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Author Topic: Recharge Stations Discussion  (Read 1050 times)

rogueranger1993

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Recharge Stations Discussion
« on: 12 February 2019, 18:52:11 »
Now that I'm finally running a BattleTech RPG game after nearly four years of having literally NO ONE to play ANY games with, I'm finding myself wanting to explore some aspects of the BTU more deeply than I have before, and it's really quite a thrilling experience for me - especially since I've already learned quite a lot from my question about DropShip life.  :)

In any case, this is the first of three threads I'm starting, to discuss satellites, recharging stations, and high ports/trade stations. This post will focus on the discussion of recharge stations.

So, question number one: just how common are recharge stations, and if you have issues with the canon info, how common do you think they really should be?

Recharge stations are especially useful over in star systems with long recharge times, generally more than 175 hours - if the star can charge a JumpShip's KF drive in under that time period, then there isn't a lot of use in having a recharge station there, since you would just be risking drive damage if you used it when the star would charge you just as fast without that risk (at least as far as I can tell, others should feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). As a result, I can see practically every star with a charge period of more than 175 hours having a recharge station to help speed up the pace of interstellar travel as much as possible, and they would be less common in systems that will charge a KF drive in 175 hours or less.

I also think that the Inner Sphere's network of recharge stations would have very likely survived the first two Succession Wars mostly intact, and some fluff I've read seems to support this. Basically, recharge stations provide a massive benefit to ANYONE who can use them - and that includes invading forces. As such, invaders are much less likely to destroy recharge stations because the stations are more useful in functional condition then they are as tiny bits of space junk. Also, the stations are primarily civilian in nature (not that such a distinction would stop some 1-2SW commanders...), and would likely surrender in the face of any hostile action. Oh sure, the stations are armed with an array of popguns for 'self-defense', but I see that as mostly a kind of anti-pirate defense - against a real invasion force, the station's crew is very likely just going to say 'nope, not my problem!', and surrender forthwith.

Now, onto another matter that bugs me - the size and types of recharge stations. In the DropShip TROs (D&S and TRO:3057r), we are given a single class of recharge station - the Olympus - and are told that it is the most common type of recharge station in the Inner Sphere. After seeing the Light Recharge Station designed by Vehrec, I got thinking about the different classes of recharge station that might exist. For basic recharge stations, I can see three tiers being sensible; a light station for systems that don't see a lot of traffic, a medium station for regular traffic levels, and a large station for busy trade hubs and major worlds. I originally wanted to consider the Olympus as the largest station, but after seeing some other fan designs I'd probably make it the Medium-class station. I'd then use a variant of Verhec's Light Recharge Station as the Light-class station, and I think something like JA Baker's Arcology class Space Station being the Large-class facility.

So, any thoughts, comments, etc?

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Maelwys

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #1 on: 13 February 2019, 02:08:36 »
Its pretty hit or miss just how many there are. The TRO says "Many" but they seem kind of hit or miss in the fluff, or atleast that's how it always seems to me.

Like JumpShips, they seem to fall into a standard generic pattern, rather than having faction-specific variants, though with 150k in cargo tonnage, it wouldn't surprise me if the insides of the various stations were different.

Elmoth

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #2 on: 13 February 2019, 04:45:08 »
There is around 2000-2500 inhabited systems in the inner sphere and near periphery. "Many" might mean 500 stations or 2000. Core worldss, the ones that equate thje tech of Blade reunner, Cyberpunk and the like, there might be several at each point if they have enough traffic. Hoewver, I would be surprised if this is a common feature.

Korzon77

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #3 on: 13 February 2019, 05:17:14 »
I think one possible design would be a fully automated system-- the recharging process appears to be largely electronic, so in low traffic systems, it would make sense to not build a station that required an expensive and easily bored staff.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #4 on: 13 February 2019, 07:18:28 »
FASANOMICs disclaimer. 

As I understand it almost no planet (there are a half dozen exceptions I can think of) in BT is wholly dependent on interstellar goods.  The only things worth exporting most of the time are luxury goods and high end tech that cannot be made locally (and is likely fed into another process).  Most BT world's are so insignificant that they warrant a dropship maybe once a year (and it's probably a carnival when it comes into town) so there's rarely a reason to hurry with a recharge (which likely costs you something)

With that said a recharge station is not very economic on most worlds.  I think that each successor state might warrant one express jump route for priority travel across the realm and it's likely serviced by the rare Star Lord and Monolith Jumpships with hubs that feed the other bus routes that feed Merchants and Invaders (the Jumpships)

What Battletech does need is a Jumpships with recharge gear for military campaigns that can be moved and support the jumpers carrying your soldiers
« Last Edit: 13 February 2019, 08:43:17 by AlphaMirage »

Maelwys

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #5 on: 13 February 2019, 09:16:19 »
Its pretty hit or miss just how many there are. The TRO says "Many" but they seem kind of hit or miss in the fluff, or atleast that's how it always seems to me.

Like JumpShips, they seem to fall into a standard generic pattern, rather than having faction-specific variants, though with 150k in cargo tonnage, it wouldn't surprise me if the insides of the various stations were vastly different.

Wotan

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #6 on: 13 February 2019, 09:49:04 »
In several publications we have hard facts for recharge stations in specific systems (or the lack of). Most systems don't have recharge stations and if so then only one station either at the Nadir or Zenith, with only the most industrial worlds having stations on both jump points.
I haven't seen anyone collecting all the given information to create an overview of existing recharge stations. But that would be interesting ...

abou

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #7 on: 13 February 2019, 10:53:37 »
I would say take advantage of the lack of printed information.

If:
a. there is no data on the planet stating no recharge station
b. it is not a border world that would have been hit hard in the 1st or 2nd SW
c. it is industrialized
d. it helps the story you are trying to tell without being a deus ex machina

Then have a recharge station.

Matti

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #8 on: 13 February 2019, 11:31:09 »
If you know from beforehand where your campaign takes a place (and when), you can study the appropriate material and see from there. I just opened up House Steiner PDF, and more than half of the listed worlds under A BRIEF ATLAS have at least 1 recharge station, and Carse has 3. So if you plan your RPG campaign to take a place in Lyran Commonwealth in 3025, this book/PDF is the way to go in several ways.
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Wotan

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #9 on: 13 February 2019, 16:42:01 »
I just opened up House Steiner PDF, and more than half of the listed worlds under A BRIEF ATLAS have at least 1 recharge station, and Carse has 3.

This ratio might mislead you in total numbers per inhabited system. That atlas only shows the most distinctive worlds at that time. Most systems are not listed as they are not important enough. Very likely the ratio on that systems is lower.

Zinmar

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #10 on: 17 February 2019, 20:33:40 »
I haven't been able to locate those recharge stations you mentioned. Could someone please post a link to them?

cray

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #11 on: 17 February 2019, 20:37:38 »
I haven't been able to locate those recharge stations you mentioned. Could someone please post a link to them?

What sort of recharge station data do you want? Their presence or absence is noted on every planetary description, which is pretty widely scattered. If you want some brief stats and details then the classic recharge station is the Olympus:
http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Olympus
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Colt Ward

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #12 on: 18 February 2019, 13:46:46 »
What sort of recharge station data do you want? Their presence or absence is noted on every planetary description, which is pretty widely scattered. If you want some brief stats and details then the classic recharge station is the Olympus:
http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Olympus

The post Jihad Objective series lists them for the worlds in the PDF, which is important b/c they should be world that would be pivotal in any campaign.

As far as how many DS a planet see in a year on average?  It all depends, and I think AlphaMirage's post could have been at the lowest point of 3SW but since Helm its gone back up IMO.  Part of the problem is, drop collar count and the tiny tonnage each DS lifts are the bottlenecks for transport of anything in BTU.  So if you analyze the numbers, then you get a shipping model like the East Indies trade-  ships traveling long distances over weeks or months only moving the most valuable items, so low mass/bulk to high value.  Things like spices, rare luxury foods (Palos champagne/wine, Kincha fruit), and data will be the most frequent things ship by interstellar means.  Intersystem traffic can be accomplished by both dropships & small craft and will supply any outposts offplanet or move refined materials to factories.  Some systems will require that sort of traffic- Kimball (II is pop center, VI mining planet) and Niops (3 worlds) come to mind though more do exist.

But the novels & fiction as written support a modern bulk/supercargo shipping model where everything gets shipped between worlds, from bulk materials to finished goods (Achernar in A Call to Arms) moving between worlds.  Later in the MWDA series, there is part of a story about a tug-type DS (Elephant or Octopus, do not recall) that worked a trans-shipment station (maybe recharge?) and chased down a rogue container which had finished goods from several jumps into the League in a Republic system.

Double Blind also described a station (maybe recharge) where the League performed customs work and provided a place for cargo to be swapped.  The mercs had sabotage attempted while in the Duchy of Andurien but it alluded to other JS & DS cycling through there while the MoC JS was held.  The scout/snooper also traveled a trade route out to Roma, changing JS/DS several times as he tried to get to a system that was having its traffic re-routed.
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #13 on: 18 February 2019, 23:50:45 »
Solid post above Colt.  Post Helm Core I could see added capacity that might (over 20-30 years probably) increase that once a year to once every four months.  I don't think they would be carrying data though but experts to increase the productivity of these marginal worlds.  Also I could theorize as tech gets better and life less harsh that extra dropship capacity would carry people looking for new opportunities in the "frontier" as the world matures like railroad towns of the past.
« Last Edit: 19 February 2019, 06:55:06 by AlphaMirage »

Colt Ward

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #14 on: 19 February 2019, 00:38:35 »
When I meant data, it was more along the lines of mail for worlds that are not on the HPG net- ComStar kept a fleet for that purpose after all.  As well as transporting the latest Solaris fights (Warrior Trilogy discusses that), Immortal Warrior or the Lyran version of TMZ (Who is wearing what to Valhalla?  OMG, look a Kym Cardassian!)
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cray

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #15 on: 19 February 2019, 06:29:47 »
Post Hell Core I could see...

"Hell core." That would make an awesome new scenario. ;)

"Underneath the pyramids of Vega, archaeologists found a memory core. During the last days of the Jihad, desperate Word of Blake researchers conducted experiments too blasphemous to imagine and, before they were overrun, hid their research where they hoped no one could ever find it.

"Now the player characters and their BattleMechs must stop a force unlike any ever seen in the Inner Sphere..."


(Sorry for the threadjack.)
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

**"A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything." --Wash, Firefly.
**"Well, the first class name [for pocket WarShips]: 'Ship with delusions of grandeur that is going to evaporate 3.1 seconds after coming into NPPC range' tended to cause morale problems...." --Korzon77
**"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading." --Thomas Jefferson, or not

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #16 on: 19 February 2019, 06:53:24 »
Autocorrect why I don't like using the cell when posting

Also well if you're following my Katherine AU Price of Victory well you have an idea of what the Blakists have on Mars.  Mwahaha
« Last Edit: 19 February 2019, 06:56:55 by AlphaMirage »

Colt Ward

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #17 on: 19 February 2019, 11:05:27 »
"Hell core." That would make an awesome new scenario. ;)

"Underneath the pyramids of Vega, archaeologists found a memory core. During the last days of the Jihad, desperate Word of Blake researchers conducted experiments too blasphemous to imagine and, before they were overrun, hid their research where they hoped no one could ever find it.

"Now the player characters and their BattleMechs must stop a force unlike any ever seen in the Inner Sphere..."


(Sorry for the threadjack.)

Necromo turned up to 11 huh?

https://www.vaughnheppner.com/doom-star with mechwarriors being turned into the controlling computers (like the cyborgs) for a army of mechs.  Might be more Society than Word of Blake . . . unless Blakist LoM/ROM kidnapped a bunch of Society scientists they found involved in those projects while spying on the Homeworlds and setting up the caches.
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rogueranger1993

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #18 on: 22 February 2019, 15:52:43 »
LOL, those 'Hell Core' scenarios made me laugh.

I like the suggestion of generic stations that are used by all of the States, rather than individual designs. What I was implying was that I can see a role for three types of generic recharge station - a light, medium, and heavy. I would see the light station being used in out of the way systems that don't get a lot of traffic, and therefore don't need to have more than one or two batteries. The medium class would be the most common type of station, used in systems with a moderate amount of industrialization and traffic. The heavy class (which may or may not be the Olympus) would be the largest station, used only at major trading hubs. That way, you can tailor the type of recharge facilities to the system and traffic you're using it for, so that you don't have to plop down an Olympus in a system where you need a station, but don't need the full capabilities of an Olympus.

Zinmar, I was unaware that the stations I referenced were no longer on the forums (or maybe they are and the search function is being funky about it, I've had that problem myself a few times). I have them from a pretty long time ago, back when I was first on the forums (I'm pretty sure I had a different account back then, too, but I lost it IIRC...). I'll attach the stats, I just copied them from the original posts and put them in a .docx file. The Jackalope light recharge station was designed by Vehrec, and the Arcology was built by JA Baker.

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skiltao

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #19 on: 22 February 2019, 21:58:22 »
For what it's worth, the original setting had an overall ratio in the neighborhood of

1 recharge battery : 2 JumpShips : 500 million people.

At the time, that meant about 170 stations concentrated in 119 of the busiest systems. Smaller stations could make sense in some areas, but the busiest systems are probably being underserved, so you're unlikely to find a bunch of slower areas being overserved.
« Last Edit: 22 February 2019, 22:00:56 by skiltao »
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rogueranger1993

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #20 on: 23 February 2019, 22:46:24 »
I just want to comment on Skiltao's post, and the numbers he provided.

We know that StratOps tells us that the number of JumpShips in the Inner Sphere during the 3SW is much larger than noted in DS&JS. The lowest number is roughly 20,000 JumpShips, so we'll use that to do the calculations.

Using the ratio of 1 battery:2 JumpShips, and knowing that each Olympus (the only canon recharge station) has 8 batteries, we get the following formula: (20,000 / 2) / 8 = 1,250.

That means that if we stick to the old ration, there are roughly 1,250 Olympus Recharge Stations in the Inner Sphere - that's an average of one recharge station for every two planets, though systems with two or more stations will lead to the number of worlds droping some. Overall, that seems pretty fair, and I think I'll use that number for my own headcanon in future. Great discussion guys!

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2. The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
3. Always remember that your weapon was built by the lowest bidder.
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idea weenie

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #21 on: 26 February 2019, 23:53:25 »
I like the suggestion of generic stations that are used by all of the States, rather than individual designs. What I was implying was that I can see a role for three types of generic recharge station - a light, medium, and heavy. I would see the light station being used in out of the way systems that don't get a lot of traffic, and therefore don't need to have more than one or two batteries. The medium class would be the most common type of station, used in systems with a moderate amount of industrialization and traffic. The heavy class (which may or may not be the Olympus) would be the largest station, used only at major trading hubs. That way, you can tailor the type of recharge facilities to the system and traffic you're using it for, so that you don't have to plop down an Olympus in a system where you need a station, but don't need the full capabilities of an Olympus.

The other option might be putting multiple light recharge stations if you need more capacity.  Instead of sticking all your recharge capacity on one station at one of the Jump points, you have multiple stations, divided between the two locations.

It simplifies support, design, maintenance, and allows Comstar an excuse of 'we can't build the larger ones due to the House Lords having blown up the factories that held the plans, but we can still build the smaller ones'.

Pity about recharge batteries being 100 ktons each, otherwise I'd want to design a station that could be carried on a Dropship Hardpoint.  At that point you might as well design a larger station with multiple 100 kton 'cargo' spaces, representing where the (assembled) batteries will go.

RifleMech

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #22 on: 03 March 2019, 00:10:43 »
I think. There's a wide variety of recharge stations. Although not as many as there used to be. There ability to speed an army on its way would have made them natural targets. So I think many would have been lost during the civil war and the first couple succession wars. I think most of those left would be around major worlds to help speed buisness, politics, and troops. I think border and former hegemony worlds would have the least. Of those remaining I don't think were functioning at 100% capacity until later. And then more would have been damaged and even destroyed in the jihad or wars that came later.

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #23 on: 03 March 2019, 00:16:38 »
Since a space analogue for Air Traffic Control is nonexistant on most planets and requires voluntary compliance where it does exist, I always figured Customs and similar duties aren't handled at the various spaceports on a planet but at the Jump Point recharge station.  In fact, much of a planet's exports probably don't get loaded onto dropships on-world but into small craft instead... and they ferry exports out to a recharge station that acts as a space bazaar.  That way Free Traders sometimes/often/usually don't even have to send an away team to go trade on-world.

If there's no permanent recharge station, then the world's spaceports can only ask nicely that spacers comply with all local ordinances and so on.  Basically, Spaceports on a planet without a recharge station act like Space Marinas.

dgorsman

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #24 on: 03 March 2019, 02:23:48 »
Don't think I've seen it mentioned yet - dim stars would be more likely to have a recharge station, especially around/between more industrialized systems.  Brighter stars may not have many (or any), but would likely still have port stations for transfer, minor repairs, and the like due to the high level of traffic.

rogueranger1993

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #25 on: 04 March 2019, 21:17:28 »
Something I noticed recently when taking alook through the interstellar map of MekHQ to look for recharge stations was that there seem to be quite a lot in the systems that have been detailed. I also noticed that the vast majority of the systems surrounding Terra that were former Hegemony worlds DO NOT have recharge stations at all. This leads me to believe that in most cases, the recharge stations remained untargeted during the early SWs, but the former Hegemony systems were seemingly an exception due to being so heavily contested.

And then I noticed that almost all of the worlds that have recharge stations, as fluffed in MekHQ, also have stars with a recharge time of 176 hours... So what the heck is the point!? Geez...

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2. The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
3. Always remember that your weapon was built by the lowest bidder.
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RifleMech

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #26 on: 04 March 2019, 21:28:41 »
I don't know about MekHQ but I can believe that there wouldn't be any recharge stations over the former hegemony worlds. First you have Kerensky and Amarris going at it for years. Then everyone else decides to go after at each other once Kerensky leaves. Its real easy to believe they're all destroyed.

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #27 on: 04 March 2019, 21:40:57 »
I don't know about MekHQ but I can believe that there wouldn't be any recharge stations over the former hegemony worlds. First you have Kerensky and Amarris going at it for years. Then everyone else decides to go after at each other once Kerensky leaves. Its real easy to believe they're all destroyed.

Yep... their fate was the example that helped form the Succession Wars chivalric "code".

RifleMech

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #28 on: 06 March 2019, 04:33:44 »
Yep... their fate was the example that helped form the Succession Wars chivalric "code".

Makes sense :)

marauder648

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Re: Recharge Stations Discussion
« Reply #29 on: 06 March 2019, 08:28:42 »
Being realistic (or as much as one could be with a game) I would guess that a House's Capital might have two, one at the Zenith and the other at the Nadir points and other important worlds might have one (Hesperus for example) but otherwise they are rare outside of capitals and major industrial worlds/march capitals or their equivalent thereof.
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