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Author Topic: (Answered) CO - Vehicle Maintenance Costs much greater than Battlemech ones  (Read 190 times)

jayoung

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I'm trying to figure out the monthly maintenance costs for a lance of mechs and a lance of vehicles using the rules in Campaign Operations, using the rules starting on pg 24.

Something I've noticed is that vehicles lances pretty much always out cost a mech lance of equal tonnage, especially when they're veteran or elite. For example:

Base Tech monthly pay: 800
Base Astech monthly pay: 400
Base MechWarrior pay: 1500
Base Vehicle Crew Member pay: 900
Elite Modifier: 3.2x
(all on page 25)

'Mech Spare Parts costs: 0.001 * tonnage * 10,000 (pg 24)
Vehicle Spare Parts costs: 0.001 * tonnage * 8,000 (pg 24)

# Vehicle Crew: vehicle tonnage/15 rounded up (pg 21)

An Elite 90 ton assault mech's monthly cost would be: 3,200 (Reg. Tech + 6 Astech) + 900 (Spare Parts) + 4,800 (Elite MechWarrior) = 8,900.

An Elite 90 assault combat vehicle's monthly cost would be: 3,200 (Reg. Tech + 6 Astech) + 720 (Spare Parts) + 17,280 (6 Elite Crew) = 21,200.

That's well over 2x the cost! This doesn't even take into consideration ammo, fuel or officers. Is there something I'm calculating wrong? Is the base pay of 900/mo for a whole tank crew, not per crew member? Crew salary seems to be the biggest driver of cost.

It just seems really odd to me that vehicles, which are considered inferior to mechs and used as cheaper budget options for forces, cost so much more per-month than a mech. This makes me think I must be calculating the costs incorrectly.
« Last Edit: 15 November 2020, 20:26:07 by Xotl »

cray

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It just seems really odd to me that vehicles, which are considered inferior to mechs and used as cheaper budget options for forces, cost so much more per-month than a mech. This makes me think I must be calculating the costs incorrectly.

You're calculating the operating costs correctly (at my first glance) but there's a couple of additional points in favor of vehicles:

1. Vehicles technology and production sites are much more widespread than 'Mechs. Internal combustion engines and autocannons don't always lead to impressive combatants (see: Scorpion light tank), but they can be made on a lot of planets with far less industrial development than 'Mechs. The extinction of 'Mechs wasn't out of the question in the Third Succession Wars, but vehicles were always available. You can't save operating costs on 'Mechs if you can't get 'Mechs.

2. Even in eras where 'Mechs are plentiful, vehicles are generally much cheaper to purchase than 'Mechs. A conventional 100-ton assault 'Mech with standard fusion engine is going to be about 10 million CB, while you can get a Behemoth assault tank for 2.7 million CB. For an extreme version of your 90-ton example, a 90-ton XL-powered assault 'Mech (EMP-6D Emperor, 18.7 million CB) versus an XL-powered 90-ton tank (Challenger MBT-X, 15.3 million CB) there's a gap of 3.4 million CB. That would cover the extra cost of your elite crew (12,300CB more per month than the elite 'Mech) for 276 months.

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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.

jayoung

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Ah, that does make sense - and this got me thinking that these are basically peace time costs, once you have to repair combat damage I bet the costs savings disappear (assuming you can even get the parts needed at all for a 'mech).

Thank you for clearing this up!