Author Topic: 'Mech Engineer Quest  (Read 46125 times)

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1230
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #30 on: 04 November 2015, 17:32:55 »
You decide to try and socialize with the boss.  Emphasis on 'try'.  He doesn't seem to like to talk in English much, always starting off in the local pidgin of Portuguese and Indonesian, and his answers are kept clipped and short when he does switch to the language he's perfectly conversant in.  Still, it's a fifteen minute walk to the parking garrage and your government-sanctioned hand holder, so he can't hold out forever.  In between grunts and bursts of the bastard grandchild of Latin and Maylay (You need to put some effort in to become quadlingual it seems), he imparts a few local places that the engineering staff enjoy frequenting.  Coffee as well-though it seams that local coffee houses do as much traffic in the pseudo-mayan realm of chili-spiced chocolate beverages.  He recommends you try something called Kopi Luack, which you resolve to look up.  You do manage to get directions to a sushi place out of him, though the look he gives you suggests that he's one of those types that finds raw fish personally objectionable.  Either way, you now have a hard lock on caffeine sources, both in their more refined state, and in a more primal 'navy coffee' fashion.

Overall though, the entire conversation falls heavily on your shoulders.  Either he doesn't like you, or your boss is just hard to get to under a tough and cynical shell.  You're sort of relieved when you part ways and get into your car to be driven back to your hotel.  Though you do put your new expertise to use to get a couple of tacos from a street vendor who is apparently a local legend-the driver slash minder orders as well, and the two of you happily crunch your way through dinner.  You are also heavily reminded that while you have a work E-mail account, it will not actually function on a non-secured machine without the appropriate hardware installed, and you aren't allowed to work off-hours because there's security concerns.  Still-this puts a crimp in your normal hard-working midnight-oil burning persona.  At least, until you get a cot installed in your office.

So without any work left, are you going to look for fun, or do some research?

[ ] Head out on the town-you got a meal, but a few drinks, some dancing, and maybe getting your foot back into the dating scene isn't a bad idea.
[ ] Stay in your room and do some research on your situation-you need a place to live, a more permanent form of transportation, and food that isn't take out.
[ ] Stay in your room and research the regime.  Your customers have needs and wants.  They are also people with unique personalities, as well as a government.  Knowing who is judging the competition may give you an edge on desigining the winning Mech.
[ ] Other?  You can surely do lots of things that I haven't mentioned.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Warclaw

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 223
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #31 on: 04 November 2015, 20:22:03 »
[ ] Stay in your room and do some research on your situation-you need a place to live, a more permanent form of transportation, and food that isn't take out.

[ ] Stay in your room and research the regime.  Your customers have needs and wants.  They are also people with unique personalities, as well as a government.  Knowing who is judging the competition may give you an edge on designing the winning Mech.

Both.....After finding a halfway decent translation program for the local argot....and a listing of any classes for non-native speakers would be good too, communication is going to be a big issue/necessity.  Explaining technical matters to non-engineers is hard enough without language barriers.

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1230
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #32 on: 05 November 2015, 14:38:53 »
You grab your noteputer and visit a terminal in the hotel lounge to download the information you need, then head back to your room to consult the biographies, housing listings, used car ads, and other information you need.  Still, you can't help but feel a twinge of regret-maybe you should make some time to socialize.  It would be bad to not know anyone outside work, and hardly anyone there as well. (+1 Nerd point)  On your way back to your room you make sure to ask the desk clerk a few questions in English and he understands you perfectly, confirming in your mind at least that your boss was being difficult.  Still, you have the tabs to review the language, you just...haven't had time to use them.  If you're being honest, your own English isn't exactly Star League standard anyways, a side effect of being raised in a cabin for the first five years of your life, with no neighbors for 30 kilometers.

You also look up the coffee recommendation and find out what Kopi Luack is.  Ew.

Back on topic, you find a wide slice of housing available-but without a lot of time to spare, you'll need to swallow your pride.  You're making a lot of money by local standards anyways, 20,000 Maravedí (M-bills?) per month.  And that's just your pay as a 'Junior Engineer', which you can expect to rise quickly.  Engineers proper get 32,000 a month, Senior Engineers pocket a nice 44,000, and the Ur-designer, the Lead Engineer, should you ever rise that high, takes home 52,000 M per month.  That's an annual salary of 31,000 c-bills for your boss, and a still nice 12,000 for you.  Add in project completion bonuses, and this is potentially quite lucrative.  Even so, some of the local housing and transportation options seem out of even your reach.

[ ]Make a decision?
[ ]Hold off for now...

Setting those things aside for now, you turn your attention to a brief history of the realm.  Starting at the top.  Fifty-two years ago, in the Revolution of '99, the pirate princedom of Cabanagem was overthrown by a bastard daughter of the old prince who killed her father, her half siblings and cousins, and ruthlessly purged the old government down to the quick before having herself declared 'El Presidente' by acclamation of her army and the crowd that gathered around the palace bedecked with gallows.  Thus did the name of Mafalda Sandra Goizane Eka Vargas pass into history, and ever since has the planet of Cabanagem been ruled in relative peace from that day to this.  Only brief revolution in '09 following land reforms marred the domestic scene until the elections of '36.  Then, on televised debate, her chief opponent accused her of endangering their tributary relationship with the priates who dominated the area by building up an illegal army.  The debate was cut off and the election canceled, and the brief 'War of Piracy' was fought in 36 and 37, leading to the downfall of all three squabbling pirate powers and the ascendancy of Cabanagem as the foremost world in this part of the periphery.  The Elections of 5040 swept El Presidente and her political party 'Union and Revolution' into power with a 70% majority of the vote, a majority that has been maintained in every election since.  One gets a picture of a charming woman with delightful habits and an extremely photogenic smile who is also capable of terrifying violence to meet her goals.  Most of the pictures of her are from parties, but there are a few from other occasions, like the offical surrender of the pirates.  You also find a little bit about her husband, Pablo Moreno, who seems to be a mercenary, bleeding heart, and something of an action hero slash popular legend.  The stories about him using a grappling hook to board a Mech and kill it's pilot with nothing but a knife must be mere urban legend, surely.

General Igor Federov and General Raul Rodriguez are both veterans of the War of  Piracy-then Colonel Federov was commander of the 'Przemyśl expeditionary force', while Rodriguez was one of the three Mechwarriors who served his nation directly, rather than being a mercenary bought with the promise of 'C-bills Now, Land and Titles Later'.  A promise that apparently lead to the privatization of several formerly government controlled companies, including the one you now work for.  You also find a series of articles detailing a faux pas comitted by Federov at a party against a Comstar representative, leading to demands for Federov's resignation and El Presidente declaring that as a customer service representative, the Comstar official had taken remarks that he was out to mind-control the population a bit too seriously.  Federov's paranoia apparently was the trigger for Comstar shutting off Class D service to this world, but since that's 'one jumpship per year', the uptick in trade from a suddenly pirate-free area really made that a bit of a wash.

It looks like El Pres has a daughter who might be interested in things as well-the Minister of Industry,  Maria Antonia Atarah Daniela Febe Moreno-Vargas.  Maria is a certified genius with a doctorate from a prestigious Inner-sphere university, and has made her name as a civilian industrialist, unlike most scions of ruling families or indeed her brother Diego.  It looks like she won't be able to touch you until time comes to start forming parts, but she's strongly interested in best practices and mass production, so your little factory might not satisfy her proclivities if she starts wishing for a Hephestus-like Mechworks.  There are also a lot of photos of her with cake for some reason.

But in any case, it seems the Clans and the recent up-teching in the Inner Sphere have caught the local leadership feeling the pinch.  Their tank brigades are now not just obsolete but woefully so, and a flurry of new spending has descended from on high, released from secretive government coffers.  It looks, if nothing else, like a seller's market, and that's a happy thought.

It's almost midnight when you tuck in, and you sleep is troubled by dreams of...

[ ] The Clan Invasion.
[ ] Boots with teeth chasing you and also your own teeth falling out of your head.
[ ] Mechs that might be and may have been, the unseen armies and unmade machines.
[ ] Things that aren't suitible for this forum.  ;)
« Last Edit: 06 November 2015, 10:06:34 by Vehrec »
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Warclaw

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 223
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #33 on: 06 November 2015, 00:02:33 »
[ ]Hold off for now...



[ ] Mechs that might be and may have been, the unseen armies and unmade machines.

housing and transport option link broken'

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 38237
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #34 on: 06 November 2015, 05:32:43 »
Just remove the "%22"s and the extraneous "http" from the url and it works.  It should look like this: http://pastebin.com/ZAkiCCeR

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1230
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #35 on: 06 November 2015, 10:10:05 »
edited!  Boy is my face red.  You may now stare longingly at your mansion and personal helicopter as they remain out of reach.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 38237
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #36 on: 06 November 2015, 20:54:11 »
Does the Metro connect the arcology to work?

Also, would it be possible to rent two adjoining "mid-range apartments" and make some improvements for 5,000/month?  Basically, get near the "hi-rise" quality within walking distance to work.

Warclaw

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 223
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #37 on: 06 November 2015, 21:18:44 »
additionally, what is the potential for a roommate or two to split rent with?  Getting a larger apartment with two or three bedrooms (And the roommates to go with) can often lead to a lower overall rent payment. 

(Might even be able to get the whole floor of a modest apartment building---think brownstone or townhouse...current day's examples often have a small shop or cafe on the ground floor, with apartments above.)




Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1230
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #38 on: 06 November 2015, 23:35:28 »
Sorry, but you need at least a Level One Social Link to be roomies.  And since you've been avoiding the 'go forth and meet people' options to study more, you're pushing poor Minako away from getting any roommates or romance options.  If you keep her in on the weekend as well, I may have no choice but to declare the poor girl a terminal nerd, with no hope of ever making friends with anyone.

Now, where were we?
---
You dream of gears and wheels.  You dream of myomer and chrome, of gold plated glass and electrical contacts.  There are circuits pleasing to the eye, and mechanisms of goldbergian complexity.  The mechanisms start simple-a lever or a crankshaft-but they grow in complexity, size and scope and even dimensionality.  You only took one class in hyperspace physics, but it all comes flooding back as the things in your dream grow ever more complex and baffling, vast and quasi-organic with a strangely hidden function that seems utterly inscrutable...

You jolt awake with a start as your alarm goes off.  You grab a banana for breakfast, shower, makeup, clothes, gather up your things and are out the door to meet the minder as she drives up again.  Once again, you have an early morning drive to work-a bit more traffic thanks to a slightly later start today, but nothing serious-nothing like what the roads must be like after 7, certainly.  What does slow you down is the military motorcade moving something out of the factory on a truck.  It seems like half the planet has stopped to gawk-and you join in to, because it's not just a flatbed truck and a couple of flaggers, or some APCs, or even a tank.  Standing tall over the crowd, in muted brown and drab greyish-green, is a Thunderbolt.  The drum-shaped LRM launcher on the shoulder has been replaced with a different model, but the head is still offset to the side indicating that the replacement was a bit of a patch and make-do.  The large laser on it's arm seems to have been wrapped in an additional layer of fabric protection, though to what end, you can't say.  It takes 15 minutes for the large crate to be brought out, transfered to the truck, and then for the truck to move out through the gate, proceeded by two APCs with the hatches open and followed by the Mech.  After you see a few other people with cameras you hastily get out your own noteputer and take a few snapshots.  Mechs are mechs even if they're not fighting, and for a periphery patch-job, that one is in excellent shape, none of the stuttering or jerky movements you associate with a bad pilot or bad hardware.

You arrive at your office a bit late to find your e-mail already filling up for the day.  Already you have several new items to read through, all of which look rather important.
(number these instead of selecting just one if you please.)
[ ] CC:all(Top Secret)  R&D has a mass mailing list you just got added to apparently.
[ ] New Hires (see me)  Your boss has this ominious letter already waiting for you...wait, this was sent last night before you left.
[ ] Re:Water Cooler.  That's from General Federov? 
[ ] Production Reminder. Another one from Mr. Sanjiv.  This looks technical and related to fusion reactors.
[ ] A very ordinary email from a VP in the finance department.  You suspect it might be about how soon you can start turning a profit on the investment in both yourself and Mechs.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 38237
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #39 on: 07 November 2015, 09:54:45 »
[5] CC:all(Top Secret)  R&D has a mass mailing list you just got added to apparently.
[1] New Hires (see me)  Your boss has this ominious letter already waiting for you...wait, this was sent last night before you left.
[2] Re:Water Cooler.  That's from General Federov? 
[4] Production Reminder. Another one from Mr. Sanjiv.  This looks technical and related to fusion reactors.
[3] A very ordinary email from a VP in the finance department.  You suspect it might be about how soon you can start turning a profit on the investment in both yourself and Mechs.

After reading through her e-mail, Minako took a minute to set up an off-line archive and an automated rule to move large files to it when they come in.  That way her inbox wouldn't be clogged by arbitrary limits (for "good technical reasons") set by IT.

Warclaw

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 223
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #40 on: 07 November 2015, 20:20:13 »
I'll agree with Daryk on the order.  With the caveat that she first does a quick scan/read of  all five, then goes back to re-read/respond to high priority messages.

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1230
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #41 on: 08 November 2015, 11:09:04 »
Quote from: Mr. Sanjiv
Re: New Hires.

I've reviewed all the perspective canidates for your team and winnowed out the ones who won't be able to cut the mustard. You of course have the right to refuse anyone who won't work outright, but I've found several times the number of prospective assistants you ought to need for this project.

Team 1: University Students.  It might shock you to know that there has been more than one school of higher education founded in civilized space in the past 50 years.  While we lack a formal Mech-education program, we have some close enough coursework for these to be taken seriously.  The prize-winning team from the National Academy of Science's latest robotics competittion submitted their resume as a group.  I think they are intelligent enough, but their expertise is not in military hardware.

Team 2: National Science. I'm frankly impressed by these gentlemen's ability to solve problems.  The problem with them is that they're used to working for the government, and while they did develop a prototype mech, it was too expensive for mass production.  They also may resent taking orders from someone younger than them.

Team 3: Mil-Techs.  This batch are a bit surprising.  Military technicians who have worked on Mechs and supervised a lot of the modifications and make-does and want to mustang up to an office and get away from the day to day of replacements.  I like to have input from the user in the product, but these guys take that to the next level.  Their design priorities may be different from what you are used to, and I have my doubts about their design practices.

Team 4: Internal transfers.  I have a few people I can afford to loan you of course, if you want some experienced hands who know how things are done here.  We know our own equipment inside and out and we know the company. None of them have experience with myomer-driven walking robots admittedly, but they are experts at coming in under-budget.

We can assemble a balanced team with the best of each group, or emphasize the talents of up to two of them.  I'll be monitoring your performance, and supervising the project, but ultimately you will be working with these people and I want your opinion on them before we complete our hiring decisions.
...you don't have a degree in management of a design team.  And you wound up doing all the work on your last class project.  You're gonna have to learn on the job, and this is not an encouraging thought.  You have the weekend coming up, but this is the stuff that takes months to learn.  You don't know if you're mad or grateful for the hand holding.
Quote from: General Federov
COMRADE.

I have taken the liberty of removing the unsecured water-cooler from your office and replacing it with one of my own design that cannot be tampered with and only accepts distilled water.  Constant vigilance against sabotage is my gift to you to keep you safe.  Agents of the Great Houses or the Terran Alliance will no doubt be attempting to drug you into a stupor or kill you and we must be watchful for any risk.
...Okay, he's more paranoid than you thought.  He must either be very good at his job, or have superiors who find this very amusing.  You wonder how long before you're going to be under suspicion of being a spy yourself, then remember that he already thinks you're a spy.  You hear a couple of soldiers enter the office to haul off your old water cooler and peek out to see an ugly gunmetal thing being installed with a steel drum attached.  You decide not to protest right now, but flag that one for later use if this gets unreasonable.
Quote from: VP of Financial affairs.
I do not want to put you under too much pressure, but the company needs to get some cash flow going now or we'll be in really serious trouble.  You need to produce a design we can sell within six months, before our debt repayments outstrip our sales to the government.  We have lost our last two contract bids, and without a winner from either you or our tank department, we're in real trouble.

Notto put too fine a point on it, but you have an uphill struggle ahead of you to be brutally frank.  Our competitors at Shi-Sem have installed a very powerful mainframe, a SAL 12000 series computer that can greatly expedite their design process.
Okay, that's a little unsettling.  You've never actually seen a SAL 12000 but you've seen them advertised in the Inner Sphere, and they're pretty cutting-edge hardware, even six years after the Supervised Automatic Learning system 12000 debuted.  They are kinda spooky if the rumors are right, but they're not actually that smart.  Still, if they use it right they could do the design work in days what would take you weeks.  Especially the fine-tuning of adjusting individual myomer bundles or calculating cross-sectional loads.

...if they use it right.  You can think of five ways off the top of your head that a system that advanced can bite it's users in the ass.  It can preform hundreds of thousands of stress load recalculations a second, but it has no intentionality.  It can't design for a purpose unless you can express that purpose in ones and zeroes.
Quote from: Mr. Sanjiv
I'm forwarding you some technical information on our current Military-purpose fusion reactor.  I'm no expert in myomer layout, but if you're willing to accept a higher maintenance cycle and more frequent parts replacement, I believe we can push the current design about 5% higher in output and power a corespondingly larger or faster mech.  Likewise, we can trim shielding and confinement coils, and can feed a smaller powertrain using the same reactor tooling.

Our production staff inform me that this will add time and a bit of cost, but I think that expediting a few new options for you is more than worth the added effort of theorycrafting these changes in design.
Okay this is good news.  It might push costs up a bit,  but if the tokomak is that robust, you might be able to squeeze it a little harder and get a 245 or 250 rating out of it.  Or relax it down to 230-though you don't know any mechs of the top of your head that actually use that number.  This isn't exactly best practices-you know that the higher-output will wear more heavily on these reactors.  But it is a rather elegant looking make-do in the best Periphery traditions.
Quote from: R&D
As you probably noticed this morning, our latest prototype laser has been shipped to final testing.  It will be subjected to over 10,000 live firings and shock tested before formal acceptance is issued, but we can be reasonably confident that after six years and four previous attempts, our latest offering will be formally accepted barring any serious flaw as the Series 52 Large Laser for use in future designs.

The size and power requirements for the new prototype are in the attachment to this email.

We're going to take a short holiday from active development pending the results of the test and in the meantime invite suggestions as to our next project.  The current leaders are a 210mm autocannon or new armor-forming techniques to increase our production of that vital material, but we are opening the floor to all suggestions.
You blink at that and then get up and do a little happy dance.  You check the attachment-okay, it's a bit long and thin compared to other large lasers you've seen, but just a bit and it looks like they made a good choice in terms of surface area optimization for cooling.

You guess you could make a suggestion...but what?

[ ] Write in?
[ ] AC-20?
[ ] New reactor?
[ ] New Armor production methods?

The more detailed your reasoning for your suggestion, the better the chance of it being accepted.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 38237
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #42 on: 08 November 2015, 13:22:07 »
Minako sat back and tugged her chin when she finished reading about the new hires.  Obviously, she'd want an internal hire to help with budget discipline, but the lack of myomer design experience would limit their contribution otherwise.  The university students could work, but submitting themselves as a group was a definite minus.  While it showed admirable team work, it left little room for additions.  Of course, they could be the cheapest to hire, so maybe she'd have enough room to leaven the mix.  Or maybe propose hiring the group as interns under the main design team.  Her own recent university experience was getting the better of her here, and she knew it.  The military techs definitely had the experience Minako needed, though she wasn't sure she'd be able to channel their obvious individual agendas into what was necessary for the current project.  If she could co-opt the senior one, that might help her bring the others along.  And one or two from the national science group could help lend some design discipline to the others.  She'd have to give some more thought to her team before replying to the boss.

*OK, that's definitely a write in for the team build.  The "balance" I'm looking for is one budget expert, one professional scientist from the national side, with the majority from the military techs (perhaps the government can pay their salaries?) and the university team as interns (they sabotaged their salary prospects by submitting as a team, but if they work out, and the project gets selected by the government, there should be enough money to hire them full time).

--------------------------------

Minako blinked as the soldiers removed the old water cooler and put in the new one.  "Bottled water... definitely bottled water," she thought to herself.  If the general was paranoid enough to think the water cooler could be tampered with, he was crazy enough to tamper with one of his "own design".

--------------------------------

The finance VP's mail made her grimace.  "No pressure," she grumbled to herself.  With any luck, General Federov would be causing trouble for Shi-Sem and their imported supercomputer.  In fact, she started typing a quick e-mail back to finance:

"Ma'am,
     Thank you for the warm welcome, and I completely understand the intense need to bring my project in under budget and on time.  With regard to Shi-Sem, do you know if General Federov approved the installation of their imported supercomputer?  Such things are fiendishly complex, and notoriously easy to subvert.  I look forward to working with you!

Respectfully,
Minako Rauito"

------------------------------

Mr. Sanjiv's note was the first genuinely good news her inbox had brought her.  She had to thank him:

"Mr. Sanjiv,
    Thank you for the wonderful news!  This will definitely give my team more options when we set pen to paper.  If there's anything my team can do for you, please don't hesitate to ask.

Very Respectfully,
Minako Rauito"

*By the way, you do realize a 60 ton mech with a 240 engine is 3.9M before adding any armor, weapons, or heat sinks, right?  A 40 tonner starts at 2.8M, and it's 2.3M at 30 tons.  The Blazer Cannon trooper I was looking at comes in just over 5M at 60 tons.

---------------------------

*You HAD to expect this...

After completing her happy dance, Minako sat down with shining eyes.  She hit "reply all" and quickly typed her suggestion:

"All,
     It strikes me the fastest way to bring a second project to fruition is to leverage the success of your first.  In fact, you could probably test a dual core laser (also known as a "Blazer Cannon") based on your existing design during the test firing regime.  It would also save money, as the test bench would require minimal modifications, and the firing range itself wouldn't need to change at all.  While the weapon would lose some heat efficiency, the increased damage output would make it worthwhile, and your core design appears to maximize heat dissipation, making it an ideal candidate for a dual core design.  I may be able to provide some design assistance with this proposed project, depending on how hiring for my own team goes.  Please let me know what you think!

Very Respectfully,
Minako Rauito"

*If she can get the university team hired as interns, this sounds like an ideal project for them, and could spread the burden of managing them as well.

Warclaw

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 223
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #43 on: 08 November 2015, 15:25:52 »
New Hires:
     I'd like to grab the university team if possible.  They are obviously bright, and still trainable the way WE want them.  Not being initially trained in mech design, they also bring  fresh perspective to things, which might allow them to think of things we overlook because "That's never been done."
     That being said, I'll also want at least one of the senior mil-techs.  Most designs BADLY need the voice of someone who's been a line tech.  While a design might be very elegant engineering wise, it's not as helpful if it takes five times as long to maintain it.  A healthy dose of practical experience and field knowledge can help us avoid some of those mistakes.
     If you could also send us one of the National Science crew as well?  A little bit of discipline and experience will help balance the youthful exuberance of the University team.
     I will, of course, need a liaison from the company from time to time.  Both to remind us of budget constraints, and to guide us through the company internal culture.
     The way I envision this working best is to place the University team under the direction of the National Science rep as team leader, with the mil-tech brought in to test the design and critique anything he or she finds that isn't as workable outside the lab.

Water Cooler:
     Agree with Daryk

Finance:
     We'll expedite things as much as possible, but we don't want to rush things too much, or we run the risk of creating a giant boondoggle that goes nowhere.  We have to get this right.  Failure of our first product is NOT an option.  The only way I can see to shortcut the process to any appreciable extent is if we can modify an existing design.  That way, a LOT of the work is done ahead of time, we just need to make it ours.

R&D:
     I am VERY pleased to read of your anticipated success!  That will be VERY helpful in aiding the designs we envision.  As for your next project...well....enhanced heat-sink technology would be quite useful to us if you think it feasible.

Engines:
     Thank you!  The increased range of engine capabilities will come in handy.  I'll just need an upper and lower limit for what you can produce from the base 240 units.  And a listingcost/maintenance  adjustments of course.


Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1230
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #44 on: 09 November 2015, 20:47:35 »
ERROR: Insufficient input for determinate progress.  Processing available data for compromise solution.

------

You hesitate over a couple of responses.  Assuring corporate that you intend to make hast carefully and gently pointing the general at your rivals is easy.  Checking your own bottled water supply takes three seconds.  A slightly gushy thank you for the reactor notes is dashed off in five minutes, but you wince at the projected 20% maintenance increase married to the 5% output increase.  Nobody loves a hanger queen, but you can't deny that the increased power output will wear out components and require more frequent refurbishment.  Smaller engines might have less wear, but the cost is nearly the same as the bigger ones, so it's a bit of a wash.

The first one you debate is your response to is the R&D notification.  After some debate you narrow it down to two-one idea that seems a quick-fix for the lack of a heavy energy weapon, and one request for the single most revolutionary rediscovery of the past 50 years.  You've seen what can be done to energy-heavy hot-running designs with dual-heat sinks.  The weight savings alone lets you build a 'clone' of an Awesome on a 60 ton chasis-one of your classmates worked out the math your second year.

Quote
I have two suggestions, one for which I have great hopes but am tempering my expectations, and one born of practicality and expedience.

While I appreciate that your previous experience has been mostly in designing tanks and tank components, our new Battlemech division has some unique requirements.  Tanks require heat sinks for energy weapons only-but in a mech, even the heating of autocannon and missiles must be accounted for, and the heat build up caused from walking and jump jets adds up as well.  The use of 'Freezers' is by now the best standard for Battlemechs, even if they are significantly more bulky than their counterparts. Our competition would be swiftly left in the dust if we could get these to market early and with good results.

As for the expedient option, there has been a long tradition of poking at a very large or 'binary' laser in the Inner Sphere, though it has never been as popular as PPCs, it is significantly easier to build since it is basically two Large Lasers feeding the same optics.  While less efficient, the raw power offers a significant advantage on the battlefield, and I believe it is actually the most powerful energy weapon outside of the Clans.  This may be useful even on tanks, especially for new fusion-powered varieties.

I hope you give both of these options the attention that they warrant, and wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors.

What do you really want in terms of your workforce and how are you going to manage them, that's the big question.  You decide that one will need to be settled face to face, to hash out who will be in charge of the designs, who you answer to, who you can ignore and who you must obey, and how to run this whole team.  There are also questions of design priorities.  You think that 'Milita Mech' is a licence to print money since they ought to be exportable in largish numbers, but bigger designs are paradoxically easier.  The Mackie and other early mechs were huge for good reasons.  Most important-should you tackle one design at a time, or break the team up into smaller sub-teams and attempt a hail-marry go at all six, or something in the middle.  You kill half an hour by outlining the steps of a good design and block out some estimates of how long this might take.  You get about five months if nothing goes wrong.  Good design and luck can make that faster-but bad design choices and mistakes will slow you down for sure.  You stare glummly at the eighth and last step on your chart, which you have slated six weeks for.  You don't want to do that, but there's no way around it-you need to simulate the entire design, moving through it's whole range of motion, the instantaneous changes in loading on the frame, the armor moving over the myomer and other sheets of armor, picking the thing up and dropping it, simulating every possible mishap up to and including subjecting it to multiple DFAs in the simulation and seeing how well it stands up to being goomba-stomped by an 'Atlas with a Jetpack' as your refer to your designated DFA testing mech.  With a faster computer...ahh, but you know how to pass the time while the damn computer cuts your mech into thousands of slices and calculates load on each and every one.  Every thousandth of a second.  It takes a while, is what you're saying.  And then you always find something that needs to be tweaked.

You take about three minutes to walk from the mostly vaccent Mech Design Annex to the main design building where your boss' office is.  The secretary listens to your woes and agrees to let you see Mr. Sanjiv.  Stepping into his office you're immediately struck by how...simple everything is.  The single computer terminal in the room is shoved into a corner and connected to a very large printer while Mr. Sanjiv sits...at...a...desk... 

With a start, you reorient your point of view.  That's not a desk, that's a drafting table, and that's not just a printer, it's also a scanner.  Your boss is such a dinosaur he's hand-drawing his designs and scanning them into the computer for someone else to translate into proper diagrams.  You're not sure if you should be horrified, or taking off your shoes and asking for lessons from the old man.  Well, no time for that now.  You came here for a purpose.

[ ] Ask to see the resumes of the applicants and so you can review which ones you might want.
[ ] Ask about the chain of command.
[ ] Ask for advice on management of designers.
[ ] Ask technical questions?  Be specific
[ ] Write in?
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 38237
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #45 on: 09 November 2015, 21:26:32 »
I'm a little confused... "the boss" is Mr. Sanjiv?  I thought they were two different people...

Also, PERFECT compromise on the R&D suggestions.  I couldn't be happier!

As far as the new hires, I thought WarClaw and I were on the same page (i.e., "emphasizing" the University team and Mil-Techs).

As far as the new response, I want to give WarClaw first crack at this one, since I took first shot at the last.

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1230
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #46 on: 09 November 2015, 22:42:55 »
Mr. Sanjiv, no formal degree (Or formal education past the sixth grade), is your direct boss, and the head of the Design division of the company.  He's the only thing insulating Minako from direct exposure to Executivium.

I interpreted War-claw as seeing the input of the techs as being about equal to a consultant, while I interpreted your input as largely dismissing the university kids in favor of staffing your key design positions with mustangs.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 38237
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #47 on: 10 November 2015, 04:36:25 »
Ah, I see... I do dismiss their ability to earn full salaries right out of the gate, but do want to hire the team.  We have no indication how big our team can be, right?  Being this looks to be a six month project, intern rates won't hurt them, and shouldn't hurt the company.  Besides, consider reduced starting salaries an object lesson in budget discipline.  They're trying to impose a cost by applying together.  There's a price for that.

Warclaw

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 223
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #48 on: 10 November 2015, 19:42:09 »
Combination answer
[ ] Ask to see the resumes of the applicants and so you can review which ones you might want.

That's a quick question and shouldn't take more than a minute of the Boss's time.

[ ] Ask about the chain of command.

Same with that one.


[ ] Ask for advice on management of designers.

This one is the meat of the meeting, if he's willing to discuss things.  She knows how to run a student team, and how to lead a maintenance crew, but leading a team of experienced designers not so much.

Other than that, she'd like it if she could get a complete listing of all available tech for the design process...I get that it's approximately 3050, but you've already moved redeployment of rocket pods up a few years, so there might be a few other changes.  MRM's?  Basically, I'm looking to see exactly what she'll have to work with, as well as any cost multipliers...for example: if PPC's are available, but only at 3X normal price, that's a factor she'll need.  Likewise the ready availability of several grades of auto-cannon plays a role....Hmmm...Any chance of Medium or Heavy Rifles?  She doesn't expect the Boss to have that at hand right away, it's more a request for him to have someone forward it to her when he gets a moment.

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 38237
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #49 on: 10 November 2015, 21:04:18 »
I agree with Warclaw's priorities, but would add artillery cannons to the list of weapon systems we're curious about.

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1230
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #50 on: 11 November 2015, 16:08:15 »
Internet is being a pain in my rear, so no update today, but I have made up a spreadsheet with color-coded availability.

I think this should cover most of the standards, and I've even included fluff on the size of the ACs.  Colors will shift over time, so this is just the current state of affairs-pending the approval of that new laser for instance, you might see that Large Laser category shift to blue.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 38237
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #51 on: 11 November 2015, 16:24:36 »
Sniper Cannon is blue, woo!

And thank you for giving the BLAZER its deserved capitals...  :D


Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1230
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #52 on: 12 November 2015, 16:24:10 »
You start with the big question, the one that's been bothering you ever since you arrived here.  "Why am I the one in charge of this-"

He cuts you off.  "Because you are quallified in design of Battlemech.  You are only one qualified in design of battlemechs.  Well, other than the team that put together project 45."  He gestures to a chair and then, at your blank look, gets up and opens a filing cabinet before pulling out a large folder and opening it.  "Project 45.  Our state's true 'first battlemech', rejected by the government for general service.  Too handbuilt.  Too expensive.  Too...pants on head?"  He sets the folder down in front of you and you fight down the urge to recoil in horror.  69.8 tons.  A reasonable turn of speed for a mech of that tonnage- 65 kilometers per hour is nothing like the Clan's insane performance, but fairly good.  Bulky radiators in the legs and on the shoulders and you can see why because it has twelve medium lasers all bunched up in it's arms.  Something on your face must show to Mr. Sanjiv because he laughs.  "Not a pretty sight, yes?  Believe me, it's uglier in person-they never got the coolant lines and the myomer to play nice and they had to move the coolant outside the body in the elbow joint.  That was a factor in the rejection-no way to adequately armor that.  He sits down beside you-his huge drafting table would block your views of each other if you were sitting in front of the thing, and you fight off your shock at the thing before you, and avoid thinking of...upgrades.  Double heat sinks for a start, and maybe jump jets?  The thing is a damned flashbulb for sure, even with 26 heat sinks.

"Why-why does it look like it's got a couple of revolvers?"  You just can't help but stare at those in particular.  The enormous six-ton six-guns in each hand look like ancient relics, and you can't help but at least admire the style of the things even as you despair for the person who had to-are those supposed to ROTATE?!?

Mr. Sanjiv has another laugh at that, his humor sharp and like a bark.  "Hah!  Because El Presidente said she wanted something like a Pistolero, a gunman with a six-gun, yes?  And El Presidente's word is law to those National Academy types, even when she is talking in her more flowery and artistic way, yes?  And then they watch old westerns and see the cowboys with two guns at once and think this is redundancy and suddenly you have this monster.  This is what happens when someone without a lick of sense designs one of these things.  I have sense, but all I know how to work with is wheels, gears and tracks.  Your job is to have a lick of sense and to understand how to make one of these."

You nod slowly comprehension dawning.  "So you hire an outside to be your ..." you hope he'll fill you in on your official title-you've been bouncing up and down the rank scale in your correspondence.

"Junior Assistant to the Chief Designer.  Which is me, though my only job on this project is to have weekly meetings with you and with your team, and to be the official point of contact for our government liaisons.  They go through me to get to you, so your team will have less interference.  Your task is to take talent and experience and point it at tasks that it can effectively do, and maintain oversight of the projects.  And we probably will wind up throwing your team at two projects at once, so aim to pick a team you can split into two mini-teams.  Because again, time is our enemy."

You think it's time to raise a point.  "Can I have your interview transcripts and the resumes of the potential team members?  I think I know the skills I'll want to have, I just need to figure out who has them.  I think that we can probably make a working team from the students and the techs, if we leaven the whole thing with some real experts."

He nods and gets up, gesturing for you to follow him to another filing cabinet where he pulls out a whole rank of folders and shoves them into your arms.  "That will probably keep you busy for the rest of the day I'm sure, but we need to move quickly.  Pick a team as fast as you can, so that the deadline won't affect the actual work too much.  Corporate will fund a single team that's got better than average skills, or two teams that are good but understaffed, so I'll suggest you organize your choices with that in mind."  He leans against the filing cabinet, ignoring the way it shifts beneath his elbow.  "So, how are you planning to organize the work, hmmm?"

You have to admit, you don't know that yourself.  And you admit as such to him.  "The last time I had a student project due, I had to redo a quarter of the work overnight and one of the team never turned anything in at all-and that wasn't unusual for my projects."

He grunts.  "Well, you'll learn by doing.  I recommend breaking your team up into sub-teams, specializing in various areas of the design and holding regular meetings between the teams so everyone's on the same page.  They tell me this design software makes it easier, but I'm terrible with computers.   You need good information flow though, so that the chasis designers know what your myomer people need.  It's faster, but a bit more taxing.  Alternatively, you could just work on one part of the design at a time, freeze it when it's satisfactory, and then mash it all together when you're done.  You'll probably find that to be slower overall, but there's less chance of someone starting an interdepartmental war if you come down hard and say that this is the way things will be."

Hmmm.  That's an interesting way to think about it, to be sure.  But is that really how you want to design your first real Mech?

[ ] I like an Agile design style, with small frequently met goals, lots of information sharing, and speeds up the process at a cost of constant revisions and less security.
[ ] A brute force Waterfall design philosophy is better, since it provides large clear goals, little confusion, and keeps things Need To Know while ensuring that there's little backward change.
[ ] I am a engineering nerd and I know about a way to do this that I will now Write In.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Warclaw

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 223
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #53 on: 12 November 2015, 20:14:48 »
I like an Agile design style, with small frequently met goals, lots of information sharing, and speeds up the process at a cost of constant revisions and less security.

Which means I'll probably need at least one IT security wonk on team...or at least on tap.  The engineers, (Especially the students) will need a reminder lecture on information security...and the consequences/penalties for breaching such.

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 38237
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #54 on: 12 November 2015, 21:27:01 »
I probably shouldn't admit to this, but my Master's is in Engineering Management.  It's been a few years since my last project management class (my books are somewhere... probably in storage about 300 miles away), but from what I've seen of large complex projects, the key is to identify the critical path (the hardest/most time consuming things to do), and lay out everything else in relation to that, with regular meetings to report status of individual tasks and keep everything synchronized (adjusting where necessary... I've seen the critical path change suddenly in the middle of a project).  This is similar to the Agile style you outlined, but has elements of the Waterfall too.  And I completely agree with Warclaw on INFOSEC.  That lecture needs to happen no matter how we approach the design.

As far as being able to divide into two teams, I'd want a senior mil-tech leading the university team plus another mil-tech or two (i.e. not enough to do the work themselves) for one, and the government guy leading the rest of the mil-techs, with the company insider as a direct assistant to cover down on budget.  Mixing the government guy with the university team would be a recipe for disaster, judging by that pistolero design.  Both team leads would need a serious counseling session up front, probably with Mr. Sanjiv backing Minako up.  Essentially, they both need to rein in their egos and listen to their team members, keeping the project goal(s) foremost in their minds.

The mil-techs will also need a talking to about fraternization with the university students.  The university students will get a completely different talking to about the same topic.  Screwing around with other members of the team is a good way to screw up the project (or projects).  When the project is over, it's weapons free, but until then, everyone needs to keep their clothes on, and minds on the work, not each other (the mil-tech version uses language not permissible on this board).  Pre-existing relationships are OK, but drama is something we simply can't afford (which is precisely why pre-existing relationships are OK, the drama is theoretically settled).

For projects, if we have to do two, I'd want to do the Trooper and Scout Hunter, as both could make use of the large laser we're developing in house.  The Trooper will work with two large lasers until R&D figures out the Blazer Cannon design, and both will go in the same location as a hedge in case the large laser doesn't get tested in time and we have to jam an AC/5 in there, while the Scout Hunter will mount sufficient equipment where the large laser is supposed to go to facilitate replacement with an AC/2 if necessary.  Speaking of AC's, I think CASE may be worth it if we have to go that route, even at triple cost (which is only 150,000).  As much as I was trying to sound positive on varying the engine size, that's not an option on this compressed timeline, and I think Mr. Sanjiv knows it.  The Trooper is going to be a 60 ton 4/6/maybe 4 mech, and the Scout Hunter will be a 40 ton 6/9/maybe 6.  I didn't see jump jets on the availability spreadsheet, and if we have to design them from scratch, they go.  They're complex, and while ordinarily would be completely worth the effort, not in this quick and dirty design regime.  My sense would be to just jam heat sinks in where the jump jets will go later (class C refits for the win, to include the Blazer Cannon someday).

If we start with autocannon designs, I foresee the upgrade path as:
Add jump jets and/or ACs to Large Lasers (whichever gets finished first, then the other)
Dual Large Lasers to Blazer Cannons
Single heat sinks to Doubles

I'd make it clear in outlining the above that I don't think planned obsolescence is an option (i.e., going with ACs even if the large lasers test OK).

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1230
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #55 on: 13 November 2015, 10:20:10 »
Agile and Waterfall are software design terms and represent pretty much the far-ends of a spectrum between local optimization and long-term planning.  Or to put it differently, we're talking about the difference between Valve software where there are no teams assigned to projects at all and the Tupelov design bureau.  Not that either establishment would use those terms I'll admit.  We're gonna be taking a middle road here-Mr. Sanjiv is intentionally a bit of A.N. Tupelov himself, but he's not quite the same character.  I'm also drawing some inspiration from this article, so maybe you'll get thrown a curveballl at some point and need to redo a lot of work.

And I forgot to include jump jets, but they're GREEN.  One of the Pistolero prototypes deleted four heat sinks to include a moderate jump capability, but that one quickly proved to have the Weak Legs quirk and actually crushed one of the 'vertebrae' in it's main support structure while jumping.  The jump jets worked fine, they were just coupled to a design that couldn't handle the stress and which was already criminally undersinked.
« Last Edit: 13 November 2015, 11:33:02 by Vehrec »
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 38237
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #56 on: 13 November 2015, 17:18:13 »
On the jump jets: AWESOME!  That's one less thing we have to worry about upgrading later.

That naval design article is amusing.  I experienced one dry dock period where we crammed 90,000 man hours into a window built for 45,000.  Later, I got to experience the shipyard full force in a different ship.  Pure, unadulterated pain.  Now I'm in the staff requirements business at the five-sided PowerPoint collider (but not for ships, per se).

As that article outlines, working with physical systems is a little different than software.  That's where the critical path method comes in, because it gives the bean counters something to deviate from when estimating manpower costs (e.g., how much overtime is going to be needed to make schedule).

One of my first graduate classes was on software design processes, and was very interesting, but obviously pre-dated Agile and Waterfall as terms of art.

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1230
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #57 on: 14 November 2015, 13:54:53 »
"Well, I like the idea of keeping everyone on the same page, but I guess we'll need to worry about security a bit more-"

A storm of emotion passes across Mr. Sanjiv's face and he nods tightly.  "Yes.  Keep security in mind.  Don't get close to anyone, it's bad for relationships to have your date taken away by security for interrogation." Wow.  Is that personal experience?  You don't know if asking will make things better or worse, but you decide just to nod and go with the flow. 

"Anyways, I was wondering if in light of that style of management you might have a bit more advice about hiring and what I should be looking for."  You hope that you can stear him away from the sore spot of security safely, without getting into a big lecture.  You really hope you can avoid more relationship advice from old dudes-grandpa's lecture when you came out as Pansexual was bad enough.

Thankfully he regains his composure quickly.  "Yes.  You should be aware that the military types, they all have five or twenty-seven years in the service.  Hierarchy is what they are used to, they will expect to be told to do things.  Initiative is not something they will be used to exercising.  You will need to coach them to use their own  judgement-many of them have good educations and practical experience, especially the retired careerists.  But by the same token some of them will lie to you and then try to work around you, and we cannot have that.  The university students at least, are used to doing things of their own initiative.  They also have programmers-very useful I am told, we can probably save some money by programing our own software for the Mechs instead of buying a generic type."  That gets a understanding nod from you-software packages for mechs do come in easily-installed pre-designed blocks that are easy enough to buy...but nothing ever competes with good custom software.  And if it's even halfway decent?  Yeah, you'll save some money with custom programming over the mid-range stuff.  For intellectual property that was developed over 300 years ago, those companies sure are reluctant to licence it for less than an arm and a leg.  And when they insist on physical installation media instead of transfering orders via Comstar...

"I think I will be able to free up a few people internally, even give you one of my other assistants to help.  You can have either Niklos or Mawar.  Mawar is our weapons expert, she's familiar with all our local production's little quirks, and knows most of the imports you might need.  Niklos is a lucky man, so never gamble against him, but he is very good at catching little errors before they grow.  Both of them are good enough at budgeting things and navigating the company, "

Code: [Select]
Select one in-company transfer:
[ ] Niklos has Edge to spare, and can get you back on track without wasting time.
[ ] Mawar will geek out with you on weapons, and can help install them quickly.

"As for the National academy members... I might suggest a few of them.  Professor Dwi specializes in gyro-stabilization systems and controls.  He's tenured, so he can afford to take a sabatical from the university to consult here.  Doctor Sukarno's name means gentlemanly, and that is a lie, he is evil tempered and foul to work with-but he is undeniably a genius.  He will make trouble, so it's up to you to decide if his omnidisciplinary skills are worth the trouble.  Doctor Sandoval is our resident armor expert-she has pushed our technology forward 50 years in her career, and will give you some tips to working with her materials.  I think we can afford only one of them though-they are all highly in demand for projects.

Code: [Select]
[ ]Professor Dwi will make certain that all is upright and stable, standing on it's own two feet.  He gives -1 to the TN for the design of either Gyros and Articulation, or cockpit and sensors.
[ ]Doctor Sukarno can make work light and easy, or heavy and a chore-he adds 1d3-2 to the TN for each phase of work.
[ ]Doctor Sandoval has a good eye for armor layouts, and will bring her expertise to bear to make certain there are no holes to be found.  -1 to the TN for getting armor into place.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 38237
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #58 on: 14 November 2015, 14:30:17 »
It's better to be lucky than good, so I'm going with Niklos for the in-company transfer (R&D already has the right team for Blazer Cannon development, and if Mawar is part of it, the last thing I want to do is pull her out).

As for the National Academy member, we're team building here, so Sukarno is right out.  I was thinking max armor designs for both the Trooper and Scout Hunter, so I'm leaning toward Dr. Sandoval, but am willing to go with Professor Dwi if Warclaw prefers him.

As far as the military techs, when you say "five or twenty-seven years in service", do you mean "5 to 27" or that they've all either just finished their first terms or are long in the tooth?

I'm thinking the military techs led by the National Academy member will get the Trooper, while the University team led by a tech will get the Scout Hunter.

Vehrec

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1230
  • Mr. Flibble is Very Cross
Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #59 on: 14 November 2015, 16:14:31 »
It's better to be lucky than good, so I'm going with Niklos for the in-company transfer (R&D already has the right team for Blazer Cannon development, and if Mawar is part of it, the last thing I want to do is pull her out).

As for the National Academy member, we're team building here, so Sukarno is right out.  I was thinking max armor designs for both the Trooper and Scout Hunter, so I'm leaning toward Dr. Sandoval, but am willing to go with Professor Dwi if Warclaw prefers him.

As far as the military techs, when you say "five or twenty-seven years in service", do you mean "5 to 27" or that they've all either just finished their first terms or are long in the tooth?

I'm thinking the military techs led by the National Academy member will get the Trooper, while the University team led by a tech will get the Scout Hunter.
Mawar isn't from R&D, so rest easy there.

The local military formations are divided into Milita, Regulars and Guards.  Militia are weekend warriors, local forces, not quite up to snuff but fill out the lines and fight like lions to defend their homes.  Regulars and Guards are where the action's at-they're structured High-low, with the regulars still using plenty of primitive Vehicles because it's taking time to replace all of them.  Both have a five year term of volunteer service, but troops and NCOs can then re-enlist for another 22 years-going full carreerist like that has a good chance to get you moved into a Guards Regiment, if only because it gives them more time to train you to handle their imported equipment. 

Incidentally, if you try to build two designs at the same time and split your team, that will increase the difficulty of making both designs.  It will also break up the balanced synergy of having the bright new ideas tempered by hard won experience-you can't get the benefits of balance if the two sides you hope to balance out never work with each other.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*