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Author Topic: SPAs and Vehicle Crews  (Read 306 times)

rohanreed

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SPAs and Vehicle Crews
« on: 10 June 2021, 13:37:13 »
Looking for a little clarification on how SPAs are applied to vehicle crews. Thought I had it sorted out, but ran into unexpected results today.

My understanding of how a vehicle crew's skills and SPAs are mashed into a single unit on the battlefield are that skills are averaged, the driver's Piloting skill and the average of all gunners' Gunnery skills, while SPAs have to be present on all members of each role in order to apply to the unit. So making sure an LRM tank's gunners all have Oblique Attacker gives the unit that SPA, while ignoring the mishmash of other SPAs that the several gunners have, like conflicting specializations in ballistic/energy or weapon systems that don't exist yet.

Thinking I had all my vehicle crew optimally distributed, I noticed my VTOLs were not working as I expected for their one each pilot/gunner crew. A platoon of Warrior H-7Cs all with Oblique Attacker gunners and only half of them ended up with that SPA in MegaMek. It appears that in addition to the above, the SPA is tied to the vehicle commander as well. I checked through a few other units on the field and saw similar results, a Peregrine Kurita with the pilot as commander didn't get the gunner's SRM4 Specialist, and a Hunter LST that did have the two gunners' Oblique Attacker did not receive the driver's Terrain Master ability.

So it looks like I can fiddle with ranks to get the gunnery SPAs to apply, but is there a way to get both gunnery and piloting abilities to work? Make the driver the commander and spend their xp on the gunnery SPA? Or if a gunner is the commander, give them the matching piloting SPA as the driver while the rest of the gunners don't need to have it?

And yes, I do realize in the table top rules SPAs are supposed to be limited and stacking them is total cheese. But hey, MekHQ hands them out like participation trophies, so might as well optimize what's there.

Windchild

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Re: SPAs and Vehicle Crews
« Reply #1 on: 10 June 2021, 14:09:42 »
There is an open enhancement request for implementing SPAs as per AToW Companion, which divides the requirements based on the SPA and the person's role. Currently the entire crew requires it, as was the original dev decision.

rohanreed

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Re: SPAs and Vehicle Crews
« Reply #2 on: 10 June 2021, 14:41:18 »
Interesting, thanks. Though it does seem to not be requiring all crew members in 0.48.0. Perhaps just all that have the related skill or are commander?

VTOL pilots that are the commander have their piloting SPAs applied when the gunner w/o piloting skill doesn't have them. Also, testing more with the Hunter LST, I could get Terrain Master [Swamp Beast] to apply in MM after adding it only to the gunner commander combined with the driver, while the second gunner was left without it.

I'll test a bit more variations.

dgorsman

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Re: SPAs and Vehicle Crews
« Reply #3 on: 10 June 2021, 16:38:42 »
Yeah, I've found the applications a little confusing as well.  I've seen VTOLs with weapon specialist on one crew applied but another SPA is not.  I've seen vehicle crews with less than half of the crew with an SPA and yet seems to have it.  Trying to work logically work out the combinations has been a little to cumbersome to do in addition to actually playing.

One related thing I'll note - senior officers with MD implants in BA units have the unit listed as MD, with associated benefits, in MegaMek.
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Thunder LRMs: the gift that keeps on giving.  They're the glitter of the BattleTech universe.

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: SPAs and Vehicle Crews
« Reply #4 on: 10 June 2021, 21:36:58 »
In fact, SPA requires more than a half of crews to have the same SPA, in Megamek for now. Although it is better to put the same SPA manually for mainternance issue. Also I remember that implants also requires more than a half are need to have or Megamek doesn't allow to put it automatically, but it may changed.

That's why I change all the crews manually by either GM Mode or XML editor all the times when I add new unit and fix all of them to have the exactly same gunnery/piloting and SPA - actually I prefer XML editor for you can simply copy-paste the same data. It was really hard to actually edit 500+ McKenna Battleship crews even with this, though, and it costs some days to do even with XML editor for such bored labor makes me frustrate.

Personally what I really want is mass edit in GM mode. Since it is impossible to have a bunch of crew with fixed skills it is a must to change the skills of all the crews manually, one by one. Well, unless you want to try some warships, XML editor can handle most thing, so it is not so serious problem.

Jayof9s

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Re: SPAs and Vehicle Crews
« Reply #5 on: 11 June 2021, 08:43:20 »
Currently the entire crew requires it, as was the original dev decision.

Pretty sure the initial introduction of it only cared about what the Pilot had, not sure who arrived on that decision. And that could have certainly changed in the years I've been inactive.

Though based on other comments it sounds like that may still be true?

Hammer

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dgorsman

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Re: SPAs and Vehicle Crews
« Reply #7 on: 11 June 2021, 15:00:13 »
That gets a bit awkward in MegaMek terms - SPAs are a property of the individual in MekHQ.  There would need to be some modifications to how that works for infantry and multi-member vehicle crews.
Think about it.  It's what we do.
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Thunder LRMs: the gift that keeps on giving.  They're the glitter of the BattleTech universe.

MoleMan

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Re: SPAs and Vehicle Crews
« Reply #8 on: 11 June 2021, 16:25:18 »
How does it work with regards to BA?

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: SPAs and Vehicle Crews
« Reply #9 on: 12 June 2021, 01:01:45 »
https://github.com/MegaMek/mekhq/blob/ac90643a064eb918eaa3d9f5795228bfe9dcc071/MekHQ/src/mekhq/campaign/unit/Unit.java#L3455

That's all the same. More than a half of the crews are need to have the same SPA in order to activate it. For spacecrafts, only counts gunners and pilots, though.

rohanreed

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Re: SPAs and Vehicle Crews
« Reply #10 on: 13 June 2021, 12:58:44 »
Thanks for pointing out the relevant source. Looks like in the case of VTOLS, they land in the else block and use only the commander's abilities.

Strangely, it also looks like Dropships are not in the if condition and would also fall under the commander only section. Or am I missing a step between the UnitType enums and Entity.ETYPE_*?

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: SPAs and Vehicle Crews
« Reply #11 on: 13 June 2021, 15:07:32 »
VTOL is the tank, for it is combat vehicle and the 'tank' means the vehicle.

Dropship is the subtype of Small Craft, so it also includes dropship.