don't accompany your 'Mechs, etc., and it's also assumed that you have bunkspace for 88 people ("around 22" per 4 rooms, D&J, p. 42) plus 42 cubicles for your techs, that's still 174 people for 130 spaces. Even if you take out 5 spaces for med staff it's not enough. I'm relying on D&J because TRO 3057 doesn't say a word about where people are supposed to fit. Crew increased and passenger space revisions were overlooked in the latter, it seems, because an Overlord in the former had a crew of 43 plus 42 Mechwarriors and aerospace pilots (85 people). Concerning the Leopard, you could assume a standard staff of 33 people (21+4+5+3) and still be overcapacity. Never mind the people who are supposed to be in the 'Mechs or helping maintain them.

The Argo, in any case, is a fully self-contained operation. It can't leave astechs, admins, etc. out of the picture. HA (p. 63):
Quote
Habitability was a key objective for the Boeing engineers: the Argo’s crew would be expected to live on the ship for years at a time, if not decades. This total self-sufficiency is a recurring theme in the ship’s design. It includes three fully equipped MASH medical theaters, larger-than-usual crew and passenger accommodations, recreational areas, fitness centers, and extensive onboard hydroponic gardens. An entire pod is reserved for passengers and temporary guests; docking DropShip crews were expected to take “shore” leave onboard the Argo.
If you included 83 passenger spaces you'd still come up short: 347 total staff (299 + 48 admin) for 236 spaces (assumed 153 crew spaces + 83). It's not represented, but in order for it to maintain combat operations you'd have to convert some of the cargo space for habitation. With 57,039.5 tons available you'd have room, but since it's outside the pods (which use the grav-decks) they wouldn't have the same gravity. I.e. it'd be worse living conditions in the long term. I'm being pedantic here but that's the point: people have to live aboard this thing. The upgrades in the game don't fully take this into account, which is understandable because it's not as fun. Unfortunately, the source and rulebooks don't either (unless I'm missing something).
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BattleTech Non-Fiction Publications list | Argo Running Costs | MGS REX | The "Sea Monster"

elf25s

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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #13 on: 20 August 2020, 10:14:19 »
now i am doing this from memory after not playing the game for a year or so...was not argo one of only 2 or 3 of its kind and some costs were reduced due to unique tech build into it ? such as say heavy automation and damage control systems that reduced its needs for crew and crew needs? and originally was it not able to make a landing on  a surface save in an emergency? but given its unique status of being according to the game one of a kind left would it not make it more expensive to run?
you sure cannot out run death...but sure as hell you can make that bastard work for it!

Seer

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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #14 on: 21 August 2020, 15:43:14 »
When thinking about how I'd divvy up repair/upgrade costs inevitably I had to ask the question of how much the Argo itself costs. I was hoping to avoid this but... CO, p. 46:
Quote
The cost to replace a component in a unit is equal to the price listed on pp. 274-286, TM. Component repair costs are one-fifth of the component purchase cost.
This presents some problems because the TM doesn't account for all the special components that go into the Argo (like a low-g pool). Ugh. So here we go. All of this is drawn from the TechManual, pp. 283, 285; SO, pp.158-159; and HA, p. 65.

1) Structural costs
Cockpit/Controls
  • Bridge 200,000 + (10 x Unit Tonnage)
200,000 + (10 x 97,000) = 1,170,000
  • Computer 200,000
  • Life Support 5,000 x (Total Passengers + Crew)
Max crew assumed, but you can substitute your own figure here
5,000 x 347 = 1,735,000
  • Sensors 80,000
  • Fire Control Computer 100,000
  • Gunnery Control Systems 10,000 x (Number of Arcs with Weapons)
10,000 x 4 = 40,000

Subtotal = 3,325,000 CB

Structure/Structural Integrity
  • DropShip/Small Craft 100,000 x Structural Integrity Value
100,000 x 40 = 4,000,000 CB

Additional Flight Systems
  • Attitude Thruster (All craft) 25,000
  • Docking Collar (DropShips only) 10,000
SO lists the cost of a Docking Collar at 100,000 for advanced aerospace units. Since the Argo has a MDCS i'll use the larger figure.
  • MDCS for 2 additional DropShips 5,400 tons
100,000 x 3 = 300,000
I've excluded landing gear here since the Argo can't land.
Subtotal = 325,000 CB

Engine
  • Drive Unit (DropShips/Small Craft) 500 x Safe Thrust x (Unit Tonnage ÷ 100)
500 x 3 x (97,000 ÷ 100) = 1,455,000 CB

Fuel Tanks
  • 200 x Fuel Tonnage
200 x 500 = 500,000 CB

Armor
  • Standard 10,000 x Armor Tonnage
10,000 x 11 = 110,000 CB

Heat Sinks
  • Standard  2,000 x (Total Number of Heat Sinks)
2,000 x 358 = 716,000 CB

Grav Deck
  • 3 Medium Grav Deck 250m, 3 x 100 tons
10,000,000 x 3 = 30,000,000 CB

Total cost = 40,431,000 CB

2) Equipment costs
Quote
Cargo
  Bay 1: BattleMech Cubicles (12)  1 Doors
  Bay 2: Small Craft Cubicles (6)  3 Doors
  Bay 3: Cargo (57,039 .5 tons)  1 Doors
(20,000 x 12 + 1,000) + (20,000 x 6 + 3,000) + (0 + 1,000) = 365,000 CB
Cargo space is free, which is fortunate since there's a lot of it.

Quote
Life Boats: 42
Escape Pods: 0
5,000 x 42 = 210,000 CB

Quote
3 x MASH + Surgical Theatre 13.5 tons
Field Kitchen 3 tons
Comms Equipment 10 tons
(3 x 35,000 + 10,000) + 25,000 + (10,000 x 10) = 240,000 CB

Other equipment (heatsinks, armor, etc.) is accounted for above.

She also has 8 medium lasers and 2 large lasers, so...
(40,000 x 8 ) + 200,000 = 520,000 CB

Total cost = 1,335,000 CB

Finally,
Grand total = 41,776,000 CB

If you think this isn't much: we're not done yet. Every DropShip's combined structure and equipment costs are multiplied by 28. But should the Argo have this multiplier, given she will never enter an atmosphere? A space station, by contrast, which is what she behaves like, only has a x5 multiplier.

If she's given the DropShip multiplier, it comes to 1,169,728,000 CB.
If she's given the Space Station multiplier, it comes to 208,880,000 CB.

Over a billion C-Bills for a civilian ship is an astronomical figure, even for one as advanced as her. The second figure seems more reasonable to me, but I'll leave it to others to judge. What I really wanted to find out was how much all her bits and pieces cost, and I figured I'd put them all together while I was at it. Her non-standard parts I'll worry about later.

@elf25s There's nothing to suggest she can get away with fewer crew because of her automation in the source material. The rules are especially rigid concerning Techs.
« Last Edit: 22 August 2020, 07:26:30 by Seer »
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Phobos

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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #15 on: 22 August 2020, 07:51:43 »
I think it depends what you load "over-sized" dropships with whehter the "more than a billion" price-tag and increased operating costs are worth it.
If such a behemoth only carries 18 mechs, you're getting a pretty bad deal alright. But you can essentially cram a whole RCT into just 3-5 (depending on the composition of said RCT) roughly 50k tons dropships which would clock in at around 1.5 to 2 billion C-Bills and most likely less than the Argo's operating cost. Imagine to carry a whole RCT only with Unions, Overlords, Leopards etc. I'm 100% sure that this approach would greatly exceed the alternative in terms of production cost and operating cost, let alone that you need several Invaders/Monoliths/Star Lords more than the essentially 1 Star Lord you would need with the roughly Mammoth sized transport droppers.

Seer

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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #16 on: 27 August 2020, 05:24:41 »
Implementing repairs and upgrades. This took a while.

The CO rules state the fixed costs of replacement and repair, but doesn't take into account a ship crashed into a moon and then squatted. So I'll be making some further assumptions here. Thanks to the info above, if people disagree it'll be relatively easy to make adjustments. For certain components, tech level can be taken into account but as the whole ship had been left derelict, some of its basic components, broken into Drive, Power, and Structure, will be taken as tech E to represent its incredibly poor state of repair. The grav decks escape that fate (see below). Many parts will be easier to replace, but as the fundamentals are so compromised this is not a cheap job. A lot of the expense of the Argo is in the running costs, so some upgrades are cheap to purchase but expensive to maintain. I think this adds something different compared to the base game.

As the costs of running the Argo are high, it makes sense to spread them across various upgrades in order to avoid bankrupting the player. Of course, you then scale your investments in the ship as finances improve. In the SimGameConstants.json, you find the following:
Code: [Select]
    "LeopardBaseMaintenanceCost":
    "ArgoBaseMaintenanceCost":
The Leopard's full monthly upkeep will be in the above as you can't break it down across upgrades. The Argo's base cost is the crew salaries (incl. admin), since without them the ship cannot operate, plus the Leopard operating costs sans techs and their admins. Everything else will be spread across its upgrades. Once you acquire the Argo you no longer pay for the Leopard's full cost. You do, however, keep on the 'base' tech and medical team, so their costs will be rolled into the Argo. So we end up with the below:
Leopard: 112,740 CB then,
Argo: 136,780 + 96,440 + 8160= 241,380 CB
Code: [Select]
    "LeopardBaseMaintenanceCost": 112740,
    "ArgoBaseMaintenanceCost": 241380,
Needless to say, if you're not comfortable with editing files back them up first. The Argo has 35 upgrades including those you start with, so the monthly costs of its spare parts will be spread over them, making everything much more affordable (though still expensive in total): 909,375 / 35 = 25,982 CB per upgrade (rounded down). As you increase your medical, technical, and admin staff they will be reflected in additional running costs on top of spare parts.

The repair costs below were split to each upgrade, with most of the investment coming sooner rather than later. The precise method varies from section to section as needed, and where I could purchase numbers were tweaked slightly so they looked nicer; everything adds up though. Each section is taken from from the relevant .json in the shipUpgrades folder. You can do whatever you want here, really.

Drive system:
To repair: Engine + Fuel Tanks

Engine: The drive system is taken as E level, so 1,455,000 x 5 = 7,275,000 CB to repair. The drive is never completely repaired, however, only operating at 2/3 capacity (or 2Gs out of 3), thus only 2/3 of the cost will be needed: 7,275,000 x (2/3) = 4,850,000 CB. As these are repairs, we only need 1/5 of that figure: 4,850,000 x (1/5) = 970,000 CB.

Fuel Tanks: These are A level so there's no extra costs involved. 500,000 CB for her tanks: 500,000 x (1/5) = 100,000 CB.

Total = 1,070,000 CB and
25982 x 3 = 77,946 CB in spare parts.

The cost of fuel is factored into the upgrades (replacing what's burned during the work), but the numbers are all here so you can take it out if you want. At 15 burn days a month, that means 7.5 burn days assumed for Drive 1 (15 days construction) and 15 burn days assumed for Drive 2 (30 days construction). Remembering that hydrogen costs 15,000 per ton:

Drive 1 repair fuel costs:
8.83 x 7.5 x 1 = 66.225 tons
66.225 x 15,000 = 993,375 CB
Drive 2 repair fuel costs:
8.83 x 15 x 1.5 = 198.675 tons
198.675 x 15,000 = 2,980,125 CB

Drive 0
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 0,
    "AdditionalCost" : 12991,
This is already 'installed', so only spare parts are counted.

Drive 1
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 1635400,
    "AdditionalCost" : 38973,

Drive 2
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 3408100,
    "AdditionalCost" : 1000482,
Reminder: the cost of fuel at 2G is 974,500 CB per month (+ 25,982 CB in remaining spare parts).

Due to the expense, cruising at 2G is not an attractive option for any but the fabulously wealthy (and impatient). That the Argo could get to 2G or over reflected her use in rescue operations, not her ordinary cruising speed. Never mind the strain it puts on the crew.

Structure:
To repair: Structure/Structural Integrity + Additional Flight Systems + Heat Sinks + Armor + 1 Bay Door + Lifeboats

So,
4,000,000 x 5 x (1/5) = 4,000,000
325,000 x (1/5) = 65,000
716,000 x (1/5) = 143,200
110,000 x (1/5) = 22,000
1,000 x (1/5) = 200
210,000 x (1/5) = 42,000
Total = 4,272,400 CB and
25982 x 3 = 77,946 CB in spare parts.

Structure 0
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 0,
    "AdditionalCost" : 12991,
This is already 'installed', so only spare parts are counted.

Structure 1
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 2563500,
    "AdditionalCost" : 38973,

Structure 2
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 1708900,
    "AdditionalCost" : 25982,

Power:
To repair: Cockpit/Controls + Comm. Equip.

3,325,000 x 5 x (1/5) = 3,325,000
100,000 x (1/5) = 20,000
Total = 3,345,000 CB and
25982 x 3 = 77,946 CB in spare parts.

Power 1
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 558000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 12991,

Power 2
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 1672000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 38973,

Power 3
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 1115000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 25982,

Pods:
To repair: 3 x Grav Deck + Field Kitchen

Grav decks (and field kitchens) are rated C-C-C, or merely uncommon in every era. Expensive to repair but not bankrupting. Besides, they work, it's the pods that are messed up and their cost is effectively factored into the structure above. Repairing the grav decks represents the additional load put on them (and thus the ship).

30,000,000 x (1/5) = 6,000,000
25,000 x (1/5) = 5,000
Total = 6,005,000 CB
25982 x 3 = 77,946 CB in spare parts.

Pod 1 (Alpha)
Code: [Select]
    "TechCost" : 15,
    "PurchaseCost" : 961000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 25982,
Why make you pay for Alpha Pod? It represents all the hard work to make it livable, not just habitable. You shouldn't be able to move in and leave it 'as is'. The structure and drives work 'as is', no one cares about them, but living space is different. And that work adds weight and costs money. Fortunately, you can still use it while it's being renovated.

Pod 2 (Beta)
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 3026000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 25982,

Pod 3 (Gamma)
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 2018000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 25982,

Technical:
To repair: 18 x 'Mech cubicles + 4 Bay doors

364,000 x (1/5) = 72,800 CB

Here's where salaries come back into play. The 'Mech Bays will be assigned a tech team for each cubicle as they're brought online. The bays themselves are cheap to repair, it's the running costs that add up (including admin).

57,600 / 3 = 19,200 in tech salaries per 'Bay.
(18 + 13) x 500 = 15,500 in admin costs.
25982 x 3 = 77,946 in spare parts.
Total = 151,046 CB in salaries and parts.

Bay 1 (6)
Code: [Select]
    "TechCost" : 5,
    "PurchaseCost" : 14600,
    "AdditionalCost" : 50349,
Yes, you pay for bay 1 as well: someone's got to check over the cubicles, get rid of the trash, and move in your 'mechs.

Bay 2 (12)
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 29100,
    "AdditionalCost" : 50349,

Bay 3 (18)
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 29100,
    "AdditionalCost" : 50349,

Here's where we exit official costs and enter what HBS has determined as appropriate. As only 1/5 of the cost is required to repair them, and since we don't have official costs, 1/5 of HBS' number will be used. Given the rest of the ship is so expensive, the player can catch a break here... with the exception of the automation (taken as tech E). Running costs in spare parts will be weighted towards the automation. The machine shop will also have an admin to keep an eye on things.

25982 x 5 = 129,910 CB in spare parts and 500 CB in salaries.

Bay Scaffolding
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 54000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 17320,

Refit Harness
Edit: Here at least I overlooked something. The harnesses are essentially hoists, and those can be costed. If we assume 18 'harnesses' (one for each cubicle) then,
50,000 x 18 x (1/5) = 180,000 CB.
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 180000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 17320,

Machine Shop
Edit: In retrospect, I've decided that a Tech team should run the machine shop as you'd need skilled personnel to staff it. So,
800 x (400 x 6) = 3,200 CB extra per month.
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 90000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 21020,

Automation 1
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 290000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 38975,

Automation 2
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 290000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 38975,

Medical:
To replace: 3 x MASH + Surgical Theatre

MASH & theatres are actually tech E in 3028! Centuries of incessant warfare takes its toll. I prefer to call them Combat Support Hospitals since they're not ideal for treating life-threatening injuries (hence the need for a surgery), and MASH is outdated now afaik. Anyway, the first "CSH" is being repaired/refurbished, the others replaced.

35,000 x 5 x (1/5) = 35,000
35,000 x 5 x 2 = 350,000
10,000 x 5 = 50,000
Total = 435,000 CB

(4,800 x 1) + (2400 x 3) + (2048 x 1) + (640 x 15) = 23,648 in salaries and
25982 x 4 = 103,928 in spare parts.
Total = 127,576 CB

MedBay 1
Code: [Select]
    "TechCost" : 10,
    "PurchaseCost" : 35000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 30942,

MedBay 2
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 175000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 30942,

MedBay 3
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 175000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 30942,

MedBay Hospital (now a Surgical Theater)
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 50000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 34750,

Recreation:
To repair & replace: only the gym and hydroponics are repairable; the rest need to be fully replaced. As there are no official costs, 1/5 of HBS' numbers will be used again. Spare parts will be divided as usual. The gym, arcade, library, training pods, and pool will have the cost of an "admin" factored in, while the hydroponics will have a "tech team" looking after everything as well as an "admin". Darius is assumed to be the "admin" of the lounge (he does it for free).

(500 x 6) + 800 + (400 x 6) = 6,200 CB in salaries and
25982 x 11 = 285,802 CB in spare parts.

Library 1
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 45000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 26482,

Library 2
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 90000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 25982,

Lounge 1
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 45000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 25982,

Lounge 2
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 90000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 25982,

Training Module 1
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 90000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 25982,

Training Module 2
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 270000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 25982,

Training Module 3
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 450000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 26482,

Gym
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 9000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 26482,

Hydroponics
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 18000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 29682,

Arcade
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 90000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 26482,

Pool
Code: [Select]
    "PurchaseCost" : 90000,
    "AdditionalCost" : 26482,

Assuming I haven't made any mistakes...
Total purchase costs = 17,308,600 CB (20,716,700 @ 2G)
Total salaries and spare parts = 1,016,018 CB (2,016,500 CB @ 2G)
Total running costs (incl. Argo & Leopard base + additional expenses) = 1,251,198 CB per month (2,225,698 @ 2G)

That's a lotta C-Bills. I might do another post for MechWarrior salary settings; the base game has them set absurdly high, given the average is 1500 CB a month (or 18,000 a year). I hope this makes the costs feel less arbitrary and more reflective of what's expensive and what's not in the BT universe.
« Last Edit: 31 October 2020, 02:02:06 by Seer »
"The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living."


BattleTech Non-Fiction Publications list | Argo Running Costs | MGS REX | The "Sea Monster"

Colt Ward

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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #17 on: 02 September 2020, 12:11:23 »
The Argo was basically your mobile landhold.

It could repair your mechs, house your troops and offer rec opportunities to the troops (correctly tied to morale), and had some storage.  When comparing to running a Overlord- or let's compare likes, make it a Jumbo!- factor in how much it would cost to refit one of the cargo decks with the amenities the Argo offered.  Non-drop capable mech cubicles like the Argo has actually works pretty well here.

Library, Gym II, lounge, and even the stuff that appears in the events that would come as part of the quarters (I think you have to consider giving each MW/Crew at least Steerage) to contrast with the Leopard's barracks in the game.  The training pods, which are not widely available in this period by the fluff- or even later periods it seems- themselves are extremely valuable.  I know I sent TT mercs down a complicated path trying to get their own set of simulators for training, and they could only gather a quartet for a pair of companies- no armor trainers either.  Guess I need to add that to my list of side-adventures.  Hmm, need to acquire some MILES type gear for field exercises too.  Another under appreciated aspect for TT would be the library . . . I am always inclined to go data-hoarder in games.  Gathering planetary maps, society 'zines with information on nobles/CEOs (building files on folks), military histories, astrogation DB back up, all sorts of information could be useful . . . and hiding back ups or even primary files in a library stand-alone DB would be very useful.  Real question is how you can get this sort of thing to unload from your DS when you are on garrison contracts . . . though HBS PCs never do real garrison, instead b/c of mechanics get defensive drops.

Additionally, you have to consider the required cargo space- even cutting the Overlord's mech count in half and removing the ASF cubicles would not give you the tonnage you need to duplicate the Argo let alone its cargo capacity.  You are not getting the Argo's infinite mech/part storage ability, but you will need more than the anemic cargo capacity the Overlord, Union or other SL mech carriers are using.

Personally, I never get the engines the 3rd upgrade.  I keep a company rather than a company & half.  For game purposes I only get a single training pod set up which helps with replacement personnel when someone keels over.  For table top campaign, I would absolutely try to get enough operational to get my whole company involved as part of pre-mission training.  Some games I do not even get the 3rd hab pod rebuilt.  All of it helps keep the overhead costs down.
Colt Ward

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Seer

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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #18 on: 03 September 2020, 08:54:50 »
I've been looking into mechwarrior salaries, mech costs, and mechlab costs. The first two are simple enough, the last is not.

Mechwarriors:
Code: [Select]
    "MechWarriorBaseCostPerPoint": 125.0,
    "MechWarriorBonusCostPerPoint": 31.25,
    "MechWarriorHiringCostPerPoint": 1500.0,
The above is what I'm happy with for now, but it's subject to change. Since a pilot's quirks impact their salaries so much, it was about finding an approximate setting so they weren't absurdly high or low. I've found that pilots with bad quirks sit around the green (1,500 x 0.6 = 900 CB) level while pilots with multiple good quirks can enjoy rates significantly higher. The base cost is the most influential factor, the bonus cost is 1/4 of that (hopefully avoiding excessive salary inflation), and the hiring cost is the base x12 (months). So your mechwarriors get a nice signing bonus but salaries shouldn't skyrocket as they improve.

'Mech costs:
The easiest way to represent generic 'mech maintenance costs is by assuming the maximum: eighteen 100 ton assault 'mechs. The player will likely end up operating with less than that, but if the above isn't assumed you either give them a discount or demand they calculate every 'mech operated themselves. Neither option is ideal. It's not that expensive anyway. Remembering it's 0.1% of mass and 10,000 CB per ton:

100 / 1,000 = 0.1
0.1 x 10,000 = 1,000 CB per 'mech a month
Code: [Select]
    "MechCostPerQuarter": 1000,Not so bad, see? As an aside, you can reduce these to zero as they're accounted for:
Code: [Select]
    "MechTechCostPerQuarter": 0,
    "MedTechCostPerQuarter": 0,

'Mechlab costs:
This is where things get annoying.
Code: [Select]
    "StructureRepairTechPoints":
    "StructureRepairCost":
    "ComponentRepairTechPoints":
    "ComponentRepairCost":
    "BallisticInstallTechPoints":
    "BallisticInstallCost":
    "MissileInstallTechPoints":
    "MissileInstallCost":
    "EnergyInstallTechPoints":
    "EnergyInstallCost":
    "APInstallTechPoints":
    "APInstallCost":
    "AmmoInstallTechPoints":
    "AmmoInstallCost":
    "JumpJetInstallTechPoints":
    "JumpJetInstallCost":
    "HeatSinkInstallTechPoints":
    "HeatSinkInstallCost":
    "ArmorInstallTechPoints":
    "ArmorInstallCost":
    "OtherInstallTechPoints":
    "OtherInstallCost":
    "UninstallTechPoints":
    "ZeroStructureCBillModifier":
    "ZeroStructureTechPointModifier":
I've stayed away from tech points and med points because I honestly don't know how these represent productivity, and probably only the devs would know for sure. On top of that installation costs aren't represented when constructing something in the TM (just final costs for putting it all together). If you equate repair and installation costs (1/5 of ordinary costs) this still doesn't take into account the various ways things are costed and calculated in the TM. There's no easy way to implement it. So the above is up to interpretation unless someone tells me otherwise. Might come back to it after more thinking.

@Colt Ward
Library, Gym II, lounge, and even the stuff that appears in the events that would come as part of the quarters (I think you have to consider giving each MW/Crew at least Steerage) to contrast with the Leopard's barracks in the game.
Funny you should mention this cause I went and did a bit more digging for quarter and passenger details. Info dump:

CO, p. 35:
Quote
Determining whether there is enough transport capacity for the combatants is fairly simple: compare the number of ’Mech, fighter, infantry, small craft, and other transport bays listed for the Force’s transport assets to the number of units in the Force. The unit’s personnel get to ride in the quarters associated with those bays and any spare passenger quarters...

After assessing  transport capacity for combatants, determining whether enough transport capacity exists for support personnel may take a few more steps. A shortcut is to determine the number of bay personnel the Force’s transports can carry and compare that to the total number of non-transport personnel (anyone but DropShip, WarShip, and JumpShip crews) in the Force. If this is insufficient to address all non-transport personnel, include passenger quarters (if any)...

It should be noted that most transport bays lack quarters for more than the unit’s crew (or the crew plus one technician for BattleMech, aerospace fighter, and small craft bays.) Forces with a full complement of administrators and technicians may need to consider a DropShip designed for infantry transport.

SO, pp. 46, 155, 160, 252
Quote
When transported in aerospace units or submarines, infantry and combat unit crews must be supplied with separate quarters (long term) or infantry bays (for short missions). If not, use of various “consumables” (primarily air and water) is extremely high from the vessel’s life support systems... quarters are the preferred means of transporting personnel by submarine or spacecraft. (Quarters are so preferred that large infantry units usually convert cargo space to quarters and only load into the infantry bays of DropShips immediately prior to combat.)

Advanced aerospace units of all types receive no free crew quarters, and must therefore allocate tonnage to personnel quarters. In most cases, these quarters are installed at a standard rate of 7 tons per non-commissioned crew, gunners and second-class passengers, and 10 tons for officers and first-class passengers. Alternative quarters, however, may be installed to save on weight, reflecting a more spartan arrangement, such as applying steerage-quality quarters to all crew and passengers, or even allocating crew quarters in the form of a dedicated infantry bay, where the crew sleeps in cramped bunks with no private space whatsoever. Bay personnel—which includes personnel associated with other units being transported, such as infantry, vehicles, fighters and ’Mechs—need not be allocated quarters, as their bays already incorporate basic amenities. Additional quarters for such personnel may be added as passenger quarters, reflecting an added level of comfort and support, but are not required.

For all advanced aerospace units, any and all crew/passenger quarters, infantry bays and infantry compartments are considered cost-free, regardless of the quarters or infantry bay type used on the unit (this cost is considered to be incorporated into the structural and life support costs already incurred by the vessel itself).

TM, pp. 36, 132, 282:
Quote
Small Craft and DropShips must provide quarters for all crew and passengers (except for transport bay personnel)...

All Support Vehicles 5 tons and over integrate seating automatically for the minimum required crewmen, but will still require appropriate compartments/bays (or even quarters) for passengers such as infantry, or for any crew added beyond the minimum. Bay personnel—those required for vehicle bays, ’Mech bays, and so forth—incorporate a limited amount of seating and/or bunk space into their design, and so need not be counted toward required accommodations...

For DropShips and Small Craft, any and all crew/passenger quarters, infantry bays and infantry compartments are considered cost-free, regardless of the quarters or infantry bay type (this cost is considered to be incorporated into the structural and life support costs already incurred by the vessel itself).
I've interpreted all that to mean, in the Argo's case, so long as the cost of life support is paid for and there's enough tonnage for the quarters, there's no additional costs incurred. It's a little confusing since the information is spread over various pages in multiple books. What's irritating is we don't know the tonnage capacity of the pods, only the cargo space. So there's no way to know when they're at capacity. But at least the costs are accounted for above.

The training pods, which are not widely available in this period by the fluff- or even later periods it seems- themselves are extremely valuable.
Thanks for this little detail. I'll amend the costs so that it reflects tech E.
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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #19 on: 03 September 2020, 09:29:02 »
Your basic mech bay costs cover the MW & 1 tech for quarters . . . but they are the inefficient set up and the basic equivalent of the two individuals putting up a hammock and shoving a footlocker in the corner.  Early game even basically tells you this, the MW on the Leopard are squeezed in a barracks crammed with bunks and lockers- one of the MW removes wall panels to get more space by accessing the crawlspace areas.

The Argo has much better accommodations, which is why I suggested Steerage class quarters instead of the Bay quarters.  Which accounts for 5t per individual and is set up as long term quarters.  More mass is devoted to life support (more efficient looped system) and it does not just cover their sleeping cabin- it is considered to contribute for each individual to common areas like the mess, gyms, medbay, day room/lounge, E/N/O-clubs, cantinas, and perhaps even the ship's commissary.

Which to me, means the Argo goes above and beyond the slice of steerage,2nd class, 1st Class, marine, gunner, crew, and officer quarters that would go to the mentioned library, gym, lounge, and other amenities.
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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #20 on: 03 September 2020, 09:46:57 »
The Argo has much better accommodations, which is why I suggested Steerage class quarters instead of the Bay quarters.  Which accounts for 5t per individual and is set up as long term quarters.  More mass is devoted to life support (more efficient looped system) and it does not just cover their sleeping cabin- it is considered to contribute for each individual to common areas like the mess, gyms, medbay, day room/lounge, E/N/O-clubs, cantinas, and perhaps even the ship's commissary.
Fortunately, that's been accounted for in the construction breakdown above as we can cost the life support. Repairing that is covered by the power system (life support is under cockpit/controls).
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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #21 on: 03 September 2020, 11:29:02 »
You would have to go dig up the Infantry- Bays vs Quarters RoI discussion, but while a ship has its basic life support set up quarters adjusts the capacity for each individual.

Bays cost less tonnage but they use up the consumables faster, which implies less recycling (like water . . . ) in the for the bays because they are not really supposed to be constant use.  Quarters are expected to be long duration so for each individual included the implication is part of that 5/7/10 tons is devoted to routing and improving the life support efficiency for that individual over bays.  Basic of my point was that the quarters for Argo's crew, mechwarriors, merc staff, tech staff, and med staff are going to be better than the typical bays- and might even be more extensive than Steerage level.  After all the Argo was built for long-duration (years) missions on the frontiers supporting pushing those frontiers further out.

Some of this may get into a difference between BT construction rules and in game upgrade cost/description.  IE, instead of a general cost upgrade to the ship you get a cost per person (quarters) for improving general conditions.  BUT the interesting part is each of those pods were to be where quarters for those on Argo.
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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #22 on: 03 September 2020, 14:01:13 »
You would have to go dig up the Infantry- Bays vs Quarters RoI discussion, but while a ship has its basic life support set up quarters adjusts the capacity for each individual.

Bays cost less tonnage but they use up the consumables faster, which implies less recycling (like water . . . ) in the for the bays because they are not really supposed to be constant use.  Quarters are expected to be long duration so for each individual included the implication is part of that 5/7/10 tons is devoted to routing and improving the life support efficiency for that individual over bays.  Basic of my point was that the quarters for Argo's crew, mechwarriors, merc staff, tech staff, and med staff are going to be better than the typical bays- and might even be more extensive than Steerage level.  After all the Argo was built for long-duration (years) missions on the frontiers supporting pushing those frontiers further out.

Yeah.  I don't recall that the tabletop game really differentiates much between the three levels of quarters, but the difference between quarters and bays is stark: in quarters, a ton of consumables gives you 200 person-days of supplies, whereas in bays, a ton gives you only 20 person-days.
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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #23 on: 17 September 2020, 07:50:15 »
Some of this may get into a difference between BT construction rules and in game upgrade cost/description. IE, instead of a general cost upgrade to the ship you get a cost per person (quarters) for improving general conditions. BUT the interesting part is each of those pods were to be where quarters for those on Argo.
Went away and thought about this but it'd take more modding skill than I have to implement it, even if quarters upgrades could be useful to represent improvements in morale as the crew gets better facilities. You'd need to create a whole new upgrade path.

Nevertheless, I'll run some assumed ordinary starting costs for reference below, with salaries being a rule of thumb for quality of quarters. We'll also assume there's no hot-bunking or shared quarters as standard for the luxurious Argo, in stark contrast to most military ships. Steerage costs 5,000, 2nd class/crew costs 15,000, and 1st class/officer costs 30,000 per person to install; as for weight, it's 5 tons for steerage, 7 for 2nd class, and 10 for 1st class. Passenger quarters are also 1st class. Translating to the game that would mean assuming an average level of repair, which is possible by tying the requirements of any quarters upgrade to implementing various other ship upgrades.

1st Class (1,200 CB salary and up):
18 MechWarriors*
17 Officers
3 Doctors
1 Surgeon
1 Nurse anesthetist
1,200,000 CB worth of quarters @ 400 tons

2nd Class (960-1000 CB):
67 Crew
3 Gunners
1,050,000 CB @ 490 tons

Steerage (500-800 CB):
18 Techs
15 Nurses/medics
48 Admin
405,000 CB @ 405 tons

Basic (400-600 CB):
108 Astechs
66 Bay personnel**
0 CB @ 0 tons

*Salaries can go as low as 900 but the average of 1,500 is assumed.
**Bay personnel aren't ordinarily allocated decent quarters.

How would upgrades work? Perhaps a general upward movement. We don't know how many tons are in the pods, so some restraint is necessary. It shouldn't end with everyone in 1st class.

Steerage Quarters:
The obvious first move would be to allocate Astechs and Bay personnel steerage class quarters. That would cost 870,000 CB (& 870 tons). Lets say it would add +3 to morale.

2nd Class Quarters:
Next we bump the Techs, Nurses, and Admins up to 2nd Class. Cost equals 1,215,000 CB (& 567 tons). Another +2 to morale.

1st Class Quarters:
Then we bump up the Crew and Gunners to 1st Class. That way everyone moves up in terms of their accommodation except those who were already enjoying the best. This would be more conducive to living and working on the Argo full time. Cost comes to 2,100,000 CB (& 700 tons). And another +1 to morale.

An expensive process, as expected. It would add a lot of weight too but that's being discounted. Morale bonuses decrease with each upgrade because this is a process of diminishing returns; the lowest on the pay grade would be the most appreciative and are also the most numerous. It's also to encourage the player to at least invest in steerage for their essential workers. Maybe I'll do the homework to implement this somehow but that'll be a long term project. I'm considering releasing a mod that incorporates everything I've done up to now, plus a few other things.
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Re: Argo running costs
« Reply #24 on: 25 October 2020, 11:54:23 »
Once again, writing something down here for reference. I'll soon be releasing a mod for vanilla that incorporates the costs above, but not the extra research path. There's another mod that increases the drop sizes for the Leopard, so I decided that should be properly costed as well. I figure any objections could be raised here as well.

Basically, the crew finds a junkyard Leopard that can be either fixed up or used for parts. The writing is ambiguous on this part, suggesting one or the other at various points. But for consistency's sake it really should be used to upgrade the existing Leopard than trying to get a rustbucket to fly, which would be massively expensive. In my view, structural work could be done to the existing Leopard to turn the aerospace cubicles into one's for 'mechs with some structural work to create the room. IIRC Clan Leopards are sometimes modified to hold an extra 'mech in this way, and I figured the dream team of Yang and Farah could make it work for two (why not when you consider the Argo?), even if it'd look a little funny. The whole thing is rather handwavey, but the costs should be more plausible.

There are 13 upgrades to complete the project. Some titles are renamed from what they are in the mod. Be aware that I'm winging this all the way through, this is uncharted territory. I'm not including the time each upgrade should take as that's even more up to interpretation.

Junkyard Leopard:
8,565,120 CB. I figured this would be a reasonable cost, 5% of its lower-end value of 171m C-Bills, for something that's been sitting for who knows how long.

Dropslot 1-2:
The description talks about 'mech cradles but there's nothing in the TM about them. I decided to base the costs on a new cubicle (20k) plus a lift hoist (50k) just to be safe. 14k to fix up a new cubicle and hoist made from parts from the junk Leopard, plus another 150k for a mostly new cubicle and hoist later. 'Mech cubicles are Tech D in 3028 so they get the 5x cost modifier for the latter, 'newish' one. Total of 164,000 CB.

C3 Console 1-2:
The first real upgrade expense is new C3 equipment to control the additional 'mechs. If I'm correct this stuff is practically extinct in 3028; you'd only be able to get it on the black market or perhaps through military contacts, so it's really, really expensive. There's no way it'd be left to rot in a junkyard either. I based the cost off of a new C3 Master computer (1.5m CB). It comes to 7,543,800 CB, which includes the 5x modifier plus 'repairs' to the bridge to incorporate the new equipment.

Weight Limit 1-8:
I've broken this up into various stages based on the descriptions:

'Mech Cubicles:
Refurbishing four of these will run 80k (1/5 of 400k) as the junkyard parts are being used to add more 'mechs.

Structural Repair 1-2:
Leopard structure costs 700k, so 140,000 CB to refurbish it. Costs are kept down by junkyard parts, however, so call it 1/2 of that: 70,000 CB. Plus some more to make room for the new dropslots above: somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of the structure cost, so 5/12: 291,667 CB. Total of 361,667 CB.

Engine Mounts + Engine Repairs 1-2:
This would be pretty cheap as Leopard engines aren't hugely expensive to begin with, coming in at 38k (500 x 4 x (1900/100)). 1/5 of that is 7,600 CB! Assuming 1/2 is covered by junk parts it's a measly 3,800 CB.

Control Recalibration:
I figured this would involve upgrades to computers, altitude thrusters, and sensors. So 1/5 of that comes to 61,000 CB, as I doubt that'd be left on a junked Leopard.

Structural Renovation:
Why this is last I'm not going to question. One final structural renovation that involves replacing the main spine of the ship. Lets call it 35,000 CB since you're using the main spine from the junked Leopard (1/2 of the above 70k).

Total costs: 16,734,387 CB, of which 8,169,267 CB is for the upgrades alone.

When you think about how much a Leopard would cost new, it's not so bad. And now you can drop 6 'mechs. Not confident in any of it but it's something.

Update: Forgot to mention, the running costs of the Bigger Drops mods are 3349 CB per upgrade, excepting the initial purchase of the Leopard. So it comes to 40,188 CB for all of them, or roughly 5/12 of its ordinary running costs. In other words, you pay for a slightly bigger and meaner Leopard.

Also, I'm happy to announce the mod has been published here (under another name). Just be aware you have to use Modtek (and that goes for any decent Battletech mod anyway).
« Last Edit: 31 October 2020, 08:23:03 by Seer »
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