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Author Topic: House Rules or Fixes for Issues and Corner Cases.  (Read 3724 times)

NathanIW

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House Rules or Fixes for Issues and Corner Cases.
« on: 22 September 2013, 18:24:36 »
EDIT3:

What's the vision for this thread?  It's a repository of solutions.  The point is not to identify failings for the point of criticizing the rules, but for brainstorming house rules and simple fixes for those who see the issues as important to their actual play.  If people don't see the issue as important, then they should not see other people having the issue as an attack on rules they like. 

Let's also be honest that these issues are largely corner cases and will not be relevant for the majority of play.  Any fixes or house rules are just for those who both a) find the issue to matter to them and b) want to resolve it for actual play purposes.  This thread is not a critique or criticism of Alpha Strike as a rules set.

In the future, this original post will get a massive edit with summaries of different house rules ideas and solutions for ease of reference.

The original post:

As building stuff for Alpha Strike first involves designing for Total War, you can have issues crop up that make no sense.  Things that work in TW stop working in AS.  Ones identified so far:

AMS:  Anti missile systems can't do anything against a variety of missile types as there is only a subset of missiles listed under the AMS special rules text. 

Improved Large lasers
:  They apparently don't get the ENE ability related to ammo explosions despite obviously being energy weapons. EDIT: In TW these lasers do explode, but not like getting an ammo hit on some LRM ammo or autocannon ammo.  They explode like gauss cannons.  EDIT2:  Another issue is that ENE weapons do reduced damage to reflective armour, but Improved Lasers don't get reduced because they don't count as ENE at all.

Indirect Fire
:  Weapons that can always fire indirect in TW lose their ability to do so if they don't do enough damage to qualify for IF1 even if they are the type of weapon that can only ever fire indirectly (mortars, for example)

ECM and Artemis: ECMs don't work on it

So what are your fixes?  Here's mine:

For AMS, would it work just to expand the definition of AMS to include those things specifically passed over and then make sure the stat cards for those have some sort of indicator as well?

Same for the improved laser?  Just say it doesn't prevent having ENE?  Give the things that have them ENE?

For indirect, I think the thing to do is to replace them with LRM units that do have IF1.  It's only an issue on the small end of the scale.  Just granting them IF1 out of hand doesn't really work because you end up with a massive points savings compared to the LRM equivalents, but you get the exact same stats.  For mechs with just a touch of LRMs, i'm not sure what the best result is.  Thoughts or suggestions?

For Artemis FCS, it's not actually really represented much in AS at all.  Normally ECM just shuts it down so you don't get the cluster chart bonuses.  But there's no cluster chart.  I'm also not sure how Artemis FCS factors into the conversion rules for Alpha Strike.

What are your thoughts on the above?  Any other issues of things not making sense you have identified?
« Last Edit: 25 September 2013, 19:12:40 by NathanIW »

cavingjan

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Re: House Rules or Fixes for Issues and Corner Cases.
« Reply #1 on: 22 September 2013, 19:55:12 »
Why would you make improved heavy lasers immune to crit hit explosions? They have the same problem as gauss rifles.

Charlie Tango

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Re: House Rules or Fixes for Issues and Corner Cases.
« Reply #2 on: 22 September 2013, 19:55:31 »
Fix is if you want things to exactly match the classic game, play the classic game. AS is a further abstraction for speed of play and as such some smaller details are lost.
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NathanIW

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Re: House Rules or Fixes for Issues and Corner Cases.
« Reply #3 on: 22 September 2013, 20:01:04 »
Why would you make improved heavy lasers immune to crit hit explosions? They have the same problem as gauss rifles.

It's an issue someone else brought to my attention.  How are ammo explosions for these lasers handled in Total War?

Fix is if you want things to exactly match the classic game, play the classic game. AS is a further abstraction for speed of play and as such some smaller details are lost.

There are things that AS does better than TW.  For an example, see the post about a game with 183 units on the table and actualy playing to a resolution in 6 hours.  So it's not a matter of "if you want it to be like the classic game, just play that."

Some details are indeed lost.  For some, the idea of AMS not doing anything about medium range missiles will seem ridiculous.  For others, the idea of a mortar that can't fire indirectly will seem ridiculous.  If you don't have these issues, that's nice.  But the answer of "play rules that don't have this issue" misses the point.  I want a set of rules that is fast and doesn't have illogical issues like this.

Can you come up with any ideas about how to resolve these issues without adding complexity?  Anything to contribute?
« Last Edit: 22 September 2013, 20:06:56 by NathanIW »

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Re: House Rules or Fixes for Issues and Corner Cases.
« Reply #4 on: 22 September 2013, 20:10:28 »

For Artemis FCS, it's not actually really represented much in AS at all.  Normally ECM just shuts it down so you don't get the cluster chart bonuses.  But there's no cluster chart.  I'm also not sure how Artemis FCS factors into the conversion rules for Alpha Strike.

What are your thoughts on the above?  Any other issues of things not making sense you have identified?

For Artemis you could fix that, IF you are printing your own cards you would have to print "Artemis" on the data cards, then perhaps say that these units do -1 damage if they are within range of ECM. Of course you'd have to figure out which units it really would affect, so a unit with LRM 10 + Artemis the difference probably is zero, wheras the Archer, Longbow etc it definitely would make a difference.
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Charlie Tango

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Re: House Rules or Fixes for Issues and Corner Cases.
« Reply #5 on: 22 September 2013, 20:20:33 »
Below certain thresholds, the effects of certain technologies are statistically less significant.  I'm fine, for example, with a mech mortar 1on a flatbed truck or a 'mech with a single LRM-5 not having the IF capability. The damage capability is already factored into the primary range damage calculation.  To me, that makes things like the flatbed even more effective than they would be in the classic game, so that makes it a more than equivalent tradeoff.

Yes, the conversion rules do create some sanding off of the rough edges of how equipment interact. But for the faster play, I think losing small fiddly details is worth it.

« Last Edit: 22 September 2013, 20:22:20 by Charlie Tango »
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cavingjan

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Re: House Rules or Fixes for Issues and Corner Cases.
« Reply #6 on: 22 September 2013, 21:31:44 »
It's an issue someone else brought to my attention.  How are ammo explosions for these lasers handled in Total War?

A crit to an improved heavy laser is treated the same as a crit to a gauss rifle. The mech takes internal damage equal to half of the weapons damage value and the pilot takes 2 hits just like an ammo explosion. It may not be ammo but it explodes like it.

NathanIW

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Re: House Rules or Fixes for Issues and Corner Cases.
« Reply #7 on: 22 September 2013, 21:32:51 »
For Artemis you could fix that, IF you are printing your own cards you would have to print "Artemis" on the data cards, then perhaps say that these units do -1 damage if they are within range of ECM. Of course you'd have to figure out which units it really would affect, so a unit with LRM 10 + Artemis the difference probably is zero, wheras the Archer, Longbow etc it definitely would make a difference.

Well, the MUL card images already assume you're going to add something to them as they leave Skill blank.  So adding a note on some cards you might print shouldn't be too much of a hassle.  It can be done by either editing the PNG image file or just writing on it after it is printed (like I assume most people will do with the skill entry).

I took a closer look at how the Artemis FCS work in the BF conversion rules.  They simply make the assumption that more missiles hit when working out the average damage, resulting in a 33% increase in damage contributed before dividing and rounding.  While that might sound like a lot, it actually matters more whether or not it pushes it into the threshold of an additional point of damage.  If you can figure out whether or not it does that, then a AFCS special rule with a number of damage points that it actually contributes in Alpha Strike.  Then you know how much to reduce if you're caught in ECM.

NathanIW

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Re: House Rules or Fixes for Issues and Corner Cases.
« Reply #8 on: 22 September 2013, 21:36:34 »
A crit to an improved heavy laser is treated the same as a crit to a gauss rifle. The mech takes internal damage equal to half of the weapons damage value and the pilot takes 2 hits just like an ammo explosion. It may not be ammo but it explodes like it.

Ah.  I see.  I just took someone's word for it that it was nonsensical.  I didn't know that improved heavy lasers included explosive components.  But it's not a catastrophic explosion like LRM ammos getting hit.

So a fix might be that if there are only improved lasers, gauss cannon and regular energy weapons, it wouldn't qualify for ENE because of the explosive components, but might count as CASE-- a more self contained explosion.

Alexander Knight

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Re: House Rules or Fixes for Issues and Corner Cases.
« Reply #9 on: 22 September 2013, 21:39:54 »
See, here's why it's nonsensical.  Take a 'mech armed only with improved heavy lasers.  Have it attack something with reflective armor.

It should do half damage, right?  Not in AS, because it's not ENE.  Again, a casualty of the abstraction level.  I live with it.

NathanIW

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Re: House Rules or Fixes for Issues and Corner Cases.
« Reply #10 on: 22 September 2013, 21:47:11 »
Yes, the conversion rules do create some sanding off of the rough edges of how equipment interact. But for the faster play, I think losing small fiddly details is worth it.

I agree.  I also think that in some cases people might not like it when their favorite tech no longer does what they think it should or that a simple fix might be available that doesn't involve over complicating things.

So far all the fixes/house rules seem to amount to being a bit more precise in the special rules line of the cards.  It's not like people are advocating for bolting on new subsystems to the rules.

"I'm in your ECM bubble?  Oh, I see that i have AFCS1 so I only do 2 damage on my hit instead of 3.  And you have AMS?  Well, I have the MRM tag as well, so that's down to 1 damage then."

This is largely about corner cases.  Identifying areas where things break down for people and discussing good ways to fix them.  That includes keeping with the overall design ethos for Alpha Strike.
« Last Edit: 22 September 2013, 21:51:52 by NathanIW »

NathanIW

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Re: House Rules or Fixes for Issues and Corner Cases.
« Reply #11 on: 22 September 2013, 21:50:21 »
See, here's why it's nonsensical.  Take a 'mech armed only with improved heavy lasers.  Have it attack something with reflective armor.

It should do half damage, right?  Not in AS, because it's not ENE.  Again, a casualty of the abstraction level.  I live with it.

I totally missed the point earlier.  Thanks for explaining it.  And yeah, that is nonsensical.

Would a fix were you put a number after ENE work?  If there's no number, it's all the attacks, if it's a number, that's the damage reduction for reflective armour?

Note, I'm not talking about someone going back to the master unit list and changing everything around, but just an option for editing cards for corner cases where people want to remove a nonsensical element from their particular game.

NathanIW

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Re: House Rules or Fixes for Issues and Corner Cases.
« Reply #12 on: 22 September 2013, 21:54:18 »
As I'm seeing more and more how all these interactions between rules and tech across two different games need to be considered, the more I'm impressed with the design team for BF and Alpha Strike.

There's so much to take in and consider.

NathanIW

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Re: House Rules or Fixes for Issues and Corner Cases.
« Reply #13 on: 22 September 2013, 22:07:46 »
can't seem to find an option under editing to delete posts.
« Last Edit: 22 September 2013, 22:14:39 by NathanIW »

Charlie Tango

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Re: House Rules or Fixes for Issues and Corner Cases.
« Reply #14 on: 22 September 2013, 22:21:22 »
There isn't one.
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NathanIW

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Re: House Rules or Fixes for Issues and Corner Cases.
« Reply #15 on: 25 September 2013, 19:03:24 »
Another issue?

The invincibility of off map artillery.  If you place your artillery off the map, you can choose to put it at the point where it can get a low delay period (usually one turn) and can fire effectively on the map, but can never be in any danger of counterattack.  Even aerospace units that could otherwise find and destroy artillery can't find them.  They can to have their full effectiveness but are invincible, even to the units that should be able to reach them (aerospace units and counterbattery artillery fire).

This is another issue of simplicity.  There simply are no rules to cover this.  People are working on simple systems using the radar map as a house rule.  As it currently stands, this invincibility simply results from the rules not having any rules for targeting these models.

For more discussion on this matter, there is a thread by oldschool here:

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,33053.0.html

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Re: House Rules or Fixes for Issues and Corner Cases.
« Reply #16 on: 28 September 2013, 20:00:22 »
nevermind lol.

For movement, I was thinking that in order to get the modifier you have to move, but this will only result in people moving all the time without any impact to gameplay.
« Last Edit: 28 September 2013, 20:02:16 by Fear Factory »
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