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Author Topic: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?  (Read 6555 times)

Luciora

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #60 on: 26 June 2022, 11:12:28 »
Renegade Legion: Leviathan had some pretty decent construction rules, pretty easy to figure out and fairly simple and straightforward in combat.  (Still took time to resolve though)

Too many people, including designers get fixated on thinking that if its a ship, it should be designed like a surface vessel and not a submarine, which is what Battlespace / Aerotech is more like. 

The main issue is, we have no real world examples of actual space warfare craft to start from, and rule of cool usually trumps actual needs, which, again, we have no actual examples to base off of.  And the ones that come close (Space Shuttles, Almaz program) , still need atmospheric ability, or operate primarily on a plain:ie orbit, meaning its still designed for a 2D environment, and not actual 3d.

That also means we end up with bland looking cylindrical towers, instead of the ones we all associate with other sci-fi show we want to mimic in the Battletech universe.  Not having anti-grav means alot for aesthetics, for arguments sake

RifleMech

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #61 on: 26 June 2022, 18:40:32 »
I don't think space ships in battletech need to be cylindrical towers. Towers, yes, but not cylindrical.  At least not for the outer hulls. They could be like WWII submarines with a non-cylindrical outer hull and a cylindrical inner one. Or they could be like the Earth Force and Narn ships from Babylon 5. They weren't cylindrical and only had gravity through thrust or rotating sections.

Hellraiser

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #62 on: 12 July 2022, 12:20:32 »
I've been working with the idea that the core is what drives the length of the ship, on the theory that the KF field can only effectively extend so far from the core itself.

This is what I always assumed, I think the blue prints from Living Legends support this with the bulk of the decks having a big hole in the middle for the length of the core.
Its not the entire length IIRC, but for sure a its the middle third or more of the decks.
I think engines at one end & quarters at the other take up some space w/o the core in there.
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Daryk

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #63 on: 12 July 2022, 12:26:50 »
I'm still working on deck plans, but I put the core through almost the entire length of the ship (the engine room being the only exception).

Cannonshop

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #64 on: 12 July 2022, 16:22:22 »
I'm still working on deck plans, but I put the core through almost the entire length of the ship (the engine room being the only exception).

Oi, if you wrap the engines around the core? you can extend it all the way to the tip.  (also, if you set the engines on nacelles and extend them out, you get more moment-arm/leverage to turn with.  Just sayin'.)

One of the funnier things is, that a spacecraft of that scale (capital ship sized) probably doesn't HAVE an engine room.  It may have multiple powerplants arranged throughout for redundancy, and remember there's no 'air' in space, and no 'up or down' either.  This means, in turn, that you don't need to be aerodynamic and you probably shouldn't be asymmetrical (because an asymmetrical layout is going to telegraph where your weapons are to an opponent, and it's easier to build a symmetrical layout in null-gee from mass produced parts!)

Ships on planets have engine rooms, because it's easier to contain and maintain, (and seawater is corrosive).  In space, it's actually (for a combat vessel) more beneficial to have multiple redundant systems in a distributed array (you don't have a constant gravity field slowing you down) both for reliability (you can take some off-line and still be okay, you can lose some to enemy fire and still function, and so on) and to simplify your production (you can use many small factories to produce your propulsion, instead of needing a single large facility. this means you can exploit economies of scale to an extent.)

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Daryk

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #65 on: 12 July 2022, 16:28:41 »
Oh, I definitely distributed auxiliary power units throughout the ship, but the biggest parts that throw plasma out the back are at the "bottom" of the ship.  I've only done part of a Scout JumpShip so far (it was one of the files I lost years ago on the train).

Tyler Jorgensson

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #66 on: 19 July 2022, 11:54:29 »
An issue I have is that weapon arcs are limited by the eight arcs but no definition is made for if they are top mounted, side mounted, or bottom mounted. It would be interesting (yet a little more record-keeping and rules maintenance) to see designs made with interesting weapon arcs. Turrets would need to be made a thing with firing arcs.

The only reason I mention this is the fact that their is no 'gravity' base for Warship combat meaning that all battles are fought in 3D but theirs no real 'level field'. Ender's Game gives a good example of this, but another is the Admiral in VSD's fleet at New Avalon describing his tactics to VSD.

Plus it would make Ortillery more noticeable seeing ventral guns, like the Star Dreadnought in Star Wars Episode VIII.

monbvol

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #67 on: 19 July 2022, 12:37:22 »
An issue I have is that weapon arcs are limited by the eight arcs but no definition is made for if they are top mounted, side mounted, or bottom mounted. It would be interesting (yet a little more record-keeping and rules maintenance) to see designs made with interesting weapon arcs. Turrets would need to be made a thing with firing arcs.

The only reason I mention this is the fact that their is no 'gravity' base for Warship combat meaning that all battles are fought in 3D but theirs no real 'level field'. Ender's Game gives a good example of this, but another is the Admiral in VSD's fleet at New Avalon describing his tactics to VSD.

Plus it would make Ortillery more noticeable seeing ventral guns, like the Star Dreadnought in Star Wars Episode VIII.

Yeah one of my mad dreams is to someday see if I can make myself sit down and use a certain other FASA era space game to spruce up how weapon arcs work in Battletech.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #68 on: 19 July 2022, 13:35:13 »
An issue I have is that weapon arcs are limited by the eight arcs but no definition is made for if they are top mounted, side mounted, or bottom mounted. It would be interesting (yet a little more record-keeping and rules maintenance) to see designs made with interesting weapon arcs. Turrets would need to be made a thing with firing arcs.

The only reason I mention this is the fact that their is no 'gravity' base for Warship combat meaning that all battles are fought in 3D but theirs no real 'level field'. Ender's Game gives a good example of this, but another is the Admiral in VSD's fleet at New Avalon describing his tactics to VSD.

Plus it would make Ortillery more noticeable seeing ventral guns, like the Star Dreadnought in Star Wars Episode VIII.

I wrote a whole section about that in my Second Star League fleet design. The mass of most capital weapons precludes their use on turrets. Standard weapons I expect would be in turrets as those are basically for protection from enemy aerospace or missiles. The more optimal position (in my opinion) for the big guns are within casemates that have a decent amount of skew and elevation which are behind shutters or some other protection when not firing. Basically that Warships should rotate slightly to bring their weapons into position for an attack and if you need to complete a spin the opposite side is already in position so you have minimal gap time.

Ortillery is ideally side mounted (facing is relative after all) and the rules reflect that. Putting it on the rear leaves your engines vulnerable to StS fire and you don't want you nose pointed to the planet in case you need to evac.

idea weenie

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #69 on: 20 July 2022, 00:14:00 »
An issue I have is that weapon arcs are limited by the eight arcs but no definition is made for if they are top mounted, side mounted, or bottom mounted. It would be interesting (yet a little more record-keeping and rules maintenance) to see designs made with interesting weapon arcs. Turrets would need to be made a thing with firing arcs.

The only reason I mention this is the fact that their is no 'gravity' base for Warship combat meaning that all battles are fought in 3D but theirs no real 'level field'. Ender's Game gives a good example of this, but another is the Admiral in VSD's fleet at New Avalon describing his tactics to VSD.

Plus it would make Ortillery more noticeable seeing ventral guns, like the Star Dreadnought in Star Wars Episode VIII.

One detail is that turrets would be unable to lower barrels far enough, meaning a dorsal-mounted turret might have a 50-50 chance of being able to see a target in the port arc.

If you try to make the ship symmetrical so there is a dorsal and ventral turret (so one of the two can see the target no matter what), rolling the ship as appropriate, then you are effectively duplicating the current Port/Starboard setup.

For the Ortillery, we have range limitations due to firing through atmosphere, so the ship still has to come low in order to damage targets on the planet's surface.  As a result, the best location for your ortillery weapons might be in the Aft arc of the ship, so the ship can 'hover' over a point using its main engine.

If you want to try out a 3D tabletop game of space combat, try Attack Vector: Tactical.  It has a method to model 3D movement and aiming, using plastic pieces to represent altitude above/below the map, along with a range-angle lookup chart to tell which arc the opponent is in and their actual range (hypotenuse).  It also models onboard energy storage, heat storage/dissipation, and a few other details using semi-hard science.  (Good example - if you run your reactor to fire your lasers as often as possible, you will overheat unless you extend your radiators.  But those radiators are very fragile and can be shot off easily, meaning extending radiators has become a universal signal for 'I surrender').

Oriffel

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #70 on: 23 July 2022, 15:39:27 »
More warhips! Both in cannon (even if they don't play a major role to leave gameplay "pure", but the Taurians or Star League not rebuilding their navy is just nonsensical), and more models!


Cannonshop

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #71 on: 24 July 2022, 11:06:22 »
More warhips! Both in cannon (even if they don't play a major role to leave gameplay "pure", but the Taurians or Star League not rebuilding their navy is just nonsensical), and more models!

The Minis didn't sell well historically.  In fact, FASA created "Battlespace", a version of the game we all know and love, but scaled for Warship combat, and it also didn't sell.  (I got my copy in the discount bin, and got most of my warship minis as partial reward for helping someone move.)

The major problem here, is that it's HARD to sell Warships to this audience, especially in a market largely dominated by that Star Wars Clikky game.

Putting the team from Leviathans on it hasn't really helped the marketing problem either.  Nor would making it as complex as Saganami Island Tactical simulator (which also failed in this market.)

We're all going to feel REAL stupid if and when someone figures out how to sell it.
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Daryk

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #72 on: 24 July 2022, 11:19:22 »
Unless, of course, it's one of us...  8)

Maingunnery

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #73 on: 24 July 2022, 13:10:42 »
The Minis didn't sell well historically.  In fact, FASA created "Battlespace", a version of the game we all know and love, but scaled for Warship combat, and it also didn't sell.  (I got my copy in the discount bin, and got most of my warship minis as partial reward for helping someone move.)

The major problem here, is that it's HARD to sell Warships to this audience, especially in a market largely dominated by that Star Wars Clikky game.

Putting the team from Leviathans on it hasn't really helped the marketing problem either.  Nor would making it as complex as Saganami Island Tactical simulator (which also failed in this market.)

We're all going to feel REAL stupid if and when someone figures out how to sell it.
I have used the Warships miniatures on maps and frankly they are much too large, it is simply not practical.
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idea weenie

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #74 on: 24 July 2022, 13:58:02 »
The major problem here, is that it's HARD to sell Warships to this audience, especially in a market largely dominated by that Star Wars Clikky game.

Putting the team from Leviathans on it hasn't really helped the marketing problem either.  Nor would making it as complex as Saganami Island Tactical simulator (which also failed in this market.)

SITS (and AV:T) had its complexity from being able to handle 3D movement and targeting arcs on a 3D sphere.  If we just keep the existing vector movement and use the L/R arcs (rolling ship as appropriate), that would be fairly easy to do.

Warships have the issue that almost half their mass is taken up by the KF core, so Dropships and ASF are better on a per-ton basis, and it is only rules that say a Dropship cannot carry capital weapons.  You also have people wanting to build Warships either at the 50 kton increments to handle Dropships, just below the various steps in the fuel usage charts to exploit that for fuel economy, or just below the break points for the armor pts/ton.


You also have silly math in the Jumpship and Warship Cost formulas, specifically in the K-F Drive Support Systems (see Strategic Operations, page 146)

Daryk

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #75 on: 24 July 2022, 14:33:19 »
DropShips can carry the most important capital weapons: nukes.

kindalas

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #76 on: 24 July 2022, 21:42:56 »
DropShips can carry the most important capital weapons: nukes.

So can ASF when I think about it.

Cannonshop

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #77 on: 24 July 2022, 22:14:56 »
It's funny in a way.  The Bay system fits with the design concepts for the age of sail, the actual TACTICS built into the rules (baked in even) on the other hand, are far more like world war 2's pacific actions.  Carrier-based forces have a distinct game-table advantage over age-of-sail tactics.

but actual, dedicated carriers are so few as to be 'the freaks' in canon design terms, relegated to being hauled around as cargo by vulnerable jumpships that can't either defend themselves, or get out of the way.

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Hellraiser

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #78 on: 27 July 2022, 01:25:46 »
Turrets would need to be made a thing with firing arcs
Most Dropships show you turrets.
I would imagine if the Warships had better art you would see the same thing.
But using the DS as an example, the turrets are not as large as the ship, this isn't a tank turret that is 30% the size of the vehicle.
Naval Turrets are not as massive as WW2 Battleship Turrets it seems.

One look at the Foreside/Aftside bays should tell us just how wide an arc they have & your not getting that kind of coverage from a fixed mount weapon system.
For sure simplicity of game, I'm glad we don't also have top/bottom/3D arcs too.
A game doesn't need that, IMHO.
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DevianID

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #79 on: 27 July 2022, 01:47:37 »
If I were to play battlespace again, it would be based off the alpha strike concept, which brings armor and weapons down to 'mech' levels.  I would also cut velocity out entirely, its not needed (the current rules are NOT physics accurate as is, but regardless the ability to accumulate velocity is a bad game mechanic on top of not being accurate to physics as modeled in game).  Velocity bloats the game board due to even slow 3/5 tugs moving 15 hexes on turn 3--its bad fitting velocity movement on any sort of play space I have access to.  Every time I have played, its basically an excuse to why the forces dont just quickly fly away from each other, unless you have a gym floor to play on.  (I have heard of ww2 games played on gym floors that was quite a spectacle, but that is not practical for a battlespace revamp.)

RifleMech

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #80 on: 27 July 2022, 04:18:32 »
I can see top and bottom arcs. If submarines and VTOLs can move on 3 axis so should space ships.

I would make velocity an advanced game mechanic for use in space but not in an atmosphere. In space, it's just complicates things but I'd keep it for those who want it include it. I'd get rid of Velocity in atmosphere as just feels wrong. It allows you to reduce thrust but keep going fast. Only if you reduce thrust in an atmosphere you slow down. Slow down too much and you lose lift. Lose lift and you go down. That's opposite of how Velocity works, so velocity goes.

I would introduce gliding as a game mechanic for atmosphere. You can coast without crashing in an atmosphere. You'll be descending but not crashing.

monbvol

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #81 on: 27 July 2022, 10:02:21 »
If I were to play battlespace again, it would be based off the alpha strike concept, which brings armor and weapons down to 'mech' levels.  I would also cut velocity out entirely, its not needed (the current rules are NOT physics accurate as is, but regardless the ability to accumulate velocity is a bad game mechanic on top of not being accurate to physics as modeled in game).  Velocity bloats the game board due to even slow 3/5 tugs moving 15 hexes on turn 3--its bad fitting velocity movement on any sort of play space I have access to.  Every time I have played, its basically an excuse to why the forces dont just quickly fly away from each other, unless you have a gym floor to play on.  (I have heard of ww2 games played on gym floors that was quite a spectacle, but that is not practical for a battlespace revamp.)

If one is using the vectored thrust rules then those are actually quite physics compliant.

But overall the point does stand, compounding velocity does quickly make any reasonable play area far too small.

Trouble is I don't know how to fix it and have it still feel like it is space combat.

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #82 on: 27 July 2022, 14:33:22 »
I was hoping the Abstract Combat System using the Alpha Strike warship cards would have helped with problems of too much paper work.  Heck, the Radar Map with AeroSpace Fighters I've played in some games made things easier to deal with.  I guess there were issues I guess that made them not that usable.   xp
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Daryk

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #83 on: 27 July 2022, 17:54:57 »
If one is using the vectored thrust rules then those are actually quite physics compliant.

But overall the point does stand, compounding velocity does quickly make any reasonable play area far too small.

Trouble is I don't know how to fix it and have it still feel like it is space combat.
Uh... rolling map boards?  That would do it for me...

DevianID

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #84 on: 27 July 2022, 23:46:21 »
Quote
Uh... rolling map boards?  That would do it for me...
See, ive tried it, but then one unit goes 1 way and 1 unit goes another, and with compounding velocity you have to agree to all go in the same way (which again, makes no sense) if rolling map sheets is to work.  A fleet can instantly break up into 30 units each breaking a different direction if you really wanted to exflitrate or bypass a blockade or whatever, and its technically impossible to catch them with how ridiculous the fuel endurance is in any game played on a map.  So then with velocity, usually everyone kinda has a gentlemans agreement to not go TOO fast to have a scrum in the center.  Thus, just get rid of velocity, and make a 7/11 move 7/11, and a 3/5 move 3/5. 

Rolling mapsheets is a concept to 'reset' the frame of reference with the new velocity onto new sheets... so just eliminate velocity and eliminate the issue.  Its the same thing if you constantly redefine your reference frame.

Quote
If one is using the vectored thrust rules then those are actually quite physics compliant.
My nitpicks are legion.  It seems compliant at a shallow glance, but acceleration spent doesnt match the correct distance the turn of, and acceleration spent turning isnt even close to accurate in 1 minute, even on a stupidly overblown leviathan whose dimensions are simply wrong.  In alphastrike you can spin like a top, because outside of 10 second turns like in battletech turning is a trivial portion of your move over 30 sec to 1 minute.  A 30m long small craft, using .5g or 1 thrust, can turn 60 degrees in 3.5 seconds and then arrest all vector movement.  So 1 thrust can turn that ship 17 hexes, each time starting a turn then fully stopping it.  If you allow for faster turns, you can literally kill your whole crew by spinning with just 1 thrust without arresting your spin.  So the vectored thrust rules seem well intentioned, but they never actually did the maths.  However, none of that matters as you still have 3 thrust spent moving you 3 hexes, instead of 1.5.  So no part of the vectored thrust rules actually work, as space is too big and 1 minute is too long with these ripping fusion rockets we have.  Anyway, sorry about the rant.  Point is, you shouldnt pay to turn in space on 1 minute turns, just like you dont pay to turn in alphastrike with it's 30sec-1 minute turns.

Cannonshop

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #85 on: 28 July 2022, 10:12:36 »
See, ive tried it, but then one unit goes 1 way and 1 unit goes another, and with compounding velocity you have to agree to all go in the same way (which again, makes no sense) if rolling map sheets is to work.  A fleet can instantly break up into 30 units each breaking a different direction if you really wanted to exflitrate or bypass a blockade or whatever, and its technically impossible to catch them with how ridiculous the fuel endurance is in any game played on a map.  So then with velocity, usually everyone kinda has a gentlemans agreement to not go TOO fast to have a scrum in the center.  Thus, just get rid of velocity, and make a 7/11 move 7/11, and a 3/5 move 3/5. 

Rolling mapsheets is a concept to 'reset' the frame of reference with the new velocity onto new sheets... so just eliminate velocity and eliminate the issue.  Its the same thing if you constantly redefine your reference frame.
My nitpicks are legion.  It seems compliant at a shallow glance, but acceleration spent doesnt match the correct distance the turn of, and acceleration spent turning isnt even close to accurate in 1 minute, even on a stupidly overblown leviathan whose dimensions are simply wrong.  In alphastrike you can spin like a top, because outside of 10 second turns like in battletech turning is a trivial portion of your move over 30 sec to 1 minute.  A 30m long small craft, using .5g or 1 thrust, can turn 60 degrees in 3.5 seconds and then arrest all vector movement.  So 1 thrust can turn that ship 17 hexes, each time starting a turn then fully stopping it.  If you allow for faster turns, you can literally kill your whole crew by spinning with just 1 thrust without arresting your spin.  So the vectored thrust rules seem well intentioned, but they never actually did the maths.  However, none of that matters as you still have 3 thrust spent moving you 3 hexes, instead of 1.5.  So no part of the vectored thrust rules actually work, as space is too big and 1 minute is too long with these ripping fusion rockets we have.  Anyway, sorry about the rant.  Point is, you shouldnt pay to turn in space on 1 minute turns, just like you dont pay to turn in alphastrike with it's 30sec-1 minute turns.

We need to take some of this to the Fan Rules board, I think, to see if we can find a 'happy medium' where we can keep it playable without turning it into a cinematic nightmare of reenacting WW1 naval 'strategies' in enclosed inlets.
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Daryk

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #86 on: 28 July 2022, 17:35:14 »
I'm honestly surprised the Mods haven't moved it down there already...  8)

Cannonshop

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #87 on: 30 July 2022, 10:32:20 »
I'm honestly surprised the Mods haven't moved it down there already...  8)

well, I doubt most of the discussion here is getting into enacting any sort of 'hard numbers' proposals, a lot of philosophy and 'wouldn't it be nice if...'
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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #88 on: 31 July 2022, 09:17:04 »
well, I doubt most of the discussion here is getting into enacting any sort of 'hard numbers' proposals, a lot of philosophy and 'wouldn't it be nice if...'
After looking over the discussions, yeah that's pretty much the gist.

Its one thing to say "We should fix velocity, make it more physics based"
Its another to say "I have the following homebrew: X amount of hexes for Y amounts of velocity but only under Z conditions..." and then the post just looks like a page from a rulebook someone made.
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