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Emperor Tippy
I know runners are used when corp's need deniable assets but what about when they don't? They are the ones inventing the SOTA tech and have what amounts to unlimited resources.

So what kind of Black Op's/ Special Forces divisions do the Prime Mega's sport and what do those teams come equipped with?
depends. most of the time they will use "contractors" so it doesnt come back to them. ahem.. aka shadowrunners. so what does the team have? smile.gif

If (and when) I make black op teams that are backed by a AA/AAA corp, I make 360-400 BP (360 sammies/400 magic) characters but dont spend money on gear/cyberware/bioware/spell compoents/etc. I give them what they need within reason. That makes them about 450BP characters or in that range.

just my opinion..
The Tir Ghosts are a good example of a black ops team. These guys are great if they know what to expect, but in a knock-down drag out fight may not hold up long. (Though I'd question why a black-ops team was in a prolonged fight...)
Emperor Tippy
Why are mega corps or national black ops teams only given gear "within reason"? I mean if I created delta ware and had a delta clinic you can be damn sure that any Black Op's team I fielded was filled with as much delta grade bio ware as I could cram in, loaded up with beyond bleeding edge comlinks, supported by the best hackers I could find, and given full satellite coverage (with possible air support).

I mean even at 2 million nuyen an agent it is a drop in the bucket for a government spec ops team or a Prime mega team.

A current US Army Ranger costs the government something around a million bucks to train and equip. And that doesn't include extras like satellties or airplanes.
Why only 'within reason?'

1) Bureaucratic red tape.
2) Divisional in-fighting.
3) Forms filled out in triplicate.
4) Clout or lack thereof for the organizing individual or manager.
5) Budget.

IF you have a black op that needs to go off no matter what, your papers are filled out and the VP has signed off on it, and you've got the budget to work with... The sky is the limit. But realize that these are corporations, so paperwork, infighting, backstabbery and politics rule the day.
The other issue is that a real effective capability takes years to develop, steals away your most capable people from money making divisions, cost huge amounts of money to fund every year, has no potential to ever turn a profit, every operation is an opportunity for a PR disaster of huge proportions, and is so secret that you can't tell anyone what it does or why it's worth the money. That doesn't tend help it out on the "What programs/divisions can we cut to make this quarter's numbers?" conference calls that happen a few times a year.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that corporations, even megacorporations, do not have unlimited resources! Everything costs money and everything takes risk.

Even if a megacorp owns their own delta clinics, they still have to pay for the components to make the deltaware. Even if they own the facilities that make those components, they still have to invest resources (time, manpower, energy, raw materials, transportation, etc) in creating those components. Even beyond the hardware, it takes a lot of time and resources to train a black ops team.

Opportunity Loss:
Furthermore, they have a line of paying customers waiting to use those delta clinics, so for every day they are using those clinics to create their own pet team, that's a day's profit that gets flushed down the sewer.

Risk Management:
All it takes is for one of their team members to make one mistake and millions of nuyen worth of resources go down the sewer.

Therefore, spending a few thousand nuyen to risk someone else's million nuyen investment is very cost effective.
It reminds me of this old one-panel cartoon that always made me laugh. Typical office with two typical businessmen and the caption reads, "Now this is all strictly hush-hush, Johnson, but I'm thinking of putting together my own right wing death squad."

If it takes a million dollars to field one Army Ranger, the cost of fielding a similarly trained soldier filled with cyber, bio and magical assistance seems staggering. It seems almost more cost effective to put kink bombs in mental patients and swarm them at the enemy. This makes a neat side discussion to the Security Guards topic, as it gives schmoes a reason to exist. Pay them 17k a year and who cares if they come back from missions.

The figure I was always told was it cost 100k to get one Marine through basic training and his job school and into the Fleet. I read once that the cost of fielding one Hoplite in Ancient Greece was comparable to buying a luxury sedan today; which means the cost of fielding a good infantryman has stayed roughly the same over the past 4000 years. (I am reminded by HST's quote that the price of opium has remained relatively constant over a similar period of time, and when some archeologists translated the prices from the whorehouse walls of Pompeii. I guess there are some things that are less affected by the vicissitudes of the market.)
Training is indeed very expensive. Black ops divisions are only going to be brought out when you need the job done once and done right. So you are going to use highly trained people.

As a result of both the sensitive nature of any deployment and the huge investment in training, black ops teams are going to be very well equipped.
Big D
More importantly, there are going to be different levels of black ops.

This is the "average soldier/cop/security guard" issue all over again. Yes, most AAAs probably have a squad or two of CZs and near-CZs hanging around *just in case*... but the odds of them seeing real action, much less against *you*, is pathetically small. If they ever get a green light, it's because the CEO personally authorized it, and is willing to do something so big that it could potentially result in a corp war if things go wrong.
Kyoto Kid
...@Mercer Shhhhhhh, no [ Spoilers ] grinbig.gif
Actually they are willing to send the CZs in to shoot up rebels in the yucatan in the fluff, which isn't even particularly covert.

The problem with CZs is they are really really obvious. Really super mega obvious due to that astral taint thing. You could totally follow it home after checking out some location of yours that got mysteriously shot up.

I guess what I'm saying is that Cyberzombies are not covert. Sending a cyberzombie is only marginally less obvious than sending a tank. People will dispatch them to situations where a tank is called for, rather than a black ops team biggrin.gif
still though even if they arn't CZ's I'd agree with BigD that every Mega is going to have a small number of highly dedicated, cybered/initiated, equipped up the wazoo, scary scary men on hand. They'll be called out when something BIG is happening and they'll serve as a last line to be crossed before an all out corp war breaks out and the tanks start rolling. If the runners ever meet them they'll know they are in way over their heads.
How much does it cost to equip (with cyber and bioware) and train a SWAT team member? A black ops team is similar to such a unit, isn't it?
I suspect that they will under perform unless they are actually spending a huge amount of time and money training. People whose job it is to stand around and look cool and threatening typically do, and that is lots cheaper than training. There is a story that the commander of Delta got really angry one month when he noticed that they had shot less than a million dollars worth of ammo that month. And ammo in SR costs lot more than it it did in the mid 80s for the USG.
If I were running a megacorp, I think I'd mostly cyberzombies for onsite defense. No one's gonna know about them who isn't a) authorized already or b) an intruder who's already hostile, and hopefully dead soon after they discover the CZ. If you're a PC and you run into a cyberzombie at a facility, it should be evidence that you've reached a place where something or someone very important is kept, over and above a CZ support station. (life support station? unlife support station? my mental image is based on the Uber-Soldat labs from Wolfenstein.)

I played in a campaign in which an early mission was a hunt to retrieve a courier and suitcase that had gone missing. An insect spirit team and an Ares Firewatch team got to the courier just before the PCs did, and mostly killed each other, so we waited a bit, finished off the bugs, and salvaged the gear of a Firewatch team. I suspect it was a way for the GM to both toss us in the deep end (now *we* have the cargo that well-resourced people will kill for) and give us an immediate power level boost (my sam got the bodies to a street doc in time to transplant some nice bioware, spare weapons for everyone, etc.). The GM figures that wearing the armor would convince anyone else "wow, you must be badass, if you took gear from Firewatch". On another hand, if we have contact with another Firewatch team and my sam is wearing repainted Firewatch armor and they figure it out, that could be awkwards.

Anyways, corps would use elite teams rather than shadowrunners when they need loyalty. There are some objects that shadowrunners would be just too tempted to keep for themselves. Also, when deniability isn't needed. Sometimes it's legal and publicly approved to use major force. For example, if someone kidnaps a Renraku researcher's daughter and holds her hostage, and Renraku Red Samurai blitz the kidnappers and rescue the daughter... heck, that could be good publicity, and local law enforcement are likely not to mind much.
Emperor Tippy
Well to fully equip a person with Delta Grade bio War (at least the decent stuff from the core book), all at the max ratings, costs about 12 million nuyen and 5.55 essence.

And it gives you a person who can walk right through any security system in the world without raising a flag. I was operating on the principal that a Black Op's team that is chromed out like a Cyber Zombie is jsut about visible from space using radar (shows up like a tank). Add in those contacs crammed with every possible enhancement ,the ear buds likewise filled up, and the beyond SOTA comlinks and weapons/armor. And you have a team that could preety much beat anything throw at them.

After the bioware do a fingerprint change and full genome change so that the person doesn't show up in any database. Give them the best fake SIN's you can come up with and you have your Dark Angel style assassins.
Big D
You can do a full-up borg with some bio (booster, pain editor, etc.) and a full body replacement+headware (thx Adapsin+delta) for about $5M, if I remember my numbers right. Of course, you trade off any attempt at concealability for the higher armor and lower price; the result is really just a watered-down CZ.

EDIT: I would like to see a cost estimate for jarheads; I would think that it would have to be no more than a million or two, plus the cost of a juiced-up drone, or it would make more sense to take a thoroughly brainwashed and loyal subject and borg them out (complete with data lock and cranial bomb) than to toy around with jarheads that almost invariably go ED-209 on you.
QUOTE (Emperor Tippy)
After the bioware do a fingerprint change and full genome change so that the person doesn't show up in any database. Give them the best fake SIN's you can come up with and you have your Dark Angel style assassins.

PFft, what you are going to do is create a 'real' SIN as they could totally be corp citizens, so you can issue SINS.

Then if you get busted you make like you never heard of them.
One thing people seem to be forgetting, is all corps have their own private armies as well as security, being extraterritorial nations, as a result they will have their own SF teams as any army does.

The US army is currently spending $12,000 per unit on the M29 (the OICW) and $30 per airtimed grenade for the things . . . . for their standard special forces, thats 45,000 units . . . .

Imagine what they spend on their elite (e.g the british SAS only has about 4 - 500 members at any given point in time).

Most corps are going to have WAY OTT teams of the best of the best, they can afford them - there may only be 3 or 4 4 man teams, but their budget will be near unlimited per person (with a number that small, an AAA corp can afford to send 20M plus per person and not notice)

These will be the Uber Badasses that if your players encounter, they will be either running home to mummy or going home in a body bag. Every campaign should have people better than the PC's in it, no matter how high level the PCs get, and these are a prime example of some of them.

These would be the best in the world, were talking 7s in firearms (yes I mean the group) across the board, with equal skill in their specialitys.

Of course there will be lower grade groups, Imagine what Knight Errant has up their sleves if their 'known' firewatch teams are disappearing on to the deep metaplanes to deal with insect spirits in their homes . . . .
I think we will see AAA blackops teams in two main groups. The deniable and the non-deniable.

the deniable ones will use off the shelf, but _nice_ gear and cyber/bio. This is for the missions where mission discovery could be worse than mission failure. I think these would be a lot like 'Runners. Might even be ex-runners.

Non-deniable teams are where they pull out all the stops. They will go on missions where the corp can say "Yeah, we did it, so what?

The problem here is that I can't think of a target worth a 20+ million nuyen team that wouldn't also be against another AAA.

The comparison is like a SEAL team mission vs a CIA "we never heard of you" mission.
QUOTE (Cweord)
The US army is currently spending $12,000 per unit on the M29 (the OICW) and $30 per airtimed grenade for the things . . . . for their standard special forces, thats 45,000 units . . . .

Was your source for this The stuff I have read says the M29 has been shelved for now (weight issues). It was separated into the KE portion (M8 Carbine) and the HE portion M25 grenade launcher.

The M8 almost deployed in 2005, but some irregularities in the selection shelved it.

I don't know current status of the M25.
Yeah, HKpro was my source, I still think it's a shame the XK8 project was shelved. But it still shows what they are prepared to pay. Also it wouldn't be the weapon I would choose for SF, from what I know, there are limited occurrences they would use a Grenade Launcher in.
QUOTE (Cweord)
I still think it's a shame the XK8 project was shelved.

Yeah me too. I was in weapons repair overseas at the time, and I was looking forward to the first one coming through my trailer.

I still use the XM8 in my SR games as the bridge from the M16 of today to the M22 of the 2050s.

QUOTE (Cweord)
Also it wouldn't be the weapon I would choose for SF, from what I know, there are limited occurrences they would use a Grenade Launcher in.

It really depends here. A lot of special ops patrol/ambush tactics rely on insane intensity of fire. They suddenly light you up with everything they have, and while you are wondering WTF just happened, they either overrun and kill you to the last man, or fade back into the terrain and you never see them again.

I read that standard loadout for SAS patrols during GW1 was half/half Minimi LMGs (possibly M249s, not much difference.) and M16s w/ M203 grenade launcher. That is a squad with nearly a company worth of firepower.

The OICW would have been a _brutal_ weapon if it had been practical.
Yup. The issues that SOCOM had with early M4s were mostly because they used them as light machine guns. That's also why SOCOM is investing big bucks in shot counter electronics, so they can replace the carbines before they get beaten to death and fail in action.
QUOTE (kzt)
Yup. The issues that SOCOM had with early M4s were mostly because they used them as light machine guns.

Heh, IMO, aluminum is for beer cans and airplanes. Give me steel.

Oh and a rifle that doesn't poop where it eats.
QUOTE (Ed_209a)

Heh, IMO, aluminum is for beer cans and airplanes. Give me steel.

Oh and a rifle that doesn't poop where it eats.

You can simulate this by strapping extra lead weights onto your rifle. wink.gif

Army hasn't ever accepted the various Colt and other piston based modifications for testing. Until now, and they are pretty limited in who they are looking at. It doesn't include Colt or LMT.
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