Author Topic: Just how rugged is equipment anyway?  (Read 1478 times)

Lazarus Sinn

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Just how rugged is equipment anyway?
« on: 24 January 2022, 00:05:50 »
So I have been thinking random thoughts again and I want to know your thoughts.

First. I know that equipment in the BattleTech universe is notoriously rugged. There are plenty of stories about finding all sorts of equipment either mothballed, abandoned on a moment’s notice or simply put somewhere and forgotten for centuries and then basically being found, dusted off, refueled and used like it was brand new.

But how tough is it, really? There are a lot of things that can dry rot, crack, unseal and delaminate from just sitting for so long on any piece of equipment even in ideal conditions. How much work would it take to get a found BattleMech, vehicle, fighter, dropship, jumpship or warship operational again? What about infantry weapons, uniforms, body armor, ammunition, etc.? I know it would depend on how and where it was stored and whether it was properly mothballed or just parked and left. So how long does the pristine BattleMech, vehicle, fighter, rifle, etc. that was properly prepped for storage and then locked in an airtight bunker remain in pristine condition?

What do LosTech prospectors have to carry with them to be able to get something that was parked 250 years ago running again?

Second. Let’s say a group was fed up with (insert wars for favorite era here) have access to virtually anything they want in the way of ships, equipment and supplies and they are able to successfully get to a system with planets that are earthlike with it all. Assuming no wars and the people that are making this colonization effort work well together toward a common goal, how big would a colony need to be to be able to build a technology infrastructure to support the population with food and at the same time build an infrastructure to be able to become self-sufficient and maintain jump capable ships along with dropships and all types of military equipment? How big to be able to build more of all of it even at a slow pace? How many ships would it take to carry the equipment and personnel to do this? 

The pressure to build once at the destination is driven by need to be self-sufficient, not the need to fight wars. So that multiple goals could be focused on at the same time, not just the need for food and shelter. Agriculture and city building and even some production could concievably begin at the same time.

So how long would they have to get shipbuilding capabilities for jumpships and dropships up and running before they become trapped in their own system?

Foolish consistencies are the hobgoblins of little minds.


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Re: Just how rugged is equipment anyway?
« Reply #1 on: 24 January 2022, 02:12:09 »
battletech equipment is notoriously robust.

there was a story "the useless mech" this guy got shot out of his mech something like a warhammer or archer. there was no mech immediately available or if there was a mech avail it was light.  He does some research and finds records of a mech being sent to the planet for the gunslinger program and no one would accept it.  he finds where the warehouse was that it was stored in that was taken back by the desert.  he borrows a vehicle with MAD (Magnetic Abnormality Detector) sensors and finds a large metallic mass underground. 
after they dig it up, the only thing wrong with the mech is it has NO fuel, it had all bled away after about 200ish years, but it still had the plastic cover on the seat, they jump started it, and transferred fuel from the panther and got it running, and .... it was the best running engine he had ever dealt with.  they put it into a bay, painted it and fueled it, and it was ready for combat operations in less than a day.

mechs really only need routine maintenance when they are actively used. and not put into storage/mothballs

Colt Ward

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Re: Just how rugged is equipment anyway?
« Reply #2 on: 24 January 2022, 17:31:43 »
Insanely rugged . . .

 . . . especially for anyone who is familiar with government procurement procedures.

Besides the story guardiandashi related, I can think of several times when the Grasshopper in the GRH anthology was recovered after being lost.  We have a story of a girl finding a Kit Fox out in a jungle (which is really the worst environment for gear), the pilot long dead after taking mortal wounds in a battle decades previously, that she restores just in time.  A star of Steel Viper mechs were left in a depot on Kore for nearly 10 years before someone stumbled across them, and then used them to fight pirates.  By Blood Betrayed had Hopper Morrison's Extractors finding a buried cache of Star League designs on a seismically active world. 

The SLDF in exile built caches for equipment, losing track of their location when the Exodus Civil War kicked off so that what escaped to Strana Mechty did not have all the locations on the Pentagon Worlds.

For the Dark Age, a mech was hidden in a grain silo for decades.  Battle armor was found in crates that the RAF had lost track of in the back of planetary police HQ supply dumps . . . since my section in the Army had possession of some crates in our section room that had sat there for at least 8 years w/o anyone knowing what was in them or when they were placed there . . . this was not a big stretch of imagination when I read that part of the story.

On the flip side, IF things are properly prepared for long term storage they can last a while . . . I like to point folks at the news story where 'Burmese' Spitfires were dug up in a field that were still in the original crates.
Colt Ward
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