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Author Topic: Mech Discussion  (Read 778 times)

TS_Hawk

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Mech Discussion
« on: 30 March 2012, 15:59:11 »
Ok I am curious and maybe this is because of an old anime I am watching dealing with mechs but I am wondering where did FASA get the idea about how the mechs are constructed?

For instance look at the Goliath, it clearly has a turret for what the record sheets call a head.  But no matter what we cannot allocate more armor to the turret because its consider a head?  Turrets on tanks have more armor than a head on the mech and in a sense even though it is a mech, the Golitath is also in a way part tank.   You also can only fit these weapons on the head except for either MG's, Small and Medium Lasers, AC2's, SRM's 2 and 4 and LRM 5's.  Yet a turret could hold a heavier weapon?  I don't understand why that mech kind of got screwed in a sense?

Another thing that has been bothering me are the mechs with clearly no heads and the cockpits are seated inside the torso ie Marauder, Scorpion, Tbolt, etc etc etc yes there are others I didn't mention.  Well maybe the Tbolt could be an exception cuz the cockpit area is slightly raised on the torso but then wouldn't that make the head shot to be harder to hit because of the heads lower profile?  I have no idea why I am bringing this up but it has been one thing in the back of my mind when I look at the mini's and then it just kind of strikes me as why did FASA do it this way?
 

Thank you Hikage

cray

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Re: Mech Discussion
« Reply #1 on: 30 March 2012, 16:16:47 »
TS_Hawk, options for giving 'Mechs large turrets and center torso cockpits have been in the game since about MaxTech, which I think is a c2000 publication.

If you look in MaxTech or, more recently, Tactical Operations, you'll find several turret options for 'Mechs. A typical one for quads is to designate one of their side torsos to be a turret. This gives you a well-armored turret. There are several other turret options, too.

Center Torso cockpits were introduced in the Unbound scenario pack and are also available in Tactical Operations. You can put your MechWarrior behind the heavy armor of the center torso if you want, but it's a death trap. From the front, 7 times as many shots hit the center torso as the head (rolls of 2 and 7 on the hit location chart account for 7 of 36 possible 2d6 combinations, while a 12 - for the head - only accounts for 1 in 36). Further, all damage transfer paths lead to the center torso, so accumulating damage will only increase the risk to the MechWarrior. While a head-mounted cockpit is more vulnerable to one-hit decapitation by big guns, a center torso cockpit has proportionally less armor when averaged over many shots.

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when I look at the mini's

During reviewing an upcoming publication, much higher priority is given to the rules and fluff before falling back to artwork. Artists - be they sketching a 'Mech or sculpting it - take liberties to make something look cool rather than how the game works. I'd suggest starting with the game rules and asking about the art rather than vice versa.

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it just kind of strikes me as why did FASA do it this way?

Because it was a convenience to use a single, standard set of rules for the cockpit - pages of extra rules are needed to address alternate cockpits.

And because it is fun to blow the head off a 'Mech, be it a distinct human-like head or just part of the torso.
« Last Edit: 30 March 2012, 16:18:50 by cray »
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

**"A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything." --Wash, Firefly.
**"Well, the first class name [for pocket WarShips]: 'Ship with delusions of grandeur that is going to evaporate 3.1 seconds after coming into NPPC range' tended to cause morale problems...." --Korzon77
**"If it was easy, Raytheon would be doing it." --Lockheed Martin engineer

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Mech Discussion
« Reply #2 on: 30 March 2012, 16:48:29 »
The other reason CT Cockpits are a death trap is because you can't eject from them, so in a campaign it's bound to get your mechwarrior killed sooner or later.

Also, IIRC, the mechwarrior's more vulnerable to pilot damage from injuries.

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Matti

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Re: Mech Discussion
« Reply #3 on: 30 March 2012, 17:06:09 »
Bottom line: when record sheets were made for Marauder, Scorpion, Tbolt etc. etc. etc. there were no alternative construction rules yet. There are now, and if you really feel like it, you can modify existing designs to meet the art & minis.
You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights errant, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

Kit deSummersville

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Re: Mech Discussion
« Reply #4 on: 30 March 2012, 17:49:54 »
The Scorpion and Goliath originally had their front legs as arms and could lose them without issue but were subject to the same rules as biped 'Mechs.
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willydstyle

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Re: Mech Discussion
« Reply #5 on: 30 March 2012, 18:15:17 »
You can also choose to see the "head" location as an abstraction for "where the cockpit lives."  It doesn't really matter *where* it's mounted on the mech, because of its small size and having to use transparent materials will likely limit how much protection the location can have, and since it's relatively small it should be harder to hit than the other major portions of the mech.

TS_Hawk

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Re: Mech Discussion
« Reply #6 on: 30 March 2012, 18:28:02 »
@Cray in 2000 I was kind of out of gaming no store near where I lived and was also out of the country for a bit too.  I wasn't able to pick up Tac Ops and not sure if they are going to do a revised edition to take care of some of the errata I heard about in the book.

I will have to read more of the replies when I get back from work.

Thank you Hikage

worktroll

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Re: Mech Discussion
« Reply #7 on: 30 March 2012, 19:25:12 »
Ok I am curious and maybe this is because of an old anime I am watching dealing with mechs but I am wondering where did FASA get the idea about how the mechs are constructed?

You have to understand two things about the origins of BattleTech:

1) It started as a beer & pretzels game, as compared to the more classic board wargames of the period - things like Advanced Squad Leader, Star Fleet Battles, Drang Nach Osten, etc that took two hours to set up and hours or even days to play. BattleDroids took 15 minutes to set up (mainly preparing the record sheets), and with reasonable numbers of 'Droids on each side, an hour or two to play. (We used to do Solaris-style gaming in the boardroom during lunchbreak in 1985, up to 4 games going on at once. It was glorious!)

2) BattleDroids only included "Robotech" mecha. The Dougram art only got included with the release of TRO:3025.

It's a fact that the original design rules were created to fit the Macross designs. It's reasonable to infer then that:

1) originally, they decided not to make special case rules for Marauder-style cockpits, and worked on the "The cockpit is where the pilot is" basis

2) When it came time to deal with quads and turrets, they decided to make the fewest possible changes to the then-existing design rules. (Occam's game-design razor?)

Can I prove these? No; but this fits with my recollection of the period, and is reasonably likely.

W.
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
* The Housebook series is from the 80's and is the foundation of Btech, the 80's heart wrapped in heavy metal that beats to this day - Sigma
* To sum it up: FASAnomics: By Cthulhu, for Cthulhu - Moonsword
* Because Battletech is a conspiracy by Habsburg & Bourbon pretenders - MadCapellan
* The Hellbringer is cool, either way. It's not cool because it's bad, it's cool because it's bad with balls - Nightsky
* It was a glorious time for people who felt that we didn't have enough Marauder variants - HABeas2, re "Empires Aflame"

TS_Hawk

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Re: Mech Discussion
« Reply #8 on: 31 March 2012, 01:12:30 »
Thanks W

So to do some of the tweaking and stuff I would need tech manual?

Thank you Hikage

CrossfirePilot

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Re: Mech Discussion
« Reply #9 on: 31 March 2012, 02:04:36 »
I caution anyone trying to put recent science or logic to mech rules, design, weapons ranges, etc to stop right there, have a beer and move your line of thought to either artificial/real turf or the designated hitter rule.  trying to logically fit in mech rules to real world will only plunge you into a darkness where you end up worshiping an ancient alien called...

TS_Hawk

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Re: Mech Discussion
« Reply #10 on: 31 March 2012, 02:49:24 »
I caution anyone trying to put recent science or logic to mech rules, design, weapons ranges, etc to stop right there, have a beer and move your line of thought to either artificial/real turf or the designated hitter rule.  trying to logically fit in mech rules to real world will only plunge you into a darkness where you end up worshiping an ancient alien called...

Um who said anything about the real world?? 

Thank you Hikage

Korzon77

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Re: Mech Discussion
« Reply #11 on: 31 March 2012, 03:01:00 »
You can also choose to see the "head" location as an abstraction for "where the cockpit lives."  It doesn't really matter *where* it's mounted on the mech, because of its small size and having to use transparent materials will likely limit how much protection the location can have, and since it's relatively small it should be harder to hit than the other major portions of the mech.

Thisis the big thing-- their are a lot of mechs where the "cockpit" has to be somewhere in the torso, but it's abstracte as a head location. 

You don't even have to worry about the ability to see out of a glass if you want, because it would just as easily work with "the design practice in Btech is that accept the chance of (unlikely) instant death to allow a greater chance for the pilot to eject or escape from an otehrwise destroyed mech". 

cray

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Re: Mech Discussion
« Reply #12 on: 31 March 2012, 03:19:44 »
So to do some of the tweaking and stuff I would need tech manual?

Tech Manual will give you the basic construction rules, including head = cockpit.

Tactical Operations will give you the advanced construction rules, like torso turrets.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

**"A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything." --Wash, Firefly.
**"Well, the first class name [for pocket WarShips]: 'Ship with delusions of grandeur that is going to evaporate 3.1 seconds after coming into NPPC range' tended to cause morale problems...." --Korzon77
**"If it was easy, Raytheon would be doing it." --Lockheed Martin engineer

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.

worktroll

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Re: Mech Discussion
« Reply #13 on: 31 March 2012, 04:25:58 »
I caution anyone trying to put recent science or logic to mech rules, design, weapons ranges, etc to stop right there, have a beer

And a pretzel! O0
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
* The Housebook series is from the 80's and is the foundation of Btech, the 80's heart wrapped in heavy metal that beats to this day - Sigma
* To sum it up: FASAnomics: By Cthulhu, for Cthulhu - Moonsword
* Because Battletech is a conspiracy by Habsburg & Bourbon pretenders - MadCapellan
* The Hellbringer is cool, either way. It's not cool because it's bad, it's cool because it's bad with balls - Nightsky
* It was a glorious time for people who felt that we didn't have enough Marauder variants - HABeas2, re "Empires Aflame"

 

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