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Author Topic: What is the weakest or most unbelievable aspect of the BT Universe?  (Read 23357 times)

Dayton3

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A straight-up question:   What part of the BT  Universe do you consider the weakest or most unbelievable?   The technology?   The geopolitics.   The economics?   The personalities and characters of the main players?   The overall culture of the Inner Sphere?

To me it is the economics such as it is in the BT Universe.  Of course, this should surprise no one.   Economics is often the weakest aspect of any science fiction universe.  No surprise as few average people understand economics anyway so you can't expect most science fiction writers to do so.

Jal Phoenix

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Army sizes.

SteelRaven

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Most numbers are unbelievable if you look at it outside of any context than game starts, thought the same is true for many sci-fi games.
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Geg

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The homogeneity and the stability of the Successor States.

MDFification

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Army sizes.

Ah, numbers and scale. The space opera writer's bane.

Natasha Kerensky

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National and military leadership piloting mechs on the frontlines.  It wasn’t always that way, and it’s become worse over the years.
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Geg

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National and military leadership piloting mechs on the frontlines.  It wasn’t always that way, and it’s become worse over the years.

I always liked this part.   Alexander the Great and this Successors lead from the Front.

Given the relative survivability of Mechs, having a successor lords right to rule stemming from their success as both a war leader and personal combat with a Mech, provides the ideological under pinning of how the post-Star League space Feudalism functions.   In my head cannon its the fusion of civil and military leadership that makes the setting tick, rather than settle down into some sort of PeaceTech.

Gaiiten

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No time debt in interstellar traffic.
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AlphaMirage

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No time debt in interstellar traffic.
Expound on that, there is defiantly lag present that becomes very acute during the Clan Invasion as refit kits from League space have to make it to the front line

I always liked this part.   Alexander the Great and this Successors lead from the Front.

Given the relative survivability of Mechs, having a successor lords right to rule stemming from their success as both a war leader and personal combat with a Mech, provides the ideological under pinning of how the post-Star League space Feudalism functions.   In my head cannon its the fusion of civil and military leadership that makes the setting tick, rather than settle down into some sort of PeaceTech.

Agreed, each of the heads of the Great Houses are Warlords trying to increase or at least retain their domain against fierce rivals. It makes perfect sense for them to be on the front lines...until Gauss Rifles and cERPPCs come into play. It also fits with the lag in control they would experience. You cannot effectively run a war from the capital in real time, you kinda have to be there.

I also never necessarily thought the economics were that bad except for equipment cost. Add a zero for mechs and it might make more sense. Although that gets into the money ball situation where you can get A LOT more tanks and infantry for that price, enough to definitely kill a mech so its a tough balance.

Ogra_Chief

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The economics of BT, having the resources to do anything, juxtaposed to scarcity. Reads, no Warships and tiny armies.

The lack of active colonization efforts. I did always like the idea that the ComStar HPG network was the de-facto, ‘here civilization’ - ‘not civilized’, line of demarcation. Sure there are colonization efforts but since they are past this line, we don’t care. From a game standpoint I can understand not wanting to track/catalogue 10,000 worlds.

Everything about the Clans.
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Harmony Gold no longer has any say in our decisions, however, the original mechs have been redesigned enough to not cause problems.

Stormlion1

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That modern day companys are still active in the various eras.
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MrPopo

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For me the economics issue is specifically the idea that interstellar commerce doesn't make sense.  The Mammoth has a total cargo capacity of a bit over 40,000 tons, and is the largest dropship that can land on a planet.  Meanwhile, a modern Triple E class container ship has a deadweight capacity of 165,000 tons.  So what are you shipping between planets that is worth that expense?

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All of it. Why focus on it?
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Tyler Jorgensson

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Army size, fleet size, the fact that ComStar has a monopoly on HPG’s (besides the Clans), the lack of more factions (or the fact that the Five Major Houses have kept themselves this large for so long), multi-planet international banking THRU ComStar or the C-Bill in general.

Templar87

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The fact that people still trust the Capellan Confederation's word, despite its constant duplicity and breaking of agreements.
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Pedantry

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AlphaMirage

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The absence of common orbital infrastructure around most worlds. At least a small space station or something at the jump point to make cargo transfer easier

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The homogeneity and the stability of the Successor States.
The break up of the FWL and the current state of the LC may question the stability aspect but we have other fans who get angry when a Success State stops being a huge Pie wedge.
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NeonKnight

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to me the weakest part is that CLAN tech is still superior to IS tech. One would think after 100 years of exposure to the clans, the best of the IS scientists would know how to duplicate/reverse engineer that stuff.
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Adrian Gideon

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to me the weakest part is that CLAN tech is still superior to IS tech. One would think after 100 years of exposure to the clans, the best of the IS scientists would know how to duplicate/reverse engineer that stuff.
they can reproduce it, it’s just still called Clan tech.
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Stormlion1

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For me the economics issue is specifically the idea that interstellar commerce doesn't make sense.  The Mammoth has a total cargo capacity of a bit over 40,000 tons, and is the largest dropship that can land on a planet.  Meanwhile, a modern Triple E class container ship has a deadweight capacity of 165,000 tons.  So what are you shipping between planets that is worth that expense?

Kind of figured it was a universe of Tramp Steamers.
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NeonKnight

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they can reproduce it, it’s just still called Clan tech.

Well...ok...let me clarify then...why do we still have new units being built with IS Tech over clan tech. Kinda why modern militarys don't use Flint Lock muskets anymore...there's just better stuff ;)
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Weirdo

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Well...ok...let me clarify then...why do we still have new units being built with IS Tech over clan tech. Kinda why modern militarys don't use Flint Lock muskets anymore...there's just better stuff ;)

Because there's a difference between being able to build/buy Clan-level equipment, and being able to build/buy enough Clan-level equipment to outfit an entire army.
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Dr. Banzai

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Jump ship paths.

Everything is based on a 2D map of a 500 LY radius SPHERE. I know a number of stars that are on different ends of the z-axis, but relatively close on the xy, and the jump paths claim they are within 30 ly of each other.

NeonKnight

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Because there's a difference between being able to build/buy Clan-level equipment, and being able to build/buy enough Clan-level equipment to outfit an entire army.

But that's my point. I'm not saying on Friday, the army is all IS, and on Monday they have all been swapped out to Clan, but just like all business, militaries, governments etc start to phase out all the Apple IIe's to Apple Macintoshs, to iMac to power Macs.

And businesses have had over 100 years to convert over. The LostTech era is over, and just Fasanomics, this is a 'forcing a square-peg into a round hole' argument for why things continue to be the way they are....and it makes me sad.
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Natasha Kerensky

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I always liked this part.   Alexander the Great and this Successors lead from the Front.

You like what you like.  And there probably was no other way for Alex to do what he did.  But Alex also needlessly exposed himself to foreign diseases and an early death that left his short-lived empire with no clear successor and a subsequent breakup.  I’m not sure Alex is a good model for how to lead a stable Successor State or Star League.

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Given the relative survivability of Mechs

No doubt, mechs are more survivable than vehicles.  But every shot at a mech still carries a 3% chance of striking the head.  And then there’s the falls and ammo explosions and overheating, any of which will leave the mechwarrior mentally and/or physically incapacitated.  Not where you want your head of state or military if you want domestic stability or continuity of command.

And even if mechs perfectly protected their mechwarriors, mechwarriors can’t spend every hour in the cockpit.  I don’t want to get a Rule #4 warning, but you only have to read about how a dozen generals from a certain big Eastern European country have been eliminated in recent weeks by a certain smaller Eastern European country to see the folly in having military leadership forced to lead from the front in something resembling modern warfare.

Quote
having a successor lords right to rule stemming from their success as both a war leader and personal combat with a Mech, provides the ideological under pinning of how the post-Star League space Feudalism functions.

It also fits with the lag in control they would experience. You cannot effectively run a war from the capital in real time, you kinda have to be there.

But it actually hasn’t functioned that way.  Wars were run from capitals.  Look at the 4th Succession War.  Hanse, Maximillian, Takashi and the rest all stayed home and ran that war from their capitals.  They only mounted a mech or were in physical danger if there was action at their capital.  Other exciting characters, like Justin Allard, were the ones regularly in harm’s way.  We saw both the political scheming behind the scenes and the military action out in the open without unrealistically fusing the two in the same characters.

Same was true of the Clan invasion.  Focht ran Tukayyid from a bunker, not a mech cockpit.  Even Ulric, a Clan Khan/ilKhan, ran Operation Revival from his warship.  Ulric didn’t really take the field until years later, when he felt like he had no choice but to lead a suicidal spearhead to grind his Crusaders and the Falcons to dust in the War of Refusal.  Other exciting characters, like Natasha and Phelan and Ranna, were the ones regularly in harm’s way.  Again, we saw both the political scheming behind the scenes and the military action out in the open without unrealistically fusing the two in the same characters.

That dichotomy changed with Victor, and the BT storyline became more about watching Victor fight here, there and everywhere during the FC breakup.  And then during the Jihad the storyline switched to watching Stone fight here, there, and everywhere.  And then in the ilClan Era (or at least the run-up to it), the storyline has been watching Alaric fight here, there, and everywhere.  The only pure political schemers tend to be obviously evil (Katherine, the Master), vice the layers of gray that characters like Hanse, Ulric, and Focht brought to the table.

By fusing political/military leadership in the same characters that do the frontline fighting starting around the FedCom Civil War, I think BT lost not only a certain suspension of reality of but also a lot of its depth.  I’m simplifying and I’m sure there are exceptions, but ever since then, BT characters, novels, and storylines have felt more like Marvel superhero movies fighting here and there than carefully laid Game of Thrones-type plots and plans unfolding against a gritty, grey, hard-boiled space opera.  IMO, it would be nice to get back to the old dichotomy between political/military leadership/scheming from the rear and military action on the front.  I think it would add realism and depth back to the setting and characters.

My 2 C-bills... FWIW.
« Last Edit: 09 May 2022, 18:21:34 by Natasha Kerensky »
"Ah, yes.  The belle dame sans merci.  The sweet young thing who will blast your nuts off.  The kitten with a whip.  That mystique?"
"Slavish adherence to formal ritual is a sign that one has nothing better to think about."
"Variety is the spice of battle."
"I've fought in... what... a hundred battles, a thousand battles?  It could be a million as far as I know.  I've fought for anybody who offered a decent contract and a couple who didn't.  And the universe is not much different after all that.  I could go on fighting for another hundred years and it would still look the same."
"I'm in mourning for my life."
"Those who break faith with the Unity shall go down into darkness."

House Davie Merc

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Considering the overall size of the Inner Sphere combined with the supply and transportation difficulties
of the Succession Wars I can't believe there are not more variants of the more commonly produced mechs .

I mean official / canon mechs from between the Exodus and the Clan Invasion .

One would think that more variants specific to regions of space ,single worlds ,or even individual units would exist
in numbers large enough to keep track of /canonize .


There are only 4 produced variants of the Archer ,Crusader , Marauder, Warhammer, and T-Bolt  after centuries ?
« Last Edit: 09 May 2022, 17:15:00 by House Davie Merc »

Luciora

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The fans. I wonder how it survives sometimes.   :thumbsup:

Stormlion1

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The fans. I wonder how it survives sometimes.   :thumbsup:

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CVB

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My 2 C-bills... FWIW.
:clap:

I can understand that a future ruler has to spend some time at the front to establish his reputation and credibility, but actually ruling is done better from the capital. The Sucessor States are in a near constant two front war; if a ruler can't manage two fronts from a central capital, he surely can't manage one front from the other.
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