Author Topic: Alpha Strike Companion Open Beta Test: Point Value System  (Read 12459 times)

DarkJaguar

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Re: Alpha Strike Companion Open Beta Test: Point Value System
« Reply #60 on: 29 April 2014, 17:38:47 »
To streamline pre-game play, however, if we're advocating a switch to using these numbers it'd be best to round them to the nearest imho, like so:

SkillPV modifier
01.5
11.4
21.3
31.2
41
5.9
6.8
7.7
8.6

Remember, what Alpha Strike is trying to achieve is NOT perfect mathematic accuracy of all odds involved in the game's play, but an easy-to-use and enjoyable simplification of Battletech's rules using Battleforce as a starting point. Taking the fractional accounting too far kinda ruins that.

Besides, what difference does .03 in the cost of a 40 point unit make?

Agreed, though I included the 100th place for completeness (also, the 100th place was included in the original calcs provided in the book.)

Finally, the difference between 1.17 and 1.2 on a 40 point unit is the difference between 47 and 48pv
« Last Edit: 29 April 2014, 17:41:42 by DarkJaguar »

iamfanboy

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Re: Alpha Strike Companion Open Beta Test: Point Value System
« Reply #61 on: 29 April 2014, 18:31:29 »
And 23 and 24 points on a 20 point unit, making lighter units cheaper - but game design is all about tradeoff, and I'd be happy to trade off a point or two of value off as a way to simplify the mechanics that have to be used every day.

After all, there's a LOT of difference in quickly figuring up the difference between a 1.2 and a 1.17 multiplier - with 1.2 you can quickly just say, "Okay, one tenth of 20 points is 2, so two-tenths of it is 4... that's 24" versus having to bust out a calculator.

And frankly, I'd be happy if they got rid of the 100ths place in the calculation. Hell, I'd be happy if they got rid of the TENTHS place, but it's not my druthers to do so. :D One of the reasons I do like my system is that it's so damnably easy to calculate, not to mention that when I changed over I found a total of 20 (out of some 150 units) that had different points value, and that most of those were only 1-2 points different.


Okay, going on to my thoughts on fast units. I've been playing them a LOT lately using the new PV system, and not pikers either - 2 Fire Moths, Shadowcat, Incubus, Viper, Jenner IIC, Clint IIC, and an occasional swarm of Kungsarme Savannah Masters - and the new PV system is NOT balanced in their favor. It isn't balanced against them either; I always hesitate to say "It seems to be perfect" but with prospective new rules about needing to choose to jump, standing still to get a -2 TN, and the fact that they don't cost RIDICULOUSLY low any more (2 PV for a Savannah Master?), they seem to be perfect. While you could base an entire risky strategy around them, the cost seems well-balanced for having fast units as a component of your opfor to flank/backstab, threaten sudden movements, and change the shape of the battlefield without dominating it.

Adrian Gideon

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Re: Alpha Strike Companion Open Beta Test: Point Value System
« Reply #62 on: 29 April 2014, 19:30:56 »
I always hesitate to say "It seems to be perfect"
I like the sound of that regardless :D
FYI we are still reading the new posts in this threads, weighing and testing. But I'll be locking this thread in perhaps 2 days as we're nearing the end of this cycle.

Much appreciated folks!
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Xotl

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Re: Alpha Strike Companion Open Beta Test: Point Value System
« Reply #63 on: 29 April 2014, 19:41:33 »
I'm recalculating point values for some heavy Aerospace assets for a campaign and had some questions regarding special abilities. Currently, it appears that only PNT (Point Defense) is mentioned in the BattleShop PDF, but the units I'm working with have fighter and small-craft bays, marines, et cetera. How should points for those be calculated?

EDIT: Also, should Extreme range values be incorporated into the Offensive Value calculation? I only recall seeing S/M/L in the PDF.

None of that is worth anything in the current system, which is very much concerned only with direct combat capabilities.  If you're carrying fighters, for instance, you pay for them, not the ability to carry them.  Same with APCs and infantry.
« Last Edit: 29 April 2014, 19:43:16 by Xotl »
3028-3050 Random Assignment Tables -
Also contains faction deployment & rarity info and Quirk lists.

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=1219.0

DarkJaguar

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Re: Alpha Strike Companion Open Beta Test: Point Value System
« Reply #64 on: 29 April 2014, 23:27:19 »
iamfanboy,

I would disagree with you about the movement modifier point value being balanced.  I plan on playtesting the multiplier for movement mods as well as the modifier for pilot skill.  My results with the current beta though thus far is that a +4 or +5 modifier can make stuff pretty ridiculous to hit still even with the -2 for standing still, and it's still cheap as hell, even under the new beta values.

Please try out the replacement Defensive Interaction Rating "step D" that I outlined in a previous post, and let me know how it works on your end!

iamfanboy

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Re: Alpha Strike Companion Open Beta Test: Point Value System
« Reply #65 on: 30 April 2014, 01:08:30 »
iamfanboy,

I would disagree with you about the movement modifier point value being balanced.  I plan on playtesting the multiplier for movement mods as well as the modifier for pilot skill.  My results with the current beta though thus far is that a +4 or +5 modifier can make stuff pretty ridiculous to hit still even with the -2 for standing still, and it's still cheap as hell, even under the new beta values.

Please try out the replacement Defensive Interaction Rating "step D" that I outlined in a previous post, and let me know how it works on your end!
I really hate to be dismissive, but I think you're thinking about this like a Battletech player, where lights had literally no ability to stand up to anything heavier than themselves and had no real 'on-table' role when taken as part of a BV-balanced force. That was a problem with Battletech itself, NOT with the idea of light units: the rules themselves simply don't favor units which can't take at least 10 points of damage in a single location, and the typical size of a Battletech game (4-6 mapsheets) just didn't allow the strength of lights to reveal themselves in a game of maneuver.

I want to make this clear, though: The main reason I'm being dismissive is that I spent some 6 months with a group of cutthroat players trying as hard as I could to break my own points system and found that speed HELPS, but doesn't WIN the game. It's an issue that I had myself so I examined, dissected, and tested the hell out of it in many different permutations with the help of some real bastards. The results were conclusive: if you pay too much for speed, it does nothing to help game balance. Speed is not armor, ARMOR is armor.

Think about the roles that a light unit is supposed to play. On the tabletop, they SHOULD are skirmishers, screeners, and flankers - while they may not be able to fight a heavier unit head-on, if that heavier unit doesn't have screeners of their own then they should be punished for it by being pounded from out of range or by simply being outmaneuvered.

At first, the tactic you're describing does seem to work out fine - the ability to peck at heavier 'Mechs from 30"+ away and never get hit by anything in return is impressive, for a given value of 'impressive' (I don't call taking 3-4 turns getting through an Atlas's armor for a single structure hit impressive). However, what's less impressive is when scout hunters or even other scouts close the distance, when artillery gets to within 31", or even a cluster bomb dropped from a quick overhead pass takes care of the issue.

If my opponent were foolish enough to take NOTHING but slow line 'Mechs, then there's a problem (on his end, not mine). But the use of even a bit of combined arms and there's no issue whatsoever.


I think part of the problem is that you aren't thinking in terms of a battlefield, but of raw numbers. If a Skill 3 Atlas sat in woods and fired at a group of Fire Moth-Cs at long range in woods then yes, eventually the Atlas would come off worse unless it got really lucky. But why is it just sitting there?

DarkJaguar

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Re: Alpha Strike Companion Open Beta Test: Point Value System
« Reply #66 on: 01 May 2014, 09:20:27 »
I really hate to be dismissive, but I think you're thinking about this like a Battletech player, where lights had literally no ability to stand up to anything heavier than themselves and had no real 'on-table' role when taken as part of a BV-balanced force. That was a problem with Battletech itself, NOT with the idea of light units: the rules themselves simply don't favor units which can't take at least 10 points of damage in a single location, and the typical size of a Battletech game (4-6 mapsheets) just didn't allow the strength of lights to reveal themselves in a game of maneuver.

If you hate to be dismissive, then don't be.  This game is still battletech, and there is no reason a unit that costs less than a third of another should be able to kill or nearly kill another unit by itself.  The current point value of light mechs completely negates assaults and many heavies.

I want to make this clear, though: The main reason I'm being dismissive is that I spent some 6 months with a group of cutthroat players trying as hard as I could to break my own points system and found that speed HELPS, but doesn't WIN the game. It's an issue that I had myself so I examined, dissected, and tested the hell out of it in many different permutations with the help of some real bastards. The results were conclusive: if you pay too much for speed, it does nothing to help game balance. Speed is not armor, ARMOR is armor.

Armor is armor, and speed is an armor multiplier.  It is not currently treated as such by the points calculator.  If a unit is hit 40% less than the baseline then it's armor is worth 40% more per point than baseline.

Think about the roles that a light unit is supposed to play. On the tabletop, they SHOULD are skirmishers, screeners, and flankers - while they may not be able to fight a heavier unit head-on, if that heavier unit doesn't have screeners of their own then they should be punished for it by being pounded from out of range or by simply being outmaneuvered.

Light units absolutely can fight a heavier unit head on.  Especially in the higher tiers of movement mod.  With 26" of movement, you can literally keep yourself at long range until you win initiative and then close to short range BEHIND your target.  The current inexpensiveness of lights means that there's no down side to taking them.  The most game breaking army you could make would consist entirely of +4 and +5 to-hit mod units even if you were under points of your opponent.

Don't even try and tell me "well you can stand still and take a -2, or you could use arty, or you could use precision ammo."  1)  Standing still means that you're an easier target as well, which if you're being swarmed, you're probably going to die.  2)  Arty may not care about movement modifiers, but you still need to hit the spot you shot at, and any sort of arty that can be mounted on a mech and hit the same turn it's fired has a 2" diameter blast radius.  That means that if you miss by even the minimum value, your shot will still scatter beyond damaging the "target" mech.  3)  Precision ammo is not available to clan players at all.


At first, the tactic you're describing does seem to work out fine - the ability to peck at heavier 'Mechs from 30"+ away and never get hit by anything in return is impressive, for a given value of 'impressive' (I don't call taking 3-4 turns getting through an Atlas's armor for a single structure hit impressive). However, what's less impressive is when scout hunters or even other scouts close the distance, when artillery gets to within 31", or even a cluster bomb dropped from a quick overhead pass takes care of the issue.

It's not 'when' arty gets within 31", it's if.  Then you go on to say that I need to field assets other than mechs to counter light mechs?  Why would I ever bring a heavy or assault if the only viable counter to light mechs is aerospace assets?

If my opponent were foolish enough to take NOTHING but slow line 'Mechs, then there's a problem (on his end, not mine). But the use of even a bit of combined arms and there's no issue whatsoever.

So if I were to take a star of 3 lights and 2 mediums, and a star of 1 medium, 3 heavies, and 1 assault against a company of 5 lights, 2 mediums, 3 heavies, and 2 assaults that's foolish?  Or is the foolish part taking clan units whose light mechs are generally slower than their inner sphere counterparts?  Speed is too cheap, it allows for viable min-maxing right now.

I think part of the problem is that you aren't thinking in terms of a battlefield, but of raw numbers. If a Skill 3 Atlas sat in woods and fired at a group of Fire Moth-Cs at long range in woods then yes, eventually the Atlas would come off worse unless it got really lucky. But why is it just sitting there?

I'm thinking in terms of having played out this scenario changing one variable at a time in a controlled manner.  High to-hit modifiers are waaaaay under valued.  Also, the Atlas is probably sitting in the woods because if it closes with the Fire Moth C's, it's going to be flanked and torn apart, while being in the woods at least gives it some cover bonus as it stands still to have a prayer at hitting the little buggers (which, hilariously enough, is exactly what people who favor the light armies keep telling heavy players to do as the counter).

Sereglach

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Re: Alpha Strike Companion Open Beta Test: Point Value System
« Reply #67 on: 01 May 2014, 23:05:31 »
@iamfanboy:  Thank you.  I very much agree with the statements made.  Even a single screening unit (which could be anything from a point of elementals to an assault mech taking up the rear of the formation) forces lighter units to think twice about pushing a flank, because they will probably not come out unscathed.  Once a screener gets in short range, those light mechs are quite possibly toast, because they have little in the way of real defenses to survive a hit.  Initiative has little to do with it if you're moving your units tactically to force your opponents hand, especially if he has more units on the field than you.

@DarkJaguar:  I don't think anyone here is against (from the debating I've seen) modestly increasing the impact of to-hit modifiers on the field.  However, making a light mech worth the same value of an assault or a heavy mech (or nearly the same value) by adding MM*2 to the raw PV of a unit seems overkill, and makes lights useless to bring to the battlefield.

On the other hand, your scaling factor was somewhat better, but I don't think the multipliers should be that high if you're only willing to concede a *1.2 multiplier for going from skill 4 to skill 3, which is the same as going from a MM of +2 to +3 (based on the calculations done) and then have a multiplier of 1.6 adjustment in movement for a +3MM.

Also, if two forces are just staring at each other, at long range, and trying to roll their 9's to 12's, and not have any of their other forces on the field maneuver into tactical positions to engage the enemy up close, then I ask, what game are you playing?  Most every game I've played of AS has gotten pretty up close and brutal, with the occasional outlier that needs to be hunted down and eradicated.  But they have little room or ability to stand at long range and continue to endlessly harass with all the other units herding and closing on them.

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The PV's, as they stand, are pretty well balanced.  There is some room for tweaking (which I think this thread highlights rather well), and it seems as though the administrators here are taking it into sincere consideration.  I look forward to seeing the next iteration of the PV system.  As it stands, I agree that the balance is reaching the point of being near perfect.

Although, on a side note, I must admit that after testing C3's, the PV cost for the unit seems rather high.  Maybe consider +'s to the PV only if they're networked (example, +3PV per master on a network, and +1 per slave on the network, then +2 for C3i's networked together?).
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iamfanboy

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Re: Alpha Strike Companion Open Beta Test: Point Value System
« Reply #68 on: 02 May 2014, 03:55:18 »
@DarkJaguar: Before you think about raising the points cost, instead turn the table around, literally. It's what I always do: shuffle around control of a force when I'm not sure if it's overpriced or if I start thinking I should cry, "Cheese!" Take command of a light, fast, maneuverable force and hand control of whatever type of unit you usually run to someone else. You'll quickly see that even if you are fast, the fact that one of your units disappears the moment it's hit, combined with the lesser firepower of your average light, balances that speed out nicely.

(as a side note, this philosophy is why I think the Naga is DRASTICALLY underpriced - or that the rule allowing ART units to make regular and ART attacks in the same turn needs to be banished to the land of wind and ghosts. I've lost track of the number of times the Naga has kicked to death fast units sent to 'deal' with it while raining 6 points of ART damage from 30" away. Seriously, if you're a Clanner and want to drive an opponent nuts, then get a Naga.)


My considered opinion on C3 networks is that linking it to MHQ makes them overpriced - unless you're using the Battlefield Intelligence rule, in which case it's a brutal advantage and one that actually does cost fairly (and might even be undercosted, I'll have to test out more with Battlefield Intelligence).

For example, a 400-point WoB force I put together using a C3i network has a total BI of 20 (6 C3i units + 2 RCN units + 4 AF units), whereas my Clan Ghost Bear unit (for example) has a BI of 8. That's a 5:2 ratio, and it's kinda hard to lose initiative with a +5 modifier, having 4 plotted points for artillery, and other goodies.

As it stands now, you just flat pay for MHQ, which only comes into play on one Advanced Option. It's a fair price if you're USING Battlefield Intelligence, but if you're not it's overpriced - I'm not sure how to resolve that, or even to word it properly in the rules. Maybe add MHQ/2 to the total force value? Then again, almost all the "Apply Force Modifiers" section only comes into play when using Advanced Options; C3 is the only one that does!