getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

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adzling
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby adzling » Tue Nov 09, 2021 4:05 pm

Bill Sheil wrote:
Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:02 am
APDS ammunition would not be compatible with Gauss weapons.....
I wish that was in the rules somewhere, it is not.

APDS is noted as usable by any rifle weapon.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Bill Sheil » Tue Nov 09, 2021 5:08 pm

adzling wrote:
Tue Nov 09, 2021 4:05 pm
I wish that was in the rules somewhere, it is not.

APDS is noted as usable by any rifle weapon.
True. But they also have bad descriptions of how slingshot orbits work and all sorts of other issues. So it is up to you whether to allow it or not.

The thing to understand about APDS is that is a solution to a specific issue with chemical propelled rounds - namely how to project a light, small bore projectile down a full bore barrel using a standard-ish charge to give you a faster projectile without the propellant gasses just flowing around the flechette.

For gauss weapons (as they are usually conceived) this problem just does not exist, they are already optimised to fire narrow flechettes using the full weapon energy at the maximum velocity. So adding an additional component is unnecessary and is only going to absorb energy and slow things down.

You can muck around with the projectile characteristics by making them heavier or lighter or hard or soft point or add active (HEAP) penetrators on special low velocity rounds etc, and a practical system would probably already be adjustable and be able to handle a range of ammunition weights and diameters, but for the most part the assumption (CT) is that gauss rifles are already optimised for the fastest/highest penetration kinetic rounds possible.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby adzling » Tue Nov 09, 2021 5:24 pm

oh i understand the idea and thought behind APDS, but if I employed that knowledge APDS rifle rounds would not exist at all, for any weapon, because they just would not work effectively at that scale.

instead what i am gonna do is reign in the benefits a bit.

RAW a Gauss rifle with APDS has AP rating of 17 + (4d6 damage) which will deliver on average AP17 + 14damage, enough to penetrate any Battledress.

Because APDS rounds are smaller and lighter than normal rifle rounds I am going to impose a mod to all APDS rounds that decreases damage by 1d6.

With this APDS gauss rifle becomes AP14 + (3d6 damage) which will deliver on average AP14 + 11damage, enough to penetrate SOME battledress with a point or two of damage left over.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Arkathan » Tue Nov 09, 2021 6:29 pm

Do they NEVER come out of their ship or only hang out at low law level worlds? Any law restrictions to speak of preclude heavy armor. Arrange situations that require personal interaction outside of the starport, on a planet that outlaws Battledress, but has the tech level and population to take it on.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby GamingGlen » Tue Nov 09, 2021 9:48 pm

Arkathan wrote:
Tue Nov 09, 2021 6:29 pm
Do they NEVER come out of their ship or only hang out at low law level worlds? Any law restrictions to speak of preclude heavy armor. Arrange situations that require personal interaction outside of the starport, on a planet that outlaws Battledress, but has the tech level and population to take it on.
I know all that. And yes, they do exit their ship but a couple protest about not being able to wear their shiny battledress. Players! What can you do with them? Shoot them?

I figure they'd wear their BD while in ship combat, but then I realized BD might be a bit cumbersome while being at some control station. One might not be able to sit at control stations in BD. I'll have to remind them of that so they have to be in vacc suits.

How long does it take to put on battle dress? Does it go on like Iron Man's suit from the movies (and would that require space on the ship for each BD to do that?) or is it more time consuming? When they're done with the ship combat and want to board a ship I'm sure they'll want to switch from vacc suit to BD. I guess in ship combat turns then 1 turn is sufficient. But in personal combat how long does it take?
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby AndrewW » Tue Nov 09, 2021 9:58 pm

GamingGlen wrote:
Tue Nov 09, 2021 9:48 pm
I know all that. And yes, they do exit their ship but a couple protest about not being able to wear their shiny battledress. Players! What can you do with them? Shoot them?
Let them. They could get arrested or harassed (that's not going to help the Drinax cause). Or the bad guys could see them coming and be fully prepared for them.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby adzling » Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:09 pm

There is a whole section in the new Mercenary book Specialist Forces that details the support and logistics requirements to keep battledress operational including descriptions and costs for requisite support gear and how to adjudicate suit breakdowns/ failures when those burdens are not met.

TL:DR as with almost all weapon systems the battledress is likely the cheapest component of the entire deployment.

Example: A Base Support Facility occupies 12 tons, costs 4mCr and can support up to 4 battledress suits (24 supply / 6 supply per suit = 4 suits).
This also requires the technicians to operate it.

So unless the team only wears their suits very occasionally and they take no damage they will need something like the above...I guess?

IMHO unless you love crunch I would avoid all of the above by just using gm fiat to tell the players "due to costs and maintenance requirements battledress is not designed to be worn 24/7/365 and if you try it will start breaking down"
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby GamingGlen » Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:18 pm

I never heard of the Mercenary book.

I'll just give them a flat maintenance cost per use. 1% of purchase price?

What skill(s) would be used to maintain a BD? If no one has it/them, it costs double to pay someone else to do maintenance each time they take it to the "cleaners" to remove the bloodstains, dents, etc.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Condottiere » Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:22 pm

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Transportation.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Being » Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:12 pm

The ammuntion chapter in the CSC actually has a disclaimer saying that all the ammo types are referees fiat anyway.

If you want to use APDS with Guass weapons just call it something else. Yes you can rule your Gauss weapons are at the maxium efficiency and cannot benefit from any advantage. But you can easily call such ammo something like Improved Plasma Hybrid Armature Sabot Ammunition or Internally Magnetised Augmented AP. APDS costs 5x anyway. Up the TL if you want. And its SCI-FI.

The first Railgun ammo was solid shot and it didnt work very well because basically it would begin to vaporise and stick in the rails, so then they had geometric shaped rounds that worked a bit better, then a plasma armature, then a copper graphite hybrid, now its a an aluminum alloy casing sabot. These were all different methods of getting a projectile down the rails. Yes it doesnt work exactly as traditional sabot from a chemical arm its not trapping gases but basically it increases the velocity of the projectile because it irons out problems the previous projectile types had travelling down the rails. Its still not perfect but the most recent incarnation is much better than its predecessors velocity wise. Its still called a discarding sabot because it centres the projectle in the barrel/rails and falls away as the projectile leaves.

Materials tech is still a big stumbling block and for shoulder arms recoil will be a major factor. No one at the moment really understands how that is going to be solved.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Garran » Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:53 pm

Devil's advocate here, but I don't think that battle dress would actually affect using a ship's control systems very much unless they're very low tech (and the Harrier isn't). Given all of the support it provides you could almost certainly manage to sit/stand/etc in some way that works, and the controls are holographic, so they don't really care about how fat your fingers are (and Aslan have no trouble using them either).

The main reasons not to do it is that it's unnecessary, and it means that you've got a problem with labor division - if you're needed at a control station, you stay there. Walking off to join the boarding party leaves the ship undercrewed (and you'll force the boarding party to wait around while you get there, which isn't exactly ideal either). Mr. Battle Dress should be dedicated to the marine squad if he's going to use it.

Mind you, "boarding action is imminent/underway" is a perfectly valid reason to put the stuff on.



I could maybe see a group who is good at talking (do they have no social skills in this game?) getting away with someone in battle dress in somewhat inappropriate scenarios, mind. If the rest of them seem normal and are constantly rolling their eyes at "that guy" and his mascot-like paranoia then you'd probably get through a lot of borderline cases. This really depends on the rest of them not looking and acting like "that guy" though.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Condottiere » Wed Nov 10, 2021 12:02 pm

1. I'm going to speculate on a subject I know very little about.

2. There's an optimum point between the diameter of a penetrator rod, velocity, and hardness of the material.

3. What you want is penetration of the protective material, and internal damage that mission kills the target.

4. That seems to work very well with depleted uranium.

5. It could be that at higher technological levels can create better penetrators, with smaller diameters.

6. Two examples could be crystaliron and bonded superdense.

7. I have no idea how aerodynamics would affect a sub four millimetre discarding sabot penetrator fired out of a gauss rifle.

8. Or if a fat slug fired at subsonic speed works better as a whole, than as a post boosted part thereof.

9. Now, I would have thought that a discarding sabot in a smoothbore shotgun should work.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby OrdosMalleus » Thu Nov 11, 2021 12:58 pm

Barring cases where the world's Law Level specifically prohibits such items, I'm in the "soft counter" camp. No one is going to talk with them and nearly all SOC-based skill tests -except maybe intimidation- are going to be very hard to succeed at (Bane dies, etc.) if not impossible. The police will stop them and likely detain them or at least keep very close watch on them. They would be perceived as instantly hostile and a threat by everyone. Any bad guys are going to flee or open fire almost immediately.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Bense » Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:36 pm

I'm also in the "soft counter" camp. Wearing battledress means you are ready to start a battle. Nobody wants to deal with someone in battledress anywhere other than a battlefield regardless of what the local law level is.

What about carousing? Bars and shops are going to clear out and close as soon as they see someone wearing battledress come into town. Even if they stay open, you have to take your helmet off to have a drink. Brothels are obviously going to require the PCs to get out of more than just their helmet too. Both are prime times to kill the occupant and steal the valuable armor.

What about their patron? King Oleb's guards (who themselves have battledress) aren't going to let the PCs tramp around the court at Drinax in full battledress. That's too obviously a potential threat to the king's life, no matter how loyal he thinks they are. Same story with any other political leader. Nobody is going to meet with someone in battlefield armor.

What about selling their loot? Buyers of stolen booty are going to think twice when their sellers show up in full battledress. After every meet they set up ends with "We thought you were going to kill us and take our money, so we didn't show up," the PCs will see they have a problem with treating everything like it's taking place on a battlefield.

Battledress can't be comfortable 24/7 either. If the players insist on living in it I would call for Endurance rolls after 6 hours or so to resist "armor fatigue". If they go days in it then I would start giving them interesting fungoid and humiliating urinary tract infections. Eventually they'll get the point that it's a bad idea to wear it all the time.
Is your Tactics (internet forum) skill better than mine?
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Arkathan » Mon Nov 15, 2021 11:13 pm

Bense wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:36 pm
Battledress can't be comfortable 24/7 either. If the players insist on living in it I would call for Endurance rolls after 6 hours or so to resist "armor fatigue". If they go days in it then I would start giving them interesting fungoid and humiliating urinary tract infections. Eventually they'll get the point that it's a bad idea to wear it all the time.
Agreed. Page 5 of the Companion has morale checks, including situations in which characters insist on doing things that are extremely boring or uncomfortable.
If you don't want or have the morale characteristic, use END, and perhaps increase the difficulty level of the check every hour after his END, the first time.
Then, make him make a morale check every time thereafter when there is no battle imminent, to see whether he really wants to get in that thing when he doesn't have to.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Condottiere » Mon Nov 15, 2021 11:30 pm

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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby AKjeldsen » Sun Nov 21, 2021 11:39 am

Here’s a few flavour excerpts from the sidebar “Inside Battledress” in GURPS Trav: Ground Forces p. 36-38 (which by the way is excellent).

“A Marine in battledress is not just an infantryman with bigger and better weapons; he is the pilot of an advanced weapons platform.”

“One bodysuit function Marines dislike speaking about is the sanitation hook-ups. While the systems have been made as user-friendly as possible, most Marines would still prefer to be able to turn their digestive tracts off for a drop.”

“Working up from the bodysuit, the first layer is a padded sleeve that holds the Marine and also contains the negative feedback sensors. This tells the suit which direction the Marine is moving his arm, with how much force. The sleeve also keeps track of the body position, and will cut off any movement that is likely to injure the user. This isn’t likely in a heavier suit like a Redding, but in the lighter suits inexperienced users regularly dislocate limbs.”

“The primary drawback of battledress is the limited duration. Even with a regular power supply and the best comfort systems available, battledress becomes uncomfortable after eight hours of use. After a full day, it starts to become intolerable. It is almost impossible to sit or lie down while canned up. The best a Redding can manage is to squat and lock the limbs, allowing the head to rest in a forward leaning position. After 24 hours, muscle cramps begin to set in, and after more than three days even the most experienced Marine begins to experience claustrophobic reactions.”

Battledress IMO isn’t just a fancier suit of armour, it’s a small personal tank. It’s uncomfortable, difficult and even dangerous to use. And it limits your ability to interact with your environment (at least in non-weapons-related ways) quite severely. You can’t sit a table, you can’t get in a car, you can’t grab fragile objects. Just getting through a door might be a minor tactical evolution in its own right (assuming you care about the condition of the door afterwards).
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Bill Sheil » Sun Nov 21, 2021 12:39 pm

AKjeldsen wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 11:39 am
Battledress IMO isn’t just a fancier suit of armour, it’s a small personal tank.
That is the way I would play it from now on.

Last campaign I played in (PoD) the referee had basically been trying to run it more like a D&D campaign with a leaning towards dungeon crawl type adventures and party management. As a result he had been reluctant to allow us too much "game unbalancing" hardware and when he dropped in a couple of battledress armoured Aslan at the end of a scenario for us to deal with out assorted gauss rifles, ACRs and laser rifles it felt a bit like the last scene of Saving Private Ryan with Tom Hanks offloading his pistol at an oncoming Tiger Tank. And the comparison was appropriate as in CT Striker I think the TL15 battledress armour level has and armour value the equivalent of 5cm hard steel.

Initially I was annoyed at Mongoose for make the stats of the armour so high but, in hindsight, I think it is reasonable that personal armour should be virtually impenetrable to weapons even just a tech level or two below its level. The real issue had been that we were bringing knives to a gunfight and between the referee and the players there should have been more awareness of what level we were playing at and what alternatives there were to straight up shooting solutions.

The Expanse novels have some good ideas on powered armour the martian marine character Bobby Draper (IIRC from book 2 onwards) has a set of powered armour that she manages to keep hold of out of service but she only dons it when actual firefights are inevitable, it seems to require a lot of preparation and be too constraining for any casual wear. A major storyline in Book 7 is the takeover of a space station by high tech marines whose armour renders them apparently invulnerable and the resistance spend most of the remainder of the book looking for a way to counter the armour.

So if I run a campaign again I am going to make battledress a dedicated profession military asset that is extremely difficult to acquire and maintain privately. Not impossible for the players to get hold of but needing a dedicated effort, and risk, not just bought over the counter. There should also be a difference between lighter streamlined marine (ship) battledress for use in narrow corridors and battlefield battledress.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby cunningrat » Sun Nov 21, 2021 4:29 pm

adzling wrote:
Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:09 pm
There is a whole section in the new Mercenary book Specialist Forces
Silly question, where is that available? I don't see it on the Mongoose site.

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