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BattleTech Game Systems => Alpha Strike => Topic started by: Inspector2311 on 07 April 2021, 01:34:20

Title: Forced Withdrawal under Morale Rules?
Post by: Inspector2311 on 07 April 2021, 01:34:20
So according to the Morale Rules, Page 169 of the Commander's Edition, if you play with the optional Morale rules, then a unit isn't automatically in forced withdrawal when they suffer critical damage.  Instead, the unit makes a Morale check to see if it is Routed.  And if the unit is Regular experience and is a Battlemech, then it's TN is 2? (4 base, -2 for "is a Battlemech...," page 170)  And if they're Veteran or above, then you can't send them into forced withdrawal at all?

That doesn't seem like how this was intended to work... have I gotten this wrong?
Title: Re: Forced Withdrawal under Morale Rules?
Post by: bloof on 26 May 2021, 02:52:40
I agree. They make no sense. I would double the skill, so a skill 4 would have base 8, mech -2 = 6. Even then it is very easy to pass compared to the standard rule without morale.
I would change to Skill x2 + pips of structure damage. So if you have 3 pips damage, skill 4, and are in a Mech, you have to roll 9+ (4x2+3-2).
We just use the standard rules without morale.
Title: Re: Forced Withdrawal under Morale Rules?
Post by: Captain Punka on 06 June 2021, 10:51:46
I was also hoping to add morale into our games to make them more gritty and realistic, but the numbers just don't make sense.  Also, while infantry being hit by inferno ordnance makes sense to trigger a morale check, IMO it's a big stretch for this to trigger a morale check for a 'mech.  A mech can go swimming in a lake of magma and just take 1 extra heat per turn (p. 59), but if they get hit with an inferno SRM then they might flee in terror?

I'm a big fan of the structure of morale checks, but I think the inferno vs. mech trigger must be removed and you have discussed, the numbers must be reworked.  I like your double skill as the target suggestion.

Hopefully these rules are given an official errata.
Title: Re: Forced Withdrawal under Morale Rules?
Post by: Descronan on 12 June 2021, 08:46:16
I'm routinely playing games with 20+ units on the board. The existing morale rules just make it too complex and cumbersome with that many units.

Instead, I used a modified "battlegroup" morale system. Pick a commander and use their skill and roll once when any of the following conditions are met:
Outnumbered +2
25% of your force is destroyed +2*
50% of your force is destroyed +4*
Commander off board or destroyed +2**
* Only apply the higher modifier
** Choose a new unit to act as the commander

Failure by 1 means your entire force must begin withdrawing. Fail by 2-3 and you offer a ceasefire and withdraw. Fail by 4+ and your entire force surrenders unless the opponent is also withdrawing. Unless you surrender, you can attempt to recover morale the following turn.

So skill 2 commander starts the battle outnumbered. No roll. He loses 2 of his 8 units; T# 6 and fails. The entire force needs to withdraw for 1 turn. The next turn the commander tries to recover and succeeds so the withdrawal is canceled until either the commander is killed or 50% of the force is killed.

This worked really well with variable damage rules as those tend to allow the units to survive a bit longer.
Title: Re: Forced Withdrawal under Morale Rules?
Post by: Captain Punka on 23 June 2021, 11:31:34
Descronan - I see your point and I agree rules as written could get bogged down.  I don't love your rules because requiring the entire force to begin withdrawing basically means they lose.  Also, I'm a fan of an individual mech pilot losing their nerve and getting out of dodge.

I think the following rule modifications to the printed Morale rules would work very well and are streamlined even with 20 mechs since any individual unit would only ever check once.

Morale Triggers:
     non-infantry unit that has sustained crippling damage (0 armor, 1/2 structure)
     infantry unit that has sustained 1/2 total damage capacity (armor + structure)

Morale Check:
     Base Target Number = 2 * Unit's Skill Rating
     Modifiers (steamline to only these for ease of play):
          BattleMech -2
          ProtoMech -1
          Industrial Mech +0
          Combat Vehicle +0
          Support Vehicle +3
          Battle Armor Infantry -1
          Conventional Infantry +2
          Iron Will SPA -2

Failed Morale Check: A unit that fails a check must use as much of their full normal move as possible using the most direct path towards their deployment edge while not coming closer to enemy units; they may optionally sprint and make attacks; if retreating and immobilized they are instead destroyed.

Since the above rules are only ever triggered once per unit, and since the check is fast and simple, in my experience it does not bog down game play and introduces some fun realism.  Anyway, just my 2 cents.
Title: Re: Forced Withdrawal under Morale Rules?
Post by: Descronan on 24 June 2021, 22:15:08
The reason for the way I did it was because the commander's morale failed, not a single unit. We still use Forced Withdrawal rules for individual units. But if your commander calls a retreat... well, that's what a good soldier would do, right?

I personally don't like having all the modifiers and exceptions. But I could see having the Iron Will SPA modifier if that was on the commander's unit.

Eh, different strokes for different battlefields. (shrug)
Title: Re: Forced Withdrawal under Morale Rules?
Post by: Holland on 28 June 2021, 17:26:04
On a related note,

What are the criteria for fulfilling a forced withdrawal?  It seems implied you must move towards your deployment board edge, but how fast (are you required to sprint?), how directly?

If someone has a page number in the Commander's edition that spells this out that would be helpful, but maybe it's intended to be up to the players given it's optional status.
Title: Re: Forced Withdrawal under Morale Rules?
Post by: Kerfuffin(925) on 28 June 2021, 18:28:40
On a related note,

What are the criteria for fulfilling a forced withdrawal?  It seems implied you must move towards your deployment board edge, but how fast (are you required to sprint?), how directly?

If someone has a page number in the Commander's edition that spells this out that would be helpful, but maybe it's intended to be up to the players given it's optional status.

RAW as long as you move in that direction it’s ok.
Title: Re: Forced Withdrawal under Morale Rules?
Post by: nckestrel on 28 June 2021, 19:07:29
RAW as long as you move in that direction it’s ok.

This. 
It intentionally dropped any requirement for a particular distance.