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Author Topic: Pilot Die! Brilliant (IMO)!  (Read 740 times)

Captain Punka

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Pilot Die! Brilliant (IMO)!
« on: 30 November 2021, 16:55:22 »
Was playing around with the DFA House Rule in which on any attack you use a Pilot die and a separate die for each point of damage.  I have to say, we found this house rule to be amazing!

Here's what I personally love about it:

1. It removes the feast/famine, all or nothing where a hard hitting mech does either 9 damage or 0 damage.  (Which I find to be personally jarring).

2. It makes the outcome of games a little less luck-reliant.

3. It makes secondary attacks flow more smoothly.

4.  It's fun to roll a small handful of dice rather than just 2.

5.  It's still super fast to resolve an attack, and on average games should take about the same amount of time.

6.  It's easy to implement.

7.  It aligns more closely with classic Battletech where there are multiple weapons being fired and some may hit and others miss.

I totally understand why, given the vision of Alpha Strike being a fast and easy rules system, to have the core rules do all or nothing damage.  However, with just a tiny amount of extra complexity, in my opinion, this rule adds a lot.  Maybe a future printing of the rules could add this as an optional rule?

For those of you who have played with the pilot die multiple attack house rule, what are your thoughts?  Do you like it or not?

Kibutsu

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Re: Pilot Die! Brilliant (IMO)!
« Reply #1 on: 01 December 2021, 09:48:56 »
We haven't tried that particular system, but we do use a form of variable damage. I agree that it feels much more like standard BattleTech than the plain vanilla basic rules version, and it's also less "gamey" in my opinion. I wouldn't enjoy AS nearly as much without variable damage in one form or another.

Frantic Pryde

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Re: Pilot Die! Brilliant (IMO)!
« Reply #2 on: 01 December 2021, 16:08:22 »
I much prefer rolling 2d6 per point of damage in general. That does bog down with larger games though. For larger games (800+) I like the pilot dice system as its a bit faster.

five_corparty

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Re: Pilot Die! Brilliant (IMO)!
« Reply #3 on: 01 December 2021, 17:07:29 »
we also roll for each point of damage, because it really doesn't take much longer, it gives it a more random flavor-of-war feel, and it sometimes keeps heavy hitters from evaporating the lights in a salvo.

Elmoth

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Re: Pilot Die! Brilliant (IMO)!
« Reply #4 on: 01 December 2021, 17:43:39 »
We also roll for each point of damage when we play small (less than 350 pts) games. In larger games we go for the basic rules of 1 roll per mech to speed things up.

Cheers,
Xavi

DevianID

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Re: Pilot Die! Brilliant (IMO)!
« Reply #5 on: 06 December 2021, 00:48:08 »
I really like the pilot die, but as a house rule its a hard sell versus the book version of rolling 2d6 per damage dice in alpha strike.  Both methods require several colored dice to group roll, so since you need colored dice anyway the multiple sets of 2d6 often wins out.  The pilot die has a few extra rules regarding box cars too, which kill it as an easy substitute.

In standard btech, the pilot die is more useful for resolving the cluster on, say, an LB20x, and feels better than the box of death.  In alphastrike, so many units only do like 3 damage so its not as hard to rip 3 sets of 2d6.  Something ripping 7 damage is rare in most alpha strike games, while many units have 7+ weapons in standard btech and many times that in location rolls.

Captain Punka

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Re: Pilot Die! Brilliant (IMO)!
« Reply #6 on: 06 December 2021, 12:53:49 »
Hi DevianID - In our games we frequently play with mechs that have 5+ damage.  So, the core rule of rolling 5 separate attack/damage rolls really slows down the game.  It's not unusual for us to have 9 damage - and rolling 9 separate attack/damage rolls is just not realistic.

The Pilot Die, on the other hand, I can just pick up all the dice and roll them at once, with just a single differently colored die.  So, in the 9-damage example, I just pick up 10 dice, roll them all at once, and quickly determine how many hit.  And switching between two different approaches depending upon whether a mech is doing 3 damage or 9 damage seems confusing and cumbersome.  So, IMO, the pilot die approach works very well for any damage amount, whereas the core rule only works when the damage is lowl

In my personal opinion, there is really no comparison in terms of ease of play between the two systems.
« Last Edit: 06 December 2021, 13:15:49 by Captain Punka »

CJKeys

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Re: Pilot Die! Brilliant (IMO)!
« Reply #7 on: 17 December 2021, 00:14:57 »
I really like the pilot die, but as a house rule its a hard sell versus the book version of rolling 2d6 per damage dice in alpha strike.  Both methods require several colored dice to group roll, so since you need colored dice anyway the multiple sets of 2d6 often wins out.  The pilot die has a few extra rules regarding box cars too, which kill it as an easy substitute.

In standard btech, the pilot die is more useful for resolving the cluster on, say, an LB20x, and feels better than the box of death.  In alphastrike, so many units only do like 3 damage so its not as hard to rip 3 sets of 2d6.  Something ripping 7 damage is rare in most alpha strike games, while many units have 7+ weapons in standard btech and many times that in location rolls.

Actually with the Pilot Die system, you just need the one for the pilot to be a defined color, and everything else just has to not be that color.... Its actually a sort of good compromise between 2d6 for each and all or nothing....
"Now sit down, shut up, and let us Davions do what we do best: kill people we think aren't free enough." - Reaver

DevianID

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Re: Pilot Die! Brilliant (IMO)!
« Reply #8 on: 17 December 2021, 01:12:16 »
For classic btech I have 12 or so easily identifiable sets of colored 2d6, so ripping a 7 damage timberwolf isnt too bad with 7 sets of 2d6 in alpha strike, as I roll all 7 attacks at once.  If you only have 2-3 colors of dice, yeah multiple rolls are tough.

I think my main issue with pilot die is trying to explain it to new players, especially when intro games I run are using 3 damage awesomes or 2 damage dragons, ect.  For an established gaming group post clan invasion, I agree it starts to make a lot more sense when everyone is running those 9 damage annihilators and 7 damage timberwolves.

If they ever update the base book to include the pilot die, its a way easier sell for me as I can point new players to a page in the rule book.

Fear Factory

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Re: Pilot Die! Brilliant (IMO)!
« Reply #9 on: 23 December 2021, 23:55:20 »
What sucks about all variable damage rules is the "natural 12" thing. That's feels more like D&D, and doesn't have a BattleTech feel.

I do this, and even did this and suggested it before DFA decided to do it.

1 - Pilot Die
2 - #Damage Die
3 - Critical die

You roll 1 pilot die, #damage die, and the crit die. If you do damage, and if the pilot die and crit die both equal 6, you get a critical hit chance.

They decided not to use the crit die.
The conflict is pure - The truth devised - The future secured - The enemy designed
Maj. Isaac "Litany" Van Houten, Lone Wolves, The Former 66th "Litany Against Fear" Company

 

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