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Jump Travel Times
#1
That MekHQ does all this accounting for us, regards interstellar travel times, finding paths automatically, following recharge schedules and so on, is fantastic. Probably more than we deserve. However, I'd like to make a few observations on why it often seems to match awkwardly with the paces that we find in the fiction, and the occasional tediousness of just trying to get from point A to point B.

For those of us quicker to 'GM Jump' forces, you may carry on, but perhaps there is a way.

First, every force likes to be self-sufficient, right? Even if you hold back on the WarShip, you may feel compelled in a way to obtaining an Invader JumpShip, or the like, for the sake of a unit's cohesion. It's really not too hard, in the grand scheme of the BattleTech universe, to explain why your force, which you could probably squeeze into 1 or 2 DropShips, needs it's own JumpShip. Getting stranded, or worse, would suck, wouldn't it?

But here's the thing. Normal commercial JumpShip traffic. This may be something of a contentious premise, but I have read, and sometimes thought, that the economies of the Inner Sphere are not really well accounted for by the apparent dearth of JumpShips you are apt to read about in the literature, and although there was a retcon or two to address it, there is still a hanging question of whether the amount of commercial traffic really necessary is accounted for.

Given this, it would seem sensible that there would be a kind of background-noise traffic of JumpShips coming and going between systems on regular or semi-regular routes that are simply too unimportant or irrelevant to the grand stories to be accounted for and described with any regularity or detail.

However, this 'normal JumpShip traffic' means something to our erstwhile mercenary company and can represent an additional asset in the game. Although we may like to prefer that all our travel is done with the utmost efficiency, this is often untrue. In fact, it could be probable that at least half, maybe more, of these commercial runs would be by JumpShips with at least one open docking collar.

And here is the interesting part. We already know about Command Circuits, right? It's written somewhere that, theoretically, by Command Circuit you could cross the entire Inner Sphere in a day, but who could afford all those JumpShips? Probably nobody.

There is good news, though. To accomplish even a semi- Comand Circuit between world A and world B, you would not need to own all those JumpShips. All you would /really/ need to do is be there at the Jump Point when the next JumpShip is ready to Jump, no matter who owns it.

It's plausible that, at least along the main routes, there would be plenty of times that there would be more than one JumpShip in a system, perhaps several, and plenty of Captains and Corporations, maybe even Governments, willing to make some cash allowing a DropShip to hook up for a Jump or two between systems, there to transfer to the next 'bus' that comes along.

In this way, interstellar travel times would be significantly reduced, without the need to add a large number of JumpShips to the universe and without a player having to justify why a company sized unit is in possession of 5 Invaders to get a 5-day-on-planet mission done in less than 4 months.

What does this mean for MekHQ? Maybe some kind of modifier in the Campaign Options to reduce travel times according to a rational scheme, like a random or semi-random occurrence jump where you are not required to wait out recharge times, representing times a DropShip could catch a transfer or a double.

2 cents faithfully rendered,
Easy
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#2
It is understood but not modeled that such "trade routes" exist. If you don't have your own jumpship then using those routes can be RP'd easily. Remember, you are your own GM. If you think you can ride a trade route from A to B in half the time, make it so.

The make some extra cash thing... I have 2 Merchant JSs in one of my campaigns but only 3 Drop Ships. So, when it is reasonable I add some extra CBs on the first of the Month. What is reasonable? I decide.

There is enough flexibility in MHQ to handle these things with a "Magic Hand Wave". Should there be a game option added? I don't personally think so. With so many eras to play through, SL, 4 SWs, Clan Invasion, etc a game option would have to include lots of things like era of play, location of play, which faction's space you are in currently. Ad Nauesum.

Still, if you would like to propose some numbers, tables, etc. I will at least consider adding them to the AtB Manual Rules. If things work out and people like them could even consider getting them added to the AtB code in MHQ.
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#3
A quick sketch:

[table]
[tr]
[td]*Hub World*[/td]
[td]*Major/Minor*[/td]
[td]*Era*[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]Outreach[/td]
[td]Major[/td]
[td]All[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]Arc Royal[/td]
[td]Minor[/td]
[td]All[/td]
[/tr]
[/table]

Plotting your course, instead of simply choosing your starting system and your ending system, you choose the nearest Hub, Major or Minor.

Setting out, you:
1. Make a knowledge skill check based on Hyperspace Navigation. Your Margin of Success applies to,
2. A Negotiation skill check to determine if you can find a transfer

A Major Hub gives you a good modifier. A Minor Hub gives you a fair modifier. Being within a Jump of a Hub gives you a so-so modifier, and at 3+ Jumps from a Hub you can try a roll, but at a penalty.

Upon a successful roll, you may automatically and immediately Jump to your next system without waiting out the recharge time.

For flavor, maybe some kind of encounter table could also be added such as; attempted kidnappings by cultists, hostile exchanges with fellow 'hitchhikers', customs inspections by House Navies, etc.

The Table of Hubs is, of course, the part where some work is required. This basic draft doesn't require alot of detail about any particular world, but choosing the Major and Minor Hubs has a few considerations. Of course, we could consider every Faction Capitol, and their respective March, Province, District, Theatre, etc., Capitols as Major and Minor Hubs. Additionally, it may be worth considering that particularly developed worlds, those with A, and perhaps, B ratings in Population/Industry/etc would also be included. The presence of well known unit factories, institutions, etc., also contribute to a decision about a system's Hub status and, of course, there are some factors to be weighed based on Eras.

As a note, Era-based considerations may not quite be as dramatic as they may seem at first blush because, for example, although a planet's industry may be destroyed by an action, the subsequent rebuilding of that industry would go a long ways towards sustaining the volume of JumpShip traffic the economy could justify.
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#4
(09-12-2016, 04:50 PM)Easy link Wrote: A quick sketch:

[table]
[tr]
[td]*Hub World*[/td]
[td]*Major/Minor*[/td]
[td]*Era*[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]Outreach[/td]
[td]Major[/td]
[td]All[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]Arc Royal[/td]
[td]Minor[/td]
[td]All[/td]
[/tr]
[/table]

Plotting your course, instead of simply choosing your starting system and your ending system, you choose the nearest Hub, Major or Minor.

Arriving at your Hub, you:
1. Make a knowledge skill check based on Hyperspace Navigation. Your Margin of Success applies to,
2. A Negotiation skill check to determine if you can find a transfer

A Major Hub gives you a good modifier. A Minor Hub gives you a fair modifier. Being within a jump of a Hub gives you a so-so modifier, and at 3+ jump from a Hub you can try a roll, but at a penalty.

Upon a successful roll, you may automatically and immediately move to your next system without waiting out the recharge time.

For flavor, maybe some kind of encounter table could also be added such as attempted kidnappings by cultists, hostile exchanges with fellow 'hitchhikers', customs inspections by House Navies, etc.

Yeah, this is exactly what I was saying about complexity. You just listed the 2 planets from around 3039 era or Clan. Neither is appropriate for 3025 so both are not Era.

What specific numbers would you like to use for Good Modifier, Fair, bad? On a Roll of... ???

This is what I mean about complicated. It is also what I mean about specificity. It would require a massive table to explain the "Trade Routes" and every Era will be different.

Better to just "Hand Wave"
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#5
Yeah. The table could get big, and the *USIIR*, or whatever, is not complete.

It would have to be something that could be computed on the fly.

Eh, no big deal. It still works for me as an explanatory device and another piece of the puzzle in place.
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#6
Main issue: JumpShips don't actually exist as separate entities/units in MekHQ. Sure, you can own some, but those aren't used for jumps.

Yet.
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#7
(10-04-2016, 09:09 AM)Akjosch link Wrote: Main issue: JumpShips don't actually exist as separate entities/units in MekHQ. Sure, you can own some, but those aren't used for jumps.

Yet.

Yep.

For awareness: The only affect they currently have is what you get charged for a jump if that setting is turned on.
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