BattleTech - The Board Game of Armored Combat

BattleTech Game Systems => Aerospace Combat => Topic started by: Weirdguy on 16 May 2022, 22:04:53

Title: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Weirdguy on 16 May 2022, 22:04:53
I'm big fan of naval battles.  Now, I know that BattleTech is primarily an army game.  I'll give you that one.  The BattleMechs are the lynchpin combat unit that all nobles and governments pretty much fixated on.  Deep space navies and warships were always an after thought.  So much so that the earliest lore was that the space navies are long gone, and just transport dropships and civilian jumpships, strictly off limits to destroy as well, are all there is.  A "navy" was aerospace fighters, and some combat dropships that didn't have troop capacity, but they're the exception, not the rule.  The Army matters more.

But what if that wasn't the case?

In fact, I would say at the very least the navy ships of BattleTech need new artwork.  Again, actually, because most warships already have 2 sets of artworks from the 2750 Tech Read Out (TRO), and then appear in the newer 3075 TRO with completely different art.  And then new designs came out later, as well, but still have that horizontal feel to them.

But, they're designed as typical sci-fi ships, horizontally.  That is incorrect.  They're shown as random shapes set in a roughly horizontal configuration, which disregards the fact that the ships technically need to be more like flying skyscrapers with hula-hoop's of "grav decks" around them.

They can still be "cool" if you have an artist that knows how to draw stuff like a rocket ship with guns.  I don't see that as a flaw.

Still, the one thing I would prefer about BattleTech warship art would be a consistent art style.  Take, for example, the ships of FASA corporations other sci-fi tabletop wargame, Renegade Legion.  Their ships all were, generally speaking, very long triangular ships with large fins top and bottom.  Just that alone sets them in a universe of their own design.  I can make similar ship, and it would "fit in" as it were.

Even more, I think the weaponry of the ships is a bit of a mistake in game design.  They're just lumped together and averaged out to make them playable.  Well, if you have to blend all of the weapons together to make an "attack values" in the 3075 TRO, then I think the ships should have just had weapons with those stats from the beginning.  Maybe simplify it down to just a couple of weapon types only.  A primary battery of something, some situational weapons that can help out, and secondary weapons.  Like WW-1 ships had homogenous main guns, anti-torpedo boat guns, and torpedoes.  That was about it.

Honestly, I sometimes think I want to start my own factions set way off in the deep periphery that kept 3025 mechs far longer than the Inner Sphere, but did have breakthroughs in tech for their naval side of things.  They are their own factions, and never interacted with the main Inner Sphere so they developed along their own ways of thinking and were a microcosm to themselves.  Sort of like the Clans on their home worlds, but with ships of my own design, using different game rules (stuff like Full Thrust, or Starmageddon tabletop rules).

Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: AlphaMirage on 16 May 2022, 22:43:04
I think it would need both, maybe the Snow Ravens and Wolves start making enough Warships to risk losing them post-IlClan but I don't see that happening.
The problem is that as long as TPTB are so limited by personnel and precedent while not invaliding designs Warships will likely remain only in the realm of fan fictions or historical pieces.

Check out the following links though for some ideas if anyone is interested
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-designs-rules/changing-universe-rules-from-mech-centric-to-aero-centric/ (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-designs-rules/changing-universe-rules-from-mech-centric-to-aero-centric/)
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-designs-rules/reworked-aerospace-construction-rules-wdesign-webapp/ (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-designs-rules/reworked-aerospace-construction-rules-wdesign-webapp/)
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-designs-rules/aerotech-3-0-upgrades-rules-fixes-and-new-tech/ (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-designs-rules/aerotech-3-0-upgrades-rules-fixes-and-new-tech/)
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Cannonshop on 16 May 2022, 22:48:49
There's been some discussions about it in the fan rules forum, including at least a couple of people tried to put together something coherent from the canon fiction.

which doesn't show the rules particularly well and doesn't model space combat particularly well either.

The major issue is always going to be one of emphasis-you can make a powerful naval faction, but who are they going to fight to become skilled?  Have you noticed the dearth of Snow Raven stories?? 

there's a reason for that.

Rationally, every single existing faction in the BTU should have a heavy emphasis on Naval for the same reason that you see island nations having first rate navies in the real world (or trying to, anyway, raw materials and industrial base taken into account.)

Interstellar Nations are not like terrestrial, continental states, esp. since Battletech doesn't have something like the Stargates to allow big armies to walk from planet to planet without needing ships.

It's a core conceit of the setting that, despite this real-world issue, navies are minimized and the devs focus heavily on dropships and frantically avoid dealing with the types of systems their starship drives and interstellar empires would actually require simply to stay operating even in relative peace.

It's part of the setting's 'magic system' that Naval forces are effectively worthless and what passes for 'tactics' can be boiled down to 'Do a dramatic sacrifice play so we can get to the ground action already!'

Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: pokefan548 on 16 May 2022, 22:51:21
In a campaign setting, most of the ships need revamped rules for bay personnel, and either need more cargo space or to consume fewer tons of generic spare parts per-month. As it stands, unless you either assume that generic spare parts materialize out of thin air for the listed C-Bill cost, or make 30% of your fleet nothing but Mammoth and Behemoth DropShips, pretty much no naval fleet made of canon military ships can actually support its own maintenance for more than a month, maybe two at most.

In a tactical setting, most large craft are mostly fine, IMO. Not always the best, some weird choices here and there, but ultimately fine. Any changes in this setting would have to be made on a case-by-case basis.

The units most in need of a revamp are small craft, with basically no good workhorse cargo movers and a lot of small craft that are just plain not good at their intended role. There's also some other questionable decisions in there. For example, the majority of infantry carriers use cargo space instead of infantry compartments, which is technically legal, but really weird and inconsistent when compared to other troop carriers.

Now, would I love a revamped and fleshed out updated aerospace TRO? Yes, absolutely! Do I think it will happen, considering the effort it would take and CGL's current stance on aerospace support? No.

Until then, I guess use the MegaMek revamped versions, though some of those have their own weirdness.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Alan Grant on 17 May 2022, 05:46:06
I don't think a retcon is practical. Too much has happened, too much has been produced. Products, timeline etc, all of it.

I do think it's possible to make changes going forward. We've seen new naval concepts and technologies get introduced (i.e. sub capital weapons)

As for the ships themselves, all warships feature that skyscraper approach to deck design (the bow is up, engines are down). They just don't all look like they do on the exterior. I've seen books try to justify this various ways, cite human psychology and the like.

The solution, in simplest terms, is to have some great new innovation in aerospace technologies that no one can ignore, it's better but also cheaper etc. Maybe that's hull materials, maneuvering drives and jump drives and spacecraft reactors all going through a major innovation. The old design rules still work but you are essentially now working with outdated tech by using them and they are inferior in every way. It's akin to designing a coal-powered paddle wheel ship in 1940. To play with the updated tech, you gotta apply the new design rules, and you can't retrofit it to old stuff, they aren't compatible. So the solution is to have a bunch of new classes of dropships, jumpships and warships get rolled out over a period of time.

Production switches to those new classes. Some of which may resemble updated versions of existing classes (i.e. a new Union class but it's built from the ground up with the new tech, all it shares with the old Union is a name and general appearance) but a lot are completely new. The old stuff eventually gets relegated to the scrap heap, or lost forever through all forms of attrition. Or it's still out there but now it's definitely old, a legacy craft still flying. Like sitting on a shore in the real world and watching a cargo ship from the WW1 or WW2 era sail by.

In product terms, this would coincide with new naval construction rules, a new book on naval equipment (new weapons etc. possibly a lot of it made possible due to the continuing development of naval technologies), and other developments (this is could be where things like logistics, small craft and other areas get addressed). I'd love to see a lot more space stations personally. Both the big immobile ones and the smaller portable ones that can be transported via jumpship.

I've heard people say the Battletech staff have limited resources. So I'm not trying to suggest this is easy. But I think it could be good for the universe. I've always been at least into the aero side as I have the ground combat.

The point is, I think developing that stuff and folding it into the universe could broaden the appeal to this game to more people looking for this particular brand of space combat. People who might be drawn to the game for aero, with 'mechs and ground combat being second-thought to them. This brand of sci-fi has gained more popularity since things like the Expanse came out, and tugged everyone's brains into contemplating how spaceships would be designed and how space combat would work if artificial gravity wasn't conveniently invented.

So I do think there's something here. But I don't think it's to be found in a retcon. More like something new that gets applied at some year in the near-future that becomes pivotal to naval developments in the Battletech universe. It's from that point forward that we see the new technologies applied to the game, a roll out of new hull classes and so forth and the gradual attrition of the old.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Col Toda on 17 May 2022, 22:56:04
I think they were twice. ???
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: DevianID on 18 May 2022, 00:58:51
There is a lot to say about space combat, but for me its the fact that its a different game.  It always comes back to that.  If we got a box set, with two warship flagship models and a dozen dropships/fighter models, I am sure whatever rules they decide to go with would be 'fine' and fun.  But such a box set, even if it IS in the same universe, still would pull me off the table from the mechs and such, forcing me to split my attention.  Id probably buy it, but never get to play it in my limited hobby time.

That first bit said, the only 're-vamp' I would like is a updated alpha strike set.  The free cards they put out are a bit outdated (isnt everything in battlespace?) but they work really well.  A more modern card, with regular, capital+sub capital, and missile, along with a streamlined set of special rules for battlespace focused games is my ideal for the scale of warships, due to the scale and number of ships commonly involved.  The more granular games just took me too long to play, but everyone's experience is different.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Red wolf on 18 May 2022, 10:12:24
I would like to see some changes made through reprints of the book to make Aerospace more playable from both a ground-based game as well as an option for it to just be played as its own game in general.

I love fighter combats and naval engagements. and this is just one more aspect of Battle tech that could expand its offering even more with a little more support. I am not sure that it needs a retcon though nor maybe even a revamp but just a bit more love could go a long way. maybe in the next printing of Total Warefare/Alpha Strike/Destiny, they focus on Aerospace a bit.

this is not me saying that they don't focus or give Aerospace love, Catalyst is hard worker. this is just me wishlisting. obviously, Catalyst has a lot on its plate.

I think my dream scenario would be Them deciding that Leviathans are not coming back maybe pushing those resources towards ship combats in the Battletech universe. though that is not fair to Leviathan fans.

one of the things I would love to have in the current product line is a map pack of paper maps that has the Aerospace Battlematt maps in it as well as some more including a low altitude map sheet that is to Aerospace scale. players can write down which hexes represent which of their maps though it would be cool if the grasslands and desert maps were used in the Low altitude map as well in case players just wanted to use that. maybe even orient them in the fashion that they are in the Battle mats to increase the function as well.

I wouldn't mind an AeroTech manual either that incorporates things from Strategic ops and gives us a manual that is separate from TW that can be used to help but then again I would really like to have a book that focuses on infantry and vehicles as well. having everything in one book is nice and all so I don't hate TW but if I am going to the game and only having Battlemechs I prefer just bringing the BMM and I would love to have that choice with Vehicles and Aerospace. either to only play one of them or to cut out the rules I am not using from TW. another way to do it would be to cut Aerospace from TW and expand on that as the BMM does, maybe even to include everything in the BMM in TW as the combined arms book. Then reworked some things with aerospace and bring that out as its own product. Most players don't use Aerospace anyway so having them as a separate book wouldn't be that bad of an idea.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Hellraiser on 18 May 2022, 10:19:03
I'd be fine w/ keeping the rules as is if the writers would just stop killing off every Warship in canon so we can USE the existing rules for battles.

As far as making "better" ships, I think some simple Block-III's for later eras can give you the same ship model w/ better stats.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Tyler Jorgensson on 19 May 2022, 09:08:31
I dont have any really helpful comments other than what’s been said.

Actually that’s a lie: there is a great fan made TRO that went about fixing some actual Warships to make them a bit better…. But no additional rules.

Stop killing off Warships for sure: I’d love to use some of the newer ships in larger battles than one v one (or more likely one v Pocket Warships).

I do want to see the Leviathan iii actually hit the field though… maybe last better than a fleet in being
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Cannonshop on 19 May 2022, 09:39:29
I dont have any really helpful comments other than what’s been said.

Actually that’s a lie: there is a great fan made TRO that went about fixing some actual Warships to make them a bit better…. But no additional rules.

Stop killing off Warships for sure: I’d love to use some of the newer ships in larger battles than one v one (or more likely one v Pocket Warships).

I do want to see the Leviathan iii actually hit the field though… maybe last better than a fleet in being

You know, I think the Leviathan and LevI II and III really typify the basic problem-they're massive assets, huge resource sinks, and something that the loss of which can be a national disaster.

Which makes for some good immediate shock-drama when it gets killed, but doesn't reflect what a Naval doctrine could or should look like.  They're new-build relics, not functional fleet units.

Meanwhile the PWS, which was done as a workaround to get around the ban on Monitors, are ONLY good as static defenses, and ALSO don't represent a functioning naval doctrine.

they basically exist either to die in droves when you get enough proper warships on the board, or to make-believe playing David when they're used to dust yet-another-solo-relic-warship deployed by an idiot who also doesn't have a functioning naval doctrine.

Basically, in the BTU fiction, Warships are Worfed into being stupidly irrelevant.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Weirdguy on 19 May 2022, 20:00:48
My idea was both new technology and a new area of space that is isolated from everybody else.  This makes it a literal side show.  They’re not The Great 5 Houses, or The Clans.  They’re their own thing, and pretty much just fight each other.
 
But.  They have ships.  Properly designed ships for a tabletop game, with stats you can memorize. 

My main bits of technology are this.

1.  Setting is also like the Exodus.  People leave the Inner Sphere, but this is now during the 2800’s century.  During the worst of the 1st Succession Wars.  So 3025 era tech for Battlemechs, tanks, and aerospace fighters. 

2.  New naval tech.  No more reliance on a solar sail to recharge a jump drive.  In fact, the ships make hundreds of little jumps to get where they’re going.  Travel times are now more about the light years between stars, and dropships are for orbital to ground transport.  Sensors are also derived from the new style jump engines, and combat can take place all over a solar system, or in deep interstellar space.  In short, a ship doesn’t “thrust” each turn, it jumps to the new hex each turn. 

3.  Non-linear distance scales on map hexes.  The deeper in space you are, the further you go each jump.  A hex map can have a solar system on each side for a binary star, each with planets.  It’s not to scale physically, but it is when it’s the travel time you’re counting.

4.  Kearny-Fuchida cannons for main armaments.  A K-F Cannon can send a shell long distances instantly.  When it re-appears in space, it explodes.  It’s range scales similar to the new engine tech, so I can’t give real world ranges.  In deep space it’s a lot farther, and near a planet it’s shorter ranged, but it’s a lot farther than an ship can move per turn.

5.  Hyper pulse energy beams.  Again, they are using K-F tech advances, but instead of sending a message the energy is powerful enough to do serious damage.  It’s literally faster-than-light laser beam. 

6.  K-F powered torpedoes.  It’s a missile that uses rapid K-F jumps to move.  Just like the ships. 

I’m not sure that all of that needs to be in a naval game.  I’m ok with just guns and torpedoes.  A sort of WW-1 battle in space. 

I like that all of the tech is based on the same thing.  A group of refinements of K-F technology.  This also works out for the map.  A non-linear distance Means the map can fit on a table, yet has details like planets to play around with. 

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Weirdguy on 19 May 2022, 20:11:26
And to be clear.

I’m thinking of rules like Full Thrust or Starmageddon style rules. Big gun battleships with just a few, but large weapons.  Simple enough to memorize stats for ships.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Weirdguy on 20 May 2022, 07:34:47
I dont have any really helpful comments other than what’s been said.

Actually that’s a lie: there is a great fan made TRO that went about fixing some actual Warships to make them a bit better…. But no additional rules.

Where is this fan made TRO?   Or at least a name I can search for?
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: AlphaMirage on 20 May 2022, 08:22:48
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/fan-made-tro-project-nelson/ (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/fan-made-tro-project-nelson/)
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: AlphaMirage on 20 May 2022, 08:24:20
I do want to see the Leviathan iii actually hit the field though… maybe last better than a fleet in being

I am going to run something like that for my Star League Guide to Warships, the CSV Astartes vs the Jade Falcon, Snow Raven, and a few other Clan Naval Stars
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 20 May 2022, 13:27:29

Meanwhile the PWS, which was done as a workaround to get around the ban on Monitors,

Monitors aren't banned, they just suck.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Daryk on 20 May 2022, 18:45:19
Last I checked, you can't build them above 100,000 tons...  ???
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Cannonshop on 20 May 2022, 20:38:29
My idea was both new technology and a new area of space that is isolated from everybody else.  This makes it a literal side show.  They’re not The Great 5 Houses, or The Clans.  They’re their own thing, and pretty much just fight each other.
 
But.  They have ships.  Propperly designed ships for a tabletop game, with stats you can memorize. 

My main bits of technology are this.

1.  Setting is also like the Exodus.  People leave the Inner Sphere, but this is now during the 2800’s century.  During the worst of the 1st Succession Wars.  So 3025 era tech for Battlemechs, tanks, and aerospace fighters. 

2.  New naval tech.  No more reliance on a solar sail to recharge a jump drive.  In fact, the ships make hundreds of little jumps to get where they’re going.  Travel times are now more about the light years between stars, and dropships are for orbital to ground transport.  Sensors are also derived from the new style jump engines, and combat can take place all over a solar system, or in deep interstellar space.  In short, a ship doesn’t “thrust” each turn, it jumps to the new hex each turn. 

3.  Non-linear distance scales on map hexes.  The deeper in space you are, the further you go each jump.  A hex map can have a solar system on each side for a binary star, each with planets.  It’s not to scale physically, but it is when it’s the travel time you’re counting.

4.  Kearny-Fuchida cannons for main armaments.  A K-F Cannon can send a shell long distances instantly.  When it re-appears in space, it explodes.  It’s range scales similar to the new engine tech, so I can’t give real world ranges.  In deep space it’s a lot farther, and near a planet it’s shorter ranged, but it’s a lot farther than an ship can move per turn.

5.  Hyper pulse energy beams.  Again, they are using K-F tech advances, but instead of sending a message the energy is powerful enough to do serious damage.  It’s literally faster-than-light laser beam. 

6.  K-F powered torpedoes.  It’s a missile that uses rapid K-F jumps to move.  Just like the ships. 

I’m not sure that all of that needs to be in a naval game.  I’m ok with just guns and torpedoes.  A sort of WW-1 battle in space. 

I like that all of the tech is based on the same thing.  A group of refinements of K-F technology.  This also works out for the map.  A non-linear distance Means the map can fit on a table, yet has details like planets to play around with. 

Thoughts?

At this point you've got a lot of systems good for targeting stationary objects, because your sensors are still limited to Newtonian speeds.  Great for aiming at a planet or other fixed body, not so great for a dynamic engagement-your weapons are moving faster than light, but your sensors aren't overcoming light delay.

Put it this way: there's about a 20 minute lag on signals from Mars to Earth.  It takes 8 minutes for light from the sun to reach earth at closest approach.

You're showing off weapons that reach interstellar distances instantaneously.  There's not a lot of advantage in having FTL munitions at ranges where an enemy can't evade a light beam by using random-walk evasion.

which he'd be using at newtonian line of sight anyway.

AOE isn't going to do you much good in hard vacuum either-the shielding necessary to keep your crew safe in peacetime will handle the radiation pulse of a nuke at close range, and there's no medium for translating shockwaves outside the hull, so the blast wave and most secondary effects aren't going to carry very far.

main problems I see then, are that you have to completely revamp the tech base, at which point, you might as well be playing a different game entirely-one that includes FTL sensors and FTL targeting, with cheap, low-effort broad-band FTL commo.



Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Alan Grant on 21 May 2022, 06:49:03
My idea was both new technology and a new area of space that is isolated from everybody else.  This makes it a literal side show.  They’re not The Great 5 Houses, or The Clans.  They’re their own thing, and pretty much just fight each other.
 

I have no problem with advancing technology. But not a different setting. I want the Great Houses and Clans to have fleet units, and their own developing naval tech. I want to see the naval side of the Inner Sphere and periphery get developed more. Not neglected while considerable resources are devoted to a completely separate setting.

At the level of what you are suggesting, you might as well just create an entirely new science fiction universe setting with zero ties to Battletech. For all practical purposes, it is that.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Cannonshop on 21 May 2022, 09:14:24
Without creating a new universe, then...

I have no problem with advancing technology. But not a different setting. I want the Great Houses and Clans to have fleet units, and their own developing naval tech. I want to see the naval side of the Inner Sphere and periphery get developed more. Not neglected while considerable resources are devoted to a completely separate setting.

At the level of what you are suggesting, you might as well just create an entirely new science fiction universe setting with zero ties to Battletech. For all practical purposes, it is that.

Okay, so how do we DO this?

There are some base assumptions we have to work with:

1. The mechanics of how KF drives work.

2. The mechanics of system jump-points.

3. WHY do past practices in the fiction matter, and how can we work with, or around them?

4. the agony of managing the logistics so that we don't end up with hurling massive, identical fleets of Leviathan variants at each other.

5. Same for managing classifications.

Item 5 feels like a decent place to start, because it starts with "Why did they build it?"  Not the fluffy reasons, but the game-mechanical ones.

With Battlemechs, Tanks, most forms of vehicle, and even ASF's, we have defined roles managed by size and scale.  While someone DID build a 'scout' Assault 'mech (the Charger) it doesn't work well as a scout, because it's an assault 'mech.

Likewise, you have to be Kai Allard Liao or Phelan Kell to stand a chance, solo, in a light 'mech against most assaults.

so what is the order of battle, and why?

first questions we have to answer if we're going to see real progress on Naval in the game.

basically we've got movement rules, we've got tech, we've even got designs.  What we don't have, is a clear and useful picture of how to put that together in a way that doesn't violate something-whether rules, science, or common sense.

I started a thread and it went off the rails over this in the rules forum.  Someone else did the same, and someone else besides them...

but let's try this approach:

What is a Navy FOR??

What is the purpose of a Navy?  What should it do, what does it do, what can't it do?

we've got LOTS of systems, but how do they work into a structure you can build a campaign around?

With that first question, you're already hitting more notes than three generations of game developers and authors.

Here's some possible answers:

1. Your Navy is your secure line of communication between holdings.
2. Your Navy is your guarantor of safe Trade within your interstellar nation.
3. Your Navy is your main means of moving Ground Forces to and from targets and garrisons.
4. Your Navy is what protects your supply lines.
5. Your Navy is what gets your ground troops out of a tactical disaster.
6. Your Navy is the first line of contact with neighboring realms, both in peace, and in war.

Those are six general classes of function that a Navy (that is, a service whose primary focus is on Ships and movement) should be able to carry out with a fair degree of competence.

You'll notice I didn't emphasize the combat role there.  this is because per canon, all of the Great Houses relied on civilian-model jumpships extensively for their Navies.

This is the working navy.  the 'fighting navy' has to fill all six functions, but also has to fill the following:

1. Your Navy is the eyes of your Nation, it handles reconaissance on a STRATEGIC scale, both in peace and wartime.
2. Your Navy is your best means of cutting the other guy's supplies off.
3. Your Navy is your best bet for knocking out your enemy's lines of secure communication. (Comstar is, by definition, NOT SECURE, handing your classified traffic to a foreign power on the promise that they won't look at it is an act of utter irresponsible stupidity, and likely grounds for a coup.)
4. Your Navy is your best economic weapon against hostile states, by targeting a hostile's supply lines and commerce. (Commerce Raiding).
5. Your Navy is your best means of relieving sieges or preventing landings.  Navies that attempt static defense have a name: Easy Targets.  The Navy must be mobile, and able to present a threat (even a minor one) to enemy forces on the attack.
6. Your Navy may provide ground support fire to landed ground units. (This is a bad idea, but it's a popular one.)

Okay, so that's six 'general-general' roles, and six 'combatant specific' roles.

Why am I oversimplifying?  Because this is a GAME, and not an accounting exercise.

we also have to deal with the elephant in the room of Fasanomics, because after nearly 40 years, nobody's been able to satisfactorily set up an economy in the setting that doesn't violate common sense like a really violated thing, staked out to be violated even, with no recourse to the violators.

Setting Fact: we don't have Stargates or teleporters, we don't have Inertial Dampeners and we don't have structural force-fields.  We also don't have Replicators (either Star trek style, or Stargate SG-1 style), and we don't get to have reactionless drives, artificial gravity (aside from spin or thrust based).

That sets up our basic conceptual elements: Ships have to carry everything they need to keep their crew (and passengers or prisoners) alive, and they have to refill it because we also don't have perfect recycling for our life-support.

There are defined limits to KF drive size and performance-we don't have jump-capable fighters, they have to be carried.

Thus, we can make a few assumptions:

1. Bigger ships will tend to have longer life-support duration than smaller ships. (along with more fuel, more food, more water, more medicine).
2. Most navigation will be between stable points, because of the limits on Jump drives.
3. Because excessive high gravity is bad for human beings, and especially for ground forces, approaches to planets for assaults will tend to be at one gee unless the attacker wants to lose the surface battle.

Flank security is kinda important, because a navy on the defense doesn't have to keep ground troops fresh for their landings, and can essentially guarantee their own personnel are strapped in, strapped down, and fitted with Gee-suits or the equivalent, with hundreds to thousands of hours of training in how to endure brutal shifts in relative gravity.

which ground troops really don't have that luxury.

So, you need transportation, and you need protection for that transportation,a nd it can't always be the same thing, because if your  escorts can't keep up with an opfor's attackers, they're useless.

4. Because most combat is going to occur as a result of movement, this stuff matters.  If an invader can't land his troops, his invasion is done.  If a defender can't protect their trade routes, they're of no value, and if a defense force can't manage an intercept? they're also of no value.

Specific missions will need specific types of equipment and specific operational doctrines.  An antipiracy force will tend to be mobile, and operate in small numbers against less well equipped pirate-raider type foes, they'll lean heavily on the scout role and survey work, and because of the nature of the mission, they're going to be 'out' quite often, requiring dedicated logistics.  An invasion focused navy will tend to lean toward 'heavy' ships both for logistics, and because they're going to be deliberately going up against peer forces.

a 'defensive' fleet needs to be as mobile as an antipiracy fleet, and more-because to be of any use, you have to get your defending units to where the attacker is arriving, and you have to be heavy enough to turn, delay, or destroy them.  what they do NOT need, is the same jump range as an antipiracy fleet.  Defensive fleet units kinda need to be able to manage preplotted jump points within their system, whether to get the dropships in range before the enemy lands, or to get the shipboard guns in range before the enemy gets reinforcements.  Dropships are, then, 'cargo'-they're the payload, not the means of delivering it.  Same with fighters, because if the other side gets boots on the ground in large numbers you've failed, if they gain any sort of superiority in orbit, you've failed.

Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Red Pins on 21 May 2022, 09:51:10
I can answer this question in a nutshell; they need a bloody miracle.

And most of this discussion avoids the big elephant in the room, that this is a game about big, shiny robots and combined arms units shooting each other.  It's not 40K, with video games like Battlefleet Gothic.  Most of us long-term players got into it for the 'mad max' vibes, and that isn't a situation that supports massive warship fleets.  I guess that could change with the Empire and time, but I doubt it.  CGL - rightly, IMHO - won't risk a pay check on something people won't support with their wallets.

I think it would take a couple things; a popular game/setting/ruleset independent of the core game (something like Cannonshop's, where Corvettes nuke bigger ships to death and practical (!?!) space tactics dominate) - and the aforementioned miracle.  Because without people like Marauder 648, Cannonshop, and the guy that did AFFC-Navy CGL won't put out something I'd want to spend money on.  Aerotech and Battlespace foundered on the player base replaying WW I with Mechs, and CGL can't sell them 'Top Gun with space warships'.

Better to draw a line through the idea, and say, "You can't hide shipyards and they don't like nukes, which explains why there aren't any pumping out Warships in the modern era', and shrug off ASF making ground attacks.  There seem to be more people interested in playing unarmored Infantry than ASF, despite the occasional fiction author or fan book raising public interest.

Mine you, I like the idea, so  :thumbsup:  GOOD LUCK!
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Cannonshop on 21 May 2022, 11:13:13
I can answer this question in a nutshell; they need a bloody miracle.

And most of this discussion avoids the big elephant in the room, that this is a game about big, shiny robots and combined arms units shooting each other.  It's not 40K, with video games like Battlefleet Gothic.  Most of us long-term players got into it for the 'mad max' vibes, and that isn't a situation that supports massive warship fleets.  I guess that could change with the Empire and time, but I doubt it.  CGL - rightly, IMHO - won't risk a pay check on something people won't support with their wallets.

I think it would take a couple things; a popular game/setting/ruleset independent of the core game (something like Cannonshop's, where Corvettes nuke bigger ships to death and practical (!?!) space tactics dominate) - and the aforementioned miracle.  Because without people like Marauder 648, Cannonshop, and the guy that did AFFC-Navy CGL won't put out something I'd want to spend money on.  Aerotech and Battlespace foundered on the player base replaying WW I with Mechs, and CGL can't sell them 'Top Gun with space warships'.

Better to draw a line through the idea, and say, "You can't hide shipyards and they don't like nukes, which explains why there aren't any pumping out Warships in the modern era', and shrug off ASF making ground attacks.  There seem to be more people interested in playing unarmored Infantry than ASF, despite the occasional fiction author or fan book raising public interest.

Mine you, I like the idea, so  :thumbsup:  GOOD LUCK!

I suspect one of the main reasons people aren't interested, is also a tendency for the writers to think in terms of the battle of Salamis when writing their naval/space naval warfare.  It's a case of "Less would've been more" in most warship appearances in the fiction (and sourcebook material).

It's possible to get good stuff, and even keep it within the boundaries of the game rules, but...

yeah.  Not Happening.

The basic problem is that there has to be navies because we don't have point-to-point teleportation teck that can let you march from planet to planet without spending time in a spaceship.  If there are spaceships, there WILL be navies, but the writing staff can't handle the job of writing them without having to reconsider a whole bunch of things they don't want to have to address, not the least of which being that Naval warfare is even MORE Of a team sport than ground warfare is, and anyone writing a fantasy novel based on, say, Yi-Sun-Shin will immediately be accused of writing a garystu (or Marysue), and this goes double for a setting like Battletech, which has 41/2% more science than Star Trek and a seventies Anime vibe.

which means you get Anime tropes like the Ramming fetish, and the Ultimate Lone Warrior (Which can't be naval or fighter pilot, because even the game mechanics don't make sense for that, never mind really good storytelling).

Mind that Admiral Yi, translated into a setting LIKE Battletech, would be a hell of a character and story-and that's no lie, it's just that it doesn't have the appeal of bishounen Gundam Drivers with magical genetic enhancement.

I dunno, maybe I'll write one someday.  I just don't see how submitting it would result in anything but a nice rejection letter.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: AlphaMirage on 21 May 2022, 12:13:12
I answered many of these questions in the following thread

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/guide-to-modern-aerospace-combat/ (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/guide-to-modern-aerospace-combat/)

Check it out and its fellow thread

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/free-trader-s-guide-to-battletech/ (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/free-trader-s-guide-to-battletech/)

Both follow the actual rules of the game as it is already. I would appreciate a re-vamp but it would be something like I have done for my AU. Warships exist, in small numbers, where it makes sense, pocket warships fill in some of the gaps while Aerospace Fighters and Small Craft fill others.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Daryk on 21 May 2022, 14:38:53
Cannonshop: what you need is a Mahan-like figure to write all those things down in character.  Mahan himself never made Flag rank, and the fortunes of his main work have waxed and waned over the years.  He never saw the World Wars (he died 1 December, 1914), but we're still talking about his work over a century later.  8)
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Cannonshop on 22 May 2022, 02:31:00
Cannonshop: what you need is a Mahan-like figure to write all those things down in character.  Mahan himself never made Flag rank, and the fortunes of his main work have waxed and waned over the years.  He never saw the World Wars (he died 1 December, 1914), but we're still talking about his work over a century later.  8)

"I" don't need it.  If they're smart they'll never let me within sniffing distance of official publication again, not because I'm bitter, but because I really don't measure up.  I can't match Cray for engineering knowledge or Pardoe for Academic chops, I'm not as compelling as Loren Coleman or as fast-paced exciting as Mike Stackpole, and I tend to wind up in adversarial relationships with Editors even when they don't deserve it (ask Herb).

I have two writing credits:  3 entries in FM:Mercenaries and 2 in FM Mercs Revised.  They are quite probably the worst researched and least well done entries in both those books.  (The only reason I got the third one in the first book, was someone not being able to make first or second deadline for drafts, they hit final deadline and I asked for it.)

I would not characterize my interactions with official Catalyst staff *(including the founders) as being spectacularly friendly or cordial-first impressions MATTER and I was an ****** who quite rightly earned a bad reputation.

Whoever creates or delivers that Mahan-style voice has to be able to deal with people better than I did, and maybe better than I do in the present, they need to have the scholarship in military history, astrophysics, and strategy that I only pretend to have, and they need to be able to make word count and deadline without gutting their material.

I'm forty nine years old and I still can't manage the 'use fewer, smaller words and get it across'.

It's got to be someone else, I took my shot at entry into the writing pool and failed utterly.

Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Daryk on 22 May 2022, 05:14:34
Just because you're 49 doesn't mean you can't learn!  I spent three years teaching people just short of that age, and most (but not all) were able to write better as a result.  And you've clearly gotten better at getting along with people in general.  Merely acknowledging you could have done better in the past is the first step.

TL;DR: Don't sell yourself short!
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Red Pins on 22 May 2022, 12:10:26
...I'll note that after reconsidering my comment and several attempts not to step on toes, yours is more creative, in the sense that you aren't hobbled by canon.

Back on topic, if TPTB can't design something independent from the ground aspect of BT and popular on its own merits, existing rules and concepts are an example of Einstein's assertion of the very definition of insanity.  I'm tempted to consider it as a project, but I'm sure the temptation will go away after a while when I consider the projects I already decided I want to try aren't much closer to release than where I started.

It's an idea to talk over beer and whatever, but frankly I don't think this topic is a good idea on the OF. (SNIP),

I'm forty nine years old and I still can't manage the 'use fewer, smaller words and get it across'.

I'm 53 this year.  Stop whining.   :lol:
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Daryk on 22 May 2022, 12:16:21
We're mostly of an age on this forum... the youngsters usually hang out elsewhere...  ::)
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Jellico on 22 May 2022, 14:35:21
There is a fan made essay out there, structured pretty similarly to Mahan, with wide peer acceptance, which explained much if the weirdness for one faction at least. But when the time came to use it the writers didn't even know that it existed. Why should they? It was yet another piece of fan made fluff on a marginal issue.

If there is going to be a rule revamp it will be towards Alphastrike. Simplification. It has been the trend since AT1. Naval combat lends itself to increasing complexity as you add more and more escorts, screens, and CAPs.This has to be playable and 12 units a side is kind of BattleTech's sensible maximum.

Strategically you won't see a change. It opens too many cans of worms for too little gain. How does it help the ground pounders? If it helps just imagine there are a lot of unlisted naval JumpShips and naval regiments. Just like it says back in the 1980s House books. Not everything is written down in field manuals.

The issue of not enough shipping yards is problematic. But it is hard enough getting people to attack worlds with Mech factories, not the barren ball next door. FASAnomics is a woollen jumper you don't pull at the threads of too much. Shut your eyes smile and nod. If someone was paying Cannonshop levels of attention no shipyards would have survived the Jihad. Woollen threads.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Daryk on 22 May 2022, 14:42:22
Do you, by chance, have a link to this essay? ???
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Red Pins on 22 May 2022, 16:01:53
Where is this fan made TRO?   Or at least a name I can search for?

I'd also throw AFFC: Navy onto the pile of 'must read'.  It's certainly original.  Try the battletech Fanon wiki for more.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: DevianID on 22 May 2022, 21:22:26
Quote
If there is going to be a rule revamp it will be towards Alphastrike. Simplification. It has been the trend since AT1. Naval combat lends itself to increasing complexity as you add more and more escorts, screens, and CAPs.This has to be playable and 12 units a side is kind of BattleTech's sensible maximum.

Im in this camp too.  Ive played my share of games, and to reiterate what I said earlier, playing battlespace will take away from playing battletech.  I cant play both, to play one means giving up the other.  If I play 4 btech games a month, Id hate to play only 2 btech games in order to play 2 battlespace games on my limited game days.

I would use simplified rules though, in support of my campaign games.  In this way, with alpha strike speed and nice simple rules, I WOULD be able to have a quick 30-1 hour TOPS alpha-battlespace game to insert my ground force, and still play my ground btech game.  I like the crossing engagement rules for this, if they were cleaned up.  A quick pass with a few options for each unit, make 1-2 sets of attack rolls for closing/chaser fire and missiles, and move onto the battletech game where you deal with the consequences of the naval battle.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Weirdguy on 23 May 2022, 00:49:13
At this point you've got a lot of systems good for targeting stationary objects, because your sensors are still limited to Newtonian speeds.  Great for aiming at a planet or other fixed body, not so great for a dynamic engagement-your weapons are moving faster than light, but your sensors aren't overcoming light delay.

Put it this way: there's about a 20 minute lag on signals from Mars to Earth.  It takes 8 minutes for light from the sun to reach earth at closest approach.

You're showing off weapons that reach interstellar distances instantaneously.  There's not a lot of advantage in having FTL munitions at ranges where an enemy can't evade a light beam by using random-walk evasion.

which he'd be using at newtonian line of sight anyway.

AOE isn't going to do you much good in hard vacuum either-the shielding necessary to keep your crew safe in peacetime will handle the radiation pulse of a nuke at close range, and there's no medium for translating shockwaves outside the hull, so the blast wave and most secondary effects aren't going to carry very far.

main problems I see then, are that you have to completely revamp the tech base, at which point, you might as well be playing a different game entirely-one that includes FTL sensors and FTL targeting, with cheap, low-effort broad-band FTL commo.

Oh, sorry.  I briefly mentioned the sensors are also K-F based as well, but I didn't elaborate.

Either way, you make a board game on a hex map work, THEN you work out how the sci-fi mumbo-jumbo works to match the gameplay.  Fun trumps science.

So, I do actually have FTL sensors.  You can target a ship a long ways off and hit it, and know you hit it.   None of it is Newtonian.

What scale that works out to be I kind of want to be vague about, since science geeks will over-analyze it, push their glasses up their nose, saying, "Well, actually.....".  I don't need that sort of headache.

The core rule/thing is that weapon ranges, the speeds ships can move, and sensor ranges all scale the same rates, so a fight in deep, deep interstellar space will be LONG distances, but a hell of a lot less distances are involved when near a planet.  So on a hex map that is taking cues from BattleTech, lets say its about 9 hexes is still medium range, 21 is long range.  However, in a solar system the distances are a lot less, and near a planet with a moon, probably a lot shorter ranged in reality.

But it still the same 9 hexes on a map.  Each hex is it's own distance that gets larger as you get farther away from any heavy mass objects like planets and stars.  A ship with a speed of 3 is going to take 10 turns to cross a mapsheet on your kitchen table that is 30 hexes wide.  A dense asteroid belt map (and in reality the Sol asteroid belt rocks are actually really far apart from each other), you may be fighting a battle that is less than that in size, physically, but it still a hex map 30 hexes wide.  The gameplay will be the same.  Ships move the same, guns fire the same ranges, and sensors can see all of it.

If you want initial numbers, and I'm not set in stone what I want yet anyway, I am thinking of ships crossing solar systems in about a single day, and weeks to cross the space between stars.

The goal is to have gameplay that is a lot more like WW-1 ships in space, but with islands (planets) to maneuver around.  A map could have a single solar system on it, and you can explain why the vast distances between planets, especially in the outer solar system are so short is because of that non-linear scale.  And that scale affects sensor ranges, movement speeds, and weapon ranges all the same as they're all based on my new K-F tech, so you don't need new statistics for every single different environment.

Long story short.  Its a game.  It won't always make total sense, but its the way it is for gameplay.  Even newer BattleTech rulebooks mention how ridiculously short the weapon ranges are, but you are just to go with it and not worry about that stuff.  Same goes here.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Weirdguy on 23 May 2022, 01:06:24
There is a fan made essay out there, structured pretty similarly to Mahan, with wide peer acceptance, which explained much if the weirdness for one faction at least. But when the time came to use it the writers didn't even know that it existed. Why should they? It was yet another piece of fan made fluff on a marginal issue.

If there is going to be a rule revamp it will be towards Alphastrike. Simplification. It has been the trend since AT1. Naval combat lends itself to increasing complexity as you add more and more escorts, screens, and CAPs.This has to be playable and 12 units a side is kind of BattleTech's sensible maximum.

Strategically you won't see a change. It opens too many cans of worms for too little gain. How does it help the ground pounders? If it helps just imagine there are a lot of unlisted naval JumpShips and naval regiments. Just like it says back in the 1980s House books. Not everything is written down in field manuals.

The issue of not enough shipping yards is problematic. But it is hard enough getting people to attack worlds with Mech factories, not the barren ball next door. FASAnomics is a woollen jumper you don't pull at the threads of too much. Shut your eyes smile and nod. If someone was paying Cannonshop levels of attention no shipyards would have survived the Jihad. Woollen threads.

I would agree with the sizes of the gameplay of a warship game.

It needs to be a fleet of ships.  A battleships, a couple of cruisers, and screen of destroyers.

I'm thinking in terms of a game of 5-10 vs 5-10 ships.

That would put it on the same gameplay as Alpha Strike, or other game company’s ship games like Full Thrust or BattleFleet Gothic.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Jellico on 23 May 2022, 01:22:53
Do you, by chance, have a link to this essay? ???

https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Essay:_SLDF_Naval_Doctrine
 (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Essay:_SLDF_Naval_Doctrine)
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Daryk on 23 May 2022, 16:50:55
Thank you, sir!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Weirdguy on 01 June 2022, 14:02:16
I sometimes think the bare minimum would be a third pass at the art.  The ships need to be drawn more like a tower, and symmetrical.  And I want to see the gravity wheels. 

I would still like a complete overhaul of the weapons and stats.  I want the ships to be memorable like real world warships.  If I can remember that the USS Texas has 14-inch guns mounted in pairs in 5 turrets, then is should be able to rattle off the SLDF Texas guns.   
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: idea weenie on 02 June 2022, 13:38:40
There are several fan articles/rules about what could be done to improve Warships in BT, but if I link those then this thread might be moved to Fan Rules.

For me, I'd be tempted to start over with the ship rules. The basic would be using % of mass for fuel consumption, rather than fixed plateaus.

The other ideas involve correcting/simplifying the Warship costs, changing the armor and SI limits, changing the station-keeping fuel consumption, Bay and weapon limits based on ship mass, giving a reason for civilian engines/fuel consumption, and a few other ideas that fall under Fan Rules.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Cannonshop on 02 June 2022, 13:43:13
There are several fan articles/rules about what could be done to improve Warships in BT, but if I link those then this thread might be moved to Fan Rules.

For me, I'd be tempted to start over with the ship rules. The basic would be using % of mass for fuel consumption, rather than fixed plateaus.

The other ideas involve correcting/simplifying the Warship costs, changing the armor and SI limits, changing the station-keeping fuel consumption, Bay and weapon limits based on ship mass, giving a reason for civilian engines/fuel consumption, and a few other ideas that fall under Fan Rules.

I like the idea of linking fuel use to tonnage instead of having fixed plateaus, it's more realistic.

The problem of course, is keeping it simple enough to game without becoming accountanttech (Or Spreadsheet Battles)

Costs is its own nightmare in the battletech context, not sure what you could even attempt that would work out, given the nature of Fasanomics.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: pokefan548 on 02 June 2022, 14:03:12
They do burn tons of fuel though. WarShip burn days don't have to round to the nearest day, and it's fairly simple to convert your days burned back into tons (or, depending on how granular you're getting, kilograms). In combat, WarShips have fuel points and burn them just the same as any other aerospace unit, and likewise it's trivial to convert that back to tons/kilograms.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: idea weenie on 02 June 2022, 14:13:37
I like the idea of linking fuel use to tonnage instead of having fixed plateaus, it's more realistic.

The problem of course, is keeping it simple enough to game without becoming accountanttech (Or Spreadsheet Battles)

Costs is its own nightmare in the battletech context, not sure what you could even attempt that would work out, given the nature of Fasanomics.

Most of the calculations would be done during the ship design phase, not during the game.  You just list tons/burn-day, and maybe round to the nearest 2 significant digits?  Current designs use 3-4 significant digits (1.84 t/bd for small Dropships all the way to 39.52 t/bd for Warships over 200 ktons), so only using 2 significant digits would be an improvement.


For costs, the main goal would be the Support System costs, where the current calculations are:
Jumpship: 10,000,000 x (Unit Tonnage ÷ 10,000)
Warship: 20,000,000 x (50 + Unit Tonnage ÷ 10,000)

At least change these equations to:
Jumpship: 1,000 x Unit Tonnage
(there is no reason to divide by 10,000, then turn around and multiply by 10 million)
Warship: 1,000,000,000 + 2,000 x Unit Tonnage
(again, dividing by 10,000 then multiplying by 20 million, plus changing the first value to a constant)


The problem with the Warship Support Systems costs is that it is very easy to double the mass of a Warship, almost doubling its capabilities, and the price only goes up by ~10% (compare the Sampan-III (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15u45BORBzwj81wHcfoSqqpAg3mYs5z4h27ww3nzEvJs/edit#gid=0) and Sampan-IV (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1_TpR_YVmRg1nZwOAsT-gYKuwyJ8uzj1UpyD6mMOhmWM/edit#gid=0))

One step to take would be to have a cost breakdown of the various components of a Warship, so we can see what is expensive and what is a minor issue.  For example adding a single Dropship Collar to a Warship will cost 400 million C-Bills, but converting 10,000 Heat Sinks from standard to Double strength only costs a net of 40 million C-Bills (this is before the Warship Cost multiplier)
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Daryk on 02 June 2022, 18:10:58
And this is why this thread should have been in Fan Rules from the beginning...  ::)
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Weirdguy on 03 June 2022, 09:33:17
And this is why this thread should have been in Fan Rules from the beginning...  ::)

I’m not so sure.  The idea was to get the official rules redone.  As it stands right now I have no interest in playing a BattleTech warship game.  None. 

So, if it’s broke, fix it. 

I do feel the guys running Catalyst Games are not willing to do that.  I get it.  It’s an idea with no hope.  Only if I win the lottery and buy BattleTech.  Then a retcon is coming, no matter what. 

But right now I would rather play something else like Full Thrust or Starmageddon. 
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 03 June 2022, 13:20:36
structured pretty similarly to Mahan,

We don't need Mahan, we need more Mohan.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Weirdguy on 04 June 2022, 21:23:55
Do you think a retcon set of rules for space warships be complex or simple?

I think keeping it simple is a good idea.  It’s a niche product, so complexity isn’t desirable.  Just make some basic rules that could pass for a quick start set, and stop there.

It’s also why I think ships need their armament simplified.  I want ship stats I can remember. 
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Red Pins on 04 June 2022, 21:36:55
Revise or retain away.  Just don't try to involve CGL.  May I suggest a single guideline?  Or two.  Two.

Set a page limit.  And throw the rulebook away; if it was working already, you wouldn't be doing it yourself.

You might want to start a thread for those of us interested in such a thing to offer opinions.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Weirdguy on 04 June 2022, 21:48:37
Revise or retain away.  Just don't try to involve CGL.  May I suggest a single guideline?  Or two.  Two.

Set a page limit.  And throw the rulebook away; if it was working already, you wouldn't be doing it yourself.

You might want to start a thread for those of us interested in such a thing to offer opinions.

This sounds like something I could do, but should go in the fan rules forum. 
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Hellraiser on 07 June 2022, 10:46:25
I sometimes think the bare minimum would be a third pass at the art.  The ships need to be drawn more like a tower, and symmetrical.  And I want to see the gravity wheels. 

TRO2750 art was at least close to this v/s the 3057 stuff.

I got the impression the wheels were built into the hull at armor level v/s sticking way out like you see on some space stations.   (Like cigar wrapper art piece)
Given how far across they are in relation to the length of the ships that made the most sense to me.

Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Hellraiser on 07 June 2022, 10:52:30
For costs, the main goal would be the Support System costs, where the current calculations are:
Jumpship: 10,000,000 x (Unit Tonnage ÷ 10,000)
Warship: 20,000,000 x (50 + Unit Tonnage ÷ 10,000)

At least change these equations to:
Jumpship: 1,000 x Unit Tonnage
(there is no reason to divide by 10,000, then turn around and multiply by 10 million)
Warship: 1,000,000,000 + 2,000 x Unit Tonnage
(again, dividing by 10,000 then multiplying by 20 million, plus changing the first value to a constant)


The problem with the Warship Support Systems costs is that it is very easy to double the mass of a Warship, almost doubling its capabilities, and the price only goes up by ~10% (compare the Sampan-III (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15u45BORBzwj81wHcfoSqqpAg3mYs5z4h27ww3nzEvJs/edit#gid=0) and Sampan-IV (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1_TpR_YVmRg1nZwOAsT-gYKuwyJ8uzj1UpyD6mMOhmWM/edit#gid=0))

One step to take would be to have a cost breakdown of the various components of a Warship, so we can see what is expensive and what is a minor issue.  For example adding a single Dropship Collar to a Warship will cost 400 million C-Bills, but converting 10,000 Heat Sinks from standard to Double strength only costs a net of 40 million C-Bills (this is before the Warship Cost multiplier)

IIRC Large Craft were the only C-Bill cost multiplier that didn't go up with Size.

All the ASF, Mechs, & Vees went up with size so that a 100 Ton mech cost you more than 5 Bugs at 20t each.

Adding a multiplier of for every X-KTs or even just a % of Max Tonnage would have been an improvement and affected very little since C-Bills weren't even on the Large Craft RS AFAICR.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: beachhead1985 on 07 June 2022, 12:20:30
I'm pretty happy with the rules as-is, with the exception of the armour. I'd be fine with a simple retcon adding a number of additional zeros to armour and thus; warship mass.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Daryk on 07 June 2022, 16:54:10
All Jump capable ship costs bow to the cost of the KF drive...  8)
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: RifleMech on 10 June 2022, 19:55:45
I like warships and think there should be more of them but they feel wrong. I don't get too much into the space side of things but it feels like warships are the biggest units in BT. Should they be though?

In real life though the biggest warship is the carrier and it's still tens of meters shorter than the biggest container ships. Battleships are a good 33% smaller than that. In terms of length at least. I guess it's because BT just uses tonnage as a scale. A smaller ship can be heavier than a larger ship but BT warships feel larger than jumpships, not just heavier.

The movie Greywolf is a great example. A destroyer is escorting a convoy of merchant ships during WWII and the crew is looking up at the cargo and troop ships towering over their destroyer as they sail past them. That's how I want to picture BT space ships but they feel too big. Maybe it's because many are also part Landing Ship as they carry dropships? Of course, Dropships are also an issue. Look at how many hexes they take up and their construction rules, then look at the rules for support wet navy ships and mobile structures. It's like dropships are beach balls and wet navy ships and mobile structures are bowling balls. It's a problem I don't see being fixed without a complete grown up redo and I don't want that.

I think maybe the easiest fix is to just make ortillery more complicated and thus rarely used. Beyond that though, maybe size classes like wet navy ships? Other than that, I don't know.  :-\

As to different factions developing their own tech, Welcome to Nebula California.  ;)  It would be nice if there were more alternative tech or faction specific versions though. Not just the universal standard of X Item = Y tonnage and Z crit space.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Daryk on 10 June 2022, 20:00:26
Ortillery is plenty complicated and dangerous as is, at least as long as the opposition can still contest the orbitals.  Parking yourself to deliver ortillery is a BAD idea if any thing can attack you...  ^-^
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: RifleMech on 10 June 2022, 20:05:50
True but make it more so. I'm not sure I can say how without going into Fan Rules territory though.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Weirdguy on 25 June 2022, 00:05:14
I sometimes think this is what warships should look like in BattleTech.  This is a 3D model I made of what I like as a space warship.  Is it BattleTech?  No, even I know it doesn't match the tech presented in the rules.  Honestly, this looks more like something you would see in Star Blazers.  But is that a bad thing?  That is why I started this thread.  I don't like what we have in this game right now.  So much, that if I could retcon it out, I would.  This is what I like.

A symmetrical ship with distinct weapons instead of forgettable groups of weapons that nobody can recall what ship has what weaponry mounted on it.  I can recall the speeds and weapons of nearly ever 3025 mech, and many of the 2750 mechs, and the Prime loadouts of the initial Clan set of mechs.  Hell, I can remember most 3025 aerospace fighter loadouts.

I can't think of ANY warship's weaponry or stats.  None.  I just know their names and that is about it.

The white parts are sensors.  You have to see to hit stuff.  They look like bridge towers, but that is a bit of a conceit for style's sake.  In reality the CIC is deep in the middle of the shop.

The fins are part of the FTL drive.  Again, I prefer ships that cruise around as ships, not dragging a parachute behind it collecting sunlight. 

The disk out the sides is a gravity wheel deck.  Probably two, housed inside the ship running opposite directions to cancel torque.  Sort of like a subway train running a loop-de-loop.  No rotating joints to leak air.

The "front" of the ship is the top, actually, and is a cargo bay and hangar.  There are three fuel tanks on top of a reactor bit, then seven nuclear rocket engines at the bottom.

Armor all faces the sides, where most enemy fire comes from.

This reminds me of a battleship.  A true battleship.  Maybe it is a bit too on the nose and resembles a WW-1 battleship too much, but I like it that way.

Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: marauder648 on 25 June 2022, 03:29:39
Where is this fan made TRO?   Or at least a name I can search for?

There's also - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1c6CDj_IhfmjOjGkVJ2jryRWylbHXXOqH/view Delranes Fighting ships which was an attempt to try and correct some of the visual mistakes with the art from TRO3057 to stop things like the Potempkin looking like a fleshlight and so on.

With the WarShips they need a re-vamp really. The tonnage is waaaaaaaay too low, I recall reading a thread where someone worked out the thickness of the armour based on the size/weight of the ship and its weight of armour and even a McKenna had armour about as thick as a sheet of paper, possibly less. WarShips probably need a 0 added to their tonnage so that even small ones are million ton vessels.

As for the fluff reasons, easy you split it into eras, you have the Reunification War, the Amaris Civil War, 1st/2nd succession wars, then Dropship battles in the 3rd and 4th and the return of the fleets in the era after.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: DevianID on 25 June 2022, 20:43:54
Marauder648 instead of adding a 0 to tonnage, which makes the ships far too heavy when still tracking .5 ton machine guns, just reduce the volume of the ship.  Its silly to have a kilometer long ship that is expected to turn; make the dimensions half (so 500 meters long, still very very long) and the density is 8x more.  Changing a fluff number is way simpler than bloating tonnage even more.

Wierdguy, im with you about visual recognition.  A mckenna has a lot of HNPPCs, but visually the weapons dont stand out at the scale battlespace chooses.  The Iowa and other ww2 ships had those 3 big turrets with triple guns, making for a striking profile.  The star destroyer emphasized its visual design of the ship since the guns were too small in scale.  Battletech doesnt really do either.  There is far too many ships in battletech for one ship to have a stand out appearance akin to the star destroyer (where the small total diversity in ship types creates easier recognition), and you can't recognize the design by its weapons like you can like a warhammer versus a rifleman.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: idea weenie on 25 June 2022, 21:26:04
One other detail is that a Warship's KF core is 45.25% of its mass.  So assuming the Warship and KF core are similar in shape (i.e. both cylindrical, both ellipsoid, etc) and density, then a KF core will be  ~76.77% the length of the ship.  Now if the rest of the ship is .25 tons/cubic meter and the core is ~5 tons per cubic meter, then the KF core will only be 28.28% the length of the ship.

So you might have an interesting 4-part description of the ship's layout:
Fore - the whole decks that are above the KF core (above as referring to the direction of 'gravity' when under acceleration)
Straddle - the decks that are wrapped around the core
Aft - the whole decks that are below the KF core (below as referring to the direction of 'gravity' when under acceleration)
Core - the central part that allows for FTL travel (the KF crystal itself, the containment, the cooling, and the on-site monitoring)

(for the percentages, I did set up a few cells in a spreadsheet to take in LWH, calculate volume, take in density, get a ship mass, get the Core mass, take in a core density, get the core volume, extract the core dimensions using input LWH ratios, and compare those to the input LWH to get the ratios of their LWH)


So assuming the Warship is a rough ellipsoid in shape (i.e. a stretched pill) where the height is 5* that of the diameters, using .25 tons per cubic meter average mass, then a 100 kton Warship would need to be ~268 meters tall, and 53.6 meters across.  If that Warship's core massed 5 tons/cubic meter (anyone know the density for common superconductors today?), then its core would be 75.8 meters tall and 15.16 meters across.  A 2.5 MTon Warship would be ~782 meters tall, ~156 meters across, and have a core that was 221 meters tall, and 44.2 meters across.

Not sure how it would help, but it could give us ideas for what the interior of a Warship would look like.  One thing I would expect is a lot of thermal padding between the main fusion engines and the cryogenic equipment needed for the KF core.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Daryk on 26 June 2022, 03:37:30
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.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Luciora 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
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: RifleMech 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.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Hellraiser 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.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Daryk 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).
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Cannonshop 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.)

Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Daryk 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).
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Tyler Jorgensson 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.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: monbvol 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.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: AlphaMirage 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.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: idea weenie 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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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').
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Oriffel 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!

Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Cannonshop 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.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Daryk on 24 July 2022, 11:19:22
Unless, of course, it's one of us...  8)
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Maingunnery 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.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: idea weenie 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 (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/17022/saganami-island-tactical-simulator) (and AV:T (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_Vector:_Tactical)) 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)
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Daryk on 24 July 2022, 14:33:19
DropShips can carry the most important capital weapons: nukes.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: kindalas on 24 July 2022, 21:42:56
DropShips can carry the most important capital weapons: nukes.

So can ASF when I think about it.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Cannonshop 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.

Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Hellraiser 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.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: DevianID 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.)
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: RifleMech 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.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: monbvol 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.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Wrangler 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
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Daryk 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...
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: DevianID 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.

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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.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Cannonshop 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.
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Daryk on 28 July 2022, 17:35:14
I'm honestly surprised the Mods haven't moved it down there already...  8)
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Cannonshop 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...'
Title: Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
Post by: Atlas3060 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.