Author Topic: Minimum ranks?  (Read 13355 times)

Daryk

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #60 on: 09 October 2023, 19:59:10 »
Mercs can literally do it anyway they want, so that's not surprising... :)

drjones

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #61 on: 20 October 2023, 09:18:09 »
The discussion of enlisted grades used by the Outworlds Alliance reminded me that, if you're going to have enlisted MechWarriors, specialist actually might be the most appropriate place they'd start. It could sidestep some of the concerns about techs and infantry outranking the MechWarrior.

Failure16

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #62 on: 20 October 2023, 18:45:55 »
Sure. By all rights, with time in grade counted from acceptance to an academy, they should be Spec5s or Technical Sergeants and thus cannot be ordered around by squad leaders and TCs.

Still, no one has convinced me about straying from the Warrant Officer path. It leads to a more natural progression to a commission especially.
Thought I might get a rocket ride when I was a child.          We are the wild youth,                                And through villages of ether
But it was a lie, that I told myself                                          Chasing visions of our futures.                   Oh, my crucifixion comes
When I needed something good.                                         One day we'll reveal the truth,                    Will you sing my hallelujah?
At 17, I had a better dream; now I'm 33, and it isn't me.      That one will die before he gets there.       Will you tell me when it's done?
But I'd think of something better if I could
                           --E. Tonra                                                      --C. Love
--A. Duritz

theagent

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #63 on: 21 October 2023, 20:59:54 »
Sure. By all rights, with time in grade counted from acceptance to an academy, they should be Spec5s or Technical Sergeants and thus cannot be ordered around by squad leaders and TCs.

Still, no one has convinced me about straying from the Warrant Officer path. It leads to a more natural progression to a commission especially.

Which works if the faction actually uses the Warrant Officer ranks, but I don't think any of them actually do so...or at least not the way that the US Army does.

Don't get me wrong, I love the idea.  It especially meshes with how GI Joe did it -- in the 1980s toy line, the pilot for the Dragonfly (GI Joe's version of the AH-1 Cobra) was, IIRC, a CWO-4...

Failure16

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #64 on: 21 October 2023, 22:01:18 »
I'm not arguing canon rank structures. They are often silly but exist regardless of my feelings.

In my own personal mercenary regiment and in my view of the BTU, warrant officers exist, and in the BattleMech arm, they are called "MechWarriors".

Sure, Wild Bill was a CW4. Lift Ticket (of the Tomahawk/Chinook-Sea Knightalike) was a "W-2" as I just checked.

As an aside (and personal appreciation of the warrant program)...Back in the dark ages, the pilots who were allowed to run the VISMODded UH-1s ("Sokol Flights") at NTC were old crusty CW4s or 5s (a few of which had time in Vietnam). Many of them had a Wild Bill flair about them. They just wanted to do things that UH-1s shouldn't be doing nor having done to them, so that is what they did.
Thought I might get a rocket ride when I was a child.          We are the wild youth,                                And through villages of ether
But it was a lie, that I told myself                                          Chasing visions of our futures.                   Oh, my crucifixion comes
When I needed something good.                                         One day we'll reveal the truth,                    Will you sing my hallelujah?
At 17, I had a better dream; now I'm 33, and it isn't me.      That one will die before he gets there.       Will you tell me when it's done?
But I'd think of something better if I could
                           --E. Tonra                                                      --C. Love
--A. Duritz

Daryk

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #65 on: 22 October 2023, 07:37:24 »
I think the OG Lyrans had Warrants, but not as MechWarriors (as theagent said).

nerd

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #66 on: 22 October 2023, 11:54:29 »
I think the OG Lyrans had Warrants, but not as MechWarriors (as theagent said).
Yes. The Lyran Warrants are techs, according to both House Steiner and FM:LA, which re-introduced the traditional LCAF ranks.

If I were able to re-do the BattleTech rank structure, I would have MechWarriors as Warrants, and graded based on what officer position they could step in as following losses. However, to maintain good communication with other fans, and to avoid IMBTU, I stick with published information.

OTOH, the British Army Air Corps has NCO pilots to this day, who, on completion of training, become acting Sergeants. The book Apache by Ed Macy provides an interesting look at how the AAC operated attack helicopters in 2007.
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Failure16

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #67 on: 22 October 2023, 11:57:18 »
As nerd said first, there are indeed four warrant ranks in the LCAF. Interestingly, LCAF leutnants are effectively active-duty cadets or midshipmen and are not formally commissioned until they achieve first leutnant.

If I were able to re-do the BattleTech rank structure, I would have MechWarriors as Warrants, and graded based on what officer position they could step in as following losses. However, to maintain good communication with other fans, and to avoid IMBTU, I stick with published information.

My position as well. No sense in arguing against the wind, which is why we have mercenary outfits where we can do what we want.
Thought I might get a rocket ride when I was a child.          We are the wild youth,                                And through villages of ether
But it was a lie, that I told myself                                          Chasing visions of our futures.                   Oh, my crucifixion comes
When I needed something good.                                         One day we'll reveal the truth,                    Will you sing my hallelujah?
At 17, I had a better dream; now I'm 33, and it isn't me.      That one will die before he gets there.       Will you tell me when it's done?
But I'd think of something better if I could
                           --E. Tonra                                                      --C. Love
--A. Duritz

Daryk

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #68 on: 22 October 2023, 12:50:36 »
+1 for mercs doing what they want! :)

drjones

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #69 on: 27 October 2023, 10:00:27 »
As nerd said first, there are indeed four warrant ranks in the LCAF. Interestingly, LCAF leutnants are effectively active-duty cadets or midshipmen and are not formally commissioned until they achieve first leutnant.

Interestingly, that sounds somewhat like Heinlein's "third lieutenant" grade for cadets on their graduation exercise.

Which works if the faction actually uses the Warrant Officer ranks, but I don't think any of them actually do so...or at least not the way that the US Army does.

That reminded me to look at the setting itself which by presenting itself as largely feudal argues in favor of MechWarriors, being presented as (at least minor) nobility, equating to officers (in a more historical sense, not necessarily the modern one). There might be some correlation between MW rank systems and adherence to the feudal side of the setting in any given work...

Daryk

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #70 on: 27 October 2023, 16:26:24 »
Yep!  AToW Companion has the rules on pages 45-46... :)

drjones

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #71 on: 03 November 2023, 12:16:51 »
Yep!  AToW Companion has the rules on pages 45-46... :)

Rules for feudal title to military rank equivalences/comparisons?

Daryk

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #72 on: 03 November 2023, 16:10:27 »
Yes!

drjones

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #73 on: 10 November 2023, 09:36:22 »
I don't have a copy of AToW Companion -- is there a general description of what those rules provide? I wasn't going too deep into the potential relationships (i.e. this noble title equals that modern military rank?), just noting that, if I understand correctly, knights historically were effectively officers in status (whether or not they brought their own retinue with them) and that this would seem to argue in favor of MechWarriors (also feudal and essentially knights) being at least warrant officers.

Daryk

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #74 on: 10 November 2023, 10:57:54 »
This first paragraph of the section on pages 45-46 says it best:
Quote
In the BattleTech universe, military titles often grant a person a degree of clout even in the social orders of noble peerage (see Military Ranks, p. 354, AToW), but how much or how little clout is provided often varies by state. To reflect this, the Officer Rank to Title Equivalency tables provide a guide to determining the effective social rank a military officer will enjoy in the various royal courts of the Inner Sphere.

Last I checked, the pdf of the Companion is only about $15... totally worth it!

Horsemen

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #75 on: 12 November 2023, 23:55:54 »
This first paragraph of the section on pages 45-46 says it best:
Last I checked, the pdf of the Companion is only about $15... totally worth it!

I second that even if you are paying CAD!

drjones

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #76 on: 17 November 2023, 13:23:40 »
That does go deeper than I was envisioning! I think my initial observation had a different flavor: more at a meta level, I was wondering if there is any relationship between how feudal the setting appears in a given author's BT fiction and what rank structure the author assumes; more feudal interpretations of the setting (e.g. MechWarriors are highly influential landholders who own their own 'mechs) might correlate with "MechWarriors are officers" rank structure presentations... (I'm working my way through the Warrior trilogy again; it leans toward modern military structures. I'm still forming an opinion of its take on the social structure.)

Daryk

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #77 on: 17 November 2023, 17:25:19 »
The rules would help an author calibrate their "feudal-ness" by realm, even if they have an overall idea of that level is.

drjones

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #78 on: 25 November 2023, 08:53:32 »
Right -- of course, the current rules might (unsurprisingly) in turn have been calibrated by the preexisting fiction  :smiley:

That kind of leads back to different rank structures for different states; all MWs are officers in one, not in another. I sort of wonder if that is a bit of canon welding to handle different fiction authors (and rule writers) having had different takes on how BT rank structures worked?

Daryk

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #79 on: 25 November 2023, 09:21:19 »
Maybe, but that's a writer question... ;)

Grand_dm

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #80 on: 04 December 2023, 09:21:03 »
Command Private Major: The rank of every bad 'Mechwarrior.

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Failure16

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #81 on: 04 December 2023, 18:18:19 »
Naw, that's just a Private Major First Class. Now, having said that, there is indeed a Command Private Major in every battalion, and they are seldom to be trifled with.
Thought I might get a rocket ride when I was a child.          We are the wild youth,                                And through villages of ether
But it was a lie, that I told myself                                          Chasing visions of our futures.                   Oh, my crucifixion comes
When I needed something good.                                         One day we'll reveal the truth,                    Will you sing my hallelujah?
At 17, I had a better dream; now I'm 33, and it isn't me.      That one will die before he gets there.       Will you tell me when it's done?
But I'd think of something better if I could
                           --E. Tonra                                                      --C. Love
--A. Duritz

Hellraiser

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #82 on: 13 December 2023, 14:13:26 »
Who needs a Corporal to run a Police Call detail when you have the CPM around ?   :evil:
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TheOldDragoon

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #83 on: 29 January 2024, 14:19:34 »
In our various MechWarrior campaigns since I was a JROTC and later ROTC cadet, we came up with our own kinda explanation and work-around to try to explain the strangeness that is MechWarrior privates, etc.

So, we took the idea of Law Enforcement Rank, where in some jurisdictions promotion from the patrolman ranks to Sergeant is one track, but one can also promote to Detective. Detective Sergeant, then, is a higher rank than a beat cop Sergeant.

So, MechWarrior Private is a Private in the sense of "Private Soldier," but much more "Gentleman Ranker" in the  Napoleonic sense. A member of the societal upper crust waiting for an opportunity to slide into an officer billet. So while an infantry Corporal might seem to outrank a BattleMech Private, that is not functionally the case as MechWarriors are considered to be a senior service. This might be like the discussions my retired USAF friend and I had over the push to re-instate the Warrant Officer ranks into the USAF. There are pilot officers who are pushing to bring back USAF Warrants because they want to fly, not command, and as was noted upthread expressing a desire for such is a career-limiting move. They argue that pilots who wish to concentrate on flying would be better off as Warrant Officers so as to avoid all the mandatory bonus fun that is leadership training and other professional military education requirements.

So, we have in our Regiment in the fiction an enlisted track parallel to, but explicitly above, the other arms of the unit. The insignia is similar, but with a 'Mech silhouette identifier inside the chevrons. This is Master MechWarrior, E-7. Sort of like the old Spec-5 through Spec-7 (-9?) ranks.

This seems to iron out the wierdness of Academies producing Sergeants, if that Sergeant is explicitly senior to those in the more mundane combat arms by virtue of being a Mechwarrior Sergeant. It also doesn't overload the TOE with too many by-God officers, or a crapton of Warrants.

I mean, if your formation is mostly warrants, you don't have a formation. You have dozens of pilots who disappeared to get coffee and were never seen again until Drill Weekend is over.

But seriously, given the idea that each 'Mech is like a Knight, and has a retinue of techs, astechs, etc. to support it, the idea that a MechWarrior is basically a Warrant Officer with an enlisted entourage fits both the social cachet of the setting and the officer/enlisted balance of a modern military better than having to jump through the mental hoops of MechWarrior Privates. The system we use in our games is the same thing, just under a different name, and minus the salutes and the "sirs/ma'ams" and "misters/misses" for every MechWarrior.
« Last Edit: 29 January 2024, 14:21:56 by TheOldDragoon »
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Daryk

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #84 on: 29 January 2024, 18:31:31 »
Cool patch!  But I still prefer my Warrant Officer solution, especially since TPTB have acknowledged AsTechs exist, and are REQUIRED to make 'mech formations work.  I've said it elsewhere, but I'll say it again here: a properly supported 'mech formation is actually one echelon up.  It takes a Company of people to support a Lance of 'mechs, and a Battalion to support a Company of them.

drjones

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #85 on: 03 February 2024, 09:24:30 »
I seem to recall that astechs weren't necessarily permanent members of a formation; they could be hired locally and temporarily. However, I can't find a citation for that at the moment. The closest my search found was CO pg. 190 stating that upon concluding travel the unit's technician would obtain astechs from a pool of personnel. That being said, it probably doesn't change the effects on the rank structure as there are current and historical examples of "top heavy" units where the permanently assigned personnel's ranks reflect their organizational position during the unit's anticipated increase in size when circumstances dictate.

nerd

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #86 on: 03 February 2024, 09:57:54 »
Cool patch!  But I still prefer my Warrant Officer solution, especially since TPTB have acknowledged AsTechs exist, and are REQUIRED to make 'mech formations work.  I've said it elsewhere, but I'll say it again here: a properly supported 'mech formation is actually one echelon up.  It takes a Company of people to support a Lance of 'mechs, and a Battalion to support a Company of them.
That would be the case more for independent units. I'd expect a great deal of duplication in shops to be reduced with a larger force. Using the title of "Commander" or "Captain" for the smallest forces makes sense.
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Daryk

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #87 on: 03 February 2024, 10:06:15 »
I think the "locally hired AsTech" thing was from MW1e...

drjones

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #88 on: 10 February 2024, 08:17:37 »
I think the "locally hired AsTech" thing was from MW1e...

It does show up there; pg. 107, talking about the households associated with a unit, discusses the concept of astechs and hiring them on site.

Daryk

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Re: Minimum ranks?
« Reply #89 on: 10 February 2024, 08:20:42 »
Just glad to have remembered it right after all these years! ;D