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Author Topic: Some thoughts on building CF  (Read 358 times)


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Some thoughts on building CF
« on: 15 May 2022, 04:33:13 »
Wasn't sure about posting it here, in the rules section, or in the Ask the writers one. Maybe this one is the best choice.
While working on third scenario of my Betelgeuse small campaign, I was going to introduce laser turrets as a support for defending forces.
In the CBT version, I'd easily put that as CF 60 buildings with a large laser 360° turret on top.
Coming to AS, I don't know what to do. Obviously it comes as a 1/1/0 in attack, but what about armor/CF?
The ability of withstanding 60 points of damage would translate in 2 armor pips for a 'Mech. This occurs even if the damage conversion in attack is clearly set as 10 to 1, because 'Mechs have a number of locations over which damage spreads. Wisely, in AS this has been abstracted by using a 30 to 1 conversion for armor - that's a brilliant idea!  :).
For a turret, even sticking to the 10 to 1 conversion would result in a unit with 6 armor. That is, 6 damage points before it is destroyed.
However, if I consider the turret an Armed building (as suggested in the AS Companion), the CBT 60 CF would roughly translate into a 18-20 CF building (40CF medium buildings becoming 12CF in AS, and 90CF heavy ones going to 25CF). Now, that's about 3 times damage capacity!
The factor 3 comes out in general for all buildings. A typical medium building in CBT, with 40 CF, collapses after receiving 4 PPC shots. In AS, a medium building has 12 CF which need 12 PPC shots to be taken down. This makes building far sturdier, and the reason is not clear to me. Scenarios with heavy buildings definitely revolve about the protection they offer, since they are so much harder to take down.
Even more so if you consider that in AS they should offer maximum protection until they crumble, which we ruled out by assuming that the Damage absorption is the current CF/10, rounded up (as in CBT). And also the damage absorption is more effective, because even if a unit has a single large weapon like a Gauss rifle or an AC/20 (which would do significant damage in CBT), in AS they can't go through the absorpion given by a medium building. Even worse if infantry is involved: firing an AC/20 at infantry in a light building is useless unless you can make the building fall on top of their heads - which still requires 3 shots to be done.
Yet, have a 40 tons 'Mech step on it, and the building collapses easily.
I was wondering what rationale might be for making AS building that tough, compared to CBT. I'm seriously considering changing the listed CF ranges to make them more similar to CBT. That is:
Light 1-2CF
Medium 3-5CF
Heavy 6-10CF
Hardened 11-15CF
That would make buildings less "problematic" from this point of view.
I'd like to hear some thoughts about that.
« Last Edit: 15 May 2022, 05:06:32 by gwaedin »


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Re: Some thoughts on building CF
« Reply #1 on: 15 May 2022, 04:53:10 »
Those seem pretty sensible numbers - I've been considering a similar riff (triggered by starting to paint my hardened & armed bunkers from the CAV II KS).

For standalone structures like turrets - or houses - those feel right. A light 'Mech like a Wasp can take down a light building (eg. house) by charging it, but might need to spend two turns finishing it off with weapons. A Thud needs a few turns to blow up a medium building, and hardened bunkers are serious work.

Remember, they'll get the -1 for being immobile when being fired at.

The only kink I can see is complexes - eg. what would have been multi-hex buildings in BT scale. Maybe make each 2" square of a building it's own 'unit' for damage purposes?
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Re: Some thoughts on building CF
« Reply #2 on: 15 May 2022, 05:08:25 »
Remember, they'll get the -1 for being immobile when being fired at.
Hmm... isn't that -4 for immobile targets? Rules are pretty clear about that.
The -1 modifier is the one I would apply on the turret shots, since they are always standing still (see AS Companion, p. 24).


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Re: Some thoughts on building CF
« Reply #3 on: 15 May 2022, 13:24:42 »
... 40CF medium buildings becoming 12CF in AS, and 90CF heavy ones going to 25CF...

these are not the current numbers for buildings in Alpha Strike.
see errata for AS or AS:CE p73.

up-to-date CF range numbers are much closer to your proposed values and more building types were introduced, including gun emplacements.

In this thread nckestrel explains where the original high values came from and the reason behind the change to the current values.

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Re: Some thoughts on building CF
« Reply #4 on: 16 May 2022, 01:42:49 »
Wow! I wasn't aware of the more recent errata, I've been sticking with 2.3 so far.
I'm happy that I wasn't the only one feeling that buildings needed some reworking and now the reason for original values being so high is very clear. I'm going to the errata right now, it seems other minor things we already fixed in the same way are there (e.g. aerospace damage threshold being 1/3 instead of 1/10)... and much more. Thanks a lot for pointing this out to me.
EDIT: I also particularly appreciate the Multiple to-hit rolls rule, which we have been using as a house rule for a long time now, as proposed here :
« Last Edit: 16 May 2022, 02:09:41 by gwaedin »