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Author Topic: D12  (Read 877 times)

Dassenkop

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D12
« on: 17 January 2021, 03:30:38 »
Hi there. I'm (re)starting to get back into Battletech and wanted to give the Alpha Strike rules a try. Still learning the rules and starting to (re)build my terrain while waiting for the late pledge KS to arrive later this year.

One thing I noticed thusfar that is relatively easy to one kill light(er) mechs, which is something that I don't like tbh. Luckely the rules offer other ways to handle the dice roles and damage and, due to limted space, I started looking into the DFA home brew rules including roling multiple dice to determine individual hits.

I also noticed people are looking into rolling a d12 instead of 2D6. This will evenout the hit probability and therefore have an impact but I was wondering what are peoples experiences with it and how do you deal with the '12' critical damage. I understand some roll an additonal d12 where a 9+ would generate a critical hit.

Valkerie

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Re: D12
« Reply #1 on: 17 January 2021, 22:06:28 »
Haven't read or played with the DFA home rules, but Commander's Edition has the rules for one 2D6 roll per point of damage.  I've been playing with that with a friend through our Capellan Crusades campaign.  It does wonders for allowing lights to survive.
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theagent

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Re: D12
« Reply #2 on: 21 January 2021, 08:10:27 »
Well, what kind of opponents are your Lights having trouble staying alive against?  For most lights, they're not going to last long against, say, heavies or assaults.  And even against other lights it's not going to be a pretty fight.  Take the good old Stinger-3R.  In a Stinger-vs-Stinger battle, only the front Torso sections can take a single ML hit without going internal, & none of them can take a 2nd one.  Most locations (including the Head) are vaporized after 2 ML hits...bad luck for whichever pilot just lost their Right Arm & is down to a single MG, or just lost a leg (& good luck trying to jump with that hefty PSR penalty).  If they're facing an enemy with an AC/20 (Hunchback, Victor, etc.), then the best outcome from a single AC/20 hit on the Stinger is for a hit on the Left Arm from the Forward Arc.  Sure, the arm is gone...& so is the Left Torso...& you lost 2 points of CT armor...but you still have both legs (so you can move 6/9/3 still), & you still have your Medium Laser.  Hitting the RA means you're down to a single MG for your weapon.  Hitting either Leg means that Leg & the Side Torso are both gone (plus whatever Arm was on that side), so you could be down to a single MG and be essentially crippled (Movement of 1/2/3, assuming you want to risk the PSR penalty to Jump). Anything else that hits you after that (or in the same turn) is pretty much a death sentence.

Alpha Strike already mirrors that quite easily.  A Stinger can take 2 hits from another Stinger before Structure is exposed & it starts taking critical damage.  The only reason it's a little faster is because you're missing the possibility of multiple hits over multiple turns striking different locations.  Against a Hunchback (Short) or Victor (Short/Medium), though, it's toast...the only difference being that instead of being outright crippled it's considered destroyed, but again since it didn't really matter where the AC/20 hit you in tabletop it's understandable.

Haven't tried DFA's Home Rules yet, but might take a look at them.

I do have an issue, though, with switching to a D12 instead of 2D6 for the rolls.  Consider that Stinger duel example.  Assuming they're in a completely open map (no terrain modifiers), & no modifiers for heat & damage, with a Skill Level 4 each pilot needs a (4 + 2 Attacker Jumping + (TMM 2 + 1 Jumping)) = (4 + 2 + 3) = 9 to hit the other when within 6", 11 (+2) out to 24".  Rolling a 2D6, they each have a 10/36 chance (27.78%) to hit within 6", 3/36 chance (8.3%) to hit out to 24".  Rolling 1D12 instead?  Now it's a 4/12 chance (33.33%) to hit within 6", 2/12 chance (16.67%) out to 24".  That's a 20% better chance of hitting the target close-in, & double the chance farther out.  Better chances of hitting the target means combat is going to go even quicker...so if you think Light 'Mechs die too quickly in Alpha Strike, you're going to find them dying even faster by switching to a D12.

Elmoth

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Re: D12
« Reply #3 on: 21 January 2021, 09:05:47 »
Haven't read or played with the DFA home rules, but Commander's Edition has the rules for one 2D6 roll per point of damage.  I've been playing with that with a friend through our Capellan Crusades campaign.  It does wonders for allowing lights to survive.

This. This is how we play. You roll 2D6 to hit for each point of damage you can cause.

Using 1d12 just turns things way less interesting IMO, since skill is mostly irrelevant there. it is more chance based since you remove the bell curve probability for a flat out probability: you increase the variance A LOT so pilot skill and other modifiers become less relevant.

Descronan

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Re: D12
« Reply #4 on: 01 February 2021, 09:13:28 »
I've been playing almost exclusively using d12 variable damage rules. Roll 1d12 per point of damage. This makes it feel much more like classic Btech and allows those light units to survive a few attacks. It also results in far more critical hits so you have more units with critical damage limping around the battlefield. It does slow the game down a bit.

On the other hand, glass cannons like VTOLs are no longer virtually invulnerable as heavy/assault mechs roll multiple dice/attacks instead of 1.

We roll 1 critical per attacker, not per point of damage. For floating critical hits on a roll of 12 on any die, we roll an extra d12 to "confirm". On 9+, you get a bonus critical roll. We still use 2d6 for the critical table.

The biggest concern I have is on the PV vs effectiveness of units. But I haven't noticed anything too unbalanced. High TMM glass cannons may not be as valuable as their new PV indicates since they are more likely to take a couple points of damage.

If you're considering rolling 1d12 instead of 2d6, I personally have not done that. While there are some concerns about the bell curve, I personally don't see it as that big of a deal. The odds of rolling 12 moves from 3.5% on 2d6 to 8.3% on 1d12. Is a 5% difference that significant?  (shrug) My only concern there is the critical hit table since that is designed to take advantage of the bell curve.

Dassenkop

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Re: D12
« Reply #5 on: 04 February 2021, 02:47:14 »
Thx. for the insights and additional considerations and comments. I don't play enough games to get a feel of the difference between 1D12 and 2D6 so sharing the experience others have/had is very helpfull indeed.

Papewaio

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Re: D12
« Reply #6 on: 04 February 2021, 03:59:27 »
If you want to keep a (closer) probability distribution of 2d6 while using a d12 for the attack roll, this is what I do:

Determine the To-Hit Number as usual
For To-Hit Numbers below 7, Substract two (-2).
For To-Hit Number equal to 7, subtract 1 (-1)
To-Hit Number of 8 does not change.
For To-Hit numbers above 8, add one (+1). Your call if 13 rolls as 12, or is just impossible (fail, no roll).

The distribution is very close (not identical) to a 2d6. It adds a bit more complexity (one more final modifier), but things are actually faster than with 2d6, especially if you roll for each point of damage. And I like twelve sided dice :)

Regards!

Dassenkop

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Re: D12
« Reply #7 on: 06 February 2021, 02:48:44 »
Very nice mod for the d12. Thx. for the tip.

In my enthousiam for AS I already bought into d12's before actually considering whether it makes sense and not totally unbalance the game. After all the comments overall I feel like it is a slightly different impact on the game and slighty different experience vs 2d6's or with DFA d6 method. As long as both players agree what method to use it will not be an issue.

Papewaio

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Re: D12
« Reply #8 on: 06 February 2021, 11:43:04 »
In my enthousiam for AS I already bought into d12's before actually considering whether it makes sense and not totally unbalance the game. After all the comments overall I feel like it is a slightly different impact on the game and slighty different experience vs 2d6's or with DFA d6 method. As long as both players agree what method to use it will not be an issue.

If both players agree, then there is nothing to complain about at all. It is a game, it is about having fun. I am just a number cruncher with too many d12 dice at home.

Just so that you have and edge, if you see the changes I posted, with a d12 and no modifiers: higher rolls (To Hit Number over 8 ) are easier than the normal game (2d6), while lower numbers (under 8 ) are more difficult.

Therefore, long range shots, or jumping, or shots against fast units, are going to be easier than in the normal game rules. If you use extreme range rules it is even more fun.

In other words, try to get as many long range damage points as possible ;)