Time To Complition (TTC)

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LordRahvin
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Time To Complition (TTC)

Postby LordRahvin » Mon Sep 29, 2003 6:35 am

Step Five: The base offer amount is ((Initial Cost * (1.TTC-1))+Complications) * Economic Multiplier, generally rounded to the nearest thousand. p62

I don't know about you guys, but I hate the whole (1.TTC-1) thing. I also don't care too much for the small bits of money handed out.

So what I've done for my campaigns is measured Time To Completion in months, instead of days. This results in increased pay and an easier formula. You can come approximately close to the 1.TTC-1 result by taking your amount of months and multiplying it by 3.

Thus, the base offer amount if (Initial Cost * (TTC(in months)+3)+Complications) * Econ Multiplier. This should come close to the original result but is a lot easier to memorize and use effectively once you do it once or twice.

Personally, I prefer to simplifier it further by factoring in the Complications into the Initial Cost, resulting in a quicker calculation and an increased payout, but I can see why people on this forum wouldn't want to do that. I'm posting this in case anyone else may find use in it.

[[Generally, a PC can expect 1d3 encounters per month of a mission. In an Assault mission these will be close together with little or no downtime, while up to a week may pass between one encounter and the other during other mission types. Reconnaisance and Garrison missions will have only 1d3-1 encounters per month. You can expect an additional +1 encounter per month for everytime the Kill Zone bonus is factored in.]]
"Chance favors the prepared mind." --Sir Isaac Newton
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Postby Guest » Mon Sep 29, 2003 2:53 pm

Your formula only works for times close to 1 month.

For short missions, 10 days or less, the pay is almost three times
standard.

For one month mission the pay is the same.

For two months pay is only 5/7 standard.

The formula would be easierto understand as
(Initial Cost * TF + Complications) * econ mod where TF = (days-1)/10

The reason complications are not included in the time adjusted portion is that most are single events. If I travel 500 km overland the first day I should not get paid for it multiple times on a month long mission.
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Postby LordRahvin » Mon Sep 29, 2003 5:32 pm

Thanks, guest.
Two address your two points:

* The TTC+3 should in fact be TTC*3. So sorry about that. It still doesn't fix the numbers exactly but it should come a lot closer. And yes, it doesn't work at all if your mission length is less than a month.

* I now understand why the complications are not factored into the time to completion. In my view, these complications were constant considerations during the duration of the mission. For example, Traveling Distance is a complication implying being away from support and in possible danger of being detected by the enemy before mission objectives are reached. This would be a constant consideration. I should also note that these are usually potential or likely complications and may not be in every encounter.

I'm assuming PCs are recruited for specific missions, but for specific duties for particular factions for a certain length. PCs won't know many of the actual specific mission details until they actually sign up. Thus, mercenaries aren't recruited for specific 5-day missions or whatever, but recruited to augment overall forces in certain areas during a particular campaign, movement, or initiative.

-Lord Rahvin
"Chance favors the prepared mind." --Sir Isaac Newton
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Postby Lane Shutt » Tue Sep 30, 2003 4:46 am

LordRahvin wrote:Thanks, guest.

I'm assuming PCs are recruited for specific missions, but for specific duties for particular factions for a certain length. PCs won't know many of the actual specific mission details until they actually sign up. Thus, mercenaries aren't recruited for specific 5-day missions or whatever, but recruited to augment overall forces in certain areas during a particular campaign, movement, or initiative.

-Lord Rahvin
AARRRGGHH! I know I logged in just before posting that reply, hope I didn't log-in rejection syndrome from Ian.

The impression I got from the book was that most missions were short term jobs. They imply that some cities (Kalingrad?) even had a large number of merc. companies competing for jobs. Contracts go to whoever is the best: qualified, equipped, negotiator or price.

If you look at the contract negotiation rules it mentions that smart mercs will research the job, client and any potential competition.
This helps them negotiate for things like transportation, support and better pay.

Would you pay your auto mechanic a retainer fee so that he was available on a minutes notice, just in case you had a problem. More likely you make a few calls after you find the problem and pick a mechanic based on your impression and past dealings with their shops.

One change that the pay formula could use is a challenge rating adjustment. Operating cost for a large mech. are more than a tiny mech. Considering a larger mech. carries more weapons or electronics the mission cost would be even higher. If we had some kind of rating based on mech. size/ armament/ equipment an adjustment would be easy. Your team is CR 2.5, resistance is expected to be light at CR 1.2, total modifier is 3 x base.

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Why monthly timetables work better than daily

Postby LordRahvin » Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:43 am

Thanks, Lane, for taking the time to comment on this topic. I really didn't think anyone would.

I agree, the impression from the books is that the missions were short term jobs. Absolutely. Unfortunately, I just can't see anyone actually running a war this way and I think a significant portions of combatants in this war would be mercenaries.

For certain assault-based missions where most of the variables are pre-determined and coordinated, you probably only need to fire the mercenaries for a few days and can probably plan out exactly where they need to be and when.

But for all the other missions, for the most part I think they would either have multiple parts to them indicating a larger number of total days hired (not necessarily back to back), or (more likely) the exact time to completion may not be known. Indeed for Recon missions, very little is known, so all you can really get is a rough idea of when you need the information (yesterday!) and this probably involves multiple deployments. Indeed in such cases, the activities of the mercenaries may not be known by the employer, so long as the mercenaries get the information.

For garrison duties... I just don't see a three-day garrison deployment. I just don't unless you're instantly responding to an incursion that's happening right now which the books even say isn't very likely to ever happen unless its a full scale invasion.

I'm also assuming that most of your missions involve secondary objectives. That's something the book doesn't really cover very well.

You can still research the job, the client, and any potential competition just as normal. You're just paid more, and time is kept track of in abstract approximations. This aids both in helping the game/world make more sense and aids with my own bookkeeping.

---

There are two basic reasons you hire mercarnies. Either you need to augment your own forces when weak, in which case you'd contract mercenaries for very long contract terms or use them primarily for specialized roles. The advantage to having mercenaries perform specialized roles is two fold: 1) the mercenary team may be more specialized for the assignment than anything you've got handy, and 2) once you hire mercenaries to complete a job, you don't have to worry about it anymore. You don't have to assign perconnel, set time tables, establish priorities, allocate resources, or any of it... you explain what needs to be done and it gets done, usually much more efficiently than you could have done it on your own. At least that's the mentality that goes into hiring freelancer writers, I assume it's similiar for freelance warmek pilots! : )

---

Just from the way I setup my campaigns, I prefer to think that a lot goes on between missions and between sessions and that the parts we play out are just the dramatic highlights. It seems weird to me if you become a famous mercenary veteran in only a couple months of game time. If each mission lasts for several months, with one or more months in between each mission, the game's calander makes a lot more sense to me with a campaign spanning years of game time.

---

It's ironic that you use the example of the auto mechanic. Would you pay them a retainer fee so that he's on hand when you need him or pick a mechanic only after you have a problem? Well I get your point, according to the rules this is exactly what you do! You buy a general service contract so that you'll have the mechanics handy when something breaks down. It's the next best thing to having your very own repair shops. Mercenaries could be thought of under a similiar light.

---

I agree, the challenge rating would be ideal to factor in if only I knew how. Balancing missions is not something I've tried to tackle yet.

-Lord Rahvin
"Chance favors the prepared mind." --Sir Isaac Newton
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Re: Why monthly timetables work better than daily

Postby Guest » Wed Oct 01, 2003 6:33 am

LordRahvin wrote: I agree, the impression from the books is that the missions were short term jobs. Absolutely. Unfortunately, I just can't see anyone actually running a war this way and I think a significant portions of combatants in this war would be mercenaries.

There are so many players in the "war" that many of them do not need long term mercs.
You may have a mission to harass a local plantation, slowing production, so that your employer can get a supply contract since the competition is unable to ensure delivery.
Don't forget the job you get so the employer can deny responsibility.
You may even get a job supporting another mercenary company.
LordRahvin wrote: But for all the other missions, for the most part I think they would either have multiple parts to them indicating a larger number of total days hired (not necessarily back to back), or (more likely) the exact time to completion may not be known.

For garrison duties... I just don't see a three-day garrison deployment.

Some missions do not fit the short or fixed time models.
Garrison duty (by the formula) pays for a short fire fight every couple weeks and a lot of down time.
Recon needs a little adjustment. The base is what the employer thinks it should take, or what they are willing to pay for. Try adding in additional points to the contract such as a bonus or release for early completion. Maybe the players already know what the employer wants and just makes a quick check, work three days and paid for twelve, already negotiating for another job before the first was expected to be over. Another point may be extended missions, do you get paid if it takes longer, at what rate, how does it affect future contracts with them.

Most employers will not want to pay for your down time, might as well create their own team if that was expected.
LordRahvin wrote: I'm also assuming that most of your missions involve secondary objectives. That's something the book doesn't really cover very well.

Good catch. I would handle these as bonus pay rather than contract points.

As contract points you would have to add mission base cost and TTC. A twelve day Recon mission might include two assault and one interception. Players insist they be paid for twelve day recon and a day each for secondary points even though the times overlap. Employer insists that pay be all or nothing.

As Bonus the mission is paid for the time of the primary assignment, twelve days recon. If they complete the secondary missions they receive partial base pay. One assault may pay half base, the other three quarters, interception one quarter. The team has the option to ignore them if it would interfere with the primary mission. If the recon takes them away from the initial area the may not be able to make the interception.
LordRahvin wrote: You can still research the job, the client, and any potential competition just as normal. You're just paid more, and time is kept track of in abstract approximations. This aids both in helping the game/world make more sense and aids with my own bookkeeping.
Different play styles, some groups like to track time. I'm in a campaign where we missed a festival by two days because the wizard insisted on making a magic item.
LordRahvin wrote: Just from the way I setup my campaigns, I prefer to think that a lot goes on between missions and between sessions and that the parts we play out are just the dramatic highlights. It seems weird to me if you become a famous mercenary veteran in only a couple months of game time. If each mission lasts for several months, with one or more months in between each mission, the game's calander makes a lot more sense to me with a campaign spanning years of game time.
IMHO the experience awards suggested in the book make for excessively fast advancement. Advancing a level on your first mission seems a bit much.

Taking an idea from 2nd Ed AD&D I would grant experience based on mission enhancing actions.

XP Action
100 Successfully research employer and job
100 Negotiate contract
10 each additional point in teams favor
20 Failed negotiation/ lost job and review why
100 Complete primary mission
20 each secondary objective

50 Reduce combat efficiency of enemy mech (weapon, limb, sensor inoperative)
50 Immobilize enemy mech.
200 Force enemy from combat area greater than one week (resupply or repair)

LordRahvin wrote: It's ironic that you use the example of the auto mechanic. Would you pay them a retainer fee so that he's on hand when you need him or pick a mechanic only after you have a problem? Well I get your point, according to the rules this is exactly what you do! You buy a general service contract so that you'll have the mechanics handy when something breaks down. It's the next best thing to having your very own repair shops. Mercenaries could be thought of under a similiar light.

The difference is that the repair shop is able to do other jobs as well.

For long term contracts, like six months, where the team is obligated for any mission the employer assigns I would handle things different. Start with a retainer fee of $100,000 per month.
Additional contract points as usual, extra pay, support etc.

i.e.. The team is willing to use their own computer and intell sources (spy satellite subscription) for all missions. In return the employer (who lack such resources) will provide air support once per month and infantry support five days per month. The team is willing to loan their Intel support staff when not needed for missions for an extra 20% monthly fee.

Such long term contracts may have other terms. The team may be required to provide non combat services during down time, such as training junior mech pilots, assisting with repairs. In effect the team and all their staff become temporary employees.


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Official Correction

Postby August » Wed Oct 01, 2003 9:13 pm

LordRahvin brings up an excellent point (and he is not alone). The fault in the Contract Negotiation rules is one of simple omission. When writing the section, my intentions were simple but the specifics got lost somewhere in the text. There is a vital step of the process that was intended from the very beginning but was never spelled out. Many of our gentle (and not so gentle) readers have already seen the solution, but for those who like something 'official', here it is:

After a contract's base pay has been completely calculated and finalized, the value is multiplied by the number of Mek Assets involved in the scenario. That means that if a mercenary team has negotiated a contract for their 4 WarMeks (even if there are five pilots and two of them share a single Mek), its total value is multiplied by 4.

In short, mercenary work is not intended to make a soldier rich beyond their wildest dreams (though this can happen if salvage is handled carefully and the opportunity to take it occurs in game), things were never meant to be quite as frugal as the initial rules made them appear.

I hope this clears up the confusion.

-August "Miser" Hahn
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Postby LordRahvin » Thu Oct 02, 2003 6:30 pm

Thanks for the official update, Mongoose.
But you give me false credit -- I can't find anywhere that I brought up the ommission you're talking about. In fact, if that update is used it pretty much blows a hole in some of my arguments, because then the payment comes out to something like half a million dollars instead of a hundred thousand (only if contracts are negotiated using the changes I proposed above and in my "first negotiation" thread).

I appreciate the update. I'm sure it will help a lot of people.
I prefer my method though because it links increased pay with the length and difficulty of the missions rather than an arbitrary multiplier based on the amount of Meks involved. From the player's perspective it seems fair, but I'm also trying to work from the employer's perspective, too, so that a mercenary campaign makes as much solid sense as possible.

-Lord Rahvin
"Chance favors the prepared mind." --Sir Isaac Newton
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Postby malechi » Thu Nov 20, 2003 6:30 pm

I'm not sure I'm following the TTC calculations correctly and exactly what they are trying to achieve.

When your TTC is from 1-10 days they make sense... TTC-1 gives you a sensical value when you consider it says 1.(TTC-1)...once you go over 10 days however, it gets screwy....

take a two week mission for example... 14 days equals TTC-1 of 13 which equals 1.13 according to the calculation now unless my maths is beyond hope... a three day mission would net you more than a two week mission due to length (3 day mission = 1.2, 2 week mission = 1.13) correct me if i'm wrong...

Am i reading this wrong

text from p.61 "Step Two:Estimate TTC (Time To Completion) in days..."
text from p.62 "Step Five: The Base Offer Amount is ((Initial Cost x (1.TTC-1))+Applicable Complications)x Economic Multiplier

say an extraction mission ($40,000) no complications(0 mod) in Australia (1.0 mod)
Scenario 1: if it takes 3 days to complete: Base Offer = (($40,000 x (1.2))+0)x1.0 = $48,000
Scenario 2: if it has a TTC of 2 weeks: Base Offer = (($40,000x (1.13))+0)x1.0 = $45,200
Scenario 3: if it has a TTC of of a month (say 30 days) = (($40,000x (1.29))+0)x1.0 = $51,600


This makes no sense to me... if it was as the previous poster has suggested reformulated to say (with a modification of my own)
(Initial Cost x TF + Complications) x econ mod where TF = 1+((days-1)/10)
ie ((Initial Cost x (1+(TTC-1)/10))+Applicable Complications)x Economic Multiplier
it makes some more sense..
our three scenarios give values of:

1: $48,000
2: $92,000
3: $156,000

Seems to scale a lot nicer

malechi :shock: <--- nerd
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TTC

Postby Edge » Thu Dec 04, 2003 11:49 pm

I have been going over the TTC rules and i finally worked out what is supposed to be going on... I know some people will look at me and say 'how could you not work that out' but here is what i have come up with.

For TTC of 1-10 days it works perfectly 1.(TTC-1)

Taking Melechi's example of a TTC of 2 weeks i don't think it would be
1.(TTC-1) = 1.13 but rather 2.3. Whenever the fomula would take you from 1.9 to 1.10 it becomes 2.0. A TTC 0f 1 month(30 days) would be 1.(30-1) =1.29 =3.9.

This creates fairly high mission fees but when you take into account armour expenses and ammo costs. All you have to do is fire off .5 ton of autocannon ammo and 2 lancer missles and you have a cost of around $260 000. And that is for one mech.

This brings it line with the example merc companies in the book that want say $1000 000 from their first mission.

This also makes more of the things in the book obtainable for a merc company, such as the more expensive meks, air assets, satellite assets, repair bays etc. It will also enable you to pay off the bank without having to perform 1 mission every 3 days.
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Postby malechi » Fri Dec 05, 2003 1:40 am

;)
((Initial Cost x (1+(TTC-1)/10))+Applicable Complications)x Economic Multiplier
;)

Jase :)
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Those that reach the top see the same moon.
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Postby Edge » Fri Dec 05, 2003 1:56 am

see i knew someone would come up with the formula :)

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