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Author Topic: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign  (Read 14786 times)

Joel47

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #120 on: 24 February 2019, 01:43:28 »
If brand new players were having issues when they could form forces a couple dozen strong then how is limiting them to 12 going to help?
Analysis paralysis. Having lots of options and choices doesn't matter if you don't know what you're doing. Accessibility is key here -- I want new players to have fun, not be clubbed like baby seals. (The same goes for experienced but casual players -- some people just want to show up and play.)
A reduction in unit count would require a reduction in repair time as well, of course.

That said, force size limits might not be necessary if I remove a lot of the toys and the power of customization. Part of the problem is that BV is imperfect, and thus customization means a better force. Another problem is that a lot of the TacOps stuff doesn't have points. (That's all going away, though. Ammo is just a huge list to beginners... until they get hit with stuff they don't know exists. I'm going back to the old way with a couple of useful TacOps rules like floating crit, but design rules are limited to TechManual.) Finally, a large force size is just insurance against losses if the scenarios are simple. Scenarios that require active probes, or hands/cargo space to carry stuff off, or infantry to take buildings... I think a big part of the problem was scenarios other than "meet in the middle" -- I really don't think they're compatible with a campaign like this.

Really, the idea behind a force limit is to make it so that a new player is competitive with an experienced player (outside of player skill). A new player faced with piles of clantech and exotic ammo isn't coming back; the Battletech population is too small to let that happen.

csimian

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #121 on: 24 February 2019, 16:39:52 »
Precision ammo can still be problematic, and that's in TW.

Joel47

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #122 on: 24 February 2019, 16:45:06 »
Yeah, that's a tough one. It was introduced to make autocannons more relevant, but its penalty -- half shots per ton -- is only a penalty for some designs. Even with customization you can get around it by squeezing in an extra ton of ammo. If I were the BV overlord, it would have an extra cost just like semi-guided.

On the other hand, it's in the main rulebook, as opposed to the wall-of-text that is TacOps. (And if I pull precision, I'm also pulling semi-guided, which I think causes much more imbalance and hard feelings.)

csimian

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #123 on: 24 February 2019, 17:00:47 »
I'm OK with nixing SG. I'd rather have more players than not. As for precision ammo, there's a reason why I took the Rifleman 6D: LAC 5's and lots of ammo. It doesn't even need customization.

Hellraiser

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #124 on: 24 February 2019, 22:55:43 »
I don't see an issue with Precision ammo once you consider that ALL Ammo using units are over BV'd to begin with for any design that has to use more than 1 ton of ammo.

If it packs 2 tons of ammo, or more, its now over BV'd v/s Energy weapons.   (So basically every AC20 & LRM20 unit in the game & many AC10/LRM15 & a few AC5/LRM10)

Precision goes a little way towards balancing them against the BV calculations used for Energy weapons.
3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Kartr_Kana

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #125 on: 28 February 2019, 01:14:35 »
The more I look at BattleTech, the less it looks like a proper "wargame" and the more it looks like an RPG like D&D. The game really seems designed around players vs a GM, rather than players showing up and duking it out over mission objectives. I guess the lack of official missions in the core rules should have been my first clue.

So working on that assumption (BattleTech is structured as an RPG not as a wargame) how do we come up with a system that lets each player be the GM for their opponent while simultaneously being a player in their own story?

1. Balanced Forces: you have to be able to provide "NPCs" for your "PC" (opponent) to battle through to achieve their objectives, while simultaneously having the forces necessary to battle through your "GM's" forces to achieve your victory as a PC.

2. Asymmetrical Missions: not every "Group of PCs" (Player and their force) is going to have the same goals or story that their opponent has. Missions should reflect this and avoid a symmetrical match up where both forces are trying to achieve the same objectives. Instead both players have a unique primary objective which scores the most points, and they have a secondary objective to prevent the other player from achieving his objective.

3. Unique missions or stories for each player is way too much work for Joel: Roughly divide the players into two groups, treat each group as a single player and use the 1v1 command tracks to determine what missions Team A and Team B have for that month.

Joel47

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #126 on: 28 February 2019, 12:59:32 »
Ideally, that would be the case. Like any RPG, you need to get all the players on the same page -- just as you don't want to mix someone looking for a political intrigue campaign with another who just wants to kill orcs, we have a mix of player desires and play-styles here. Some want to chronicle the trials and tribulations of their mercenary company; others want to craft the perfect military machine; and still others just want to blow up giant robots. There's nothing wrong with any of these. It is, however, difficult to provide for all those types in a single campaign. As I mentioned earlier, we haven't the playerbase to have multiple campaigns.

At first I read your #3 as "do many-vs-many games," because we've tried that and it doesn't work, either. Then I realized what you're suggesting -- continuing to pair off 1-vs-1 but with asymmetrical scenarios in which each person's primary goal is different, and their secondary goal is to prevent the other player from completing their primary goal. I like that, but it still leaves the logistical issues of:
1. Everyone has to hit a BV target. (That's what we have now, and I'd love to get rid of that.)
2. A large differential in force construction skill or ability is insurmountable in play, leading to the "Why did I show up?" feeling.
3. Accessibility - force design rules need to be simple enough that a new player can easily handle the math, and make a competitive force from day one.

I can live without #1, but this rewrite should fix #2 & #3 (especially #2), or what's the point? I think to accomplish #2 a dramatic reduction in tech/rules complexity would work (maybe set it in 3025 for a while?). For #3, dropping SP and doing everything in BV might help (I've had to carefully explain and re-explain the two point systems to several players).

Hellraiser

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #127 on: 01 March 2019, 01:15:56 »
I think BV is the way to go, the question is how much.

My unit is over 40K in BV with 7K SP available to spend...... but that is also 2 years of games & 2 full lances of salvage in there.

Taking skills & adjusting forces to hit BV size goals........ maybe 25K each to start?

And I encourage not spending it all at once & then not having enough to pick up a later unit that you realize you missed the first time around.



The only issue I see at present with using BV is having a skilled up pilot loose his ride & then get another ride for more BV than he started with.

Easy fix to that is if you are changing out pilots/rides that you have to replace with same or lesser BV ride.   OR.   You pay the difference for the skill up on the new ride.


Example in case that isn't clear.

500 BV L1 Light Mech + MW Hotrod.  (2/4)  =  x161%  =  Cost 805 BV for mech + pilot.

Light Mech cored but HotRod ejected.    Replacement Mech = DireWolf-Prime     WARNING WARNING.
HotRod already being 2/4 would be a free skill up compared to hiring another warrior w/ the D-Wolf.
So either you pay the D-Wolf-Prime value at 2/4 ( minus the 305 you payed to skill up the Light Mech)   or you put HotRod in the same mech he lost & get a different pilot for the D-Wolf.


3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Joel47

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #128 on: 01 March 2019, 09:59:00 »
I think the solution to the pilot problem is to go back to XP for improvement. Make 4/5 free, and each game give each participating pilot/crew/squad/platoon a point of XP, plus a "free XP" point that can go to anyone (call it simulator time).

Then it's just figuring out costs...

Hellraiser

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #129 on: 01 March 2019, 22:32:31 »
Which leaves people complaining about not having anything but 4/5.

Which lead to you giving out a trio of 3/4 last game.

And still people were going to 2 Gunners w/ TC quickly.

I say make them buy it with BV & if someone wants a 0/0 let them have it. 

I like eating 0/0 for lunch on our tiny maps  >:D
3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Kartr_Kana

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #130 on: 01 March 2019, 23:23:26 »
1. A BV target for the mission? I mean yes, of course they have to, otherwise the game is unbalanced towards the player with more BV.

2. So I have an idea, but it really depends on our Noble GM and his Unlimited Armies of DOOOOOM!

Split forces. Each player builds two forces, Offensive Line and Defensive Line. The two forces have to meet a certain combined BV threshold as well as fall within a certain range. These units deploy differently, OL deploys during the movement phase of Turn 1 as normal and their role is to move towards the primary objective and secure it. The DL deploys during the movement phase of turn 2-3 (depending on the scenario) and their job is to stop the opposing OL.

So if our BV Limit is 15,000 and the OL has to be 8,000-9,000 BV then the DL has to be between 6,000 and 7,000 BV. This can vary by scenario and mission. So if you have a Recon Mission, you might only get 5,000 BV (or less) but your opponent has an Assault Mission so you get 10,000 BV for your DL.

Where Joel comes in is the Defensive Line. Since he knows the scenarios beforehand he can bring some pre-generated Defensive Line forces for players who either don't have enough units, aren't confident in their force building skills, or think they need a hard counter for Hellraiser ;). From a fluff perspective the forces that Joel provides would be the regular forces from the organization that hired the Player's mercenaries.

This lets Joel ease the introduction of new players (he can over BV them if they're going up against a particularly tough veteran), give players who don't have good list building skills experience fielding forces that are both better (hopefully) and different than what they would have put together themselves and allows him to have list counters available if necessary.

With two forces per side and (theoretically) larger forces we'd probably want go up to larger sized maps.

3. I'm not really sure what's wrong with the current force creation rules, other than after a new player gets some experience they want to swap out their entire list... but that's not really force creation issues, it's lack of experience. Which is hopefully mitigated by #2.

Joel47

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #131 on: 02 March 2019, 00:09:48 »
Hellraiser -
For pilots, I'm thinking the pilot/crew comes with the mech/tank. If it's 3025, that's how it is -- a lot of the time mercs were pretty much contractors, and the individual mechwarriors where subcontractors who bring their own tools (the mech or the tank). Then cap it at 3/4, because anybody better wouldn't be hanging out with you;)

Kartr_Kana -
1. When it's Player-vs-GM you don't have to have a set BV, you just have to tell the GM so the OpFor matches. If I could find a way to get back to that, I would.
2. Despite what you may have heard, I have a life outside Battletech.  :drool:  Aside from the extra work for me, those are some pretty big games you're talking about. Testing would be required.
3.
  • The easy availability of clantech (no reason not to retrofit everything)
  • The SP/BV thing being complex (you might not find it so, but as "tech support" I assure you it is)
  • The very act of having to create, from scratch, several groups that all hit the BV target is a little intimidating to new players

I'm toying with dramatically reducing the whole "repairs" system. That reduces my role as Accountant-in-Chief, and also gives me more leverage to cap force sizes.

Hellraiser

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #132 on: 02 March 2019, 00:19:08 »
aren't confident in their force building skills, or think they need a hard counter for Hellraiser ;).


Honestly, I think 15K is going to be far too large a fight.   

We don't have enough room to maneuver as it is & people are getting pounded by focused fire at close range.



Who knew that spending 30 minutes the weekend before the match to figure out what I want to bring the following week & figure out if I have access to that RS to print was overpowered & causing a strain.

I think my new method of force creation will be to random 2D6 some Intro Tech F-Grade RATs w/o consideration for what minis I own & have painted available for the game.



Sorry, that might have had some sarcasm in there.

I'm still trying to figure out how my force that didn't have 2-Gunners or Clan Tech was the problem child force.



Honestly I'll probably be skipping all the record keeping & customization in the future & just bring a different pregen force each time.
3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Joel47

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #133 on: 02 March 2019, 00:21:57 »
I'm still trying to figure out how my force that didn't have 2-Gunners or Clan Tech was the problem child force.

Not the, just one. Note that I've targeted clantech as something that needs serious restrictions. But to answer your question, semi-guided and HARM missiles. You have a great counter to all the 2-gunner clantech forces, and the counter for you (fast stuff) will get obliterated if they draw anybody but you.

Hellraiser

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #134 on: 02 March 2019, 00:25:53 »
Hellraiser -
For pilots, I'm thinking the pilot/crew comes with the mech/tank. If it's 3025, that's how it is -- a lot of the time mercs were pretty much contractors, and the individual mechwarriors where subcontractors who bring their own tools (the mech or the tank). Then cap it at 3/4, because anybody better wouldn't be hanging out with you;)

I'm toying with dramatically reducing the whole "repairs" system. That reduces my role as Accountant-in-Chief, and also gives me more leverage to cap force sizes.

I agree the Pilot/Crew comes with the vehicle.
My point about swapping was in using BV as the basic cash for this next system.
Advancing through experience v/s BV is still giving veterans the ability to field more/better pilots v/s a newcomer which I assume will be a problem.

Which is why I was saying people should be able to buy what they want so that even someone joining a year from now can buy a 2/4 Pilot instead of starting out with all 4/5 against someone elses 2 lances of 3/4's.

I think reduced repairs can only help so that when someone is blown out of their mech they don't loose 2K in $$ & fall behind.
3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Hellraiser

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #135 on: 02 March 2019, 00:40:05 »
semi-guided and HARM missiles. 

What did you call it before?   Perceived advantage?

I can't begin to say SG doesn't have uses.

But, 45 Tubes with a 4-Gunner isn't exactly the cat's meow in fire-support.   I only fielded it maybe 5-6 times in 2 years.

HARM?     I'm not sure what that is unless you mean ARAD, which I fired like 1-2 salvo of since TACOps rules were allowed 4 months ago.

I'm still having a hard time buying into SG being used 1 in 3-4? games as being game breaking compared to all the times I played w/o the tank.

3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Joel47

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #136 on: 02 March 2019, 00:52:14 »
Yeah, ARAD.

And yes, it's perceived advantage. The "OMG, how do I fight this?" factor that makes them think the game is over before it starts. Reducing the choices may handicap the better players some but I think overall it's good for the game. Battletech is, at its core, beer & pretzels. (If you want a more complex game, I can dig into my pile of historical rules...)

Hellraiser

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #137 on: 09 March 2019, 02:27:19 »
Is there a mission decided yet?   Tech Range?


I'm voting for 4th SW,  Wo39,  or Clan Invasion........ basically before the tech explosion of 3060 Weapons.


Something w/ units from TROs 3025-3058
3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Joel47

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #138 on: 09 March 2019, 12:07:11 »
That's what I'm thinking, too. Start with 4th SW, and if things go well see about adding small amounts of advanced tech in 3039.

I'm working on an outline; I'll share it in a few days.

Joel47

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #139 on: 21 March 2019, 23:16:03 »
This is getting more complex than I'd hoped. In the meantime, this game will hopefully tide people over:
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=64824.0

csimian

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #140 on: 20 April 2019, 09:47:42 »
FYI game today at 1pm!

Hellraiser

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #141 on: 04 May 2019, 15:50:40 »
Is there a date set for a game in May?

3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Joel47

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #142 on: 04 May 2019, 15:54:03 »
May 18th (two weeks). Posting the scenario is on my to-do list for today.

Joel47

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #143 on: 04 May 2019, 22:52:54 »
Doing a King of the Hill. I've had a couple of people request some sort of double-blind game, but I'll have to really sort out the use of blip counters before I try that.

Hellraiser

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #144 on: 04 May 2019, 23:13:08 »
Double blind is more of a at home thing or better yet on Mega Mek.

I think that might be very annoying to handle at a store with 4 separate games going on.

Not to say I don't like DB, I do, but just that it really is handled best by MM or with a 3rd party GM for every table.
3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Joel47

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #145 on: 04 May 2019, 23:21:06 »
I've done it once, and I'll never do it again. The simulated version where you use one map and each player has 2+ blips per unit sounds interesting.

Joel47

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Re: Phoenix, AZ - League Campaign
« Reply #146 on: 26 June 2019, 11:58:32 »
Scenario 1 - Finders Keepers (Total Warfare)
Saturday, July 20
Game Depot AZ
3136 S McClintock Dr
Tempe, AZ 85282

Scenario 2 - ...It Simply Means the River Bends (Alpha Strike)
Saturday, Aug 3
Game Depot AZ
3136 S McClintock Dr
Tempe, AZ 85282

All minis, maps, terrain, and record sheets will be provided.

 

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