Author Topic: Making Alpha Strike a point system-Alpha Value, now with Protomech AV!  (Read 9225 times)

iamfanboy

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Quote
CURRENT FORMULA
Divided numbers are always rounded up. Situational Special Abilities are NOT added into the base value; they are only added to the Alpha Value if the relevant special rules and/or units are used; i.e. a Naginata would add +1 for each 'Mech linked into its C3 network including itself, a Sylph would add +1 if it used its BOMB, +1 for each special ammo type carried, etcetera.

When calculating Protomech AV, calculate each one separately based on its individual values; for example, a single Siren-3 would be 16 (5*2+1+2+2+1) and a Point would be AV 78.

Alpha Value = Movement+Offense+Defense+Special

Movement = 2*TMM

Defense = (2*Armor+Structure)

Offense = ([Sz if BM or IM]+Short+[Medium*2]+Long+Overheat/2)

Special = (1*# of AECM, AMS, AM, ARM, BH, CNARC, ECM, INARC, MEL, MAS, OVL, PRB, RCN, SNARC, TSM, TUR) + IF Value + HT Value + (2* ARTL damage) + (2 if STL) + (1 if IT)

Situational Special

+1 AV for each unit linked into a unit's C3M computer, including itself.

+1 AV to the OpFor total for each unit linked into a C3i network.

+2 AV for each unit linked into a unit's C3MBS computer.

+2 AV to the OpFor total for each unit linked into a C3iBS network.

+1 AV if carrying any alternate munitions.

+1 AV per BOMB point if using BOMB.

Following numbers are now current.

Quote from: Current Alpha Value for stress testing Formula
Introductory Boxed Set - Succession Wars Era
COM-2D Commando - 17
SDR-5V Spider - 19
JR7-D Jenner - 21
PNT-9R Panther - 21
ASN-21 Assassin - 21
CDA-2A Cicada - 19
CLNT-2-3T Clint - 22
HER-2S Hermes II - 22
WHT-1 Whitworth - 27
VND-1R Vindicator - 28
ENF-4R Enforcer - 27
HBK-4G Hunchback - 28
TBT-5N Trebuchet - 26
DV-6M Dervish - 31
DRG-1N Dragon - 31
QKD-4D Quickdraw - 32
CPLT-C1 Catapult - 34
JM6-S JagerMech - 27
GHR-5H Grasshopper - 39
AWS-8Q Awesome - 40
ZEU-6S Zeus - 36
CP-10-Z Cyclops - 36
BNC-3E Banshee - 38
AS7-D Atlas - 52

Third Edition Boxed Set - Succession Wars Era
LCT-1V Locust: 16
STG-3R Stinger: 16
WSP-1A Wasp: 16
PXH-1 Phoenix Hawk: 26
GRF-1N Griffin: 31
SHD-2H Shadow Hawk: 30
WVR-6R Wolverine: 30
RFL-3N Rifleman: 27
CRD-3R Crusader: 32
CRD-3L Crusader: 36
TDR-5S Thunderbolt: 36
TDR-5SE Thunderbolt: 37
ARC-2R Archer: 39
WHM-6R Warhammer: 33
MAD-3R Marauder: 35
BLR-1G Battlemaster: 40

Vehicles:
Savannah Master: 14
Scorpion: 12
Maxim: 25
Pegasus: 20
Shrek PPC Carrier: 26

Infantry/Battle Armor
Jump Laser Infantry Platoon: 14
Foot Laser Infantry Platoon: 10
Elemental (AP Gauss): 19
Inner Sphere Standard BA (SRM): 15

Clan Omnimech Prime versions:
Fire Moth: 21
Mist Lynx: 22
Kit Fox: 24
Adder: 29
Viper: 30
Ice Ferret: 31
Nova: 38
Stormcrow: 38
Mad Dog: 39
Hellbringer: 37
Summoner: 41
Timber Wolf: 49
Gargoyle: 36
Warhawk: 52
Executioner: 51
Dire Wolf: 56


[EDIT: The formulae below are no longer accurate, but the text of the post is left in to represent the 'evolution' of the system, as it were.]

So, as came up in another thread (and multiple times in other threads!) the Battle Value 2.0 system which is unwieldy and flawed (at best) for Battletech is almost entirely inappropriate for Alpha Strike. It's not just bad, it's horrendous.

But how best to evaluate an Alpha Strike unit?

I submit that it should be via the stats and the special abilities of each unit, to wit the basic four stats that all Battletech units need to be judged by: Movement, Defense, Offense, and Special. It should be easily calculable and self-evident to avoid the problems of BV.

The base amount of the Movement equation's portion should go off the highest TMM the unit can generate, as that IS the key part of a unit's movement - maneuvering is good, but can be accounted for as a part of this. Units which can jump should cost more, but not MUCH more - it only helps a unit move rather than adding to the TMM so maybe just a point if it has partial jump, or two if it has full jump. But what else should be judged? Should hover units cost more, or is the intrinsic vulnerability of a vehicle still balanced enough?

Movement = (TMM+[1 IF partial jump, 2 IF full jump])

Now, for Defense. It seems as though the ACTUAL armor points are more important than structure, because once you get down to structure the real damage starts happening, but how to account for that? Plus, in previous iterations the cost for lighter units was disproportionately high compared to bigger units with more armor. Items like AMS will be covered under Special. So, in this formula, I think that the formula for Defense should be:

Defense = (2*Armor+Structure)

Offense should take into account all weapons used in direct damage, I think: AC, LRM, and Melee as well. Should Indirect be included here, or in Special? However, Overheat value is VERY important, so it should be included in the formula as well.

Offense = (Melee+Short+Medium+Long+[Special short+medium+long*#Special modes]+Overheat)

Sheesh, is there a more elegant way to represent that formula? It's been almost ten years since my last algebra class and I'm not sure I'm expressing it in the clearest way.

Special is... special, and where it gets complicated. Most of the extras should be evaluated as just +1 point - like AMS, ENE, Mimetic, etcetera - to keep the formula as simple as possible. However, there are some abilities which are stronger versions, like Angel ECM versus regular ECM, so dividing them into Basic and Expanded Abilities, with Expanded abilities worth +2 points seems sensible.

IF should just add its damage to the total cost of the unit, so IF2 should be +2 points - it's handy, but not game breaking.

C3, by itself, should cost NOTHING IMHO. Its cost should be added to the C3M unit, because without that the C3 affects nothing. Adding 1 point to the cost of the C3M unit for each C3 slave/master attached to it should work, including itself! KISS, after all - Keep It Simple, Stupid - and C3 doesn't have the huge impact it does in ordinary BT games. That way, if you destroy the C3M, you get the points for destroying the network.

But how to cover the cost of C3i, which has no master unit but provides the same benefit? I think that just adding 1 point for each unit in the network to the total cost of the force would be fair. For Boosted systems, that can't be meddled with thanks to ECM, 2 points per slave unit linked or C3i unit linked should be adequate.

Artillery is a tricky beast to judge, particularly because it's possible to 'use' it without it even BEING on the battlefield! On the other hand, making it too expensive will just mean no one takes it, and that's no good either; it's strong, but it's not BROKEN. I think that, for units deployed on the table, it should be treated as IF weaponry - it adds its total damage to the cost of the unit.

For being deployed off-table, I think a bit of esoteric math might be called for. Rather than paying the cost of the unit itself, perhaps multiply the damage done by the amount of mapsheets between the artillery unit and the battlefield, with rules for sending units 'off-map' to disrupt or destroy said artillery? That way, off-map artillery is covered while still being semi-vulnerable. Discussions of those rules should be in another discussion, and needs testing.

So, the Special formula would be...

Special=(1*#Basic Abilities)+(2*#Expanded Abilities)+IF Value+(1*#C3 units networked)+(2*#C3BS units Networked)+ART Value

Now, let's see the whole thing together.

Movement = (TMM+[1 IF partial jump, 2 IF full jump])
Defense = (2*Armor+Structure)
Offense = (Melee+Short+Medium+Long+[Special short+medium+long*#Special modes]+Overheat)
Special=(1*#Basic Abilities)+(2*#Expanded Abilities)+IF Value+(1*#C3 units networked)+(2*#C3BS units networked)+ART Value

Let's test it out with my classic comparison, LCT-1V versus Timber Wolf Prime.

LCT-1V... Movement = 3 = (max TMM of +3), Defense = 6 = (2*2+2), Offense = 3 = (1+1+1+0), Special = 0 (nuffin there!). Added up, that makes an LCT-1V worth 12 points.

Timber Wolf Prime... Movement = 2 = (max TMM+2), Defense = 20 (2*8+4), Offense = 16 = (3+4+3+2+(1+1+1*1)+1), Special = 3 (CASE, OMNI, and IF1). That adds up to... 41. Huh. In terms of Alpha Strike, (NOT Battletech!) are 4 Locusts (give or take!) equal to a Timber Wolf Prime? For some reason, that doesn't exactly feel off to me. They could certainly close with a single Timby and circle it to fire at the rear...

It might not be perfect, but it feels 'better', more organic, than using the BV system, where it says that 1 Timber Wolf Prime equals 7 LCT-1Vs, and that's a matchup where they tear the Timby to pieces - while losing half their number, it's true, but it's not a 'fair' matchup.

Anyway, I'm gonna post this, and think about it some more.

Von Ether

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Re: Redoing the points system to reflect Alpha Strike.
« Reply #1 on: 03 November 2013, 19:13:46 »
I also wonder if there should be some consideration for what I call "Handling," which is the penalty that speed and jump jets give when targeting a fast unit. Regardless, lights and mediums seem undercosted, along with some 3025 designs.

« Last Edit: 03 November 2013, 22:16:38 by Von Ether »
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"But the problem is that it seems to have been made by someone who equates complication with complexity, and that just ain't so." -- iamfanboy

Papabees

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Re: Redoing the points system to reflect Alpha Strike.
« Reply #2 on: 03 November 2013, 22:12:56 »
In the games I've played the medium damage stat seems to be where most of the fighting takes place so we might give some emphasis to that band. Perhaps half for short and long but full cost for medium.

Von Ether

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Re: Redoing the points system to reflect Alpha Strike.
« Reply #3 on: 03 November 2013, 23:15:43 »
double post
« Last Edit: 03 November 2013, 23:18:41 by Von Ether »
"New players, regardless of age, need to know two things about a wargame. How to blow stuff up and what faction is painted in his favorite color. All the rest can come later when they are hooked." -- A.G.
"But the problem is that it seems to have been made by someone who equates complication with complexity, and that just ain't so." -- iamfanboy

iamfanboy

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Re: Redoing the points system to reflect Alpha Strike.
« Reply #4 on: 03 November 2013, 23:45:05 »
Von Ether, isn't that part of the TMM equation? "How hard it is to hit" the targeted unit is the important part of the movement equation.

And Papabees, you're ABsoLUTELY right. I think changing the Offense equation to

Offense = (Melee+Short+Medium*2+Long+[Special Short+Medium*2+Long*#Special modes]+Overheat)

I was thinking that the OV value should be multiplied by 2 as well, but using it is as much penalty as reward, so I'm reluctant to do so right off the bat. Besides, that makes some 'Mechs, like the Nova Prime, REALLY expensive in return for little reward.

That gives a value of 13 for the LCT-1V, and 46 for the Timber Wolf Prime.


Revaluing units like this, based on their stats rather than the kinda... er... not-good Battlevalue, raises the costs of almost everything, but it also makes some weird situations go away, especially with units that are highly underpriced for what they do on the battlefield. For example, from the Hidden Gems thread the Flatbed Truck (Mortar) comes to 7 points, the Thorn-N is 15 instead of 5, the JM6-S Jagermech is 19 instead of 9...

A foot infantry laser platoon costs 9 points versus the jump laser platoon's 11 instead of costing the same despite the JLP's greater speed.

It's also VERY easy to figure out by just looking at the stats of the 'mech rather than anything else, and takes maybe 30 seconds to do.

Von Ether

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Re: Redoing the points system to reflect Alpha Strike.
« Reply #5 on: 03 November 2013, 23:55:50 »
I'd say it's a solid start.
"New players, regardless of age, need to know two things about a wargame. How to blow stuff up and what faction is painted in his favorite color. All the rest can come later when they are hooked." -- A.G.
"But the problem is that it seems to have been made by someone who equates complication with complexity, and that just ain't so." -- iamfanboy

Netzilla

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Re: Redoing the points system to reflect Alpha Strike.
« Reply #6 on: 04 November 2013, 00:25:42 »
Considering the value of TMM in unit survival, I wonder if you should double its value.
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theothersarah

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Re: Redoing the points system to reflect Alpha Strike.
« Reply #7 on: 04 November 2013, 00:39:04 »
This is something I thought should have been done in the transition from BattleForce/Quick Strike to Alpha Strike. There are some other tweaks here or there that I think would have been nice but this is by far the most important one.

BloodReaper

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Re: Redoing the points system to reflect Alpha Strike.
« Reply #8 on: 04 November 2013, 13:22:50 »
You could use the defensive/offensive modifiers in the tech manual, assuming BV is good, to get some of these numbers.  However I'd think defense would be higher, as units always get the best modifier regardless of their move.

You could also use the heavy metal weapon BV calculator to determine the "effective" BV of a units attack.

But there are a lot of other factors, and each special ability would need a "BV", so this is pretty darned hard, but I think extremely necessary as the points are completely bonkers right now.

I wish you luck!

iamfanboy

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Re: Redoing the points system to reflect Alpha Strike.
« Reply #9 on: 04 November 2013, 16:00:20 »
No, reaper. To Hell with Battle Value. It represents the capability of a unit barely better than a tonnage system.

Basing the points off the actual STATS (rather than any kind of esoteric calculating system that the designers themselves have admitted will sometimes give two different results to two different people using the exact same methodology) has two advantages:

1) It can be easily calculated just looking at the unit's card or stats itself,

2) It directly reflects the unit's battlefield performance.


The main issue with designing the formula for this is figuring out what stats affect battlefield performance more than others; Papabees' comment on how the Medium range band features most of the fighting, my thoughts on Armor being more important than Structure, and Netzilla's note on the TMM being highly important...

Hrm, speaking of that, let's apply it to LCT-1V versus Timby Prime.

Doubling the TMM bumps the LCT-1V to 16 points, and the Timby to 48. That's a straight 3-1 ratio. Could three Locusts take a Timby in a straight fight? I don't think they could. Curses, if only MM was configured for Alpha Strike.

BloodReaper

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Re: Redoing the points system to reflect Alpha Strike.
« Reply #10 on: 04 November 2013, 16:35:52 »
Well technically ALL point values end up having issues with them, using them to balance games will inevitably lead to occasional issues.

However, I mentioned the BV thing as it had some numbers for defensive/offensive calculation that was probably based on some formula that made sense, and the numbers seemed to make sense.

As for a timber wolf vs a locust, the 3 locusts have the same armor, but the timber wolf more firepower.  However, if the timber wolf hits, 20% of the firepower is wasted at short/medium range as it overkills the locusts.  Including criticals it could be as much as 40% of the timber wolf firepower wasted.  And as for the locusts, once they get through 8 armor, each hit is a critical, and that makes a huge diff.

The timber wolf also has IF2, meaning it could potentially kill a locust before the locust even got in range.  It also has special munitions, which COULD help offset the superior locust maneuverability ASSUMING that players use alternate ammo.  Depending on initiative the locusts could be getting all rear shots, halving the armor values. 

I don't know how many LCT-1Vs are worth 1 timber wolf, but I'm betting its something like 1d6, not 3, as there is simply too many variables to have a static number to show what each side is worth.

it is going to be a hard number to determine, thats for sure.

NumeroFive

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Re: Redoing the points system to reflect Alpha Strike.
« Reply #11 on: 04 November 2013, 17:29:05 »
I too have thought about a new point calculation for Alphastrike based on the unit stats.  But my idea is based more on the original BV calculations.  This is how it goes.

First calculate defensive multiplier.  Find the defensive modifier for the unit based on its movement value. If the unit has the "STL" or "MAS" specials add this modifier to the total.  Now divide this total by ten and add one. [(Defensive modifier / 10) + 1]
Next, Multiply Armor boxes by 2 and structure boxes by 1.5 and add together. If the unit has "AMS" special, add armor and structure boxes together and divide by 4, then add this number to the earlier total. Now multiply this value by the defensive multiplier you calculated earlier.
[((Armor * 2) + (Structure * 1.5) + (AMS value)) * (Defensive multiplier) = Defensive Point Value]

Now to Calculate the offensive point value, this gets a little more complicated.
Calculate Short Range value. Add together the units short range damage, Size, 1/2 OV, 1 for "MEL", 1 for "TSM", and the value of the unit's "HT#".  Then multiply that by 0.916.
[(SRD + Size + OV/2 + MEL + TSM + HT#) * 0.916]
Calculate  Medium Range value.  Add together the units Medium range damage, 1/2 OV, and the value of the unit's "HT#".  Then Multiply that total by 2.166.
[(MRD + OV/2 + HT#) * 2.166]
Calculate the units Long Range Value. If the unit has zero for long range, you are done, otherwise...Add together the unit's Long Range Damage and 1/2 its OV if the unit has the "OVL" special. I'm a little unsure about how the "HT#" special works, but it seems to me that this applies to even long range attacks.  If I'm right, then add in the HT# too, otherwise don't. Finally multiply this total by 1.666.
[(LRD + OVL/2 + HT#) * 1.666]
Now add these three values together and multiply the total by the units speed factor.  The units speed factor is equal to the units highest movement (be it ground or jump) and then dividing it by half and comparing that number to the Speed factor table on page 315 of the Tech Manual.
[(SRV + MRV + LRV) * Speed Factor Multiplier = Offensive Point Value]

Now add together the Defensive Point Value and the Offensive Point Value together and round normally.
[Defensive Point Value + Offensive Point Value = Point Value]

Special abilities
Most of the special abilities not already mentioned in the formulas involved are so limited in scope that they are worth no consideration when calculating the unit's Point Value, or at most should only increase the final Point value by 5% if the special will actually come into play in the current scenario.  Case in point is C3 Networks.  ECM specials are only effective when facing active C3 Networks. Specialty ammos for the SRM, LRM and AC specials should also be added on top of the base Point Value. RCN special only comes into play if you are using the Battlefield Intelligence rules.

Well,  that's my idea and thoughts on the subject.

iamfanboy

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Re: Redoing the points system to reflect Alpha Strike.
« Reply #12 on: 04 November 2013, 20:12:00 »
Well, Reaper, as long as it's closer than the current system of valuation, being as how it's rounded off from the values for an entirely different game and the system used for determining THAT is flawed... I actually think I'm gonna start using this system.


OK. NumeroFive. I do like your math, but... well... I'm gonna get into a bit of game design philosophy here.


Part of why I think Battletech has persisted for so long when so many other game systems have collapsed in on themselves is the transparency of the game's inner workings. You can design a 'Mech. You can understand how another person designs a 'Mech. You can look at a design and, with only a bit of practice, tell if it's off its math or not.

Compare that to, say, Warhammer 40k or Malifaux or Warmachine, where no one has any idea of the thought process that goes into statting out or calculating the points value of a given unit. It's a shadow box that no one but the designers understand; a unit comes in one end and a set of stats are spit out for it without any visible reference.


The failing of Combat Value and all the systems since then has been that lack of transparency. As flawed as tonnage is as a means of balancing sides, its sole advantage is that it's intuitive. Liaofan, the inveterate lolifan of the board, has a system of modified tonnage that mostly works, and where it doesn't work, at least it's easy to grasp.

Your formulae... and BV2.0's formulae... do not make sense to me. Okay, they actually do, but they're too damned complicated.

My system has five priorities:

1) Basing value off the unit's inherent stats
2) ease of calculation (not all of us enjoy carrying around a TI-86 just to figure out a 'Mech's costs!)
3) results in whole numbers that are in the 10-100 range on average to allow for quick force creation
4) reduces redundant values for similar units with different stats (why does a Foot Laser Platoon and Jump Laser Platoon cost 1, when the JLP has 3j, making it objectively better?)
5) Is as far divorced from Battle Value as possible.


The only problem which Battletech, and some of its more, uh, grognardic players have is worshiping complication for the sake of complication without examining why or how. Every now and then, you need to dust off the old assumptions you haven't examined in years and think about them, REALLY think about them.

That's why I like Alpha Strike so much, because for years the problem that so many potential newbies have said about Battletech is, "It's sooo complicated!" and for years the response it earned from players is, "Ahhh, suck it up or go back to 40k!" It's a dismissive attitude, and one that needed to be changed if the game is going to grow.

Complication is NOT complexity. Alpha Strike is complex - it has a variety of units, can be played from small unit size to entire regiments and even space battles, is easy to understand yet deep, and the rules fit into a 100-150 page book.

Battletech is COMPLICATED. Even the basic game spans 2, 2.5 rulebooks adding up to 300+ pages of just rules. Without an index, it'd be unplayable.

Darnit, I've gotta go and cut this post short.

NumeroFive

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Re: Redoing the points system to reflect Alpha Strike.
« Reply #13 on: 04 November 2013, 20:46:58 »
You are right, Fanboy, it is to damned complicated.  But that is really the fault of the game system more than my formulas (and BV2 that my formulas are based on.) It would be nice if there was just one simple little formula that takes into account all the base abilities that each unit has and spits out a rating between 1 and 30 that accurately represents that unit's relative strengths and weaknesses.  Unfortunately, given how complicated the game is over all, how different abilities provide different synergies to various other abilities, in order to accommodate those factors the formula gets longer and more complicated.  Indeed, my formula is basically your formula that you presented in your OP, just with additional variables taken into consideration. O0

Son of Kerenski

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Re: Redoing the points system to reflect Alpha Strike.
« Reply #14 on: 05 November 2013, 04:41:37 »
I thought the whole point of Alpha Strike was to keep it as simple as possible.

Another point is you can always improve on something because nothing is ever perfect. But there will be a time when you just have to let go because it just gets too complex.

Not being argumentative. Just offering a different perspective.

Papabees

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Re: Redoing the points system to reflect Alpha Strike.
« Reply #15 on: 05 November 2013, 09:47:31 »
No, reaper. To Hell with Battle Value. It represents the capability of a unit barely better than a tonnage system.

Basing the points off the actual STATS (rather than any kind of esoteric calculating system that the designers themselves have admitted will sometimes give two different results to two different people using the exact same methodology) has two advantages:

1) It can be easily calculated just looking at the unit's card or stats itself,

2) It directly reflects the unit's battlefield performance.


The main issue with designing the formula for this is figuring out what stats affect battlefield performance more than others; Papabees' comment on how the Medium range band features most of the fighting, my thoughts on Armor being more important than Structure, and Netzilla's note on the TMM being highly important...

Hrm, speaking of that, let's apply it to LCT-1V versus Timby Prime.

Doubling the TMM bumps the LCT-1V to 16 points, and the Timby to 48. That's a straight 3-1 ratio. Could three Locusts take a Timby in a straight fight? I don't think they could. Curses, if only MM was configured for Alpha Strike.

I think I like your system and I do think that 3 locusts might actually handle the Timberwolf half the time. What if you stat up a few more examples and we playtest it and then get back with results?

iamfanboy

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Re: Redoing the points system to reflect Alpha Strike.
« Reply #16 on: 06 November 2013, 01:47:22 »
For clarity, the following numbers use THIS formula:

Alpha Value = Special+Offense+Defense+Movement

Movement = (2*TMM)

Defense = (2*Armor+Structure)

Offense = (Melee+Short+[Medium*2]+Long+[Special short+(medium*2)+long*#Special modes]+Overheat)

Special=(1*#Basic Abilities)+(2*#Expanded Abilities)+IF Value+(1*#C3 units networked)+(2*#C3BS units Networked)+ART Value

For any Specials that are not used (such as RCN, PRB, ECM, etcetera) just subtract the appropriate costs for each. For example, the Savannah Master costs 15, but if RCN is not being used than it costs 14.

Okay, here's some points costs for people to stress test:

Introductory Boxed Set
COM-2D Commando - 17
SDR-5V Spider - 20
JR7-D Jenner - 23
PNT-9R Panther - 21
ASN-21 Assassin - 21
CLNT-2-3T Clint - 20
HER-2S Hermes II - 22
WHT-1 Whitworth - 24
VND-1R Vindicator - 28
ENF-4R Enforcer - 27
HBK-4G Hunchback - 28
TBT-5N Trebuchet - 26
DV-6M Dervish - 29
DRG-1N Dragon - 30
QKD-4D Quickdraw - 32
CPLT-C1 Catapult - 33
JM6-S JagerMech - 22
GHR-5H Grasshopper - 39
AWS-8Q Awesome - 41
ZEU-6S Zeus - 36
CP-10-Z Cyclops - 37
BNC-3E Banshee - 38
AS7-D Atlas - 51

Third Edition Boxed Set (Unseen! Unseen!)
LCT-1V Locust: 16
STG-3R Stinger: 15
WSP-1A Wasp: 15
PXH-1 Phoenix Hawk: 26
GRF-1N Griffin: 31
SHD-2H Shadow Hawk: 30
WVR-6R Wolverine: 30
RFL-3N Rifleman: 27
CRD-3R Crusader: 32
TDR-5S Thunderbolt: 36
ARC-2R Archer: 37
WHM-6R Warhammer: 33
MAD-3R Marauder: 36
BLD-1G Battlemaster: 40

Vehicles:
Savannah Master: 15
Scorpion: 13
Maxim: 27
Pegasus: 21
Shrek PPC Carrier: 27

Infantry/Battle Armor
Jump Laser Infantry Platoon: 14
Foot Laser Infantry Platoon: 10
Elemental (AP Gauss): 18
Inner Sphere Standard BA (SRM): 18

Clan Omnimech Prime versions:
Fire Moth: 23
Mist Lynx: 25
Kit Fox: 26
Adder: 30
Viper: 32
Ice Ferret: 35
Nova: 42
Stormcrow: 40
Mad Dog: 47
Hellbringer: 42
Summoner: 46
Timber Wolf: 56 (Yes, I calculated VERY WRONG)
Gargoyle: 47
Warhawk: 54
Executioner: 51
Dire Wolf: 58


And honestly, each of these took me maybe, MAYBE 30 seconds to figure up just by looking at the card.

iamfanboy

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Re: Making a points system for Alpha Strike - finding an Alpha Value.
« Reply #17 on: 07 November 2013, 02:08:52 »
So I've moved to the EXTREME of the Battletech universe: To wit, Warships and Dropships. Oh, and selected ASFs, too.

Threshold is very important - in BATTLETECH, and while it has a given value on the stat cards, I can't for the life of me FIND any rules for Threshold in Strategic Operations! So I didn't include it in my calculations.

However, the BOMB value is important only if one is using bombs, therefore it should be paid for if using the ASF as ground support.

As far as rating DropShip/WarShip special abilities, I have no real idea if things like ASF bays or the like should even be considered. I don't think that they have on the battlefield effects, so why include them in the points value for a combat-based system?

EST-0 Eisensturm: 56 (60 if using as ground support!)
EGL-R10 Eagle: 38 (42)
SYD-Z4 Seydlitz: 21 (23)
Kerghiz-Prime: 56 (60)
Avar-Prime: 36 (38)
DARO-1 Dagger: 38 (40)
Boeing Jump Bomber: 12
Avenger-3025: 87
Leopard-3025: 81
Union-3025: 101
Fox Corvette: 624
Fredasa Raider: 455

Obviously, you can't say that 8 AS7-D Atlases equal a Fredasa Raider, but since they wouldn't be going against each other... would eight Eisensturms equal a Fredasa?

If using DropShips as a grounded target, then simply removing the TMM from the points value should give a reasonable value - that might require some tweaking, though, because of artefacts such as a spheroid's nose guns being of no use on the ground!

Gods. I may not be 100% up on my Battlespace, but it does look to me like this system actually... scales up to space battles.

Papabees

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Cool. Thanks for the work. I'll try and get some lead on the table and see how it goes.

Trailblazer

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That formula seems to overrate Overheat.  The heat scale in AS is extremely punishing and you have to forgo firing for a turn to undo it.  I never find it worthwhile unless a unit is clearly one turn from dead.  I would much rather have a point of structure or long-range damage than a point of Overheat, for example.

Trailblazer

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Also, might not be ideal to count a unit with Move 14" and a unit with Move 18" as having the same Move score, which your current scale does.  Maybe TMM+1/2 Move, or 2*TMM + 1/2 Move?

iamfanboy

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Both things I've been considering as I've been playtesting; fast-moving units are severely underrated in this system. A light/medium force (heaviest unit was a Wraith) literally took apart a formation of slow-moving heavies. That bonus damage for the rear arc...

I've actually been thinking exactly the same change to the movement formula - TMM + Move/2, since the AMOUNT of movement is very important tactically. That bumps the LCT-1V to 21 points and the Timber Wolf to 59. Keeping it at 2*TMM really hits light units disproportionately.

As far as Overheat... I don't know. Most tables I play on have at least a little water, and OV-capable units make a beeline for it, plop inside, and just use 1 point of OV-damage all day. It's especially powerful for units with Long ranges. The +1 TMM of water and the extra point of damage... taking down a CRD-3L was a nightmare.

But I do understand that that's a situation at my table, and might not apply to all tables. Maybe adding OV/2, round up, would be better? That way it's more like the other special abilities.

Trailblazer

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Good point about water, but overheat is usually not useful at long range, I find.  Units can't overheat at long range unless they have the OVL ability (which very few units do).  So I wonder if it's a rules mistake that's making OV seem so good in your group?

TMM + 1/2 Move seems to underrate jump move, which can have a huge effect on a unit's ability to get around the board in AS.  Maybe TMM + 1/2 Move + (1/3 Move, rounding up, if you have jump)?  Or TMM + 1/2 Move if you don't have jump, 2*TMM + 1/2 Move if you do?

Trailblazer

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In other words, Jump should cost more than 1 point, especially on units like the SDR-7M.

iamfanboy

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Hrum. Keeping the TMM modifier for jumping, and adding (as in my original formula) +1 for partial jump and +2 for full jump? That way it's +3 for full jump altogether, and +2 for a partial-jumper.

Trailblazer

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Yeah, it seems like the bonus should be proportional to Move, though.  A unit with 6" jump doesn't get as much benefit out of it as a unit with 16" jump.

iamfanboy

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New Movement formula is:

Movement = Move/2 + TMM + (1 IF partial jump) + (2 IF full jump)

(gods, I hate adding an IF statement, but...)

Well, yes, a unit with 16j gets more out of it than a 6j unit, but isn't that accounted for by adding Move/2 to the calculation? And I'd argue that the benefits are much the same overall, as a Move 6 unit is gonna be restricted by terrain a helluva lot more than a Move 16, but a Move 6j unit gains a LOT more in terms of terrain negotiation than a Move 16j.

iamfanboy

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So I redid the points values for all the previous 'mechs I'd done using the formula, and so far there's only two things that strike me as completely whacked: The Fire Moth and the Savannah Master are really, really high. That 26" movement means that it's 17 points just for their movement. I'll have to test it out some.

That being said, here's the new points values.


Quote
Introductory Boxed Set
COM-2D Commando - 21
SDR-5V Spider - 24
JR7-D Jenner - 27
PNT-9R Panther - 25
ASN-21 Assassin - 27
CLNT-2-3T Clint - 27
HER-2S Hermes II - 26
WHT-1 Whitworth - 31
VND-1R Vindicator - 32
ENF-4R Enforcer - 31
HBK-4G Hunchback - 31
TBT-5N Trebuchet - 31
DV-6M Dervish - 36
DRG-1N Dragon - 34
QKD-4D Quickdraw - 35
CPLT-C1 Catapult - 38
JM6-S JagerMech - 30
GHR-5H Grasshopper - 43
AWS-8Q Awesome - 43
ZEU-6S Zeus - 38
CP-10-Z Cyclops - 38
BNC-3E Banshee - 41
AS7-D Atlas - 53

Third Edition Boxed Set (Unseen! Unseen!)
LCT-1V Locust: 21
STG-3R Stinger: 21
WSP-1A Wasp: 21
PXH-1 Phoenix Hawk: 31
GRF-1N Griffin: 35
SHD-2H Shadow Hawk: 33
WVR-6R Wolverine: 34
RFL-3N Rifleman: 29
CRD-3R Crusader: 35
CRD-3L Crusader: 41
TDR-5S Thunderbolt: 39
TDR-5SE Thunderbolt: 41
ARC-2R Archer: 42
WHM-6R Warhammer: 36
MAD-3R Marauder: 38
BLD-1G Battlemaster: 43

Vehicles:
Savannah Master: 24 (??)
Scorpion: 15
Maxim: 29
Pegasus: 26
Shrek PPC Carrier: 30

Infantry/Battle Armor
Jump Laser Infantry Platoon: 14
Foot Laser Infantry Platoon: 10
Elemental (AP Gauss): 19
Inner Sphere Standard BA (SRM): 14

Clan Omnimech Prime versions:
Fire Moth: 32 (??)
Mist Lynx: 29
Kit Fox: 30
Adder: 35
Viper: 38
Ice Ferret: 40
Nova: 44
Stormcrow: 42
Mad Dog: 42
Hellbringer: 45
Summoner: 48
Timber Wolf: 54
Gargoyle: 43
Warhawk: 57
Executioner: 55
Dire Wolf: 61

Papabees

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I understand your concerns. I wonder if there should just be a flat points costs for units that begin inside the range of a particular TMM? then plus jump of course. Although the new point totals may not be too far off in truth.

iamfanboy

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Okay, after some serious stress-testing of speed vs. other values (A unit of Savannah Masters and Fire Moths versus slow mediums and heavies) shows that the current formula of "Movement = Move/2 + TMM + (1 IF partial jump) + (2 IF full jump)" HEAVILY overvalues movement. Yes, it's very nice to be able to maneuver behind an opponent for that extra point of damage, but it isn't as valuable as armor and/or damage.

Evaluating the movement of a 'Mech and adding it to the points cost IS necessary IMHO above and beyond the TMM created by the 'Mech, though.

Also, I'm finding that the (+1 if partial +2 if full) is unnecessary. I think I may change it to a flat +1 for Jump, since another +1 is automatically added for the TMM benefit.

The new Movement formula is, I think, Movement = Move/4 + TMM + (1 if Jump-capable)

Remember, always round up to the nearest whole number.

Also, I've been finding which Special Abilities aren't worth adding to the cost, which ones are situational, and which ones are always good.

I believe the best system would be to omit the cost for both the not added and the situational Special Abilities on the official list, adding in the cost if using the relevant rules, special ammo, or units.

NOT ADDED
ENE and CASE aren't worth adding in the price - the benefits of either come up so rarely that it's a non-entity most of the time. Also, so many of the units with either have such low Structure that they simply don't benefit from it (the Fire Moth, for example!)

FLK and FR are tricky because its value is determined by your opponent's decisions and in an ideal tournament situation you don't know whether or not your opponent will have any, but I'm tentatively adding both of them to this category.

SITUATIONAL
TAG of all sorts, ECM of all sorts, PRB of all sorts, C3 of all sorts, MHQ, and RCN only matter if using the relevant equipment and/or rules. The basic versions of any of the above are worth +1 to each unit equipped with same, except for C3 - the cost is added to the unit with the C3 Master. The advanced versions are worth +2 for each unit. LECM, LPRB, and LTAG still add benefits to a unit, so I'm tentatively keeping them in this category. Should WAT be worth +2 for having two abilities in one, or just +1 since they're Light versions of both?

OMNI and IT only matter if deploying infantry or Battle Armor of the relevant kinds. From what I've seen it's worth +1 for each platoon of infantry or Point/squad of BA that the unit is capable of transporting.

LRM, SRM, and AC special abilities are only added if using special ammo of any kind - Swarm LRMs, Precision Ammo, etcetera. Calculate them just like ordinary damage (Short + Medium*2 + Long). BOMB is added if using Bombs, and worth one point per BOMB point - so BOMB4 costs 4 points.

ALWAYS ADDED
AMS, AM, ARM, HT, IF, MEL, MAS, OVL, STL, and TSM are always-on and are almost always of benefit. STL is worth at least 2 points for now; I'll have to test it out more to see if it's +3 or more. Other than that, HT and IF are worth 1 point for each point of either, and all the other abilities are worth 1 point.

Artillery is... wow. So far I've tested it out with two units on the field, my Naga and a Catapult, and it's BRUTAL. Combining IF with raw damage to a hex is pretty good. For now, my calculation is ARTL = (Damage*2) when using it on the tabletop; one multiple for the IF value and one for the direct damage value. It may go to *3, but I don't think it's worth THAT much.

metalman42

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This intrigues me. I'm just getting into Alpha Strike, but one thing that puts me off is the fact that the point values for each unit came from an entirely different game. Just with the base deck of 90 cards you see some stuff that doesn't make any sense.

Any chance this will be adopted officially? Are the creators of AS looking into a separate point value calculation method?

Papabees

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OK. This is looking pretty good. Any chance of cutting and pasting in all into one comment so we have the run down in a single area? Then maybe we need to playtest the crap out of it and see how it feels.

iamfanboy

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This intrigues me. I'm just getting into Alpha Strike, but one thing that puts me off is the fact that the point values for each unit came from an entirely different game. Just with the base deck of 90 cards you see some stuff that doesn't make any sense.

Any chance this will be adopted officially? Are the creators of AS looking into a separate point value calculation method?
I really, really hope they are looking into it. Hell, they can HAVE this system once we get the kinks nailed out. One of the things that I like about this system is that once you get used to calculating it, it takes maybe 20-30 seconds per unit to figure out the Alpha Value.

Papabees, I'm trying to keep the updated formulae in the first post of the thread, as well as current points costs - though I haven't updated them for the Move/4 change to the formula yet, and I do have to post the list of Special Abilities. I'll get around to updating it all later today, but there's been my eBay business to attend to...

Gods. Move/4 undervalues movement just a little bit, but that's better in my honest opinion than way OVER-valuing it, because overvaluing something just leads to no one using it.

EDIT: Okay, the formula in the first post is current; I added the NARC and TAG abilities to the list of always-added stuff because if you can't figure out how to use a unit with those abilities you need your head screwed on tight.

iamfanboy

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For clarity's sake, the new point values as calculated by me are below:

Quote from: Current PV for stress testing system
Introductory Boxed Set - Succession Wars Era
COM-2D Commando - 18
SDR-5V Spider - 20
JR7-D Jenner - 22
PNT-9R Panther - 22
ASN-21 Assassin - 22
CDA-2A Cicada - 20
CLNT-2-3T Clint - 23
HER-2S Hermes II - 22
WHT-1 Whitworth - 28
VND-1R Vindicator - 29
ENF-4R Enforcer - 28
HBK-4G Hunchback - 29
TBT-5N Trebuchet - 27
DV-6M Dervish - 32
DRG-1N Dragon - 32
QKD-4D Quickdraw - 33
CPLT-C1 Catapult - 35
JM6-S JagerMech - 26
GHR-5H Grasshopper - 40
AWS-8Q Awesome - 41
ZEU-6S Zeus - 37
CP-10-Z Cyclops - 36
BNC-3E Banshee - 39
AS7-D Atlas - 53

Third Edition Boxed Set - Succession Wars Era
LCT-1V Locust: 17
STG-3R Stinger: 17
WSP-1A Wasp: 17
PXH-1 Phoenix Hawk: 27
GRF-1N Griffin: 32
SHD-2H Shadow Hawk: 31
WVR-6R Wolverine: 31
RFL-3N Rifleman: 27
CRD-3R Crusader: 33
CRD-3L Crusader: 36
TDR-5S Thunderbolt: 37
TDR-5SE Thunderbolt: 39
ARC-2R Archer: 40
WHM-6R Warhammer: 34
MAD-3R Marauder: 36
BLR-1G Battlemaster: 41

Vehicles:
Savannah Master: 17
Scorpion: 13
Maxim: 25
Pegasus: 21
Shrek PPC Carrier: 27

Infantry/Battle Armor
Jump Laser Infantry Platoon: 15
Foot Laser Infantry Platoon: 11
Elemental (AP Gauss): 19
Inner Sphere Standard BA (SRM): 14

Clan Omnimech Prime versions:
Fire Moth: 24
Mist Lynx: 23
Kit Fox: 25
Adder: 30
Viper: 31
Ice Ferret: 30
Nova: 39
Stormcrow: 39
Mad Dog: 40
Hellbringer: 38
Summoner: 43
Timber Wolf: 46
Gargoyle: 37
Warhawk: 53
Executioner: 50
Dire Wolf: 57

I shall endeavor to add in some Clan Invasion-era numbers, though frankly it's gonna be my 'best pick' rather than every single one.

Karasu

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There's been a fair bit of dicussion about points values on the Leviathans board.  There also, the idea of the points being a combination of a number of sub-totals was raised.  One thing that has been done is to look and see how the different bits that make up a units points compare.  If, say, an UrbanMech is getting more points from Movement than Offense, there's a problem somewhere.

As a side note, I'd be tempted to split the Special between the other 3 sub-totals, to make that comparison easier.

iamfanboy

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Well, the issue with splitting Special up are abilities like RCN, CMD, ECM, PRB, and other battlefield-shaping abilities. Some of 'em are clearly offensive or defensive, so it's not hard to slap them into various categories, but some fall into more 'battlefield-shaping' categories.


In playtesting news, movement is overvalued at the extreme ends - it seems to be right at the lower edges of the band, but not at the top-end. I've ran 6 Savannah Masters (one Skill 3) against three Marauder-3Rs ten times and each time the Marauders cleaned up, on average losing one MAD-3R to all six SMs. A +4 TMM is not enough to protect against one-hit-one-kill.

Another thing that reins in fast movers very adequately is short-range artillery, and there's no shortage of decent Arrow-IV carriers. The Arrow-IV variant of the Regulator is particularly good.

It's been... discouraging. My current possible solution is to split it up into range 'bands' for which there's a flat cost, such as:

0-4     = 0 AV
6-8     = 1 AV
10-12 = 2 AV
14+    = 3 AV
jump   = +1 AV

and of course, +1 for each TMM the unit can generate.

It does seem like those are the 'important' bands; anything over 14" has much the same ability to backstab/maneuver, 10-12 is better than 6-8, and 0-4 is so slow that it might as well be crippled. Using this system takes the Savannah Master from 17 to 13, which seems a lot more reasonable for a one-shot backstabber. It also moves my personal favorite Fire Moth (the C) from 21 to 17.

Sockmonkey

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The bit about a C3S only having value if someone else in the unit has a C3M makes sense to me, but once you start thinking along those lines you could argurere that the value of a lot of other stuff is also dependent on factors outside the mech itself, like the abilities of your opponent.
Blue Shield for instance, is dead weight if your enemy has no PPCs.
Now while I do think it is reasonable to draw the line for value factors at the abilities of your own forces since that's something you control, there are some things that are kind of borderline.
That's it! Challenge the Clans to rock-paper-scissors in 3050! A good portion of the 'Mechs didn't have hands so the Inner Sphere would win!
If I had a nickel for every time I've legged a Warhammer, I could put them in a sock, spin it around and leg another Warhammer.

Karasu

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Maybe what you're wanting is a cap of some sort.  That would make it a bit more complex of a calculation, though.
If I understand what you're saying, speed on its own is not useful.  Similarly, just defense would fall somewhat short, and pure offense would be equally poor

  Something like "No single component can be more than the sum of all other components."

Sockmonkey

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Yep.
Like how a pair of MPLs are particularly valuable as point defense on a big slow mech or as the primaries on a light jumpy one.
That's it! Challenge the Clans to rock-paper-scissors in 3050! A good portion of the 'Mechs didn't have hands so the Inner Sphere would win!
If I had a nickel for every time I've legged a Warhammer, I could put them in a sock, spin it around and leg another Warhammer.

iamfanboy

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Maybe what you're wanting is a cap of some sort.  That would make it a bit more complex of a calculation, though.
If I understand what you're saying, speed on its own is not useful.  Similarly, just defense would fall somewhat short, and pure offense would be equally poor

  Something like "No single component can be more than the sum of all other components."
I debated a cap, but no other attribute thus far needs capping - armor is armor, damage is damage, and their values are very straightforward when it comes to the tabletop. For C3, its value increases the more elements you add to it, but if you destroy the master element it becomes worthless, and so on and so forth.

The Movement part of the equation is what's tricky, but we need to separate it down to its core benefits to do so. Either you have enough speed to go forward and maneuver slightly, enough to perform heavy cav/scout hunting, or enough to backstab with regularity - the last being the most valuable things lights can do, and also the most risky! Jumping increases your ability to move, so that's at least another point (and now I'm debating moving it back to 1 point for partial jump/2 for full jump). As far as vehicles go, each alternate movement type has benefits and problems, so I'm inclined to call it a wash.

So... I think I've got it, by Jove!

Papabees

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So... I think I've got it, by Jove!

So does the formula in thread one reflect the most recent version? I ask because I was toying with trying to put a spreadsheet together (although it may be beyond my ability  :)).


iamfanboy

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Okay, these numbers really do feel quite right. I haven't been able to break them quite yet

What I find hilarious is that (as was pointed out to me!) the new Movement formula almost always winds up to being 2*TMM; the only time it varies is when you get to the REALLY fast movers, or the really slow guys (like Foot Infantry or Gnome BA). I'm tempted to go back to 2*TMM just for simplicity's sake. Even if it's not perfect (and the current formula represents a unit's Alpha Value better) perfection is only an attribute of the Divine and I'd rather have the formula be easier to use with just the values on the card instead of consulting multiple lists for X or Y value...

Quote from: Current Alpha Value for stress testing formula
Introductory Boxed Set - Succession Wars Era
COM-2D Commando - 17
SDR-5V Spider - 19
JR7-D Jenner - 23
PNT-9R Panther - 21
ASN-21 Assassin - 21
CDA-2A Cicada - 19
CLNT-2-3T Clint - 22
HER-2S Hermes II - 22
WHT-1 Whitworth - 27
VND-1R Vindicator - 28
ENF-4R Enforcer - 27
HBK-4G Hunchback - 28
TBT-5N Trebuchet - 26
DV-6M Dervish - 31
DRG-1N Dragon - 31
QKD-4D Quickdraw - 32
CPLT-C1 Catapult - 34
JM6-S JagerMech - 27
GHR-5H Grasshopper - 39
AWS-8Q Awesome - 40
ZEU-6S Zeus - 36
CP-10-Z Cyclops - 36
BNC-3E Banshee - 38
AS7-D Atlas - 52

Third Edition Boxed Set - Succession Wars Era
LCT-1V Locust: 16
STG-3R Stinger: 16
WSP-1A Wasp: 16
PXH-1 Phoenix Hawk: 26
GRF-1N Griffin: 31
SHD-2H Shadow Hawk: 30
WVR-6R Wolverine: 30
RFL-3N Rifleman: 27
CRD-3R Crusader: 32
CRD-3L Crusader: 36
TDR-5S Thunderbolt: 36
TDR-5SE Thunderbolt: 37
ARC-2R Archer: 39
WHM-6R Warhammer: 33
MAD-3R Marauder: 35
BLR-1G Battlemaster: 40

Vehicles:
Savannah Master: 13
Scorpion: 12
Maxim: 25
Pegasus: 20
Shrek PPC Carrier: 26

Infantry/Battle Armor
Jump Laser Infantry Platoon: 14
Foot Laser Infantry Platoon: 10
Elemental (AP Gauss): 18
Inner Sphere Standard BA (SRM): 13

Clan Omnimech Prime versions:
Fire Moth: 20
Mist Lynx: 22
Kit Fox: 24
Adder: 29
Viper: 30
Ice Ferret: 31
Nova: 38
Stormcrow: 38
Mad Dog: 39
Hellbringer: 37
Summoner: 41
Timber Wolf: 49
Gargoyle: 36
Warhawk: 52
Executioner: 53
Dire Wolf: 56

Jacob Verdriis

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Re: Making Alpha Strike a point system-Alpha Value, updated 11/27/13!
« Reply #43 on: 28 November 2013, 02:00:27 »
First of all, I simply love the AV-System. Imho it reflects the "real" value of AS units very good.

My only comment ist on the table for movement AV. I prefer formulas over tables (in spreadsheets they are by far less complicated to implement I think). Also I'm no fan of caps so I think movement AV shouldn't be capped at 14". Faster moving units grant great tactical advantages as their movement options are far less predictable.

2*TMM seems quite easy, haven't testcalculated it yet so I can't comment by the moment.

Regarding the movement AV table I thought of Move/5 and allways rounding down. The outcome is quite similar, but it reflects even exremely fast moving units (and their tactical advantages). And... it's a formula... ;)

iamfanboy

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Re: Making Alpha Strike a point system-Alpha Value, updated 11/27/13!
« Reply #44 on: 30 November 2013, 03:33:25 »
So I've been back and forth on this for the last two days, and going back to 2*TMM only adversely affects elements that are either very slow (like foot infantry) or very fast (such as the Savannah Master).

At MOST, the Alpha Value difference seems to be just +1 point versus the "If it moves X than it costs Y", which is honestly acceptable in my mind just for simplifying the formula so very much.

2*TMM makes sense to me, because the TMM represents two values: how hard the element is to hit, and how mobile the unit is. Multiplying it by two represents both those values.

NeonKnight

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Re: Making Alpha Strike a point system-Alpha Value, updated 11/30/13!
« Reply #45 on: 05 December 2013, 18:26:51 »
You should change your formula from:

Alpha Value = Special + Offense + Defense + Movement

to

Alpha Value = Movement + Defense + Offense + Special


For no other reason simply then that is the order you then later define the Movement, Defense, Offense and Special formulas/values.
AGENT #575, Vancouver Canada

Azakael

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Re: Making Alpha Strike a point system-Alpha Value, updated 11/30/13!
« Reply #46 on: 06 December 2013, 03:13:18 »
Thinking about it today, does AV take into account unit type? For example, only 'Mechs receive partial cover. Vees have a limited mobility due to terrain effects, plus fragility of motive systems. Do Industrial Mechs pay extra for having advanced fire control or environmental sealing, or do they get a point break if they don't have one or the other?

In other words, all other things being equal, does a vehicle with an identical AS stat-line have the same AV as a battlemech? Does an industrial mech with an identical AS stat-line, but unable to enter deeper water and suffers a penalty to hit, have the same AV as a battlemech? Doesn't seem like this should be so.

Otherwise, I love this and highly endorse it.

iamfanboy

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Re: Making Alpha Strike a point system-Alpha Value, updated 11/30/13!
« Reply #47 on: 07 December 2013, 21:56:16 »
Thanks, Neonknight, I knew there was something my brain was getting backwards...

As far as vehicles go, no, a Battlemech and a vehicle with the same statline don't have the same AV because Battlemechs also pay for their melee capability - specifically, their Sz is added to the AV. Good gods, I realize that I wasn't specific enough on that in my formula. *smacks forehead*

One thing I'm thinking about changing, though, is making the TUR Special Ability AV +1. Backstabbing is so useful that being able to strike back at a backstabber, especially the light designs that specialize in it, is definitely worth something IMHO. I'll test it tomorrow.

I was actually misreading the rule on motive hits and didn't think it was THAT bad. Still, how much is a 1/3 chance of losing some movement, or possibly being immobilized, worth? I'm finding it hard to quantify in my head, so I'll do some testing - throw together a militia unit that's almost entirely vehicles. Give them a 1-point bonus per vehicle and see if one side or the other just crushes.

As far as partial cover goes, vehicles are also completely hidden by level 1, which is nice for IF. If a drawback also has a potential tactical benefit I'm reluctant to give any kind of point bonus; that's why I'm in opposition to giving hovercraft a point bonus because their terrain restrictions (no rubble/woods) also lets them skim along water.

However, Wheeled units should absolutely get a point bonus because of their terrain restrictions - especially because Wooded areas are so important in keeping TMMs high!

I really am not sure how to handle IndustrialMechs - I'm gonna be honest, I do NOT see how most of them, in terms of Alpha Strike use, are different enough from normal 'mechs to give them a point bonus.

BFC is worth AV -1, but in looking at the MUL most of the ones intended for actual combat have AFC. As far as the lack of SEAL goes, water is most useful for downing Overheat and providing partial cover, of which only the second one matters to most IMs.

For right now, I'm gonna say that the only bonus which goes towards IMs is AV -1 if they have BFC, but if someone who fields them could actually USE them on the table using this system to see if it's fair then I'd be grateful.

EDIT: Oh, and after using some units with LPRB, LECM and LTAG (specifically, the Kage BA and some other BA) I'm officially making them free. The restrictions on their range makes them... okay, but not great, and very situational.

Karasu

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Re: Making Alpha Strike a point system-Alpha Value, updated 11/30/13!
« Reply #48 on: 10 December 2013, 10:02:44 »
I was actually misreading the rule on motive hits and didn't think it was THAT bad. Still, how much is a 1/3 chance of losing some movement, or possibly being immobilized, worth? I'm finding it hard to quantify in my head, so I'll do some testing - throw together a militia unit that's almost entirely vehicles. Give them a 1-point bonus per vehicle and see if one side or the other just crushes.

At the risk of sounding condescending, 1/3 chance of losing some movement, or possibly being immobilized is worth a bit less than 2/3*TMM.  The easy way to go about it may be to say that vehicles have a Movement points of 1.5*TMM rather than 2*TMM.

iamfanboy

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Re: Making Alpha Strike a point system-Alpha Value, updated 11/30/13!
« Reply #49 on: 10 December 2013, 19:02:27 »
But swinging too far in making them cheap would be a disaster in another way -
and I'm not sure that your solution is... quite right as the unit's TMM is what protects against the hits, and if a tank moves 4" (Behemoth) it sees no benefit despite the vulnerability.

Playtesting is important, because this weekend I ran four games with an all-tank Unit (1xSchrek, 2x Myrmidon, 3x Scorpion, 1x Maxim, 1x Jump Infantry, 2x Savannah Master) and all the games were really close, but I didn't win any of them - that says to me the points value are close but just a touch high on vehicles. What really helped were the vehicle crit tables; the most likely results on a 2d6 curve (6-8) are No Critical.

The real danger here is initiative sinking; if we make vehicles too cheap, especially the ones great at backstabbiness, then we could tip game balance TOO far in their direction.

Let's do the math on the likelihood of suffering a motive hit. The first result (5-6 on d6) is easy; 33% chance. The basic chance of a motive crit afterwards is 42% (8+ on 2d6). Added together, /2, and we get a 36% chance overall on any given hit inflicting a Motive problem - at least on Tracked vehicles.

Now, Wheeled gives a +2 modifier, which changes the odds to (6+ on 2d6) so that's a 72% chance. Adding the two together we get a 52% chance overall. Hover changes it to a total 57% chance. VTOL/WiGE is 62%. The interesting part is the change to the most lethal result - full immobility. Tracked vehicles have a 16% chance; Wheeled is a 25% chance; Hovers have a 30% chance, and VTOLs are at a 36% chance.

Quantifying that is difficult, and remember that Battlemechs pay for their Sz modifier so an equivalent-weight 'Mech will be more expensive, but I think it's fair to say vehicles deserve SOME kind of discount. However, I don't want to go too big at first.

Wheeled, overall, is the worst (most terrain restricted + bad results on the immobility) so it deserves the biggest discount. Hover and VTOL are gonna hurt when they get hit, but get other mobility advantages (not just counting the sheer speed they have) so they'd get the next biggest discount. Tracked suffers the least of any vehicle, so they'd get the smallest.

So for right now, up for playtest, is the addition to the Movement formula of -(1 if t)-(2 if h)-(2 if v)-(3 if w).

Let's check the values...

That knocks the Savannah Master to 11 points. The Maxim goes to 23 points. The Scorpion, likewise, is 11 points. The Pilum Heavy is 34. I'm gonna run some other numbers up and playtest them this weekend, too - provided I get a chance.

Maingunnery

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Re: Making Alpha Strike a point system-Alpha Value, updated 11/30/13!
« Reply #50 on: 10 December 2013, 19:54:56 »

Keep up the work, its highly appreciated!
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Azakael

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Re: Making Alpha Strike a point system-Alpha Value, updated 11/30/13!
« Reply #51 on: 12 December 2013, 23:21:54 »
So, I converted all of the 'Mechs in the Alpha Strike book over to AV versus PV. I noticed that on some of the Clan Mechs, where I had primes to compare there is a slight difference. I ended up with: 42 AV on the Thor (Summoner) versus 41; 40 AV on the Loki (Hellbringer) versus 37; 49 AV on the Gladiator (Executioner) versus 53; 33 AV on the Fenris (Viper) versus 31; and 21 AV on the Dasher (Fire Moth) versus 20. Any idea where my conversion went wrong?

That said, the total AV of the pre-gens (assuming my conversion is correct) are:
House Liao: 390
House Kurita: 384
House Davion: 382
House Steiner: 382
House Marik: 402
Clan Jade Falcon: 393 (Default, no skill upgrade...)
Clan Wolf: 415 (Default, no skill upgrade...)

Starterbook Sword and Dragon:
Fox's Teeth (3054): 330 (Default, no skill upgrade.)
Sorenson's Sabres (3062): (Meh, come back to this later.)

iamfanboy

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Re: Making Alpha Strike a point system-Alpha Value, updated 11/30/13!
« Reply #52 on: 13 December 2013, 16:21:00 »
I actually think I forgot to recalculate the Clan 'mechs and/or post a corrected version, because my card for the Thor Prime (the only Prime variant I use) says 42, which is the correct value. *sigh* My bad.

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Making Alpha Strike a point system-Alpha Value, updated 11/30/13!
« Reply #53 on: 13 December 2013, 16:44:19 »
Not sure if this idea was already worked with..

But instead of reworking the points values to better reflect TMM, why not tweak the way TMM is applied?

For example, is it as big a deal when the TMM is based on the distance actually  covered rather than the potential for distance covered? (Basically how it is in TW...)

iamfanboy

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Re: Making Alpha Strike a point system-Alpha Value, updated 11/30/13!
« Reply #54 on: 13 December 2013, 17:35:33 »
Not sure if this idea was already worked with..

But instead of reworking the points values to better reflect TMM, why not tweak the way TMM is applied?

For example, is it as big a deal when the TMM is based on the distance actually  covered rather than the potential for distance covered? (Basically how it is in TW...)
Actually, yes, it has been worked with, and it really does overcomplicate the game. TW rules encourage the 'circle' tactic where fast units always move but generally do so in a circle so they get a max TMM; why not just cut out the middle step?

And this system is about more than the TMM. Thanks to losses and gains from the conversion process, some units which have the same stats have different BV2.0s, and some units that are clearly superior to others have similar point values.

For instance, the Thor. The Prime costs 23 points (according to BV) and stats out to 10"j S/M/L 4/4/4 A/S 6/4 and has FLK 1/1/1 and IF1. The D variant costs 26 and has S/M/L 5/4/3, trading FLK and IF for AMS - why does it costs 3 more points? The E-variant costs the same as the D, yet for losing the AMS it has S/M/L 6/5/3. The Thor-M costs 23 points, the same as the Prime, yet loses IF and a point of Long damage. The Thor-G costs 25 points, yet has the same damage stats as the D - and swaps AMS for SRM 2/2, which is a net benefit because of the importance of Infernos in slowing fast targets. The B costs a point less than the Prime, but swaps a point of Long damage and FLK for a whole host of special abilities.

In fact, compare the Thor-B and Thor-D. For one LESS point of Short damage it adds SNARC, LRM 2/2/2, IF2, SRM 1/1 to the Thor-D's stats... and costs four points less. That's huge, especially if it comes to upgrading the pilot.

And that's just ONE Mech and its variants.

The glaring, hideous inconsistency of using a points system which was horribly complicated and still sometimes imprecise in its own game to evaluate a unit IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT GAME is just not good game design. That dog won't hunt.

I mean, even if you took the TMM thing out of it, are 11 Savannah Masters going a fair match against a single Thor-Prime? If - IF - the Thor player wins initiative it'll kill one. But that's still 20 potential points of backstab damage aimed at the Thor from Short range, which going by the percentage of 2d6 is going to eat 12 of that damage.

BV is inadequate. A new system is necessitated, one that judges the Alpha Strike units on their stats.

The point of this thread, and playtesting the formula, is to find which stats are most important, which stats are least important, which special abilities shape the battlefield and which are incidental, and figure the proper formula to price units based on their capability. 

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Making Alpha Strike a point system-Alpha Value, updated 11/30/13!
« Reply #55 on: 14 December 2013, 07:48:57 »
BV is inadequate. A new system is necessitated, one that judges the Alpha Strike units on their stats.

I do have to admit that this is inevitably true.

iamfanboy

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Re: Making Alpha Strike a point system-Alpha Value, updated 11/30/13!
« Reply #56 on: 19 December 2013, 05:12:51 »
I finally got the actual Alpha Strike rulebook, and...

Good gawds, that "BF+QS Update" is, ah, less than perfect. I noticed two important changes: you only count the unit's highest TMM for its defensive modifier, and vehicle motive hits are a simple 2d6 roll rather than a d6 into a 2d6.

The first one will mean changes to any unit that has a split jump movement - making units like the Jenner, Shadow Hawk, and Executioner (!!) two points cheaper. I'm gonna be playing more tomorrow, so I don't have time to update the points cost, but still...

Second, the vehicle motive hits. Going on 2d6 odds, any hit on a tracked/naval vehicle has a 28% chance of impacting its movement, on a wheeled/hover has a 42% chance, and on VTOL/WiGE is a 58% chance.

Sounds like a lot, yeah?

But it's not, not really, when only one or two hits tend to be fatal anyway to the units in question. How many VTOLs have more than 2-3 points of armor?

The two reasons to discount vehicles are motive hits and terrain restrictions, both of which sound like good ideas, but the terrain restrictions tend to balance - and in some cases, like VTOLs, are there to correct their superior abilities compared to 'Mechs. Oh, the rage on my opponent's face when I kept bouncing my helis behind his 'Mechs while keeping them on elevation 1 to hide from other units...

Considering the Sz value that Battlemechs pay for, giving a discount can lead to a 2-6 point discrepancy between similarly statted and Sized units, and that's too much in my book.

So vehicles receive no discount. Maybe Wheeled will in the future, because it has the most amount of terrain restrictions plus vulnerability to motive hits, but I'm not seeing the necessity at this point.

iamfanboy

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Re: Making Alpha Strike a point system-Alpha Value, updated 11/30/13!
« Reply #57 on: 29 December 2013, 16:44:29 »
So now I'm trying to work out how to value Aerospace units with the Abstract Aerospace system, because (aside from the too-low Threshold values!) I really, REALLY like the Aerospace rules and its balance of ground support and air-to-air.

But the current Alpha Value does NOT work for aerospace combat. It values Armor, Medium Range, and TMM - and none of those things are more important in Aerospace.

For right now, the only stat that seems to be more highly important than others is Threshold - and the hidden stat of how many zones a unit can move. As far as Thrust goes, aside from the aforementioned zone movement the main importance appears to be 1/2 Thrust, as that's what you actually USE in the game to determine Engagement Control.

While Short range is more important than the other ranges because it determines Strafe and Strike damage, I don't want to make it a *2 just yet because ground attack is such high risk/high reward, what with the way that any hit forces a control check at +2, and failing said control check while in the Central Zone means your fighter becomes a very expensive lawn dart. High risk, high reward - a +2/+4 TMM is not THAT high in the grand scheme of things. (Particularly when any damage over 1 will also cross Threshold and also create a critical chance!)

So far, this is my formula:

AF/CF Alpha Value = (Thrust/2) + (Short+Medium+Long+Extreme/2+OV/2)+ Armor + (Structure/2) + (Threshold*2) + (# of the following: PNT, RCN)

With the optional riders as usual - BOMB, C3, C3i, etcetera.

Structure just seems so superfluous because that just means you suffer two criticals per hit... well, most of the time at least.

Let's look at some sample values...

F-10 Cheetah = 17 = (thrust/2) 6 + (short)2 + (medium)1 + (armor)2 + (structure/2)3 + (Threshold*2) 2 + (PNT1)1

Mechbuster = 12 = 3 + 2 +2 +1 +2

Hydaspes = 48 = 3 + 7 + 7 +6 + 2 + 2 + 14 + 3 + 4


...man, I dunno. I'm tempted to make them cheaper than that, if only because the only way AF/CFs are useful is with upgraded pilots, and we're talking in the 70-point range for a Skill 3 Hydaspes. But for now I'll leave this here.

Alexander Knight

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Here's the thing about the threshold value on ASF.  What's the "gold standard" that Trace talks about in the articles?  Being able to not get thresholded by a medium laser.  That's 0.5 AS damage.  Or put another way, the Slayer should be able to threshold ANY introtech aerospace fighter in the game with its AC/10.  That's 1 point of AS damage.  Boosting the Threshold in AS is artificially making the fighters that much tougher.

iamfanboy

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Here's the thing about the threshold value on ASF.  What's the "gold standard" that Trace talks about in the articles?  Being able to not get thresholded by a medium laser.  That's 0.5 AS damage.  Or put another way, the Slayer should be able to threshold ANY introtech aerospace fighter in the game with its AC/10.  That's 1 point of AS damage.  Boosting the Threshold in AS is artificially making the fighters that much tougher.
I had a whole long post written, but then I thought, "Hey, this isn't the place to argue about it, I've got another thread, and right now modifying Threshold is outside the remit of the Alpha Value thread so it isn't really part of my goals here."

So I quoted and responded to your post here, because it has more of my thoughts on the whole thing and I'd prefer to keep this thread tidy and related to Alpha Value.

(I mean, I really wanna argue this, but I also don't want to clutter this thread!)

And just the fact that you're INTERESTED in Alpha Value brings a smile to my face. Thank you.

iamfanboy

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Okay, this is a minor update (nothing serious) but TAG is officially stricken from the list of Specials that are worth +1 AV.

It's very situational, requires not only Homing rounds in your artillery (and forgoing the AOE that artillery provides) but a to-hit roll from the TAG-using unit. All in all, it's so rarely useful that it simply isn't worth adding to the cost of a unit.

I've ran half-a-dozen games using artillery now, and I've NEVER used a TAG Special once. It just never seemed useful or necessary.

jairb

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SITUATIONAL

OMNI and IT only matter if deploying infantry or Battle Armor of the relevant kinds. From what I've seen it's worth +1 for each platoon of infantry or Point/squad of BA that the unit is capable of transporting.


I'm trying to work out Alpha Values for a bunch of different vehicles and I'm confused by this part of your forumla.  If I look at the Heavy Hover APC (Standard) it has IT6.  That allows it to transport 2 Foot Platoons (any type) which are Car3 but only one Jump Platoon (any type) which are all Car4.  Do you intend to add +1 or +2 AV in this case?  I'm almost certain you mean for that to be +2AV.

Just for clarity the formula should probably be restated in increments of IT value.

iamfanboy

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Either that, or cut it entirely - yes, being able to carry troops is an advantage, but it's a headache to calculate since there are so many potential CAR values of infantry.

Just making it AV1 for each point of CAR is a bad idea, I think; very few units ARE CAR1.

And after this weekend, I am starting to question the speed equation again. A friend deployed a force with 5 Savannah Masters and a set of slow, bulky tanks, and really tore up his opponent. But testing is necessary!

jairb

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The highest IT value I've seen for any of the vehicles I've looked at is IT7.  Someone who knows vehicles better than I could perhaps identify some with higher values.

Assuming IT7 as a high water mark, that means that units that can carry troops can carry one or two platoons.  My hunch is AV 1 is sufficient for either case.

Should CT or CK be valued at all?  My intuition tells me no because it doesn't contribute to combat capability.

M4cr0Dutch

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Thanks for the hard work. This is gold  O:-)


"If you see a Falcon not in a Summoner, Hellbringer or Kit Fox, double your caution."

iamfanboy

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The highest IT value I've seen for any of the vehicles I've looked at is IT7.  Someone who knows vehicles better than I could perhaps identify some with higher values.

Assuming IT7 as a high water mark, that means that units that can carry troops can carry one or two platoons.  My hunch is AV 1 is sufficient for either case.

Should CT or CK be valued at all?  My intuition tells me no because it doesn't contribute to combat capability.
Okay, I've changed it to just a level +1 AV if the unit can transport other units AND a valid second unit is in the OpFor. That covers OMNI, IT, and 'most anything else I can think of short of super-sized vehicles.

jairb

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Okay, I've changed it to just a level +1 AV if the unit can transport other units AND a valid second unit is in the OpFor. That covers OMNI, IT, and 'most anything else I can think of short of super-sized vehicles.

Personally, I would opt for simplicity and make it +1 AV whether a valid second unit is in the Force or not.  If you have too many dependencies in the formula it violates your rule of complexity.  :)  It's only 1 point after all.

I would actually suggest the same be applied to RCN, PRB, ECM, etc.  Just add the point whether those rules are in effect or not.  The only thing I think should be calculated after Lance construction is C3 structure since it gets more powerful the more units are involved.

My $.02 anyway.

I really like how this is shaping up.  Thanks again for all the playtesting backin this.

Alexander Knight

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The highest IT value I've seen for any of the vehicles I've looked at is IT7.  Someone who knows vehicles better than I could perhaps identify some with higher values.

http://masterunitlist.info/Unit/Details/2129/maxim-mk-ii-transport-standard

IT16


NeonKnight

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Ima pretty sure that be a typo, I think it should be only 6, but still....IT 16! :D
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Alexander Knight

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Ima pretty sure that be a typo, I think it should be only 6, but still....IT 16! :D

I'm quite sure the Maxim Mk. II has 16 tons devoted to infantry transport, sir.

iamfanboy

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okay, so I've officially changed the Special part of the formula to:

Quote
Special = (1*# of AECM, AMS, AM, ARM, BH, CNARC, ECM, INARC, MEL, MAS, OMNI, OVL, PRB, RCN, SNARC, TSM, TUR) + IF Value + HT Value + (2* ARTL damage) + (2 if STL) + (1 if IT)

Situational Special

+1 AV for each unit linked into a unit's C3M computer, including itself.

+1 AV to the OpFor total for each unit linked into a C3i network.

+2 AV for each unit linked into a unit's C3MBS computer.

+2 AV to the OpFor total for each unit linked into a C3iBS network.

+1 AV if carrying any alternate munitions.

+1 AV per BOMB point if using BOMB

I mean, I've been doing it that way myself anyway for a long time, and it only makes sense to include the cost for everything but BOMB, special ammo types, and C3.

I also went with simplifying alternate munitions after reviewing and testing a little with them, since they do have a fair amount of internal balance.

Frantic Pryde

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This is great stuff! Keep up the good work!

iamfanboy

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Thanks, Pryde! I've never let this drift far from my mind, I've just been trying to figure out two things: Whether to change the formula to Long/2 (since Long range damage rarely affects game outcomes), and how to calculate Protomech AV.

If I do them as individuals, the AV comes out super-high for a single Point. For example, one Siren has an AV of 16, which is reasonable for a light unit of its type and damage potential. However, that makes just one Point come to 78 AV; considering that a Company-sized game rounds off at around 300 AV, and that you are supposed to move the entire Point at once (giving them a disadvantage in initiative) that just seems high. Not TOO high, mind, but high.

Just basing the AV on the card itself still comes out FAR too low, as well. 22 points for five M16" SML 1/1/0 AS 1/1 SRM 1/1 units? Es no bueno.

Well, I'm going with the former option. Even if it's high, the initiative rules about counting units do balance out the disadvantage of moving 'five' units at once.

 

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