Research and Development

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Contents

Introduction

The acquisition of a variety of technologies and unit types is controlled by Research and Development (R&D) projects. These are like National Projects, save their completion is not just a matter of men, gold and time.

Each R&D project is assigned a certain number of Advances which must be attained before the project is complete. Like increasing an AQR; gold, money and time are invested and each turn a die roll is made by the GM to assess progress.

Depending on the amounts invested, the difficulty of the project, the die roll and a host of modifying factors (your Nations’ government type, economy, religious strength, imperial size and university level) you may gain one or two advances, make no progress, or even back up a step as the project encounters some dead-end or obstacle.

When a project is complete, you gain the ability to use the devised technology or unit type.

When starting an R&D Project you must also provide a project location (either a region or city under your control within the HBZ of your nation).

Pre-requisites

Note that some R&D Projects have pre-requisites which include not only a previously completed R&D project, a minimum Tech Level but also a certain number of completed Air/Ship/Submarine Yards or Factories.

As Projects start at the beginning of the turn, during Builds, all of the pre-reqs must have been completed the previous turn (or earlier).

Optional Projects and Optional Units

The R&D Project list includes a number of Projects that can be included or excluded from a campaign at the whim of the GM.

Similarly, not all units that could be built as a result of a Project are included in the base Unit Build Chart. These units are included in the Optional Build Chart and can be included or excluded by the GM.

Optional units are identified thus in the following sections.

R&D Project Cost and Execution

When starting an R&D project, you must invest at least 1 GP and 1 NFP. Thereafter, as each project gains an Advance, your GP investment is zeroed (as for a QR), but your NFP and Time investment remain. On a rough basis, your chances of gaining an Advance on a given turn are equal to:

% = (GP + (NFP × 5) +
(Number of Years Invested × 5)) / (Total Advances + 1)

Over the entire life of the project, you must invest at least as many NFP as the number of Advances required by the project. If your NFP investment is not sufficient to match the next Advance level, then you will not progress until you have provided sufficient manpower.

Once invested in a project, invested GP and NFP may not be withdrawn.

Example: The Pacific Mercenary and Trust Company is attempting to develop an improved Ithaqua-Sanrio kerosene engine (via the Internal Combustion Engine project). This project is a level 6 project. PM&T invests 300gp and 4 NFP into the project. The current turn length is 2 years per turn.

The first turn (assuming all supplementary modifiers cancel out), their chances of gaining an advance are (300 + (4 × 5) + (0 × 5)) = 320 / 7 = 45%. If they are successful in gaining an Advance, the next turn they will start with 0 GP, 4 NFP and 2 years invested.
While only 4 NFP remain invested in the project, they cannot gain more than 4 Advances, so at some point they will have to commit another 2 NFP to the endeavor.
Note the project, with an Advance requirement of 6 will take (at optimum speed) at least three 2-year turns to complete and more likely six 2-year turns (or more, if the team runs into some obstacle delaying their progress.)

Research Projects

The following list of research projects is not inclusive. Other projects may be proposed by the players and accepted by the GM (as the GM sees fit).

Admiralty

Tech Level Requirement 9
R&D Requirement None
Advances Required 2

Completing the Admiralty project provides the Nation with one Naval Operations point and the capability to invest to gain additional levels. It represents the capability to co-ordinate and command naval assets.

When the Submersibles project has been completed then the Nation may also select to use Sub Ops.

Balloons (Optional)

Tech Level Requirement 10
R&D Requirement None
Advances Required 2

Completing the Balloons project provides the Nation with the ability to construct Draken (d) units – hot air balloons. Each Draken represents one balloon and the carts needed to transport it, plus the crew.

Draken provide a scouting bonus and ‘fight’ using the Artillery AQR.

Steamships

Tech Level Requirement 11
R&D Requirement None
Advances Required 5

Completion of this project provides the Nation with the ability to build Shipyard points, which then allow the construction of Wooden Steamship (xsw, scw, st and gb) units A Steam Transport unit represents two actual steamships whilst a warship unit represents one ship.

Note that gunboat (gb) units can be built at Dockyards instead of a Shipyard.

General Staff

Tech Level Requirement 12
R&D Requirement None
Advances Required 2

Completing the General Staff project provides the Nation with one Army Operations point and the capability to invest to gain additional levels. It represents the officer cadre assigned to assist senior officers in planning military policy and enhancing the capability to co-ordinate and command land-based assets.

Ironclads

Tech Level Requirement 12
R&D Requirement Steamships,

a Shipyard

Advances Required 2

Completion of the Steam Cruiser project provides the Nation with the ability to build Ironclad Steam Cruisers (sfw) and Ironclad Battleship (sw) units. A Steam Cruiser or Battleship unit represents one steam-powered warship.

Battleships

Tech Level Requirement 12
R&D Requirement Steam Cruiser,

Three Shipyards

Advances Required 3

Completion of the Steam Battleship project provides the Nation with the ability to build Steel Hulled Battleship (hsw) units and (mt) transports.

A battleship unit represents one steam-powered warship, whilst a transport represents two ships.

Super-Heavy Artillery

Tech Level Requirement 12
R&D Requirement None
Advances Required 4

Completion of the Super-Heavy Artillery project allows the Nation to build (shg) units. See the Industrial Build Chart for costs. Super-Heavy Artillery can only be moved from region to region (or city to city) by sea (via cargo ship) or by Rail.

SHG units can be used in Siege situations (either on the attack or on the defense) and in protecting Port Cities from attack by hostile Fleets. They are not useful in open field battles. A Super-Heavy Artillery unit represents one enormous cannon.

The Analytical Engine

Tech Level Requirement 12
R&D Requirement None
Advances Required 4

Completion of the Analytical Engine project grants the Nation a bonus on other, subsequent R&D projects, as well as engendering an entire priesthood of pasty-faced wonks devoted to the care, feeding and maintenance of the damnable things.

Naval Architecture

Tech Level Requirement 13
R&D Requirement Battleships,

Three Shipyards

Advances Required 4

Completion of the Naval Architecture project provides the Nation with the ability to build pre-modern capital ships (bw, ac, pc) and a pre-modern transport (ms). The capital ship units represents one steam-powered warship whilst the transport unit represents two vessels.

Internal Combustion Engine

Tech Level Requirement 13
R&D Requirement None
Advances Required 6

Developing an economically feasible Internal Combustion Engine does not allow the Nation to immediately build any specific unit types, but it is the prerequisite for a whole series of new Projects, as detailed below:

Torpedoes

Tech Level Requirement 13
R&D Requirement Internal Combustion Engine,

Naval Architecture

Advances Required 2

Completing the Torpedoes Project allows a nation to build Torpedo Equipped Surface Ships (tbd, xtb).

Note that Torpedo Boats (xtb) units can be built at a Dockyard instead of a Shipyard.

Submersibles

Tech Level Requirement 13
R&D Requirement Naval Architecture, Internal Combustion Engine, Torpedoes
Advances Required 3

Completion of this project provides the Nation with the ability to construct Submarine Yard points, which may then be used to build Submersible (sub) units. A Submersible unit represents two actual Submersibles. If the Admiralty Project has been completed then the Sub based Naval Ops become available for use.

Motorized Transport

Tech Level Requirement 13
R&D Requirement Internal Combustion
Advances Required 3

Completion of the Motorized Transport project allows the Nation to build trucks to move their troops around. See the Industrial Build Chart for costs of Motorized Infantry (ti), Engineers (ts) and Artillery (tfg, tsg) units.

Motorized Units have half-again the AP per Year of non-Motorized units. Otherwise they operate as standard Infantry or Artillery.

Nations completing this project gain a Mechanized QR. All motorized, mechanized and AFV units fight using the Mechanized QR.

Note! All Motorized units are also elite units.

Flying Machines: Biplane

Tech Level Requirement 13
R&D Requirement Internal Combustion Engine
Advances Required 3

Completion of this project allows the Nation to begin building Aircraft Factories, which in turn will allow them to build heavier-than-air Fighter Aircraft (bf), Biplane Bomber (bib) and Biplane Cargo Plane (bit) units (i.e. biplanes).

A Biplane Fighter or Cargo Plane unit represents ten aircraft, pilots and ground-crews. A Bomber unit represents five aircraft, pilots, and ground-crews.

If the nation does not already have the Aircraft QR then completion of this Project gains the nation an Aircraft Quality Rating which starts at one (1).

All units derived from the Flying Machine project and its descendants fight with the Aircraft QR.

Airships (Optional)

Tech Level Requirement 13
R&D Requirement Internal Combustion Engine
Advances Required 2

Completion of this project provides the Nation with the ability to build Scout Airship (zs) and Standard Airship (z) units. An Airship unit represents two zeppelins.

If the nation does not already have the Aircraft QR then completion of this Project gains the nation an Aircraft Quality Rating which starts at one (1). All units derived from the Airships project and its descendants fight with the Aircraft QR.

Large Airships (Optional)

Tech Level Requirement 13
R&D Requirement Airships,

Four Airship Yards

Advances Required 3

Completion of this project provides the Nation with the ability to build Transport Airship (zt) and Heavy Airship (zh) units. A Transport Airship unit represents two zeppelins. A Heavy Airship unit represents two very large zeppelins.

Airship Carrier (Optional)

Tech Level Requirement 13
R&D Requirement Naval Architecture, Airships, Six Shipyards
Advances Required 1

Steam Airship Carriers are only available if the Airship optional rule is in use.

Completion of the Steam Airship Carrier project provides the Nation with the ability to build Steam Airship Carriers (acw) units. A Steam Airship Carrier represents one massive steam-powered warship. A Steam Airship Carrier can carry and launch either two Scout Airships or one Standard Airship.

Air Command

Tech Level Requirement 14
R&D Requirement Biplane Or Airships
Advances Required 2

Completing the Air Command project provides the Nation with one Air Operations point and the capability to invest in this to gain additional levels. It represents the capability to co-ordinate and command air assets.

Parachute Infantry

Tech Level Requirement 14
R&D Requirement Biplane,

10 Aircraft Factories

Advances Required 2

Completing the Parachute Infantry project allows the Nation to begin building Parachute Infantry (pi) units, which fight as Elite Light Infantry (xei), but have the training, equipment and capability to be delivered by Cargo Planes to a target by air.

Improved Engines

Tech Level Requirement 14
R&D Requirement Naval Architecture, Internal Combustion,

6 Shipyards

Advances Required 4

Completion of the Improved Engines (Diesel) project allows the nation to build modern merchant ship (mm) units and many subsequent projects.

Existing Steam-prefix units cannot be refitted for these advanced (Diesel) engines. Existing Shipyards, however, can now be used to build Diesel-type units.

Diesel-type units have improved operating range as well as combat capability over their Steam counterparts.

Modern Warships

Tech Level Requirement 14
R&D Requirement Torpedoes,

Improved Engines

Advances Required 4

Completion of the Modern Warships project provides the Nation with the ability to build modern surface combatants. Each Combatant (bb, bc, ca, cl, cla, dd, de, ce) ship unit represents one diesel-powered warship.

Aircraft Carrier

Tech Level Requirement 14
R&D Requirement Modern Warships, Carrier Aircraft(*), Six Shipyards
Advances Required 1

The Aircraft Carrier project can be attempted concurrently with the development of Carrier Aircraft. Until both the Carrier Aircraft project and the Aircraft Carrier project are completed, however, neither is finished.

If the Nation already developed Airship Carriers as a ship type, then completion of the Improved Engines project provides for the construction of Aircraft Carriers. However, the Nation can’t actually use them until the Carrier Aircraft project is completed.

Completion of the Aircraft Carrier project provides the Nation with the ability to build Carrier (cv, cvl, cve) units. At TL 15 the nation can build more advanced Carrier (cab, cva) units.

An Aircraft Carrier unit represents one warship.

The different types of modern Carrier can support different numbers of fighters and/or bomber units.

Flying Machines: Carrier Aircraft

Tech Level Requirement 14
R&D Requirement Biplane,

Aircraft Carrier(*), 5 Aircraft Factories

Advances Required 4

The Carrier Aircraft project can be attempted concurrently with the development of Aircraft Carriers. Until both projects are successful, however, neither is finished.

Completing the Carrier Aircraft project allows the Nation to begin building Carrier Aircraft variants of Biplane, Monoplane and Jet units when the relevant aviation project has been completed.

Submarines

Tech Level Requirement 14
R&D Requirement Submersibles,

Improved Engines, 3 Submarine Yards

Advances Required 2

Completion of this project provides the Nation with the ability to build Submarine (ss) units. Once this project is complete, work may begin the following turn on any project with Submarines as a pre-requisite. A Submarine unit represents two submarines.

Armored Fighting Vehicle: Landships

Tech Level Requirement 14
R&D Requirement Motorized Transport
Advances Required 5

Completion of the AFV: Landships project provides the Nation with a Combat modifier bonus (unless their opponent has also completed the Landships project).

It allows the initiation of more advanced tank projects.

Armored Fighting Vehicle: Light Tank

Tech Level Requirement 14
R&D Requirement AFV: Landship
Advances Required 4

Completion of this project allows the Nation to build Light Tank (afx) units the following turn. Unlike Landships, the Light Tank moves and fights as a regular combat unit.

A Light Tank unit represents five tracked vehicles (which may be either tanks or armored cars, actually) and their crews.

Monowing Aircraft

Following the development of Biplane Aircraft, the inevitable next step in airplane design are fixed mono-wing inline engine designs. These are represented by a new slate of R&D projects and the attendant aircraft unit types.

Project Name Monoplane Light
Tech Level Requirement 15
R&D Requirement Biplane,

4 Aircraft Factories

Advances Required 3
Resulting Unit Type af, ab


Project Name Monoplane Heavy
Tech Level Requirement 15
R&D Requirement Monoplane Light,

10 Aircraft Factories

Advances Required 1
Resulting Unit Type at, ahb

Mechanized Troops

Tech Level Requirement 15
R&D Requirement AFV: Light Tank
Advances Required 3

Completion of this project allows the Nation to build Mechanized versions of Infantry (mi), Engineers (ms) and Artillery (mfg) - see the Industrial Build Chart.

Mechanized Infantry and Artillery have twice the AP of their base unit types, and include integrated armor (tank, armored car, self-propelled artillery) elements. This substantially increases their combat capability.

Armored Fighting Vehicle: Medium Tank

Tech Level Requirement 15
R&D Requirement AFV: Light Tank
Advances Required 4

Completion of this project allows the Nation to build Medium Tank (afv) and Mechanized Siege Artillery (msg) units the following turn. Like the Light Tank unit, Medium Tanks move and fight as regular combat units.

A Medium Tank unit represents five tanks, their crews and supporting fuel trucks, etc.

A Mechanized Siege Artillery unit represents five self-propelled guns or tank destroyers, their crews and support.

Amphibious Warfare Vessels

Tech Level Requirement 15
R&D Requirement Improved Engines,

AFV: Light Tank

Advances Required 3

Completion of this project allows the Nation to build Attack Cargo Ships (vka) and Amphibious Assault Ships (vph). Unlike ordinary transports these vessels are built for combat support and have the benefit of reducing the AP required to land troops, vehicles and artillery to one AP regardless of the availability of port facilities at a city or on a coastline. Amphibious Warfare Vessels also provide a bonus to combat when conducting an Amphibious Assault action if all of the ships used to land troops and materiel are of this class.

These vessels count as transports – troops carried aboard cannot fight as Marines with the exception of Airmobile Infantry carried on an vph.

An Amphibious Warfare Vessel represents one warship plus a number of Landing Craft Personnel/Landing Craft Mechanized and their crews.

Armored Fighting Vehicle: Heavy Tank

Tech Level Requirement 15
R&D Requirement AFV: Medium Tank
Advances Required 3

Completing the AFV: Heavy Tank project allows the Nation to begin building Heavy Tank (afh) units the following turn. Each Heavy Tank unit represents five tanks, crews and support personnel.

Rocketry: Single-Stage Rocket

Tech Level Requirement 15
R&D Requirement None
Advances Required 6

Completing the Rocketry: Single-Stage Rocket project allows the Nation to build Rocket Factories and then the Single-Stage Rocket (ssr) units. These are early long-range rockets with a minimum and maximum range. The turn after the Rocketry project has been completed, the Nation may begin research into more advanced (and more useful) varieties of rocket.

Rocket units cannot move between provinces, save by Sea (carried in cargo ships) or by Rail. A rocket is useless in a battle or a normal siege. When launched the rocket units are automatically destroyed.

This type of rocket cannot carry a large enough payload to deliver a nuclear device to its target.

Completion of this Project gains the nation a Rocketry Quality Rating which starts at one (1). All units derived from the Single-Stage Rocket project and its descendants fight with the Rocketry QR.

A rocket unit represents two rockets.

Radio

Tech Level Requirement 15
R&D Requirement Internal Combustion Engine
Advances Required 3

Completing the Radio project gives your aircraft, ground troops and warships a combat and scouting bonus. It also leads, inevitably, to Elvis and the corruption of the youth of your nation.

Radar

Tech Level Requirement 15
R&D Requirement Radio
Advances Required 5

Completing the Radar project gives your aircraft and warships a combat and scouting bonus.

Sonar

Tech Level Requirement 15
R&D Requirement Radio
Advances Required 5

Completing the Sonar project gives your warships and submarines a combat and scouting bonus.

Armored Fighting Vehicle: Battle Tank

Tech Level Requirement 16
R&D Requirement AFV: Heavy Tank
Advances Required 3

Completing the AFV: Battle Tank project allows the Nation to begin building Battle Tank (afb) units the following turn. Then there will be some smacky action! Each Battle Tank unit represents five really big tanks, crews and support personnel.

Jet Aircraft

Following the development of Monowing (prop) Aircraft, the inevitable next step in airplane design are jet turbine-based designs. These are represented by a new slate of R&D projects and the attendant aircraft unit types.

Project Name Jet Light
Tech Level Requirement 16
R&D Requirement Monoplane Light,

20 Aircraft Factories

Advances Required 5
Resulting Unit Type jf, jb


Project Name Jet Heavy
Tech Level Requirement 16
R&D Requirement Jet Light,

20 Aircraft Factories

Advances Required 1
Resulting Unit Type jct, jhb

Helicopters

Tech Level Requirement 16
R&D Requirement Monoplane Light,

10 Aircraft Factories

Advances Required 5

Completing the Flying Machines: Helicopters project allows the nation to begin building Airmobile Infantry units (ami). Note that Airmobile Infantry require both Intrinsic Yard and Aircraft Factory capacity points to build. This project subsumes both cargo and attack helicopters into one new unit type.

Airmobile Infantry fight with the Mechanized QR.

Rocketry: Dual-Stage Rocket

Tech Level Requirement 16
R&D Requirement Single-Stage Rocket, 5 Rocket Factories, Radio
Advances Required 5

Completing the Rocketry: Dual-Stage Rocket project allows the Nation to build Dual-Stage Rocket (dsr) units and build a Spaceport to launch them from. The rocket consists either of two stages or a central core with a number of strap-on boosters. These early rockets require a Spaceport to launch from – anyone wanting intercontinental missiles launched from silos or submarines will have to wait on future projects.

These rockets carry a conventional warhead unless a nuclear device is made available. One unit represents one rocket.

Rocketry: Manned Capsule

Tech Level Requirement 16
R&D Requirement Dual Stage Rocket, 10 Rocket Factories, Spaceport
Advances Required 2

Completing the Rocketry: Manned Capsule project allows the Nation to build a low orbit manned space craft (smr) unit. This consists of a one-man capsule up on top of a slim metal tube full of explosive propellant. Spaceflight!

Whilst this project causes all others to quail at your technological prowess (if the astronaut survives) it provides no other benefits. In time it may lead to other exciting things… Each unit represents a single-use rocket which must be launched from a Spaceport.

Rocketry: Rocketplane

Tech Level Requirement 16
R&D Requirement Single-Stage Rocket, Jet Heavy, 5 Rocket Factories, 16 Aircraft Factories, Radio
Advances Required 6

Completing the Rocketry: Rocketplane project allows the Nation to build Rocketplane (rpr) units. This primitive spaceplane consists of a rocket-powered vehicle launched from under the wing of a Jet Heavy Bomber just capable of touching the edge of space. It therefore does not require a Spaceport and can be launched from and land at the same Air Base. The rocketplane cannot carry any cargo or a warhead. A rocketplane unit consists of a modified jet heavy bomber, the rocketplane itself plus the pilot and groundcrew. Unlike other rockets of this Tech Level the rocketplane can be reused.

The rocketplane is capable of flying great distances at high altitude and uses Table 5 14. Large Hex Map for Rockets. As the rocketplane carries cameras it confers a scouting bonus relating to the areas it overflies.

Completion of the project allows the initiation of more advanced spaceplane projects.

Nuclear: Theoretical Nuclear Physics

Tech Level Requirement 16
R&D Requirement None
Advances Required 8

Completion of the Theoretical Nuclear Physics project Project gains the nation a Nuclear Quality Rating which starts at one (1). All units derived from the Theoretical Nuclear Physics project and its descendants fight with the Nuclear QR.

Completion of this project allows the building of Nuclear Production Factories.

Nuclear: Atomic Bomb

Tech Level Requirement 16
R&D Requirement Theoretical Nuclear Physics, 5 Nuclear Production Factories
Advances Required 6

Completing the Nuclear: Atomic Bomb project allows the nation to begin building Atom Bomb units.

This unit represents one large and heavy fission bomb. Future projects will bring lighter, less expensive nuclear weapons with a greater yield.

An Atomic Bomb can only be moved by heavy bomber, rail or ship. It can be deployed by heavy bomber, ship or by dual-stage rocket as a warhead.

Project Recruitment

“Specialized” NFP may be acquired by the various kinds of Nations for National Projects (roads, railroads, research and development, mercantile colonies, etc.) through recruitment if they are Industrialized (TL12 and above). The NFP acquired by this process may not be used for the construction of cities, troops, fortresses (including field forts) or fleets.

Recruitment is handled by spending blocks of 25 GP and designating a specific project for the recruited NFP. Each 25 GP gains the project 0-5 (1d6-1) NFP.

Only Merchant Houses can use Project Recruitment for regional colonization (via the Merchant Colony project).

Project Recruitment cannot be attempted in the same turn as over-spending NFP. If an Open Nation controls (at Friendly or Homeland status) the ‘home’ site of an Merchant House, Religious Order or Religious Primacy - and the Open Nation over-spends NFP, then any Project Recruitment attempts undertaken by the House, Order or Primacy in that same turn will fail.

Technical Assistance

A Nation which already possesses the ability to build a unit type (having already completed their own R&D project) may provide help to another nation attempting to gain the capability by providing Technical Assistance.

One (1) NFP may be contributed by the assisting Nation to the recipient Nation’s project. In addition to satisfying part (or perhaps all) of the NFP requirements for the project, the assistance so rendered reduces the number of Advances required for the project by one (1).

The NFP representing the technicians must be moved by one of the lending Nation's Leaders to the project site and then invested in the project.

Conversely, capturing one or more Factory points already capable of building a specific kind of unit produces Technical Assistance NFP equal to (# Factories or Yards divided by two, rounded down), which may then be used to jump-start one’s own R&D Projects. This action destroys the Factory points as they are disassembled and studied.

Overreaching

A Nation that is only one Tech Level short of a Project’s requirements (a TL 11 nation, for example, who wishes to embark on a TL 12 project), may do so if they acquire one or more examples of the item to be duplicated (or Technical Assistance NFP).

The number of Advances required for an Overreach R&D Project is increased by two (2) (which may then be reduced by one (1) by the investment of Technical Assistance NFP).

Engineers

Industrial Nations (TL 12 and better) may use Siege Engineer units (henceforth referred to as Engineers) to assist with Construction Projects such as: Railroads, Royal or Postal Roads, Factory or Yard Construction, Canals, Great Walls, Monoliths or Religious Monuments, Cultivation and Intensive Cultivation and Bridges.

They may not be used to build Wall points, Cities or Fortresses.

Each Engineer unit assigned to a project for an entire turn (which means no moving about, no fighting, no sieges, etc.) will add (1-4) NFP to the investment tracked for the project.

Engineers built in a given turn may be used in that same turn on Construction Projects in the city where they were built or in the surrounding region. When working on a railroad, the Engineer units automatically follow the surveyed route and so do not have to build – move – build.

Engineer units are not useful for Research and Development projects.

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Lords of the Earth, 6th Edition © 2010 Thomas Harlan
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