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Author Topic: 'Mech Engineer Quest  (Read 13680 times)

Vehrec

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'Mech Engineer Quest
« on: 25 October 2015, 13:22:24 »
Your name is Minako Rauito, formerly of the Free Rasalhague Republic, and you think you may be stuck in this spaceport for the rest of your life.  You contacts on this periphery planet had assured you that a government representative would be at the spaceport to pick you up when you arrived, but you've been on the ground for four hours and there has been no sign of anyone except for...Manuel.  And he didn't know you were coming.  All the other refugees and pleasure-seekers have been processed leaving just you and a terminal designed for five thousand people.

All in all, you life has been a impossible downward spiral the past six years.  Rack up a massive debt attending the best engineering school in the Republic, majoring in Mech Design and Engineering.  Get your diploma and wait while it sinks in that you're not getting any response from any of the firms you've sent your resume to.  Run like hell is on your heels when the Wolves invade the planet-and then quit your home nation entirely with little more than the clothes on your back.   You'd been surprised when the refugee transport landed and you were immediately accosted by a talent scout for some periphery arms company that just happened to be looking for people with your skill set.  Like a fool, you accepted on the spot-you have no experience at all outside six-months apprenticeship at a labor 'Mech plant, but they promised you would be given the fast track to leading a team of your own.  Now, thanks the Manuel, the obnoxiously exact customs agent blocking you from entering his country without a official work visa, you're stuck in the duty-free shop, food court, and terminal overlooking the thirty-six separate landing pads.  You're tired already-1.3 gs is no party, and the air is thick, the outside hot and muggy.  Jungle runs right up to the edge of the spaceport, held at bay by a fence that's probably overgrown with vines and sagging under the weight of greenery.  There's a mural behind you, featuring a bunch of armed people striding towards the left under a banner that reads '¡Viva la Revolución y El Presidente!'  Funny, but the most prominent figure, who is presumably el presidente, is a woman.  Shouldn't that be la presidencia?  Your spanish is terrible, but you're pretty sure that's right.

With nothing else to do but wait, you might as well-

[ ] Go pester Manuel, see if there's any way he can get your luggage sent up.  Maybe your emergency hundred C-bills will be enough to bribe him into letting you out of the terminal.
[ ] Hit up the bar for some drinks-even if you're completely without local currency.  And six C-bills worth of pocket change might not be enough to get you buzzed at spaceport prices.
[ ] Browse the gift Shop.  Maybe there's a book or something you can read to kill time, but the money thing applies here as well.
[ ] Shipwatch.  There's more than one dropship sitting out there, and it looks like the ground crews are rolling out some sort of mobile structure to service them.  That might be of some mild professional interest.
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Warclaw

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #1 on: 25 October 2015, 15:02:57 »
  • Shipwatch.  There's more than one dropship sitting out there, and it looks like the ground crews are rolling out some sort of mobile structure to service them.  That might be of some mild professional interest.

snakespinner

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #2 on: 26 October 2015, 02:17:35 »
Go pester Manuel.
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
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Vehrec

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #3 on: 26 October 2015, 14:12:42 »
You decide to split the difference-it’s gonna take that crawler half an hour to get over to the Mule they’re gonna try to service, and at this distance there’s just not much to see until they get to work.  That leaves plenty of time to pester Manuel, the bastard in the little security kiosk who is keeping you in here.  He’s got body scanners, cameras and shutters set up on that thing, and you wouldn’t be surprised if there are some other surprises for anyone who tries something.  You certainly were surprised when begging, crying, pleading and flirting had no effect on this guy.  So now you’re gonna try begging combined with rational self interest. “Hey, can you send up my luggage?  I’m worried that someone might steal it.”

Manuel looks at you like the gum on the bottom of his sneaker.  You’re lower than dirt, and twice as annoying, and he really would rather go back to writing his report than dealing with you (he’s been working on it for hours, ever since he finished processing the last of the group you arrived with.  There were several other customs officials here at one point, but they all buggered off for lunch and never came back.  “No checked luggage in the terminal area.  The rules about cargo and baggage handling are quite clear.  You can pick it up from Security when you leave, or we’ll put it on whatever dropship we deport you on, but it’s not getting in here.”  Manuel glares at you and focuses on you with a glare that would melt through a battlemech’s armor.
“Well can I go and pick it up?”  Press on in hope of victory…
“No, your passport is out of date.  This planet isn’t under the control of the Free Raselhauge Republic anymore.  You could be a spy with a dead-woman’s papers.  I’d need someone to vouch for you.”
“Well can you call the company that hired me?”  He’s paranoid and dedicated to the pointless minutia of his job but he’s not unreasonable...you hope.  You point behind him.  “Look, I can see you have a phone in there.”
He’s unmoved. “That telephone is for government business only.  I am to stay off the line in case of emergency or invasion.”  He does drop his harsh tone for the next bit.  “But if I were to go on break and close the booth I might have time for a phone call.  Who hired you anyways?"
You’re sure he knows this already, it was on your work visa, but you respond- “

[ ] Shi-Sem Heavy Metal
[ ] Brasilia National Arsenel
[ ] Mextica Martial Industries

.”

You head over to the window to get some shipwatching in.  You can see now that what you had pegged as a Mule is actually one of the fuel-blistered Dromedary class dropships instead-the Hump is fairly distinctive.  The mobile structure, having moved into position is erecting a bunch of cranes and swing arms, and you feel fairly confident in declaring that a mobile gantry.  You don’t know if it’s weatherpoof or air-conditioned, but you’ll bet it’s a damn sight better for working on minor things than most spaceports in the Periphery have.  You can see several figures already climbing the structure to various working stations, while large robotic arms swing out and begin to do something.  It looks like they’re getting ready to pull hull plates, and you almost go back to your carry-on bag for your binoculars when Manuel calls you back to the booth.

“Hey chica!  I got a call for you!”
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Warclaw

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #4 on: 26 October 2015, 18:59:40 »
  • Brasilia National Arsenel

snakespinner

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #5 on: 27 October 2015, 02:16:32 »
I'll go with what Warclaw says.
A Brasilian looks good to me.
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
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Vehrec

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #6 on: 27 October 2015, 14:34:30 »
-Brasilia National Arsenal.  Heavy-industrial corporation, formerly state owned, government maintains 20% of stock in company.  Slightly indebted due to recent industrial expansion and modernization.  Good tank design bureau, no mech experience.  Manufactures T-1 APCs, T-12 Rocket Artillery, T-15 Medium and T-25 Heavy tanks, along with a clone of the Pike Support Vehicle with the Poor Performance negative design quirk.  Factories in Neo Brasilia (HQ), Rio del Plata and Potosi Rico.  Difficulty: Medium.

---

Manuel is gesturing for you to come get your call and you get out of the plastic seat that's been bleached almost white from 300 years of tropical sunlight to come and see what the call is about.  You notice that he's got a cell phone, probably his own, and he holds it a fair distance from his head, the tiny speaker making a somewhat tinny noise.  "It's your new boss."  He hands the phone over and you gape at him for a few seconds before putting the phone to it's intended use and saying hello.

What follows is a brief gruff convesation with the head of human resources that can be easily summarized once you identify yourself.  'Why are you stuck in customs', 'because they won't accept my passport', 'I hired a fixer', 'He's  not here', 'He's fired, I'll get you a new one', 'how long until they get here?', 'Just sit tight, I'm calling my government contacts to get someone down there to get you out.'  And then he hangs up on you, leaving you no choice but to engage in a starring contest with Manuel or go back to the window.  You kill one hour shipwatching, then grab the staring contest baton and go 15 rounds, loosing every single one.  Manuel is a stone-cold bureaucrat who takes no shits from people asking for forms stamped with 20 years on the job.  He's got you beat hands down when it comes to the stare.

It's in the middle of match 83, eyes feeling dry, that you see the figure walking down the hall and you tear your attention away.  He's wearing what must be a military uniform...but you've never seen anyone so puffed up.  The Social General is supposed to be a Lyran ideal, but the man marching towards you, with his white hair and dyed black mustache who must be at least 60 years old, but he radiates such an air of glormless stupidity that you can't really believe it's real.  The uniform he's wearing might look smart on someone else, but on him it just magnifies stupidity tenfold, bringing his vacant eyes and willful determination to get one task done at a time because he's too dumb to multitask into sharp focus.  Here, he steps up to the kiosk with a pompus self assurance that lasts all of three seconds as Manuel takes a glance, double-takes, and bellows for everyone else in the local patois before either you or the man can get a word in edgewise.

The locals tear into the man, berating him in a jumbled up mixture of Spanish and Portuguese and Indonesian that you have been told is the dominant local language.  You have no idea what's going on, but people are waving tickets and shouting about fútbol, all the while heaping shameful invictives on the man who stands stoicly while tears run down his face, attempting to look manly, but mostly just looking...well, shameful.  You manage to pidgeonhole a waitress on the edge of the crowd and she explains what you're missing-this is Raul 'Penultimo' Bambang, the current Minister of Sports, who has taken it upon himself to manage and coach the capital's football team.  Since he had previously been the president's good natured but idiotic buffer against people she didn't want to speak to...  A term in office of five years has been filled with near endless losses for the beloved Chupacabras, and last night a particularly close game was lost because of his direct orders.  Everyone lost money or pride on the game, and are venting their frustrations.

Finally, Penultimo pushes slowly through the crowd, grabs you, and tugs you back to the kiosk, and says that he will be taking you to your hotel for the evening, as an officer of the government.  Manuel stares at him for a moment and then digs out his APPROVED stamp and finally lets you go.  Hated and reviled he might be by the public, but Penultimo is still a Minister, and has his job because of close connections to the local ruler.  You're free to go, and as you walk down the concourse to security to pick up your bags (just two, you are sort of a refugee), you attract a lot of stares and more than one person in the airport side of the building actually spits as your escort passes them. 

[ ] Write In, what will you do?  You're hungry, tired, and a bit manky from your trip.  And how will you get to the hotel-in a taxi, via the Metro, or in 'Penultimo's' ministry car?
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Warclaw

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #7 on: 27 October 2015, 20:22:00 »
"Minister, while I am, of course, grateful for your assistance, and kind offer of transportation, I am sure that such an important person as yourself has many demands upon their time, and I would hate to interfere with your doubtless busy schedule.  I believe I can manage to find my own way to the Hotel, now that the unfortunate misunderstanding back there has been resolved."

Then if he doesn't insist too strenuously on providing a ride, I look for a decent Taxi.  (Assuming my funds permit.)

Vehrec

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #8 on: 28 October 2015, 13:07:38 »
[Rolled 2d6, 5+4= 9, target number 6, FAIL]

The minister blinks at you and then shakes his head.  "Absolutely not!  I cannot allow a visitor to our beautiful and prosperous nation to wander the streets alone after a cold and unfriendly welcome!"  He grabs your hand and pumps it a few times.  "No, no, the season is over and I have given the players their vacations.  I will show you to your hotel, and see to it that you are put in the best room and given the best service."

You feel a sinking feeling as you are first ushered into a waiting car, and then Minister Bambang refuses to take you to the hotel you have a reservation at, instead getting on his phone and calling 'a more sophisticated and enjoyable institution.'  You don't care if the place has joygirls and boys, you just want to get away from this madman at this point.  But even a government Minister is having trouble finding a room today-plenty of people have yet to leave the capital after the big game, so the car drives through first fields of sugarcane, then suburbs, and the city's center is in view before the Minister grabs his driver's shoulder and starts shaking the man. (you're amazed and slightly terrified that he takes this as if it happens all the time)

"1012 Havana Avenue!  Good news, oh most splendid guest of our nation, for I have got you a room at a hotel which is even acceptable by the standards of my beloved El Presidente!  Soon, you shall have only the finest of beds and the warmest of baths to ease you to sleep." Your attempts to convince him that the company won't know where to send your new guide fall on deaf ears.  You seem to be trapped by this madman, with very little you can do.

[ ] Accept that you're going to be spending the night in his idea of a good hotel, and deal with the consequences in the morning?
[ ] Play along and ditch him when you get the chance?
[ ] Get away from the madman as soon as you can, with or without your luggage.
[ ] Write in?
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Warclaw

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #9 on: 28 October 2015, 21:16:32 »
  • Write in?


Take a deep breath, let it out slowly, then smile at the Minister.  "Thank you, Minister, for your very kind efforts on my behalf.  I am sure my new employers will be very happy to show exactly how they feel about your solicitude in this matter."

Once at the hotel, smile and shrug helplessly at the Concierge in an attempt to convey to him that this fiasco was NOT my idea, and that it is all Minister Bambang's doing.  As soon as possible, try to gain access to a telephone, or find some other way to contact my employer and let them know exactly what has happened and beg for rescue from the overdressed idiot.

Vehrec

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #10 on: 29 October 2015, 21:05:49 »
[Target number 8, roll 2d6, 1+6=7, Success!]
The minister swallows it hook, line and sinker, looking both very proud and very unsure what solicitude means.  The plan goes relatively smoothly-the Hotel's staff show you and the minister to a suite that is obviously outside your price range, and the minister gives you a few thousand of the local currency to tip the hotel staff with, even though there is a large NO TIPPING sign on the hotel's desk counter.  Ten minutes of apologies, polite refusals and handing over the key later, you're checked out and back on the street with a little useful advice and about a hundred and fifty C-bills in-pocket from the whole misadventure.

The hotel you actually had a reservation at is thankfully just a half-hour metro ride away, and you can thankfully get exact change in the local Maravedí.  The local currency is fairly weak-almost 20 of them equal a single C-bill.  Paying a whole Maraved for a soda strikes you as a little crazy, but on the flipside, you rationalize that at leas there isn't any change smaller than the one maraved coin.  The lemon-lime softdrink gets you going over the hump and carries you to the second concierge at a much less over the top hotel.  This one is...much less interested and just gives you the key and expects you to find your own room-something you're secretly greatful for.

You are now in a hotel room that has a 2D flatscreen, a bed that's a bit too firm for comfort, a list of takeout restaurants that deliver to rooms, and a shower with tiny bottles of shampoo and slightly flat towels that have probably been washed a couple hundred times.  Still, there are no pests as far as you can see, and nothing stopping you from phoning the company to let them know where you are.  There's a 26 hour day locally, and you're looking at ten hours until you need to wake up tomorrow.

[ ] Shower and turn in.  Work is early tomorrow, and you have to get up at 5:30 to be ready in time for your orientation, tour and to meet the team.  We can watch some news maybe, or do some research, and then get a bad night's sleep on a bed that's a bit too hard for you.
[ ] Shower and head to the bar-you need a drink.  You hear this planet can actually produce Tequilla-you'd like to try some of that.  Rum, you can take or leave, but you get a feeling you'll be taking more than you're normally comfortable with.
[ ] Shower and go clubbing-you haven't been to a nightclub in what feels like months, and you need to party, even if you have work in the morning.
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Warclaw

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #11 on: 29 October 2015, 21:28:26 »
  • Shower and turn in.  Work is early tomorrow, and you have to get up at 5:30 to be ready in time for your orientation, tour and to meet the team.  We can watch some news maybe, or do some research, and then get a bad night's sleep on a bed that's a bit too hard for you.[/i]

    Tired, hungry, dirty, and still irritated by the whole Bambang Idiocy, if I drink anything alcoholic right now I'll fall asleep on the bar before I get the first one down.  I need a shower and something foodlike before falling asleep.  (Hard bed or not, staying awake isn't really an option.  I will, however, grab a HOT shower, and a few ibuprofen before turning in, to hopefully avoid being TOO stiff in the A.M.)

Kitsune413

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #12 on: 29 October 2015, 21:32:11 »
hmm
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Vehrec

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #13 on: 30 October 2015, 13:48:43 »
hmm
  That's not a choice, it's not even a write-in!
---
You elect to review your situation, your benefits, and your new job before you head to sleep and while you're waiting for your hair to finish air-drying and your take-out delivery to arrive.  The planetary government has fairly comprehensive social welfare programs-you're already entitled to a basic ration, free basic health care, and a free, if somewhat dubious apartment.  Better housing and food come out of your paycheck-and if you want to eat something other than rice, beans and tortillas, you might want to buy that food.  Housing looks similar-if you want six roommates and one bathroom for an entire floor, the free option is fine-everything better is paid for.  Thankfully, the medical front actually looks pretty good-you even have a private insurance through the new job that will cover a lot of optional things-even some plastic surgery!  You'll need to get a local bank account and other paperwork sorted to actually start claiming some of these things, but eating and living fairly well on your new income should be easy.

You aren't sure exactly what you eat that night, but it has fish, shrimp, tomatoes and coconut.  The bed is...well, you're not exactly sleeping comfortably-several times you wake up and attempt to punch it softer, but the mattress remains stubbornly firm.  Your friends always did joke about you sleeping on a feather-bed, but you have to admit they had a point.  By morning you're not well rested.  But at least you're rested, dressed and meeting your fixer-a dull girl, not much of a conversationalist-and ready for the hour-long drive through city traffic to the factory campus.  The factory and headquarters is a sprawling compound on the far side of the city, so the drive gives you time to take in the scenery, which you're pretty sure was intended.

The dawn light plays over the skyline, revealing a jumble of new and old.  All the tallest buildings are Star league vintage, 'overaw local primitives standard designs'.  Most of them are cold and empty frames, their windows and presumeably furnishings looted long ago for other purposes.  A few though are refurbished and redone in a new style-certainly, no Star League aesthetic you've ever seen included that eye-searing shades of yellow and green adorning one building, or the red and purple on the next one offset by gold-tinted glass.  Color is a thing the locals love though-you scarcely see one building that isn't giving at least one wall to a mural, or painted in a bright primary shade.  Even the giant glass pyramid that you drive by has different tints of glass placed on it's surface to create a interesting visual pattern.

The compound itself is surrounded by a 4 meter fence, and has a small display of tanks out front.  Most of them are old and obviously primitive designs, but the two at the end look like they have at least standard composite armor instead of the normal mild steel most domestic Periphery designs make do with.  Meeting you when you arrive are two men-one young, with a marketing executive's practiced smile, one old and somewhat fat, who looks down his nose at you who is introduced as 'our company's chief designer for 30 years, Domingos Sanjiv'.  Mr. Sanjiv explains in his own clipped words starting as a boy running errands for the designers, and working his way up without a day of formal education beyond the sixth grade.  The fact that his latest model of tank uses a fusion engine is a sign of his own skill at self-education.

The tour of the production facilities, while not impressive, is encouraging.  You eyeball their homegrown fusion plant at a nice round 240, a solid design spec, if not particularly novel.  It's also the only model they produce currently, and you get a feeling that at least one of your first jobs will be to make a Mech that can use it.  The local autocannon are 40nn and 70mm, unimaginative brutalist designs that are probably over-engineered because of deficiencies in materials.  A SRM system also features, as well as some old-fashioned one-shot rocket tubes on their wheeled APC which is apparently still in production to equip militia despite it's being the oldest design they still make.  The factory itself is a nice assembly line, but it's less impressive than the one next door.  The floor space there is clean and cleared out, a blank cement sheet for new developments.  The only clue as to it's purpose is the ten bays along one wall.  Ten Mech bays, with robotic arms rigged to a overhead rail system that look designed to move across a production area, pick up components, and assemble them into a Battlemech.  It's still unfinished-packing material is shoved into a corner-but the bays at least are solid, very respectable designs.  Just 40 years ago, this would have been a start-up operation whose opening would have made headlines across the Inner Sphere, more for implications than for actual production figures.

The offices at the Campus aren't shabby either-R&D department has some sort of laser on a test platform when you meet them at the labs, and they shake your hand all around the labs.  You get a promise of more toys to play with than what you saw on the factory floor before you're whisked off to meet the design office.  Most of them are working on a medium tank when you arrive, but before you get a good look, computer screens are switched off and you get an enthusiastic welcome.  Most of them are suitably impressed by your credentials and you get the feeling that you've got some smart people here-no geniuses, nobody who's exactly Banzai, but good co-workers.  The computers look like they're running standard CAD software, no frills, no bells and whistles, but good stuff.  While talking to them you expound a bit on your best achievement-

[ ] You helped design a XL engine-a test stand model, but you have hands-on experience with advanced technology.
[ ] You got your hands dirty and rebuilt a Panther that had been written off as scrap-and re-rigged it's power supply to feed a large laser and a pair of mediums.
[ ] Your class got experience moving from concept to test article-though the ultra-light prototype you were working with had neither armor nor weapons.
[ ] You spent your six months 'real world' at an Industrialmech factory re-designing the factory's layout to improve output, and estimated a 20% increase in production.


After that, everyone breaks for lunch-and you get taken asside by the exec.  It seems that they're interviewing candidates for the design team you're going to be in charge of-under supervision of course, but you're the only trained Mech-Engineer they have.    But they're also holding a meeting on the design specifications the local government is calling for, and if you want to clarify what you're here to do, that's going to be where you'll need to be.

[ ] I need to have a say in who's on my team first.
[ ] I need to know what I need to build first.
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Warclaw

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #14 on: 30 October 2015, 16:21:16 »
You got your hands dirty and rebuilt a Panther that had been written off as scrap-and re-rigged it's power supply to feed a large laser and a pair of mediums.

Not glamorous, but showcases the "Waste Nothing" philosophy I prefer, and also shows that I am familiar with the sort of work-arounds and improvisations that a new design often requires during the initial phases of development.  It may not have all the bells and whistles, or sport the latest cutting-edge tech, but for a new, periphery based operation, they could do worse than "Solid and reliable".

I need to know what I need to build first.

Design objectives will play a big factor in team selection.  For example: If they want a close range brawler-mech, a LRM weapons tech won't be much use.

Vehrec

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #15 on: 01 November 2015, 01:29:43 »
You got your hands dirty and rebuilt a Panther that had been written off as scrap-and re-rigged it's power supply to feed a large laser and a pair of mediums.
Life Path selection Confirmed: add one standard and two bonus character features:
Weapons Maestro:  You have an affinity for systems that make things go boom, zap, and pschooo.  You can more easily add positive quirks that relate to weapons.
Refit Madness:  Existing designs are putty in your hands.  You are more likely to succeed at attempts to refit an existing design into a new configuration.
Cool It:  You intuitively understand the flow of heat from system to system and through the coolant lines that riddle any good mech.

Quote
I need to know what I need to build first.

Design objectives will play a big factor in team selection.  For example: If they want a close range brawler-mech, a LRM weapons tech won't be much use.


There's just enough time to take care of some critical business before the meeting-they take your retina, your fingerprints and your picture and print you an ID badge that says "Mech Design Team Leader" on it even though the team doesn't exist yet.  You take a moment to wipe lint and dirt off your best clothes, and get your makeup just so-it gets hot here and you sweat hard enough in the trips between buildings to need touch-ups.  And then it's showtime-Two generals, the vice presidents of financial, Marketing, production, R&D, sub-assembly (aka the people who make parts), and the COO, with you as one of the two representatives of the design house.

You think you loose consciousness when the general on the left, a younger man than his companion, opens with the phrase "one point six billion Maravedí per year" for a procurement budget-and a generous outlay over and beyond that in the first two years for factory construction and expansion?  You somehow manage to take notes however, and when you come to, have filled a page with unhelpful comments about how wide-open some of the design requirements are.  'Assault a dropship?'  What kind?  A union or a Behemoth? 

This is definitely a time to ask some pointed questions.  But about What?  (Select up to three)

[ ] Project 49 Write In.
[ ] Project 54  Write In.
[ ] Project 57 Write In.
[ ] Project 60 Write In.
[ ] Project 61 Write In.
[ ] Project 64 Write In.
« Last Edit: 01 November 2015, 11:11:29 by Vehrec »
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Daryk

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #16 on: 01 November 2015, 14:34:52 »
*snip*
[ ] Project 57 Write In.

OOC: I'm just here for the Blazer Cannons, and I don't want to step on Warclaw, so I'm only going to post one question...

IC:

Idly doodling in the margins of her notes, Minako suddenly looked up at the R&D team.  Waiting for an opening in the conversation, she asked, "I see you've almost finished development of an 8cm laser... do you think you could strap two of those cores together into a proper Blazer Cannon?  The Lyrans and everyone else have been working on them for years.  It would be the perfect centerpiece for a project 57 design I have in mind, and be quite the surprise for any pirates foolish enough to raid us."

Warclaw

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #17 on: 01 November 2015, 16:05:55 »
After a short pause to gather her thoughts, Minako spoke softly.  "I have a few questions and comments, both in general and specific to the projects outlined."

"Firstly, I'll need a list of all locally produced components, to include engines, heat sinks, armor, electronics, and structural pieces.  I have a preliminary weapons list, but if someone could make sure I get a list of those as well?  And to be clear, the list should include items not yet made locally, but which local capacity and capability exists for.  For example, I note that you already produce a 240 rated fusion engine.  Useful indeed, and likely one which will find use at some point in the mech program.  However, is this the only one available locally?  Can larger or smaller be constructed here, or would we have to look elsewhere for anything other than that?  As well, you make a solid line of standard Autocannons...does the capability exist here to manufacture their slightly more advanced light  versions?"

"Secondly, I will also need a list of any and all components for which you have a good supplier available, that you cannot currently construct, especially advanced technologies."

"Thirdly, do you have any contacts in the Inner Sphere salvage and secondary markets?  The reason I ask, is that certain older designs, having become surplus to needs as newer units are designed and replace them, are now often available at bargain prices, especially those who have been stripped down to the bare frame and their components reallocated.  If we were to acquire a number of those surplus frames, it could speed the project up considerably, as well as cut costs, at least for the initial manufacturing runs."

"As for the specific projects....Would you object to combining projects 57 and 61?  A common base unit, varying primarily in weapons load-out, would save quite a bit both in design phase, and after deployment by way of simplifying logistics, and training requirements for the support staff."

"I have a few initial ideas for the project 49 mech, but I'll have a better idea what is possible, once you get me the lists of available components.  The only major question I have there is which of the two listed intended uses is to be primary?  Anti-Infantry or Anti-vehicle/mech?  If it were totally my choice I would suggest anti-vehicular, as the best anti-infantry units still remain other infantry."

"Projects 54 and 60, we might also be able to combine, depending again on available components.  I believe an upper end light mech might just be what we need there...the Large Laser that's in development would be VERY helpful for the project 60 side of things, but we'll have to see, once we get into the fine details."

Vehrec

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #18 on: 01 November 2015, 17:28:11 »
((Wow, okay.  That's more questions than I asked for, and they're mostly for things that aren't related to the meeting.  Nobody is going to bother to list all the structural components available at this sort of thing, primarily because that's not relevant to the roles of the mechs and the subject matter of the meeting.  To say nothing of the impossibility of getting Light ACs onto the battlefront when those haven't been developed yet.  And you can't steer the R&D department directly-yours is only one of several hands on the tiller there, and while you can make suggestions and politic and campaign for your pet projects, you can't control when those projects get approval for development or how long those projects take.

I'll use your questions as a jumping off point for writing the next bit, but for the big list of parts all I can say is hurry up and wait. As for questions, with four of them on the board to ask about, I'll need a tie-breaker vote as to what questions to use here.  If I don't get one by tomorrow, I'll go ahead and pick randomly.))
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Warclaw

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #19 on: 01 November 2015, 18:06:58 »
OOC:

Minako didn't expect anyone to have a list handy.  She was just hoping someone would forward it to her AFTER the meeting. 

As for the Light AC's, sorry, I guess I got the dates mixed up.  To be clear in the future, what date are we looking at for in-character interaction?

The other questions...I guess the biggest thing she'd want to know is priorities.  With the resources outlined so far, she believes they have the beginnings of a project for ONE of the projects in question.  She might not have worded it well, (She's an engineering wonk, not a PR person) but she WAS trying to find a way to let them have more than one project's benefits without too much extra cost.

Daryk

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #20 on: 01 November 2015, 18:19:28 »
OOC: Campaigning for Blazer Cannon design has to start somewhere, and I figured tying it to a specific project would be the best way.  Also, how hard is that 4M C-Bill limit?  If it's absolute, I don't see a way for anything beyond Project 57 to come in under budget.  Assault mechs start at about 6M minimum.

Warclaw: I like the way you proposed combining projects to save money, and want to make sure your first and third questions are in the three that get answered.  As for Project 49, would you rather have that answer, or go for broke on maybe getting Blazer Cannons in?  If we make progress there, it might be worth pursuing Artillery Cannons later.  I can't think of a better DropShip/fortification cracker than a snub nosed Long Tom (which would also get around the "kiting" issue cited in the design specs for Project 64, the only problem being the 9-10M needed per mech to carry the darn thing).

Vehrec

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #21 on: 01 November 2015, 20:02:26 »
To clarify, this is all set right after the first phase of the clan invasion-the year of Peace is over, the battles of Luthien and Tuyakid have yet to be fought, and this far out in the periphery, without an HPG (even if the planet had one it would be useless since there's no planet within 50 light years with one), the information available on the invaders is very shaky.  A few fragmentary battle-ROMs, that's about all the information that has reached this planet intact.

As for the cost limit, that's an average price point.  A few lances of light mechs save up enough money to put a true Assault in the field-think of it like this.  If you want to build up a mech regiment on a fixed budget, you don't specify weight or speed or weapons.  You specify your budget and your target numbers, and you go from there.  Dividing the eventual size of a mech regiment by 100+ mechs, you get the 4 million per mech figure.  That money is itself spread out over a 5 year period, so you also get a production target-at least 20 mechs per year.  Of course, wrinkles crop up immediately when you consider things like serial production efficiency lowering costs, or the inevitable spool up effect that means that the Mechs might actually be delivered in a fashion like 0-5-15-25-55.  Excess might be salable on the open market-or you might get an export ban slapped on your top secret military technology.  The flipside is that imports are expensive out here in the Periphery-you cannot licence a part without paying royalties to the parent company to the tune of ten to twenty percent cost on average, and you can't import things bought on the open market without a 50% flat mark-up in the cost of everything.  Importing a Vlar 300XL is gonna cost 3.6 million C-bills, not 2.4 million-and that's dependant on finding one in the first place.  PPCs cross the border with the merchant pocketing a cool 100k extra.  And so on.  So you can import advanced tech if it's absolutely essential, but the costs spiral out of the military's pocketbook, so an ultra-efficent and high-tech mech might be turned down no matter how impressive it's capabilities are.
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Daryk

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #22 on: 01 November 2015, 20:47:36 »
OOC: Awesome!  It looks to me we're perfectly positioned to design mechs like the original 3025 set, (i.e., with half the heat sinks they need on the premise we'll get doubles someday... yet more impetus for Blazer Cannons!).

Vehrec

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #23 on: 01 November 2015, 21:19:31 »
You guys don't need to preface your commentary with OOC you know.  It's perfectly obvious what's IC and what's  OOC; the only genuine 100% pure IC bits are in my posts, even if I occassionally steal bits from you guys :D
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Daryk

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #24 on: 01 November 2015, 21:54:11 »
Sorry... old habit from gaming online for so long.  Honestly, it'll be strange not doing it, but it's your game.

Vehrec

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #25 on: 02 November 2015, 14:29:22 »
[Question triage mode: Random.  Questions 2, 3, and 4 selected.]

You hesitantly raise a few points near the end of the discussion.  "I've got a few short questions for the generals.  Is the emphasis for Project 49 on anti-infantry or anti-vehicle capability?  You have both noted, but you don't clarify which one you would prefer..."

The two generals look at each other, judging each other.  They hesitate a bit before answering.  The older one, Federov with his richly mutton-chopped face, goes first.  "We... believe that a pair of 20mm machine guns will be useful in either role.  As effective as infantry and artillery are at killing men, we believe that at least keeping them pinned down should be worth the investment of weight.  We anticipate that it will primarily be used for exploitation missions or as a milita unit.  Short range missiles will provide adequate punch on the battlefield, and can use alternative types of ammunition to good effect." 

Then general Rodriguez, short-bearded and younger, cuts in. "That said, many military vehicles and even Mechs we face have to make do with inferior armor.  Which is why we wish to explore the possibilities of the Large Laser delivering an instant knock-out to such units.  We still have to determine our final requirements.  Missile launchers may increase upkeep costs-"

"That discussion can be carried out later.  You said you had other questions?"  The muttonchopped general looks at you and frowns.  "Who is this girl in any case?  Did you hire one of those Comstar fools to help you?  I detest those jumped up water floridators."

You have no idea why he thinks you're from Comstar, but you think he's one of those types who believes the most ridiculous rumors about people adding drugs to the water to keep the populace pacified...though come to think of it the Combine actually did do that in your grandpa's day.  "Minako Rauito sir.  I'm from the Free Rasselhauge Republic originally."  You gather steam for your next question.  "How about...consolidation?  We can possibly reduce the number of designs.  Project 57 and 61 might be compatible enough to use a single engine and chasis for both of them."

The generals share another look, this one much less long.  "We have no objections to design commonalities.  However, we had envisaged the Project 61 as something like a Catapult or Archer.  A Trebuchet-like design would probably not be objectionable, but we wish to discourage allowing the number of tubes to drop below...25."

"Thirty.  He means Thirty."  The younger general hastens to interject.  "The effectiveness of light indirect fire is questionable at best.  A strong thrust is needed to defeat the enemy from afar, and the lackluster firepower of a Whitworth or Dervish will not do."  His 'friend' glares at him strongly but doesn't contradict him openly.

"Yes, thank you, I think I can see a way forward perhaps..."  You hurriedly paper over the obvious fracture in the military and push on.  "Lastly, on a related note, can we perhaps also consolidate our light scout and our light-mech hunter?  I believe there might be a sweet spot between thirty and forty tons-"

The older general cuts you off with a wave of his hand.  "We do not particularly care about the particulars of the scout design so you are free to submit whatever you like so long as it can use our new remote sensor systems and reach a speed of at least 100 kilometers per hour.  We do appreciate cost savings however, and look forward to whatever you can present."  That seems to be a signal that the meeting is over, and five minutes later you've shaken hands with everyone and left the conference room with your escort.

The day still has a few hours left before your first workday is over.  You need to decide how to use it, before someone else decides how to use it for you.

[ ] Head back to the design offices to socialize and make some friends.
[ ] Head down to R&D to talk to them.
[ ] Find your boss Mr. Sanjiv, and find out how the interviews for your own team are going.
[ ] Head to your office and fire up the computer, it's time to review lists and spreadsheets and maybe fire up some CAD programs for a first-pass at one of the projects.
[ ] Write in?
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Daryk

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #26 on: 02 November 2015, 17:02:11 »
I'd still like to ask R&D about the Blazer Cannon idea, but don't see that taking much time, so there should be enough room for whatever else Warclaw wants to do.

Warclaw

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #27 on: 02 November 2015, 18:49:53 »
X Head to your office and fire up the computer, it's time to review lists and spreadsheets and maybe fire up some CAD programs for a first-pass at one of the projects.

Minako barely noted her escort as she headed to her brand new office.  Socializing was for off-hours, and R&D would likely be in the middle of their own work at this point.  Better to schedule a meeting with them in a day or so and give them time to pull together the information in a coherent presentation.  And as for the design team hiring, Mr. Sanjiv seemed to have that well under control for the moment.  But she'd have to check in with him tomorrow morning, to see how things were going.

Now however, there was designing to do!

Slipping behind her desk, she absently started her computer and started calling up specs and availability charts.  "So let's see...locally sourced components primary...average budget target of four million...ok....I can do this!"

Six hours later she looked up from her work-station to realize that the outside was dark, and she'd worked well past closing time once again.  She shrugged, back in school she was infamous for getting lost in a tricky problem and burning the candle at both ends.  What was important was that she just MIGHT have a handle on things.

 The notes were rough, and would certainly require many hours of refinement to turn them into anything close to reality, but she at least had a starting point!

@Vehrec: I'll send you what I have in mind via PM.  No fluff yet, but...

Vehrec

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #28 on: 03 November 2015, 16:16:46 »
You say your good-byes politely and then strike while the iron is hot. the office is so new your chair is still covered in plastic, and you don't even bother to remove the stuff before getting to work.  You treachers always told you to go wild in the 'coarse' design phase-if someone asks for a light mech with SRMs, you give them everything between 20 and 40 tons, and as many or as few tubes as you can get on the design.  Right now, you start with the low-hanging fruit in the 40 and 60 ton areas.  There's a lot of other potential designs, but for something that will take a minimum of work, these seem like good starting points.  You don't bother with even the putting of things inside the frames, you just work with weight at first, piling up internal structure, gyros and cockpit, always rounding up, and get several functional 'piles of parts'.  There's nothing fine about this, you're just slamming down concept after concept as fast as you can, getting them out of your head so that later triage can tell you what works and what fails.

You're a good three hours into a design fugue when a large hand clamps down on your shoulder and you look up into the face of your boss.  "You have ideas, but it's time to go.  Come, we're not paying you overtime.  It's nearly sundown."  You briefly consider telling him to let you stay behind, but you realize that with the offices being closed, you might get locked in for the night.  Saving your design...scribbles, you suppose, you follow him out of the office into a nearly deserted street, most of the workers having already gone home.

[ ] Ask for advice?  He's got a lot of real-world experience, and knows the local movers and shakers.
[ ] Ask how interviews went?  Might be good to know who you'll be working with.
[ ] Ask for advice on where to get coffee and lunch?  Lunch breaks are serious, two hour affairs here.  Though that might be just to find something to do in the 13th hour of the clock.
[ ] Say nothing, head for the metro and your hotel room.
[ ] Write In?
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Warclaw

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Re: 'Mech Engineer Quest
« Reply #29 on: 03 November 2015, 22:30:24 »
[ ] Ask for advice on where to get coffee and lunch?  Lunch breaks are serious, two hour affairs here.  Though that might be just to find something to do in the 13th hour of the clock.

 

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