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Author Topic: Campaign Operations Pay Scales  (Read 4522 times)

Daryk

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Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« on: 22 December 2017, 23:27:43 »
Based on a discussion between Monbvol, Cray, and me, we thought it would be useful to widen discussion of the issue of base pay and Rank as outlined in Campaign Operations (pages 24-25).

The problem, as I see it, is that the chart in Campaign Operations, and all the supporting examples, use the base pay without modifiers for Rank with the sole exception of "Officer".  That seems to imply that the majority of personnel in a unit are Rank "0", whatever that means.

As written, the current formula for pay basically means a Rank 1 trooper would receive 750 (the base pay for an infantry trooper) x 1.33 (which is Rank/3 + 1), or 1,000 C-Bills per month.  Again, all of the examples presented in the book don't do this.  The formula also lacks guidance on rounding, but any rounding at all would impose unreasonable steps in the pay system (i.e., Rank 2, 3, and 4 personnel would all receive double the pay of a Rank 1 trooper, with no differentiation between them).

My initial proposal is to align Rank 1 pay with the base pay by imposing a -1 to the Rank trait in the formula.  This is only a first approximation, but it could work.
« Last Edit: 22 December 2017, 23:35:32 by Daryk »

monbvol

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #1 on: 22 December 2017, 23:57:48 »
It is something of a procedural question I think at this point.

If the intention is to allow a Rank "0" then that entry at he bottom of the table on page 25 needs a bit of a note or the examples need to mention this is the intention a bit better as it is a bit confusing.

As far as the pay scale and potential issues with how fast pay rises I'm still doing a bit of math on it but so far as an example based on Campaign Operations page 25 as it currently stands chart and using A Time of War's Rank entry as a guide I'm coming up with a Regular Foot Infantry Squad would be an Enlisted 6 making 2,250 C-Bills a month, a Squad Second as either an E5/E4 making 2,000(E5)/1,750(E4) a month, and 5 E2s pulling a subtotal of 6,250 C-bills a month (1,250 individually) for a final total of 10,500/10,250 C-Bills a month in salaries.

I'm mostly worried that for Infantry because of how they are organized will have far more expensive salaries than may be intended if using detailed Rank tracking.

Daryk

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #2 on: 23 December 2017, 00:07:24 »
Excellent points, and the only thing I'd add to them is that infantry are set to be the most expensive part of any force before adding in any rank modifiers at all, so the rank problem only makes that worse (MUCH worse).

monbvol

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #3 on: 23 December 2017, 00:29:25 »
*nod*

Digging into it a touch more Vehicles have two advantages as far as I can tell.  There are no guidelines about when, or even if, with their variable crew sizes they should get a Squad Second, and the aforementioned variable crew sizes.  So by all available guidelines a player who does want to use detailed Ranks could take a Behemoth and staff it with an E6 and 6 E2s to save themselves some salary expenses.

Daryk

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #4 on: 23 December 2017, 00:40:51 »
Advantages over infantry, certainly, but 'mechs will always win the salary race, even with full tech support.  AsTechs are just too cheap compared to infantry troopers, and Techs are only barely more expensive.

boilerman

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #5 on: 23 December 2017, 01:39:49 »
The problem, as I see it, is that the chart in Campaign Operations, and all the supporting examples, use the base pay without modifiers for Rank with the sole exception of "Officer".  That seems to imply that the majority of personnel in a unit are Rank "0", whatever that means.
If you are using the rank as setup by the Rank trait in AToW then the majority of personnel in a unit are not Rank E0. They are Rank E1, E2, or E3 by the time they make it to a combat unit. Rank E0 should only apply in bootcamp, or maybe during the first school after boot.


*nod*

Digging into it a touch more Vehicles have two advantages as far as I can tell.  There are no guidelines about when, or even if, with their variable crew sizes they should get a Squad Second, and the aforementioned variable crew sizes.  So by all available guidelines a player who does want to use detailed Ranks could take a Behemoth and staff it with an E6 and 6 E2s to save themselves some salary expenses.
Which is why unit/crew quality is the so important in the BT universe. My own experience, both real world military and BT universe accounting with spreadsheets, suggests to me that unit/crew quality in the best way in BT to account for rank. Mercenaries are paid for their skills so I don't think they care much about rank. Regular soldier's pay is set by rules written by bean counters at General HQ and those salaries do not come out of the unit's budget so why bother?
« Last Edit: 23 December 2017, 01:58:37 by boilerman »
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monbvol

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #6 on: 23 December 2017, 03:33:01 »
If you are using the rank as setup by the Rank trait in AToW then the majority of personnel in a unit are not Rank E0. They are Rank E1, E2, or E3 by the time they make it to a combat unit. Rank E0 should only apply in bootcamp, or maybe during the first school after boot.

Which is the inconsistent part that both I and Daryk have pointed out.

Quote
Which is why unit/crew quality is the so important in the BT universe. My own experience, both real world military and BT universe accounting with spreadsheets, suggests to me that unit/crew quality in the best way in BT to account for rank. Mercenaries are paid for their skills so I don't think they care much about rank. Regular soldier's pay is set by rules written by bean counters at General HQ and those salaries do not come out of the unit's budget so why bother?

Mercs do have rank structures and A Time of War page 335 specifically states that standing armies always pay their troops as if they were Regular.  So quite clearly position and skill are two different things as far as who gets paid how much.  It has been that way for a while now in Battletech.

As to why bother?  I'm concerned with working this out because I'm trying to bridge the gap between A Time of War characters and some of the more strategic game forms.  So basically a player can be the bean counter and figuring out what they can get to defend their landhold.  A Time of War Companion spells out how to figure out your budget and makes it pretty clear that as an example Anywhere is expected to raise and pay for it's own local militia without help from Tharkad.  Campaign Operations rules can cover government forces too, not just mercs.

boilerman

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #7 on: 23 December 2017, 13:32:22 »
Which is the inconsistent part that both I and Daryk have pointed out.
What's inconsistent about it?

Quote
Mercs do have rank structures and A Time of War page 335 specifically states that standing armies always pay their troops as if they were Regular.  So quite clearly position and skill are two different things as far as who gets paid how much.  It has been that way for a while now in Battletech.
Of course skill and rank are two different things and mercs have a rank structure, but for the most part their pay is based on the skills they bring to the fight.

Quote
As to why bother?  I'm concerned with working this out because I'm trying to bridge the gap between A Time of War characters and some of the more strategic game forms.  So basically a player can be the bean counter and figuring out what they can get to defend their landhold.  A Time of War Companion spells out how to figure out your budget and makes it pretty clear that as an example Anywhere is expected to raise and pay for it's own local militia without help from Tharkad.  Campaign Operations rules can cover government forces too, not just mercs.
Good luck trying to bridge the gap, they're two different systems that were not designed to connect.

I have looked at basing salary on AToW rank for my TOE spreadsheet, I was never satisfied with the results. Of course I'm a veteran so I compared it to the real world, which was probably a mistake. Over the years I've found that fine granularity in BT isn't worth it. Detailed pay for the player characters makes for interesting role-playing opportunities but for the masses is just a headache. But to each their own. Good luck.
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Daryk

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #8 on: 23 December 2017, 13:49:04 »
What's inconsistent about it?
*snip*
That all the examples in the book seem to use "Rank 0" personnel.  Even a Rank 1 trooper would be paid more than the "base salary", which is all that the examples use (with the sole exception of the Officer multiplier, but even that seems to assume a "Rank 0" officer).

Fundamentally, my position has always been that NPCs are people too.  Every member of a unit is going to have a rank, and it will only be "0" for recruits in accession training (as you pointed out).

monbvol

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #9 on: 23 December 2017, 14:07:59 »
Pirates and Clans I would expect to be exempt from these rules for hopefully pretty obvious reasons.

Sure Mercs get paid for the skills they bring to the table but I would also expect that to include the ability of unit leaders being able to keep a bunch of other guys who may not have the same backgrounds, training, and cultures in line and a cohesive fighting force to be part of that.  Which the only mechanic we have to represent that easily is Rank.  After all only the Clans decide who is in charge by whoever is better at killing people or at least beating them up.

As far as bridging the gap I think it is possible, especially if we do remember Battletech is not real life.  For one there does not seem to be the concept of hazard pay.  Likewise concepts like flight time and flight pay for pilots seem to be built into their base salary.  There are also certain military honors in the real world that come with cash bonuses or perks that Battletech has never mentioned either.

Now I do think AToW's divide Rank by 6 to determine pay multiplier might actually give more even and usable results.

Daryk

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #10 on: 24 December 2017, 09:44:39 »
I just found the revised language about Ranks in the AToW Companion, and my head is about to explode:
Quote
Zero-Level Ranks and Trait Costs:
As with the basic Rank Trait shown in A Time of War, the costs (in Trait Points) for each of these ranks remains equivalent to the numerical value of the listed rank level, with a rank of O3 or E3 costing 3 TPs each. (Officer ranks, designated by an “O”, also require that the character either hail from the Clans, or possess the entire Officer Skill Field). The zero-level ranks for both officer and enlisted grades are a new addition, however. These ranks nominally reflect characters who are either still undergoing training or who have been awarded a provisional or minimal level of authority. Possessing these ranks still requires the full training prerequisites for a 1-TP level of that rank’s grade (or 3-TP, plus Officer Training Field for O-0 ranks), but at character creation, these minimal ranks may be purchased as a special 0.5-TP Rank Trait (worth 50 XP) for E0 (3-TP Rank, worth 300 XP, for O-0).

At this point, I have no idea if 3 TP and the Officer Training Field means an O-3, or an O-0 since the excerpt above says both.  The table in AToW lists O-3 as costing 6 Trait Points, not 3.  I'm inclined to believe AToW vice the Companion on this one, but I haven't seen any errata or rules questions on it.  If we agree it's a problem, I'll post an errata for it.

As far as the Campaign Ops pay formula, the +1 really jacks up salaries.  For example, an E-5 has a multiplier of 2.66 (5/3+1).  Assuming 3 TP really is O-0, that multiplier would only be 2.4 ((3/3+1)x1.2 for being an officer).  Since E-5 is the minimum for enlisted MechWarriors, it seems to be more economical to make them Warrant Officers (O-0).  I think AToW and the Companion missed an opportunity by leaving out Warrants.

EDIT: I just posted the errata entry up in that sub-forum (26DEC17).
« Last Edit: 26 December 2017, 14:03:32 by Daryk »

monbvol

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #11 on: 24 December 2017, 13:33:45 »
To be honest how Rank is so inconsistently handled and lack of frameworks/incentives are part of the reason I've written some of the House Rules I have.

I think part of the problem is how the chart is arranged in AToW and the language is confusing the matter worse in Companion.

Certainly something to bring to the attention of the writers to see if they can sort out the mess.

I know I'm certainly of a mind to say no Rank 0.

monbvol

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #12 on: 24 December 2017, 17:53:48 »
Okay did some quick math to try and resolve some of these issues.

Rank/6+1 actually works much better I think.  It pretty much ensures an Officer is going to get paid more.

E10 Mechwarrior will get paid 4,000 C-Bills a month under this math while an O1(Rank 4/6+1+1.2) Will get paid 4,300 a month.

A much better comparison I think.

Daryk

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #13 on: 24 December 2017, 18:21:46 »
Uh, it's not +1.2, it x1.2.  That would mean:

E10: (10/6 + 1) x 1,500 = 4,000

O1: (4/6 + 1) x 1.2 x 1,500 = 3,000

That's not necessarily a problem, though, as:

E5: (5/6 + 1) x 1,500 = 2,750

A real pay chart (like this one from 2016), has O-1s making a bit more than E-5s until about the 8 year mark.

monbvol

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #14 on: 24 December 2017, 18:41:50 »
I'm really starting to dislike these Campaign Operations upkeep shenannigans.

Daryk

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #15 on: 24 December 2017, 19:29:34 »
Amen, brother!  And Merry Christmas, should I get too wrapped up in wrapping gifts later...  ::)

monbvol

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #16 on: 24 December 2017, 20:33:31 »
What would clear it up is if at least one example did deal with Ranks for everybody.

And I'll probably be off an on until sometime tomorrow afternoon but a Merry Christmas to you too in case things go awry.

cray

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #17 on: 26 December 2017, 12:48:59 »
I know I'm certainly of a mind to say no Rank 0.

Agreed. That just borks every TO&E ever. CO will need to regain ranks, like "default 1."

Whatever changes emerge here, I'd also not like to have to rewrite all the TO&Es and examples in CO. But if something simpler comes up that reduces headaches in the long run, it can happen.
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Daryk

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #18 on: 26 December 2017, 13:46:50 »
Thanks for weighing in here Cray!

I see that side of the argument, but I still think an opportunity was missed for Warrant ranks.  They exist in the real world for good reasons (see US Army helicopter pilots).  Real world militaries have been tinkering with the specifics for decades though, so they're not as clear cut as the "regular" officer and enlisted ranks (e.g., US Navy Warrant Officers are completely different than their Army counterparts).

monbvol

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #19 on: 26 December 2017, 13:47:47 »
*nod*

That section of AToW Companion I wouldn't mind going away is more what I mean but yeah it is a bit of a question on how to handle.

I do think the easy option would be as Daryk suggests.  Rank 1 doesn't modify the pay any and can gloss over needing other Ranks in the examples.

idea weenie

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #20 on: 26 December 2017, 16:12:15 »
I see that side of the argument, but I still think an opportunity was missed for Warrant ranks.  They exist in the real world for good reasons (see US Army helicopter pilots).  Real world militaries have been tinkering with the specifics for decades though, so they're not as clear cut as the "regular" officer and enlisted ranks (e.g., US Navy Warrant Officers are completely different than their Army counterparts).

How about this for Warrant ranks:
Take their existing Enlisted Ranks, and use that for payroll, then add a single officer Rank (shown as Rank 0 to reflect that it doesn't get the full multiplier) to the income multiplier.

So most of their income would come from their time as an enlisted, but they get the slight officer income bonus.

So if a Warrant officer is listed as:
Enlisted Rank 7
Officer Rank 0

The income would be calculated using Darryk's equations above as:
(7/6+1) + (1/6+0)*1.2
13/6 + 1.2/6
14.2/6
2+2.2/6

As each Enlisted Rank is replaced by an Officer Rank, the pay could change as:
(6/6+1) + (2/6+0)*1.2
(5/6+1) + (3/6+0)*1.2
(4/6+1) + (4/6+0)*1.2
(3/6+1) + (5/6+0)*1.2
(2/6+1) + (6/6+0)*1.2
(1/6+1) + (7/6+0)*1.2
(0/6+1) + (8/6+0)*1.2
(0/6+0) + (8/6+1)*1.2

But this is getting a bit detailed/complex.  Needs a simpler solution.

Daryk

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #21 on: 26 December 2017, 16:59:04 »
Agreed... that is a bit convoluted.  One possibility is to use the three "non-ranks" introduced by pegging O-1 to 4 Trait Points.  At the very least, I've been using the 3TP version to save money on paying MechWarriors...

boilerman

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #22 on: 27 December 2017, 00:22:36 »
That all the examples in the book seem to use "Rank 0" personnel.  Even a Rank 1 trooper would be paid more than the "base salary", which is all that the examples use (with the sole exception of the Officer multiplier, but even that seems to assume a "Rank 0" officer).

Fundamentally, my position has always been that NPCs are people too.  Every member of a unit is going to have a rank, and it will only be "0" for recruits in accession training (as you pointed out).
I always assumed the CO examples were not using the AToW ranks for salary calculations, which is optional.

I know the "+1" is in the rank formula in the CO salary table on p25 but I've always thought it was a typo. If it is there intentionally then why have the "minimum 1" statement?

If I ignore the "+1" then "minimum 1" has meaning and the junior ranks, up to 3 trait points, have a pay multiplier of just 1.  See the attached pdf for the multipliers but basically the rank multiplier is trait points divided by 3 with minimum of 1. And there would be an officer multiplier on top of that if appropriate.
« Last Edit: 27 December 2017, 00:26:42 by boilerman »
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monbvol

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #23 on: 27 December 2017, 01:16:53 »
The +1 is so that you don't wind up paying an Infantryman 250 C-bills a month(1/3*750 with no other modifiers).

So to me I think it makes more sense if it would be (Rank-1)/6+1.  Since Rank is always 1 this results in a Rank 1 Infantryman being paid 750 C-Bills.

boilerman

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #24 on: 27 December 2017, 01:49:08 »
The +1 is so that you don't wind up paying an Infantryman 250 C-bills a month(1/3*750 with no other modifiers).

So to me I think it makes more sense if it would be (Rank-1)/6+1.  Since Rank is always 1 this results in a Rank 1 Infantryman being paid 750 C-Bills.
The minimum 1 prevents that too.
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monbvol

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #25 on: 27 December 2017, 03:09:23 »
Ah I see what you're talking about now.  Rank/3 round to a minimum of 1.

That could work.

Daryk

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #26 on: 27 December 2017, 10:22:36 »
I suspect the writers went through many of these same mental gymnastics, but they also had the rest of the book to write.  No one should be a surprised if a typo crept in...

monbvol

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #27 on: 27 December 2017, 13:31:23 »
If you deduct one from Rank with the multiplier still being a minimum of 1 then the examples all work in Campaign Operations.

So Rank-1(to a minimum of 1)/3 to a minimum of 1.

Trouble is you don't start getting pay raises until E5.  I'll have to think on that.

Daryk

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #28 on: 27 December 2017, 14:07:26 »
Yeah, there should be some gradation between 1 and 4...

boilerman

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Re: Campaign Operations Pay Scales
« Reply #29 on: 27 December 2017, 14:43:16 »
Pay raises start at E4/O1.
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