Register Register

Author Topic: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)  (Read 2158 times)

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
I've been struck by the idea of an interesting little project here-obviously, not a traditional fanfic, but it will involve more than a touch of writing instead of roleplay.  The project, as it were, is to create an AU where Holy shroud didn't bite quite so hard, or where ComStar decided that their mandate to preserve technology should extend beyond just communications.  A universe, in fact, where LosTech is a shifty, uneven concept-what's rare on one world or cluster of worlds is commonplace elsewhere.

The six 'players' will each draft one lost Civilian technology, in a randomly determined order, except for ComStar who can either go first and pick one, or go last and pick TWO.  After that, we hold a second draft, reverse order of the first one, but this time for military technologies.  Going last in the first round is actually an advantage in the second one, because you get a mostly unpicked list to choose from.  Once that's done, we get a bit more freeform and explore the consequences of our choices-do they actually make a big difference militarily, or have we just made the Inner Sphere are slightly nicer place to live?  Maybe a few fan-designs using the limited tech available to each faction?  Or maybe someone can take off with this, and do something really big.

Whatever the case, we need participants-people willing to 'play' ComStar, the Federated Suns, Capellen Confederation, Free World's League, Lyran Commonwealth, and Draconis Combine.  Once we have that, I'll randomize a our order, produce a list of LosTech for you all to stare at, and ask our ComStar Priumus if they want to go first...or last.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17012
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #1 on: 01 January 2021, 13:21:37 »
No Periphery players?  ???

AlphaMirage

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1125
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #2 on: 01 January 2021, 14:21:22 »
I'm interested in taking the FWL or CapCon for this experiment

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #3 on: 01 January 2021, 15:59:01 »
No Periphery players?  ???

If you want to play a periphery power, you pick *dead last* in both rounds, I'm afraid.  Also, I don't have a long enough list of LosTech for everyone in the periphery to have an interesting choice because I'm condensing and trimming the list somewhat- 'Large Scale Fusion-Power' represents, for instance, all sizes of metroplitan scale reactors, and long-distance power transference like superconducting power limes and microwave beamed power.  And the list of firm 'LosTech' in the civilian field is a bit tricky once you prune out all the things of direct military value.

I'm interested in taking the FWL or CapCon for this experiment
  Got it, you've got first dibs on whichever one you prefer.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17012
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #4 on: 01 January 2021, 17:05:24 »
If you'll allow Periphery folks (even dead last), I'd be interested in playing the Lothian League...  :)

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #5 on: 01 January 2021, 21:07:32 »
If you'll allow Periphery folks (even dead last), I'd be interested in playing the Lothian League...  :)

The uh...Lothian League didn't exactly have a lot of Lostech to retain, did it?  I mean, it's one of those periphery micro-states whose primary role is exporting raw materials via the highly developed Periphery Circuit Routes that let it be a major supplier of metals to the freaking Taurians, right? And it wasn't ever part of the Star League, being founded over 100 years after the Taurians were forced into the League by people fleeing to 'deep space'.  Why should the sixish worlds the the Lothian league get to play at anywhere near the levels of the big successor states?  I don't want to just say no, but I'm having trouble seeing why you want to use them.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17012
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #6 on: 01 January 2021, 21:10:12 »
I've always liked them.  No real good reason.  But since they're all about harvesting raw materials, it sounds like they might have some mining tech or other that makes it much easier.

Cannonshop

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5192
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #7 on: 01 January 2021, 21:17:19 »
The uh...Lothian League didn't exactly have a lot of Lostech to retain, did it?  I mean, it's one of those periphery micro-states whose primary role is exporting raw materials via the highly developed Periphery Circuit Routes that let it be a major supplier of metals to the freaking Taurians, right? And it wasn't ever part of the Star League, being founded over 100 years after the Taurians were forced into the League by people fleeing to 'deep space'.  Why should the sixish worlds the the Lothian league get to play at anywhere near the levels of the big successor states?  I don't want to just say no, but I'm having trouble seeing why you want to use them.

I could see a 'tech' they might not have lost.  Space Based Industrial base.  This is one of those things where the 'single' thing that wasn't lost sits on top of a technical tree that doesn't necessarily mean producing lots of 'mech scale weapons, but it's definitely going to be something more likely when you don't have lots of nice agrarian worlds...though I see it more likely with someone like the Mica Majority or NIOPS, who really don't have nice agrarian worlds you can walk around on without a pressure suit.
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17012
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #8 on: 01 January 2021, 21:55:37 »
The Lothian worlds aren't exactly garden spots either.  Though they don't need oxygen masks to breathe, either.

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #9 on: 02 January 2021, 00:52:42 »
I could see a 'tech' they might not have lost.  Space Based Industrial base.  This is one of those things where the 'single' thing that wasn't lost sits on top of a technical tree that doesn't necessarily mean producing lots of 'mech scale weapons, but it's definitely going to be something more likely when you don't have lots of nice agrarian worlds...though I see it more likely with someone like the Mica Majority or NIOPS, who really don't have nice agrarian worlds you can walk around on without a pressure suit.

Uhhhh, I don't know if they ever had that-though if there's ever been much written about periphery micro-states exact industrial base, I've never seen it.  Based on what's written up on the Sarna page, I'm guessing that they have three main areas of LosTech they might retain?  Their minimal Jumpship fleet, their minimal homemade industrial base, and the bare scraps of still-functioning 27th century stuff from the original colonization effort were still hanging around.  Whatever that stuff might be, again, going off a Sarna page which is still waiting for updates from books published...yeah, ten years ago.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Cannonshop

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5192
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #10 on: 02 January 2021, 04:48:59 »
Uhhhh, I don't know if they ever had that-though if there's ever been much written about periphery micro-states exact industrial base, I've never seen it.  Based on what's written up on the Sarna page, I'm guessing that they have three main areas of LosTech they might retain?  Their minimal Jumpship fleet, their minimal homemade industrial base, and the bare scraps of still-functioning 27th century stuff from the original colonization effort were still hanging around.  Whatever that stuff might be, again, going off a Sarna page which is still waiting for updates from books published...yeah, ten years ago.

The thing is, your initial challenge;  to make it work in a story, any piece of 'lostech' that was retained is sitting on top of a technical tree-it's like how you can't have computer chips if your industrial base is 17th century, or how self-loading machine guns really don't work without smokeless gunpowder and steel.  (they really don't.  People tried.)

"Subsistence" takes on a whole different meaning when you need to live in an environment like space, than if you can survive on a planet with minimal water (*barring magic, the life support system requirements alone would require things like CAD/CAM and precision manufacturing capabilities, as well as advanced materials processing, as well as a relatively high standard of education simply to not die.)

See, the more hostile and remote your location, the more likely you are to retain technical and technological knowledge simply in order to not die, which is not the case where you have 'human friendly' environments where losing technical capability does NOT automatically equate with dying a gasping, thirsty, or 'blood boils out because the pressure is too low' death.  It's actually more logical for knowledge to be lost closer to the 'golden core' worlds where your population can actually afford to be tech illiterate because being tech illiterate doesn't automatically kill you...whereas out further, in the dark and distant places, being tech-illiterate will very much result in your no longer being among the living, along with everyone around you.

The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17012
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #11 on: 02 January 2021, 07:55:50 »
I'd be happy with any of those three, Vehrec.  And Cannonshop is absolutely right: to make any of those three work on the shoestring budget the Lothian League has, they have to have SOME kind of technical advantage.  Otherwise, they would have collapsed long ago.

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #12 on: 02 January 2021, 19:55:47 »
I'd be happy with any of those three, Vehrec.  And Cannonshop is absolutely right: to make any of those three work on the shoestring budget the Lothian League has, they have to have SOME kind of technical advantage.  Otherwise, they would have collapsed long ago.

How about a fourth option as well-rugged, Star-League era geneo-crops, with their info-sec genes stripped out to make them plantable in the long-term without special terran-made fertilizers?  A little gift from the trade partners in the Magistry, perhaps?

Since you're effectively playing solitare, you can pick your favored option whenever.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17012
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #13 on: 02 January 2021, 20:14:51 »
I LOVE that idea, though I'll say I don't think the Lothians were ever actually known for that.  Maybe shift their primary exports from minerals to textiles or food?  :)

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #14 on: 02 January 2021, 21:28:36 »
It's not a thing they're known for, but they are known for a lack of such things, so you can consider it more a 'patching a hole' than 'improving a proficiency'.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17012
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #15 on: 02 January 2021, 21:43:00 »
Or maybe "how we all eat" with just the trade we're known for...  ^-^

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #16 on: 03 January 2021, 14:50:42 »
The Periphery Minor List of LosTech

This list is intended to ah, serve the various 'lesser' periphery states-everything from the Aurigan Coalition, to NIOPS, to the Hansa, everyone explicitly not one of the big three Territorial states that survived the breakup intact.  This list isn't a proper draft, so multiple minors can 'get' the same bonuses from it.

  • JumpShip Fleet:  How did we hang onto them?  By paranoia, by determined improvisation, and by developing a secretive hidden repair facility, that's how.
  • Industrial Base:  It's nothing that will build a Battlemech, nothing so grand as that.  Kroll Titanium smelters, 'macrochip' fabs, old, robust technology.  Stuff that will last, and which you can replace.
  • Geno-Crop Seeds:  It's no Quillar, but our crops have their own advantages.  Perennial, minimal fertilizer requirements, build up the organic matter in the soil.  Even sequesters heavy metals in nodules you can plow up and use as ore.
  • Star League Hardware: No, we can't replace the 'Cameron Specials' but we have them.  IndustrialMechs, Exoskeletons, Ferrocrete Skyscrapers, you'd almost believe that the capital is from one of the big powers.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17012
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #17 on: 03 January 2021, 14:55:31 »
Excellent list!  And now that you've thrown in the secret repair facility, I daresay the Lothian League has to go for the JumpShip Fleet.  That explains a lot of their backstory, and why they can still trade with the Taurians...  8)

VensersRevenge

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 302
  • Is this the real life...
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #18 on: 03 January 2021, 21:07:28 »
I'd be interested in playing the Federated Suns
...Is this just fantasy?
Playing in Kingston Ontario
Message if you want to organize a game

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #19 on: 04 January 2021, 00:19:30 »
I'd be interested in playing the Federated Suns

Well you can consider yourself signed up.  That leaves the Lyrans, Combine, Comstar and half of the CapCom and FWL left.  That quantum indeterminacy needs to be popped.

Let me give you all a preview of what you'll be picking from.

HPG sub-components: Is ComStar angry about this one?  Does a bear poo in the woods, heck yes ComStar would skin you alive for this if you tried to set it up today, but it is written into their founding treaty.  They get the exclusive rights to buy these widgets, nobody even knows what they do but them, and in exchange, you get a nice big fat discount on transmissions.  Now if only you could discount those nutjobs telling you to nationalize it and build your own HPG network...
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Atarlost

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 335
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #20 on: 04 January 2021, 09:02:44 »
It seems to me that without Holy Shroud most of the civilian tech should survive almost everywhere and that the major periphery nations might be almost untouched. 

The real tech loss came from Comstar assassinating teachers and burning libraries.  Factories and shipyards are hit as military targets, but the know-how to rebuild them is only killed by Holy Shroud.  The tooling factories and purely civilian factories are probably also left alone unless they're on worlds that get killed for other reasons or colocated with military factories.  That's the stuff you want to conquer and destroying the universities and the tooling factories has a generation lead time on feeling the effects. You want to conquer your neighbor in your lifetime and you want to get something for the expense of holding that territory so you don't make yourself weak to your other neighbors. 

The Taurians are basically outside the succession wars.  They didn't have any of the new military lostech, but they had the civilian stuff and, compact cores, and the older capital scale weapons.  They might try to retake the Pleides Cluster after they'd rebuilt their navy from the Star League's restrictions if the Suns had lost most of theirs, but AFAIK they didn't try OTL when the Dracs were on New Avalon. 

The Canopans and Outworlders are also probably basically outside the succession wars, but have no military lostech to retain. 

Another point of balance is that either everyone has warships (except neutrals) or nobody does, otherwise whichever nation has warships will Ngo stomp the non-neutral factions that lost them.  That doesn't sound like the story you want to tell.  I'd suggest they not be lostech.  They're actually lower tech than battlemechs or modern aerospace fighters or even modern dropships so it takes Holy Shroud killing everyone who knows how to design KF cores for new ship designs to extirpate them. 

idea weenie

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2515
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #21 on: 04 January 2021, 10:19:57 »
I'd be interested in Comstar

My preferred techs would be:
  • HPG Services (with discounts to nations that provide HPG components)
  • Civilian Dropship construction/maintenance (but needing to purchase refined material from other nations) (so no Overlords, Fortresses, etc, but yes to Mules, Mammoths, and Behemoths)
  • Civilian Jumpship construction/maintenance (but needing to purchase refined material from other nations) (so no compact core warships capable of multi-G acceleration, but Monolith and Star Lord Jumpships are slowly built)
  • Terran better parts, where in game terms if you are within 1 pt of succeeding on a roll, you can succeed once

My goals might be
  • Increase shipping among the Inner Sphere, to aid in recovery, and to move refugees
  • Restore original HPG network, and expand it (this will need large transports, and trusted mercenaries to protect them)
  • Stop the backsliding on Periphery worlds (similar to the FedSuns Vagabond Schools, but for Periphery only)
  • Explore lost worlds to verify if they have been lost, and what caused it
  • Seek out and explore new civilizations

Without Holy Shroud, Comstar should not have the same reputation among the other nations (and players)

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #22 on: 04 January 2021, 14:04:15 »
It seems to me that without Holy Shroud most of the civilian tech should survive almost everywhere and that the major periphery nations might be almost untouched. 

The real tech loss came from Comstar assassinating teachers and burning libraries.  Factories and shipyards are hit as military targets, but the know-how to rebuild them is only killed by Holy Shroud.  The tooling factories and purely civilian factories are probably also left alone unless they're on worlds that get killed for other reasons or colocated with military factories.  That's the stuff you want to conquer and destroying the universities and the tooling factories has a generation lead time on feeling the effects. You want to conquer your neighbor in your lifetime and you want to get something for the expense of holding that territory so you don't make yourself weak to your other neighbors. 

The Taurians are basically outside the succession wars.  They didn't have any of the new military lostech, but they had the civilian stuff and, compact cores, and the older capital scale weapons.  They might try to retake the Pleides Cluster after they'd rebuilt their navy from the Star League's restrictions if the Suns had lost most of theirs, but AFAIK they didn't try OTL when the Dracs were on New Avalon. 

The Canopans and Outworlders are also probably basically outside the succession wars, but have no military lostech to retain. 

Another point of balance is that either everyone has warships (except neutrals) or nobody does, otherwise whichever nation has warships will Ngo stomp the non-neutral factions that lost them.  That doesn't sound like the story you want to tell.  I'd suggest they not be lostech.  They're actually lower tech than battlemechs or modern aerospace fighters or even modern dropships so it takes Holy Shroud killing everyone who knows how to design KF cores for new ship designs to extirpate them.

To clarify-Holy Shroud is just one aspect of the LosTech phenomenon, and while impactful, it's not the sole cause.  It's also still going to happen, these are just the things that squeaked through.  We're not doing a tech-up, we're doing a tech-rescue.

I'd be interested in Comstar

My preferred techs would be:
  • HPG Services (with discounts to nations that provide HPG components)
  • Civilian Dropship construction/maintenance (but needing to purchase refined material from other nations) (so no Overlords, Fortresses, etc, but yes to Mules, Mammoths, and Behemoths)
  • Civilian Jumpship construction/maintenance (but needing to purchase refined material from other nations) (so no compact core warships capable of multi-G acceleration, but Monolith and Star Lord Jumpships are slowly built)
  • Terran better parts, where in game terms if you are within 1 pt of succeeding on a roll, you can succeed once

My goals might be
  • Increase shipping among the Inner Sphere, to aid in recovery, and to move refugees
  • Restore original HPG network, and expand it (this will need large transports, and trusted mercenaries to protect them)
  • Stop the backsliding on Periphery worlds (similar to the FedSuns Vagabond Schools, but for Periphery only)
  • Explore lost worlds to verify if they have been lost, and what caused it
  • Seek out and explore new civilizations

Without Holy Shroud, Comstar should not have the same reputation among the other nations (and players)

You will probably not be able to do all those things, but welcome about Comstar!  Would you like to pick first, or let the other players pick over the list and take two options at the end?
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

idea weenie

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2515
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #23 on: 05 January 2021, 04:25:24 »
You will probably not be able to do all those things, but welcome about Comstar!  Would you like to pick first, or let the other players pick over the list and take two options at the end?

I will pick last


The fun part will be all the politicking going on behind the scenes.  For example:
  • Someone else takes 'Better Germanium Mining/Refining', allowing them to produce more Jump cores, and they send me a private message saying I should take the better Jumpship construction, as our two technologies will mesh nicely (I don't need to produce Jump cores, just the complex electronics and station-keeping drives, and we both get more Jumpships available)
  • Someone takes 'more efficient cargo storage' to make the most out of every ton of cargo capacity, and send me a message to make more cargo Dropships, where I sell more of them to that nation so they can get better profits
  • Someone might want 'military support specialists', and having access to larger cargo ships would also help.  They offer me a small bribe every turn to do so
  • The afore-mentioned HPG component assembly, allowing that nation to lower their per-year HPG communications costs
  • Someone wants their forces to travel efficient, as such they want more access to Terran-made parts since they are better on a per-ton basis, and is willing to trade with me to do so
« Last Edit: 05 January 2021, 05:08:27 by idea weenie »

AlphaMirage

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1125
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #24 on: 05 January 2021, 12:54:00 »
The thread has me thinking something Vehrec, while it was not your initial intent it has become apparent that perhaps developing a small star cluster ala the Pentagon Worlds without a warrior cult of personality would be an easier starting point than something vast like the Inner Sphere. Refugees streamed out looking for a lost RWR colony retaining some portion of technology based principally on what their leaders knew about ensuring an uneasy balance of tech over the region.

Over time (thematically appropriate) 'Presidents' (Warlords) form alliances but the 'baby piranha' principle is in effect ensuring that the powers are never able to dominate one another without leaving themselves vulnerable. This will keep a lid on the power balance as well which could rapidly escalate out of control. After the players have matured and formed coalitions perhaps a COMSTAR Explorer Corps ship shows up early in the 3rd Succession War. The captured acolytes talk about how beat up the Inner Sphere is and how nice it would be if someone came and fixed it up. Then we form Pseudo-REVIVAL or face down a COMSTAR Holy Shroud attack.
« Last Edit: 05 January 2021, 13:34:14 by AlphaMirage »

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #25 on: 06 January 2021, 00:30:51 »
The thread has me thinking something Vehrec, while it was not your initial intent it has become apparent that perhaps developing a small star cluster ala the Pentagon Worlds without a warrior cult of personality would be an easier starting point than something vast like the Inner Sphere. Refugees streamed out looking for a lost RWR colony retaining some portion of technology based principally on what their leaders knew about ensuring an uneasy balance of tech over the region.

Over time (thematically appropriate) 'Presidents' (Warlords) form alliances but the 'baby piranha' principle is in effect ensuring that the powers are never able to dominate one another without leaving themselves vulnerable. This will keep a lid on the power balance as well which could rapidly escalate out of control. After the players have matured and formed coalitions perhaps a COMSTAR Explorer Corps ship shows up early in the 3rd Succession War. The captured acolytes talk about how beat up the Inner Sphere is and how nice it would be if someone came and fixed it up. Then we form Pseudo-REVIVAL or face down a COMSTAR Holy Shroud attack.

You seem to be under the misapprehension that I'm going to model the inner sphere's economy or 'game out' in detail the various ramifications of choices.  While your suggestion is interesting, I'm sure as heck not going to go that hard on this.  This is supposed to be something very high-level and generalized.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #26 on: 09 January 2021, 11:46:12 »
While I await new replies and new participants, let's have a couple of things: First, the Draft List.

  • Water Filtration:  Star League water filters were an invisible part of life-now they're life or death.  This factory produces control chips, filter media, monomolecular titanium sluice gates, bacteria-resistant seals, all the stuff you need to turn periphery toxic sludge into high grade drinking or industrial water.  It's in very high demand-too bad you can't sell any of it, as your own worlds are screaming for this stuff, and you need to be very careful that you don't lose a planet because the water chips go to the wrong place.
    • Climate Stabilization: Everyone loves a nice sunny day, but there are people who are fans of nice cool rains, or big booming thundersnows.  But nobody wants to deal with hurricanes, tornados, and drought.  Star League Climate Stabilization Satellites make your planets better-if you have enough of them.  Too bad there's not enough to cover every world-but your best jewels shine a little brighter if polished with this system.
    • Full Pharmacopia: The oldest person in history was some tiny Japanese lady who lived to be almost 200 on a diet of pills and low-stress living in a healthy climate.  Most people in the Star League could aspire to 150 years.  That dream yet lives on due to this extensive drug production facility.  Anti-parasitics, anti-biotics, anti-senescent, a pill for everything, and for everything a pill.  But is it enough to treat everyone, for everything?
    • Auto-factory tooling: The Heterodyne 9000 was an instantly infamous piece of hardware when it was first introduced-it destroyed 90% of the jobs on the periphery world of Detroit.  You use it somewhat more cautiously, but the same hardware and software drive your industry to production numbers that look insane.  All non-creative jobs, from janitor to vice-president of marketing, can be handled automatically by the facility itself.
    • Extra Shipyard: As the shipping industry collapsed, you threw everything you had into salvaging what could be saved.  Vital tooling here, an assembly frame there, and the all-important monocrystaline germanium-titanium growth chambers to make jump cores doped to one part per trillion exactness, with the proper 'defect circuitry'.  The result is a bit of a workflow disaster area, but in an era where the construction of such shipyards is a lost art, having put together one more than anyone else is an advantage you can't deny.
    • HPG sub-component: Is ComStar angry about this one?  Does a bear poo in the woods, heck yes ComStar would skin you alive for this if you tried to set it up today, but it is written into their founding treaty.  They get the exclusive rights to buy these widgets, nobody even knows what they do but them, and in exchange, you get a nice big fat discount on transmissions.  Now if only you could discount those nutjobs telling you to nationalize it and build your own HPG network...
    • Economic Supercomputer: Once, this great machine the size of a city kept the economy of the Star League and the value of the Dollar as solid as a rock.  Today, it's planning and modeling software is at your disposal-either for purely national concerns, or for sale to national companies.  Garbage In, Garbage Out though, so beware the inputs your underlings send you.
    • Large-scale Fusion Power: Not every fusion reactor need be an ultra-compact model.  These are the great metropolitan generators, using less common fuels for more efficient output, higher energy capture, and the like.  Combined with superconductive long-distance power cables, and there are few power needs that cannot be met by Fusion.  The trained technicians are a nice byproduct, you must agree, even if they aren't quite used to military grade reactors.
    • Primary Production Robotics: Agrobots and Mining Robots, once a key of Star League productivity and Leisure, now are only common within your realm.  Ranging from tiny berry-pickers to enormous scrape-processors weighing hundreds of thousands of tons, these robots handle nearly all the primary resourcing needs your society feels.  Their AI were programmed by the best Nirasaki Computers Collective engineers, and over 200 years later, still are the best available.
    • Low-cost Civilian Electronics: Personal computing died with the Star league-everywhere but here.  Originally a boondoggle of excess capacity, we now operate the only major chippery in the Inner Sphere-optronic crystals are automatically doped, cut, mirrored and attached to boards in the millions every day in one huge factory.  It turns out everything from personal mobile phones to gigantic stadium holographic systems.  The number one target of enemy raids are looting cell and satellite phones that are in high demand outside our territory.


    Next, I have a question for Daryk:  Having successfully scattered their fleet, and concealed the location of the red dwarf star that hosts their Jumpship Maintenance Yard in it's Oort Cloud, the Lothian League is still reeling from attacks on it's infrastructure and industry by piratical groups from the Inner Sphere.  In desperate need of funds, the idea is floated to open up the maintenance slot under strict security in order to generate funds.  With each refit and repair cycle at the yard taking ten years this is neither a fast nor vastly profitable option, and it will mean deferred maintenance on your own ships-but it might provide a badly needed cash injection, and with appropriate hand-off protocols there should be little chance of the yard being found.  Still, there isn't *no* risk, the opponents say...
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17012
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #27 on: 09 January 2021, 11:54:04 »
Interesting idea!  How about this: instead of taking someone else's ship out of circulation for 10 years and then giving it back, we do a brisk trade-in business?  I think the margins might be a bit better, and the customers would almost certainly prefer to have a fully functional ship right away.  Of course, the electronics on both ships would need to be stripped to bare metal before hand over (by both sides)...

Cannonshop

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5192
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #28 on: 09 January 2021, 12:09:07 »
I see a major flaw in the model here: once someone knows you've got it, and roughly where? they'er going to come for it.  this is an environment where major nations stage raids for water and fight wars over warehouses of factory spares.

If you have more than one yard, your better investment is to dismantle and monkey-model/copy every piece you have the physical ability to do, then reassemble it, because the moment someone knows you've got a yard, you're going to have every pirate., bandit, and most nations within a five jump radius coming for you. (not to mention Comstar coming, because they're all about destroying knowledge and sending mankind back to the paleolithic.)  The major problem here, is that even with that, the Lothians are restricted to no-space-industries by the rules of the setup-they're not really able to maintain the yard they have, and machines that don't get maintenance die.

How? with production equipment, you get tolerance drift, the more you use it, the faster it drifts. eventually everything comes out 'out of tolerance' and/or the machine breaks.  This isn't a big deal for ground-bound machinery, because that stuff isn't that precise to start with, and a 'mech has huge tolerances just on the basis of how much flex it's expected to endure, plus fusion engines aren't moving parts, so they wear out slower.

but production machinery? uh-uh.  if it has moving parts, those parts aren't self-maintaining like a biological organism (and biologicals also wear out! it's called aging.)

Without the ability to maintain the yard, the yard breaks down and is of no use to anyone in a couple generations.  If you CAN maintain it, you can replicate it, which violates the rules as presented.  There's a reason Hesperus II was only turning out a dozen or so 'mechs a year until the Helm Core-they had to go VERY easy on the equipment to keep it from failing at a bad time until they could build/get parts to repair or replace the machines.

Maintenance of the yard alone requires nullgee industries that aren't allowed-the specifics state infrastructure is gone, and no factory can exist without it, or maintenance point, for any length of time.

The basic flaw in the rules, is that they are required to ignore the rule of natural consequences and of entropy.  A magic sword can stay magic for the duration of plot, but a drill press requires bearings and lubrication.  a milling machine requires precision instruments to calibrate it, a CNC requires all of those plus additional maintenance tools and methods.  The more precise you get, the more active infrastructure you need just to be able to USE it.
« Last Edit: 09 January 2021, 12:12:08 by Cannonshop »
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Cannonshop

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5192
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #29 on: 09 January 2021, 12:20:53 »
oh, Hey Vehrec? just in case I'm sounding unreasonable here? I like the core of your idea.

I really do.

but I do the hands-on work at a major aerospace firm in the real world, and for something as generally rough and crude as basic airframe structures? we use a mind boggling number and variety of tools just to keep to tolerances in the .003 Plus or minus inches-which is actually necessary once you get bigger than a Cessna.

For something like a shipyard, you're looking at tolerances of extreme tightness even on basic airframes just to keep the air inside the hull, never mind storing thousands of gallons of liquid helium for a jump core, or regulating the flow of hydrogen into a tokamak reactor (You know, the fusion powerplants BT uses all over the place).  one part per trillion exactness requires instrumentation that's going to frequently need to be calibrated, that's not something you can do in a blacksmith's shop or your local automotive retailer's detailing booth.

The calibration tools themselves? also need to be calibrated to exactness or they're as useless as an untuned torque wrench.  (which is only really good for changing the tyres on your car or as an improvised club)
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17012
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #30 on: 09 January 2021, 12:27:17 »
I think "selling" one ship every 10 years might be slow enough to fly under the radar, and could even be chaliked up to simple salvage operations.

That said, Cannonshop's not wrong about the maintenance side of things, though a potential way out of that is to limit the "unrepairable" parts to the bear minimum number, and make them the most durable and hard to duplicate pieces (like, say, the core forging equipment).

Cannonshop

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5192
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #31 on: 09 January 2021, 12:45:50 »
I think "selling" one ship every 10 years might be slow enough to fly under the radar, and could even be chaliked up to simple salvage operations.

That said, Cannonshop's not wrong about the maintenance side of things, though a potential way out of that is to limit the "unrepairable" parts to the bear minimum number, and make them the most durable and hard to duplicate pieces (like, say, the core forging equipment).

Probability is that the core forges are going to be the LEAST durable parts-in terms of wear and need for upkeep.  the tolerance stated in the breakdown practically demands it's too delicate to last long without needing constant upkeep.  (the more precise your product needs to be, the more you have to invest in maintaining your production equipment.)  Here's the thing: you're working with metals.  Titanium (high temperature, hard to isolate, a bitch to work with) and Germanium (low temperature melting point, easily deformed)  this means you've got extremely tight temperature constraints and heavy mechanical loads, with a precision into the trillionths of a part.  This is something that can wander out of spec in the course of a single forging just because of the sheer difference in the materials it's handling. 

It's possible to do it, but for production OR maintenance purposes, you need a LOT of precision measurement gear just to keep the production machine in workable condition, because your temperature and mechanical loads have to be exact or you just have a nice lump of modern sculpture instead of either a production machine, or a production part.
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17012
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #32 on: 09 January 2021, 12:49:08 »
One core a decade too much, then?  I'm thinking if you have a single machine that can get things back into tolerance, it could easily take a decade to get the forge (and it's trillions of sub-assemblies) set up for a single use.

Cannonshop

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5192
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #33 on: 09 January 2021, 12:56:56 »
One core a decade too much, then?  I'm thinking if you have a single machine that can get things back into tolerance, it could easily take a decade to get the forge (and it's trillions of sub-assemblies) set up for a single use.

thing an old tooling guy showed me, is that if you can build the product, you can build the machinery to make it.  The major bottleneck is the money and raw materials divided by time, but with shipyards going 'pop' throughout the first three succession wars, it's worth the money and the time to make not only spare tooling, but spares for your various calibration tooling and standards of calibration-except you don't get to do that under the rules here-everything is 'irreplaceable', therefore you can't maintain your gear.  One every decade is blindingly optimistic-your shipyard personnel aren't going to be skilled workers at that rate-they'll age out and retire or die before they become good at their jobs, or, as they say, 'proficient'.

I've got 20 years banging metal into airplane shapes, and cub engineers ask ME if something's possible/feasible when correcting an error on the floor.  at a 'slow' rate of a single 747 every month? skills get rusty.  if you're looking at forging a core every decade, those skills become nonexistent in your workforce FAST.

Management bitches about "Tribal Knowledge" but on large, precision machinery, that's the knowledge that produces airframes that work-there ARE things you can't put in a manual. (as they discovered when they tried to build robots to rivet body sections together. It didn't work.)
« Last Edit: 09 January 2021, 12:59:39 by Cannonshop »
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17012
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #34 on: 09 January 2021, 13:00:07 »
Hmmm... good point.  :-\

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #35 on: 09 January 2021, 13:01:44 »
I see a major flaw in the model here: once someone knows you've got it, and roughly where? they'er going to come for it.  this is an environment where major nations stage raids for water and fight wars over warehouses of factory spares.

If you have more than one yard, your better investment is to dismantle and monkey-model/copy every piece you have the physical ability to do, then reassemble it, because the moment someone knows you've got a yard, you're going to have every pirate., bandit, and most nations within a five jump radius coming for you. (not to mention Comstar coming, because they're all about destroying knowledge and sending mankind back to the paleolithic.)  The major problem here, is that even with that, the Lothians are restricted to no-space-industries by the rules of the setup-they're not really able to maintain the yard they have, and machines that don't get maintenance die.

How? with production equipment, you get tolerance drift, the more you use it, the faster it drifts. eventually everything comes out 'out of tolerance' and/or the machine breaks.  This isn't a big deal for ground-bound machinery, because that stuff isn't that precise to start with, and a 'mech has huge tolerances just on the basis of how much flex it's expected to endure, plus fusion engines aren't moving parts, so they wear out slower.

but production machinery? uh-uh.  if it has moving parts, those parts aren't self-maintaining like a biological organism (and biologicals also wear out! it's called aging.)

Without the ability to maintain the yard, the yard breaks down and is of no use to anyone in a couple generations.  If you CAN maintain it, you can replicate it, which violates the rules as presented.  There's a reason Hesperus II was only turning out a dozen or so 'mechs a year until the Helm Core-they had to go VERY easy on the equipment to keep it from failing at a bad time until they could build/get parts to repair or replace the machines.

Maintenance of the yard alone requires nullgee industries that aren't allowed-the specifics state infrastructure is gone, and no factory can exist without it, or maintenance point, for any length of time.

The basic flaw in the rules, is that they are required to ignore the rule of natural consequences and of entropy.  A magic sword can stay magic for the duration of plot, but a drill press requires bearings and lubrication.  a milling machine requires precision instruments to calibrate it, a CNC requires all of those plus additional maintenance tools and methods.  The more precise you get, the more active infrastructure you need just to be able to USE it.
To this, I have two responses.  The first is that this is a criticism of the entire concept of lostech and factories that can't be replicated and doing raids for computer chips to keep your water-factory running.  If you reject machines running with minimal maintenance for centuries, then you reject a core setting conceit.  Of course, you've spoken up against LosTech before, and your objections are factual-but they're being ignored here because we want to tell a story about industries with no visible means of support.  Things are winding down, yes, but they're not all going to collapse in just 20 years or so.  Or even 200 years.  Because to let them break completely breaks the story.  So they won't break completely, because we the authors won't let that happen.

My other response is that this isn't a factory.  It's not even a proper maintenance facility-this is a combination of artisan shop and experimental research facility, building parts with basically a file and a vice.  It can't build all parts, it can't do all work, and it is very, VERY slow.  It takes them TEN YEARS to do the overhauls and refurbishments on common Invaders, and get the damn hydroponics domes to retract again, along with other problems.  And Pirates might want to strip it for parts, but they have ships that need maintenance as well-and where, exactly, are they going to fix up their ships?  (See: How To Be A Pirate: Quartermaster Edition)  Pirates can't just pull into a shipyard and say 'hey this sail doesn't furl right' or 'Our jump computer has a lot of bit-flipping errors and it keeps giving us the wrong jump coordinates.'  Now, I'm not saying that you need to take on pirate customers, but I'm not going to offer people trap options that just exist to deny them the chance to play the game.

Cannonshop, I know you're speaking from a place of personal experience and expertise, but you seem to be of the opinion that I should just remove these options from the game entirely and not let anyone touch aerospace tech at all.  And that doesn't seem like fun to me.  What, exactly, is your prefered solution here, in your own words?  Can we just say 'this isn't realistic, but we're here to tell a fun story, not have pretentions of simulating futuristic industrial growth and contraction'?

One core a decade too much, then?  I'm thinking if you have a single machine that can get things back into tolerance, it could easily take a decade to get the forge (and it's trillions of sub-assemblies) set up for a single use.
Daryk, you're not building cores.  No Jump Core production, nothing that comes close to that.  Maybe basic replacement parts for tokomaks, but my headcanon for a jump core is effectively a germanium/titanium microchip that weighs tens of thousands of tons.  And you can't just drill on down through thousands of layers of circuitry to reach a deep defect without wrecking havoc on the exterior parts.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Cannonshop

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5192
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #36 on: 09 January 2021, 13:08:01 »
Hmmm... good point.  :-\

a couple decades ago, Boeing got this bright idea to cut their labor costs by giving early retirements out with generous terms, because it was cheaper than maintaining the wages and benefits they were paying out.

Lots of people took it-enough that we spent half a decade re-learning how to do a lot of jobs, because the knowledge base walked out the door all at once.  Similar teething problems happened when another bright symposium manager decided they needed to 'standardize' all the tooling on the floor to make it easier to keep it accounted for.  This cost a shit-ton of money and had to be walked back, because while CATIA might claim otherwise, some tools don't fit in places you need them to fit without modification, and you can't do the job in the timeframe allotted without them.

The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Sir Chaos

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2430
  • Artillery Fanboy
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #37 on: 09 January 2021, 13:21:26 »
If you reject machines running with minimal maintenance for centuries, then you reject a core setting conceit.

Don´t forget that rejecting core setting conceits is the essence of how Cannonshop approaches fan fiction. If you want to do something that embraces those core setting conceits, you probably shouldn´t pay attention to him in first place - any more than you should pay attention to a physicist talking about conservation of matter and energy when planning a D&D campaign (because violating the shit out of basic laws of physics is kinda the entire point of high fantasy magic systems).
"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl."
-Frederick the Great

"Ultima Ratio Regis" ("The Last Resort of the King")
- Inscription on cannon barrel, 18th century

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17012
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #38 on: 09 January 2021, 13:25:36 »
*snip*
Daryk, you're not building cores.  No Jump Core production, nothing that comes close to that.  Maybe basic replacement parts for tokomaks, but my headcanon for a jump core is effectively a germanium/titanium microchip that weighs tens of thousands of tons.  And you can't just drill on down through thousands of layers of circuitry to reach a deep defect without wrecking havoc on the exterior parts.
Ah, ok... how about the "trade-in" business model?

Cannonshop

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5192
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #39 on: 09 January 2021, 13:31:52 »
To this, I have two responses.  The first is that this is a criticism of the entire concept of lostech and factories that can't be replicated and doing raids for computer chips to keep your water-factory running.  If you reject machines running with minimal maintenance for centuries, then you reject a core setting conceit.  Of course, you've spoken up against LosTech before, and your objections are factual-but they're being ignored here because we want to tell a story about industries with no visible means of support.  Things are winding down, yes, but they're not all going to collapse in just 20 years or so.  Or even 200 years.  Because to let them break completely breaks the story.  So they won't break completely, because we the authors won't let that happen.

My other response is that this isn't a factory.  It's not even a proper maintenance facility-this is a combination of artisan shop and experimental research facility, building parts with basically a file and a vice.  It can't build all parts, it can't do all work, and it is very, VERY slow.  It takes them TEN YEARS to do the overhauls and refurbishments on common Invaders, and get the damn hydroponics domes to retract again, along with other problems.  And Pirates might want to strip it for parts, but they have ships that need maintenance as well-and where, exactly, are they going to fix up their ships?  (See: How To Be A Pirate: Quartermaster Edition)  Pirates can't just pull into a shipyard and say 'hey this sail doesn't furl right' or 'Our jump computer has a lot of bit-flipping errors and it keeps giving us the wrong jump coordinates.'  Now, I'm not saying that you need to take on pirate customers, but I'm not going to offer people trap options that just exist to deny them the chance to play the game.

Cannonshop, I know you're speaking from a place of personal experience and expertise, but you seem to be of the opinion that I should just remove these options from the game entirely and not let anyone touch aerospace tech at all.  And that doesn't seem like fun to me.  What, exactly, is your prefered solution here, in your own words?  Can we just say 'this isn't realistic, but we're here to tell a fun story, not have pretentions of simulating futuristic industrial growth and contraction'?
Daryk, you're not building cores.  No Jump Core production, nothing that comes close to that.  Maybe basic replacement parts for tokomaks, but my headcanon for a jump core is effectively a germanium/titanium microchip that weighs tens of thousands of tons.  And you can't just drill on down through thousands of layers of circuitry to reach a deep defect without wrecking havoc on the exterior parts.

I don't necessarily think they need to be removed-but you need to think them through thoroughly, weigh the options, and be specific about your limits from the first moment onward.  The Water-filters thing? we make those now, they're definitely something that  can be done 'Artisanally'-the worst that can happen is a filter that's slightly less effective..most of the time, except when you get one that's all the way effective because it was made on a wednesday.

but anything high-energy and reliable enough to use, requires a lot of underlying infrastructure to produce, even if the final manufacturing point is an 'artisan' shop.  The equipment you need to turn raw metal into a small-block V8 might boggle your mind, nevermind building a working turbine engine.  this stuff is VERY much a precision operation, and you don't get precision equipment without an underlying industrial base. 

ONe of the things that makes the fanfic setting I created work, is that it's built around a tooling company, which I inserted into the background, they're not DefHes, they're not CMW, they're not Comstar.  they're the guys who make the tools that keep DefHes in business.

"If you don't have infrastructure, you don't have an economy."

Basically, it's like this: Your local blacksmith might make fine rakes and shovels, but he's not going to be able to hammer-and-tongs a Chevrolet V8 engine out of railroad ties with a charcoal furnace and a set of hammers.

at least, not one that works.

if your tech is post-1940s you need to have a functional industrial base and infrastructure, a fusion engine is 22nd century, 1940s industrial base doesn't cut it.
Don´t forget that rejecting core setting conceits is the essence of how Cannonshop approaches fan fiction. If you want to do something that embraces those core setting conceits, you probably shouldn´t pay attention to him in first place - any more than you should pay attention to a physicist talking about conservation of matter and energy when planning a D&D campaign (because violating the shit out of basic laws of physics is kinda the entire point of high fantasy magic systems).

as for 'core setting conceits'?  Until the Helm Core showed up and everything got retconned, those factories were assembling war machines from spare parts backlogs, and they were raiding each other for replacement parts for what factories they had, to varying levels of success.

(Yes, I've played the game that long.) IOW nobody was building anything, so much as assembling what they could from what they could salvage or find in spare parts depots and forgotten cache sites.

hell, the fluff for the Savannahmaster was that a consignment of Omni-25s were found and used to pay one of the crew, and he had to figure out how to turn them into money.

In those days, if your engine got damaged you didn't have the option to repair it, you needed to either junk your ride out, or find an engine that fit and somehow cobble it in.
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Sir Chaos

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2430
  • Artillery Fanboy
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #40 on: 09 January 2021, 14:13:51 »
as for 'core setting conceits'?  Until the Helm Core showed up and everything got retconned, those factories were assembling war machines from spare parts backlogs, and they were raiding each other for replacement parts for what factories they had, to varying levels of success.

(Yes, I've played the game that long.) IOW nobody was building anything, so much as assembling what they could from what they could salvage or find in spare parts depots and forgotten cache sites.

hell, the fluff for the Savannahmaster was that a consignment of Omni-25s were found and used to pay one of the crew, and he had to figure out how to turn them into money.

In those days, if your engine got damaged you didn't have the option to repair it, you needed to either junk your ride out, or find an engine that fit and somehow cobble it in.

Nobody´s stopping you from writing your fan fiction the way you want, no matter how little sense it makes within the framework of the established universe´s core conceits. So I really don´t understand your burning desire to relentlessly shit on someone who is working off a different premise.
"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl."
-Frederick the Great

"Ultima Ratio Regis" ("The Last Resort of the King")
- Inscription on cannon barrel, 18th century

AlphaMirage

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1125
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #41 on: 09 January 2021, 14:29:15 »
Back to the main things,

I think I am going for the Free Worlds League and the Economic Supercomputer. As a major trading power and many member state League, such a central thing would be necessary to keep the Marik economy flowing.

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #42 on: 09 January 2021, 14:35:12 »
Ah, ok... how about the "trade-in" business model?
Not enough liquidity in the periphery transit models to make it happen-ship owners can't afford to sell their ships to 'prime the pump' as it were.  You'd have to sell off a couple of your existing fleet and that would be politically difficult to sell inside the League.

I don't necessarily think they need to be removed-but you need to think them through thoroughly, weigh the options, and be specific about your limits from the first moment onward.  The Water-filters thing? we make those now, they're definitely something that  can be done 'Artisanally'-the worst that can happen is a filter that's slightly less effective..most of the time, except when you get one that's all the way effective because it was made on a wednesday.

but anything high-energy and reliable enough to use, requires a lot of underlying infrastructure to produce, even if the final manufacturing point is an 'artisan' shop.  The equipment you need to turn raw metal into a small-block V8 might boggle your mind, nevermind building a working turbine engine.  this stuff is VERY much a precision operation, and you don't get precision equipment without an underlying industrial base. 

ONe of the things that makes the fanfic setting I created work, is that it's built around a tooling company, which I inserted into the background, they're not DefHes, they're not CMW, they're not Comstar.  they're the guys who make the tools that keep DefHes in business.

"If you don't have infrastructure, you don't have an economy."

Basically, it's like this: Your local blacksmith might make fine rakes and shovels, but he's not going to be able to hammer-and-tongs a Chevrolet V8 engine out of railroad ties with a charcoal furnace and a set of hammers.

at least, not one that works.

if your tech is post-1940s you need to have a functional industrial base and infrastructure, a fusion engine is 22nd century, 1940s industrial base doesn't cut it..

Yeah, um, I went back through the thread and...you don't actually seem to have any interest in 'participating' just in making sure that everything conforms to your vision-which, I think should be our lowest priority right now.  So, unless, you actually want to claim a nation and pick techs, I'm just going to advise everyone to nod along and then ignore you if they think it makes a better story.  I know it's a tad disrespectful, but I don't think you're actually suggesting improvements here.  I appreciate your suggestion about 'defining limits' but I know that to enumerate EVERY limit is to go down a rabbit hole that isn't useful to me or anyone else-instead, I'm going to trust that people understand the general spirit in which we are proceeding.  Everything after that is 'you either have tools to build tools or you have no tools at all' which might be true but we're in the FM world here of Freaking Magic, not the AM world of Actual Machines.  furthermore-wait what the...

Back to the main things,

I think I am going for the Free Worlds League and the Economic Supercomputer. As a major trading power and many member state League, such a central thing would be necessary to keep the Marik economy flowing.
  HEY!  BACK IN LINE, this is a DRAFT, you pick in order or you don't pick at all, we haven't got a full roster yet!  I'm gonna give people a bit more time to sign up, you don't get to go first just because you got here first.  I have determined the draft order-but I won't post it until the roster is full-up or I give up on filling it.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Sir Chaos

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2430
  • Artillery Fanboy
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #43 on: 09 January 2021, 15:16:07 »
Back to the main things, indeed. I think the Draconis Combine is still up for grabs? I would like to take that, then.
"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl."
-Frederick the Great

"Ultima Ratio Regis" ("The Last Resort of the King")
- Inscription on cannon barrel, 18th century

Cannonshop

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5192
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #44 on: 09 January 2021, 15:33:16 »
Not enough liquidity in the periphery transit models to make it happen-ship owners can't afford to sell their ships to 'prime the pump' as it were.  You'd have to sell off a couple of your existing fleet and that would be politically difficult to sell inside the League.

Yeah, um, I went back through the thread and...you don't actually seem to have any interest in 'participating' just in making sure that everything conforms to your vision-which, I think should be our lowest priority right now.  So, unless, you actually want to claim a nation and pick techs, I'm just going to advise everyone to nod along and then ignore you if they think it makes a better story.  I know it's a tad disrespectful, but I don't think you're actually suggesting improvements here.  I appreciate your suggestion about 'defining limits' but I know that to enumerate EVERY limit is to go down a rabbit hole that isn't useful to me or anyone else-instead, I'm going to trust that people understand the general spirit in which we are proceeding.  Everything after that is 'you either have tools to build tools or you have no tools at all' which might be true but we're in the FM world here of Freaking Magic, not the AM world of Actual Machines.  furthermore-wait what the...
  HEY!  BACK IN LINE, this is a DRAFT, you pick in order or you don't pick at all, we haven't got a full roster yet!  I'm gonna give people a bit more time to sign up, you don't get to go first just because you got here first.  I have determined the draft order-but I won't post it until the roster is full-up or I give up on filling it.

Fair 'nough. I'm actually looking forward to seeing the product from this experiment. (doing two or three stories simultaneously right now, for a group project like this, it kinda takes full attention not to screw things up for the other contributors with whacky plot directions.)
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17012
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #45 on: 09 January 2021, 15:44:43 »
*snip*
  HEY!  BACK IN LINE, this is a DRAFT, you pick in order or you don't pick at all, we haven't got a full roster yet!  I'm gonna give people a bit more time to sign up, you don't get to go first just because you got here first.  I have determined the draft order-but I won't post it until the roster is full-up or I give up on filling it.
Sorry, did I pick prematurely?

And as far as liquidity, I was figuring the value of the trade in would be most of it.  How much does a 10-year overhaul cost?  I mean, here at Crazy Logan's used spaceships, we'll take your aging ship off your hands (as long as it can still jump) and sell you an almost good as new ship of the same class...

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #46 on: 09 January 2021, 18:37:04 »
Back to the main things, indeed. I think the Draconis Combine is still up for grabs? I would like to take that, then.
Yeah, you're in, welcome aboard.

Sorry, did I pick prematurely?

And as far as liquidity, I was figuring the value of the trade in would be most of it.  How much does a 10-year overhaul cost?  I mean, here at Crazy Logan's used spaceships, we'll take your aging ship off your hands (as long as it can still jump) and sell you an almost good as new ship of the same class...
You're good, it's Alpha Mirage who did the bad thing of picking out of order.  And as far as liquidity is concerned, it's not 'I need money' but 'My business is transport and I can't stop swimming', and you don't have the raw cash to buy new jumpships to lubricate the market by having a 'for sale' model to trade in for.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 17012
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #47 on: 09 January 2021, 18:48:15 »
And I'm in the "can't stop swimming" pool too, right?

idea weenie

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2515
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #48 on: 10 January 2021, 00:40:52 »
   HEY!  BACK IN LINE, this is a DRAFT, you pick in order or you don't pick at all, we haven't got a full roster yet!  I'm gonna give people a bit more time to sign up, you don't get to go first just because you got here first.  I have determined the draft order-but I won't post it until the roster is full-up or I give up on filling it.

So this is the current order:
  • Great Houses (exact order determined by bribe to GM)
  • Comstar (aka Me)
  • Periphery nations (exact order determined by bribe to GM)
« Last Edit: 10 January 2021, 19:24:12 by idea weenie »

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #49 on: 10 January 2021, 01:27:49 »
Can you provide the current list of nations/organizations in the order that they will be doing their picks, along with who has chosen those nations/organizations?

I assume it is in the following order
  • Great Houses
  • Periphery nations
  • Comstar (aka Me)

But a little more breakdown on steps 1 & 2 would be appreciated, so we all know where we stand

The exact order is not going to be revealed right now, and would confer advantage to people to know, so I'm not sharing it.  Then, ComStar picks two, and any Periphery Majors can pick over the remains.

AlphaMirage is playing as the Free World's League.
Venser's Revenge is playing as the Federated Suns.
Sir Chaos is playing the Draconis Combine.
The Lyran Commonwealth and Capellan Confederation are still up for grabs.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #50 on: 13 January 2021, 12:40:10 »
Okay, after a few days with no sign-up and no motion, we will go ahead I guess.  Our first Draftee is the Federated Suns, so let's get Venser's Revenge in here to make their choice.

The options are: just again:

  • Water Filtration:  Star League water filters were an invisible part of life-now they're life or death.  This factory produces control chips, filter media, monomolecular titanium sluice gates, bacteria-resistant seals, all the stuff you need to turn periphery toxic sludge into high grade drinking or industrial water.  It's in very high demand-too bad you can't sell any of it, as your own worlds are screaming for this stuff, and you need to be very careful that you don't lose a planet because the water chips go to the wrong place.
  • Climate Stabilization: Everyone loves a nice sunny day, but there are people who are fans of nice cool rains, or big booming thundersnows.  But nobody wants to deal with hurricanes, tornados, and drought.  Star League Climate Stabilization Satellites make your planets better-if you have enough of them.  Too bad there's not enough to cover every world-but your best jewels shine a little brighter if polished with this system.
  • Full Pharmacopia: The oldest person in history was some tiny Japanese lady who lived to be almost 200 on a diet of pills and low-stress living in a healthy climate.  Most people in the Star League could aspire to 150 years.  That dream yet lives on due to this extensive drug production facility.  Anti-parasitics, anti-biotics, anti-senescent, a pill for everything, and for everything a pill.  But is it enough to treat everyone, for everything?
  • Auto-factory tooling: The Heterodyne 9000 was an instantly infamous piece of hardware when it was first introduced-it destroyed 90% of the jobs on the periphery world of Detroit.  You use it somewhat more cautiously, but the same hardware and software drive your industry to production numbers that look insane.  All non-creative jobs, from janitor to vice-president of marketing, can be handled automatically by the facility itself.
  • Extra Shipyard: As the shipping industry collapsed, you threw everything you had into salvaging what could be saved.  Vital tooling here, an assembly frame there, and the all-important monocrystaline germanium-titanium growth chambers to make jump cores doped to one part per trillion exactness, with the proper 'defect circuitry'.  The result is a bit of a workflow disaster area, but in an era where the construction of such shipyards is a lost art, having put together one more than anyone else is an advantage you can't deny.
  • HPG sub-component: Is ComStar angry about this one?  Does a bear poo in the woods, heck yes ComStar would skin you alive for this if you tried to set it up today, but it is written into their founding treaty.  They get the exclusive rights to buy these widgets, nobody even knows what they do but them, and in exchange, you get a nice big fat discount on transmissions.  Now if only you could discount those nutjobs telling you to nationalize it and build your own HPG network...
  • Economic Supercomputer: Once, this great machine the size of a city kept the economy of the Star League and the value of the Dollar as solid as a rock.  Today, it's planning and modeling software is at your disposal-either for purely national concerns, or for sale to national companies.  Garbage In, Garbage Out though, so beware the inputs your underlings send you.
  • Large-scale Fusion Power: Not every fusion reactor need be an ultra-compact model.  These are the great metropolitan generators, using less common fuels for more efficient output, higher energy capture, and the like.  Combined with superconductive long-distance power cables, and there are few power needs that cannot be met by Fusion.  The trained technicians are a nice byproduct, you must agree, even if they aren't quite used to military grade reactors.
  • Primary Production Robotics: Agrobots and Mining Robots, once a key of Star League productivity and Leisure, now are only common within your realm.  Ranging from tiny berry-pickers to enormous scrape-processors weighing hundreds of thousands of tons, these robots handle nearly all the primary resourcing needs your society feels.  Their AI were programmed by the best Nirasaki Computers Collective engineers, and over 200 years later, still are the best available.
  • Low-cost Civilian Electronics: Personal computing died with the Star league-everywhere but here.  Originally a boondoggle of excess capacity, we now operate the only major chippery in the Inner Sphere-optronic crystals are automatically doped, cut, mirrored and attached to boards in the millions every day in one huge factory.  It turns out everything from personal mobile phones to gigantic stadium holographic systems.  The number one target of enemy raids are looting cell and satellite phones that are in high demand outside our territory.

In other words, Low-cost Civilian Electronics preserves much of the Star league's computing for the common man.  Primary Production Robots decouples your mining and agriculture from the workforce-for better and for worse.  Large Scale Fusion Power means that you never really lose the ability to maintain these large reactors on even the most remote planets.  The economic and humanitarian blows of the succession war and loss of lives can be greatly cushioned by the Economic Supercomputer.  In exchange for sale of HPG sub-components, ComStar offers a discount on purchase of C-bills.  Extra Shipyards mean more ships-not an overwhelming advantage, but the extra slips add up.  Auto-factory tooling will allow you to maintain Star League Factories better, though it is keyed around light industry, civilian goods, not heavy industry and military production, and forces humans out of jobs.  With access to the Full Pharmacopeia of Star League Medicine, you can choose from a variety of quality-of-life improvements, either for your elite, or bring up the standard of living of everyone slightly.  Finally, Climate Stabilization and Water Filtering are mirror-image techs-the first improves good planets, and the second keeps you from losing marginal planets.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Speedbump

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 113
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #51 on: 13 January 2021, 14:22:04 »
I was thinking about volunteering to run the Outworlds Alliance when I saw this at the weekend, but as it looks like you're kicking off without all the main slots filled is it OK if I claim the Lyran Commonwealth?

Gorgon

  • Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 17
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #52 on: 13 January 2021, 14:57:10 »
This looks interesting. How do you plan to run this? Do players write about their faction each year / decade / turn? Is it competitive (as in, warplans, mods, etc) or more cooperative?

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #53 on: 13 January 2021, 19:42:50 »
I was thinking about volunteering to run the Outworlds Alliance when I saw this at the weekend, but as it looks like you're kicking off without all the main slots filled is it OK if I claim the Lyran Commonwealth?
  Sure, I'll pencil you in right away.  That leaves, I believe, only the Capellans unpicked.

This looks interesting. How do you plan to run this? Do players write about their faction each year / decade / turn? Is it competitive (as in, warplans, mods, etc) or more cooperative?
I was thinking that everyone would be able to write little slice-of-life vingettes about how their choices impact the course of the war, the life of the average citizen, or even the leaders at various points through the succession war.  I'd try to pick up the slack from the less verbose writers.  There isn't going to be direct competition to 'win the war', or a hard and fast rule that you need to write for every X years, but just an exploration of what the universe looks like.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

VensersRevenge

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 302
  • Is this the real life...
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #54 on: 13 January 2021, 21:06:19 »
To be clear Federated Suns will be the first drafter even if the Capellans get a player, correct? I don't want to steal someone's pick
...Is this just fantasy?
Playing in Kingston Ontario
Message if you want to organize a game

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #55 on: 13 January 2021, 22:18:12 »
To be clear Federated Suns will be the first drafter even if the Capellans get a player, correct? I don't want to steal someone's pick
The turn order is Federated Suns first, yes.  Capellans get second pick though, so if there's someone eager to pick, do so now!!
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

VensersRevenge

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 302
  • Is this the real life...
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #56 on: 13 January 2021, 22:25:34 »
Alright then, I'll choose Water Filtration. One of the Federated Suns biggest failings is the terrible state of the Outback. Hopefully maintaining better quality worlds will hopefully have the knock-on effects to make the Suns a better place to fight off the encroaching Snakes and Cappies.
...Is this just fantasy?
Playing in Kingston Ontario
Message if you want to organize a game

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #57 on: 14 January 2021, 00:37:26 »
Water filtration it is!  You'll find your new facility on Panpour III, where, along a primary SLDF logistics hub, it was ideally suited for humanitarian relief efforts in the Periphery.  after the SLDF left, the factory was brought to full production-but it cannot supply every world.  As the supply of water-filtering technology begins to enter free fall, you deploy these resources...

-Evenly across the Federated Suns, annoying everyone, but saving the maximum amount of lives.
-Within the Cappelan March to secure loyalty.
-With the Draconis March to secure loyalty.
-Within the Circis March to reward loyalty.
--As above, but exclusively within the Outback to promote development.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Gorgon

  • Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 17
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #58 on: 14 January 2021, 05:04:32 »
I was thinking that everyone would be able to write little slice-of-life vingettes about how their choices impact the course of the war, the life of the average citizen, or even the leaders at various points through the succession war.  I'd try to pick up the slack from the less verbose writers.  There isn't going to be direct competition to 'win the war', or a hard and fast rule that you need to write for every X years, but just an exploration of what the universe looks like.

Sounds like fun. In that case, I'd like to apply for the CC

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #59 on: 14 January 2021, 09:46:19 »
Sounds like fun. In that case, I'd like to apply for the CC
  Well, then you're up next to pick-  Here's the list again, modified to remove the previously selected technology.

  • Climate Stabilization: Everyone loves a nice sunny day, but there are people who are fans of nice cool rains, or big booming thundersnows.  But nobody wants to deal with hurricanes, tornados, and drought.  Star League Climate Stabilization Satellites make your planets better-if you have enough of them.  Too bad there's not enough to cover every world-but your best jewels shine a little brighter if polished with this system.
  • Full Pharmacopia: The oldest person in history was some tiny Japanese lady who lived to be almost 200 on a diet of pills and low-stress living in a healthy climate.  Most people in the Star League could aspire to 150 years.  That dream yet lives on due to this extensive drug production facility.  Anti-parasitics, anti-biotics, anti-senescent, a pill for everything, and for everything a pill.  But is it enough to treat everyone, for everything?
  • Auto-factory tooling: The Heterodyne 9000 was an instantly infamous piece of hardware when it was first introduced-it destroyed 90% of the jobs on the periphery world of Detroit.  You use it somewhat more cautiously, but the same hardware and software drive your industry to production numbers that look insane.  All non-creative jobs, from janitor to vice-president of marketing, can be handled automatically by the facility itself.
  • Extra Shipyard: As the shipping industry collapsed, you threw everything you had into salvaging what could be saved.  Vital tooling here, an assembly frame there, and the all-important monocrystaline germanium-titanium growth chambers to make jump cores doped to one part per trillion exactness, with the proper 'defect circuitry'.  The result is a bit of a workflow disaster area, but in an era where the construction of such shipyards is a lost art, having put together one more than anyone else is an advantage you can't deny.
  • HPG sub-component: Is ComStar angry about this one?  Does a bear poo in the woods, heck yes ComStar would skin you alive for this if you tried to set it up today, but it is written into their founding treaty.  They get the exclusive rights to buy these widgets, nobody even knows what they do but them, and in exchange, you get a nice big fat discount on transmissions.  Now if only you could discount those nutjobs telling you to nationalize it and build your own HPG network...
  • Economic Supercomputer: Once, this great machine the size of a city kept the economy of the Star League and the value of the Dollar as solid as a rock.  Today, it's planning and modeling software is at your disposal-either for purely national concerns, or for sale to national companies.  Garbage In, Garbage Out though, so beware the inputs your underlings send you.
  • Large-scale Fusion Power: Not every fusion reactor need be an ultra-compact model.  These are the great metropolitan generators, using less common fuels for more efficient output, higher energy capture, and the like.  Combined with superconductive long-distance power cables, and there are few power needs that cannot be met by Fusion.  The trained technicians are a nice byproduct, you must agree, even if they aren't quite used to military grade reactors.
  • Primary Production Robotics: Agrobots and Mining Robots, once a key of Star League productivity and Leisure, now are only common within your realm.  Ranging from tiny berry-pickers to enormous scrape-processors weighing hundreds of thousands of tons, these robots handle nearly all the primary resourcing needs your society feels.  Their AI were programmed by the best Nirasaki Computers Collective engineers, and over 200 years later, still are the best available.
  • Low-cost Civilian Electronics: Personal computing died with the Star league-everywhere but here.  Originally a boondoggle of excess capacity, we now operate the only major chippery in the Inner Sphere-optronic crystals are automatically doped, cut, mirrored and attached to boards in the millions every day in one huge factory.  It turns out everything from personal mobile phones to gigantic stadium holographic systems.  The number one target of enemy raids are looting cell and satellite phones that are in high demand outside our territory.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Gorgon

  • Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 17
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #60 on: 14 January 2021, 13:49:30 »
I'll pick the Economic Supercomputer. I think it fits well with the Confederation's corporate state, planned economy and strong centralism.

Sir Chaos

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2430
  • Artillery Fanboy
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #61 on: 14 January 2021, 14:25:59 »
I'll pick the Economic Supercomputer. I think it fits well with the Confederation's corporate state, planned economy and strong centralism.

Sound choice. The one thing a planned economy needs the most is the ability to collect and process economic data.
"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl."
-Frederick the Great

"Ultima Ratio Regis" ("The Last Resort of the King")
- Inscription on cannon barrel, 18th century

Gorgon

  • Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 17
Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #62 on: 14 January 2021, 14:30:43 »
It was either that or Large Fusion Reactors. I figuered they must have plenty of cheap labor, so automation was probably a lower priority during the SL and consumer electronics wouldn't be their strong suit either.

In the end, I went with the cooler option, giant computers!

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 942
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Have I seen the Bank of New Canton Computing Center?  No, I have not, and I do not feel the need to ever do so.  It lies under three kilometers of water, and covers 200 square kilometers with it's cooling arrays alone.  The main computer cores are burried in the planetary crust-out of sight to those who wish to destroy them, and nearly impregnable to attack.  Nothing save a nuclear torpedo can meaningfully inconvenience those systems.  No, obscurity is the best defense for such a system-let it rest in splendid isolation so long as it answers to our call.

Glorious Celestial Wisdom, we have taken control of the great supercomputer of New Canton.  However, there is the question of to whom we shall deliver this device to keep and maintain it to give you council and answer your questions. The Technocratic faction currently have control of the device-former Hegemony stooges who will bow to your will, but are not perhaps true believers.  Allowing them in will alter the character of the court with their 'data' and grand plans-but there are no others as sensitive to the great machine.  Alternatively, we can staff the supervisory committee of the device with Apparatchiks, chosen men who have little experience with the machine but great political reliability and understanding, who will know the importance of their work.  These men will be drawn from the serving members of the various Ministries with an interest in the great computer, including members of the intelligence division.  These will tend towards conservative, small deviations from current conditions.  Finally, we can make this device a part of the personal holding of House Liao, and give it to the care of some junior members of the house, so that they will feel that they have an important role to play in the Celestial Wisdom's duties.  This may give them delusions of grandeur in some cases however...

(Who will control the Ecconomic Supercomputer-House Liao itself, pollitical Apparatchiks, or the native Technocrats, who will not be servitors forever.)

The Lyran Commonwealth picks next!
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

 

Register