Head of Tachton Robots

rattraveller's picture
December 15, 2013 - 7:28pm

For Tachton Instruments (TI) I found the Article in Frontier Explorer #1 to be very good but there are a few things that I believe should be changed. Of course these are my opinions; I am always looking for other opinions and ideas. To start here is the information from the Frontier Explorer Article:


Margret Bouvia is a tough as nails CEO and former Land Fleet Captain. With no prior background in robotics, it is truly surprising that her company now dominates the Frontier’s robotics industry. Before Tachton reached Megacorp status she aggressively threw herself into learning the business, leveraging her knowledge of farming, and her status as a native and descendant of a first wave colonizer to gain market share on Lossend. Pan Galactic Corporation, as the first Megacorp, already controlled market share in the robotics industry but its attitude was, "This is our product, take it or leave it." In less than 7 years Tachton had come to dominate the market on Lossend and was beginning to branch into military applications as well as file some of the most significant patents in robotics. Margret, an experienced leader, had always attracted good personnel. She recruited a large number of Land Fleet veterans to work for her, mostly NCOs and a few junior officers. With the combined military experience and connections her company quickly broke open the robotics market on the military sector which put her on a collision course with PGC.

PGC had been getting its way since the First Sathar War and attempted to simply land mercenaries on Lossend and shut down Tachton but the combination of solid security personnel backed by a horde of armed robots caused the mercenary leader to wisely back down. Next PGC attempted to block Tachton's ability to ship product off planet but this move failed due to the perception that PGC had become a bully. A period of corporate espionage and sabotage went on but the conflict never broke out into a true shooting war. Tachton had succeeded by catering to the customer in every sector of the robotics market while PGC had failed through largely attempting to squeeze out the competition.

Eventually PGC made peace with Tachton and began to purchase their excellent security and war robots for use in the conflict on Laco. Tachton used the influx of capitol to expand the corporation to true Megacorp status. Since that time the company has expanded its operations, building infrastructure and facilities that also aid the local economy. Mindful of their near corporate war with PCG, the corporation has begun construction on Tachton Station (an armed space station in orbit).


1) We have Margret Bouvia (MB) as a Land Fleet Captain. This poses a couple of problems. First if Land Fleet is an Army then a Captain is only a company commander, not people used to handling very large groups of beings or who have lots of contacts. Second Land Fleet did not come into existence until the Second Sathar War but the timeline presented is well before that war.

FIX Make MB a General or Colonel in the Lossend Militia who performed some heroic acts and gained great fame which she transferred to creating TI.


2) I am not sure how you leverage knowledge of farming into the corporate world or when she had time to farm since she was a military officer. FIX drop the whole reference, it is not needed.


3) Recruiting good people is the basis for success in any business. But you have to put them where they can be effective. NCOs are middle management of small groups. They are not executives. I was an Army NCO for 16 years so I speak from experience. FIX make that former Lossend Militia Officers of all ranks and possibly some other military organizations.


4) PGC attacks TI as their first choice. WHAT?!? Streel maybe, PGC no, not happening. Maybe as a last option but not the first thing they would do. FIX Have Streel be the aggressor for financial reasons or maybe the thugs on Outer Reach who are major robot producers but not PGC. OR change the order and make the military strike the last thing PGC did just not the first.


5) TI, because of the near corporate war with PGC is constructing an armed space station. Why? Are they expecting an attack by a fleet of enemy Megacorp ships? That is what an armed space station defends against. That is a level of paranoia that adventure modules are written about. FIX they are assisting in building the station as part of their patriotic zeal for Lossend. Fits in with the whole natives of Lossend scheme.


For further comparison here is the Zeb’s guide info:


T.I. controls most of the Frontier's industrial engineering businesses and, more importantly, almost all of the robotics industries. T.I. holds the patents on the Freeswing Gyroscope, necessary for the operation of cost-effective bipedal robots, and on the Marilin Cybernetics Cortex, without which cybernetics would still be a theory. T.I. also produces bionic body parts.


6) Frontier Explorer did not mention the other two areas TI excels in. FIX throw them in too, especially who the heck Marilin is.

Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

jedion357's picture
December 15, 2013 - 8:39pm
Great critique, and a great argument for the power of collaboration in game development.

RE: concerning PGC coming after lossend.
1. felt that we needed an explanation for the armed space station in orbit and didn't see space fleet footing the bill for it with Prengular one jump away and so much hardware parked there. Lets face it, its an primarily ag world with light population sandwhiched between Prengular and White Light systems which both have some military hardware (White Light has a fortress space station as well as a strong militia and you can presume that with a Space Fortress that Space Fleet will have patrol groups moving through all the time) so why does Lossend get an armed space station?

2. PGC's headquarters is one jump away while Streel's is three and the ground between STreel and PGC needed to be heating up.

3. Without a doubt PGC had to be the first mass marketer of robotic tech in the frontier and there should be some explanation for them being dethroned.

That said:
A: I like the patriotic zeal angle and that was in my head a little but perhaps not communicated

B. Like the idea of the impetus of building the station being attack of pirates from Outer Reach- Raid on ore being mined and shipped from mount spire. I feel like Margret Bovia would have a soft spot for the militia and be a major patron especially if she had gone to the war as a militia officer. With her recrafted as a militia commander and the major patron of the militia by all but footing the bill for the space station and shuttles and later fighter craft it would then make sense that the militia would make her an honorary commander even though she's no longer in the service, she's treated as if she is

However, I still feel lilke the dethroning of PGC as the supplier of robots to the Frontier is unanswered.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

iggy's picture
December 15, 2013 - 10:21pm
If we draw parallels with post WWII, a lot of military bases popped up in remote locations away from the major population centers.  Maybe Lossend gets the station in support of the weapons research they are doing.  Maybe they are working on AI warships and drones that are not popular among the metropolaton (I wish spell check worked on this site) worlds.  This is like the bases in Nevada supporting the nuclear program.  Nevada was low population and welcomed the influx of government cash.  Maybe Margret Bovia made the right contacts while on active duty and brought the work home to Lossend.

rattraveller's picture
December 16, 2013 - 7:37am
A station so they can work on very large robots like asteriod mining robots sounds pretty good. In the original Alien the Nostromo was towing an automated ore processing factory that was supposed to have finished processing the ore by the time they had returned to Earth.

Also TI is supposed to be into Industrial Engineering so a space station to use in manufacturing certain components and equipment would be useful. Making it armed as part of a jiont civilian/military effort to spread the costs would be good business.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

JCab747's picture
August 26, 2016 - 8:38am
I've always had a problem with some of the Zeb's descriptions of various mega corporations and how they can dominate various sectors. TI being one such example and Trans Travel being another.

The TSR designers obviously had a thing for mega corporations and monopolies -- I noticed that in Alternity (a game I never played but have been researching) -- also had mega corporations.

Yet, wouldn't there be some kind of push back against these railroad, robber baron monopolies in the Frontier, especially after the Second Sathar War?

If General Motors -- and a few other corporations such as Volkswagen -- can be used as examples, corporate arrogance and complacentcy soon lead to competitors that break their monopolies or dominance. I really can't see any one corporation gaining more than a 60 percent share before some action would be taken by the Council of Worlds as factions pull for one crony corporation or another.

The Standard Oil model didn't work in the long run and neither can I see it with some of these other mega corps.

That being said, I don't mind TI being the dominant player in robotics or Trans Travel dominating the passenger liner/shipping industries, but we could use a little more realistic view of them. (And yes, in another discussion about the ancient Eorna I did argue that believing in sci fi sometimes calls on one to suspend disbelief. Hey, if anyone reads this, I'd welcome some more critiques about that post, which is here: http://starfrontiers.us/node/9488 )

Joe Cabadas

iggy's picture
August 28, 2016 - 4:32pm
In practicality any corporation that gains over 50% is enjoying monopoly powers, especially if the other 50% is divided up between a tens or hundreds of other competitors.  The big gorilla gets to set the standards of what is popular or how things work and the others have to adopt to stay in business.  The Megacorps are not the only players, just the most dominant players in their markets.  And yes, the dominant player eventually falls when someone hits them from the side with a new way of doing things that they were not prepared for.  Think of the megacorps presented in rule books as the companies most dominant at the time the game is looking at and shift that as your campaign developes.

Right now we have the same megacorp thing happening in our world.  Apple Vs Samsung now when it was Blackberry Vs Nokia in the past.  IBM Vs Apple back in the 80s and now PC Vs Apple now.  IBM lost control of it's tech and the PC is the resulting broad company standard that resulted.  Apple however innovated it's tech to stay a seperate player in the industry.  FedEx Vs UPS Vs DHL Vs lots of non-USA package delivery companies.  Then there is the big media companies whom I gave up on tracking who the real owners are long ago.  They just keep the old names and appear like seperate companies when they are all owned and controlled buy a small few.

rattraveller's picture
August 29, 2016 - 1:10pm
Had a similar awakening why I was writing these up. Take Pepsi for example. Pepsico is the owner of Pepsi but that does not mean they actually make and bottle it. There are several companies that do that the largest only bottling in 43 of the 50 US states.

Pepsico also owns several other brands including Lays, Gatorade, Quaker Oats and Tropicana.

Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?