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> Security Guards, Or how did we get from Barney to Ninjas.
Cthulhudreams
post Sep 17 2007, 04:45 AM
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Most current security guards in the world are not the epitome of professionalism. Current security guarding interests (bouncers!) in Australia are often in many cases actually run by organized crime. While some guards are consummate professionals, there is a lot of dodgy work being done out there.

When we move on to more professional and higher paid areas such as the military and Police we are still suffering from a chronic shortage of personnel, and the military was having difficulties meeting recruiting targets.

What happened to sec guards in the intervening years to make professional police/security a much more appealing profession. Did pay rates just increase massively in the face of the dire security situations? And a worsening security situation actually increases the risk of these jobs which makes them less likely to attract prime candidates for the same money. Why isn't corp sec at most sites run by Barney?

Edit: Hell, the professional mercenary game is pretty dodgy at times too.
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kzt
post Sep 17 2007, 05:31 AM
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Most security in SRworld is pretty crappy. Not worthless, but hardly top notch. Worse, they are mostly armed. It's always scary when you have people whose best paying opportunity is a $9/hour guard and they give them a gun. But they are present and that offers a deterrent. You average criminal is mostly interested in easy targets. People who shoot back isn't what he's looking for. And they will call for help and if you manage to kill them it's likely to get the organized and effective people looking for you.

However, most (the vast majority) of the sites with crappy, worthless security guards also don't have magical security. But most of the sites that people pay serious bucks to shadowrunners to hit do have magical security, and also don't have crappy, worthless security. They are willing to pay $25/hour plus bennies to have competent guards who know what they are doing.

KE security isn't cheap and they don't work alone. So if you are not doing something that is worth paying at least million bucks a year to protect you won't have KE on site. You might have KE do an alarm system and magical defenses (wards, spirits) with a KE response team showing up to alarms for a lot less, but it's still not cheap.
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imperialus
post Sep 17 2007, 05:49 AM
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I think it's really two things. The first, and probably most important comes from a purely meta-game standpoint. PC's need mooks to kill. Also if the security worked the way it does in real life the game would be pretty boring since the PC's would kill the single security guard manning the desk, have free reign over the facility, do what they have to do and leave before anyone responds. Then the corps would turn around go over it with a fine tooth comb and either send a black ops squad to arrest the runners or slam a powerbolt though the material link. Basically the PC's hit the "I win" button but unless they do entire runs wearing Intel "bunny suits" then their hoops are fried.

The second is from a more RP standpoint and has to do with the dystopian nature of Shadowrun. Remember at it's heart Shadowrun is a child of the 80's and with the advancement in robotics and computers going on in the 80's people thought that both blue and white collar jobs were threatened. Carrying that forward it makes sense that 90% of blue collar jobs have been replaced with robots or drones and probably a good 50% of white collar jobs have been lost too. However hiring meat bodies to protect those drones robots, and people important enough to have a cubicle is still big business.
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Apathy
post Sep 17 2007, 01:27 PM
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I'd say that looking at the security guard at the mall is not the best comparison for our 2070 dystopian guards. Instead, they probably compare better to the guards around oil pumping and storage depots in Africa.
  • A rich corporation with expensive assets and 'protected' people.
  • Surrounded by large number of desperately poor and somewhat hostile people.
  • With the support of the local government, making them somewhat 'above the law'.
Those guards are heavily armed, professionally trained, and perfectly willing to use lethal force to protect their assets.
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Cthulhudreams
post Sep 17 2007, 02:09 PM
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QUOTE (Apathy @ Sep 17 2007, 08:27 AM)
I'd say that looking at the security guard at the mall is not the best comparison for our 2070 dystopian guards. Instead, they probably compare better to the guards around oil pumping and storage depots in Africa.



  • A rich corporation with expensive assets and 'protected' people.


  • Surrounded by large number of desperately poor and somewhat hostile people.


  • With the support of the local government, making them somewhat 'above the law'.


Those guards are heavily armed, professionally trained, and perfectly willing to use lethal force to protect their assets.

Society doesn't even begin to function if the desperately poor are massively the majority of society.

But ignoring all that, modern soldiers are actually pretty well paid, quite well trained etc, etc - but we still miss recruitment targets in the real world all the time. Where the hell are you getting the top professionals to be security guards from, especially if the vast seething sea of humanity is woefully poor - because said poor people are not going to provide the raw material to become sec guards, and the rich people won't want to do it.

Edit: I'm assuming said poor people are actually seriously poverty line etc in which case there is the strong possibility of having their growth potential stunted by lack of nutrition (Even one famine season while you are young can really knock your intellect on the head, which is why north korea is boned) and without indepth education it seems unreasonable to expect that you could recruit people from there and get good results.

So who are the guards then? or are there just a tiny number of them massively suplemented with technology - so you can pay them lots and have drones take all the risks.

Kzt's take is probably reasonable, but I'm still not clear on where the people are coming from - the labour pool is smaller, because of the Sinless, and already today we cannot find enough top people to undertake risky careers with bennies (what the army is) and the situation is a hell of a lot more risky in 2070.

Maybe anyone including the Sinless can become an enlisted person or get into a sec guard if they can get high enough scores on corp run appittude tests no questions asked.

My basic question is: today we have trouble filling these roles. The demand in 2070 is likely to have increased (everyone still has an army AND corp security has taken off massively), but the size of the labour pool has decreased (sinless) so where are they finding good people for a profession that isn't meeting peoples requirements for a profession today, let alone in 2070.
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treehugger
post Sep 17 2007, 02:24 PM
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All AAA would have their own training facilities for their guards.
For a low security facility, a 2 or 3 week formation would be enought, with some regular training each year (like 1 week seminar).
For better training, it would be monthes or years, like in today's modern armies (after all, security personel in a mega corp is army like).

For security corps (lone star, KE) they'd have inherited the training facilities ran by the government. since there are no more national police forces (at least in UCAS) there is no need for the state to run training programs.
Today's cops arent trained enought.
Tomorow's cops will be even worse trained (it costs too much).

Elite security personel would be very well trained, either by their corp, or specialised corporation that provide training services.

As to who they hire ? Havent you seen the Lone Star book ? i remember an announcement basicaly saying "Join the star, you'll have a badge and a gun, and you'll have the law with you".
So i'd say that the average cop would be a bully that wanted a legal argument to do his favourite sport.
The average security guard would be a bully not intelligent enought to pass the standard tests to join the Lone Star/KE ...
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nezumi
post Sep 17 2007, 02:48 PM
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QUOTE (Cthulhudreams)
Society doesn't even begin to function if the desperately poor are massively the majority of society.

...because said poor people are not going to provide the raw material to become sec guards, and the rich people won't want to do it.

Edit: I'm assuming said poor people are actually seriously poverty line etc in which case there is the strong possibility of having their growth potential stunted by lack of nutrition (Even one famine season while you are young can really knock your intellect on the head, which is why north korea is boned) and without indepth education it seems unreasonable to expect that you could recruit people from there and get good results.

Shadowrun would seem to suggest that, while most people are eating soy and krill, they are getting most of their basic nutritional needs met. So malnutrition in the conventional sense is not a problem. You did put in your qualifier (not that I agree with it, mind you. Starved children make for the best guards, IMO. Twisted, deadly, fearless and effective.) however that means your argument doesn't really stand because the qualifier isn't met.

An ork in the hood offered the chance to join one of the most successful gangs in Seattle, a steady paycheck, and the knowledge that any future criminal endeavors he engages in are going to be swept under the rug will likely take it. Three months of brain-dance training and when it's over, you've got a new Lone Star officer ready to patrol his old turf. The difference being that now someone messes with him, he calls in his buddies to break some skulls (if he doesn't do it himself). As long as he remembers who has the hand that feeds him, he's okay.

When I was living in Venezuela, I basically saw this. The police force was miserable and undependable, so everyone middle class or above (and I do mean everyone) had, at minimum, a front door guard. Neighborhoods would hire their own guards and they had no problem getting whatever permits were required to hand the guy an AK. Sure this guy can barely read, and he sure wasn't middle class or above himself, but he knows if anything bad happens to anyone in his neighborhood, he and his family will never have a job again, at least not one as good as what he's got now. He might use his guard powers for other things, to make a little money on the side, but he's only too aware of how precarious his position is.
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Grinder
post Sep 17 2007, 03:41 PM
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QUOTE (Cthulhudreams)
The demand in 2070 is likely to have increased (everyone still has an army AND corp security has taken off massively), but the size of the labour pool has decreased (sinless)

You could grant a SIN for the guys you want to hire if they sign up. Sort of a criminal SIN that's "granted" for SINless criminals, but on the positive side.
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Buster
post Sep 17 2007, 04:20 PM
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Exactly, corps can always sponsor someone for a SIN. You can think of a SIN as an H1 visa, but instead of being able to cross the border, you get to cross the train tracks.
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hobgoblin
post Sep 17 2007, 07:14 PM
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another thing is that one will have levels of security.

day to day may be a old cop.

then there is HTR (high treat response), basically the ones called in when armed people are spotted.

and then its the black ops that officially do not exist...
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imperialus
post Sep 17 2007, 07:32 PM
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QUOTE (nezumi @ Sep 17 2007, 08:48 AM)

When I was living in Venezuela, I basically saw this.  The police force was miserable and undependable, so everyone middle class or above (and I do mean everyone) had, at minimum, a front door guard.  Neighborhoods would hire their own guards and they had no problem getting whatever permits were required to hand the guy an AK.  Sure this guy can barely read, and he sure wasn't middle class or above himself, but he knows if anything bad happens to anyone in his neighborhood, he and his family will never have a job again, at least not one as good as what he's got now.  He might use his guard powers for other things, to make a little money on the side, but he's only too aware of how precarious his position is.


That's a really good point. I've seen the same thing in Brazil, Ecuador and Argentina (though the latter was to a lesser extent). When you know that if you tuck tail and run you'll be out of a job tomorrow with no prospects of anything else you'll do anything to keep the job even if it just means your family collects the death benefits.

In a related story my dad works in Yemen and would defiantly agree that "security guard" has an entirely different meaning over there than it does here. Sure the security around their plants doesn't make much money but it's all relative. The 300 US a month they make is enough to keep their families fed and a hell of a lot better than the 100 per month they'd make as a day laborer. Plus "security consultants" hired by the company teach you how to use your gun properly, something that is an incredibly valuable skill in the local politics.
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mfb
post Sep 17 2007, 08:32 PM
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the key thing here is to remember that there is a big gap between "most guards" and "most guards that a shadowrunner will encounter."

most guards are chumps with 2-3 points in a firearms skill and average stats. they get paid 9 bucks an hour to keep homeless people and petty thieves from breaking into warehouses and Stuffer Shacks. since most warehouses and Stuffer Shacks don't hold merchandise worthy of a run, most runners aren't going to encounter these guys, except to say hi when they're stopping by Stuffer Shack to get a krillburger.

the guards that most shadowrunners are going to encounter are decently-paid professionals (middle class wages or so) who have made a serious career out of being security guards. they're tough, they're motivated, they're trained, and they're experienced. where do they come from? well, SR is a violent place. there's more call for guys with combat experience. nowadays, a guy might get back from Iraq after finishing his four-year enlisment and go to school to be an accountant. that same guy in 2070 is going to have job offers for security positions showered on him.
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Cthulhudreams
post Sep 17 2007, 11:45 PM
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QUOTE (imperialus)
QUOTE (nezumi @ Sep 17 2007, 08:48 AM)

When I was living in Venezuela, I basically saw this.  The police force was miserable and undependable, so everyone middle class or above (and I do mean everyone) had, at minimum, a front door guard.  Neighborhoods would hire their own guards and they had no problem getting whatever permits were required to hand the guy an AK.  Sure this guy can barely read, and he sure wasn't middle class or above himself, but he knows if anything bad happens to anyone in his neighborhood, he and his family will never have a job again, at least not one as good as what he's got now.  He might use his guard powers for other things, to make a little money on the side, but he's only too aware of how precarious his position is.


That's a really good point. I've seen the same thing in Brazil, Ecuador and Argentina (though the latter was to a lesser extent). When you know that if you tuck tail and run you'll be out of a job tomorrow with no prospects of anything else you'll do anything to keep the job even if it just means your family collects the death benefits.

In a related story my dad works in Yemen and would defiantly agree that "security guard" has an entirely different meaning over there than it does here. Sure the security around their plants doesn't make much money but it's all relative. The 300 US a month they make is enough to keep their families fed and a hell of a lot better than the 100 per month they'd make as a day laborer. Plus "security consultants" hired by the company teach you how to use your gun properly, something that is an incredibly valuable skill in the local politics.

See.. the thing with these guys is, that, as you say, he can barely read. So he isn;t going to be intensively technology literate. He is badly educated and his training isn't that hot. He sure isn't very well equipped (A cheap old gun known mostly for its reliability (a good feature I must admit)). Okay maybe he is fed well, but all the other good stuff (training, equipment) just isn't there in the examples you gave.

The other team are the shadow runners who are seriously breaking out multi spectrum vision, UAVS, matrix support, electronic warfare jammers, massive investments in things like improved reflexes, and substantial investment and experience in How To Be Extremely Violent, body armour and all the other good stuff.

Our Barney from Brazil here isn't going to see him coming, let alone be able to stop him. That guy seriously has an AK and a bit of training, whereas the shadow runners are the SAS by comparison.

And Barney from Yemen or whatever is actually guarding a housing complex or oil refinery today - real places where shadow runners would go (do an extraction or sabotage a refinery)
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mfb
post Sep 17 2007, 11:59 PM
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that's the thing, man. if there's this huge market for talented, trained, hardened criminals, there's going to be an even larger market for talented, trained, hardened security professionals. Barney from Brazil is only going to be a Barney if he's some neighborhood watch chump. if he's guarding an oil refinery, he's going to have some solid training and some solid tech toys, because if he doesn't, he's going to get killed by some runner team and the refinery's going to get blowed up (or whatever). nowadays, you don't generally have to worry about freelance specops teams blowing up your refinery, so you can cut corners on your guards' training. in 2070, there are freelance specops teams all over the place, plus corporate and national specops teams. you need serious protection for your refinery, or you're going to lose your investment. today, right now, there simply isn't a strong market for professional security guards. in 2070, there is.
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imperialus
post Sep 18 2007, 12:20 AM
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QUOTE (Cthulhudreams)
QUOTE (imperialus @ Sep 17 2007, 02:32 PM)
QUOTE (nezumi @ Sep 17 2007, 08:48 AM)

When I was living in Venezuela, I basically saw this.  The police force was miserable and undependable, so everyone middle class or above (and I do mean everyone) had, at minimum, a front door guard.  Neighborhoods would hire their own guards and they had no problem getting whatever permits were required to hand the guy an AK.  Sure this guy can barely read, and he sure wasn't middle class or above himself, but he knows if anything bad happens to anyone in his neighborhood, he and his family will never have a job again, at least not one as good as what he's got now.  He might use his guard powers for other things, to make a little money on the side, but he's only too aware of how precarious his position is.


That's a really good point. I've seen the same thing in Brazil, Ecuador and Argentina (though the latter was to a lesser extent). When you know that if you tuck tail and run you'll be out of a job tomorrow with no prospects of anything else you'll do anything to keep the job even if it just means your family collects the death benefits.

In a related story my dad works in Yemen and would defiantly agree that "security guard" has an entirely different meaning over there than it does here. Sure the security around their plants doesn't make much money but it's all relative. The 300 US a month they make is enough to keep their families fed and a hell of a lot better than the 100 per month they'd make as a day laborer. Plus "security consultants" hired by the company teach you how to use your gun properly, something that is an incredibly valuable skill in the local politics.

See.. the thing with these guys is, that, as you say, he can barely read. So he isn;t going to be intensively technology literate. He is badly educated and his training isn't that hot. He sure isn't very well equipped (A cheap old gun known mostly for its reliability (a good feature I must admit)). Okay maybe he is fed well, but all the other good stuff (training, equipment) just isn't there in the examples you gave.

The other team are the shadow runners who are seriously breaking out multi spectrum vision, UAVS, matrix support, electronic warfare jammers, massive investments in things like improved reflexes, and substantial investment and experience in How To Be Extremely Violent, body armour and all the other good stuff.

Our Barney from Brazil here isn't going to see him coming, let alone be able to stop him. That guy seriously has an AK and a bit of training, whereas the shadow runners are the SAS by comparison.

And Barney from Yemen or whatever is actually guarding a housing complex or oil refinery today - real places where shadow runners would go (do an extraction or sabotage a refinery)

I think the analogy is still appropriate. I'll try and explain the simmilarities as I see them.

In Yemen the local tribes spend a lot of time fighting each other. These folks have hated each other for generations but the fighting is pretty low scale. Everyone over the age of 12 knows how to use an AK but they probably arn't that good with it.

Now what happens when an oil company comes in is they usually make nice with a few of the local tribes and gets some of them to voluteer to protect them. Then they bring in the outside help. I'm sure most people have heard of Blackwater but they are hardly the only modern mercenary company out there. Now in the case of the company my dad works for their contractors are almost all former SAS. These folks are very well trained in how to teach semi-literate pesants how to use gringo techno-mathingy's. They train the locals in everything from radio operation, to tactics, to how to point and shoot more effectively. By the time the consultants are done the local's are pretty damn good at what they do.

Compare this to Shadowrun, I'll use a mid level company like Wolverine as an example. The Star, KE and other big boys are a different kettle of fish, more like modern armies than security companies.

The locals in this case are probably mostly gang bangers, maby they have SIN's, maby Wolverine has to help them aquire one. They're all familiar with violence even if they arn't terribly effective at it. Wolverine shows up, offers 3 protine packs a day, enough money to make rent, a gun, and a badge. They look around at their lives robbing stuffer shacks and decide to join up.

After they join they are probably trained by one (or several) of Wolverines "core" employees. This guy is probably a vet, more than likely from one of the big merc companies out there, possibly he's even a vet from KE Firewatch, or another special forces team. They teach them how to use their comlinks, how to interface with their AR equipped glasses along with tactics, marksmanship and for a few promicing individuals how to use specialized equipment. He also re-enforces their loyalty "look at how good your life is now, but remember we can take it all away." and by reminding them that their chances of being killed in a robbery are quite low. After all Shadowrunners and real professional criminals are a rare commodity too.

By the time their training is done you have some reasonably loyal, fairly competent security guards. They'll have their sidearm, an armoured vest, their comlink keeping them in touch with the mothership, a pair of AR equipped glasses, a dose of combat drugs in case the shit hits the fan, and a regular paycheque. For 90% of them the job is just boring. Chances are the facility they are guarding will never get hit and if they keep their noses clean they'll live to collect a pension. All things considered that's not too bad a life in the 6th world.
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Cthulhudreams
post Sep 18 2007, 12:53 AM
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I guess we are taking different perspectives on the performance of 'the locals' when given firearms and even some training. The Iraqi security forces are currently being trained by serious professionals, but are turning in a dismal performance due to endemic corruption and other issues despite aforesaid training.

Hell, even the quality of the military contractors has been a mixed bag - with the companies importing 'workers' from underprivileged areas of the globe being particularly bad. (some are very good, like the aforementioned blackwater, though then again, they just got given the boot for being heavy handed and shooting civilians up (I know, 'civilians'))

So I figure the reason we are nit picking back and forth is that our fundamental assumptions about the effectiveness of basic training when applied to underprivileged people in a modern war scenario is different.

I honestly think the educational background you're going to want your sec contractors to have so they can deal with Matrix, Magical, EW, Drones, Infiltration and shock assaults with only your training laid on top might be pretty high - higher than now at least.

QUOTE

that's the thing, man. if there's this huge market for talented, trained, hardened criminals, there's going to be an even larger market for talented, trained, hardened security professionals. Barney from Brazil is only going to be a Barney if he's some neighborhood watch chump. if he's guarding an oil refinery, he's going to have some solid training and some solid tech toys, because if he doesn't, he's going to get killed by some runner team and the refinery's going to get blowed up (or whatever). nowadays, you don't generally have to worry about freelance specops teams blowing up your refinery, so you can cut corners on your guards' training. in 2070, there are freelance specops teams all over the place, plus corporate and national specops teams. you need serious protection for your refinery, or you're going to lose your investment. today, right now, there simply isn't a strong market for professional security guards. in 2070, there is.


Sorry I jsut noticed this.

I agree entirely - where are these people coming from though?!?! We cannot find hardened security professionals to do the jobs TODAY. The US army cannot hit recruitment targets as is, and I understand law enforcement is strapped for people too. In the future after the VITAS plague, the crashes, sinless, there are less people to do the work (unless you employ criminals to guard your stuff, a process fraught with risk) and demand has shot through the roof.
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mfb
post Sep 18 2007, 01:21 AM
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well, even after VITAS, the crashes, and all the rest, the global population is going to have exploded. somebody did the calculations somewhere, i forget where, but basically none of the events in SR's history put all that big a dent in the growth rate of the planet's human population.

aside from that... SR's just a more violent world than today (which is sick and scary if you put any research into exactly how violent the world actually is today). so the pool of people with the required skillset and motivation is much larger. moreover, military (and i assume police) personnel are paid crappily for the skills they bring to their organizations. that's partly ameliorated by the fact that they basically get free training and many other benefits, but the fact is that almost any military except combat MOSs could double or better their pay by ETSing. in SR, demand for combat MOS types is high enough that they can easily get a chunk of that too.
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Cthulhudreams
post Sep 18 2007, 01:44 AM
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QUOTE (mfb @ Sep 17 2007, 08:21 PM)
aside from that... SR's just a more violent world than today (which is sick and scary if you put any research into exactly how violent the world actually is today). so the pool of people with the required skillset and motivation is much larger. moreover, military (and i assume police) personnel are paid crappily for the skills they bring to their organizations. that's partly ameliorated by the fact that they basically get free training and many other benefits, but the fact is that almost any military except combat MOSs could double or better their pay by ETSing. in SR, demand for combat MOS types is high enough that they can easily get a chunk of that too.

hehe,

Again, my opinion is that people brought up in a life of violence don't actually make very effective soldiers because they usually suffer from bad educations, bad nutrition, bad understanding of modern weaponry etc etc. The best soldiers are (and I suspect will remain) educated people from solid backgrounds - which is why the army wants to recruit them oh so badly (The US army's big drive post vietnam was not to increase enlistment numbers, but increase quality, demanding high raw intelligence and high levels of education).

To quote a great example, if I gave you a gun and told you to shoot at a target along way away you already know you have to aim high. Hell given lots of ammo you might even eventually hit it. At the battle of Rouke's drift the zulu's had hundreds/thousands of guys with guns on a hill that overlooked the compound - and very few people scored hits. I've read theories that they did not know to aim high.

The military currently wants people will a year 12 education vastly preferred over a year 10. I see the requirements on these people vastly expanding in a 2070. In 2070, they are going to have to run drones, cyberware, EW gear and lots of computers.

If you got brought up in the slums, you never learnt all the stuff that makes the foundations that you need to understand all that stuff.

As for crappy pay.. not sure I agree. Well.. in Australia anyway. The usual situation is that the military pays for a lot of training in return for your mandatory service and the junior end of the pay scale pay is good. The problems start once they have significant experience - and then you are right, retention is a huge problem.
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mfb
post Sep 18 2007, 02:01 AM
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to be clear, i'm rationalizing. i'm looking at the situation as it exists in the setting and coming up with reasons why it is the way it is.

i'm not talking about growing up in a life of violence per se. i'm talking about growing up in a middle-class household and having a choice between being an accountant and being a hardened killer-man--and getting paid the same no matter which you choose.
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Apathy
post Sep 18 2007, 02:05 AM
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QUOTE (Cthulhudreams @ Sep 17 2007, 07:53 PM)
I agree entirely - where are these people coming from though?!?! We cannot find hardened security professionals to do the jobs TODAY. The US army cannot hit recruitment targets as is, and I understand law enforcement is strapped for people too. In the future after the VITAS plague, the crashes, sinless, there are less people to do the work (unless you employ criminals to guard your stuff, a process fraught with risk) and demand has shot through the roof.



A couple thoughts on this that you may or may not agree with - just my opinions.

The US can't get people to sign up for the Army today because people believe there are better options than military service out there. A recruit fresh out of basic is making below what Americans consider the poverty level. He's got some subsidies to help him along by taking care of most of his living expenses (barracks, chow hall, etc.), but he's still got a lower standard of living than he could get working construction. And he's got a much greater chance of getting killed. In general people here don't have to worry about getting a job so that their family doesn't starve to death. There's just too much opportunity and too many other options for the Army life to seem that appealing.

On the other hand, when I was in the Army, the percentage of Puerto Rican nationals in the Army was much much higher than their population would normally generate, because there weren't as many good paying jobs on the island, and because military service could lead to citizenship. The SIN-less in the Barrens would be the same way - the entry level corp sec job is an alternative to pushing BTLs on the corner, and might get him a SIN, after a few years of good service and a promotion to sergeant might get his kids medical care, that sort of thing.

Also, so far the discussion has been on the assumption that the only two options were
  • malnourished famine victim, or
  • elitist rich kids who aren't willing to do grunt work.
I suspect that there would be a whole spectrum of lifestyles in between those two extremes. The basic security, the janitors, the dock loaders would all be from the B- and C-zone low rent districts and would be getting three squares of unappetizing nutri-soy each day. They would have probably had at least a grade school education before dropping out, and would be fully capable of learning the basics.

My last thought is that the basic level security guards don't need to be that good. They don't even need to be able to shoot straight. They just need to be there, so the corp rigger can tell that there's trouble in the building when their Crash-Cart med-alert band flatlines. That's when the corp will mobilize the professional HTR team to come in and kick hoop.
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Cthulhudreams
post Sep 18 2007, 02:10 AM
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QUOTE (mfb)
to be clear, i'm rationalizing. i'm looking at the situation as it exists in the setting and coming up with reasons why it is the way it is.

i'm not talking about growing up in a life of violence per se. i'm talking about growing up in a middle-class household and having a choice between being an accountant and being a hardened killer-man--and getting paid the same no matter which you choose.

haha, fair enough

I'm trying to nail down what I think the setting should look like. I'm thinking that I might re-couch the game a bit away from street level to deal with same issue. Sensitive installations will have 'real' military (even if they are corps, if you know what I mean) guards through and through, that might be even imported if the area is particularly high risk.

Whereas low -> Medium grade installations will have locals with guns and a lower degree of effectiveness, and maybe a core cadre or response team available. So if you are assigned to break into some steel factory and blow it up, the shadow runners will scythe through the locals. However the insurance agency might try and kill them as part of the risk management procedure.

This allows for crap people to guard most places, with the hard core facilities having equal threat levels - and making a run vs a highly secure data centre really risky, with a big payoff.

I see what you're getting at with the accountant vs hardened killer man - but I can also see that with the general collapse of societies support systems (education!!) highly skilled accountants are going to be in demand too.
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Hartbaine
post Sep 18 2007, 02:11 AM
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QUOTE (Cthulhudreams)
Again, my opinion is that people brought up in a life of violence don't actually make very effective soldiers because they usually suffer from (blah, blah... getting to the good part...) bad understanding of modern weaponry etc etc.

Nonsense Poopy Pants!

They have a very good understanding of modern weaponry, allow me to give an example...

"What now? Let me tell you what now. I'ma call a coupla hard, pipe-hittin' <bleep>, who'll go to work on the holmes here with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch. You hear me talkin', hillbilly boy? I ain't through with you by a damn sight. I'ma get medieval on your ass."

Now, we have pliers, and a blowtorch. These are both very modern, and in skilled hands (as seen in the example above) very effective weaponry.

The problem is most structured military organizations lack the vision and creativity that our true violent and deviant have to offer.

Frankly, I think it's wasted potential.
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Mercer
post Sep 18 2007, 02:27 AM
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Deprivation is the best school for a soldier.

At least, that's what Napoleon said. (But he's French.)
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Hartbaine
post Sep 18 2007, 02:37 AM
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Ick... the French... :S
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imperialus
post Sep 18 2007, 03:40 AM
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QUOTE (Cthulhudreams)
I guess we are taking different perspectives on the performance of 'the locals' when given firearms and even some training. The Iraqi security forces are currently being trained by serious professionals, but are turning in a dismal performance due to endemic corruption and other issues despite aforesaid training.

Hell, even the quality of the military contractors has been a mixed bag - with the companies importing 'workers' from underprivileged areas of the globe being particularly bad. (some are very good, like the aforementioned blackwater, though then again, they just got given the boot for being heavy handed and shooting civilians up (I know, 'civilians')

Well the other thing to consider is that Iraq is a whole different kettle of fish than guarding an oil refinary from potential violence. The fact that Iraq is an active war zone automatically puts any potential conflict above and beyond the ability for a security guard of almost any caliber to deal with. Not only that though but Iraq has serious ethnic issues that need to be delt with. the problem isn't the training of the security forces it's the question as to whether or not they'll turn those guns around on the Sunni's next door or the GI's who gave them to them.

If a security guard has no real motivation to turn on the guys who feed him then he's not likely too for no reason. That's not saying that sec grunts in Shadowrun are incorruptable, indeed a lot of sec grunts probably moonlight as bouncers, abuse their positions, and can be bribed with a few hundred :nuyen:.

I wholeheartedly agree that the caliber of security forces would be very irregular. I'd expect that a KE security contract would not be cheep, and a KE security officer would probably be quite well paid and very well trained. Lower end sec companies... you get what you pay for. Probably some goon with a record and an Ares Preadator.
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