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BattleTech Game Systems => Ground Combat => Topic started by: R3dstar77 on 28 May 2020, 22:50:59

Title: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: R3dstar77 on 28 May 2020, 22:50:59
Hi all,

So I've been musing quite a bit over the Mercenary availability list and the sheer number of 3025 designs that were upgraded with XL engines that are available. A lot of these solve most of the key issues for the 3025 designs in the Clan Invasion era (with a few exceptions, Phoenix Hawk PXH-3 series I'm looking at you), however with the use of XL engines causing the C-Bill cost to Sky-rocket in addition to the use of Endosteel (with it being harder to obtain), the Mercenary commander in me shivers at the thought of having to replace the mech, let lone the engine (or the chassis).

I have a tendency to play MegaMek campaigns with the "Parts available limited by mission" turned on, and more than once recently I've had to cannibalize salvage or existing mechs to fix some (I have to say though I adore the FS9-S). Most of these XL designs I love (like the MAD-5M/D, Griffin GRF-3M, Shadowhawk 5M and the TBT-7 series) however, given the cost and likely financial constraints a general command is likely to face in startup costs, large numbers of XL designs I figure would be out of reach (I like to approach company building from the perspective of "here's your startup capital, get the pilots and buy the mechs new/used).

So as a result I've separated my designs into the "This can only be bought in XL, these are MANDATORY XL designs (SHD-5M and GRF-3m for me) and this is nice to have, but non-essential" categories. However I like a lot of the non-essential ones and have done a bit of playing round in MegaMekLab and determined that the XL designs can be approximated with simple Class D maintenance refits, mostly revolving around updating weaponry and swapping to DHS. Solving the firecracker issue of mechs like the Centurion however is the remaining struggle.

So my questions to the community are as follows:
Assumptions: An average Battalion sized command
1)What kind of facilities are required for a Class D refit, could this be accomplished in a drop ship
2)Would Lostech field refits like I have outlined be available (or even field refits of non-available designs such as the RVN-3L which could be created from a 3M just by adding in the EW equipment) to mercenaries readily (IE. are most of these components available off the shelf)?
3)Would conducting a Class E Factory refit be feasible (specifically adding in CASE) and what kind of facilities would this require. Like would renting space in a facility on Outreach or Galatea be enough?



Anyway, thanks!
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Daryk on 29 May 2020, 03:50:41
Here's the link to the latest version of the refit rules: https://bg.battletech.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/StratOps-Refitting-Revised-Final.pdf

Short answer to 1 is YES.
2 and 3 are really up to your GM...
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Sartris on 29 May 2020, 10:38:23
for #2 it's super contextual and depends on the year, your location, the size of your force, your reputation, and your employer (a healthy bank account could probably mitigate or overcome any difficulty arising from these factors)

Before 3052-3053, I'd stick largely to what was available to mercs in the Late Succession Wars - Renaissance era. Most of the LosTech put back in production is probably being funneled directly to the upper-end house units at this point. If you've got some, it's salvage, black market, or your employer granted some kind of access

After 3055, the Marik Toy Company is in full swing and it's a lot easier to get your hands on a bunch of stuff, providing you've got the cash.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Colt Ward on 29 May 2020, 12:02:36
After putting DHS on old machines, the next best upgrade is getting your hands on NARC-equipped ammo and putting some NARC launchers on skirmishers.  Unfortunately, you do not get a lot of NARC launcher canon options in 3050s.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Sartris on 29 May 2020, 13:18:51
the Orion ON1-M is probably the most widely available early adopter. In 3056 you get the Owens D. Unfortunately the best delivery system in the Scimitar (TAG) is DC only and the Striker (NARC) is a largely FedCom

the most straightforward way to get a NARC on something is to rip out an SRM-6 and do a straight up swap.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Hellraiser on 19 June 2020, 19:04:01
I think its important to clarify if you mean a "REFIT" or a "CUSTOMIZATION".

Refits are factory produced kits that take a cannon model & turn it into another cannon model.

Customs are harder to do with a higher roll for techs to pull off & let you do whatever you want.

Many GMs won't let you do "customization" since they don't like OP units.

Class-A/B can be done with a repair truck in the field.
Class-C/D can be done in a repair bay, drop ship cubicle, or mobile field base.
Class-E/F are factory grade alterations only.

If your looking to get some XL grade mechs or refit kits in a "campaign", my suggestion is look into the Battlefield Loss Compensation rules.
By 3055, pretty much any older mech you loose is going to get replaced by something newer.
Not that it has to be an XL/Endo sporting monstrosity, but there is a chance it is.

In a campaign I tend to look at what is available near the location of the campaign.

If your serving on the border with the LyrCom & Falcon OZ in 3055,  and you loose a medium mech,  I'd imagine something from Coventry (Phoenix Hawk-3S, Vulcan-5S)  is more likely to show up as a replacement than a mech from New Avalon  (PhoenixHawk-3D / Enforcer-5D)

This is of course if you loose it in defensive engagement.

If your on the offense, then your employer might have a limited # of replacement mechs &/or, you might be given the chance to just salvage something from the battlefield as part of BLC rights v/s Salvage rights.

Went on the offense as part of the 4th SW into the Cap Con as a Merc & lost your Shadowhawk?
You can wait 3 months to get a replacement or, look there is this slightly used Vindicator that you can have & if you need parts to replace the leg its missing there is another one w/ a leg still attached but missing the entire left torso over 1/2 a klick that way.  /points east.

Just some things to consider.


Another option is perhaps negotiating a few upgrade kits as part of a signing bonus.
You can probably get "more" valuable kits in C-Bill terms instead of raw C-Bills.


In terms of doing the work yourself however and staying on the cheap,  your probably going to be looking at basic D-Grade or lower kits that can be done in something as small as a Leopard dropship.


Some of the mechs that would be available in the 3050's from various factories as upgrade kits of the L1/Intro tech version at D-Grade that don't include an XL.


Wolfhound-2
BlackJack-3
Vindicator-3L
Hunchback-5M
Crusader-4D, 4L, 4K
Thunderbolt-7M
Warhammer-7M, 7S
Zeus-9S
Battlemaster-3M
Stalker-5M
Atlas-7S
Marauder-II-5B



Some "Customization" models that are similar to the above but in the fluff don't have a factory to provide the kits & were common "customizations" as opposed a true "kit" from a manufacturer.

Javelin-10P
Ostscout-7K
Assassin-23
Clint-2-3U
BlackJack-2
Ostroc-2D
Catapult-C3
Thunderbolt-9SE
Cyclops-11A


Its not a lot to choose from but between Salvage, BLC, Refits, & canon customization, most mercs should be able to at least get some upgrades done.

If full on customs are "legal" then just slap DHS, CASE, FFA, & ER Weapons on everything with NARC on a few spotters.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Vonshroom on 04 August 2020, 20:24:43
First off this whole issue of refitting and field upgrades is one of my biggest problems with the entire Battletech game and lore post Helm memory rediscovery.  In reality the "tech" and skill level needed to swap an old Wolverine 6M's Large Laser to an ER Large and upgrade the heat sinks to DHS would be pretty easy. Definitely a field level refit. If you want a strictly canon rules based environment see Hellraisers reply.

However see my answers for what makes sense & isn't bending the rules much:

Assumptions: An average Battalion sized command
1)What kind of facilities are required for a Class D refit, could this be accomplished in a drop ship

Absolutely, these components are likely going to be plug and play anyways, or at least be able to easily interface with the existing components. This is not like converting your 87 Chevy short block to a new 5.3 liter engine, this is like swapping the headlights or the bumper. Easily something people accustomed to working on mechs for a living can carry out in a maintenance bay of a dropship, or a field borne mech bay. Further a battalion sized command is going to have extensive support staff and personnel. As such they are going to have personnel on hand that are going to be capable of performing significantly higher levels of refitting. High end mercenary techs and those pulling the strings on a Battalion level refit op are going to be ex employees of major mech manufactures or House Armies.

2)Would Lostech field refits like I have outlined be available (or even field refits of non-available designs such as the RVN-3L which could be created from a 3M just by adding in the EW equipment) to mercenaries readily (IE. are most of these components available off the shelf)?

Depends on the era, certainly in the 3040's the new fangled equipment is going to be few and far between. Keep in mind new designs like the Caesar or "XL Refit Variants" are still rare among even the most well equipped Great House Armies as late as 3050. 
ER Lasers, Gauss, CASE, DHS, etc. are going to be reasonably easy to aquire by 3050 but will cost. On paper none of these weapons / comnponents are cost prohibitive for a Mercenary command and the added capability will be well worth the cost increase. Double Heat Sinks for example are only 3 times the cost of single heat sinks and the added capacity to firepower sustainability would be well worth the cost at only 6000 CBills. ER weapons are 1/2 again or twice the amount of the standard versions but their added range would allow better survivability for a cash strapped merc and would pay off rather fast.A Gauss and an AC/20 cost the same so I think Hunchbacks toting Gauss rifles would be pretty prevalent. CASE is also cheap. The thing you would likely see the least of would be XL engines, FF armor, ECM & endo steel as they are structural components and would require significant investment and retrofitting to use.

3)Would conducting a Class E Factory refit be feasible (specifically adding in CASE) and what kind of facilities would this require. Like would renting space in a facility on Outreach or Galatea be enough?

I would say yes. Certainly hubs like Outreach and Galatea would have lots of shops for this reason alone. In reality these shops would probably offer even enhanced performance and packages than the factories would provide. Think about custom bike shops or hot rod shops versus Fords production line. CASE, upgraded weapons, XL engines refits, = etc. are all going to be things worlds like this exist for. Realistically there would be a huge market for it. Cost effectively I would say until the Mid 3050's you wouldn't see anything smaller than Battalion sized commands with any XL engines, Endo Steel, or ECM's, but things like Gauss rifles, ER weapons, DHS & CASE would be widespread even in lance sized units operating in the Inner Sphere by 3050 for sure. These refits would be easy and added cost would be peanuts compared to added capability. Anything smaller than the Kell Hounds, Grey Death, etc would likely benefit from selling off salvaged XL's and putting their money towards the more simple, economic refits discussed above. Further the XL reduces survivability, which is what being a merc is all about.....

Simple weapon swap upgrades and DHS would be all over the place I would say even by 3050, in the early 3040's demand is still outpacing supply so there is a bottleneck but it's not on the cost / difficulty of install side of things.

Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: RifleMech on 04 August 2020, 21:51:31
I don't think the average merc or house unit is going to be able to get a hold of lostech all that easily. Not by 3050. Some items but not everything. The lostech items that had a prototype phase are going to be limited to the best house units, or mercs. And then it'd still be limited as some items were only starting to be deployed in 3049. Even Sorenson's Sabers and The Fox'es Teeth were still using prototype equipment during the Clan Invasion. If they didn't have the latest tech, I don't think you're average Merc Company will either. I think they'd have easier access to the Prototypes. At least until mid way through the Invasion when the IS is cranking out weapons and mechs as fast as they can.

I would still think that there'd be refit kits for the prototype tech after so many units had been upgraded with it. Unfortunately, outside a few canon examples, any use is going to be a "custom" unit.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Mohammed As`Zaman Bey on 05 August 2020, 08:54:16
Before 3052-3053, I'd stick largely to what was available to mercs in the Late Succession Wars - Renaissance era. Most of the LosTech put back in production is probably being funneled directly to the upper-end house units at this point. If you've got some, it's salvage, black market, or your employer granted some kind of access
  This. You literally have to check what year and what location you are in. Lostech is so rare prior to 3050, the Houses are still having battles over rumored Star League caches and abandoned facilities, while Comstar is assassinating scientists close to duplicating Star League technology. Announcing that you have Lostech is a good way to have your unit hangars raided by other factions.
 
  In the mid 1990's one of the BT players in my gaming club invited me to join his campaign, where he suggested I generate a character from the Arkab Legion turned mercenary. I had no idea he was using in-game knowledge that during the Clan Invasion, it was revealed that some Arkab Legion units had access to not just Lostech, but to pristine Star League Battlemechs -Something that NOBODY in the BT universe was aware of until Clan Smoke Jaguar faced the 2nd Arkab Legion on Hyner in 3051. What that caused was a huge amount of work for the GM to flesh out a DC sub-faction barely mentioned in the sourcebooks of the time and a lot of guesswork trying to figure out how fielding at full regiment of SL 'Mechs was even possible after so long after the SL's collapse.

As Cray always says: "Figure it out."
 
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: dgorsman on 05 August 2020, 09:50:01
3052 up until Tukayyid, a mercenary unit getting access to refit kits would be like the line from Blackadder Goes Forth:

Quote
No, Baldric, this is not a 'good old service revolver'.  This, is a brand new service revolver which I suspiciously did not order.  And there's only one thing that could mean...
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Colt Ward on 05 August 2020, 10:53:25
  This. You literally have to check what year and what location you are in. Lostech is so rare prior to 3050, the Houses are still having battles over rumored Star League caches and abandoned facilities, while Comstar is assassinating scientists close to duplicating Star League technology. Announcing that you have Lostech is a good way to have your unit hangars raided by other factions.

Not after the tech ret-con . . . pulse lasers started rolling out from the DC in '30s and other things came along over the period.  The War of 3039 gets complicated IIRC the timeline right . . . we got a lot of the 'prototype' gear and rules for them being refit on mechs involved on both sides . . . but later, we start getting intro dates for some tech to be earlier than that time frame.  So by the latest reading . . . you could have stuff like the Davion Brigade of Guards that gets some of those 3030s & 3040s new build mechs with the advanced tech.  Then you could have mid-level regiments that get prototype hand-me downs, or even new 'prototype' production runs, to refit their existing mechs.  Lastly you have the militias that absorbed the counter-attacks that did not have any of the new gear.

The Clan Invasion turned this up- FREX one of my favorite cases was one of the 3rd Regiment, 12th Star Guards officer recruits.  Per CMMercs the captain had just won I forget what at the Nosiel Games and his prize was a new Marauder 5D.

THAT is how much things had changed . . . a brand new modern heavy mech was a prize for a Nosiel competition, which the mechwarrior joined a upper tier merc unit with and while its a mention its not too special.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Sartris on 05 August 2020, 11:11:41
CM Mercs' mech list (3049-3054) has precious little LosTech. much of it clearly appears at the end of that period like the bandersnatch or grim reaper. much of the rest comes from FWL factories like the Locust 3M and Wolverine 7M. the easing of the Helm development curve did not add new variants in the late 3030s into the 3040s - it simply made the prototyping process more plausible than a single year. that limited production was not leaking in huge quantities to the open market

i'll stick with my assessment that for the average merc not blessed with good connections or vast wealth, the vast majority of their equipment is succession wars quality before tukayyid. 
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Hellraiser on 05 August 2020, 12:33:33
The one thing I would add to this is check the Wo39 book for the Ratings of the Mercs at that point.

This might give you an idea of what sort of access they might have.

Upper Tier - Long Term mercs have some A Ratings but a lot of others have B/C.

And even with A-Rated it still isn't a ton of stuff to work with.

The F/C has the best A-Rated list while, IIRC, the DC had better choices if limited to B-Rated.

There are precious few canon RS using that prototype tech from Sword & Dragon scenario book.

But it might give you a few to use still a decade later.

Your typical small company sized "homebrew" unit is probably only C rated, maybe B.


It might sound cool to dump DHS & ER Weapons everywhere but as mentioned above, they aren't that common yet.

If I was trying to secure them on the black market, I'd mark up the prices & availability for that first decade.

So, just throwing out random figures.
  Maybe in 3055 you need to roll 9+ to find DHS for sale on the Market normally at 3x price of SHS.
  But during the Mid 40's its actually an 11+ and instead of 3x the price they are 9x the price.

Something like that.



I'd also guess that in those early years, the upgrades probably weren't just shipped out to units for the techs to do in garrison a lance at a time piecemeal.

Instead I imagine it was consolidated at local Repair facilities that specialize in doing those "Refurbishment" upgrades that are Grade-E in Tech Manual.

As unit would rotate through those Factory Grade Refurbishments they would also get some new tech tested out.

Like the Kell's factory, it wasn't producing new mechs in 3025,  it was producing parts & doing "Refurbishments", so it was capable of making mechs because it was a "Factory" but they didn't actually use it for that.

It kind of makes sense that there are some smaller 1-2 line factories out there that don't deal w/ mass production but handle rebuilds instead so the really big factories don't have to deal w/ the small stuff that would take away from new mechs being cranked out.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Mohammed As`Zaman Bey on 05 August 2020, 12:41:19
Not after the tech ret-con . . .
  I keep forgetting that, due to all the OOP BT books in my library, where the Periphery was once "Where technology goes to die" and merc units like Snord's Irregulars would field damaged 'Mechs because getting repair parts was so rare...
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Hellraiser on 05 August 2020, 13:03:37
I don't see it as a "RetCon" really.

From earliest sources like 20 Year update they tell us that DHS hit the production stage in 3042?  IIRC.

They mention new mechs being produced like the Axeman.

TRO 3050 told us that the Phoenix Hawk was the earliest mech to have a "new tech" tested in production model.


What we have now is actual concrete data on what that means.

The DC got Pulse Lasers in the 30's sure, but we see that what they had was the Prototype version from 3039.

The Pixie hit production in 3042 from Coventry, but the New Avalon factory was more like 3048 IIRC from memory.

The Marauder-5D hit production in 3047, but what does that really mean......... 3 years of production at maybe a dozen per year or so. 
IIRC there are 2 factorys, 1 DC captured & 1 FS but we don't know if they both ramped up at the same time.

But heck, call it 50 a year between both starting at 3047.
Its still 150 mechs,  to be distributed to 300+ Regiments of the FC/DC.

Awesome, so removing "Light/Fast" regiments that won't get Marauders, and removing "C-rated units.
This means that A/B-Rated Regiments of Medium-Assault range probably each got a whopping LANCE total of 5D's for the Regiment at some point in 3 years.  At best.

And you can bet those went to Company Commanders & UP in rank.
So Mechwarrior Sgt. Bob probably isn't seeing new tech till 3050+

Even with the new dates we are given there isn't any "100% Upgraded" units in 3050.
More like a smattering of 10-30% units... with lots of 0% still.

Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Sartris on 05 August 2020, 13:08:39
there is very little reflection that it made that much of a widespread difference besides reduce the whiplash of nothing to everything. really the 3039 retcon largely just spelled out more explicitly the process by which tech was recovered and made it more visible... since the old timeline was Price of Glory, blah blah blah 20 year update, LosTech for everyone!

the TRO 3050 upgrades are still rolling off the line the same time they were in 1990. even in sword and dragon, frontline elite combat commands are only getting access to janky prototypes in 3049.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Colt Ward on 05 August 2020, 13:11:40
The one thing I would add to this is check the Wo39 book for the Ratings of the Mercs at that point.

This might give you an idea of what sort of access they might have.

Upper Tier - Long Term mercs have some A Ratings but a lot of others have B/C.

And even with A-Rated it still isn't a ton of stuff to work with.

The F/C has the best A-Rated list while, IIRC, the DC had better choices if limited to B-Rated.

There are precious few canon RS using that prototype tech from Sword & Dragon scenario book.

But it might give you a few to use still a decade later.

Your typical small company sized "homebrew" unit is probably only C rated, maybe B.


It might sound cool to dump DHS & ER Weapons everywhere but as mentioned above, they aren't that common yet.

If I was trying to secure them on the black market, I'd mark up the prices & availability for that first decade.

So, just throwing out random figures.
  Maybe in 3055 you need to roll 9+ to find DHS for sale on the Market normally at 3x price of SHS.
  But during the Mid 40's its actually an 11+ and instead of 3x the price they are 9x the price.

Something like that.



I'd also guess that in those early years, the upgrades probably weren't just shipped out to units for the techs to do in garrison a lance at a time piecemeal.

Instead I imagine it was consolidated at local Repair facilities that specialize in doing those "Refurbishment" upgrades that are Grade-E in Tech Manual.

As unit would rotate through those Factory Grade Refurbishments they would also get some new tech tested out.

Like the Kell's factory, it wasn't producing new mechs in 3025,  it was producing parts & doing "Refurbishments", so it was capable of making mechs because it was a "Factory" but they didn't actually use it for that.

It kind of makes sense that there are some smaller 1-2 line factories out there that don't deal w/ mass production but handle rebuilds instead so the really big factories don't have to deal w/ the small stuff that would take away from new mechs being cranked out.

Most of that goes exactly against what was spelled out in War of 3039 for the prototypes IIRC.  We also got some dead-end upgrades IIRC- like one of the heatsinks had a more volatile or dangerous coolant?  It was abandoned for what was the standard type DHS in 3050s.

The thing about it is, all of this retcon was done with 'soft' consequences- they basically were trying to rule out invalidating Invasion scenarios outright (hey, you want you can have this prototype Ultra AC . . . it is just going to jam more often) while still giving players who wanted the scenarios to be more balanced without bringing swarm levels of gear (played it out, IS reg battalion vs Clan elite supernova binary is 'balanced' especially if you play larger than 2x2) or for the Clan players to ratchet up the level.  The FWL factories were putting out refit kits for your examples along with the totally new builds.  While I have not tracked the kit info as much, the upgrade kits would be easier to roll out and spread than the factory new mechs.  The TRO3050 designs got a lot more concrete roll out dates with the TRO update, many of them 3045-3050.

But take your Marauder-5D . . . it was not the only Marauder upgrade at that time.  The -5M, -5S, and . . . -5R? were all coming out at the same time.  The -5M specifically being mentioned as a kit IIRC.

But I still come back to this . . . the Nosiel Games gave out a Marauder 5D as a prize to the winner of a contest in '48(?).  Which means a private individual, who in materials was wealthy but not especially connected to Hanse or Melissa, was able to legally attain & publicly announce the Marauder as a prize in the competition without any strings attached to the mech . . . and it was not noteworthy enough of a event to gain broader mention.

Not saying I am a super-fan of the tech retcon, but it has happened . . . and I understand its purpose- it makes the early Invasion a more IS-friendly play era.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Hellraiser on 05 August 2020, 13:36:13
We also got some dead-end upgrades IIRC- like one of the heatsinks had a more volatile or dangerous coolant?  It was abandoned for what was the standard type DHS in 3050s. 
I think the coolant was fluff added to the early Hoff DHS &/or the Wo39 DHS-"Freezers"
Which is why the true 3x crits + used in an engine, SLDF grade stuff wasn't in production till 3042+

Quote
While I have not tracked the kit info as much, the upgrade kits would be easier to roll out and spread than the factory new mechs.  The TRO3050 designs got a lot more concrete roll out dates with the TRO update, many of them 3045-3050.
Oh, I know, but rolling them out isn't the same as 100% of Marauders have been replaced.


Quote
But take your Marauder-5D . . . it was not the only Marauder upgrade at that time.  The -5M, -5S, and . . . -5R? were all coming out at the same time.  The -5M specifically being mentioned as a kit IIRC.

But I still come back to this . . . the Nosiel Games gave out a Marauder 5D as a prize to the winner of a contest in '48(?).  Which means a private individual, who in materials was wealthy but not especially connected to Hanse or Melissa, was able to legally attain & publicly announce the Marauder as a prize in the competition without any strings attached to the mech . . . and it was not noteworthy enough of a event to gain broader mention.

Not saying I am a super-fan of the tech retcon, but it has happened . . . and I understand its purpose- it makes the early Invasion a more IS-friendly play era. 

Again, is it a retcon if the TRO3050 fluff tells you some of the info.......and then they added dates later.
FREX............ 
ABC mech was one of the earliest mechs to utilized recovered technology in production.
GHI mech has new production of their mech w/ recovered technology underway.
MNO mech has just completed revamping their production line.
XYZ mech is just now being tested & will begin production soon.

These examples can be applied to many of the mechs in the original TRO3050.
The MUL or whoever had to look at the info from the fluff and apply that to it.

So we get some mechs w/ early dates, like the Pixie modes from 3042-3048 for each house.
Then we get mechs w/ dates in 3049-ish because their fluff matched GHI.
Then the 3050/51 mechs match MNO
Finally we get some mechs w/ dates of 3052/53 match XYZ fluff.


So when you say Retcon I expect to see them take a line that was stated as "still being converted" and giving it a date of 3047, do you have examples of that?

I honestly have not looked at every house variant for the fluff & then the MUL date to make sure they all align, but, I have checked quite a few & can't really complain to much with what I've seen.

The Kits would likely start a bit later but in turn have more of them available over time than the production models.
And pretty much every mech in production got a "Kit".
The question is how involved was said Kit.
Something like the Wolfhound-2 needed DHS & ERLL
Something like the Jagermech needed XL, Ultras, MPLs, FFA, etc etc.

To me most of those XL kits wouldn't be worth it based on both price & the time & resources needed to install them.  I'd almost prefer as a merc commander to look at just some Armor/Weapon swaps able to be done at the base.
Though the new Grade classifications are a bit nicer for stuff that doesn't have Endo at least.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Sartris on 05 August 2020, 13:47:17
sure, the tech was there. that's established. but how many refit kits are on the open market? are IS governments like "yeah, sure, just sell this brand new tech we jealously guarded and developed for a decade to whomever." those kits are going to A and B rated line regiments first. of what actually made it to market, who could afford it? unless you're part of the upper crust, regiment-sized super mercs, probably not you. especially if that refit kit has an XL engine.

i just can't see the 3040s being a time where the average merc gets their hands on a lot of this stuff in any significant quantity short of lucking out and winning one of the most well-known competitions outside of Solaris. mercs, after all, have zero (0) standard tech mechs available to them before 3050 (which would include refitted mechs by upgrade kit).

http://masterunitlist.info/Unit/Filter?Name=&HasBV=false&MinTons=&MaxTons=&MinBV=&MaxBV=&MinIntro=1&MaxIntro=3050&MinCost=&MaxCost=&HasRole=&HasBFAbility=&MinPV=&MaxPV=&Role=None+Selected&Rules=4&Rules=5&Rules=6&BookAuto=&FactionAuto=&Factions=34&AvailableEras=256



Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Colt Ward on 05 August 2020, 13:55:41
And the eras are not complete by the MUL team's own admission.

Look, I am not saying Wilson's Hussars have XL engine mechs in '49 but merely that the way the soft tech retcon- for mercs & regulars- happened leaves a lot of the spread up to individuals and player groups to determine.  It is literally a difficulty setting that player groups can adjust for their satisfaction playing.  Want it to be hard on your merc players being sent against the Clans?

No production model gear, no upgrade kits, no upgrade mechs . . . but here is a random crate of 3039 prototype gear we were able to get the quartermaster to part with for the next two months of Timbiqui Dark alotment.  Yeah, I know you are now out of beer, but at least you can fire back at those super machines you are facing.  Mostly . . . usually.

Ra-ra-ra we are all going to fight the invading Hordes!  It is time for everyone to pull together, and First Prince Davion is offering all mercenaries who sign a addendum to their contracts to transfer to the Clan front to draw on these special stores of equipment called upgrade kits.  Your weapons will be improved, you get better armor, and most importantly your mechs will cool faster . . . though the mechs will not be faster.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Sartris on 05 August 2020, 14:15:19
so what, are 50 going to magically appear when house units only have a handful? 25? no. unless the MUL team decides to upend the work they've already done and set a new paradigm. i can only base my own contentions on what i see. whatever GMs decide to do is their business, yeah - but there's a baseline... which hovers somewhere near zero.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Colt Ward on 05 August 2020, 15:40:09
Except we have specific cases in a mech's fluff- like the Cronus- where it was sold to mercenaries.  I think the Merlin was as well . . . and what about Barbara's Marauders- the Dragoons sold them Marauder IIs before the Clans invaded.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Sartris on 05 August 2020, 15:48:03
None of those are advanced tech?

Still looking for a reference that shows helmtech became available for the common joe before the outreach conference and especially after tukayyid

What is missing is an updated 3050 field manual with indications of upgraded vs unupgraded regimental ratios 
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Hellraiser on 05 August 2020, 16:40:01
Its up to the GM but in 3050 I'd say somewhere MORE than 3039 proto, &, and LESS, than what Mercs 3055 stated for the 5-ish, or so Merc units that were covered in that book circa 3055.

As for that Marauder-5D on Solaris.

We have 1 mech, for the rewards of a major contest, on a world where Factories were known to send units there for "Field Testing".  A year AFTER it was noted as being in full production.

To me that is no different than the Mercs that got a gift of 2 Templar Omnis from Duke George, but the Templar is still listed as FS Only in the Civil War era.

Your going to get the occasional exception.

The question is whether or not you feel a C-Rated company sized Merc unit in 3049 is packing 10 of 12 mechs Upgraded with TRO3050 models.

Odds are, probably not.

Look at Victor's unit(s).   

At Trellwan they appeared to be Intro Tech.
Later at Twycross I think they had none or a little.
   (There is also the destroyed unit that had originally defended Twycross that had custom refits to pack in ECM by removing weapons/jjs.   Just another example of what things could look like in 3050.)
Then I think by Alyna they start to get more w/ Victor wanting his Battalion being rebuilt w/ All new stuff first before the other 2 and him having his new Direwolf there & when saving Hohiro.

So even in an old product like Twycross we do see that some IS units had examples of LostTech before the Outreach conference.

Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Sartris on 05 August 2020, 16:56:34
Right, house units and MegaMercs.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Colt Ward on 05 August 2020, 17:27:13
Sartis, sorry I thought your contention was that no mechs were available to mechs to purchase- rather it was something beyond 3025.  I can sort of buy that but the Kell Hounds were sold a brand new design to test going into the 4SW, so it sort of opens a door.

Its up to the GM but in 3050 I'd say somewhere MORE than 3039 proto, &, and LESS, than what Mercs 3055 stated for the 5-ish, or so Merc units that were covered in that book circa 3055.

As for that Marauder-5D on Solaris.

We have 1 mech, for the rewards of a major contest, on a world where Factories were known to send units there for "Field Testing".  A year AFTER it was noted as being in full production.

It was not Solaris.  Nosiel as was stated several times- and it was a prize, not something put through the paces.  The market is such that a noble, granted wealthy but without established political connections, can buy a brand new- or hell, just say he got a hold of the kit and upgraded a old Marauder, its still a example (pretty sure book says new)- Helm-tech design and give it away as a prize to the top finisher for the Nosiel Games.  The Games are profitable enough to make it worth it- meaning its not going to be 10x or 20x the MSRP the FedCom was paying.


Using pre-RetCon sources does not really work, b/c at the time they came out that was not how the universe was written.  I already conceded it was a soft-retcon to make older materials backwards compatible.

I am not trying to claim that a C rated company is going to have 10 of 12 upgraded- heck C rating precludes that sort of thing . . . though that must have been a post-3050 change to take into account tech level . . . unless you say the Dragoons were factoring in prototype gear when they established the MRBC.  But its not straight ability- connections are key to getting your hands on it.  We already have stories where a new merc group's founder had connections with ComStar that let them get loans and more advanced equipment to try to snag better contacts.  People complain the Kell Hounds favoritism b/c ties to Katrina & by latest fiction Ian.  Avanti's Angels were able to acquire stashes of Clan equipment during the chaos of the battlefield and were able to get away with it.  As mentioned, George was selling Capellan March produced gear to units that worked with him as a signing bonus.  Then we have the stories of quartermasters conveniently 'losing' equipment while building a retirement fund.  In a universe where operators can sneak off with a battalion or smaller of extremely rare and valuable war machines . . . a crate holding half dozen DHS falling off the back of a truck is no big stretch.

We also still had raiding going on between the War of 3039 and Clan Invasion which is another source for new prototype and production gear to circulate.


As for your Templar example . . yeah, it should be merc listed.  After all if the Wolves' exclusive Orion IIC (that they never let go) gets on the Republic list b/c at least two ended up in the RAF, then the Templar should be 'merc'd.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Hellraiser on 05 August 2020, 17:46:52
You know, I read Noisel, and for some reason my brain triggered the name of one of their Lesser tournaments that have gotten bits of fluff.
My bad.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Vonshroom on 06 August 2020, 13:30:08
Sartis, sorry I thought your contention was that no mechs were available to mechs to purchase- rather it was something beyond 3025.  I can sort of buy that but the Kell Hounds were sold a brand new design to test going into the 4SW, so it sort of opens a door.

It was not Solaris.  Nosiel as was stated several times- and it was a prize, not something put through the paces.  The market is such that a noble, granted wealthy but without established political connections, can buy a brand new- or hell, just say he got a hold of the kit and upgraded a old Marauder, its still a example (pretty sure book says new)- Helm-tech design and give it away as a prize to the top finisher for the Nosiel Games.  The Games are profitable enough to make it worth it- meaning its not going to be 10x or 20x the MSRP the FedCom was paying.


Using pre-RetCon sources does not really work, b/c at the time they came out that was not how the universe was written.  I already conceded it was a soft-retcon to make older materials backwards compatible.

I am not trying to claim that a C rated company is going to have 10 of 12 upgraded- heck C rating precludes that sort of thing . . . though that must have been a post-3050 change to take into account tech level . . . unless you say the Dragoons were factoring in prototype gear when they established the MRBC.  But its not straight ability- connections are key to getting your hands on it.  We already have stories where a new merc group's founder had connections with ComStar that let them get loans and more advanced equipment to try to snag better contacts.  People complain the Kell Hounds favoritism b/c ties to Katrina & by latest fiction Ian.  Avanti's Angels were able to acquire stashes of Clan equipment during the chaos of the battlefield and were able to get away with it.  As mentioned, George was selling Capellan March produced gear to units that worked with him as a signing bonus.  Then we have the stories of quartermasters conveniently 'losing' equipment while building a retirement fund.  In a universe where operators can sneak off with a battalion or smaller of extremely rare and valuable war machines . . . a crate holding half dozen DHS falling off the back of a truck is no big stretch.

We also still had raiding going on between the War of 3039 and Clan Invasion which is another source for new prototype and production gear to circulate.


As for your Templar example . . yeah, it should be merc listed.  After all if the Wolves' exclusive Orion IIC (that they never let go) gets on the Republic list b/c at least two ended up in the RAF, then the Templar should be 'merc'd.

Pretty well said Colt. I would say that the average merc command by the mid 3040's operating coreward (Battalion size) will field at the company level 1-6 "upgrade kit" mechs. This wouldn't be full factory new mechs, but rather centuries old Marauder that got field upgraded to ERPPC's and DHS. You would also see a lot of simple upgrades like individual pilots adding CASE or an ERLLaser refit onto an old Enforcer 4R. And I am guessing by the 3040's.

So for sure by 3050 (and likely mid 3040's) merc commands that were even reasonably well off would have at least one lance worth of upgraded mechs per company. Again, I seriously doubt you would see any XL's in run of the mill merc units until after Tukkayid. But DHS, CASE, and ER weapons would be all over the place. Especially given the ease of swapping non ER for ER lasers for example. Heat sinks are too cheap and (should be) available enough to refit in mass by 3050.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: RifleMech on 07 August 2020, 04:02:32
I wouldn't say that the consequences of the retcon were soft. The Double Strength Heat Sinks that took only one critical slot and have been reconnected out of existence even though they're still mentioned. In their place we have Star League Prototype DHS (DHS-P). Which are not more compact and invalidates a lot of fluff.
 
The Blackjack 3 had its introdate retconned.  There's also a story that gets invalidated as it talks about the Hoff Heat Sinks being traded to the Lyrans and then stolen by the Capellans to use on the BJ-3 in time for the 4th Succession War. It was replaced by the BJ-3X. Which seems like a very poor replacement since it has 2 PPC's butt can only sink 13 heat. The 3X's intro also has issues. TRO:3039 has it being introduced in the mid 3030's and the MUL lists it as 3029. The MUL date fits better but means another retcon happened.

There's also the Bombard 010 which had it's TRO:3055U fluff invalidated as it used the more "dangerous compact chemical DHS's. DHS-Ps wouldn't fit and aren't on the RS. It has singles which wouldn't cause the corrosion damage to the internal structure. Then there's the Super Griffin. Granted it needed to be made legal but it was also given SL DHS-Ps. The fluff still calls them double strength heat sinks but the RS has SL DHS-Ps. The fluff and stats just don't match up. Where's the more compact dangerous heat sinks that keep being mentioned?

And yes I know Rules trump Fluff. Not arguing that. But IO is confusing. IO's introdate and fluff would have the "Freezers" be an independent development but then calls them "Recovered Prototypes".  ???  Why couldn't we have both the single crit dangerous to use DHSP and the safer 3 crit SL DHS-P?. Why not updated rules for the compact DSHS for use until the mid 3030's and have the DHS-Ps introduced just in time for the Wof39? :-\  At least there's head cannon.  >:D


Any who. Looking at Historical War of 3039 the unit had to have a Minimum rating of B to get most equipment. The only equipment available to those ranked C is TSM at 1.5 times the cost and limited to 2 per lance. And that's only in the FedCom. Everywhere else it's a rating of A or B only. Unfortunately, that table is outdated but it's still workable replacing DHS with DHS-P. The DHS are the most available per lance in the FC with 9 per lance and 7 per lance in the CC and 5 per lance in the DC. Everything else is only 1-2 per lace with a couple at .5 per lance.

Considering how many lances there are that's a lot of items produced. Still I don't think you're average unit is going to be able to access them until the A and B ranked units start replacing their prototypes with production items.

Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Hellraiser on 07 August 2020, 10:33:09
I think the issue with why the 1 slot, "Hoff-DHS", went out of existence is that line of fluff we got somewhere that they deteriorated due to the corrosive coolant they used.

I mean, they were cool, but if a HS is supposed to be replaced once every 2-5 years in a "Refurbishment" upgrade at a factory, and those were breaking down every 90 days or 6 months or something, then you keep working on them to come up with something better.     (Just throwing out #s here for timelines.)

Think of it as working towards a better production model.

3025 we are getting HOFF Freezers based on early research from the Halstad? Station raid that found the core of knowledge the NAIS is based off.  They had like 10 years of research at that point I think?

Then the NAIS gets a copy of the Helm Core & this increases the amount of knowledge they have, so we get the Wo3039-DHS late in the 4th SW that is triple sized AND they can't fit them in an engine now like the Hoff ones.  But, they don't break down as fast as the Hoff ones did.

Finally by 3042 we get a functioning SLDF era DHS that can be mass produced & placed in engines & doesn't break down.  But now we have to retool factories to get those going.  And all the first few runs are going into those early test bed mechs like the Pixie-3S & the BlackJack-3.

The first few years of extras will slowly be put into the best most loyal A-Rated units like the Davion Guards as they come in for their "Refurbishment" cycles every 2-5 years or so.

So honestly,  I don't even see DHS being commonly available on the Merc market by the Mid-40's.
Probably more like the late 40's & only to those that are also A-Rated.    (And I don't mean Dragoons Rating, I'm talking about their Tech/Supply Chain rating from Wo39 & FM-U & Rat's with 3-5 tables)

Again just check those ECM mods for Twycross.  Most of them are not pretty.  No DHS to be seen.
Often mismatched tonnage where they ended up underweight.
Early upgrades were probably not as "Efficient" as we'd like them to be.

The whole concept of mass production of "kits" seemed to be a product of the clan invasion where they needed to get better gear out QUICKLY and couldn't wait for whole units of new mechs to be produced or even units to come in for "Refurbishment" cycles.

Prior to the Clan Invasion era TM says that Kits are not the Norm, even Introtech only stuff like changing the Base model over to the "House" model. 

My guess is the "Availability" rolls are going to be a lot higher in those early years to get your hands on stuff like that.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: RifleMech on 08 August 2020, 01:15:50
The problem is that the 1 slot Hoff-DSHS have been retconned out of existence. There's mention of how corrosive they are and that they're more compact than SLDF DHS but there isn't a single unit with them. Even the Super Griffin has DHS-Ps.

Yes, they were corrosive and dangerous to use. The fluff for the Bombard 010 talks about how the internal structure's been damaged by them. The Bombard was introduced in 3054. It also can't use DHS or DHS-Ps as it doesn't have enough internal space. The only double that it could use would be the Hoff single slot DSHS. So even with their being expensive to maintain and dangerous to use I can see a place for them. I don't know why rules couldn't be written for them. The Bombard just isn't as effective without them and part of it's fame was that it could keep firing it's 2 AC/20's without heat build up.

I also don't think that that Hoff-DSHS were ever able to be mounted in the engine. Even the original illegal Super Griffin didn't. But I don't think they need to. It makes them unique. Better in that they take up less crits outside the engine but not so good that they can be in the engine. Plus the internal damage they do.

As far as timelines go, the Hoff DHSH were used in 3022. The 4th Succession War Blackjack appeared in 3029. And the Fed Suns make DHS in 3040. If the Hoff single crit DSHS were kept there's still 7 years for the Capellans to create DHS-Ps and for them to be spread around for the War of 3039. Then after the war the FedSuns perfects them and produces standard DHS.

In a way that would help explain the Blackjack-3X. Not in heat sinking ability. Not even single crit DSHS could do that. But the DHS-Ps would be a technological improvement over the DSHS. They're not as dangerous and are closer to SL DHS.

At least that's what I'd wish had happened, and head canon says happened.


I do agree that before the Clans the chances of an average merc unit having more advanced tech is slim and most likely came as salvage. I also think that many upgrades weren't as efficient. Canon actually has mechs who's upgrades weren't that thought out. I do think that there were some refit kits with prototype tech to upgrade units with before the War of 3039. I also think the most efficient units would have had to be factory upgrades.







Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Hellraiser on 08 August 2020, 16:00:05
The Hoff-DHS could be mounted in the engine.
If you look at the scenario where they are introduced.
The mechs chosen ONLY had engine heatsinks for most of them.

Going from memory here......  but it was 2 lances of an ELH company both under strength with 3 mechs available from each.
The rule was pick 1 lance of the 2, and apply 20 Hoth-DHS to the 3 mechs however you choose.
The 1st lance & obvious choice was a Fire Lance w/ 2 Archer & a Rifleman.
The 2nd lance was a Recon lance IIRC with a Pixie & 2 other mechs that I can't recall, maybe bugs?

Archers & Pixie have 10 HS in the engine...... Riflemen have 9 HS in the engine & 1 external.
The obvious choice was to put 10 in the Rifleman & 5 in each Archer allow for some majorly improved heat management.

The one possibility here is if the scenario pack came out before the rule where mech had HS in the engine?
I honestly don't recall the exacting timing of that but I know that change was REALLY early in the game.
Not sure if it was a switch from Battledroids to Battletech-2E or from 2E to Citytech of it was when boxed sets switched over to the first rule book... the BT Manual? 

IIRC the Blackjack was originally fluffed as using 10 of the Hoff style DHS.
Later when they were coming up with date changes they nerfed the 3 into the 3X & gave the 3 a later intro date.

I just try to head canon it as the Hoff-DHS were all just test bed options used on prototypes or tested w/ units like the ELH & as soon as possible they were swapped back out for SHS or DHS-P's externally & eventually proper DHS.

Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: RifleMech on 09 August 2020, 06:34:49
The Hoff-DHS could be mounted in the engine.
If you look at the scenario where they are introduced.
The mechs chosen ONLY had engine heatsinks for most of them.

Going from memory here......  but it was 2 lances of an ELH company both under strength with 3 mechs available from each.
The rule was pick 1 lance of the 2, and apply 20 Hoth-DHS to the 3 mechs however you choose.
The 1st lance & obvious choice was a Fire Lance w/ 2 Archer & a Rifleman.
The 2nd lance was a Recon lance IIRC with a Pixie & 2 other mechs that I can't recall, maybe bugs?

Archers & Pixie have 10 HS in the engine...... Riflemen have 9 HS in the engine & 1 external.
The obvious choice was to put 10 in the Rifleman & 5 in each Archer allow for some majorly improved heat management.

You know I think you're right.  :thumbsup:  Rereading the rule it doesn't say that they can't be mounted in the engine. It just says that they replace standard heat sinks and take 1 critical slot. I think I got hung up on the critical slot part.

Quote
The one possibility here is if the scenario pack came out before the rule where mech had HS in the engine?
I honestly don't recall the exacting timing of that but I know that change was REALLY early in the game.
Not sure if it was a switch from Battledroids to Battletech-2E or from 2E to Citytech of it was when boxed sets switched over to the first rule book... the BT Manual? 

The switch was from Battledroids to Battletech 2nd Ed. I'm not sure if the 2nd Ed or the Scenario Pack came out first though. They both came out in 85. It'd make more sense if the Scenario Pack came out first but since it doesn't say "cannot be used to replace engine mounted heat sinks" the door is open to putting them in the engine. And it would work on the Bombard.


Quote
IIRC the Blackjack was originally fluffed as using 10 of the Hoff style DHS.
Later when they were coming up with date changes they nerfed the 3 into the 3X & gave the 3 a later intro date.

Totally nerfed it.  :'(


Quote
I just try to head canon it as the Hoff-DHS were all just test bed options used on prototypes or tested w/ units like the ELH & as soon as possible they were swapped back out for SHS or DHS-P's externally & eventually proper DHS.

My head cannon goes the other way. I think some would see the increased heat sinking and the smaller size of the DSHS worth the increased maintenance. Even after DHS-Ps and DHS were in production, some would see DSHS as a good, and in some cases only alternative. They're obviously not the best heat sinks but when you've got a space and weight crunch they're pretty much the only option. Compact Heat Sinks can take care of the space but are heavier. Everything else take up more space.


I think by the War of 3039 that DSHS might be one of the few things open to mercs. Mostly because of the maintenance issue.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Hellraiser on 09 August 2020, 16:19:20
I'd think that Solaris is the one place that for sure the Hoff/Corrosive models would be used.

Your doing maintenance on those mechs ALL time.

So the Hoff sinks being replaced & rebuilding the corroded areas would be part of regular work since the mechs are seeing combat on the monthly basis at least.

Some unit sitting on garrison duty for years on end probably wouldn't want the work of maintaining them when other mechs in the unit get regular oil chances w/o the work of rebuilding damaged sections.

And the fact that inside the engine sinks would probably doubly bad since the damage is inside the expensive fusion plant.

Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: RifleMech on 10 August 2020, 00:46:30
Totally. Solaris is also where mechs tend to be maxed out to their limits. Plus all kinds of tech seems to find its way there. It's a natural environment for the Bombard which was created there. However, the fluff says that there are older Bombards with the corrosive heat sinks that were still suffering from the internal damage they caused. I'm going to guess they were sold to lower tier warriors and stables who couldn't perform that kind of maintenance.

I'm leaning towards agreeing Militia units might be reluctant to use them do to the increased maintenance. Then again maintenance might be the most that happens. I'm leaning more towards the increased operating costs, not just for the maintenance but also for the chemicals, their handling and their disposal. I think that'd be the biggest turn off for Militias.

Other than Solaris VII, the next most likely users would be frontline units. They're expecting to see heavy repairs and even losses. Losses of these units also helps in that they complicate the enemy's salvaging. They're not going to know which units have those heat sinks. That'd make it easier to counter attack and gain back more salvage for your troops.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Mohammed As`Zaman Bey on 10 August 2020, 02:01:20
I'd think that Solaris is the one place that for sure the Hoff/Corrosive models would be used.
  Agreed. Using components to boost performance, even short-term, isn't new. The Luftwaffe used nitrous oxide boost for high-level, fast aircraft. N2O feeds oxygen into combustion engines and results in boosted power, with a possible risk of structural damage due to increased pressure, which has cracked cylinders, damaged crankshafts and pistons.

  What happens is the pilot weighs the benefits against the risks. If doubling HS capacity, even limited to the engine, may significantly increase completing a successful, lucrative mission, expensive repairs might be worth it. I could see mercs keeping Hoff-DHS in storage, ready to use for that single raid where they might score big and afford the time and expenses for subsequent repairs.
  You just have the weigh the costs vs benefits.

  I'd say the BTU should have more "questionable" prototype equipment that sensible units would avoid like the plague while other, less well-supplied units may embrace.

  A note on cheap equipment: I used to own a pre-WW1 Moisin-Nagant battle rifle that I would shoot in local competitions. I would use Norma 7.62 x 54 mm ammo and did very well. One of my friends gave me a can of Egyptian-made bullets so I went down to the range and fired a few...I shot at the 50m target several times but could not find a bullet hole. After about a dozen shots I finally hit the target. The Egyptian-made bullets couldn't achieve a 1 meter group, which explains why so many 3rd world troops using AKs don't bother with using sights, preferring the "spray and pray" method of firing. Aiming was just a waste of time.
  Using the above example, I added a market of sheer crap weapons and ammo to the market of the games I ran, for the units and players who were on a serious shoestring budget...or didn't know better.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: RifleMech on 10 August 2020, 02:42:17
  Agreed. Using components to boost performance, even short-term, isn't new. The Luftwaffe used nitrous oxide boost for high-level, fast aircraft. N2O feeds oxygen into combustion engines and results in boosted power, with a possible risk of structural damage due to increased pressure, which has cracked cylinders, damaged crankshafts and pistons.

  What happens is the pilot weighs the benefits against the risks. If doubling HS capacity, even limited to the engine, may significantly increase completing a successful, lucrative mission, expensive repairs might be worth it. I could see mercs keeping Hoff-DHS in storage, ready to use for that single raid where they might score big and afford the time and expenses for subsequent repairs.
  You just have the weigh the costs vs benefits.

  I'd say the BTU should have more "questionable" prototype equipment that sensible units would avoid like the plague while other, less well-supplied units may embrace.

  A note on cheap equipment: I used to own a pre-WW1 Moisin-Nagant battle rifle that I would shoot in local competitions. I would use Norma 7.62 x 54 mm ammo and did very well. One of my friends gave me a can of Egyptian-made bullets so I went down to the range and fired a few...I shot at the 50m target several times but could not find a bullet hole. After about a dozen shots I finally hit the target. The Egyptian-made bullets couldn't achieve a 1 meter group, which explains why so many 3rd world troops using AKs don't bother with using sights, preferring the "spray and pray" method of firing. Aiming was just a waste of time.
  Using the above example, I added a market of sheer crap weapons and ammo to the market of the games I ran, for the units and players who were on a serious shoestring budget...or didn't know better.

Too bad we can't legally mount superchargers on aerospace units.

I totally agree. There should be more questionable prototype equipment. I think there should be all kinds of equipment that regular units would never think to take into combat while other units may.

I use salvage equipment and negative quirks for cheap weapons and equipment. Not everyone can afford the best.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: Mohammed As`Zaman Bey on 10 August 2020, 12:08:51
Not everyone can afford the best.
  Indeed. I still remember the "Mad max" era BTU of extreme shortage, where named, canon units fielded 'Mechs with damaged armor and broken weapons that they could not repair. After decades of fighting, using their cunning and skill instead of having state-of-the-art toys to start off with, they made it to the big league.

  As a GM, allowing players to begin with "gods of the battlefield" with the best available  equipment means they are just fighting out of personal entertainment. War is just an activity to stave off boredom, because they have already reached their goals and have no room to grow. An elite soldier with a customized Assault 'Mech is not where people begin their careers but the point where most characters would retire.

Player: I spent all of my points to start off as a general.
GM: Cool...
Player: I can't wait to lead my regiment...
GM: Hmmm, your Admin skill is really low and you don't even have Bureaucracy...
Player:I'll be in my command 'Mech, my subordinates will handle all that.
GM: You'll be inspecting FedCom Mess Halls for the next five years, or until you retire. Good luck.
Title: Re: Lostech Field Upgrades and Mercenaries
Post by: RifleMech on 11 August 2020, 04:35:21
  Indeed. I still remember the "Mad max" era BTU of extreme shortage, where named, canon units fielded 'Mechs with damaged armor and broken weapons that they could not repair. After decades of fighting, using their cunning and skill instead of having state-of-the-art toys to start off with, they made it to the big league.

  As a GM, allowing players to begin with "gods of the battlefield" with the best available  equipment means they are just fighting out of personal entertainment. War is just an activity to stave off boredom, because they have already reached their goals and have no room to grow. An elite soldier with a customized Assault 'Mech is not where people begin their careers but the point where most characters would retire.


For me it'd depend on the campaign and the era it takes place in. Unless they happen to find something, or that unit/person has been chosen to test some new equipment the best they'll get is a standard unit. Maybe with some damage that hasn't been repaired yet. The unit's condition goes down from there. Maybe they'll fix it up or replace it. Maybe they won't.

I do wish there were more units and variants using non standard tech. Not just with downgraded units or FrankenMechs but units using available tech that wasn't available to us when BT started. Like  Mortars, Recon Cameras, Dispensers, etc.


Quote
Player: I spent all of my points to start off as a general.
GM: Cool...
Player: I can't wait to lead my regiment...
GM: Hmmm, your Admin skill is really low and you don't even have Bureaucracy...
Player:I'll be in my command 'Mech, my subordinates will handle all that.
GM: You'll be inspecting FedCom Mess Halls for the next five years, or until you retire. Good luck.

LOL!  :thumbsup: