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Assault on Ceres Metal Works


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12 hours ago, Charles Maxwell said:

The unit looks beautiful. I'd say go for it; the only outstanding question I have is how much of that salvage do we get to keep? I just can't see the Lyrans wanting to be too generous with salvage rights with a massive war on and all. That Marauder would be a tasty-looking acquisition for any field commander who knows his stuff.

Salvage is normally really ran by the Contract agreement, and we had no contract agreement, at least as far as I was aware of.

For this first battle, I would be ok with keeping all the salvage that we can get a hold of, then we can try to do normal contracts, while still having a few spare units so that we can have a small cushion for future losses, (doing fewer restarts in the future). Going to ATB contracts will also move the dates along very quickly iirc as well.

 

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So I probably should have spent this time working on an actual post but once again I got sucked into making a somewhat unnecessary excel file, lol. This time around I made one that can take any M

Updated file, turns out the name things was easier than I thought once I had some sleep, lol. Also, if you have two scenarios listed as pending in MekHQ the excel sheet cannot currently different

So right now it is built to use only the ".cpnx" campaign files that MekHQ saves, but only the files made with version 0.47.4. The older files (such as those in the pre-made campaign folders) may have

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So I did some reading in the "Campaign Operations" sourcebook and it seems like we have a few options for how we do the contracts, if we are wanting to follow the established rules.

1) We manually roll for each aspect of the contract as per the rules in the Campaign Operations sourcebook and the tables it provides  - tedious but the most "accurate" rule wise
     We can then manually enter the contract details into MekHQ to match our results

2) We use MekHQ to randomly generate contracts for us (if this is possible, haven't quite figured out how to auto generate contracts yet.)

3) We manually enter contract info into MekHQ, we can follow the rules or make up our own as we go. - least "accurate" rule wise but gives us the greatest freedom

Personally I like either option 1 or 2, we can always act as our own GM and modify any less than favourable contracts if needed as well. Option 1 would require the most work but I think once we do one or two it wouldn't take too much to get it down, just a few dice rolls and everything can be ready. Hardest part that I can see would be collecting all the tables together into an easy to use format, if we plan to create a lot of contracts.

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30 minutes ago, Orlex Jaeger said:

So I did some reading in the "Campaign Operations" sourcebook and it seems like we have a few options for how we do the contracts, if we are wanting to follow the established rules.

1) We manually roll for each aspect of the contract as per the rules in the Campaign Operations sourcebook and the tables it provides  - tedious but the most "accurate" rule wise
     We can then manually enter the contract details into MekHQ to match our results

2) We use MekHQ to randomly generate contracts for us (if this is possible, haven't quite figured out how to auto generate contracts yet.)

3) We manually enter contract info into MekHQ, we can follow the rules or make up our own as we go. - least "accurate" rule wise but gives us the greatest freedom

Personally I like either option 1 or 2, we can always act as our own GM and modify any less than favourable contracts if needed as well. Option 1 would require the most work but I think once we do one or two it wouldn't take too much to get it down, just a few dice rolls and everything can be ready. Hardest part that I can see would be collecting all the tables together into an easy to use format, if we plan to create a lot of contracts.

Those all sound like great ideas Orlex!

... as for myself ... while I was in search of people that know the automated Against the Bot (AtB) functions of MekHQ better than I do, I actually found someone who might be willing to take this on for us and run a MekHQ campaign for our unit. Too early to promise anything here, but it seems like a possible/good place to start. I'll see what he thinks after he reviews it this weekend.

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So I officially spent way too much time on this, but I had the day off and tend to get way too absorbed into this kind of stuff.

Anyways, I went ahead and made an excel file that allows us to generate random contract terms, it's not complete yet but most of it works. Only thing that doesn't really work yet is calculating the actual payment, mostly because I could not for the life of me get my numbers to line up with MekHQ. I followed the rules in Campaign Operations to a 'T' (as far as I can tell at least) but I always get much higher payment numbers than MekHQ gives, even though it's suppose to be setup the same way).

Here's the file, its a macro-enabled Microsoft Excel file, made with Office 365 (not sure how that works for compatibility with everyone), let me know what you guys think.

 

Contract Generator.xlsm

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Hey, guys!

I love the sounds of these ideas (using MekHQ and/or the spreadsheet for random generation) - I think that, in addition to the obvious ease of automating a process that otherwise has many moving parts, the certain amount of randomness outside of our control that it would add to our universe could be very fun. 

@Orlex Jaeger - your spreadsheet is absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for pulling it together - I played around with it, and the results that it kicks out are really impressive. I like the ability it provides to re-roll individual aspects of the contract to get what you're looking for 'just right.' Two questions for you:

1. Is it possible to pre-specify any of the variables? For example, let's say that I want a corporation to hire us for 3 months to do an extraction raid - is that feasible?

2. In using the spreadsheet, the number in the attached screenshot always stayed at '12.' Is that one of the things that you're still working on? I do see that on tab 3, there are mission lengths listed in the index for various types of work - maybe I'm not doing something right?

3. Let's say we wanted to take the information that the spreadsheet generates and kick it out into some kind of a final format - maybe in the style of the contracts we used to generate for the Legionnaires (see http://www.crayven.net/mercnet/index.php?/topic/25-operation-crucible/&tab=comments#comment-59 for a modernized, slightly simplified example) - would that be possible? It'd be cool to be able to save and export a finalized contract ahead of launching a mission.

image.png.e30dbd39550ae5ab3a9840567c6bfbcf.png

On the subject of MekHQ, I found the contract generator under Marketplace -> Contract Marketplace. The application does seem to do a really good job of generating a completely random mission, but there weren't (at first glance, anyway), any apparent options to fine-tune the contact or pre-set variables. Again, I'm totally going on blind navigation and may have missed something. 

image.thumb.png.281e12512d8779e142217620c22c1967.png

Either way - whether we go through the contract generator or the spreadsheet, it would be cool if we could record them in some form in MekHQ as a record of our exploits and so that the application can keep our unit up-to-date!

@Mek_Master - I'm intrigued at the possibility of you finding someone who has an interest in helping us manage the unit. Is this person wanting to just do unit-level management, or are they interested in an even larger undertaking, such as GM'ing?

The more I think on that point, the more I actually really like the idea of an omnipotent GM adding a random element to everything and being able to play in that universe. Let us know!

For the immediate operation - you're right, I didn't generate a specific contract - I agree with the logic that holding onto the salvage that we got, along with getting kicked something like 7 to 9 million C-Bills to cover expenses and whatnot, is probably a good way to handle it this time. Though, we're gonna need to contract with someone to get our spoils back to Sheratan. Space is at a premium already on our Leopard, and with picking up Dutch and his Awesome, we're out of bays!

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So right now, due to a limitation in how I get it to calculate things, changing the mission type is the only way to change the length. You can change the numbers on the "Lists" page to change the length of time for each mission type, however it will not update on the contract page without hitting recalculate, which unfortunately recalculates the entire page so you'd have to go back and re-roll each section again if you don't like the new offer.

I should be able to put a custom field in there though that I think I can make work for the mission length. Would make it easier than having to edit the table every time. Probably add an update button as well to recalculate the costs when updating mission length and/or # of jumps and all the associated costs.

Also going to check out that contract marketplace in MekHQ and see how that all works. I wonder if you can save the generated contracts for use with another campaign or something, that could prove useful if you can.

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5 hours ago, Orlex Jaeger said:

So right now, due to a limitation in how I get it to calculate things, changing the mission type is the only way to change the length. You can change the numbers on the "Lists" page to change the length of time for each mission type, however it will not update on the contract page without hitting recalculate, which unfortunately recalculates the entire page so you'd have to go back and re-roll each section again if you don't like the new offer.

I should be able to put a custom field in there though that I think I can make work for the mission length. Would make it easier than having to edit the table every time. Probably add an update button as well to recalculate the costs when updating mission length and/or # of jumps and all the associated costs.

Also going to check out that contract marketplace in MekHQ and see how that all works. I wonder if you can save the generated contracts for use with another campaign or something, that could prove useful if you can.

Ahh, OK - makes sense. How do you change the mission type? Maybe that's what I was doing wrong - I was just rolling without selecting anything. 

MekHQ's contract generator seems stupefyingly simple, but it also baffles me in terms of customization. So, I welcome any insight you might be able to glean about that as well!

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On the left, under Mission Info the white boxes can all be changed, they have drop down menus that correspond to the different mission types listed in the Campaign OPS sourcebook as well as some modifiers they listed for better customization.

In general on both of the mission page and the contract info page, anything in white can be changed. Well anything can be technically changed, but anything is white is meant to be changed lol

Edited by Orlex Jaeger
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In regards to MekHQ contract generation, I spent a little time today playing around with it. Discovered why I didn't find it before, if you don't have the "Against the Bot" option enabled in the campaign options the Contract Marketplace does not show up.

Under the campaign options you can select things like how far away you want to search for missions (the 800 light year default seemed a bit far to me, suppose if you want to work anywhere in the Sphere at any time it's good), whether or not to use peacetime operating costs (covering things like ammo, fuel, and repairs for training and such, just a cool immersive/more detailed thing), and other general limitations. Including the chances of getting an actual battle (you can actually complete a MekHQ contract/mission without ever having an actual battle/MegaMek game) depending on the role/mission type.

You only seem to be able to re-roll/negotiate the terms for command rights (Integrated, House, Liaison, or Independent) and support rights (either full support - covering a % of your operating expenses, or battle compensation - paying a % of repair bill) the command rights doesn't seem to do anything that I've noticed but haven't really checked it out much. The support rights depends on the mission for which one you want. However you are limited on the number of re-negotiations, I'm assuming it's related to your commander's negotiation skill but not positive. If you're using the GM mode you can also tell it to generate another contract whenever you want so you can always find something that works.

After you accept a contract and make your way to the appropriate planet, you have to assign a role/job to each of your lances you made in the TO&E, this shows up on the bottom left of the Briefing Room tab. Different contracts will require different jobs to be assigned. Then you just advance time (I recommend using the advance multiple days option under "Manage Campaign" menu) and essentially wait. Every month there is a chance for a special event to occur, which I only ever saw happen on the 1st (same day you get paid), and based on the Intensity you picked on the Campaign Options page and which roles you have assigned you will eventually get a random generated scenario/battle to play out in MegaMek. Sometimes it creates the OPFOR for you, sometimes it didn't (unless maybe that one mission wasn't supposed to have enemies?). Depending on your options selected it can generate random weather/time or use info based on the current planet. If you have multiple lances I believe it generates scenarios per lance so you could possibly have multiple scenarios available. Also if you have multiple lances I think you can reinforce (believe it's a random chance) the lance going into battle with elements of another lance. I've had some scenarios where it was an entire lance that got deployed, and some where you only get to pick a single unit to deploy. Once you complete the battle/scenario in MegaMek you can add the results into MekHQ (automatically if you play through MekHQ, or manually if you did it separately).

Additionally, you can add your own scenarios/battles manually to the contract, but I haven't played around with that enough yet to figure it out.

You can chose to edit the contract after you have accepted one, but it only seems to give options for renaming it, changing camo patterns, and changing friendly and enemy factions. As well as other details like the ally and enemy skill levels, planet location, required # of lances, and mission type. Haven't really played with these options much yet either.

Once the contract time is completed you can complete the contract/mission and it saves it all to your unit history and you can start a new one.

So far I really like the random contract generator in MekHQ. If I had been able to find it previously I probably wouldn't have bothered with the Excel sheet, lol. You don't have quite as much control with the randomly generated ones in MekHQ but you could easily take a random contract that you like and then manually enter the details you want with the GM mode. Going to have to experiment with it and see if it will still produce the random scenarios/battles for you with a manually created contract.

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Updated the excel  contract generator spreadsheet with the ability to set custom mission lengths, as well as included two additional update/recalculate buttons to allow modifying mission type/employer type/mission length/location and updating expenses/payment without having to re-roll all the various Rights. Can also properly update payment, etc. after re-rolling each Right separately.

Next I'm going to see if I can find if MekHQ generates a template or other file for contracts of if there is some way to extract a generated contract from it and then see if I can make something to generate our contracts on the board here. Wish me luck, lol.

Contract Generator.xlsm

Edited by Orlex Jaeger
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