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> If you had a small budget and needed to arm a lot of people, What would you do? (IE, what my players likely to do?)
ShadowDragon8685
post Feb 4 2012, 10:16 PM
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So, I'm giving the players an easy-enough job to start off. One of them is going to have spent time at the Plastic Jungles, and so when the Jungles start to have their problems with gangs really starting to raid them, they decide they need to hire some outside talent.

Half of the job is that they want the player group to act basically as security consultants, now and in the future (in exchange for basically never having to paying for fresh fruit and vegetables again;) upgrading their security measures, training more of their members to act as defenders and guards, and so forth.

Their budget isn't tremendously large - 15,000, minus whatever the group themselves manage to take as their fee. (Their opening offer is 2.5K, which I expect the players will vigorously negotiate up.) Obviously they're going to want armaments, since a handful of Sandler TMPs and an old guy with a rifle aren't going to go far, even with a troll BowAdept backing them up. I expect they're probably going to go for AK-97s, since they're basically the cheapest assault rifle you can get and they're likely to be able to lay their hands on large quantities of them in a hurry just by driving to the Crime Mall in Puyallup.

Labor's not an issue, so any kind of earthworks should be simple, and the Jungles themselves have stocks of timber and scrap on-hand, as well as a big old flatbed that they can use to scavenge more scrap from the barrens if need-be.


So, what are my players likely to do with this kind of a situation? What would you do?
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PoliteMan
post Feb 4 2012, 10:31 PM
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The number #1 issue isn't going to be guns or armor, it's going to be drugs.

Cram, Jazz, Kamikaze, Nitro, all are cheaper than (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) 100, available in core, and huge boosts to a basic unaugmented human. Of course, how trustworthy a drug-dependent militia will be is a raging debate. To keep it simple in your game, I'd make it a Leadership roll. With a good enough leader drugs won't cause any lasting problems, if you're just randomly passing out kamikaze to people, there will be long term consequences.

Also, I'm assuming one of these security consultants took Instruction, in which case a lot will depend on what skills he can teach and how fast.
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Stahlseele
post Feb 4 2012, 10:32 PM
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Grenades.
Cheap.
Easy.
Effective.
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Yerameyahu
post Feb 4 2012, 10:36 PM
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Preposterously cheap, alas. Automatic weapons are still very inexpensive, though. I agree with drugs, if you don't care about them. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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thorya
post Feb 4 2012, 10:37 PM
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Combat Chemicals!
CS and Pepper Punch can cripple enemies and are as cheap as 10 rounds.
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Yerameyahu
post Feb 4 2012, 10:39 PM
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Personally, I'd just kill all the gangs myself, though. Amateurs. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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ShadowDragon8685
post Feb 4 2012, 11:39 PM
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None of them have Instruction, which is going to be problematic. They won't be able to raise a serious militia in short order, but this is the barrens. Most of the people there above the age of 15 or so probably already have Firearms 1 as a baseline, so at least they won't be facing penalties.

As for drugs, that idea would be vetoed right off the bat. They're in to clean living in the Jungles, so that's not an option. Grenades are, of course. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) (And since ball games are a popular pasttime in the Jungles, they probably have more skill at Throwing hanging around than they do with firearms.)

The goal isn't to go to war all over the other guy's faces, though - if action needs to be taken outside, that's what the 'runners are for. They just want to present a hard enough target that the gang that has been giving them serious trouble and staging raids on them (as an initiation rite and as a way to get food) look elsewhere.

Basically, I wanted to mix in some stuff in an otherwise-simple "fuck up these guys we don't like" job for the Face and the guy with high technical skills to get some spotlight time, and I figure that everybody loves a good tower defense game. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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ggodo
post Feb 4 2012, 11:57 PM
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Shadowrun TD

FUND IT!
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Starmage21
post Feb 5 2012, 12:12 AM
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Crate after crate of surplus russian bolt-action rifles. Also grenades, LOTS of grenades!
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Stahlseele
post Feb 5 2012, 12:23 AM
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Grenades are dirt cheap, as i mentioned a bit upthread.
how much are they now? 20 to 50 nuyen a pop?
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CanRay
post Feb 5 2012, 12:32 AM
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Grenade Bomb Vests and Drugs?

Hot, Knock-Off AK-97s bought in bulk?
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3278
post Feb 5 2012, 01:16 AM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Feb 4 2012, 11:39 PM) *
The goal isn't to go to war all over the other guy's faces, though - if action needs to be taken outside, that's what the 'runners are for. They just want to present a hard enough target that the gang that has been giving them serious trouble and staging raids on them (as an initiation rite and as a way to get food) look elsewhere.

Organization, then. Small groups [one experienced hand, one up-and-comer, a few newbies] monitoring neighborhoods, always in communication with the other groups. If the gang comes in, the first group to make contact just delays until other groups can get there: soon, a raid turns into a rout, and the gang's days of easy pickings are over. They could win, if they started a war, but that leaves them vulnerable elsewhere. As you say, you just have to look like a hard target, and you can do that with organization, a few armaments, and communication.

Also: rocket launchers. Typically fairly inexpensive [in terms of return-on-investment], and tremendously psychologically affecting. Also falling in this category would be miniguns and mortars, but these things are typically pretty expensive, and very likely to attract more attention than desired.

If this is pretty hardcore post-apocalyptic Barrens, then barricades and IEDs would definitely be in order, but not everyone's settings allow for this extreme. If it's time-sensitive - like, during the day, cops might be around, but at night, we need barricades - then buses and trucks are time-honored mobile defenses, and easily stealable.

It sounds as though manpower is an issue. I would work hard on solving that, in whatever way I could.
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CanRay
post Feb 5 2012, 01:19 AM
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This Comic Book.
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ShadowDragon8685
post Feb 5 2012, 01:26 AM
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QUOTE (3278 @ Feb 4 2012, 08:16 PM) *
Organization, then. Small groups [one experienced hand, one up-and-comer, a few newbies] monitoring neighborhoods, always in communication with the other groups. If the gang comes in, the first group to make contact just delays until other groups can get there: soon, a raid turns into a rout, and the gang's days of easy pickings are over. They could win, if they started a war, but that leaves them vulnerable elsewhere. As you say, you just have to look like a hard target, and you can do that with organization, a few armaments, and communication.


Getting them communicating shouldn't be too hard. It may be the barrens, but I reckon even the folk in the barrens have cheap commlinks, which should function well enough as walkie-talkies.

QUOTE
Also: rocket launchers. Typically fairly inexpensive [in terms of return-on-investment], and tremendously psychologically affecting. Also falling in this category would be miniguns and mortars, but these things are typically pretty expensive, and very likely to attract more attention than desired.


Hmmm. You may be on to something there. The price of two AK-97s at retail is the price of one AZT striker, though the missiles cost a lot per-unit. Still, the gang isn't exactly swimming in resources, either; losing just one of the technicals they use to stage diversionary runs would probably make them back off and think twice.

QUOTE
If this is pretty hardcore post-apocalyptic Barrens, then barricades and IEDs would definitely be in order, but not everyone's settings allow for this extreme. If it's time-sensitive - like, during the day, cops might be around, but at night, we need barricades - then buses and trucks are time-honored mobile defenses, and easily stealable.


I reckon the cops don't go into Redmond unless trouble is happening near the tourist trap part of town. The Plastic Jungles are way out in the sticks, though, nearly up to the Rat's Nest, so nothing short of an air war erupting is going to get Knight Errant out there.

QUOTE
It sounds as though manpower is an issue. I would work hard on solving that, in whatever way I could.


The Jungles actually have a significant manpower advantage over the average area gang. I reckon the 3LBs (the gang in question that I made up) have about 10-20 full members and 15-30 wannabes, and they don't tend to all congregate at any one spot. The raids' success has mostly been because of a particular tactical genius who got the bright idea to stage a diversion out front while the sneaky bastards among them cut through the fence out back and grab whatever they can/shoot a few people/dogs before leaving. Meanwhile, the Jungles themselves have between 175-200 able-bodied adults, depending on whether you want to give guns to the folks who've seen a few too many winters (or a few too few,) or not, with around 50 or so being too old or too young for that shit.
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Wounded Ronin
post Feb 5 2012, 01:27 AM
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If I had a small budget and needed to arm lots of people, I'd go online to J&G Sales and get all the Warsaw Pact surplus weapons with cheap, steel cased ammo.

Think of how much fun it would be to implement online Warsaw Pact surplus weapons dealers in SR!
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3278
post Feb 5 2012, 01:37 AM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Feb 5 2012, 01:26 AM) *
Getting them communicating shouldn't be too hard. It may be the barrens, but I reckon even the folk in the barrens have cheap commlinks, which should function well enough as walkie-talkies.

How big is the area they have to protect? Are any of the characters [or the locals] tech-savvy, even in the slightest?

QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Feb 5 2012, 01:26 AM) *
Hmmm. You may be on to something there. The price of two AK-97s at retail is the price of one AZT striker, though the missiles cost a lot per-unit. Still, the gang isn't exactly swimming in resources, either; losing just one of the technicals they use to stage diversionary runs would probably make them back off and think twice.

Yeah, missiles ain't cheap: the hope is that you can use one or two, and make them think you have more. [I would never in a million years suggest that it's entirely possible to show someone the empty case of a disposable rocket launcher (quite inexpensive, and readily available) and bluff them into thinking it's still live.] If you do need to use more than a few, then you don't want a disposable launcher, you want a reusable one with inexpensive ammunition.

In Shadowrun, rockets and grenades aren't that different from each other: it's entirely possible your players will just want grenades.

QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Feb 5 2012, 01:26 AM) *
The Jungles actually have a significant manpower advantage over the average area gang. I reckon the 3LBs (the gang in question that I made up) have about 10-20 full members and 15-30 wannabes, and they don't tend to all congregate at any one spot.

Oh. I would kill them all, then. If I were four or five criminals helping protect a neighborhood against 10-20 full members, I'd just kill every single one of those full members in the most public and unpleasant way possible. You probably wouldn't have to get very far on that list before the problem disappeared.
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PoliteMan
post Feb 5 2012, 01:43 AM
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QUOTE (3278 @ Feb 5 2012, 10:37 AM) *
Oh. I would kill them all, then. If I were four or five criminals helping protect a neighborhood against 10-20 full members, I'd just kill every single one of those full members in the most public and unpleasant way possible. You probably wouldn't have to get very far on that list before the problem disappeared.

I also cannot help but notice that if you kill all the gangers, you then have your guns AND their guns...
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CanRay
post Feb 5 2012, 01:47 AM
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QUOTE (PoliteMan @ Feb 4 2012, 09:43 PM) *
I also cannot help but notice that if you kill all the gangers, you then have your guns AND their guns...
Yeah, consider the condition of the gang guns. Gangers aren't exactly known for good weapon's maintenance. On the flipside, spare parts if they're the same as yours.
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ShadowDragon8685
post Feb 5 2012, 02:59 AM
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QUOTE (3278 @ Feb 4 2012, 08:37 PM) *
How big is the area they have to protect? Are any of the characters [or the locals] tech-savvy, even in the slightest?


Well, it's pretty large. There's like, ten greenhouses, each of them half a klick long by a klick and a half wide. It's all been fenced in already, Mad Max palisade-style, but that could use some shoring up. And of course, you preferably don't want your enemies thinking they can just walk up to the wall, so some kind of a moat might be in order...

Several of the players are tech savvy - there's an AI, a technomancer, a technical wiz-kid, and the Face has a commlink that's 4s across the board with 3 hacking and computer, so she's not too awful.


QUOTE
Yeah, missiles ain't cheap: the hope is that you can use one or two, and make them think you have more. [I would never in a million years suggest that it's entirely possible to show someone the empty case of a disposable rocket launcher (quite inexpensive, and readily available) and bluff them into thinking it's still live.] If you do need to use more than a few, then you don't want a disposable launcher, you want a reusable one with inexpensive ammunition.


Hmmm. The picture of the AZT Striker suggests that it's actually more like a re-loadable one-shot rocket launcher than a true fire-and-toss panzerfaust. If it is disposable, you'd think that it would mention that it comes with its own rocket pre-loaded. Even so, 1,000 (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) strikes me as a bit pricy for a true "fire-and-toss" rocket launcher. Frankly I'd say that shouldn't be more than 50 (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) more than the rocket itself, since it's just a tube to direct the gas away with an electric firing mechanism and maybe a safety pin.


QUOTE
In Shadowrun, rockets and grenades aren't that different from each other: it's entirely possible your players will just want grenades.


Yeah. I expect they might go for some grenades.


QUOTE
Oh. I would kill them all, then. If I were four or five criminals helping protect a neighborhood against 10-20 full members, I'd just kill every single one of those full members in the most public and unpleasant way possible. You probably wouldn't have to get very far on that list before the problem disappeared.


Yeah, true, but that smacks of wetwork. Also, one of the books mentioned that runners who make a habit of wiping out small gangs get that reputation and find doors closed to them. More importantly, if you just whack all the bangers today, you'll leave a power vacuum that will just result in a new bunch arising in the next few months. Also, the Jungles would prefer to avoid that kind of a resolution if it's at all possible, which is good, since the players themselves seem to be sticking to the ethos of lethal force only-if-absolutely-nessessary.

Still, it will come to that. At the very least, they're going to have to take out the Tactical Genius amongst the 3LBs and some of the sneakier members.
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Paul
post Feb 5 2012, 03:19 AM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Feb 4 2012, 09:59 PM) *
Yeah, true, but that smacks of wetwork. Also, one of the books mentioned that runners who make a habit of wiping out small gangs get that reputation and find doors closed to them.


And that's a choice they may have to make.

QUOTE
More importantly, if you just whack all the bangers today, you'll leave a power vacuum that will just result in a new bunch arising in the next few months.


Which, potentially a smart group can help fill with people they control. But you're quite correct this can be a seriously dangerous possibility.
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UmaroVI
post Feb 5 2012, 03:32 AM
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The simplest way to arm them is going to be:

AK-97, Tripod, and Gas-Vent 2. That's enough recoil compensation for an ordinary dude to use the AK properly, and is only 1000Y each. Getting them smartgun systems and glasses is another 925Y, which may or may not be worth it, depending on how much they suck - it's well worth that to get people out of the critical glitch danger range.

Armor! Adding armor is huge, and it's not super expensive. First, it greatly increases the odds of your side having injuries rather than deaths (which if you care about long-term, matters a lot and increases morale) and making your soldiers take an extra shot to drop is significant. For 3 body dudes, Urban Explorer Jumpsuit is the most cost-efficient armor at 500Y for 6/6.

Grenades. Specifically, a 200Y gas mask and a few chemical gas grenades. Pepper Punch grenades are cheap (25Y each) and more effective than anything you can get for reasonable prices (Ringu and Warp are better but are way, way too expensive for this). The gas mask is important because grenades scatter like whoa and you are giving them to semi-trained soldiers.

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UmaroVI
post Feb 5 2012, 03:42 AM
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Other useful guns: the Remington 990 is 550Y and a step down in effectiveness from the AK-97 with a tripod and gas vents. If you're not able to afford enough AK kits, the Remingtons are much better than off-the-shelf AKs because they do 1 point more damage and have built-in RC 1.

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ShadowDragon8685
post Feb 5 2012, 04:09 AM
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Hrm...

I'm thinking that the best way to defend a static point from ganger scum like this is probably to get enough stacking modifiers to make them unable to do anything useful and will leave them easy pickings for even semi-trained militia. You make a good point with the gas masks and Pepper Punch grenades. I also have to wonder what a system that acts like a pre-installed wall-mounted Flash Pak that dazzles anyone trying to look at it without protective eyeware would look like in terms of cost.
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Tanegar
post Feb 5 2012, 04:37 AM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Feb 4 2012, 09:59 PM) *
Well, it's pretty large. There's like, ten greenhouses, each of them half a klick long by a klick and a half wide.

Wait, what? Let's do the math on that. A building five hundred meters by fifteen hundred meters has (nominally) 750,000 (yes, seven hundred and fifty thousand) square meters of floor space. Ten of them add up to seven and a half million, leaving thirty-seven thousand, five hundred (37,500) square meters worth of plants to tend every day for each of two hundred people. Are these numbers coming out of a published adventure or did you make them up yourself?
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ShadowDragon8685
post Feb 5 2012, 04:54 AM
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Hrm... I see your point, those numbers may be excessive. Here, hang on...
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