Thursday, September 1, 2016

Campaign Operations Part V (Finishing up the Creation process)

Good Afternoon Battletech Fans, we're back with another part in our series on Force Construction.  Remember, we're using the rules in the Campaign Operations book for Battletech published by Catalyst Game Labs.  We've got some quick updates on things in motion, and then we'll hopefully get this portion done so we can show off the force operation rules soon.  First, a few quick notes

Note 1:  Drewbacca has risen from his slumber and rolled his dice. With a budget of around 50 million C-Bills, he should have enough currency units to put together a Federated Suns light/medium combat group.  We'll have more on this next week

Note 2: Hopefully (and we mean it this time) we'll have pictures of the Tombstones by the end of the week.

Note 3:  We'll be adding our worksheet at the bottom of this post so you can tinker with it.  As a bonus, we'll also toss out the one for the Tombstones so you can see the working process. 

Now that that's out of the way, ready for some 'Mech mayhem?

In a note that we'll cover a little more in depth next week, we caught a calculation error in our write up of the Tombstones that threw our budget slightly out of whack,  We'll go over that in greater detail next week, but suffice it, our bad. 

So we've finished purchasing our units and acquired almost all of our large Spacecraft.  We do need to get our Jumpship so we can fly from here to there and back again.  Looking out our force needs, an Invader is our best bet for what we want to do.  We did the digging and found the price of an Invader to be just under 500 million C-Bills.  That gives us a starting point to work with when calculating our TN to acquire. 

500 million divided by a 100 million gives us a base TN of 5
We add 3 to that number for the number of Dropship collars (TN 8)
We add 3 more to that number as part of the process (TN 11)
We subtract 1 because its a common design (TN 10)
We subtract 2 because its a Government Force (TN 8)
We add 1 because we want a veteran crew (TN 9)

Our Final TN is 9, and the dice gods favor us with an 11.  With that in hand, we have 36 mechs, 3 dropships and a jumpship for our force. 

Now that we have the units in hand, we need to start assigning formation and special experience bonuses. 

1st Company has three lances, and we want to give them some formation benefits.
Lance 1 (our Command Lance) is the overall force commander, and we think its a good idea to give them the Command Lance formation.  We give the King Crab the Tactical Genius special ability, and tentatively we assign the Marksman ability to the two Atlases. 
Lance 2 is our jump jet equipped assault unit, and we give it the Fast Assault Lance formation.  We can do this because all of the units have the Jump movement type.  It gives us the standard benefits of having either Multi-tasker or Demoralizer on two units (probably Demoralizer on the Highlanders) and Stand Aside on the Victors.
Lance 3 is a dedicated fire support formation, and we'll give it the Direct Fire Lance formation.  The Fire Lance formation gives 2 of the 'mechs the Sniper special ability, Direct Fire gives Weapon Specialist to two 'mechs.  If we're having a fun day, an Awesome with Sniper and Weapon Specialist (PPC) seems like a hilarity of a time. 

2nd Company is a little different, and we're just going to list their formations
4th Lance is an Assault Lance
5th Lance is an Assault Lance
6th Lance is a Hunter Lance

3rd Company
7th Lance is a Fire Support Lance
8th Lance is a Heavy Battle Lance
9th Lance is an Anti-Air Lance

We aren't going to assign anyone any special pilot abilities of their own yet, so we skip that section and move on to the Command traits. We've been discussing the Graveyard deployment style (orbital drops for days) and so we select the Combat Drop Specialists ability for the force. 

Step 4: Leftover Funds

Ordinarily we'd be telling you how awesome we'd done at budgeting and recording our budget surplus at this stage.  Due to the cruelties of excel, and the treachery of fat  fingers, we're operating at a budget deficit.

Step 5: Determine Support Personnel 

This stage is a bit of a doozy, but we need to finish it in order to get where we are headed.  We're going to need at least 1 technician for each battlemech in our force (the ship crews serve as the tech team for them).  Getting a veteran technician requires rolling a 9 on 2D6.  Strain credulity (we don't want to sit here rolling dice for the next three hours trying to get these) and accept that we ended up with 36 veteran technicians for battlemechs.  To make a full strength tech team, they need six additional astechs (assistant techs) to round out the labor pool and lift heavy things.  that brings us up to 36 techs and 216 astechs.  We're going to need a yellow school bus or two for all these guys. 

Administrative Personnel are a different kettle of fish, and need us to do a running head count of people

We have
36 mechwarriors
36 technicians
216 astechs
42 crew for the Dropships
we're going to guesstimate (we don't have our copy of TR 3057 at hand, again, our bad) 25 crew for the Jumpship.
for a total personnel pool of 355 people

Administrators occur at a ratio of 1 to 10, so we'll need 36 administrators (cut in half because we're a government force) I mean 18 administrators. 

We also need to assign officers.  We make the lance commander of each lance an Officer, giving us 9 officers for our combat command units

Now that we've got our notations made, we are ready to move on to the last stage of the Force Construction rules.

We'll cover that part next week, and try and figure out how we made a math error.

We'll also update the Invader Jumpship with costs and crew

Here's our blank template for getting started 

and here's the Tombstones WIP

Game on, Game Fans, and we'll see you all next week

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