Thursday, September 8, 2016

Campaign Operations Part VI (Hey look, we caught a math error )

All right battletech fans, we're back with another part in our series on the new Battletech Campaign Operations.  We're still digging into the rules for constructing your own force and today we're going to show off our new spreadsheet, fill in some blanks, and do some of the record keeping that's essential from moving to the constructing a force stage to running a force.

Some extra special updates:

Drewbacca has done his rolling and came up with around 50 million C-Bills to purchase his starting force for House Davion.  He assures me he's looking at the charts, making his list and checking it twice. 

We made a goof in the math on our side, more to follow below the jump.

Hopefully we'll have time to finish painting/taking pictures of our Tombstones this week so you can see them up in a gallery soon.

Look forward to a broader book review on the Campaign Operations book itself next week.

Without further ado, let's build some units.

So with the power of spreadsheets on our side, we kind of goofed.  Our original spreadsheet had a math error that miscalculated the cost of one of our lances and dropped it from the third company.  Now this puts us officially over our budget limit and in other, sadder times have us start over again.  Instead, we're going to effectively put the entire third company on a training mission and leave them out of our force for the purposes of units we can deploy.  We still have to pay the upkeep and everything on them, and we'll be able to finally deploy them when our payouts for combat missions give us enough cash in the bank to pay off the mission 16 million C-Bills (our bad, we should have carried the one).  Now with our corrected figures and duly chastised by the Comstar department of accounting, let's take a look at the next two steps you'll need to get your force going. 

Now that you've filled in the units onto your worksheet (and we don't care which one you use, ours, the one CGL provides in the Campaign Operations book, scratch paper) you'll need to calculate two specific sets of numbers for each combat unit.  First you need to look at the Ammunition costs and tons, then you need to look at Spare Part costs and tons. 

Ammunition tons will give you the formula you need to calculate price, but there's a couple of steps along the way.  For each one of your combat units, you need to find the TRO entry (Or record Sheet) for the specific version you are using.  Identify the ammunition load out for the combat unit, and divide by four.  That's the peacetime ammunition expenditure for that combat unit.  Do it for each ammunition type on the combat unit, and list these in your Ammunition Tons slot.  Grab a copy of Techmanual and find the cost of ammunition by ton and do some math.  Complete this section for each one of your units and I found it easier to total them up at the bottom. 

Spare Parts are the next thing to calculate.  Spare parts are assumed to used at a rate  of .1% for most combat units, 1% of  the bay mass for conventional infantry, and .01% for Jumpships and Space Stations.  Once you have this calculation done, you can calculate the price per ton of spare parts.  This is an abstraction, and different parts of a combat unit should have different prices (engines are more expensive than armor, usually).  These are peace time costs, and when you move to a combat contract, you're going to have to keep track of damaged parts and replacements as discrete things.  Mechs and Infantry are 10,000 C-Bills per ton of spare parts, Combat Vehicles are 8,000 per ton, and Fighters and large spacecraft are 15,000 per ton. 

You're almost done with your calculations, but still need to factor in fuel costs for the vehicles that track fuel expenditures.  Fusion powered combat vehicles don't, but most of the others use a variety of fuels for moving from place to place.  You'll need to grab Strategic Operations for this, but that's a fun book to have around the office anyway.

The last of the peacetime expenses that you'll need to calculate is the salary of your troops.  Remember, Officers make more than non-officers, and more experienced troops are more expensive than less experienced troops. 

Once you've finally gotten all of these calculations made and your table of organization and equipment filled in, you have successfully completed the assembly of your unit of combat troops. 
Congratulations, you've completed a milestone in the process of building your own stuff for Battletech, and you should celebrate wildly.  Next week we'll go over some of the optional rules we didn't cover, and some ideas for adding more character to your unit, along with examples.

If you want to check out the spread sheet for the Tombstones themselves, check it out here

If you want to take a look at the blank template, it's here

As always, Game On, Game Fans

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