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Author Topic: BattleMech Ownership  (Read 3351 times)

Colt Ward

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Re: BattleMech Ownership
« Reply #120 on: 27 May 2020, 13:57:09 »
Heck, I would suggest that with the thousand+ worlds of the Inner Sphere you can find some world reflecting the models we have discussed.  Every form of government ever tried was probably replicated- heck we have Space Romans and Samurai in Space!  Most worlds are intentionally not described, so you can project anything/everything from this thought exercise onto a world you want to 'play' on.  Heck, search 'Foxhaven' for two threads (or more?) where a fan has set up a world based on some thoughts of neo-feudalism and has invited others to join in with their vassal realms.
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Raellus

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Re: BattleMech Ownership
« Reply #121 on: 27 May 2020, 16:10:44 »
there is a measure of Doing Too Much™ in this thread overall. battletech's history - improbabilities, foibles, and all - is a closed system that is only needs to obey its own internal logic (and often it chooses to not even do that). The early history of the BTU especially is a thin layer of wallpaper on top of nearly-as-thin layer of drywall. is it pretty? yes, absolutely. is it deep? no, not especially. it's not even close to real history, lacking the obvious components of million of independent actors exerting their own gravity on the system over centuries. technically those actors do exist, but only as the crowd does in the pod racer stadium in the Phantom Menace - as painted matchsticks zoomed out to hide that there are no details with only a handful of close shots meant to give the impression of the deeper goings on. the illusion itself (both in the movie and the btu) is impressive, but it's not designed to be scrutinized in any real depth.

asking these questions begs answers that probably were never or barely considered. can we try to build the answers from source material? sure, but there isn't a btu archive with real primary documents analyze. we're attempting to construct complex sociopolitical models from scraps summoned from the aether and the barest reflection of macro historical models (insert allegory of the cave joke here).

You're right, of course. It's all just make-believe. However, I prefer my make-believe to include as much realism as possible. I can suspend disbelief, but only so far. So, for me, this is all just a thought exercise to determine if the BTU meets the minimum realism threshold that my make-believe tastes require.

We've been beating a dead horse here, but everyone who's contributed is approaching it in a different way, and I appreciate that. It's clearly a subject of interest to some.

I'm fine with circling back to the original question of mech ownership. So far, we've determined the following options for said:

-Birthright (i.e. hereditary nobility)
-Reward for services rendered (much like a knighthood)
-Prize of war
-Salvage (finders, keepers)
-Lease to own
-Theft (deserting with the state's property)
-Purchase from secondary market

For those who operate but do not own their own mech:

-Commissioned MechWarrior trained, and piloting a mech owned, by the state
-Vassal of noble lord [who provides the 'Mech in exchange for loyalty & military service]
-MechWarrior piloting a mech as a paid substitute of its owner (i.e. scutage)
-Employee of security concern (e.g. factory guard force)
-Sub-contractor (e.g. a mercenary MechWarrior who pilots a 'Mech that belongs to the company)

Am I missing any?
 
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massey

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Re: BattleMech Ownership
« Reply #122 on: 27 May 2020, 16:36:11 »
Heck, I would suggest that with the thousand+ worlds of the Inner Sphere you can find some world reflecting the models we have discussed.  Every form of government ever tried was probably replicated- heck we have Space Romans and Samurai in Space!  Most worlds are intentionally not described, so you can project anything/everything from this thought exercise onto a world you want to 'play' on.  Heck, search 'Foxhaven' for two threads (or more?) where a fan has set up a world based on some thoughts of neo-feudalism and has invited others to join in with their vassal realms.

Yeah, the way I view all this is that we just need a semi-plausible explanation that we use to tell stories.  Everything in this thread should be used as inspiration when you play the game.  Modify whatever you want as you wish.

SteelRaven

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Re: BattleMech Ownership
« Reply #123 on: 27 May 2020, 16:45:04 »

Am I missing any?
 

For Theft, you can also list straight up piracy. It's really rare to actually take attack a mech hanger unnoticed, requires some skullduggery but the prize does sometimes justify the risk. Decisions at Thunder Rift, By the Numbers (short story in the opening of MW 3rd Ed) and the Last Frontier campaign in MW:2 Mercs all feature Mech Hangers getting seized fast enough that the mechs are taken more or less intact.

Of course, you could also call it spoils of war ;)     
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SCC

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Re: BattleMech Ownership
« Reply #124 on: 27 May 2020, 23:54:57 »
Huh?  Officer career tracks in the navy have non-command such as Engineering which gets them made Chief Engineer on a ship, and then to be promoted past they they end up as part of the shore establishment but the key point is non-command officers do not end up in charge of combat forces.  If you chose a non-combat track, you accept slower promotions and the inability to be promoted to certain positions (like CinC).

Military Academies also provide a 4 year degree- consider the Kai & Victor school summaries in the beginning of the BoK trilogy.  They are going to be rated higher than most university's ROTC programs- they spend more time in a 'military' environment and in training than the average university ROTC (known dot-heads from several different programs).  It helps contribute to a 'class' division sort of structure in the officer corp- as I mentioned with the ringknockers, aka West Point graduates- where you have cliques based on where/how you became a officer/mechwarrior.  Biggest one I think mentioned in fiction would be the Nagelring/Sanglamore in the LCAF, though you get some of that in the League with their balkanization (supported w/fiction) and IIRC Goshen encourges a certain spirit by not being one of the big FS schools.

While the NAMA, Nagelring, Princefield, and Capella Conservatory (note the Dracs do not!) teach conventional branches (armor, infantry/BA, aero) along with mechwarriors, its more likely the armor & infantry officers come from more sources just to make up the numbers- Kathil University might have a excellent armor ROTC program b/c of GM's production on planet compared to some Outback planet's university.  In fact, I would expect such a thing to be the case because of the on hand resources, Kathil CMM, and usually a national command as planetary garrison.  The point is the couple of hundred officers the big national service academies turn out would not cover the needed numbers of armor & infantry officers.  Which IMO means national service academy grads in infantry & armor are likely to be more clique-ish.

This does raise another point . . . the House Lords recruited SLDF commands when they broke up . . . which means you probably had vehicle crews brought in the same way.  Lol, you are a minor noble b/c great grand-daddy was a track commander for a Von Luckner . . . though your family and the families of the loader, driver, and gunner no longer operate that tank since it took a lot of damage in the 2SW and your lord, Count Ding'dong demanded the fusion engine for his mech instead of repairing it and instead got you a Bulldog medium tank as a replacement.
Sorry my mistake for using the term non-line wrong, I was using it to refer to officers who spend their entire careers in places like planning, ops and logistics, in naval service I think the term might be shore officers and if you're being derogatory desk jockeys, there doesn't seem to be a universal term for it.

Correction aside, my point was that they aren't sent through a different OCS program.

Colt Ward

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Re: BattleMech Ownership
« Reply #125 on: 28 May 2020, 00:04:16 »
Actually they are . . . even the Academies offer different tracks.  At least in the US system, officers who elected for the Infantry go to OCS at Ft Benning where they train the enlisted infantry.  Artillery officers go through OCS at Ft Sill, Engineers go through at . . . eh, I forget, its a Ft in northern Virginia that is pretty close to the Potomac.  They get general stuff and then branch specific at the OCS- as he mentioned, if they fail out of the say Infantry OCS, they may get sent to Commo or some other support line.
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Re: BattleMech Ownership
« Reply #126 on: 28 May 2020, 00:55:21 »
Actually they are . . . even the Academies offer different tracks.  At least in the US system, officers who elected for the Infantry go to OCS at Ft Benning where they train the enlisted infantry.  Artillery officers go through OCS at Ft Sill, Engineers go through at . . . eh, I forget, its a Ft in northern Virginia that is pretty close to the Potomac.  They get general stuff and then branch specific at the OCS- as he mentioned, if they fail out of the say Infantry OCS, they may get sent to Commo or some other support line.
What commissioning program is that?  In ROTC, my state’s National Guard OCS, and (to the best of my knowledge) West Point, Officer cadets/candidates go through all of the initial training together, and only shortly before commissioning learn their branch assignments.  For my ROTC group, it was the spring before graduation.  In that one class we had one headed to Infantry, an MP, one Artillery, one Ordnance, one Aviation, and I can’t remember the last guy.  Signal, maybe.  Now, once you’re commissioned, you go different directions for Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC), but that’s different.
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Marveryn

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Re: BattleMech Ownership
« Reply #127 on: 28 May 2020, 02:47:07 »
This is a bit of a tangent, but I'm not sure how often a noble ever actually provided a company (or more).  You occasionally see companies with hereditary connections; the McKinnons seem to have a hereditary role as commander of the Fox's Teeth, and have since the unit's inception, and the rest of the company seems the same, generation after generation serving in more or less the same slot in the same company, but they were never McKinnon's retainers per se.  They just had a hereditary right to the Fox's Teeth 2nd Lance CO slot (or whatever).  Now, we do see high-ranking nobles providing larger units.  The 1st Capellan Dragoons regiment from the Duke of Kathil, the Syrtis Fusiliers, the Robinson Rangers, Vedet Brewer's 1st Hesperus Guards, etc.  But those usually aren't feudal levies per se; Brewer does seem to have raised his unit all on his own, but the others are, in essence, financially supported by their Duke, but still part of the AFFS.  They generally bear a certain amount of loyalty to the Duke, but New Avalon still assigns their posting, sends them replacement machines and personnel, etc.  Now, in their capacity as Field Marshals of their respective Marches, the Dukes of Robinson and New Syrtis are often able to control postings, personnel, etc in their units to a degree that worries New Avalon, but that's because of their rank, not their title.  Contrast the 1st Capellan Dragoons; after he sold them to the AFFS proper, the Duke of Kathil (who was not an AFFS Field Marshal) couldn't control assignments to the unit or postings thereof, though he did, FM:FS tells us, "try to keep them mindful of the origins".  In the lead-up to the FCCW, this meant sending them a shipment of hovertanks (he couldn't do mechs because that would've raised eyebrows).


All that to say, it seems like once you get past a certain level (the lower bound is nebulous, but certainly once you get to the point of regimental formations), bigger nobles tend to 'sponsor' units more than actually raising feudal levies.  It offers them less control, the federal government can still assign the replacement personnel they choose and put the unit where they choose on the equipment priority list, but the noble still has a certain (variable) amount of leverage on these things, and they'll probably side with their sponsor if it comes down to it (the 3rd Robinson Rangers being a notable exception, but they were filled full of Kat loyalists-that federal government ability to send replacement personnel coming into play).  All that makes sense; Prince Davion probably doesn't want the Duke of Backwoods to have his own regiment running around outside federal control, and one presumes would heavily encourage the federalization and sponsorship model, though the Duke of Kathil was able to hang onto his personal unit until 3009.  Note that my knowledge tends to be FedSuns-centric, other states will vary.  Grayson Carlyle being Landgrave of Glengarry and Colonel of what is explicitly a mercenary unit is an interesting (and highly unusual) case, though one suspects that if they'd ever taken a contract to attack the LyrCom, that would have had consequences for Carlyle's title.


Edit: Now that I think about it, the 'sponsorship' model is pretty similar to what was called "Scutage" in classical feudalism.  Nobles could pay a fine rather than providing troops.  At first it was rare, real men showed up for service, only wimps paid their way out, etc etc.  But as time went on, nobles grew decadent, rulers grew frustrated with the varying quality of feudal levies, etc etc, kings began to prefer that nobles just pony up the cash so that the king could then hire an army of mercenaries.  I wonder if things are similar in BT.  How often did Hanse Davion tell some random noble "Look, Duke, I appreciate your enthusiasm.  You want to serve your country.  Rather than raising a battalion from LoggerMech drivers on your world, how about you just send me the D-bills and I'll use them to rebuild the 2nd Battalion of the 20th Avalon.  We'll make sure the CO sends you a very nice postcard and the DMI keeps you up to date on the unit's glorious progress that you have enabled.  That way you can stay home and run your fief, which will also benefit the nation."

should we avoid the rabbit hole that is rank in the inner sphere?  In some fiction certain mechwarriors are listed as enlisted ranking and some listed as officer.  I never could wrap my head around that.  I know an Lt suppose to lead lances but why do they list some MechWarrior as privates? and not warrant officer

Colt Ward

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Re: BattleMech Ownership
« Reply #128 on: 28 May 2020, 10:13:02 »
What commissioning program is that?  In ROTC, my state’s National Guard OCS, and (to the best of my knowledge) West Point, Officer cadets/candidates go through all of the initial training together, and only shortly before commissioning learn their branch assignments.  For my ROTC group, it was the spring before graduation.  In that one class we had one headed to Infantry, an MP, one Artillery, one Ordnance, one Aviation, and I can’t remember the last guy.  Signal, maybe.  Now, once you’re commissioned, you go different directions for Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC), but that’s different.

I will say you probably have a better idea, and some of what I called things may not be what they are officially.  With that said, I thought that as part of the officer contracts they selected their tiered choices.  From what I understand if you wanted to go armor, infantry, artillery, engineers or airborne there would be certain classes that stood you a better chance of getting into that branch along with participation in certain groups in the academies.  And what I ran into around the training areas were I recall were butter bars, so they were already commissioned but the school/area/program was referred to by enlisted as artillery OCS, officer artillery school, etc though the C part of the first might not have been appropriate.
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Arkansas Warrior

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Re: BattleMech Ownership
« Reply #129 on: 28 May 2020, 10:58:24 »
That sounds like they were at BOLC but were calling it the wrong thing (not impossible).  Or it could be the weirdness that is Big Army bureaucracy.  As I'm sure you well know, nomenclature changes far more than it needs to, so it could be a name change thing.  I was National Guard, so I'm not entirely sure how the branch selection works for Active Duty, but there definitely weren't any classes for us to take that would improve our chances (maybe that's a West Point thing?).  In fact, the guy I graduated with who got branched ordnance wanted to be Infantry, he was super pissed to get a service support branch.  A couple of the others wanted to be chaplains, in fact.  In the Guard, I was drilling with my unit as an Officer Cadet (which basically meant I followed an officer around all weekend and occasionally filled in for an LT or got assigned some minor duty-sensitive items inspection, take 4 enlisted and get the floors mopped so we can go home, etc etc), and I basically told them "Hey, I'll be commissioning in Spring '10."  and they said "Yeah, we've got a slot open.  It's yours if you want it."  Much easier.
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SCC

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Re: BattleMech Ownership
« Reply #130 on: 31 May 2020, 04:26:00 »
Actually they are . . . even the Academies offer different tracks.  At least in the US system, officers who elected for the Infantry go to OCS at Ft Benning where they train the enlisted infantry.  Artillery officers go through OCS at Ft Sill, Engineers go through at . . . eh, I forget, its a Ft in northern Virginia that is pretty close to the Potomac.  They get general stuff and then branch specific at the OCS- as he mentioned, if they fail out of the say Infantry OCS, they may get sent to Commo or some other support line.
Would you say that the training they received was any different but?

should we avoid the rabbit hole that is rank in the inner sphere?  In some fiction certain mechwarriors are listed as enlisted ranking and some listed as officer.  I never could wrap my head around that.  I know an Lt suppose to lead lances but why do they list some MechWarrior as privates? and not warrant officer
FASA didn't do it's research, but more modern material treats 'Mech forces as analogous to the air force, where everyone who flies a plane is an officer.