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Author Topic: Trying to get a handle on conventional fighters  (Read 775 times)

Oniralas

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Trying to get a handle on conventional fighters
« on: 20 October 2021, 18:51:47 »
Hey folks

Ok so I'm still trying to wrap my head around the aerospace rules (CF, specifically) and I *think* I may have a grasp on it...but wanted to verify.

If operating on a "low altitude map", with only targeting ground forces (no dogfights, etc) then the fighter moves around on the std hex map like any other unit. Granted, this an abstract of it hauling arse much higher up but since we're not splitting the two words appart for purposes of air to air resolution, they can be treated like a single map -- yes/no?

Movement wise, thrust spent = total movement, with a minimum of 1 hex move before a direction change. Elevation acts similar to the VTOL -- be high enough so you don't crash into a mountain, but it also is used to calculate distance for fire/return fire... yes/no?

What else am I missing? I really *really* want to use fighters in a future game but the general feedback from my local group is aero is far too complicated. For just CF's I think the complexity is getting overblown but I want to make sure I understand all of it before I try to sell the idea further.

Daryk

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Re: Trying to get a handle on conventional fighters
« Reply #1 on: 20 October 2021, 19:52:23 »
I hope someone more versed in the rules posts here, but I think I can say that's not quite how it works.  There are rules for aerospace units on regular BattleTech maps, but those aren't the "low altitude" map.  On that map, one hex is a map sheet of ground-based BattleTech (~500 meters across).

Weirdo

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Re: Trying to get a handle on conventional fighters
« Reply #2 on: 21 October 2021, 00:46:56 »
Hey folks

Ok so I'm still trying to wrap my head around the aerospace rules (CF, specifically) and I *think* I may have a grasp on it...but wanted to verify.

If operating on a "low altitude map", with only targeting ground forces (no dogfights, etc) then the fighter moves around on the std hex map like any other unit. Granted, this an abstract of it hauling arse much higher up but since we're not splitting the two words appart for purposes of air to air resolution, they can be treated like a single map -- yes/no?
No. Low Altitude operations use *a* ground mapsheet, but very much NOT the same one as the ground battle. As Daryk mentioned, each Low Altitude hex is roughly 500 meters across, and corresponds to an entire mapsheet of the ground battlefield. The default setup is that the center hexes of the Low Altitude map each correspond to a mapsheet of the ground battle - you must end your movement in that hex if you want to attack any ground units in the corresponding mapsheet on that turn, otherwise you spend the weapons phase miles away from that patch of ground, too far away to shoot at anything there.
Quote

Movement wise, thrust spent = total movement, with a minimum of 1 hex move before a direction change. Elevation acts similar to the VTOL -- be high enough so you don't crash into a mountain, but it also is used to calculate distance for fire/return fire... yes/no?
You're close, but movement is a bit more complex than that, because part of your velocity carries over from turn to turn, and the faster you're going, the more hexes you have to move before any facing changes. You've pretty much got the gist of Altitude, so long as you remember that Altitude levels and Elevation levels are not and never will be the same - ALL Elevation levels fit underneath Altitude level 1.
What else am I missing? I really *really* want to use fighters in a future game but the general feedback from my local group is aero is far too complicated. For just CF's I think the complexity is getting overblown but I want to make sure I understand all of it before I try to sell the idea further.
Aero rules are more complex than ground ones, but only by a little bit. Certainly not nearly as bad as some folks would have you believe, who probably only skimmed the rules, saw the differences, and decided to skip the whole thing. My advice is to take roughly an hour sometime before the game to read the movement rules in detail, set out a mapsheet, and spend a bit of time actually pushing a fighter around the board while reading the rules. It'll seem daunting at first, but I'm pretty sure you'll get the hang of it quickly, at which point it becomes second nature. :thumbsup:
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Daryk

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Re: Trying to get a handle on conventional fighters
« Reply #3 on: 21 October 2021, 03:24:50 »
Thanks for weighing in Weirdo!  :thumbsup:

Oniralas

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Re: Trying to get a handle on conventional fighters
« Reply #4 on: 21 October 2021, 07:03:51 »
No. Low Altitude operations use *a* ground mapsheet, but very much NOT the same one as the ground battle. As Daryk mentioned, each Low Altitude hex is roughly 500 meters across, and corresponds to an entire mapsheet of the ground battlefield. The default setup is that the center hexes of the Low Altitude map each correspond to a mapsheet of the ground battle - you must end your movement in that hex if you want to attack any ground units in the corresponding mapsheet on that turn, otherwise you spend the weapons phase miles away from that patch of ground, too far away to shoot at anything there. You're close, but movement is a bit more complex than that, because part of your velocity carries over from turn to turn, and the faster you're going, the more hexes you have to move before any facing changes. You've pretty much got the gist of Altitude, so long as you remember that Altitude levels and Elevation levels are not and never will be the same - ALL Elevation levels fit underneath Altitude level 1.Aero rules are more complex than ground ones, but only by a little bit. Certainly not nearly as bad as some folks would have you believe, who probably only skimmed the rules, saw the differences, and decided to skip the whole thing. My advice is to take roughly an hour sometime before the game to read the movement rules in detail, set out a mapsheet, and spend a bit of time actually pushing a fighter around the board while reading the rules. It'll seem daunting at first, but I'm pretty sure you'll get the hang of it quickly, at which point it becomes second nature. :thumbsup:

Right, I guess I didn't mention/clarify (my bad!) that the unit would be circling the entire time. So If I imagine I have a second sheet and I go "Ok, this hex here is our main map" then count out my movement, making a big circle and end up right back where I started... then there was no real reason to have a 2nd map to the side. If I went flying some other direction then yeah, I now have to reconcile that since, like you said I'd be a few miles away after 10 seconds of  flight.

Velocity -- it divides in half every round, so if you are pumping the same amount of velocity points to bring it back to a specific level, then your total MP would never change right? Goes back to the "I'm going to just keep circling and doing an close air support attack every round" mentality (*cough* A10 *cough).

So let's say I end up in our main hex that the action is happening in -- on *that* map, I just nominate my "fly through" straight line path (which I guess corresponds with the angle I am coming in from the other hex map) and the target(s) in that path (direct vs. strafe, etc)? Edit: I found the description on pg 247 on how units would fire back -- Arcs are always measured from the exiting edge of the flight path, yes? Whew... they didn't do anyone any favors with these rules stacked on each other for aero LOL

Thanks for the clarification! And yeah, most of my locals looked at the aerospace section and noped right on out...which is a shame, I love combined arms and aircraft
« Last Edit: 21 October 2021, 10:14:49 by Oniralas »

Weirdo

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Re: Trying to get a handle on conventional fighters
« Reply #5 on: 21 October 2021, 09:52:15 »
Right, I guess I didn't mention/clarify (my bad!) that the unit would be circling the entire time. So If I imagine I have a second sheet and I go "Ok, this hex here is our main map" then count out my movement, making a big circle and end up right back where I started... then there was no real reason to have a 2nd map to the side. If I went flying some other direction then yeah, I now have to reconcile that since, like you said I'd be a few miles away after 10 seconds of  flight.
Correct. An aero with a constant velocity of six can circle around every turn, with their attack path always offset from the last turn's path by 120 degrees. That's pretty much my SOP whenever I bring aero and nobody else at the table did. Which can be translated to "whenever I bring aero".

Quote
Velocity -- it divides in half every round, so if you are pumping the same amount of velocity points to bring it back to a specific level, then your total MP would never change right? Goes back to the "I'm going to just keep circling and doing an close air support attack every round" mentality (*cough* A10 *cough).

So let's say I end up in our main hex that the action is happening in -- on *that* map, I just nominate my "fly through" straight line path (which I guess corsponds with the angle I am coming in from the other hex map) and the target(s) in that path (direct vs. suicide, etc)?

In a perfect world, yes. However, there's always such things as losing control due to AA fire(it's not nearly always lethal), random movement, engine crits, needing to spend thrust to regain Altitude...there's a lot of things that can prevent you from flying that nice neat circle every turn that also doesn't automatically kill you.

Also, I fixed that last sentence for you. :)
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Oniralas

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Re: Trying to get a handle on conventional fighters
« Reply #6 on: 21 October 2021, 10:17:46 »
Also, I fixed that last sentence for you. :)

Haha -- yeah I've already read up on the "don't ever do this" list for aero. Good stuff!

I think I'll keep a small map available to the side to do any of the what-if scenarios (like getting smashed with AA fire or doing something dumb like a piloting maneuver). Or maybe we'll just house rule it to say the plane can come in every other turn until someone blows it up. I don't want it to be OP or drag the game down too much, else they'll never let me make top gun references again.

Weirdo

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Re: Trying to get a handle on conventional fighters
« Reply #7 on: 21 October 2021, 10:23:16 »
That's fair. Aeros are a lot like infantry, in that abandoning moderation and going all-out is a great way to get it banned from your group.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
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Sajuuk Khar

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Re: Trying to get a handle on conventional fighters
« Reply #8 on: 16 November 2021, 11:42:43 »
Hey folks

Ok so I'm still trying to wrap my head around the aerospace rules (CF, specifically) and I *think* I may have a grasp on it...but wanted to verify.

If operating on a "low altitude map", with only targeting ground forces (no dogfights, etc) then the fighter moves around on the std hex map like any other unit. Granted, this an abstract of it hauling arse much higher up but since we're not splitting the two words appart for purposes of air to air resolution, they can be treated like a single map -- yes/no?

Movement wise, thrust spent = total movement, with a minimum of 1 hex move before a direction change. Elevation acts similar to the VTOL -- be high enough so you don't crash into a mountain, but it also is used to calculate distance for fire/return fire... yes/no?

What else am I missing? I really *really* want to use fighters in a future game but the general feedback from my local group is aero is far too complicated. For just CF's I think the complexity is getting overblown but I want to make sure I understand all of it before I try to sell the idea further.

I asked a similar question a while ago after receiving a bonus Shilone Fighter from the clan invasion kickstarer.  I wanted to include it in my ground battles.  I was having trouble getting my head warped around the rules.  After reading them several times, I used MegaMek and I was able to figure out how to control the fighter.  I suggest getting MegaMek and playing around with fighters to get a grasp on the rules.

Let me tell you it is not easy if you are only using 2 map sheets for the fighter to stick around make a pass, and turn around for another pass.  You will most likely fly off the map if you are not careful.  there is a maneuver that lets you turn on the spot but its hard to pull of and if you fail you lose several altitude levels and could crash.

Its fun once you get a handle of the rules though, I was able to practice strafing runs, bombing runs, dive bombing and normal attacks, and trying to attack the fighter with ground units to see what the modifiers are.

Weirdo

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Re: Trying to get a handle on conventional fighters
« Reply #9 on: 16 November 2021, 12:11:16 »
Ah, you're using the Aero Units on Ground Mapsheets rules.

If you're using a battlefield that's smaller than 3 maps by 3 maps, I highly recommend you use the standard rules instead, where the aero units get their own map, with the center hexes of that map corresponding to the ground battlefield.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer
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Hellraiser

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Re: Trying to get a handle on conventional fighters
« Reply #10 on: 16 November 2021, 13:03:54 »
I've only used the 2nd map option part to direct in ground fire & essentially have a 2nd battle going on one time, but, I would agree that it is overly complex/distracting if your main focus is the ground game.

Now that said, having a "Dog fight" in the air isn't bad at all.

Your movement is a bit more complex than ground combat due to speed/velocity/elevation, etc etc, but in turn you have no issues with terrain when figuring out fire.

I have not played a ton of AT games, just a few over the years & have enjoyed every one of them.

As I said above, its really only when your trying to do multiple "levels" at once that things get annoying.
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DevianID

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Re: Trying to get a handle on conventional fighters
« Reply #11 on: 17 November 2021, 00:46:56 »
I am a fan of using the blank back of a mapsheet to track the air game, as I prefer 2 mapsheet btech ground games (love the new neoprene maps!) with 8-16 units max to keep the game moving.  A 3x3 btech board is too fussy to get done in an afternoon for me just to allow aerofighters room to fly and turn.

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Re: Trying to get a handle on conventional fighters
« Reply #12 on: 17 November 2021, 07:58:57 »
Ditto. Because I'm usually the only one bringing air units to the game, the air map is just to track my fighters' approach to the battlefield and then maneuvers around it. Each fighter doesn't add any more time to the game than an equivalent mech would.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer
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Re: Trying to get a handle on conventional fighters
« Reply #13 on: 18 November 2021, 10:52:25 »
Seems lopsided if your the only one bringing it fighters, but, I guess I can see it being faster than if you have a dogfight going on at the same time.
Still, its space that could be devoted to a 3rd ground map.



3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
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Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Weirdo

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Re: Trying to get a handle on conventional fighters
« Reply #14 on: 18 November 2021, 11:06:26 »
My group is lucky enough to play at a place where that's not normally a concern. 6'x4' tables means plenty of room to set up the ground maps you want while still leaving room for an air map.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer
"We are the tribal elders. Weirdo is the mushroom specialist." - Worktroll

 

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