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In the OTU In the Official Traveller Universe. Any milieux that's been published in any edition. Not for discussion of rules except in reference to how they reflect the OTU

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  #11  
Old November 27th, 2017, 04:13 AM
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As per my previous post before the update, to me Scouts are like park rangers here in California. State, Federal, and county. Some are law enforcement, others are strictly public relations, but all have some degree of science training.
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  #12  
Old November 27th, 2017, 05:24 AM
Condottiere Condottiere is offline
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I'm probably repeating myself.

Communications is the Pony Express, but empires without a communications network implode anyway, whether it's the Inca or Athenian long distance runner, or ships crisscrossing the Roman Sea or Ruling The Waves.

Than you must have had the influence of the original Star Trek, which retconly looks more like the Confederation Navy since they're tasked with both defence of the realm and exploration.

And last but not least, Yankee rugged individualism that's often expressed in pulp science fiction pre Vietnam, which I feel is different from the Ayn Randian ideal, in that altruism is not a vice.
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  #13  
Old November 27th, 2017, 02:21 PM
welsh welsh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoki View Post
I still think the IISS would rely on local contractors and surveying firms wherever possible. They'd just have some bureaucrat or three collecting the data from these worlds.
Reiterating the original thread, 4 problems with that:
1. Imperial Grand Survey already exists. No big organization ever disbanded itself; instead they invent new roles (and Book 6 says this is a criticism of the IISS);
2. The 3I has no budget crunch to force the IISS to subcontract;
3. Subcontracting is just as expensive anyway; the survey firms need to finance their ships;
4. You don't subcontract secret stuff, and we can't assume that everything that survey ship is doing is routine.

Finally, the existence & role of Internal Survey in the OTU is in Book 6 ... so YTU may vary but as far as the OTU is concerned, the Scouts do this.

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Originally Posted by khadaji2002 View Post
1) IIRC, one of the posts in the lost thread mentioned having Scouts doing surveys within Imperial space as a means of detecting anti-Imperium activity.
For me this was less a matter of anti-Imperial activity and more a matter of keeping world governments honest. Depends in part on how Imperial taxation is supposed to work ... but if the third moon of your gas giant is not supposed to be open to mining, I might want to check on it once every few years....

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I like this idea, with the caveat that IISS would also put information into place that if Lord Blowhard gets balky a packet gets sent to draw the Emperor's attention to Lord Blowhard's wonky financial information pointing to his backing known pirates in his system. Keep him clueless, keep him in the dark, keep him talking, and keep him under the Damoclean sword he's not ever aware of.
This also applies to player parties ... that patron might be a detached duty Intel officer giving you just enough rope to hang yourself....
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  #14  
Old November 27th, 2017, 02:40 PM
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As I see it, alowing this would sap the Imperial Authority, if any backwater planet could challeng it or make its representatives disappear.
I agree ... nobody, with the exception of anti-Imperial terrorists/guerillas, is going to mess with Scouts, Marines, etc. inside Imperial space. The consequences are too dire.

You kill 10 scouts and chop up their MCr.211 survey scout for parts, and the Duke of Earl may just respond by interdicting your backwater LL 0, Pop 3 armpit of a world and using it as a naval gunnery range. Your world means squat to the 3I.

And if you're the dictator of a high-pop, high law world, you face being removed by a tactical team from the IISS Ops Office, who will make it look like someone else did it, and then sic the Navy on that someone else just because they can.
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  #15  
Old November 27th, 2017, 03:08 PM
Enoki Enoki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by welsh View Post
Reiterating the original thread, 4 problems with that:
1. Imperial Grand Survey already exists. No big organization ever disbanded itself; instead they invent new roles (and Book 6 says this is a criticism of the IISS);
Bureaucracies grow top down, not bottom up, as Northcote Parkenson pointed out so well in Parkenson's Law. That is, the Imperial Navy has more admirals and captains than it can use. There are Generals doing what majors did a century earlier... That sort of thing.
Bureaucrats also love control. What better to show your power off than a building full of worker bees you control going at something. Sending people off on their own is risking their leaving your circle of micromanagement.

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2. The 3I has no budget crunch to force the IISS to subcontract;
That would be a first in the history of the universe!

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3. Subcontracting is just as expensive anyway; the survey firms need to finance their ships;
Then why is it the norm for so many things throughout history? Subcontractors are usually cheaper.


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4. You don't subcontract secret stuff, and we can't assume that everything that survey ship is doing is routine.
What could possibly be secret about the geophysical and political characteristics of a system when even ship's sensors can pick out most of the major characteristics from over a parsec away?

Aside from that, I'd think that doing something in secrecy is a small exception to the norm, rather than the norm. I'd also think the IISS has the least reason to be doing that, compared to other branches, and if it were really secret, that branch or the ones involved wouldn't want other branches to know about it either.

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Finally, the existence & role of Internal Survey in the OTU is in Book 6 ... so YTU may vary but as far as the OTU is concerned, the Scouts do this.
Well, my MTU the IISS is mostly bureaucrats and mundane types. The dangerous stuff if more limited, but really dangerous because they can't outsource it because nobody in their right mind would be doing it. The IISS is underfunded, overworked, and bureaucratically onerous internally... You mister Scout character are expendable.
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  #16  
Old November 27th, 2017, 03:37 PM
Condottiere Condottiere is offline
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The Scout Service is a lean mean machine, and I suspect that the bureaucracy isn't allowed to expand and swallow it whole, probably being much smaller than the field division.
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Old November 27th, 2017, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoki View Post
Subcontractors are usually cheaper.
Not per hour, which makes them more expensive when used on a full-time basis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoki View Post
What could possibly be secret about the geophysical and political characteristics of a system when even ship's sensors can pick out most of the major characteristics from over a parsec away?
Clearly, the fundamental disagreement here is the basic nature of a survey: you think it is superficial, and I think it is detailed.

As to what could be secret, the subject of the survey itself could include politically sensitive areas. Also, a survey can be used as cover for other work.

My point was not that every survey is sensitive, to forestall the straw man. My point is that by subcontracting that work, you would abandon your above-board, white-hat excuse for snooping around when you need to.

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Originally Posted by Enoki View Post
... also think the IISS has the least reason to be doing that, compared to other branches
The IISS is the only branch whose canonical roles include involving itself in local politics (contact & liaison) or running extensive intelligence networks (detached duty). Its original role was to do reconnaissance for the Emperor. But other services are more likely to be snooping?

This is the red-headed stepchild problem: a lot of people just don't see what these roles imply, so the Scouts become bureaucrats and cultural attachés.

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Originally Posted by Condottiere View Post
The Scout Service is a lean mean machine, and I suspect that the bureaucracy isn't allowed to expand and swallow it whole, probably being much smaller than the field division.
The Communications Office, which is a field office, dwarfs everything. Each line on that X-Boat route requires two pilots and two boats per day. Add tender crews, couriers, spare crews to cover downtime, courses, and leave.

The Contact & Liaison branch is next largest, if you're in a border director.

The biggest piece of the bureaucracy will be the maintenance crews required to keep all those X-Boats & couriers moving ... because contrary to what the name implies, most of the bureaucracy are not actually bureaucrats.
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Old November 30th, 2017, 01:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoki View Post
Bureaucrats also love control. What better to show your power off than a building full of worker bees you control going at something. Sending people off on their own is risking their leaving your circle of micromanagement.
People will still be sent on "far away" missions on their own when the powers that be see them as annoyances, malcontents, misfits to the organizational culture, or up-and-coming threats to those entrenched powers-that-be. It may be hoped they won't return from a dangerous field mission, or they may be away from "court politics" long enough for them to be out manuevered.

Something like the last part happened to my father years ago, at least as he saw it. On track to become president of the corporation he worked for, he was promoted to regional vice-president of a region far from the company headquarters. He focused on increasing his region's sales, but was out of day-to-day touch with the HQ. A few years later the company reorganized it's departments, Dad's position was absorbed into another, and he was let go.
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  #19  
Old November 30th, 2017, 03:18 AM
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You might also think of the Scouts as the US Postal police, since part of their function is to "deliver mail" and spread news.
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