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Old 10-15-2018, 12:56 PM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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Default Training the Teams

Slowly starting to rebuild my version of TMP, and I always try to put together the whole universe (or at least the big, always-encountered parts) before inflicting it on players.

This led me back to the issue of training the Teams. On my organization, TMP members are divided between 5 classes:
MARS
Recon
Science (including Medical)
Operations (including Command staff and many/most permanent base personnel)
Recovery (normally called Specialty)

It is mentioned in American Outback that members train together for at least a year, which gives a good lowball estimate of total training (is all their training together, and if so, why?). A year, for reference, is about as long as it takes to train a Green Beret and about half as long as it takes to train a SEAL (including BUD/S, SQT, ULT, and SLT, all required before deployment).

I have divided training into several phases (all currently set to 3 months):

Phase 1 (Recovery) [3 months]
Prior to being formally entered into the Project, candidates are entered into a Peace Corps-like program where they expect to go to impoverished ot devastated areas and render assistance. To prepare them for this, they are each given 3 months training that compliments their academic training and gives it a practical tilt. The goal is to have at least one of each specialty per eventual Project Team. Candidate specialties are:

Agricultural
Communications
Engineering (buildings and roads)
Mechanical
Medical (also taken as Team Specialty later on!)

This Phase also serves as the last evaluation period before candidates are "read in" to the Project. This training is followed by some amount of time (a few weeks or months) out in the field actually doing this stuff, during which evaluation continues - candidates who prove unacceptable never find out more about the Project, acceptable candidates get sent to the next open spot in Phase 2.

Phase 2 (INDOC) [3 months]
INDOC is where TMP recruits are given basic military and Project training and evaluated in depth for their ability to contribute to the Project. This is akin to military basic training, but a bit longer because there is more being evaluated. Candidates coming out of this Phase are assigned to one of the aforementioned classes.

Phase 3 (Class General) [3 months]
This is where Project members learn what it means to be in Recon or MARS or Ops or whatever. More than the general skills required of all TMP members, these are the skills required to be on a specific type of Team.

Phase 4 (MPV) [3 months]
Team members learn to operate Project vehicles of the types appropriate to their class, and then specialize in particular crew positions: Driver, Gunner, Systems, and Commander.

Phase 5 (Class Specialty) [3 months]
This is where Project members learn the specific skills they will use in non-recovery operations with their Team. That may be as a sniper (Recon or MARS) or as a demolitions expert (Recon or MARS) or as a medic (Any) or as a plumber (Recovery). The list of specialties is broad, but typical MARS/Recon options are:

Communications
Demolitions
Medic
Sniper
Weapons

Phase 6 (Team Integration) [3 months]
Up to this point, members have been going through as individuals. At this last Phase, they are formed into a Team, trained on their specific equipment, and run through evolutions that test their ability to work together.

Assuming all goes well, candidates will go through each Phase once and then be frozen with their Team. Some candidates will be bounced from the Project or required to repeat or transfer training if they are still viable for the Project but need more work or a different assignment.

That's it.

I know it seems like a lot, but considering the difficulty in selecting candidates, the expense of equipping and freezing them, and the difficulty in removing problem members, I think it is reasonable.

Any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 10-15-2018, 03:30 PM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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In case anyone is wondering why i am doing this, the goal is to provide a more realistic (to me) understanding of what Teams can handle. If we assume certain levels of intelligence, education, and physical fitness (by class) then adding training gives a good idea what they can do.

And for reference, I am expecting the result to be a little lower in intensity than special ops, and less focused on conditioning and battle, but still solid in combat.
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Old 10-16-2018, 06:54 AM
Desert Mariner Desert Mariner is online now
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Your training regime is very similar to the one I have fleshed out. Mine is a bit longer and only includes 4 phases as I took the training times from 4e TM 1-1 (I also used the major branch breakouts listed in TM 1-1). Overall, I might like to see the Team phase extended as this is where cadre dynamics will gel and cross-training will take place. In my current regime, a (d6+1) is added to the chosen skill/specialty, this allows the players to use their full complement of calculated training points for background skills up to the time they join the project.

Excerpt from Appendix C of my OCIE Supplement…
Project training illustrated below is in addition to the character’s previous experience. As described in TM-1-1, Project training is broken into four (4) phases: Basic, Branch, Specialty and Team.

Training durations are based on the training times described in TM-1-1, Basic (3-12 months), Branch (9-12 months), Specialty (4 months) and Team (calculated at 4 months as no specifics are included in TM-1-1) for a range of 20-32 months. This would add 20+1d12 months to the characters age.

Phase I (Basic Project Training) (3-12 months)
• Athletics – physical training for all project recruits and includes time spent in all phases of MP training; though later phases may or may not be as intense physically as Phase I
• Brawl – basic hand-to-hand combat maneuvers
• Communications (Radio) – use of Project radio equipment and protocols
• Drive (MPV) – operation of wheeled Project vehicles
• Firearms – basic firearms safety and marksmanship (doesn’t provide benefit beyond 20% skill)
• First Aid – basic first aid and wound treatment
• Melee Weapon (Knife) – the basics of self-dense armed with a knife
• Swim – basic strokes
• Thrown Weapon (Grenade) – did you really think we’d issue hand grenades to everyone without teaching you what to do with them?
• Choice: Brawl, Construction, Emergency Procedures, Gunnery (Land), Hunt (Track), Maintenance (Electrical), Maintenance (Mechanical), Martial Arts, Navigation (Land), Navigation (Map Making), Observe, Psychology, Stealth, Survival (Wilderness), Tactics

Phase II (Branch Training) (9-12 months)

MARS
• Emergency Procedures (Search and Rescue)
• Explosives
• 3x Firearms
• Special Weapons
• Stealth (Camouflage)
• Tactics
• Choice: Artillery, Emergency Procedures (Search and Rescue), Explosives, Firearms, Melee Weapon (Knife), Special Weapons, Stealth (Camouflage), Stealth (Hide), Tactics, Thrown Weapon (Grenade)

Recon
• Commerce (Economics)
• Culture Other (Sociology)
• Firearms
• Hunt (Track)
• Navigate (Land) or (Map Making)
• Psychology
• Stealth (Camouflage)
• Tactics
• Choice: Bargain, Commerce (Economics), Culture (Other), Hunt (Track), Instruct, Melee Weapon (Knife), Navigate (Land), Navigate (Map Making), Persuade, Psychology , Scrounge, Stealth, Thrown Weapon (Grenade)

Science
• Chemistry
• Emergency Procedures (by specialty)
• Forensics (by specialty)
• Research (by specialty)
• Sensor Operations (by specialty)
• 4x Choice: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Technology, Culture (Other), Emergency Procedures, Engineering, Forensics, Geology, Geography, Mathematics, Operate Equipment (by specialty), Sensor Operations (by specialty)

Agriculture
• 2x Agriculture [or if previously known Veterinary Medicine or Nursing (Veterinary)]
• Animal Handling
• Operate Equipment (by specialty)
• Research (by specialty)
• Sensor Operations (by specialty)
• 2x Choice: (by specialty)

Engineering
• 2x Engineering
• Explosives (Demolition)
• Observe (Engineering)
• Operate Equipment (by specialty)
• Research (by specialty)
• Sensor Operations (by specialty)
• 2x Choice: (by specialty)

Medical
• Emergency Procedures (by specialty)
• First Aid
• Medicine or Nursing (if previously known)
• Operate Equipment (by specialty)
• Pharmacology
• Sensor Operations (by specialty)
• 3x Choice (by specialty)

Civil
• Emergency Procedures (by specialty)
• Instruct
• Law
• Legal Procedures
• Operate Equipment (by specialty)
• Psychology
• Sensor Operations (by specialty)
• 2x Choice (by specialty)

Specialty
• Emergency Procedures (by specialty)
• Operate Equipment (by specialty)
• Research
• Sensor Operations (by specialty)
• 5x Choice (by specialty)

Phase III (Specialty Training) (4 months)
Due to the large number of variables and possibilities, each character should be allowed to choose up to 5 relatable specializations as the core of their specialization/team role.

Examples: A sniper might choose: Firearm (Rifle), Stealth (Camouflage), Stealth (Hide), Observe (Military) and Hunt (Track); while a doctor might choose: Medicine (Critical Care), Biology (Anatomy), Surgery (Vascular), Instruct (Academic) and Persuade (Interrogate).

Phase IV (Team Training) (4 months)
• Drive – (specific to assigned team vehicle(s)) or Pilot Watercraft – (if issued)
• Explosives
• Firearms – (specific to issued weapon load)
• Geography (Regional) – (specific to intended area of operations)
• Instruct – team training includes teaching others portions of your assigned job/specialty
• Maintenance (Auto) – (specific to assigned team vehicle(s))
• Navigate (Land)
• Operate Equipment – (specific to assigned team/personal equipment)
• Sensor Operations – (specific to assigned team/personal sensor equipment)
• Special Weapon – (only if issued as part of weapon load)
• Survival – (specific to climate/terrain in intended area of operations)
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  #4  
Old 10-16-2018, 09:19 AM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Mariner View Post
Your training regime is very similar to the one I have fleshed out. Mine is a bit longer and only includes 4 phases as I took the training times from 4e TM 1-1 (I also used the major branch breakouts listed in TM 1-1). Overall, I might like to see the Team phase extended as this is where cadre dynamics will gel and cross-training will take place. In my current regime, a (d6+1) is added to the chosen skill/specialty, this allows the players to use their full complement of calculated training points for background skills up to the time they join the project.

Excerpt from Appendix C of my OCIE Supplement…
Project training illustrated below is in addition to the character’s previous experience. As described in TM-1-1, Project training is broken into four (4) phases: Basic, Branch, Specialty and Team.

Training durations are based on the training times described in TM-1-1, Basic (3-12 months), Branch (9-12 months), Specialty (4 months) and Team (calculated at 4 months as no specifics are included in TM-1-1) for a range of 20-32 months. This would add 20+1d12 months to the characters age.

Phase I (Basic Project Training) (3-12 months)
• Athletics – physical training for all project recruits and includes time spent in all phases of MP training; though later phases may or may not be as intense physically as Phase I
• Brawl – basic hand-to-hand combat maneuvers
• Communications (Radio) – use of Project radio equipment and protocols
• Drive (MPV) – operation of wheeled Project vehicles
• Firearms – basic firearms safety and marksmanship (doesn’t provide benefit beyond 20% skill)
• First Aid – basic first aid and wound treatment
• Melee Weapon (Knife) – the basics of self-dense armed with a knife
• Swim – basic strokes
• Thrown Weapon (Grenade) – did you really think we’d issue hand grenades to everyone without teaching you what to do with them?
• Choice: Brawl, Construction, Emergency Procedures, Gunnery (Land), Hunt (Track), Maintenance (Electrical), Maintenance (Mechanical), Martial Arts, Navigation (Land), Navigation (Map Making), Observe, Psychology, Stealth, Survival (Wilderness), Tactics
.
.
.
You list many of these skills with a specialization. How do you handle this when the base skills is still below 20%? Do you add the d6+1 to the base skill until it is 20% and put the remainder into the specialization? Just curious.
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  #5  
Old 10-16-2018, 09:24 AM
Desert Mariner Desert Mariner is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmartin798 View Post
You list many of these skills with a specialization. How do you handle this when the base skills is still below 20%? Do you add the d6+1 to the base skill until it is 20% and put the remainder into the specialization? Just curious.
Up to the PD, there's no requirement in TM-1-1 to cap the base skill before specializing. If there is no specialty listed then the player/PD is free to chose either the base skill or any appropriate specialization.

Last edited by Desert Mariner; 10-16-2018 at 09:46 AM. Reason: Completed response
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:46 AM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Mariner View Post
Up to the PD, there's no requirement in TM-1-1 to cap the base skill before specializing. If there is no specialty listed then the player/PD is free to chose either the base skill or any appropriate specialization.
True, but it makes no sense not to max the base skill out, since you get more value out of the training points spent, unless the skill is complex where it is required to specialize.

The only other thing that stands out is the Drive (MPV) skill. That only applies to special project vehicles, like MARS-One, Science-One and presumably ACVs since they are not covered elsewhere. Not every Project personnel needs to have that. A V-150 is covered with the Drive (Automobile) skill, as that covers wheeled vehicles under 10 tons (I assume metric ton which is equal to 1000kg to keep things simple).
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:03 AM
Desert Mariner Desert Mariner is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmartin798 View Post

The only other thing that stands out is the Drive (MPV) skill. That only applies to special project vehicles, like MARS-One, Science-One and presumably ACVs since they are not covered elsewhere. Not every Project personnel needs to have that. A V-150 is covered with the Drive (Automobile) skill, as that covers wheeled vehicles under 10 tons (I assume metric ton which is equal to 1000kg to keep things simple).
I'm assuming you're referring to the entry under Project Basic training and I see your point. I may need to revisit the choices available vs. those mandated (I was using the skills listed in the Basic Training (CORE) TM-1-1 section (P. 63)as a starting point). I was trying to keep the number of skills/specialties somewhat equal across the different training phases. Perhaps it would be better to drop the mandated skill and add an optional choice.

Cosmic, wasn't trying to hijack your thread. I really think a combination of our basic layouts could be made to work rather well.
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:21 PM
gamerguy gamerguy is offline
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I have not analyzed this in the level you guys have but just throwing this out there. You may have addressed it and I am blind, please don't point and laugh.

I would think there would be a period where large numbers of potential team members participate in a shared exercise. They would be regularly rotated between potential team match ups until it becomes obvious who works well with who. Since the objective is a mix of skills and specializations the temporary teams would be made up of complementary individuals so no total random mix would be done. Nor would a, let the members build their own groups, approach be suitable either. I assume the potential mixes would be determined by analysis of interviews, aptitude tests and observations but would it not make sense to have a period (as long as any other IMHO) to see or allow organic teams to potentially gel for themselves?

Of course while this is being done there is valid training being done, ideally of a joint "learn your place/duties" sort.
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:48 PM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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There has been no hijacking, this is all on topic!

As to forming the teams, individuals interact with each other in different combinations all through the individual sections of the training (my Phases 1-5), and these interactions are observed by the training staff. By the time Teams are actually being assembled, the cadre has a pretty good idea who works and who doesn't. If there are still mismatches, the goal is to catch them early in the process so that the final team still has significant time together.

This is how the military does it for special operators and they have an excellent success rate.
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:52 PM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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Also, there is one other Phase I forgot to mention. Phase 5B, the TMP command course that gives team leaders and their assistants all the knowledge they need to, you know, lead teams. There should only be one such course needed, as the higher level leaders are already bringing extensive leadership experience with them.
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Old 10-17-2018, 07:21 AM
Desert Mariner Desert Mariner is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gamerguy View Post
I have not analyzed this in the level you guys have but just throwing this out there. You may have addressed it and I am blind, please don't point and laugh. .
I didn’t include this as it’s already described in TM-1-1, page 14-15, 22-23.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post
Also, there is one other Phase I forgot to mention. Phase 5B, the TMP command course that gives team leaders and their assistants all the knowledge they need to, you know, lead teams. There should only be one such course needed, as the higher level leaders are already bringing extensive leadership experience with them.
Team Leader training is mentioned in TM-1-1, page 62-63 but not a lot of detail is given. Again, I didn’t include this since it’s a part of the TM already.

Picking up these references, for me, would be a part of finalizing the write-up.
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:48 PM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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From my standpoint, I am more concerned with making something functional and reasonable than I am with adhering strictly to canon. I'm 3rd edition, anyway - I have yet to see anything about 4th edition that would make me want to pull the trigger.

I figure 2 years of training total would be about right, given the importance, the inability to replace or retrain in the field, and what I believe to be the lush state of Project finances. I also expect Project training to be relatively standardized, not too many special courses - it would be easier and safer for the Project to recruit people with special skills than it would be to establish their own courses. So, for example, MARS would have a demo course (since all MARS teams need that capability) but it would recruit EOD trained elsewhere.
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Old 10-17-2018, 03:08 PM
Desert Mariner Desert Mariner is online now
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After reading through the 4e rules, especially the skills/specialties, I have to agree with you regarding using the 3e. In 4e, they had the opportunity to standardize the MP training and instead chose to say only that characters should dedicate "at least 50" of their training points to that portion of their lives. Not a single required training topic (hence my note on Thrown Grenade training).

Now I'll have to sit down and rework the training topics/classes with 3e in mind.
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