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Old 12-21-2018, 12:37 PM
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Default Early Phase Cache Upgrades

When The Morrow Project put its people into the Bolt Holes they had been through extensive training on their weapons and equipment. I wonder though if The Project ever thought as new issues came out to revisit already sealed Bolt Holes and upgrade the gear?

Say a team is issued with M14s. Well and good, they know how to strip, maintain and clean them. Would Project armourers think to upgrade those M14s with picatinny rails and sighting mods? How about new armour mixed in with the old stuff?
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Old 12-21-2018, 03:59 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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You can actually do three different upgrades, depending on when you start your version and when you start the war.

First version could be frozen in the early 1960s.

A second upgrade in the late 70s, early 80s.

A perhaps a late 90s upgrade, sort of a last minute, emergency deployment of newly developed tech.
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Old 12-22-2018, 12:08 AM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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This is one of the many reasons I always assume that BEM was able to provide the approximate date of the war, say within a year. No need to upgrade, no sending people into the nuclear aftermath with gear that is either outdated or unfamiliar. This is no scenario to tackle with less than the best gear, or anything you cannot pick up and use on day 1.
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Old 12-22-2018, 07:18 AM
Desert Mariner Desert Mariner is offline
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For those that don't have 4e, it specifies global cache upgrades in 1987, 1999 and 2013.
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Old 12-22-2018, 07:25 AM
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So we are saying that all caches are upgraded? That either no M14s are left in caches before The Big Event or they are brought up to a 2013 standard?
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Old 12-22-2018, 09:30 AM
Desert Mariner Desert Mariner is offline
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I dislike the idea of replacing everything a team has trained on with possibly unfamiliar weapons and/or equipment.

I think the 1987 update would be more extensive as that's when the fusion units and lasers were added. Per 4e, this included a global update of not only the caches but boltholes as well.

Subsequent updates wouldn't have been as extensive both for the training impact and security issues.

As a side note, 4e even includes a table to randomly generate the era of cache equipment so there does appear to be some intent to possibly give a team equipment they've never seen before.
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Old 12-22-2018, 10:32 AM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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The problems of replacing equipment gets even bigger when you consider people being used gear that they simply don't understand. Give a guy from the 60s, trained on the M14, a laser weapon that he needs to maintain and operate, and odds are good that a few dozen innocent people are going to be permanently blinded. And god help them if there is a problem with that fusion reactor and they're sitting there under fire trying to fix something that looks nothing like a gas engine.
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Old 12-22-2018, 10:52 AM
Desert Mariner Desert Mariner is offline
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Or do you create a logistical and security nightmare and wake the teams on a rotational basis so they can be trained on their new toys?
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Old 01-03-2019, 02:46 PM
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For a change of pace playing a 1975 team with a 2013 stockpile would be interesting. Trying to play a person who missed the Information Age by a large amount confronted my modern electronics would be fun
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:00 PM
.45cultist .45cultist is offline
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Perhaps a clerical error means a Team and half it's caches are missed in the upgrades, so they can still feed their older gear.
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:08 PM
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I am so tempted to run a game with a bunch of 'Paranoia'-Style clerical errors.

"You open the cache to see that it is entirely filled with converse shoes. Size 8, left foot only."
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:31 PM
.45cultist .45cultist is offline
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Also, I think the early teams would have been using AR-10's instead of M14's, or at least along side them. SMG's might be M1 Thompsons, M3A1's and M1911A1 sidearms prior to adoption of the 9X19 systems. The 9MM sidearms in 4E are marked "1979", so that means the very first 1960's teams COULD have .45ACP firearms.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .45cultist View Post
Also, I think the early teams would have been using AR-10's instead of M14's, or at least along side them. SMG's might be M1 Thompsons, M3A1's and M1911A1 sidearms prior to adoption of the 9X19 systems. The 9MM sidearms in 4E are marked "1979", so that means the very first 1960's teams COULD have .45ACP firearms.
It would be interesting if they started issuing HK UMP SMGs in the 2000s to utilise all that .45 ammo
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ChalkLine View Post
It would be interesting if they started issuing HK UMP SMGs in the 2000s to utilise all that .45 ammo
Hope no one wakes up to an emergency when their weapons are unfamiliar, require cleaning and assembly. I've watched people struggle to assemble weapons they owned and knew, I wouldn't want to do it to an unfamiliar gun in a life and death situation.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:19 AM
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Hope no one wakes up to an emergency when their weapons are unfamiliar, require cleaning and assembly. I've watched people struggle to assemble weapons they owned and knew, I wouldn't want to do it to an unfamiliar gun in a life and death situation.
That is very true, but allowing weapons such as the HK 417 and the HK UMP go in with 2013 sleepers means they don't have to go through all the old ammo caches and upgrade them.

Now I think of it, the 'Cartridge, Caliber 5.56 mm, Ball, M193' adopted in the early sixties may not play well with M4s designed in the late nineties so the 5.56mm ammo may need to be changed out as well
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:23 AM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLine View Post
Now I think of it, the 'Cartridge, Caliber 5.56 mm, Ball, M193' adopted in the early sixties may not play well with M4s designed in the late nineties so the 5.56mm ammo may need to be changed out as well
There are considerations, as this delightful document will tell:

https://www.dau.mil/cop/ammo/DAU%20S...ith%20Ammo.pdf
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  #17  
Old 02-01-2019, 01:33 AM
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Overall, I think it's a really bad idea to switch gear on teams if they haven't been trained on the new equipment. Unless you are specifically making it part of the gameplay to mess around with PCs or even as a storyline plot for some NPCs, I feel that the Project would not be so enamoured of new gear that they would upgrade a team's gear without the team having the training to use it. I like to believe the Project wasn't that dumb - but that's just me!

It's very different if you upgrade a team from say M16A1s and CAR-15s to M16A2/3/4 and M4 Carbines because it's plainly obvious that the "upgrades" are still part of the family and familiarity with the earlier models will translate to the newer models. But it's a far greater problem (and potentially fatal) to upgrade a team from say M14s to M16A2s if the team has no training what-so-ever in the new rifles.

In regards to the differences between the older M193 5.56mm and the new SS109 5.56mm, the newer version requires a faster barrel twist compared to the older round. SS109 fired from a .223 or M193 barrel will not perform as well as advertised. It's a major fail in Twilight: 2000 that 5.56mm is treated as just one cartridge without regard to the specific differences between the M193 and the SS109.
For a quick & dirty fix, I made the the M193 5.56mm have less recoil but less penetration and slightly less range than the SS109 5.56mm. Some of this is admittedly subjective, as I based my ideas on my own impressions of firing both rounds in semi- and auto- through M16A1 (M193) and M16A2 & F88 (SS109).

If you don't want to worry about the difference and the changes that would be needed to weapon stats, then all well and good. But if you do and want to take account of the difference and you want to upgrade teams from earlier 5.56mm weapions to M16A2/3/4 and M4/M4A1 weapons then you need to upgrade their 5.56mm ammo as well. The M193 will not perform as well with the faster rifling. Going from memory here, the SS109 was designed to penetrate light body armour but the M193 was not and so the ballistics are very different between the two (hence the faster rifling twist required for the SS109 round).
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:41 AM
Desert Mariner Desert Mariner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
Overall, I think it's a really bad idea to switch gear on teams if they haven't been trained on the new equipment. Unless you are specifically making it part of the gameplay to mess around with PCs or even as a storyline plot for some NPCs, I feel that the Project would not be so enamoured of new gear that they would upgrade a team's gear without the team having the training to use it. I like to believe the Project wasn't that dumb - but that's just me!
I just reread the 3e Introduction, the end of the 2nd paragraph address this directly...

"In 1987, the Project carried out a complete updating of all previously "stored" equipment, opening the buried and sealed chambers of the sleepers without waking them and leaving behind new equipment, vehicles, and the instruction manuals on how to operate them."

In the 4e About the Morrow Project section (page 190), the 2nd paragraph takes this a bit further…

“In 1987 and on two additional occasions, the Project carried out a complete updating of all the previously “stored” equipment. The first time by opening the buried and sealed chambers of the sleepers without waking them and leaving behind new equipment, vehicles, and the instruction manuals on how to operate them. The second and third time things were done differently because of operational and security concerns. On these subsequent updates new caches were buried and the location was transmitted to the bolt-hole computer using references to existing cache locations.”

Note that the subsequent changes mentioned above took place in 1999 and 2013, per The War of 2017 on page 278.

So, it does appear the authors intended to throw some initial confusion into the mix regarding equipment operation.
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:35 AM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Mariner View Post
So, it does appear the authors intended to throw some initial confusion into the mix regarding equipment operation.
I don't think the authors ever really thought this out. They definitely threw in some confusion, a LOT, but I don't think it was intended. Because it would make any real emergency lethal for the team. Need to evacuate? You don't know your vehicle. Bolthole under attack? You have strange weapons in pieces in cosmoline, hope you have time to read the manuals, and hope you have enough weapons knowledge to handle the recoil and ballistics in combat.

The strange part is that they then wrote those emergencies into the scenarios. Not a good idea. I've worked with guys like those who would be on the Council of Tomorrow, they seem too sharp to let something like this happen.
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:32 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is online now
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There are some upgrades that would have made sense, since the basic operation of the device is the same, even if the maintenance is different. Like taking the 2nd generation AN/PVS-5s out and replacing them with 3rd generation AN/PVS-7s or AN/PVS-15s. But they didn't do that. Replacing weapons makes very little sense. I might be able to see M16A1s being replaced with M16A4s as the weapon is very similar, though you have the problem of less than optimal ammo pairing with M193 in some caches and M855 in others. Unless the caches with the older M193 are removed or marked as downgraded caches in the autonav for the team.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:00 PM
Desert Mariner Desert Mariner is offline
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I should have said it was done with intention or they blew an opportunity to correct the record when they rewrote that passage for 4e.
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:12 PM
.45cultist .45cultist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLine View Post
That is very true, but allowing weapons such as the HK 417 and the HK UMP go in with 2013 sleepers means they don't have to go through all the old ammo caches and upgrade them.

Now I think of it, the 'Cartridge, Caliber 5.56 mm, Ball, M193' adopted in the early sixties may not play well with M4s designed in the late nineties so the 5.56mm ammo may need to be changed out as well
Unless retrofitted with 1-9 barrels, also the links must be switched out if going from Stoner SAWs to M249's.
IRL, the govt dropped M16's and ammo off to A-Teams without manuals or cleaning kits in Vietnam.
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Old 02-22-2019, 01:26 PM
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Not ever having fired an automatic weapon, how hard would it be to convert skill over?

Could a manual be placed with the weapons and have the Team upgrade their knowledge?

(Project Teams are supposed to be self-starters by definition)
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Old 02-23-2019, 08:01 AM
Desert Mariner Desert Mariner is offline
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I think I’d go with something akin to the method used for the 2nd and 3rd retrofits (as described in 4e) and drop the original premise of replacing everything in the boltholt.

Leave the boltholes as they are and “… new caches were buried and the location was transmitted to the bolt-hole computer using references to existing cache locations.”

This retains the familiar equipment with the team as they wake and provides access to upgrades when/if they are needed. This also means a number of additional caches must be sited for each of the three upgrade cycles. Some of which could be very large if the team vehicles were part of the upgrade package. An alternative to adding cache sites could be storing the upgraded equipment and vehicles at a regional base. Then the teams could be trained on the new items when/if they find said base.
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:23 PM
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@Desert Mariner - I think your idea is the best solution and it's the one I would use whenever I can get a game started (nobody in my area is interested, they all want to play D&D type rpgs).
I really cannot see the sense in giving a Team new gear that they have no experience in when they wake up fresh from their bolthole - except for use as a game plot (and it's a nasty trick, one deliberately made to mess with the Players).

It also strains my disbelief, I have a hard time believing the Project would risk the lives of Team members by creating a situation where they may have to wake up in an emergency and defend themselves with gear they don't know how to use.
To each their own but I personally would not go the way described in canon. There's plenty of other ways to mess with the Players and their characters during the course of a game but to kick them in the head just as they emerge into the new world just seems spiteful.

Last edited by StainlessSteelCynic; 02-23-2019 at 11:24 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-24-2019, 12:39 AM
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I like Desert Mariner's method as it's a good roleplaying way; it gives the PCs a logical upgrade in a world where upgrades are tough to get.

However I also feel that sometimes The project is portrayed as a little too sensible and not prone to the mistakes that plague real life organisations as well, so maybe they do make well intended mistakes like everyone else
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:27 PM
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A few more comments:

In many areas, the Project is already so needy that upgrades or excessive spares make an astonishing security challenge even harder. The organization of the Project likely requires more combat vehicles in some categories than the US Army, each more complex in the categories of power, communications, and computing, and expected to operate under conditions that would make any defense contractor break into tears. Doing all that twice, with twice the cost and twice the secrecy borders on the absurd.

The primary reason to upgrade equipment is to maintain or achieve a degree of superiority over your prospective opponent. The expectations of the Project's opponents aren't changing during the planning and preparation stages, so upgrading caches would require that the initial solutions were acknowledged as inadequate when they were placed, or the improved value of those new supplies is so great as to justify the expense and risk. In most cases, it would be better to provide new capabilities or additional consumable supplies or replacement parts than to to provide a marginally improved replacement in a category where the Project already has dominance.

I still maintain that the knowledge of the approximate date of the war is the single most important piece of data the Project could ever have. Among other things, it makes these questions of upgrades irrelevant. But if for some reason that is unacceptable, then it is still worthwhile to remember that every time you touch a secret in public, you make it more vulnerable - don't do it more than you have to.
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
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To each their own but I personally would not go the way described in canon. There's plenty of other ways to mess with the Players and their characters during the course of a game but to kick them in the head just as they emerge into the new world just seems spiteful.
It doesn't seem spiteful to me, it seems lazy. The task of the Project is already so ridiculously hard that turning a few simple dials already allows the PD to run the game anywhere from "simple and fun" to "we've lost two team members and we haven't even gotten out of the bolthole!!" This seems like the writers didn't want to challenge themselves to create a reasonable challenge and so just tossed in an unreasonable challenge that was easier to write.

And that is probably unfair too. Professional writers need to produce, and can never spend all the time a project really deserves. It may be unfair to blame them for flaws (even ones obvious to me) that occurred because they had X hours to produce the game and couldn't fit a serious analysis of this idea into that time.

But don't do it.
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Old 02-25-2019, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post
It doesn't seem spiteful to me, it seems lazy.

<snip>

But don't do it.
Sorry, I didn't explain myself very well when I expressed that thought. To clarify, I feel that in the eyes of the Players, screwing up their equipment would come across as the GM being spiteful.
But in regards to the writing, yes I agree with all the points you made.

But your last sentence, it gave me a wry smile. It reminded me of the anti-smoking campaign from the 1980s featuring Yul Brynner where his parting comment was: -
"Don't smoke.
What ever you do, just don't smoke".
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