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  #1  
Old 08-08-2017, 05:08 AM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Default Finding Prime Base

It dawned on me, and stop me if you have heard this before, but Damocles knows pretty much exactly where PB was. His ground motion sensors should have lit up when the nuke went off three years after the war. He should have been well versed in calculating the precise location of a nuclear ground burst from seismic data. The fact that it was a ground burst in US territory, not near any targets, nuclear or otherwise and a couple of years after the war will be odd, to say the least.

All the players need do is ask.

In fact the University of Texas folks might well have seismograph data that would also have some data.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2016...n-north-korea/
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:04 AM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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A few comments:

First, there is no data that cannot be corrupted over time, so whether or not Damocles still has the data is up to the PD.

Second, there may have been several post-war detonations. Krell, rogue/fanatical sub commanders, people tinkering with undetonated warheads, etc. There may have been a nuke going off every decade for all we know. And those detonations may not be correlated with pre-war targets.

Third, and more importantly, there is no reason to think that either Damocles or the players would associate a late nuclear detonation with the location of Prime Base. Damocles knows nothing of the Project, and neither Damocles nor the players know that a nuke was detonated at Prime Base until they get there. If a team did query the data, they would probably assume that whatever was at that site was destroyed anyway.

Finding Prime Base should be a matter of following protocols that would exist for the situation where any command was taken out.
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:19 AM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post
A few comments:

Third, and more importantly, there is no reason to think that either Damocles or the players would associate a late nuclear detonation with the location of Prime Base. Damocles knows nothing of the Project, and neither Damocles nor the players know that a nuke was detonated at Prime Base until they get there. If a team did query the data, they would probably assume that whatever was at that site was destroyed anyway.

Finding Prime Base should be a matter of following protocols that would exist for the situation where any command was taken out.
The players know Prime Base was knocked out. It is not unreasonable to assume it was hit by a nuke. Finding nuke detonations with no apparent target might be a decent line of investigation. Just say'n.
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Old 08-08-2017, 10:05 AM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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They know it was knocked out, if there is only one post-war nuke they might decide it was Prime Base (if they also assume it wasn't taken out during the war )... but do they really abandon everything else to haul themselves into the desert to investigate what they assume to be an empty crater? They might reasonably assume that it was nuked, but knowing that it was knocked out why would they assume there was anything recoverable or worth investigating?
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  #5  
Old 08-08-2017, 02:22 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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So what is the SOP for Prime Base and the entire rest of the Project being unavailable? The player team is the only team in the entire western hemisphere that is operational. They open the handy dandy MP SOP Manual and pull out what?
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  #6  
Old 08-08-2017, 05:42 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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Well, an excerpt from 4th edition states:

You have already been briefed on the location of your assigned bolt-hole, and had a chance to familiarize yourself with the surrounding area. As a security measure no other teams will be aware of the location of your bolt-hole, only Prime Base will possess this information. You will be provided with maps leading you to hidden supply caches, containing sufficient equipment to maintain the team for 18 months. Vehicles provided are also designed to operate on their power cell for up to 18 months.

Before those 18 months have passed it is expected that you will have made contact with other teams, your Regional Base, and with Prime Base where you will be resupplied.

Your standing orders remain. Assist the local population in their recovery, and reunite other Project teams.

Upon activation you will receive additional orders via radio on the secure frequency.

3rd edition has a similar statement, so they are to go out, help the local population and try to find other elements of the Project. Straight from the SOPs.
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  #7  
Old 08-09-2017, 05:52 AM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Martin
This still doesn't explain how to find Prime Base. It was suggested that teams will look for Prime Base using SOPs.

How do you search for a needle in a continental sized hay stack? One that has been lost 150 years ago?

One way is you look for anomalies. A late nuclear detonation might well fill that bill. Damocles quite likely was getting data from everything in the sensor net. He might well know that this particular detonation did not have an associated reentry vehicle track. That makes it more curious.

Perhaps there are late detonations on a frequent basis, but how many of them do not have an associated reentry vehicle track, or perhaps a known US warhead?

So the question, to be specific is:
Scenario
You wake up 150 years later
You are the only active Team and you cannot make any contact with any other Teams
Prime Base is not responding

Is there an SOP that handles this situation? If so what does it say to do?

Maybe the SOP is to just bag PB and act locally
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  #8  
Old 08-09-2017, 09:38 AM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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I believe finding Prime Base was handled in 3rd edition in Desert Search. There the commander of the power station knew the location of Prime Base and was able to send the team to it.

So at some pay grade, there are people outside of Prime Base that know its location. Since there are more of these people frozen about the country, you just need to find a large enough facility or base to be handed the location of Prime Base. These are easier to find. They are the unusually resilient structure just off the main road, the unusual looking rock after erosion, etc. and there is one or two not too far from where your team woke up.

Helping the locals would give you the legends of the area that may offer hints that something Morrow is in those hills. The team goes to investigate, finds trouble, mitigates the situation and eventually finds a way into the base. Once they wake up the right person and debrief, the team gets sent off to see what happened to Prime Base with some "fresh" MREs, full cans of ammo, new filters for the gas masks and a wash, wax and detailing of their vehicle. Once they get there and find the slightly radioactive swamp in the middle of the high desert, all bets are off.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:32 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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I concur. While the location of Prime and its backup are secret from the majority of the Project, there has to be someone who knows the location, my vote would go to the regional command bases. While I doubt that a person might be given the location, why not "after 90 days of no contact with Prime, enter this code into the base computer. The program validates the user, the elapsed time period and a security code and then releases a grid reference.

Whatever method used however, must be as secure as possible in order to avoid anyone, like Krell, gaining knowledge of Prime's location.
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
It dawned on me, and stop me if you have heard this before, but Damocles knows pretty much exactly where PB was. His ground motion sensors should have lit up when the nuke went off three years after the war. He should have been well versed in calculating the precise location of a nuclear ground burst from seismic data. The fact that it was a ground burst in US territory, not near any targets, nuclear or otherwise and a couple of years after the war will be odd, to say the least.

All the players need do is ask.

In fact the University of Texas folks might well have seismograph data that would also have some data.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2016...n-north-korea/
Even easier...... Damocles was on (in game mode) and recording in it's role as a backup to National command Authority (or atleast Strategic Missile ommand.

If there was a lapse in COMSEC and/or SIGINT, then Damocles may have triangulated the "Unknown". Transmissions from radio, microwave, satellite to LEO, LEO to unknown ground position, and phone lines that should be dead or have an unknown origination code. Then there is RADAR, LIDAR, used to sweep the air above Prime Base even if it is just to assess fallout patterns.

Not just Prime Base, surely as Paiute Place was being put together and the word went out to refugees, so did signals. People, ordinary, Non Projet people must have used CB radios, Shortwave radios, and with barely a hope Cellular phones to try and reach loved ones.

Damocles, is or was, integrated into the Defense Switched Network (DSN) aka AUTOVON, Distant Early Warning, Defense Action Network, and others (presumably) through connections with nearby Sawyer Air Force Base.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:25 AM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Originally Posted by ArmySGT. View Post
Even easier...... Damocles was on (in game mode) and recording in it's role as a backup to National command Authority (or atleast Strategic Missile ommand.

If there was a lapse in COMSEC and/or SIGINT, then Damocles may have triangulated the "Unknown". Transmissions from radio, microwave, satellite to LEO, LEO to unknown ground position, and phone lines that should be dead or have an unknown origination code. Then there is RADAR, LIDAR, used to sweep the air above Prime Base even if it is just to assess fallout patterns.

Not just Prime Base, surely as Paiute Place was being put together and the word went out to refugees, so did signals. People, ordinary, Non Projet people must have used CB radios, Shortwave radios, and with barely a hope Cellular phones to try and reach loved ones.

Damocles, is or was, integrated into the Defense Switched Network (DSN) aka AUTOVON, Distant Early Warning, Defense Action Network, and others (presumably) through connections with nearby Sawyer Air Force Base.
Yep
Also JSS https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_Surveillance_System
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:57 AM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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Originally Posted by ArmySGT. View Post
Even easier...... Damocles was on (in game mode) and recording in it's role as a backup to National command Authority (or atleast Strategic Missile ommand.

If there was a lapse in COMSEC and/or SIGINT, then Damocles may have triangulated the "Unknown". Transmissions from radio, microwave, satellite to LEO, LEO to unknown ground position, and phone lines that should be dead or have an unknown origination code. Then there is RADAR, LIDAR, used to sweep the air above Prime Base even if it is just to assess fallout patterns.
How is Damocles intercepting all of this? By the time Prime Base started to move, its unlikely that the US has any significant satellite assets still functioning, the only radio transmissions it is likely to have access to is those actually reaching the facility (and there will still likely be significant chatter and noise for several years post-war - radios are too simple to silence quickly), phone lines (why would the Project be using them?) would probably be severed between Damocles and PB, and any radar or lidar that could image PB would almost certainly be killed long before PB unbuttoned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmySGT. View Post
Not just Prime Base, surely as Paiute Place was being put together and the word went out to refugees, so did signals. People, ordinary, Non Projet people must have used CB radios, Shortwave radios, and with barely a hope Cellular phones to try and reach loved ones.
And this would not be happening in a vacuum - those communications systems would be lit up for years with stories about safe zones and resources.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmySGT. View Post
Damocles, is or was, integrated into the Defense Switched Network (DSN) aka AUTOVON, Distant Early Warning, Defense Action Network, and others (presumably) through connections with nearby Sawyer Air Force Base.
All of those should be ash by the time PB wakes up, and Damocles would not likely have been online during any significant period of PB pre-war operations.

Also recognize that Damocles was still in the testing phase when the war came. It would not be fully integrated into everything, for a variety of reasons - the potential for compromising those systems, the bureaucratic nightmare of addressing all those different security systems, the costs required to so heavily integrate for a system that was still a prototype, etc. Damocles was hooked in enough to be able to know that nuclear war had happened, but that doesn't mean it should reasonably have access to every single bit of signal in the world.

You have to step carefully with Damocles. If you make it too smart and too far-reaching then it becomes a literal Deus ex Machina. If it can find Prime Base, the proverbial needle in the haystack, how much must it know of the KFS? Or Krell? Or any other vaguely technologically-advanced society? If the team can befriend Damocles, do they need to do anything else at all in the game?
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  #13  
Old 08-10-2017, 07:02 AM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
Assuming ANY of JSS was still operating by the time PB unbuttoned (unlikely, they would be early targets if Russia was sending any aircraft), JSS still would not do much to detect the detonation at PB. JSS is intended to detect aircraft, not surface detonations. Neither their resolution nor their range are that great either - they are intended to collect rough data over a large area and send detections to other systems (like a dude in an F-15) that can investigate in more depth.
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:56 AM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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The Project planned for everything, well almost everything. They will have had a huge set of Standard Operating Procedures. These will cover things that are likely to happen, things that are unlikely to happen and things that are wildly unlikely to happen. Will they have one that covers the canon situation in the game? Prime Base is gone. 150 years have passed. The player team is likely the only team awake (in most modules, Desert Search this is not true).

Yes they have the three basic principals Of Help the people, Contact other Morrow Teams and Try to Survive.

If you are the only Team awake how do you try and contact other Teams? Unless you are a command Team you don't have any other Team locations. Your autonav is only programmed with your six caches, so it isn't much help.

If Prime Base is off the net what IS the SOP response? Would it be to try and find the Backup Base? Does the backup base even exist? If it does it is buried deep and sealed tight. There will be almost no clues to its location, unlike canon Prime Base, which was lit up like a Christmas tree by comparison.

Should the player characters try and rebuild their little patch of the world and hope future generations can find Prime? Will the rest of the Project Sleep for another hundred years? Will the characters try and find other teams? If so how? Even a big Project has a tiny footprint when compared against the area of CONUS. The Project would have been very careful to eliminate patterns from bolt hole concealment and placement. It isn't that every bolt hole is under a Burger King. Absolutely the only thing they have in common was the antennae. Those were specifically designed to be hard to find.

Yes, the Command Team in Desert Search has a clue where to find Prime Base, so perhaps ALL the bigger bases do, but that is a huge OPSEC issue.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:09 AM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post

You have to step carefully with Damocles. If you make it too smart and too far-reaching then it becomes a literal Deus ex Machina. If it can find Prime Base, the proverbial needle in the haystack, how much must it know of the KFS? Or Krell? Or any other vaguely technologically-advanced society? If the team can befriend Damocles, do they need to do anything else at all in the game?
It is a good question about what Damocles was netted into when the war happened. However as you stated most if not all of the sensor networks will be down within days of the war, so his ability to gather SIGINT even a few years later will be very much minimized. His operational mode will prevent him from being able to reach out very much. So he may catch occasional signs of the return of technological society, but how much will he really get of the short ranged coms being used?

That being said if he is not isolated from the many and varied military networks when the balloon goes up he will potentially have a huge storehouse of knowledge about the war. This, and the data he collected after the war COULD point players who ask the right questions in the direction of Prime Base. He may know that during the war and until his nets went down there were no warheads delivered to where Prime Base is. He will almost certainly have a data base of where every nuclear detonation was during and after the conflict. His on site sensors would be able to detect ground burst nuclear weapons fairly readily. The huge number impacting during large scale strikes might be tough to sort into individual impacts but a stand alone one should be clear as a bell.

Any SIGINT from the period leading up to the nuclear detonation at Prime might have additional clues.

Damocles doesn't have all the data, and data only works if you ask the right questions. He won't. It will be up to the Players to do that.

Last edited by tsofian; 08-10-2017 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:10 AM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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If you are the only Team awake how do you try and contact other Teams?
Radio, would be my first suggestion. Just because you don't know where they are doesn't mean you can't call them and ask to meet up. That won't work out in the case of the game, but it would be step 1 in the SOPs.

Quote:
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If Prime Base is off the net what IS the SOP response? Would it be to try and find the Backup Base? Does the backup base even exist? If it does it is buried deep and sealed tight. There will be almost no clues to its location, unlike canon Prime Base, which was lit up like a Christmas tree by comparison.
Command should degenerate to the senior regional commander and then down the line. There should also be preprogrammed distress signals that the team can use, and the automated communications gear in the Project should be using those signals and the lack of responses to distribute access. The backup base should be hard to find, but if you think Prime Base was nuked it makes more sense to look for the "hard-to-find" base than the "no-longer-exists" base.
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:47 AM
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That being said if he is not isolated from the many and varied military networks when the balloon goes up he will potentially have a huge storehouse of knowledge about the war. This, and the data he collected after the war COULD point players who ask the right questions in the direction of Prime Base.
During the time in which Damocles is collecting with significant ability, Prime Base isn't radiating. If Damocles is detecting Prime Base during its active period, then it must possess radio intercept capabilities that would also mean it could spy on Krell and the KFS and others. So it's one or the other - either Damocles has nothing on the Project or it also has info on the other players. It is the same gear, same processes, there is no reason for it to intercept only Morrow transmissions.

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He may know that during the war and until his nets went down there were no warheads delivered to where Prime Base is. He will almost certainly have a data base of where every nuclear detonation was during and after the conflict. His on site sensors would be able to detect ground burst nuclear weapons fairly readily. The huge number impacting during large scale strikes might be tough to sort into individual impacts but a stand alone one should be clear as a bell.
I am not disputing Damocles' ability to detect the detonation, just the ability to know that the Project exists and then associate that detonation with the headquarters.

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Any SIGINT from the period leading up to the nuclear detonation at Prime might have additional clues.
And there should not be any significant SIGINT from that period. By the time Prime Base starts radiating, Damocles should be operating using only its own on-site antennas and computers, trying to detect low power, LPI radio transmissions from 1500 miles away. Even in the low-noise post-war environment they would probably not be able to detect more than a few sparse transmissions with poor directionality and insufficient data to make any kind of real determination.

Damocles might know that there were a few coded transmissions along a cone that includes a late nuclear detonation, but that doesn't correlate to knowing that Prime Base is there and may not correlate with anything at all - there may have been a variety of radio sources still working that late, including military and intelligence, there may have been a variety of late detonations, and regardless the information is simply going to be too slim to characterize.

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Damocles doesn't have all the data, and data only works if you ask the right questions. He won't. It will be up to the Players to do that.
And what would those questions need to look like? Damocles is intelligent, if it has <insert adequate information here>, what questions do the players need to ask to discover that (a) Prime Base is located at site XYZ and that (b) although it was hit by a nuclear detonation there is still something there worth traversing a post-apocalyptic country to investigate?
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  #18  
Old 08-12-2017, 03:45 AM
Project_Sardonicus Project_Sardonicus is offline
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Why would Damocles neccasairly help?


Remember Damoclese is an experimental aritificial intelligence and not some sort of obedient slave bot.

Damocles may have some interesting views e.g.;

1 Wake up a few teams they can help keep me secure until I build some more robots (and they weren't so great).
As well as help me learn more and explore the world.

2 Take advantage of Project's facilities like holes in the ground full of useful stuff or power plants for when my batteries run flat.

3 Wake up a big hole with hundreds of people in it, who'll boss me around and make me do all the work? Nah maybe later.

Damocles as a sort of super powerful, ageless, stroppy teen ager could be fun.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:54 AM
Project_Sardonicus Project_Sardonicus is offline
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Also now I think about it, maybe whilst he's been on his lonesome all those years Damocles watched Terminator or maybe Colossus the Forbin Project.

Knows where some remaining nukes are and thinks "hmm these humans really are a nuisance with their demands, time to break out the nuclear bug sprayer?"
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:16 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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Also now I think about it, maybe whilst he's been on his lonesome all those years Damocles watched Terminator or maybe Colossus the Forbin Project.
I hadn't thought of that. Is there a Russian or Chinese equivalent to Damocles and did they have an opportunity to exchange math?
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Old 08-12-2017, 03:11 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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"There is another system"
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:26 PM
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I hadn't thought of that. Is there a Russian or Chinese equivalent to Damocles and did they have an opportunity to exchange math?
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