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Author Topic: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization  (Read 11209 times)

johnboyjjb

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Re: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization
« Reply #30 on: 01 December 2021, 15:24:31 »
Is anybody dealing with this kind of stuff still? Does anybody have an excel that plays well with the Exported Personnel CSV?

sarcazmotron

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Re: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization
« Reply #31 on: 02 December 2021, 21:04:08 »
Is anybody dealing with this kind of stuff still? Does anybody have an excel that plays well with the Exported Personnel CSV?

I don't have an Excel that plays well with exported personnel csv, but I do have a Google Sheet that keeps track of my personnel, tells me when they should be promoted (based on configurable ranks, TIS, TIG, and a TN), the consequences of their debt, auto-calculates awards based on battalion/company/lance/individual kills, generates awards (inspired by Award Tracker.xlsx) and backgrounds (inspired by dev tab in AtB rules) for new personnel, generates injuries (based on Advanced Medical Google Sheet) for those debt consequences that don't turn out well.

I'm constantly adding to it, so it's kind of a Frankenstein's spreadsheet. Yellow areas are for user input. Blue areas are calculated output. Everything is done with formulas and zero scripting.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12orZqWayD8hK5x7h4KX-2iKpNIpFgmSQBSemuUzs8dk/edit?usp=sharing
Feel free to copy it and mess around with it. If you have questions on how things work, let me know.

As an aside, in my campaign everyone starts off as a founder, with "Do retirement/defection rolls at contract completion" and "Founders never retire" both turned on. When an individual has earned an amount equal to their debt, the founder flag is removed and they can retire from that point on.

drjones

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Re: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization
« Reply #32 on: 03 December 2021, 12:51:28 »
My thinking on mechwarriors and ranks, given that mechwarriors (at least circa 3025) are supposed to in essence be minor nobility, tends towards those mechwarriors who are below the position of lance commander being the equivalent of warrant officers, not enlisted. This is probably akin to U.S. Army helicopter pilots, although I haven't really thought about whether there would be multiple ranks within "MechWarrior"; the U.S. Army analogy isn't exactly inspiring -- "Chief MechWarrior 5" anyone?  :)

Colt Ward

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Re: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization
« Reply #33 on: 03 December 2021, 13:36:06 »
Yeah, but you just call them Warrant Officer . . . if you see them in uniform you know which level, and on the TO&E it would say WO3 Billy 'Bomber' Mitchell.

Where that analogy breaks down is that WOs are outside the tactical chain of command . . . and any mechwarrior is expected not only to command mechs in the case of the superior falling, but also as a bog standard mechwarrior to command infantry & armor platoons or even companies in action because conventional arms are expected to support the mech.

It makes a screwy situation where some Officer-0 is commanding a O3 or even higher, all because the mech brings the most firepower & mobility to the force composition and another line officer might not know how to best exploit it's advantages.
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drjones

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Re: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization
« Reply #34 on: 04 December 2021, 12:22:17 »
Agreed, under that description, an analogy to warrant officers (U.S.) breaks down. It seems it would also work against the idea of enlisted mechwarriors.

Colt Ward

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Re: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization
« Reply #35 on: 04 December 2021, 16:19:53 »
Yup, which is why it never made sense the AFFS using enlisted ranks among the mechwarriors.  The idea of specialist command is established and understandable for the reasons I raised.  But the problem is you get into identification problems in the heat of battle.  Is that Sgt Black the mechwarrior piloting a Bushwhacker talking to me, or is that Sgt Black the rifle squad leader?  IDEALLY callsigns cuts that down . . .
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Scotty

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Re: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization
« Reply #36 on: 05 December 2021, 03:57:15 »
Modern comms you're almost never going to have anyone identifying themselves by name, so that's a fairly non-problem, especially if your comms are primarily between other members of a 'Mech unit.  The concept of an all-officer 'Mech corps is largely based on modern aircraft organization, which while it certainly has its merits is hardly the objectively correct way to do it.

Personally, I tend to organize ranks in such a way that a Lieutenant is leading a lance, a Captain (or Major) is leading a company, and a Lieutenant Colonel is leading a battalion.  This means that within a lance you're going to end up with enlisted personnel, for which grade is determined by position and experience. 

- MechWarriors with fewer than 90 days time in the unit that are 5/6 or worse are Privates.
- MechWarriors with greater than 90 days time in the unit or that have deployed in a combat action that are 5/6 or worse are Privates First Class.
- MechWarriors with greater than two years time in the unit that are worse in any way than 4/5, or with fewer than 90 days time in the unit at 4/5, are Corporals.
- MechWarriors with greater than 90 days time in the unit or that have deployed in a combat action that are 4/5 or better are Sergeants.
- MechWarriors with greater than 90 days time in the unit or that have deployed in a combat action that are 3/4 or better, or with greater than two years time in the unit that are 4/5 are Staff Sergeants; MechWarriors that occupy a lance second-in-command position that are worse than 4/5 may also be Staff Sergeants.
- MechWarriors that occupy the lance second-in-command position that are 4/5 or better are Sergeants First Clas.
- MechWarriors that occupy the company chief NCO position are First Sergeants.
- MechWarriors that occupy the battalion chief NCO position are Sergeants Major.

In this fashion one of my typical mercenary 'Mech companies of average Regular skill consists of 3-4 officers, 3-9 NCOs, and 0-6 junior enlisted.  Junior enlisted tend not to stay that way for long, either due to attrition or to advancement.  A typical mercenary 'Mech company of average Veteran skill or that has been on contract for more than ~three months tends to be almost entirely officers and NCOs.
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drjones

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Re: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization
« Reply #37 on: 11 December 2021, 12:41:12 »
The root problem may be that there isn't a great equivalence between modern military rank structure and the successor state militaries. At least circa 3025, these militaries probably bear a greater resemblance to feudal military structures than to modern ones despite using approximately 20th century rank titles. I may have to dig a bit into how a military based around knights was structured, as that could very well be a better fit.

txsoldier94

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Re: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization
« Reply #38 on: 13 December 2021, 16:33:47 »
Where that analogy breaks down is that WOs are outside the tactical chain of command . . .

Not in US Army Aviation units.  The bulk of chopper pilots are Warrants, with commissioned officers only in some slots in the TO&E.  Also, some AV units are commanded by senior CWOs.


Colt Ward

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Re: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization
« Reply #39 on: 13 December 2021, 17:20:33 »
And Helo WOs are the oddball, b/c heaven help us, a enlisted cannot fly that chopper!

The Helo WO is not going to go command a training squadron afaik and will never become branch commander so . . . they still really do not have a command track.
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Scotty

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Re: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization
« Reply #40 on: 14 December 2021, 03:21:43 »
That is very different from "outside the tactical chain of command" which is just simply not true though.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization
« Reply #41 on: 14 December 2021, 11:06:20 »
That is very different from "outside the tactical chain of command" which is just simply not true though.

Not really?  It was the honest to God explanation I was given- 'treat them as officers, they just do not have anything but admin command.'  I will grant, the US Army does it differently than the Sea Services.  NATO definitely treated them differently than the Warsaw Pact.

'Warrant officers can and do command detachments, units, vessels, aircraft, and armored vehicles, as well as lead, coach, train, and counsel subordinates.  However, the warrant officer's primary task as a leader is to serve as a technical expert, providing valuable skills, guidance, and expertise to commanders and organizations in their particular field.'
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epic 2.0

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Re: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization
« Reply #42 on: 15 December 2021, 12:23:24 »
The root problem may be that there isn't a great equivalence between modern military rank structure and the successor state militaries. At least circa 3025, these militaries probably bear a greater resemblance to feudal military structures than to modern ones despite using approximately 20th century rank titles. I may have to dig a bit into how a military based around knights was structured, as that could very well be a better fit.

Exactly.  While there is a desire for modelling after a professional army, circa 3025 armies are more feudal in structure.  I'm prepping a Galtor III campaign, and the first thing I noticed when building the TO&E is that the various units name their battalions after commanders - and down to the company level.  A few exceptions exist, mostly at company levels.  Very different from an army that may have unofficial designations for units, but would instead be enumerated.  "Charlie battalion, 1st company" rather than "Elazar's battalion, Watkins' Company". 

Later armies - by the time of the FCCW - will have proper structures because there is a more professional, federal Armed Forces, rather than knights bringing their personal machines for chances at glory and loot. 

The breakdown of rank structures and traditional armies is even part of the "charm" of the 3rd succession war.  Earlier and later wars of different eras would be more professional than that, because private mech ownership was less in those eras.

drjones

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Re: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization
« Reply #43 on: 17 December 2021, 13:18:03 »
Regarding warrant officers, I'll note that there are at least two different concepts of what they are. The U.S. concept of a commissioned specialist differs from the other idea, which is a senior enlisted grade. (This may be a European concept.) From a previous comment, it sounds like the U.S. Army and Navy have different concepts of how to treat the commissioned specialist. I'm not familiar with how the Navy's concept differs.

Regarding unit names, I believe naming units after their commander, at least at about the brigade level, was in use as late as the U.S. Civil War. (Regiments tended to be named after their state of origin if I understand correctly -- "54th Massachusetts" as an example.)

Colt Ward

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Re: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization
« Reply #44 on: 17 December 2021, 14:03:09 »
The USN is not too different- just a matter of structure and some use, like WOs being special forces team leaders b/c of rank bloat.  Really different would be the Soviet system where as I understand the function of their warrants is more like US/NATO senior NCOs.  Soviet enlisted were draftees rotating out in four years- at least for the Red Army.
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Apocal

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Re: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization
« Reply #45 on: 20 December 2021, 13:38:59 »
Regarding the OP, I tend to just think of mechs as tanks and assign the ranks accordingly.

The root problem may be that there isn't a great equivalence between modern military rank structure and the successor state militaries. At least circa 3025, these militaries probably bear a greater resemblance to feudal military structures than to modern ones despite using approximately 20th century rank titles. I may have to dig a bit into how a military based around knights was structured, as that could very well be a better fit.

They were organized as a retinue-of-retinues, which is not an organization I've seen depicted in BT. Probably because it is immensely sloppy and the universe itself draws more from Napoleonics, which is why there are tons of 5th Someplace Hussars and Wheresville Heavy Horse with mostly standardized TO&E (lances, companies, battalions, etc.) rather than Baron So-and-So's men (6 mechs and 5 tanks), who have joined Count Schmuckatelli's force (3 mechs, 200 infantry, 10 tanks) then fought alongside Count Literally-Who's entourage led by his son (only 4 mechs). There weren't really formal military ranks in western European feudalism as most people know and understand them. There were apparently things like captains -- but a captain was anyone commanding a force independently, seemingly regardless of size, more like a naval captain. There were also corporals but that was someone who had signed on as leader of a group of men -- also seemingly without regard for the actual numbers. In a feudal mercenary company, one could be a corporal with a handful of men and no title otherwise or a corporal with 300 dedicated warriors and armed servants following them. Both corporals. :crazy:

« Last Edit: 20 December 2021, 13:47:26 by Apocal »

Hellraiser

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Re: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization
« Reply #46 on: 20 December 2021, 13:50:34 »
In the AFFS, Sergeants command vehicles, lead battle armor squads, lead technical and gunnery crews. Like their SLDF and LAAF counterparts, MechWarriors that are academy graduates enter the AFFS at this rank.[7] Sergeants wear three Scars as their rank insignia, color coordinated with their branch. Academy graduates use curved Scars.

I've been having my pilots enter as PFCs (3 months boot camp + 3 months MOS school "mechwarriors") which is how the infantry works but, obviously doesn't line up with how it should be for mechwarriors.  Easily fixed and not a big issue but, this leaves me with a question about lieutenants.

Armed Forces of the Federated Suns[edit]

In the AFFS, a recently-graduated military academy Cadet is given the rank of Subaltern. If they successfully complete their duties for six months they are promoted to Leftenant.[1]

So, if a enlisted personnel's time in service begins when they enter the academy to where they will pickup sergeant by the time they graduate and enter a unit then does that Subaltern enter a unit with three years time in service as well?  In the USMC infantry a lieutenant goes through a academy or OCS during their four years in college, gets commissioned, then basic school, and then their MOS school https://www.marines.com/becoming-a-marine/career-tool/officer-career-opportunities/officer-journey.  So, they enter the fleet as 2LT with like 9 months time in service which I think begins at the start of basic school?

That then doesnt make sense for mechwarrior officers to enter the unit as subalterns(greens) when they have gone through an academy just like the enlisted sergeants(regulars).  They pick up 1LT after only 18 months of service and time in grade automatically.

And for organization of a company, AFFS jump from sergeant straight to SgtMaj so, I guess they have a lieutenant leading each lance of sergeants and maybe a subaltern.  Where as I would maybe have one lance led by a 2LT-1LT and two lead by a SSgt just to prevent a bunch of LTs from promoting at the same time to CPT and having to get rid of two of them so that one can replace the previous CPT or Maj company commander. 

I don't think this is right.

In the AFFS the Subaltern rank is for those that got selected for OCS while they were at the Academy.
Regular Academy Grads = Sgt.
Those that go to OCS too = Subaltern (Converts to Lt. shortly there after)

The Training Battalions on the other hand had PFCs & Corporals & such since they were not Academy grads & so didn't earn SGT by being a MW AIT Academy Graduate.

« Last Edit: 23 December 2021, 15:01:18 by Hellraiser »
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drjones

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Re: Rationalizing Ranks and Unit Organization
« Reply #47 on: 23 December 2021, 13:02:58 »
The organizations do have a 19th century flavor. (Organizing with the regiment as a primary unit was a U.S. Civil War norm.) As for mechs themselves, I see somewhat more similarity to helicopters or fighter aircraft than to tanks, although that may be influenced by not having as large a crew as a tank.

My understanding is that the concept of a sergeant rank came out of medieval armies; they were the professional retainers of the (fighting) nobility.

 

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