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Old 01-10-2019, 02:56 PM   #21
RyanW
 
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Default Re: Clone Army Or Droid Army?

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Originally Posted by Black Leviathan View Post
An underplayed feature of droids is storage. When your conflict is over you pack up the viable droids and ship them home to wait until you end up in another fight. Clones continue to function but no longer have a purpose in your society. The ones that don't die are sentient creatures who were only raised for war that end up dumped into a society they'll have to adapt to, likely while dealing with PTSD or crippling injuries.
If you have some sort of stasis, that reduces (but does not eliminate) the difference. And a warehouse full of bottled clone soldiers is a creepy-fun place to send an RPG.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:10 PM   #22
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Default Re: Clone Army Or Droid Army?

A few other questions that need to be asked:

How large is the nation raising this military? Is it a large-and-rich (US), small-but-rich (Switzerland), large-but-poor (Russia), or small-and-poor (Congo) nation?

Is it to be a standing force or raised for the duration of a war and then shelved? How long do they have to come up with this army?

How many boots do they need to fill?

How large is the military budget? What does that translate into for dollars per soldier? In the case of "droids or clones", this includes the costs of purchasing the soldiers, assuming the production facilities aren't nationalized. If the facilities are nationalized, factor the time involved.


A small-but-rich nation will likely need fewer boots on the ground but can equip those soldiers - meat or metal - with better gear than even the large-and-rich nation who needs a lot of soldiers. A large-but-poor nation would want a lot of soldiers as cheaply as possible; a small-and-poor nation is probably more likely to hire mercenaries that come pre-equipped, letting the merc company handle hiring/buying, training/programming, and arming the soldiers.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:16 PM   #23
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Default Re: Clone Army Or Droid Army?

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Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
A few other questions that need to be asked:

Mailanka wrote a bunch about this on his blog, and made some really good points about world-building armies. His four questions are:
  • Why does this army fight?
  • What resources are available?
  • Who does the army primarily battle?
  • Where does their fighting primarily take place?
The answers to these questions will dictate what type of soldiers you should use and how you should equip them.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:16 PM   #24
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Default Re: Clone Army Or Droid Army?

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Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
A small-but-rich nation will likely need fewer boots on the ground but can equip those soldiers - meat or metal - with better gear than even the large-and-rich nation who needs a lot of soldiers. A large-but-poor nation would want a lot of soldiers as cheaply as possible; a small-and-poor nation is probably more likely to hire mercenaries that come pre-equipped, letting the merc company handle hiring/buying, training/programming, and arming the soldiers.
The small-and-poor nation is lost before the start.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:26 PM   #25
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Default Re: Clone Army Or Droid Army?

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The small-and-poor nation is lost before the start.
Only if they are fighting a larger, richer nation. A small-and-poor nation can successfully fight another small-and-poor nation or fight against rebel groups. A poor Ultra-Tech conflict could be an interesting setting. Instead of heavy battle suits and genius missiles, you have the TL10 equivalent of a pickup with a machine gun in the back.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:28 PM   #26
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Default Re: Clone Army Or Droid Army?

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The small-and-poor nation is lost before the start.

If the goal is to invade larger nations, sure. But small poor nations often have militaries, and these militaries actually seem more likely to see combat, if you look at a list of conflicts in the world. The militaries of small poor nations are designed to defeat rebellions and to keep the peace. Which means they fight in their own borders among their own people against irregulars who may or may not have more public support among the populace. Loyalty is possibly prized more than efficiency, but you need to cover a fair amount of ground with a small amount of money.


So for such a situation you want the cheapest option that has advanced abilities to determine between friend and foe, civilian and combatant.
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:37 PM   #27
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Default Re: Clone Army Or Droid Army?

Combat androids are not cheap though. At TL11, they are $150,000 each, so they are not exactly disposable.
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:53 PM   #28
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Default Re: Clone Army Or Droid Army?

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Combat androids are not cheap though. At TL11, they are $150,000 each, so they are not exactly disposable.
There are two issues causing that. The first is that the rules for the prices of androids are completely unrelated to the rules for price of gear and thus often nonsense. The second is that most military AIs aren't going to be housed in androids -- you just take a vehicle and replace the crew station with a server. At TL 11, you can put in a Fast Personal Computer for $20,000 and 5 lb, and it has Complexity 9 (sufficient for an IQ 12 volitional AI or IQ 14 non-volitional AI), and then you take the space and volume you saved by ripping the crew station (likely at least 250 lb) and repurpose it for something more valuable.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:02 PM   #29
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Default Re: Clone Army Or Droid Army?

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There are two issues causing that. The first is that the rules for the prices of androids are completely unrelated to the rules for price of gear and thus often nonsense. The second is that most military AIs aren't going to be housed in androids -- you just take a vehicle and replace the crew station with a server. At TL 11, you can put in a Fast Personal Computer for $20,000 and 5 lb, and it has Complexity 9 (sufficient for an IQ 12 volitional AI or IQ 14 non-volitional AI), and then you take the space and volume you saved by ripping the crew station (likely at least 250 lb) and repurpose it for something more valuable.
Note: if you do this, your (ground) vehicles are at risk of severe losses in functionality and reliability compared to manned units. The ability of crew to dismount and act outside the hull is important.

Now, if you assume that at TL11 the vehicle is going to have a few utility bots and recon drones that can take care of all the things a couple dismounted crew members could, that problem goes away. But those bots are an added cost.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:16 PM   #30
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Default Re: Clone Army Or Droid Army?

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Originally Posted by Minuteman37 View Post
At TL11 which is preferable, an army of genetically augmented Clones, or one of Droids?
My favourite gurps setting at the moment is Reign of Steel. You do not want a droid army in any game where I am the GM.
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