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Old 09-14-2015, 05:00 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default The Phoenix Team, why and why not

And here is the thread about the most discussed addition to the Project...

The team consists of 47 men and they are all former Special Forces, combat veterans, unmarried with no close family ties, masters of some form of unarmed combat and fluent in at least one language other than English.

All I can say, in my games, NO!!
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Old 09-14-2015, 05:04 PM
mikeo80 mikeo80 is offline
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Originally Posted by dragoon500ly View Post
And here is the thread about the most discussed addition to the Project...

The team consists of 47 men and they are all former Special Forces, combat veterans, unmarried with no close family ties, masters of some form of unarmed combat and fluent in at least one language other than English.

All I can say, in my games, NO!!
I am with Dragoon here. NO!!!

One nice thing is that the PB module does say that Phoenix is OPTIONAL....You can write it out of YOUR PB.

My $0.02

Mike
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:19 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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I've said this on the Prime Base thread, I'd rather see 5-6 recon teams and 2-3 mars teams rather the P-Team
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:34 PM
mikeo80 mikeo80 is offline
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IIRC in the PB module, the only folks we see at PB are the intel gatherers, the command team, and the families. I do not recall ANY other teams. I think this could be added to PB if you wanted to. But Prime is the central Command and Control for the entire Morrow Project.

This is why I was VERY confused with the camp at Pahute Pass. IF you are going to set up a test village, fine. 50+ klicks from PB. MINIMUM. And the people who go out on this mission are ONE WAY only. You want to minimize backtrack to PB as best as you can. Nothing is perfect, Murphy was a grunt, and no plan survives the first brush with combat. Having said ALL of that, do the best you can. You are PB, for goodness sakes. The entire project rests with you.

I am now off of soap box. Sorry.

My $0.02

Mike
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:58 PM
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I would rather go with Prime Base going down to internal sabotage by a sleeper cell than the who Krell/Pahute place debacle.
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:25 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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I've said this on the Prime Base thread, I'd rather see 5-6 recon teams and 2-3 mars teams rather the P-Team
I am with you on this. The only reason I would have for calling them out as special and have a designation like Phoenix Team would be to have them be the logical result of Morrow Internal Security. In all my personal deliberations on the structure of Morrow Industries and Morrow Project, there is a need for some internal security to keep those workers not part of the Project from getting too close, to quash rumors in the media and the like. Then once the Project starts, they are sort of like MPs, keeping any given team from going too far off the rails on a power trip. As such, they would be well trained, more loyal average personnel.

They would not be the gray jumpsuit wearing men with camo capes flying away to trouble spots they picked up with their super hearing where two of them can leave in the morning, totally destroy a rogue team, the company of irregulars they trained and the improvised weapons and be back at base to enjoy a lovely lunch. From the description we have of them in PB, they might as well operate that way.
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:16 PM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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Here is my counter argument:

You (yes You!!) are responsible for recruiting people into Morrow. To minimize training costs, you have been given a list of skills and characteristics to look for, including but not limited to military experience. And because that list was not made by buffoons, certain types of military experience are preferable to others.

So you go recruiting, and you wind up with X military veterans. Good job You! Assuming you did a good job, X is going to skew at least a little towards the most preferable military professions, but even if it doesn't you certainly don't have a uniform set of skills and experiences - you some guys whose military experience consisted of doing laundry or opening #10 cans of slop, but you also have guys who just got out of years of combat duty in tough, tough units.

Now You get promoted to actually assigning those veterans to teams. You really are doing great! You could just assign them randomly, but if you are not a complete schmuck, or at least consult some of the guys you are assigning, you realize that just about any quasi-military unit has "line" units and "elite" units. Heck, even the police have SWAT teams! So you decide to create tiers in your MARS and Recon assets (heck, probably ALL team types, but not right now), which means that you have at least one team that is "top tier". Who goes on that team? Probably those guys with the REAL thousand yard stare and a decade of swamp fighting under their belts.

Wait, this is starting to sound a lot like... Phoenix Team! The details may vary a little, but I cannot see how any sane organization would NOT wind up with something very like Phoenix Team at PB for the same reason that they would have a whole lot of other experts there too. The characters' team would not expect to have the best doctor in the Project, or the best leader, or the best shooter, and they should reasonably expect that those "bests" are going to be at PB.

Now, there is a definite role-playing challenge with Phoenix Team, but that doesn't mean that the reasonable solution is to eliminate the very idea. Just have them killed with everyone else! The 3ed demise of PB certainly gave a few instances where activating the team would have been a reasonable choice, and no amount of special operations training or experience will render you immune to NBC weapons!

So don't make the planners of the Project idiots out of step with every concept of organizational structure and leadership, just use the enemy to kill off the parts you don't want!
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:03 PM
.45cultist .45cultist is offline
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I would rather go with Prime Base going down to internal sabotage by a sleeper cell than the who Krell/Pahute place debacle.
This would bypass any filtration and sensors in the air circulation.
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:39 PM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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This would bypass any filtration and sensors in the air circulation.
But it does raise a lot of other questions, such as how Krell was able to penetrate into Morrow's high command pre-war and why they didn't then try and take the base intact from the inside, which would enable them to wipe out the entire Project in one blow. It is kind of the inverse problem of having a US President on the CoT, someone so influential (for good or bad) in the Project should have a much bigger impact than is usually desired.
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:07 AM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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But it does raise a lot of other questions, such as how Krell was able to penetrate into Morrow's high command pre-war and why they didn't then try and take the base intact from the inside, which would enable them to wipe out the entire Project in one blow. It is kind of the inverse problem of having a US President on the CoT, someone so influential (for good or bad) in the Project should have a much bigger impact than is usually desired.
Krell penetrating Morrow command might be easier than one may think. 4th edition does postulate that Krell might have been a former Morrow Project recruit. Knowing the selection criteria would let them train operatives to get in and to work themselves into such a position. Krell is not a stupid man, whatever his real name is. He has a pre-war organization of some stripe and resources.
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Old 09-15-2015, 12:01 PM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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Krell penetrating Morrow command might be easier than one may think. 4th edition does postulate that Krell might have been a former Morrow Project recruit. Knowing the selection criteria would let them train operatives to get in and to work themselves into such a position. Krell is not a stupid man, whatever his real name is. He has a pre-war organization of some stripe and resources.
That leads to ever more questions:

How does the Project deal with recruits who say "no" after they have already seen too much? It has to happen, do they have "accidents", are they shuttled off to a prison of some type to keep the secret, do they have a mind eraser? And if Krell was such a person, how did he escape?

If Krell got a man inside PB, how extensive is his penetration? Are there Krell operatives all through the Project?

If Krell got a man inside PB, why does the Project even exist? Said operative would have had years to alert his superiors about the existence, location, and capabilities of the base. The base should have been taken, not ignorantly attacked and then left. Krell should have gone over the wreckage with a fine-toothed comb, hacked into the computers, identified all the teams, and killed them in their sleep! The Grand Deception would have never worked!
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:06 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Here is my counter argument:

You (yes You!!) are responsible for recruiting people into Morrow. To minimize training costs, you have been given a list of skills and characteristics to look for, including but not limited to military experience. And because that list was not made by buffoons, certain types of military experience are preferable to others.

So you go recruiting, and you wind up with X military veterans. Good job You! Assuming you did a good job, X is going to skew at least a little towards the most preferable military professions, but even if it doesn't you certainly don't have a uniform set of skills and experiences - you some guys whose military experience consisted of doing laundry or opening #10 cans of slop, but you also have guys who just got out of years of combat duty in tough, tough units.

Now You get promoted to actually assigning those veterans to teams. You really are doing great! You could just assign them randomly, but if you are not a complete schmuck, or at least consult some of the guys you are assigning, you realize that just about any quasi-military unit has "line" units and "elite" units. Heck, even the police have SWAT teams! So you decide to create tiers in your MARS and Recon assets (heck, probably ALL team types, but not right now), which means that you have at least one team that is "top tier". Who goes on that team? Probably those guys with the REAL thousand yard stare and a decade of swamp fighting under their belts.

Wait, this is starting to sound a lot like... Phoenix Team! The details may vary a little, but I cannot see how any sane organization would NOT wind up with something very like Phoenix Team at PB for the same reason that they would have a whole lot of other experts there too. The characters' team would not expect to have the best doctor in the Project, or the best leader, or the best shooter, and they should reasonably expect that those "bests" are going to be at PB.

Now, there is a definite role-playing challenge with Phoenix Team, but that doesn't mean that the reasonable solution is to eliminate the very idea. Just have them killed with everyone else! The 3ed demise of PB certainly gave a few instances where activating the team would have been a reasonable choice, and no amount of special operations training or experience will render you immune to NBC weapons!

So don't make the planners of the Project idiots out of step with every concept of organizational structure and leadership, just use the enemy to kill off the parts you don't want!

That is certainly one way to look at it. There are others, so let me ramble on here.

Instead of taking all the best of anything and putting them all together you parcel them out so that instead of having a GREAT team and then ones that are increasingly lack luster you have a number of teams that have a really top person and some other folks that that leader can mentor and keep alive in the post oops world until they have enough experience to be more likely to survive.In all the military units I served with we always tried to spread the wealth of experience and skills across squads, platoons and such so that we didn't have all our eggs in one basket.

Secondly the Phoenix guys are all supposed to have no strong social connections. So were they psychologically unable to form strong social bonds or did they suffer the loss of everyone they cared about? Either of these options is bad (The former is REALLY bad-are they a sociopath?)

In almost any military organization the most important bond is to your team mates, squaddies first and then up to the Company level. 57 super soldiers is basically a Company. These guys KNOW they are better than EVERYONE else in the Project. They will shake out and get a leader at some point. This leader will be the single most powerful person in the whole Project. He will command the loyalty and respect of the single most powerful asset the Project has. If at some point he disagrees with the entire rest of the Morrow Project there isn't a damn thing anyone (or in fact everyone) can do about it.

If a regular Joe team goes rogue several other teams can band together and deal with the issue. If this band goes rogue they can't be stopped because they are basically a Special Ops dream team.

It would be illogical for the Project to build the exact type of asset that would be most likely to leave the reservation AND be too strong to deal with.

YMMV
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Old 09-15-2015, 06:49 PM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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Instead of taking all the best of anything and putting them all together you parcel them out so that instead of having a GREAT team and then ones that are increasingly lack luster you have a number of teams that have a really top person and some other folks that that leader can mentor and keep alive in the post oops world until they have enough experience to be more likely to survive.In all the military units I served with we always tried to spread the wealth of experience and skills across squads, platoons and such so that we didn't have all our eggs in one basket.
What you are describing is the other side of the special operations issue, and the usual response is to combine the two approaches - If you have 100 "elite" soldiers, you might create a 40-50 man special ops unit and sprinkle the others among your line units in the manner you describe. I never meant to imply that Phoenix (or similar units) would or should be allowed to take ALL the "best", merely that some of them would be used for this.

And again, this is not a new argument - it is the constant struggle in allocating troops between line and elite units, and no one goes entirely one way or another.

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Secondly the Phoenix guys are all supposed to have no strong social connections. So were they psychologically unable to form strong social bonds or did they suffer the loss of everyone they cared about? Either of these options is bad (The former is REALLY bad-are they a sociopath?)
I never took that as being much more than the usual issue of recruiting Morrow personnel - if you have strong social connections, are you willing and able to abandon them to what you know to be an inevitable atomic holocaust? I thought this was included in the list just because it represented a standard Morrow recruiting issue that was not normally a concern with soldiers.

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If a regular Joe team goes rogue several other teams can band together and deal with the issue. If this band goes rogue they can't be stopped because they are basically a Special Ops dream team.

It would be illogical for the Project to build the exact type of asset that would be most likely to leave the reservation AND be too strong to deal with.
And yet the US and other groups maintain Phoenix-like groups all the time. Which is more likely, that these guys are going to unify and go rogue against the Project or that there would be some external forces against which you might need people assembled together with more training and resources than a typical MARS team?

It seems like everyone is opposed to a world in which the PCs are not the de facto "best of the best". If they want that distinction, they will need to earn it.
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Old 09-16-2015, 06:18 AM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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What you are describing is the other side of the special operations issue, and the usual response is to combine the two approaches - If you have 100 "elite" soldiers, you might create a 40-50 man special ops unit and sprinkle the others among your line units in the manner you describe. I never meant to imply that Phoenix (or similar units) would or should be allowed to take ALL the "best", merely that some of them would be used for this.

And again, this is not a new argument - it is the constant struggle in allocating troops between line and elite units, and no one goes entirely one way or another.


I never took that as being much more than the usual issue of recruiting Morrow personnel - if you have strong social connections, are you willing and able to abandon them to what you know to be an inevitable atomic holocaust? I thought this was included in the list just because it represented a standard Morrow recruiting issue that was not normally a concern with soldiers.


And yet the US and other groups maintain Phoenix-like groups all the time. Which is more likely, that these guys are going to unify and go rogue against the Project or that there would be some external forces against which you might need people assembled together with more training and resources than a typical MARS team?

It seems like everyone is opposed to a world in which the PCs are not the de facto "best of the best". If they want that distinction, they will need to earn it.
The United States and other Western Democracies are "nations of laws not men". After the balloon goes up they will be howling wildernesses. How many times in history has a ruler been dethroned by a military coup? Without the framework of the constitution or similar documents and traditions and without a functioning society of which they are a tiny fraction the chances that a group of extremely powerful men will seek "for the good of others" to take charge is much greater. The elements of the Project that control Phoenix had beeter be right almost all the time because if they show poor judgement, fail often or appear to be weak and indecisive (in the eyes of Phoenix) Phoenix will almost be morally obligated to take control

For a model of who might join the project look at the volunteers to go on a one way trip to Mars. This private mission is stated that anyone that goes is going to have to leave Earth and all their social connections behind and will die on Mars, hopefully establishing a human foothold there first. Some are married and have children which they will need to say goodbye to forever. It is as close to being in TMP as I can see.
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Old 09-16-2015, 07:35 AM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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The United States and other Western Democracies are "nations of laws not men". After the balloon goes up they will be howling wildernesses. How many times in history has a ruler been dethroned by a military coup? Without the framework of the constitution or similar documents and traditions and without a functioning society of which they are a tiny fraction the chances that a group of extremely powerful men will seek "for the good of others" to take charge is much greater. The elements of the Project that control Phoenix had beeter be right almost all the time because if they show poor judgement, fail often or appear to be weak and indecisive (in the eyes of Phoenix) Phoenix will almost be morally obligated to take control
How weak you must think the people of the Project to be! Is Prime Base otherwise staffed by incompetents and imbeciles? Are the men of Phoenix that rare breed who are incredibly accomplished, specialized, and dependent on others but nonetheless believe themselves able to displace other incredibly accomplished people?

The things you discuss, if they are a concern of the Project, are a concern at all levels. All they or any organization can do is try their best to put their best people, the ones least likely to go rogue, in the positions of the power and authority. And how messed up must the selection process be for there to be a small group, so highly vetted, that would nonetheless make the decision to destroy the Project? Because in the end, destroy would be their only option - these men lack the skills to run the Project as their own Kingdom in the face of hundreds or thousands of men and women, dedicated and intelligent, who would oppose them.

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For a model of who might join the project look at the volunteers to go on a one way trip to Mars. This private mission is stated that anyone that goes is going to have to leave Earth and all their social connections behind and will die on Mars, hopefully establishing a human foothold there first. Some are married and have children which they will need to say goodbye to forever. It is as close to being in TMP as I can see.
Considering that the private mission you discuss has zero chance of actually happening, and considering that we have no indication whatsoever that any of the applicants have what it takes to do the job, I am not sure how this is relevant other than as an indicator that there are currently thousands of people who think they have a very specific version of "the right stuff".
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Old 09-16-2015, 04:07 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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[QUOTE=cosmicfish;67344] Are the men of Phoenix that rare breed who are incredibly accomplished, specialized, and dependent on others but nonetheless believe themselves able to displace other incredibly accomplished people?[QUOTE]

This is a rare breed? Look at most corporate senior management. That describes them to a "T".
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