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  #61  
Old 09-13-2015, 08:57 AM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Those are interesting sources and the report to Congress mentions that in 1985 there was a recommendation that the off road mobility be improved. 1985 was early in the program.

If you look at the videos you can see that the machines had no trouble getting up a curb.
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  #62  
Old 09-13-2015, 09:08 AM
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Also the design specification was to survive and remain operations after being hit by a 30 PSI shock wave. It appears that the vehicles were capable of meeting this requirement.

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docket/arch...geChambers.pdf

30 PSI is enough to destroy reinforced concrete structures. To survive this blast overpressure the vehicle will also need to be able to survive being struck by large high velocity fragments and debris. I wonder ballistic energy the vehicle could survive would be. I doubt it would be the Science Rover's 1100 but I would hazard a guess it will stop most if not all 7.62mm rounds.
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  #63  
Old 09-13-2015, 10:39 AM
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Those are interesting sources and the report to Congress mentions that in 1985 there was a recommendation that the off road mobility be improved. 1985 was early in the program.
1985 was not that early in the program, and it only lasted a few more years during which no more prototypes were ever produced. The fact that better off-road mobility was recommended does not mean that it was ever achieved, or even that it could be achieved while still meeting the other program requirements. I've worked on a number of programs where the contracting officers had a fundamental misunderstanding of the laws of physics, and asked for things that were blatantly, often hilariously impossible.

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If you look at the videos you can see that the machines had no trouble getting up a curb.
I was being sarcastic. Although the basic geometry of the vehicles does look horrible for off-road.
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  #64  
Old 09-13-2015, 10:55 AM
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Also the design specification was to survive and remain operations after being hit by a 30 PSI shock wave. It appears that the vehicles were capable of meeting this requirement.

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docket/arch...geChambers.pdf

30 PSI is enough to destroy reinforced concrete structures. To survive this blast overpressure the vehicle will also need to be able to survive being struck by large high velocity fragments and debris. I wonder ballistic energy the vehicle could survive would be. I doubt it would be the Science Rover's 1100 but I would hazard a guess it will stop most if not all 7.62mm rounds.
30 PSI is all of 2 atmospheres of pressure. That is a tremendous force applied over a wide area but is still orders of magnitude less than the pressure of a bullet impacts which are measured in hundreds of PSI (for small, soft rounds) to thousands of PSI (for larger, harder rounds). And while in practice it may have needed to survive debris in the development stage it would not have been held to that standard, and mobility requirements may have prevented it from ever reaching that standard.

Look, if you want to handwave a solution, that's fine. But I see no justification for saying that a poorly-documented, proof-of-concept prototype is a viable solution for any practical role. It was designed to explore a concept and see if it was possible, and when you are working that kind of program you abandon anything not absolutely essential to the prime requirements so that you can see if those requirements can be met at all. You don't worry about bullet-resistance because this vehicle was never meant to be within a thousand miles of anyone who might shoot at it. You don't worry about real off-road capability because driving a hundred ton vehicle over gentle grass while still being able to turn into a tornado shelter is hard enough without giving it the vertical clearance it would need to do what other military vehicles do.

It looks cool. So does a monster truck. That doesn't mean that either would really have much use in a general military capacity.
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  #65  
Old 09-13-2015, 03:11 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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The project had to acquire vehicles. There are several paths they can use to do so. They can buy new military gear. They can buy obsolete military gear. They can do a design build of their own stuff. They could also buy prototypes and refurbish them. Each has its own merits and pitfalls and looking through the published canon (which is always dangerous and often contradictory) the publishers over the years have done a little bit of each

Scratch Designs
MARS-1
Science Rover
Gyroscout
The three Hovercraft from Lonestar
HAMM Suit

Experimental or semi experimental
SK-5 (a total of 14 of these were built including the SR.N5 version built in the UK, so two more than the AH-56A)-These could be included as obsolete or no longer in service instead since the US Military use of the PACV version went out of service in the 1970s
XR-311 I thought Israel had bought a small production run of these but I can't find the reference any longer, It seems the US bought about a dozen for trials.
FACME engineering equipment

In production open market vehicles
CG Commando
CG Ranger
CG Scout

Personally I did the same. I don't see taking a prototype and saying "in this fictional universe it actually worked as designed" being any more handwavium than "The Project did a design build of some limited production run equipment". In the later case the Project has to do all the development from building the prototype.

I have some very specific reasons why I use existing vehicles in preference to stand alone Project only ones. One is I can get things like the videos that show machines in operation. I can often get drawings and sometimes even manuals to hand to the players. I can almost always get a few decent pictures. All these help the players visualize their equipment. If the vehicles are stand alone it requires a lot more work, although I am certainly willing to do so. The St. Louis MP crew of days gone by did full manuals for the Science Rover, the three hovers from Lonestar (very heavily modified) and several other vehicles and load outs.

So looking through the canon it doesn't seem that the originators were adverse to using prototypes, production machines or design builds depending on what was available.
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  #66  
Old 09-13-2015, 04:25 PM
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So why not use the HML as what it was intended for? A missile carrier. Instead of a Midgetman ICBM, load it with a Anti Ballistic Missile.

That is very Project. At this time (and currently) the U.S. under the START treaties cannot build ground based ABMs (Naval is a loop hole).

So the Project could deploy a limited number of these to protect a major reconstruction effort.
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  #67  
Old 09-13-2015, 05:07 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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An Anti Missile Missile needs a huge infrastructure of sensors and computers. Its a huge investment. Plus how can it be tested before the war?
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  #68  
Old 09-13-2015, 05:13 PM
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An Anti Missile Missile needs a huge infrastructure of sensors and computers. Its a huge investment. Plus how can it be tested before the war?
I would think that Morrow Sat provides the early warning. The Regional bases provide the ground tracking radar.

Additionally, These could be hidden in underground garages waiting to launch MorrowSat 2, 3, 4 and a few GPS satellites for the Western Hemisphere.
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  #69  
Old 09-13-2015, 05:25 PM
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Landsats have totally different sensors. The ground sensors will almost have to be active and so in the post war world will just scream "KILL ME!"
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  #70  
Old 09-13-2015, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
The project had to acquire vehicles. There are several paths they can use to do so. They can buy new military gear. They can buy obsolete military gear. They can do a design build of their own stuff. They could also buy prototypes and refurbish them. Each has its own merits and pitfalls and looking through the published canon (which is always dangerous and often contradictory) the publishers over the years have done a little bit of each
Is there a reason you would consider the publishers' previous efforts to be a good guidemap? They were wildly inconsistent and many later modules pointed out how often the equipment was a hindrance more than a help. They seemed to have been going for a "cool" game, but created something that was just broken in many ways.

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Scratch Designs
MARS-1
Science Rover
Gyroscout
The three Hovercraft from Lonestar
HAMM Suit
MARS-1, the HAAM Suit, and the Gyroscout never made an appearance in the game that I can recall, and with good reason - they were unbalanced and/or dumb. The "Science Rover" appeared only for NPC's and was the only good idea of the bunch. The Lonestar Hovercraft were great examples of screwing the players by forcing them to use garbage. The players are already getting screwed by the rest of the world, having stupid Project decisions pile on doesn't help the game.

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Experimental or semi experimental
SK-5 (a total of 14 of these were built including the SR.N5 version built in the UK, so two more than the AH-56A)-These could be included as obsolete or no longer in service instead since the US Military use of the PACV version went out of service in the 1970s
XR-311 I thought Israel had bought a small production run of these but I can't find the reference any longer, It seems the US bought about a dozen for trials.
FACME engineering equipment
The SK-5 was a terrible design, and that is why it was barely used in real life. The one time it appeared in the game, the stupidity was driven home. The XR-311 and FACEME were odd choices but as supporting vehicles were largely harmless and close enough to realistic to justify.

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In production open market vehicles
CG Commando
CG Ranger
CG Scout
Not necessarily great choices, but reasonable given the mission and the constraints.

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Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
Personally I did the same. I don't see taking a prototype and saying "in this fictional universe it actually worked as designed" being any more handwavium than "The Project did a design build of some limited production run equipment". In the later case the Project has to do all the development from building the prototype.
And that can work when (a) developing from the prototype is plausible within Project limitations and when (b) the prototype is pretty close to what you actually want.

The XV-15, for example, was a test bed and performed pretty well. But developing it into a production model (and actually test-flying all the production run) would have drawn a lot of attention to the Project in a world where the XV-15 never got past prototype. You can retcon the real world to say it was a US production model, but you have not mentioned doing so and I would not recommend it - the real world is already a functioning system, why mess with that?

With the HML, it was designed as a special-purpose vehicle designed to operate in specific areas hauling a specific load to survive a specific threat. Developing that into a general purpose vehicle designed to go anywhere and survive against anything would require so much effort that starting from scratch would make more sense. Especially since the vehicle itself was under tremendous scrutiny and classified!

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I have some very specific reasons why I use existing vehicles in preference to stand alone Project only ones. One is I can get things like the videos that show machines in operation. I can often get drawings and sometimes even manuals to hand to the players. I can almost always get a few decent pictures. All these help the players visualize their equipment. If the vehicles are stand alone it requires a lot more work, although I am certainly willing to do so. The St. Louis MP crew of days gone by did full manuals for the Science Rover, the three hovers from Lonestar (very heavily modified) and several other vehicles and load outs.
I have zero problem with using existing vehicles, the only time I recommend going away from that is when there is a specific need that cannot otherwise be met. So I don't use the ludicrous MARS-1 because there are other vehicles that could do much better. And when I do use existing vehicles, I try and figure out something that would be plausible and broadly effective - for example, using the proven and available V-22 instead of the prototype V-15 with it's 1500lb payload.

And if you need art, you need art. I don't know that many players who prefer a pretty picture of a bad vehicle to a rough sketch of something that actually works. The only one I can think of who would just turned 13.

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So looking through the canon it doesn't seem that the originators were adverse to using prototypes, production machines or design builds depending on what was available.
They weren't, but they choked on their own bad choices because when you design the foundation of your game poorly then it becomes very hard to build on it. Why repeat that same mistake? I think TMP had an excellent core, but there were a lot of things that drove people away so I don't see a reason to venerate those design choices.
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  #71  
Old 09-13-2015, 05:53 PM
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An Anti Missile Missile needs a huge infrastructure of sensors and computers. Its a huge investment. Plus how can it be tested before the war?
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Plus the fact that several nations and multi-national organizations would be watching for this. The Project was supposed to stay out of the way until the shooting stops, if a couple of unlaunched missiles remain as a threat to the Project, there are other ways of dealing with them. Like Phoenix.
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  #72  
Old 09-13-2015, 05:56 PM
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Oh God Not the Phoenix Team!
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  #73  
Old 09-13-2015, 06:35 PM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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Oh God Not the Phoenix Team!
Why not? Change it however you need, there is no reason for an organization as large as TMP to have a "flat" skill level. They recruited a ton of vets, having some Green Berets and SEALs and Pararescuemen together in a unit seems both reasonable to achieve AND highly desirable.

If you don't like them in the game, just kill them off! That they were reasonable to exist doesn't mean that they had to survive the fall of PB (although there should be a handful elsewhere for just that reason...).
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  #74  
Old 09-13-2015, 06:54 PM
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I have hated the Phoenix Team since I first thought them through. And I hate them for story reasons. An MP campaign (or any RPG campaign for that matter) is about the PLAYER characters. The way the phoenix Team is written they are a hug sucker punch to the Players-Suddenly players who have nursed their characters through what was months if not years of sitting around game tables find themselves upstaged by a group of NPCs that they never even suspected existed. Now instead of being in charge of their own destiny, as they have been since they uncorked they get to be petted on the heads like good little children while the grown ups take over.

The Play of the Game section uses phrases like
The Phoenix Team Leader expects "a report from the Player Team right away"
"The Phoenix Leader's Demand for a report"
"the Phoenix leader will display tolerance beyond all reason in answering idiot questions from the Team"

There is some additional text about how the Phoenix Team sees the player characters as comrades and will trust them more then the players will trust the Phoenix guys. This is a total reversal of the initial description.

When I ran Prime years ago I didn't use the Phoenix team, but did tell the players about them and let them read the section in the book. They uniformly were exceptionally glad I didn't include the Phoenix Team.

Again YMMV
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  #75  
Old 09-13-2015, 07:22 PM
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I can agree with all of that, but story play needs to balance against game world design - the existence of Phoenix team is so logical that their absence would be absurd, so have them be a thing but find some way to kill them off. Perhaps they were in one of the annexes and a cave-in took out the entire team in one go a few decades after the fall of PB.
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  #76  
Old 09-14-2015, 12:34 PM
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I never thought Phoenix was logically required.
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  #77  
Old 09-14-2015, 01:00 PM
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I can agree with all of that, but story play needs to balance against game world design - the existence of Phoenix team is so logical that their absence would be absurd, so have them be a thing but find some way to kill them off. Perhaps they were in one of the annexes and a cave-in took out the entire team in one go a few decades after the fall of PB.

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I never thought Phoenix was logically required.
Vehicles Gentlemen, Vehicles!
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  #78  
Old 09-14-2015, 01:49 PM
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Vehicles Gentlemen, Vehicles!
It is sometimes difficult to talk about vehicles without talking about alternatives to vehicles. Not every problem can be solved with equipment, after all!
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  #79  
Old 09-14-2015, 01:55 PM
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I never thought Phoenix was logically required.
Not necessarily the specific group as described, but I cannot see why Morrow would not need and actively seek to recruit/create some level of "special operations" unit(s) to handle all missions that run-of-the-mill Recon and MARS teams could not handle. Like (going back to the vehicles discussion) groups in possession of nuclear weapons or M1 tanks or that used human shields, or whatever! Morrow could stock their own tanks or anti-ballistic missiles or specialized drones or whatever, but ultimately a handful of well-trained operators is probably going to be a better, cheaper, and more versatile solution.

Is there a Phoenix team thread? There should be a Phoenix team thread.
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  #80  
Old 09-18-2015, 08:10 PM
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Throwing weight above their class............ The future of counter battery?


Last edited by ArmySGT.; 09-18-2015 at 09:33 PM. Reason: just wanted to see what was wrong with the link (it had an extra v=)
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  #81  
Old 09-19-2015, 11:47 AM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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That system is brutal!
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  #82  
Old 09-19-2015, 02:43 PM
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Would a trained AN/PPS-05 operator hear this a just a truck with trailer, a tight convoy of trucks or what?
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  #83  
Old 09-19-2015, 02:52 PM
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I don't know about that but an A-10 driver or an AH-64 gunner won't care.
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  #84  
Old 09-19-2015, 03:09 PM
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True, but doctrine would not have this deployed until air superiority had been achieved.
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  #85  
Old 09-20-2015, 09:08 AM
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I've been toying with Morrow Industry buildings that had protected and underground areas with items for the personnel not in cryosleep. A few are the depots used to store equipment for the upgrades and items withdrawn from service. a lot more are designated shelters, using storm shelter as a cover. All of the have X number of prewar pick ups, cargo trucks, some SUV's and every once in a while a security armored car. A scenario involving an ersatz frozen watch and ruthless Gypsy Truckers seeking the motherlode of parts and vehicles. Then the team converting a vehicle with an electric transmission and power source.
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  #86  
Old 09-20-2015, 01:26 PM
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Would a trained AN/PPS-05 operator hear this a just a truck with trailer, a tight convoy of trucks or what?
The operator would see a huge radar reflection and have to decide from speed, distance, and range what that image could be.
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  #87  
Old 09-20-2015, 01:47 PM
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The operator would see a huge radar reflection and have to decide from speed, distance, and range what that image could be.
From the AN/PPS-05 training videos I have watched, the operator stops the scan and listens to the returns and can determine from the different sounds between a single man walking, a squad walking, a Jeep, a 1 ton truck or a 2.5 ton truck.

This excerpt from an AN/PPS-15 training manual give an indication of what I mean:

5. Target Presentation. Target information is presented by the AN/PPS15(V)2, radar set by both visual and audible indications. The prime method of target indication is provided by the target audio in the operator's headset. Variations in the sounds heard in the headset provide an indication of the size and type of target(s) detected. Visual indications of range and azimuth are provided by digital indicators. In addition, a peaking indicator provides visual indication of signal strength which enables the operator to determine when the radar set antenna is oriented directly at the target. Alarm circuits also provide audible and visual indications of target detection as a tone from the alarm speaker and a blinking alarm indicator lamp. Only moving targets can be detected. Examples of moving targets are a man standing still but moving his arms, a man walking or running, and a moving vehicle. In any case, the target must have motion.

and here is a training video on the AN/PPS-05 to show exactly what I am talking about. It's only about 25 minutes long, but the part with the operation of the radar starts around the 14 minute mark:

https://youtu.be/DMIxvBBt7Vw
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  #88  
Old 09-20-2015, 04:05 PM
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meanwhile has anyone considered the Ripsaw tank to replace the commando scout? outperforms the scout in most categories. and has significant cargo capacity compared to the scout(or the XR311).
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  #89  
Old 09-20-2015, 05:41 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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meanwhile has anyone considered the Ripsaw tank to replace the commando scout? outperforms the scout in most categories. and has significant cargo capacity compared to the scout(or the XR311).
The Ripsaw would be an ideal vehicle for Damocles in the later 4th edition dates.
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  #90  
Old 09-20-2015, 06:30 PM
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meanwhile has anyone considered the Ripsaw tank to replace the commando scout? outperforms the scout in most categories. and has significant cargo capacity compared to the scout(or the XR311).
I always thought the CG/Textron vehicles were chosen because of ties to the Council of Tomorrow. It seemed implied any way.
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