The Pact Worlds Militaries


Attack of the Swarm

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Silver Crusade

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thecursor wrote:
Considering the background story for Aucturn, I kind of don't WANT them to have a standing army.

That way they save money on chairs! :P


pithica42 wrote:

The world being invaded...

** spoiler omitted **

I wonder how the starting equipment will work.

I doubt there will be any special rules for this in the AP, but it makes no sense that members of a military force are limited by both credits and level for the armor and weapon they are given.


Ixal wrote:

I wonder how the starting equipment will work.
I doubt there will be any special rules for this in the AP, but it makes no sense that members of a military force are limited by both credits and level for the armor and weapon they are given.

We do NOT hand the new guy the thermodetonator.

We like to let people see if they'll blow themselves up with a grenade or 3 before we see if they'll blow everyone up with the thermodetonator.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ixal wrote:

I wonder how the starting equipment will work.
I doubt there will be any special rules for this in the AP, but it makes no sense that members of a military force are limited by both credits and level for the armor and weapon they are given.

We do NOT hand the new guy the thermodetonator.

We like to let people see if they'll blow themselves up with a grenade or 3 before we see if they'll blow everyone up with the thermodetonator.

Thats not how modern or scifi armies work. You do boot camp, you get the standard issue equipment. And why would you equip an army with lvl 1 weapons and armor?


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Ixal wrote:


Thats not how modern or scifi armies work. You do boot camp, you get the standard issue equipment. And why would you equip an army with lvl 1 weapons and armor?

"Standard issue" is the level 1 stuff. Or maybe levels 1-4

You would equip an army with it because an army is by definition a lot of people, which means equiping them with level 1 weapons is cheap.

Why would you buy 1 random person an 80,000 credit rifle when you could buy 1,000 people an 80 credit rifle?


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Ixal wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ixal wrote:

I wonder how the starting equipment will work.
I doubt there will be any special rules for this in the AP, but it makes no sense that members of a military force are limited by both credits and level for the armor and weapon they are given.

We do NOT hand the new guy the thermodetonator.

We like to let people see if they'll blow themselves up with a grenade or 3 before we see if they'll blow everyone up with the thermodetonator.

Thats not how modern or scifi armies work. You do boot camp, you get the standard issue equipment. And why would you equip an army with lvl 1 weapons and armor?

We also don't have equipment that scales nearly so hugely as Starfinder equipment. Or characters that do so, for that matter.

If it bothers you, maybe you could assume that as "the only survivors of a doomed military battalion", the PCs have drained or lost their better gear and are running off of scavenged armor and weapons.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ixal wrote:


Thats not how modern or scifi armies work. You do boot camp, you get the standard issue equipment. And why would you equip an army with lvl 1 weapons and armor?

"Standard issue" is the level 1 stuff. Or maybe levels 1-4

You would equip an army with it because an army is by definition a lot of people, which means equiping them with level 1 weapons is cheap.

Why would you buy 1 random person an 80,000 credit rifle when you could buy 1,000 people an 80 credit rifle?

Because when those 1000 people with 80 credits rifles meet 1000 guys with 5000 credit rifles they will lose badly.

While economics are certainly a factor, unless you are some very poor backwater (is the planet in this AP?) you do not buy the cheapest stuff for your army.

thejeff wrote:

We also don't have equipment that scales nearly so hugely as Starfinder equipment. Or characters that do so, for that matter.

If it bothers you, maybe you could assume that as "the only survivors of a doomed military battalion", the PCs have drained or lost their better gear and are running off of scavenged armor and weapons.

Especially because equipment in SF scales so much the army will not buy the cheapest stuff possible.

And what exactly would they scavenge? The other soldiers use the same stuff and the swarm seems to rely entirely on biological weapons you can't scavenge.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ixal wrote:


Thats not how modern or scifi armies work. You do boot camp, you get the standard issue equipment. And why would you equip an army with lvl 1 weapons and armor?

"Standard issue" is the level 1 stuff. Or maybe levels 1-4

You would equip an army with it because an army is by definition a lot of people, which means equiping them with level 1 weapons is cheap.

Why would you buy 1 random person an 80,000 credit rifle when you could buy 1,000 people an 80 credit rifle?

Same reason you wouldn't equip Pathfinder characters starting in a Pathfinder army with +5 weapons and armor.

I suspect that the higher level tech stuff quickly becomes essentially custom made speciality items. There just aren't a lot of customers out there willing to spend 80,000 credits for a rifle and the production techniques for that are complex enough you can't bring the cost down dramatically. (handwaving away the "you can just make anything out of UPBs" argument)


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Ixal wrote:


Because when those 1000 people with 80 credits rifles meet 1000 guys with 5000 credit rifles they will lose badly.

But all other things being equal if they have 1,000 guys with 5,000 credit rifles then you have about 60,000 people with 80 credit rifles

That leaves the 5,000 credit rifles for your special forces units and special objective scouts (ie the leveled PCs) for when you want to get the most bang for your buck.


thejeff wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ixal wrote:


Thats not how modern or scifi armies work. You do boot camp, you get the standard issue equipment. And why would you equip an army with lvl 1 weapons and armor?

"Standard issue" is the level 1 stuff. Or maybe levels 1-4

You would equip an army with it because an army is by definition a lot of people, which means equiping them with level 1 weapons is cheap.

Why would you buy 1 random person an 80,000 credit rifle when you could buy 1,000 people an 80 credit rifle?

Same reason you wouldn't equip Pathfinder characters starting in a Pathfinder army with +5 weapons and armor.

I suspect that the higher level tech stuff quickly becomes essentially custom made speciality items. There just aren't a lot of customers out there willing to spend 80,000 credits for a rifle and the production techniques for that are complex enough you can't bring the cost down dramatically. (handwaving away the "you can just make anything out of UPBs" argument)

When the army wants to equip everyone you do have a lot of customers. Entire industries survive only on equipping the army.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ixal wrote:


Because when those 1000 people with 80 credits rifles meet 1000 guys with 5000 credit rifles they will lose badly.

But all other things being equal if they have 1,000 guys with 5,000 credit rifles then you have about 60,000 people with 80 credit rifles

That leaves the 5,000 credit rifles for your special forces units and special objective scouts (ie the leveled PCs) for when you want to get the most bang for your buck.

Thats not how it works. Those 60.000 people have to be trained, housed, fed and deployed. Not to mention that you need 60.000 recruits in the first place. Costs don't scale linearly, manpower is also a limited resource and you can't always deploy superior numbers. And even if you do, casualties will be high.


Ixal wrote:


Thats not how it works. Those 60.000 people have to be trained, housed, fed and deployed. Not to mention that you need 60.000 recruits in the first place. Costs don't scale linearly, manpower is also a limited resource and you can't always deploy superior numbers. And even if you do, casualties will be high.

Fair enough. But you see that there's going to be some inflection point there and given how cheap it is to hire people and how expensive higher level weapons are and it's going to balance out to some pretty low level weaponry.

You're also assuming a modern professional volunteer military as opposed to "alright you, run over that obstacle course... hey you can move here's your rifle Te iam ad exercitum sine funus vestimento *shoulder tap*

As to economies of scale, that doesn't work with starfinder technology. The 50,000 credit rifle takes 50,000 UPBs to make the billion microtransduerthingies it uses in the rifle to make the bullet go just a little bit faster. Making more of them won't knock the price down more than 10%


The characteristics of infantry weapons and personal armor are going to have relatively little impact on how well your army fights. It's the big ticket armored vehicles, air support, and starships that are going to matter and eat up most of your budget. The infantry get trash and should be happy to have it, the odd weapons platoon with some decent Penetrating or Explode weapons aside.


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If you're only equipping 1000 soldiers (and spending a ton of money on their gear), you're probably investing enough in their training that they're also not 1st level recruits. Recruiting war bodies is cheap, training elite soldiers is expensive. The more you're investing in either training or gear, the more sense it makes to invest in the other as well - thus justifying keeping them roughly on par with level limits.

I mean you could have some weird circumstance where you've got severe manpower restrictions, no training time and enormous production facilities so that small numbers of low level troops with elite gear is what you have to go with, but that's rare.

Ixal wrote:
When the army wants to equip everyone you do have a lot of customers. Entire industries survive only on equipping the army.

Well, something's keeping those prices up in the stratosphere. Either economies of scale don't work with high level gear, there aren't enough customers to make the economies of scale work or something.

Look, I get that you want something more like near future hard science fiction with a focus on realistic economies and the like and Starfinder just isn't that. Find an excuse to make it work for you or don't play it.
Not sure what else to say. You're objecting to basic premises of the system.


Everyone's home printer cranking out a rifle a day makes it look almost impossible to conventionally invade a planet.

Picturing someone going to war with a rifle with a my little pony head on the barrell.

"...so when the civil defense alert went out you were in the middle of..."

"Printing my daughters pony. Yes. "


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Ixal wrote:

I wonder how the starting equipment will work.

I doubt there will be any special rules for this in the AP, but it makes no sense that members of a military force are limited by both credits and level for the armor and weapon they are given.

I might've imagined this, but I believe it was said somewhere (on one of the Paizo Con panels I think) that the PCs or at least some of the people brought on to fight the Swarm are mercenaries. It would make sense that the PCs were hired as independent contractors in terms of explaining gear limits. I also remember hearing

AP Spoiler:
Your CO is a Vesk who moved to the planet because he wanted to keep fighting the swarm after the Veskarium and Pact Worlds repelled them.

which lends credibility to the idea that the PCs aren't necessarily 'proper' military. The planet where this AP takes place also isn't a member of the Pact Worlds so they likely don't have the same levels of military and technological access to equip their grunts with high-level tech. I believe the planet was described as 'space Australia' so I wouldn't expect it to be a tech powerhouse with an elite military.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Everyone's home printer cranking out a rifle a day makes it look almost impossible to conventionally invade a planet.

The Azlanti strategy of fielding CR 3 baseline soldiers who can stomp the masses, backed up by picking on the technologically weak and not being shy about a little orbital bombardment and light genocide, seem to be one way forward.


Yeah, you aren't going to give your 1st level recruits who were halfway through basic when we threw them on the front lines, a level 7+ weapon. You're going to give them a basic standard issue tier 1-3 weapon.

Your elite soldiers are going to get the nice stuff. For modularity and interchangeable parts, it may even be the next highest weapon in the series.

Weapons over level 10 or so are closer to custom jobs created by super-genius engineers and mystics cottage industry style than mass produced by the thousands factory jobs.


Garretmander wrote:

Yeah, you aren't going to give your 1st level recruits who were halfway through basic when we threw them on the front lines, a level 7+ weapon. You're going to give them a basic standard issue tier 1-3 weapon.

Your elite soldiers are going to get the nice stuff. For modularity and interchangeable parts, it may even be the next highest weapon in the series.

Weapons over level 10 or so are closer to custom jobs created by super-genius engineers and mystics cottage industry style than mass produced by the thousands factory jobs.

While this gets repeated very often, nothing indicates that higher level items are custom made or in any way (much) harder to produce except the price tag, but the economy and level restriction makes no sense at all in Starfinder.

And mixing weapons is just a bad idea from a logistics point of view. Sure the special forces will have their own weapons, but the rank and file would all use the same weapon. It makes no sense to distribute different weapons by rank. You don't send new recruits with a Thomoson or M1 Garand to Iraq and only give them an M16 once their first tour is over.

Equipping soldiers with more powerful weapons is expensive, but we are talking countries or even planetary governments. They have a lot of money and are easily capable to spend several hundred million credits on defense. And when you think in those dimensions giving each soldier a corona or aphelion laser rifle, some with a combat rifle fir the designated marksmen against fire resistant enemies and a Golemforged III or at least a Vesk Overplate.

You can of course insist that things can't work that way because its Starfinder without giving any explanation, but having such an inconsistent world is just bad design.


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Ixal wrote:
Garretmander wrote:

Yeah, you aren't going to give your 1st level recruits who were halfway through basic when we threw them on the front lines, a level 7+ weapon. You're going to give them a basic standard issue tier 1-3 weapon.

Your elite soldiers are going to get the nice stuff. For modularity and interchangeable parts, it may even be the next highest weapon in the series.

Weapons over level 10 or so are closer to custom jobs created by super-genius engineers and mystics cottage industry style than mass produced by the thousands factory jobs.

While this gets repeated very often, nothing indicates that higher level items are custom made or in any way (much) harder to produce except the price tag, but the economy and level restriction makes no sense at all in Starfinder.

And mixing weapons is just a bad idea from a logistics point of view. Sure the special forces will have their own weapons, but the rank and file would all use the same weapon. It makes no sense to distribute different weapons by rank. You don't send new recruits with a Thomoson or M1 Garand to Iraq and only give them an M16 once their first tour is over.

Equipping soldiers with more powerful weapons is expensive, but we are talking countries or even planetary governments. They have a lot of money and are easily capable to spend several hundred million credits on defense. And when you think in those dimensions giving each soldier a corona or aphelion laser rifle, some with a combat rifle fir the designated marksmen against fire resistant enemies and a Golemforged III or at least a Vesk Overplate.

You can of course insist that things can't work that way because its Starfinder without giving any explanation, but having such an inconsistent world is just bad design.

We're down to irreconcilable differences here.

Yes, Starfinder is a lousy economic simulator and a lousy military logistics simulator. Granted. That's because it isn't trying to be any of those things. That's not going to change. It's a heroic adventure game. If you can't deal with that, maybe it isn't for you.

At the very least, for this specific issue, we can guess, but mostly we'll just have to wait and see what they use to justify the PCs starting off with basic gear.


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Ixal wrote:


While this gets repeated very often, nothing indicates that higher level items are custom made or in any way (much) harder to produce except the price tag, but the economy and level restriction makes no sense at all in Starfinder.

There is something. It might not apply to big facilities but if it doesn't...

A player character can create all the items presented in this chapter as long as he has the skills, materials, tools, and time needed to construct it. He must have a number of ranks in the appropriate skill equal to the item level of the item to be created. For weapons, armor, vehicles, and technological equipment, the appropriate skill is Engineering. For magic fusions and magic items, the appropriate skill is Mysticism. For hybrid items, you must have the required ranks in both Engineering and Mysticism. For drugs, medicinals, and poisons, the skill can be either Life Science or Physical Science. For any food or drink, the appropriate skill is Life Science.

Which would mean that you need a level 10 character with 10 ranks to crank out those level 10 weapons. which is going to put a bit of a limit on their availability.

Quote:
And mixing weapons is just a bad idea from a logistics point of view. Sure the special forces will have their own weapons, but the rank and file would all use the same weapon. It makes no sense to distribute different weapons by rank. You don't send new recruits with a Thomoson or M1 Garand to Iraq and only give them an M16 once their first tour is over.

Again, under our manufacturing systems. But Starfinder doesn't use that. Its far easier when you break the dinglehopper on different weapons to get replacements if your default technology is a 3d printer than if you require a forge and manufacturer to send you a bucket of parts.

They all also use the same AMMO regardless. Which cuts down on the problems there. Either longarm or small arm rounds, and you can battery everything off your iphone if you have to...

Quote:
quipping soldiers with more powerful weapons is expensive, but we are talking countries or even planetary governments. They have a lot of money and are easily capable to spend several hundred million credits on defense.

But you still want to get the most bang for your buck. To figure out what that is we'd need pay training costs that we don't have, AND we'd need starship operation figures that they're deliberately avoiding so they don't break the economy. I don't think there's much chance of the item level coming in a lot over 3 or 4

Quote:
You can of course insist that things can't work that way because its Starfinder without giving any explanation, but having such an inconsistent world is just bad design.

Aside from the fact that robots should be doing everything I don't think its that inconsistent. (even THAT has an explanation of "we gave the robot enough AI to replace you but then a soul moved into it and that kind of ruined the whole point. Damned soul away spray didn't work...)


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ixal wrote:


Thats not how modern or scifi armies work. You do boot camp, you get the standard issue equipment. And why would you equip an army with lvl 1 weapons and armor?

"Standard issue" is the level 1 stuff. Or maybe levels 1-4

You would equip an army with it because an army is by definition a lot of people, which means equiping them with level 1 weapons is cheap.

Why would you buy 1 random person an 80,000 credit rifle when you could buy 1,000 people an 80 credit rifle?

That would depend somewhat on how many people you actually want to equip, and how wealthy you are. There's no point outfitting 10,000 soldiers if you only have the shipping capacity to move 1,000, as an example. Or if you only have a training pipeline that can maintain a force of 1,000 in action.

I lean towards actual professional soldiers ( that is, not militia, not mass conscript armies, and not new recruits ) having better than Level 1 gear ( and also not being Level 1 characters ). However, this is quibbling about degree rather than principle. You are absolutely right that for most cases, militaries would spend most of their budget on weapons such as to outfit their entire force.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ixal wrote:


*snip*

As to economies of scale, that doesn't work with starfinder technology. The 50,000 credit rifle takes 50,000 UPBs to make the billion microtransduerthingies it uses in the rifle to make the bullet go just a little bit faster. Making more of them won't knock the price down more than 10%

This is assuming facts not in evidence. There are no rules for *PCs* to get economies of scale for bulk purchases. This does *not* mean that the concept of economy of scale does not exist in the setting, anymore than the inability of PCs to build factories means factories don't exist in the setting.


Metaphysician wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ixal wrote:


*snip*

As to economies of scale, that doesn't work with starfinder technology. The 50,000 credit rifle takes 50,000 UPBs to make the billion microtransduerthingies it uses in the rifle to make the bullet go just a little bit faster. Making more of them won't knock the price down more than 10%

This is assuming facts not in evidence. There are no rules for *PCs* to get economies of scale for bulk purchases. This does *not* mean that the concept of economy of scale does not exist in the setting, anymore than the inability of PCs to build factories means factories don't exist in the setting.

For one reason or another prices for high level gear are extremely high. That at least implies that production costs for those items remains high whether economies of scale work or not.

(Actually it really implies that SF isn't an economic simulator.)


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Metaphysician wrote:


This is assuming facts not in evidence. There are no rules for *PCs* to get economies of scale for bulk purchases. This does *not* mean that the concept of economy of scale does not exist in the setting, anymore than the inability of PCs to build factories means factories don't exist in the setting.

I'm pretty sure I've seen things saying that making things in factories is barely more profitable than UPBs. Its not that economies of scale don't exist its just that they're in the "barely profitable enough to keep corporations a thing" rather than "I control the world"

It's why you can use a bucket full of UPBs as currency to buy a 50,000 credit gun or just print one.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:


This is assuming facts not in evidence. There are no rules for *PCs* to get economies of scale for bulk purchases. This does *not* mean that the concept of economy of scale does not exist in the setting, anymore than the inability of PCs to build factories means factories don't exist in the setting.

I'm pretty sure I've seen things saying that making things in factories is barely more profitable than UPBs. Its not that economies of scale don't exist its just that they're in the "barely profitable enough to keep corporations a thing" rather than "I control the world"

It's why you can use a bucket full of UPBs as currency to buy a 50,000 credit gun or just print one.

I think you are misunderstanding. The "barely profitable" was referring, IIRC, to the manufacture of UPBs specifically. Not only does that not necessarily apply to other products, but. . . simply put, one shouldn't expect to be able to get economies of scale on UPBs, because the economy uses UPBs as their currency standard. If you make One Million UPBs slightly more efficiently, it does not make those UPBs cheaper than One Million Credits. It makes the value of the ingredients and labor used to make them *more* valuable, because they produce more UPBs. Those UPBs, however, are still worth 1 Credit = 1 UPB, because that is the definition of 1 Credit. Whatever resources and labor it takes to make 1 UPB is definitionally worth 1 Credit.


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Metaphysician wrote:
Those UPBs, however, are still worth 1 Credit = 1 UPB, because that is the definition of 1 Credit. Whatever resources and labor it takes to make 1 UPB is definitionally worth 1 Credit.

rather than buying mass-produced, mass-marketed equipment,

characters with the right skills can construct their own equipment.
This takes time, and due to the economies of scale enjoyed by
multisystem corporations and shops with dedicated construction
machines and drones, it does not save you any money. However,
it allows you to acquire exactly what you need, as long as you can
meet the construction requirements

Which, since it's not costing you any MORe money to make the thing, would mean that the economy of scale between you and the factory isn't that big of a deal either.

I mean, from a logistics perspective what would you rather ship, a huge item of inventory or a cargo hold full of UPBs and some printers?


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That paragraph has always felt weird to me, as it seems to assume the character would be able to do things more cheaply than a business. Which is. . . to put it bluntly, is a weird assumption to just pass over unexplained.


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Metaphysician wrote:
That paragraph has always felt weird to me, as it seems to assume the character would be able to do things more cheaply than a business. Which is. . . to put it bluntly, is a weird assumption to just pass over unexplained.

It's explained fairly well (for a game that's not about manufacturing) by the UPB technology. It turns into whatever shape you tell it to, which include things that would normally require extensive manufacturing procedures (like a beryllium lined perfectly smooth barrel). Starfinder manufacturing involves literal magitech: the UPB has material that can turn into any element you want to use and enough thaums of magic to do it.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
That paragraph has always felt weird to me, as it seems to assume the character would be able to do things more cheaply than a business. Which is. . . to put it bluntly, is a weird assumption to just pass over unexplained.

It's explained fairly well (for a game that's not about manufacturing) by the UPB technology. It turns into whatever shape you tell it to, which include things that would normally require extensive manufacturing procedures (like a beryllium lined perfectly smooth barrel). Starfinder manufacturing involves literal magitech: the UPB has material that can turn into any element you want to use and enough thaums of magic to do it.

Which does not actually preclude a traditional non UPB manufactoring process. It actually says so at the beginning of the crafting rules that UPB crafting is an alternative to mass produced goods and that an economy of scale exist.


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Ixal wrote:


Which does not actually preclude a traditional non UPB manufactoring process. It actually says so at the beginning of the crafting rules that UPB crafting is an alternative to mass produced goods and that an economy of scale exist.

I'm not saying that they don't exist. Just that your hypothetical army can't bring the cost of a 50,000 credit weapon down all that much by ordering 10,000 of them at once. For whatever reason (the UPBs being that good or the delicate component parts being that hard to manufacture any other way) the economy of scale isn't nearly as efficient for high end items as it is in our world. Whatever it is that makes a 50,000 credit gun worth 50,000 credits can't be eliminated by mass production.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ixal wrote:


Which does not actually preclude a traditional non UPB manufactoring process. It actually says so at the beginning of the crafting rules that UPB crafting is an alternative to mass produced goods and that an economy of scale exist.

I'm not saying that they don't exist. Just that your hypothetical army can't bring the cost of a 50,000 credit weapon down all that much by ordering 10,000 of them at once. For whatever reason (the UPBs being that good or the delicate component parts being that hard to manufacture any other way) the economy of scale isn't nearly as efficient for high end items as it is in our world. Whatever it is that makes a 50,000 credit gun worth 50,000 credits can't be eliminated by mass production.

That is pure conjecture on your part which is not supported by anything. In addition it does not make any sense and would not allow for a economy to function. Mass production and retail has other costs besides raw materials. Wages, equipment, logistics, etc. Selling your product without markup for the costs of the raw materials is not sustainable. Thus the only conclusion is that mass produced goods are much cheaper than the same item created with UPBs. And here the economy of scale comes in.

And even in the very unlikely event that governments won't receive a price cut (and are not producing the items by themself), defense budgets are in the billions and they can still buy higher level items as standard equipment for their army, which makes sense considering the scaling of the items effectiveness and that soldiers use the same weapons as vehicles. There is absolutely no reason to give soldier a cheap weapon and exchange that for a better one after every few battles they fight in complete disregard of the role they are supposed to perform.


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Ixal wrote:


That is pure conjecture on your part which is not supported by anything.

It's supported by the weapon pricing.

It's supported by the rules for UPBs
It's supported by the description of UPBs being the basis for most technology of the pack worlds.
It's supported by the crafting rules.

The only conjecture unsupported by anything here is the idea that because in our society mass production drops prices dramatically that the same MUST be true in the starfinder setting... where manufacturing is literally done by magic.

Quote:
Selling your product without markup

Not without markup. Just a much smaller one.

Quote:
defense budgets are in the billions and they can still buy higher level items as standard equipment for their army

The level 4 stuff doesn't work that much better than the level 1 stuff. It costs 10 times as much. Whereever the inflection point is for most bang for your buck, i think its going to be fairly low for your enlisted grunts.

Quote:
There is absolutely no reason to give soldier a cheap weapon and exchange that for a better one after every few battles they fight in complete disregard of the role they are supposed to perform.

Really only one way to find out if he's worth a 50,000 credit rifle...


You want to be careful with some of the more extreme examples. One grunt without a weapon doesn't cost zero credits or even close to it. Even without wages & funeral costs/death benefits or similar, over the period of their enlistment (at least two years say) you still need living costs, maybe a uniform or two, the cost of transporting them around...it'll add up.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ixal wrote:


That is pure conjecture on your part which is not supported by anything.

It's supported by the weapon pricing.

It's supported by the rules for UPBs
It's supported by the description of UPBs being the basis for most technology of the pack worlds.
It's supported by the crafting rules.

The only conjecture unsupported by anything here is the idea that because in our society mass production drops prices dramatically that the same MUST be true in the starfinder setting... where manufacturing is literally done by magic.

Quote:
Selling your product without markup

Not without markup. Just a much smaller one.

Quote:
defense budgets are in the billions and they can still buy higher level items as standard equipment for their army

The level 4 stuff doesn't work that much better than the level 1 stuff. It costs 10 times as much. Whereever the inflection point is for most bang for your buck, i think its going to be fairly low for your enlisted grunts.

Quote:
There is absolutely no reason to give soldier a cheap weapon and exchange that for a better one after every few battles they fight in complete disregard of the role they are supposed to perform.

Really only one way to find out if he's worth a 50,000 credit rifle...

A 50k rifle in storage is useless, especially when the enemy slaps on some shields or damage reduction on their armour and walks through your lines. And when you train someone to serve in an anti vehicle unit you give him an anti vehicle weapon right from the start and not a small pistol and tell him to come back in 4 years.

While economy is part of warfare you do not win wars by using the cheapest equipment possible.
And as others also pointed out you completely ignore that you do not have unlimited manpower the same way you ignore that by all lore and rules an economy of scale exists in Starfinder. So when you can afford it, and planetary governments certainly can, there is no reason not to give your lvl 1 troops lvl 6 or 9 equipment (and that ignores that it isn't even possible to determine someones level in game).


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Ixal wrote:

A 50k rifle in storage is useless, especially when the enemy slaps on some shields or damage reduction on their armour and walks through your lines. And when you train someone to serve in an anti vehicle unit you give him an anti vehicle weapon right from the start and not a small pistol and tell him to come back in 4 years.

While economy is part of warfare you do not win wars by using the cheapest equipment possible.
And as others also pointed out you completely ignore that you do not have unlimited manpower the same way you ignore that by all lore and rules an economy of scale exists in Starfinder. So when you can afford it, and planetary governments certainly can, there is no reason not to give your lvl 1 troops lvl 6 or 9 equipment (and that ignores that it isn't even possible to determine someones level in game).

There are of course ways to determine someone's level in game. At least within broad limits and people in-world wouldn't think of it in terms of levels, but it's still obviously possible. Casters are by far the simplest, since spells come in levels and what spells and how often they can be cast are determined by level.

It's even easier if you're training the recruits, since you can then test them on all the various level based mechanics you teach them (attack bonus, skill ranks, casting, etc). This lets you choose where they put their skill points, what classes they take and average it out to cover for unknown differences.
Of course, classes are an abstraction simplifying real differences, but you're easily going to be able to develop metrics to distinguish between 1st level raw recruits, 4th level trained soldiers and 10th level elites. Because there are real differences in ability.

There'll be some variation, but in most cases, if you can afford 9th level gear, you can afford to recruit more people and give them better training, so they're not 1st level when they hit the battlefield and get wiped out because they're not skilled enough or tough enough to justify that gear. Now you've lost both the gear and the troops. If you're spending more on recruits and their training, then you've less to spend on gear and some of that's going to go to the elite units that can best make use of it.

As I've said before, it's handwavy, but so is all of this. None of this is defined in the rules. Nothing prevents a GM from setting up some troops with weapons way of range for their level, it's just not going to work well in game. Any more than decking 1st level PF characters out with hundreds of thousands of gold in magic items would.


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Ixal wrote:


A 50k rifle in storage is useless, especially when the enemy slaps on some shields or damage reduction on their armour and walks through your lines. And when you train someone to serve in an anti vehicle unit you give him an anti vehicle weapon right from the start and not a small pistol and tell him to come back in 4 years.

Starfinder really doesn't have the equivalent of an anti tank weapon (probably because no amount of hit penalty is going to discourage THAT GUY from dual wielding them and trying to shoot the boss with them fishing for that nat 20.

and I don't tell gym teachers to use pistols. Everyone gets at least long arm proficiency...

Quote:
While economy is part of warfare you do not win wars by using the cheapest equipment possible.

Some people have. "We have reserves" has worked more than a few times.

Quote:
And as others also pointed out you completely ignore that you do not have unlimited manpower the same way you ignore

AHEM.

bnw wrote:
Fair enough. But you see that there's going to be some inflection point there and given how cheap it is to hire people and how expensive higher level weapons are and it's going to balance out to some pretty low level weaponry.

and again

bnw wrote:
Whereever the inflection point is for most bang for your buck, i think its going to be fairly low for your enlisted grunts.
Quote:
that by all lore and rules an economy of scale exists in Starfinder.
bnw wrote:
Which, since it's not costing you any MORe money to make the thing, would mean that the economy of scale between you and the factory isn't that big of a deal either.

<-----

Not agreeing with your completely unsupported assertions is not ignoring anything. Saying that the game suggests the economy of scale isn't as big as you thinkg is not ignoring the economy of scale .

I have quoted and argued why I think the economy of scale you're looking at that would dramatically drop a level 9 weapons price does not exist in starfinder.

you need a level 9 engineer

the components cost nearly that much and can't be reduced

the process doesn't use traditional metalurgy which is absurdly sped up by automation. A factory is BETTER at printing UPBs than a guy with a garage but not by much.

... and the fact that someone HASN"T decided on one level 9 weapon to mass produce at steeply discounted prices to replace the level 5 weapons.

While none of that is a direct quote, it's fairly solid inference from what's written. While your position just relies on your declaration. Taking your own declarations as proof while not even conceeding that my ideas are evidenced from the rules quotes is not genuine discussion. It's just loudly shouting that you're right and I'm wrong without providing any reason to think that.

Quote:
So when you can afford it, and planetary governments certainly can

Planetary governments can afford to buy some. They do not have unlimited resources. They also need to equip a planet sized army. 17,000 credits per soldier would bankrupt the church of abadar.

Quote:
there is no reason not to give your lvl 1 troops lvl 6 or 9 equipment

There is absolutely every reason not to hand 17 thousand credits to people making 20 credits per week. Starting with them shoving it into a UPBlender and carting off a year and a half's salary in a suitcase full of untraceable UPBs.

At that rate the uplifted gorilla in charge of a banana republic can buy 16 interns for a year hand them survival knives and wind up with 10 interns 16 survival knives and a 17k weapon.

Or more realistically, (fantasy realism?) He can buy 10 guys (1040 credits) weapons that are half as effective (1d10 instead of 2d10) and then have 15 interns, 16 3k rifles, and one 17k weapon.


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Ixal wrote:
A 50k rifle in storage is useless, especially when the enemy slaps on some shields or damage reduction on their armour and walks through your lines. And when you train someone to serve in an anti vehicle unit you give him an anti vehicle weapon right from the start and not a small pistol and tell him to come back in 4 years.

I agree with this. I disagree that this is a problem.

The game is an abstraction. It's designed for a group of adventurers to become incrementally more powerful as they fight more and more foes, partially through the acquisition of better gear.

That the limiters on acquiring said better gear don't make sense in the context of real world economics and militaries is not a problem.

They make just enough sense in the context of the world they are attempting to model.

A world with:

Habitable moons around gas giants.
Way too many life supporting worlds in several star systems.
Giant humanoids that ignore the problems with the cubed mass vs. squared area.
3D printers that can literally print magic.

No, starfinder's economics don't really make sense when you crunch the numbers.

You probably shouldn't be using the numbers to crunch the fluff.


I'm just gonna take issue with the suggestion that habitable moons around gas giants are a ludicrous suggestion. Exomoons are absolutely a place scientists are looking for life. I recommend looking into the research on the topic by Dr David Kipping.


Elegos wrote:
I'm just gonna take issue with the suggestion that habitable moons around gas giants are a ludicrous suggestion. Exomoons are absolutely a place scientists are looking for life. I recommend looking into the research on the topic by Dr David Kipping.

A good place to look for life in general sure.

Not a good place to look for near humanoid civilizations living in earth like conditions.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Garretmander wrote:
Elegos wrote:
I'm just gonna take issue with the suggestion that habitable moons around gas giants are a ludicrous suggestion. Exomoons are absolutely a place scientists are looking for life. I recommend looking into the research on the topic by Dr David Kipping.

A good place to look for life in general sure.

Not a good place to look for near humanoid civilizations living in earth like conditions.

Would you mine elaborating for us non-scientifically-minded laymen? Or at least linking to a source that might explain WHY it may not be a good location?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Ixal wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ixal wrote:


Thats not how modern or scifi armies work. You do boot camp, you get the standard issue equipment. And why would you equip an army with lvl 1 weapons and armor?

"Standard issue" is the level 1 stuff. Or maybe levels 1-4

You would equip an army with it because an army is by definition a lot of people, which means equiping them with level 1 weapons is cheap.

Why would you buy 1 random person an 80,000 credit rifle when you could buy 1,000 people an 80 credit rifle?

Because when those 1000 people with 80 credits rifles meet 1000 guys with 5000 credit rifles they will lose badly.

I'm reminded of when Maj. Gen. Tanya von Degrechav and her battalion single handedly defeated the massive invasion of her homeland by the Grand Duchy of Dacia with superior technology and air superiority, before proceeding to the enemy capital and destroying their weapon factories, in The Saga of Tanya the Evil. It was so one-sided, they considered it a training exercise rather than war.


Ravingdork wrote:
Would you mine elaborating for us non-scientifically-minded laymen? Or at least linking to a source that might explain WHY it may not be a good location?

Actually doing some research instead of quoting half remembered sci fi, it's much more possible than I thought.

From what I understand, the gas giant has to be closer to the sun than where they typically form. The moon will likely experience days of what is equivalent to our winter, but it'll also be constant night, followed by days of 'normalacy', followed by summer where the night sky is lit up by the gas giant, followed by 'normalacy', then night winter again.

And the whole will likely be very tectonically active.

Things like the Urogs make sense to me, things like the maraquoi don't.


Gas giants in our solar system form past the ice line, but this is not universal! The vast majority of exoplanets we have discovered are what are known as "hot jupiters" which form closer then mercury, but many systems we've discovered in recent years contain gas giants, usually between the size of Neptune and Saturn that exist in the "goldilocks" zone.

Mow, they would be subject to some long day night cycles (which wouldn't be particularly inimical to life especially in starfinder, look at orcs!)Io, for example, has an orbital period of 42 hours, about a quarter of which would be behind Jupiter. So 10 hours of extra dark out of every 2 earth days. And be more geothermally active due to a process called tidal heating, but again that's not necessarily bad. To maintain an atmosphere, a body needs an active rotating core of liquid iron to generate an electromagnetic field that prevents said atmosphere being stripped by solar winds, hence why earth has an atmosphere and Mars doesn't.


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There is no strength in numbers in fantasy worlds. Equiping recruits with level 9 weapons don't change the fact that they can't hit anything and that a few level 10 elite troops will obliterate them by hundreds.
What you need is to overequip your best guys.
In my opinion, the pyramid of equipment should be respected. A rich army may give everyone equipment with one level or two above the soldiers' level, but that's all. You'll never see level 9 weapons in a recruit's hands.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Eh, strength in numbers does exist, its just not infinitely scaling. There are middle ground zones where the added number of attacks more than balances the the lesser chance of hitting.

That said, I'd be inclined to stat well-disciplined forces using something like the swarm rules.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
SuperBidi wrote:

There is no strength in numbers in fantasy worlds. Equiping recruits with level 9 weapons don't change the fact that they can't hit anything and that a few level 10 elite troops will obliterate them by hundreds.

What you need is to overequip your best guys.
In my opinion, the pyramid of equipment should be respected. A rich army may give everyone equipment with one level or two above the soldiers' level, but that's all. You'll never see level 9 weapons in a recruit's hands.

I think the anime, "Saga of Tanya the Evil" is a pretty good representation of this.


An important strength of numbers that gets overlooked is the ability to hold territory. You can have a team of 6 level 20 bamfs who can lay waste to armies, clear out battle cruisers and punch space whales to death or whatever...but they can still only be in a maximum of 6 places at once. Good luck using them to govern your new territory once they take it. And all your enemy needs do is attack on 7 fronts...


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Elegos wrote:
An important strength of numbers that gets overlooked is the ability to hold territory. You can have a team of 6 level 20 bamfs who can lay waste to armies, clear out battle cruisers and punch space whales to death or whatever...but they can still only be in a maximum of 6 places at once. Good luck using them to govern your new territory once they take it. And all your enemy needs do is attack on 7 fronts...

Or alternatively, you wait for them to try to occupy territory by being in six places at once, and then have all your forces hit *one* of those places. Hope that lone level 20 champion enjoys being massively outnumbered with no backup.


Metaphysician wrote:
Elegos wrote:
An important strength of numbers that gets overlooked is the ability to hold territory. You can have a team of 6 level 20 bamfs who can lay waste to armies, clear out battle cruisers and punch space whales to death or whatever...but they can still only be in a maximum of 6 places at once. Good luck using them to govern your new territory once they take it. And all your enemy needs do is attack on 7 fronts...
Or alternatively, you wait for them to try to occupy territory by being in six places at once, and then have all your forces hit *one* of those places. Hope that lone level 20 champion enjoys being massively outnumbered with no backup.

Though a counterpoint is that level 20 parties can be far more mobile than larger, lower level forces. A couple spells and summons and the backup is there.

Not as much so as in Pathfinder, where the casters could likely cover multiple places at once, but still fairly effective. Interplanetary Teleport is a thing, after all.


Sure, if you wanna go around smashing resistance points, maybe. But governing your territory? Watching out for insurgents, dealing with environmental threats, manning customs borders, protecting important sites. Sure, a level 20 party can teleport to the capital from across the planet, as soon as they here that the capital is being besieged or whatever, and they'll kick ass across the city. But a lot of people are gonna die before they can wipe out even a small army

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