Register Register

Author Topic: High Mileage House Rules  (Read 887 times)

Hammerhead

  • Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 11
  • "ZEUS - Lyran Recon since 2787."
High Mileage House Rules
« on: 14 March 2021, 15:30:14 »
Greetings, all.  I was reading through some threads on house rules and was wondering what (if any) house rules are your long-standing go-to’s?  As in; which house rules have you used that became a standard at your table for any appreciable length of time?  Not  really one-off experiments, but more the stuff that really enhances your enjoyment of the game, to the point that you wish they were in play when you find yourself playing without them?

Thanks in advance!

AlphaMirage

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1530
Re: High Mileage House Rules
« Reply #1 on: 14 March 2021, 16:05:51 »
Machine guns fire 5 shots, roll "5" cluster table, and scatter like SRMs.

Maingunnery

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5988
  • Pirates and C3 masters are on the hitlist
Re: High Mileage House Rules
« Reply #2 on: 14 March 2021, 16:33:42 »

For campaigns:
Mechbays have 100 tons of capacity of any combination of Cargo & Mech, so choosing a lighter 'Mech allows for more cargo to be carried.
Herb: "Well, now I guess we'll HAVE to print it. Sounds almost like the apocalypse I've been working for...."

Fan XTRO: The Society

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 20142
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: High Mileage House Rules
« Reply #3 on: 14 March 2021, 18:25:57 »
Definitely that one!  The restriction being that you can't combat drop the 'mech if you're using the "spare" tonnage for cargo.

Also, we use floating Through-Armor Criticals (TACs) on a roll of "2" for location.  That means you roll location again before rolling for the possible crit ("2" again means Center Torso).

DevianID

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 288
Re: High Mileage House Rules
« Reply #4 on: 14 March 2021, 18:29:34 »
I use +1 to auto-cannon damage representing 'gold-rounds' for standard auto-cannon ammo.  I also dont bother rolling clusters on Flak AC 2s or 5s, I just use the average, since I care more about the 'plink' than if the weapon does 1 or 3 or 5 damage--saves a roll on a cluster chart.  AC10s/20s can get multiple clusters, so the bigger guns keep their meaningful cluster roll.

I use low-profile as +1 to hit (the old rule) instead of half damage on equal or +1 target numbers.  The damage is roughly similar (half damage on 2 TNs instead of 0 damage on 1 TN) and saves some math/rounding complaints, especially when using glancing blows rules.  I got my buddy using that rule in his game too.

The following set of rules are my campaign house rules ive used in 2 groups campaigns so far, that my buddies campaign does not use.

I use edge for my campaign player-controlled mechs; they start with one renewable edge per battle to prevent a 'golden BB' from ruining their game, since my campaigns are cooperative games as opposed to them versus me as game master.

I also use somewhat predictable actions for campaign enemy forces, again since I try and run a more cooperative campaign.  The enemy always move towards someone who has moved when possible (i try not to surround a player who hasn't moved yet with 6 mechs forcing them to stand still), and shoot targets with the lowest target numbers always.

I also use initiative in the shooting phase when not overly complicated instead of perfectly simultaneous shooting--I like heroic last stand alpha strikes or seeing what heat enemies are at before deciding if heat weapons will be good/bad.

In addition to the campaign ops rules for unit special abilities, I allow 1 custom unit per rank of experience.  So a regular lance can support 1 custom mech, a veteran lance can support 2 custom mechs, and an elite lance can support 3 custom mechs.  This way players can fiddle with their mechs a bit within reason, but always have some stock mechs running around.

Finally, in 3025ish play before the 4th succession war, I use 'honor' rules to mirror how nobles often fought in ages past.  Force withdrawal is in effect for all 'honorable' units.  If you surrender/pop smoke and are still mobile, you can leave freely--this works both ways, you just pay a 'ransom' value and keep your equipment--non of this shooting withdrawal stuff.  People who violate the code of honor about surrender are treated as pirates; pirates are executed when captured and instead fight to the death--no forced withdrawal rules.  Surrendering to pirates before combat, pirates treat you well as was the case in the past.  If you try and fight pirates they will kill everyone if they win, to serve as a warning to others; again just like in the past.  This 'honor' preserves equipment like dropships and mechs in the 3rd succession war era, as the fluff describes, and also does not burgeon player forces with a battalion of free salvaged mechs after every campaign--they get their destroyed stuff back and the enemy get most of their destroyed stuff back.  Once the 4th succession war rolls around and real militaries start getting tossed around, the age of the 'noble' mechwarrior ends.

Hammerhead

  • Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 11
  • "ZEUS - Lyran Recon since 2787."
Re: High Mileage House Rules
« Reply #5 on: 14 March 2021, 18:55:17 »
*snip*

Finally, in 3025ish play before the 4th succession war, I use 'honor' rules to mirror how nobles often fought in ages past.  Force withdrawal is in effect for all 'honorable' units.  If you surrender/pop smoke and are still mobile, you can leave freely--this works both ways, you just pay a 'ransom' value and keep your equipment--non of this shooting withdrawal stuff.  People who violate the code of honor about surrender are treated as pirates; pirates are executed when captured and instead fight to the death--no forced withdrawal rules.  Surrendering to pirates before combat, pirates treat you well as was the case in the past.  If you try and fight pirates they will kill everyone if they win, to serve as a warning to others; again just like in the past.  This 'honor' preserves equipment like dropships and mechs in the 3rd succession war era, as the fluff describes, and also does not burgeon player forces with a battalion of free salvaged mechs after every campaign--they get their destroyed stuff back and the enemy get most of their destroyed stuff back.  Once the 4th succession war rolls around and real militaries start getting tossed around, the age of the 'noble' mechwarrior ends.

I dig this.  It jives with some stuff I was bouncing around about Ancestral Battlemechs; some form of bonus to using one to represent the generational passing of knowledge about that particular machines quirks and how to best use them as learned by your progenitors.

idea weenie

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2889
Re: High Mileage House Rules
« Reply #6 on: 15 March 2021, 00:37:08 »
Small Craft and Dropships can use Bays for crew members (instead of Quarters) to give them better short range endurance.  Larger craft will often have an extra Steerage Quarters or few to handle 'recycling' the waste from the Small Craft and attached Dropships.  So you could even have a Dropship with Bays to handle the large number of personnel on board when transiting from one planet to another, and a few Steerage Quarters to handle recycling.

In-system jumping.  If you are observing from in-system, you get a bonus on making a KF jump to a pirate point or transient point.  This is also a form of computer data, so if you have someone else observing, they can transmit the data via HPG to the recipient(s).  You can send in a scout, have them observe the target planet's L1 point, then thaat scout will transmit the coordinates back to the fleet.  Also useful for Comstar and WoB to create system maps so they can calculate pirate points easily (for a fee).  Much faster cargo dlivery, and recharge time is always the minimum safe time (since the ship is much closer to the local star).  Since you aare getting much more sunlight, you can use this sunlight to recharge the KF core and a Li-F battery at the same time.

Mixed charging.  If it will take you 200 hours to recharge, and the minimum is 175 hours, that means you want 25 hours to come from somewhere.  So figure out how much hydrogen you would need to recharge the core, multiply that by (25/200).  That is how much hydrogen you burn to aid the solar sail when charging.

Larger solar sails.  Sometimes you need a larger sail to gather enough solar energy when over a slow-recharge star.  Solution = make the sail bigger (taking up more tons, and taking longer to retract).  If you are willing to pay the tonnage, you can travel via the dim stars route at almost the same pace as someone traveling the bright stars route.

Station-keeping.  It is .01Gs, not .1Gs.  This allows Jumpships to 'hover' at a Jump point for longer periods (considering the extremely low gravity, this is likely maneuvers to keep the Solar sail positioned correctly).  So if a Jumpship consumed 60 tons per Burn-day, it would consume .6 tons while at station-keeping

Resistant armor.  Larger Dropships and Warships can ignore low levels of standard damage, based on the number of weapons firing.  So if you unload 10 Small Lasers at a platform with 2 pts of resistant armor, you only do 10 pts of damage (10*3 - 10*2).  If you fire an AC/20 at that same armor, it will do 18 pts of damage.

Infernos deliver heat based on the target's heat dissipation capability.  So a Mech with 10 standard heat sinks, hit by a pair of SRM-2(Inferno), will take 4 pts of heat per turn per SRM that hit (10% per pt of 'heat').  If the target had 50 pts of heat dissipation, it will take 20 pts of heat dissipation (10% * 2 missiles * 2 pts of 'damage' * 50 heat dissipation).  If the Mech only had 20 pts of heat dissipation, and 1 engine hit (thus causing the engine to produce 5 pts of heat every turn), its heat dissipation is still counted as 20.  Additional Infernos add 5% instead of 10%, so firing 2 Infernos at a target every turn will do 10%-15%-20%-20%, until the number of Infernos stop being fired it will go to 15%, then 10%, then none.

Dropship thrust is affected by its current load.  So a Behemoth can be built on a planet, and it can take off if it has at least 33,334 tons of cargo empty.

Time on target artillery.  This has been drastically reduced in ability in the newer books, where the max flight time for tube artillery is 3 turns.  So if your artillery is 1 turn away, it can fire up to (max flight time - current flight time + 1) shells and have them all arrive on the same turn.  Adjustment bonuses to the to-hit don't apply until after the shells land though.

Arrow IV loiter mode.  If the Arrow IV has a max flight time of 5 rounds, and you are 1 round away, you can fire up to 5 Arrow IVs and have them all arrive on the same turn (that infantryman with a TAG becomes very dangerous).

Thunderbolt missiles need more than 1 hit from AMS to be shot down

Omnimech costs +10% overall, but the actual Omni components have a +25% cost increase.  This encourages more equipment as part of the default configuration, but if you want to Omni then it will cost more.

Armor.  Whole numbers of armor points per ton.  Instead of Inner Sphere Ferro-fibrous giving 12% more armor per ton, it gives 18 pts armor per ton.  Instead of Clan Ferro-Fibrous giving 20% more armor per ton, it provides 19 pts per ton.

Space stations can purchase more SI, allowing more armor, to make themselves tougher.

Extended-range weapons.  Double the tonnage, and the weapon now has 50% greater ranges (FRU).  Good for buildings, okay for Mechs.

NARC pods can be removed by BA or Protomechs.  This requires the NARC'd unit to hold still for 1 turn, and a BA or Protomech in the same hex to spend its turn removing the pod

USIIR codes are set up so 'A' represents the lowest rating, and 'F' and higher are for the best ratings

Rocket Launcher tech is well-known, and often used by Periphery forces to defend against pirates.  The trucks mounting these RL systems are set up to ambush an attacker, then run away.

I can try to look for more

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 20142
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: High Mileage House Rules
« Reply #7 on: 15 March 2021, 03:27:24 »
For your armor rule, have you considered:
16 Standard
17 Light Ferro
18 Ferro
19 Heavy Ferro
20 Clan Ferro

?

idea weenie

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2889
Re: High Mileage House Rules
« Reply #8 on: 15 March 2021, 12:09:40 »
For your armor rule, have you considered:
16 Standard
17 Light Ferro
18 Ferro
19 Heavy Ferro
20 Clan Ferro

That is exactly what I use, instead of 17.92 for ISFF and 19.2 for Clan FF

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 20142
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: High Mileage House Rules
« Reply #9 on: 15 March 2021, 16:49:07 »
 :thumbsup:

Daemion

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4459
  • The Future of BattleTech
    • Never Tales and Other Daydreams
Re: High Mileage House Rules
« Reply #10 on: 23 April 2021, 13:45:16 »
One that we've taken to using, mostly for campaign play, is bog standard BattleTech Master Rules.  ^-^

From that:
- We ignore the complicated skidding rules. (In the past, we just left it to an unmodified piloting skill, but quite frankly, I explained my reasoning behind it on something as advanced as a BattleMech, and it's been accepted.  Now!  I may still implement the simple piloting/driving skill for less capable or cheaper combat units.  But, we haven't been in a situation where it's warranted.)

- I developed a simple means of 'demolishing' buildings that matches the BMR's wood-clearing attempts.  We only reserve HP tracking for special objectives.

- If we don't want to deal with accidental fires, we invoke the 'wet season', where it's been raining or otherwise moist, making things difficult to catch on fire accidentally.  This has no effect on intentional fires, though.

- Conversely, if we want to keep certain terrain features but want them modded, like streams on a map keeping their depth, but not counting as water, we can invoke the 'dry season', or old river bed, or, 'just ignore x'.

- Off-board artillery always arrives the following turn.  No need to track distance.  Unless you're using the low altitude map to set-up games in a larger encounter.  And even then, it follows that you don't need to worry about timing, just max reach.  (Research muzzle velocities, and you'll find that BT artillery which follows the complicated distance and timing rules is weirdly slow.  In fact, anything fired within 10 maps should probably be arriving on the very turn it was shot.)

- We generally finish off the damage application for attacks, especially against vehicles. Since we do a lot of campaigns, salvage is important.

- Furthermore, even if one weapon finishes off the last internal point on a vehicle we still roll crit chances for anything that comes after to see if it 'pops'.  This is generally done for salvage, but there are times when I'm taking notes for an intended fanfic, and I want the visual cues.

- We don't play until the last Mech(s) standing, but we don't use forced withdrawal, either.  It is up to the other player's discretion, with some rolel-playing involved.  A Mech takes too much damage will probably find a way to bug out, and the pilot will probably want to.  Same with Tanks and Infantry, unless a player specifies some fanaticism before-hand. (Like old Clan Infantry wanting to prove themselves by holding a line at all costs.)

- Randomized skills are always used when generating fresh forces.  The guy running the scenario can impart penalties or allow someone to 'default' particularly bad skills.  (As an example, I am personally in charge of a Dark Age campaign we've been playing over the last few months.  Because it's right after the black-out, I actually enforce crappy green pilots keeping their skills, as well as crappy regular.  No elites.  They get rolled on the vet table, but are given edge or a SPA.

- SPAs are used, and aren't limited to the list in Maximum Tech.  The use of the piloting skill in the Physical Attack calculations gets applied as an SPA, for example.  This allows us to play around with concepts without it becoming 'common'.  This includes things from Total Warfare.  We generally leave SPA to hero characters and OpFor Bosses that look like they deserve it.  More often than not, that includes edge.


Some recent ones
- We've tweaked the AMS rules to use the Cluster Modifier from Total Warfare, but with a d6 result instead of the stock -4.  Clan AMSs roll 2xd6 and merely pick the best result out of the two.

In a Total Warfare based campaign (and I apply the term loosely):
- We have any Partial Cover shots that strike legs hit the matching arm instead (for bipeds).  The +3 modifier is also applied instead of the wimpy +1.

- We took the hovercraft motive penalties, and split them and applied them to a Tech Base. 
    --The +3 motive damage modifier for striking a hovercraft motive location is solely applied to Inner Sphere hovercraft.  They, however, don't have to worry about side-slipping.  They have the extra mobility. 
    --The side-slipping penalty is applied to Clan hovercraft, but they conversely don't get a +3 motive damage modifier for being hovercraft. They're designed with extra skirt protection, at the cost of maneuverability.

- There have been many times we would treat vehicles with side weapons as having them front mounted.  Specifically the Galleon and some VToLs.  I know I've been toying around with simply widening the side arcs so that they overlap with the front in some fashion, but, we haven't really decided on that specifically. 


The big one for us is that we won't turn down an idea, if you can justify it.  And, since we play campaigns more often than not, it becomes a 'mission' feature.  If we like it, we'll use it more often.

As you can see, some of it is simple stream-lining.  Others, it's a matter of visualization and effect.  Some is done purely out of distaste for a certain core rule.

edit: Oh, yeah.  We, as a rule, ignore the missing hand-actuator damage and to-hit modifiers for punching.
« Last Edit: 23 April 2021, 13:47:19 by Daemion »
It's your world. You can do anything you want in it. - Bob Ross

Every thought and device conceived by Satan and man must be explored and found wanting. - Donald Grey Barnhouse on the purpose of history and time.

I helped make a game! ^_^  - Forge Of War: Tactics

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 20142
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: High Mileage House Rules
« Reply #11 on: 23 April 2021, 14:30:10 »
*snip*
- SPAs are used, and aren't limited to the list in Maximum Tech.  The use of the piloting skill in the Physical Attack calculations gets applied as an SPA, for example.  This allows us to play around with concepts without it becoming 'common'.  This includes things from Total Warfare.  We generally leave SPA to hero characters and OpFor Bosses that look like they deserve it.  More often than not, that includes edge.
*snip*
Sooo... bad pilots get a bonus to physical attacks, and good pilots have to take an SPA to be better than average? ???

Daemion

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4459
  • The Future of BattleTech
    • Never Tales and Other Daydreams
Re: High Mileage House Rules
« Reply #12 on: 29 April 2021, 16:00:45 »
Yup.  I look at it as there's a minimum threshold.  Think about it.  The physical attack was the one thing a rookie pilot was good at Pre-Total Warfare.  They couldn't hit the side of a barn while under motion, but they could kick or punch it with some decency.

It also calls back to people that would use stock Physical Attack programs, versus veterans who liked to use custom programs or Waldo Gloves.

Now, the flip side is that if they failed a kick, they still had to deal with their shoddy Piloting Skill to keep upright.  Same with Charges and DFAs.

You want your crap pilots to be somehow effective, right?  Otherwise, you'll effectively be down a Mech that can't hit at range.

It's your world. You can do anything you want in it. - Bob Ross

Every thought and device conceived by Satan and man must be explored and found wanting. - Donald Grey Barnhouse on the purpose of history and time.

I helped make a game! ^_^  - Forge Of War: Tactics

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 20142
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: High Mileage House Rules
« Reply #13 on: 29 April 2021, 17:08:24 »
If it works for your table, more power to you...  :thumbsup:

Exnihilo

  • Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: High Mileage House Rules
« Reply #14 on: 30 May 2021, 04:16:10 »
1 ton of SRMs is 108 missiles.
That way you don't have the oddball breakdown across SRM launchers where -2s and -4s break even at 100 missiles but the -6s are 90 (15 shots per ton).
This gives 54, 27, and 18 shots respectively which makes more sense and is easier to deal with in AccounTech campaigns where we track every missile.

Cannonshop

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5589
Re: High Mileage House Rules
« Reply #15 on: 30 May 2021, 16:20:37 »
Greetings, all.  I was reading through some threads on house rules and was wondering what (if any) house rules are your long-standing go-to’s?  As in; which house rules have you used that became a standard at your table for any appreciable length of time?  Not  really one-off experiments, but more the stuff that really enhances your enjoyment of the game, to the point that you wish they were in play when you find yourself playing without them?

Thanks in advance!

In asymmetric fights (fights where one side has a numerical advantage over the other) I use front-loaded initiative instead of the rear-loaded one specified in the book.  In FLI, the turn order has the larger force moving two units per single unit moved until there's only 1 left on each side, whereas in 'book' initiative, it's reversed to a one-for-one with the last moves being two-for-one.

What this addresses:  in fights with severe numerical disparity, the practice of 'banking' your best units to move last can result in a situation where regardless of initiative win or loss, the actual result of initiative is an additional advantage.  Since most of my play involves me running larger numbers of lower-quality units, this has had an historically supported tendency to make things less fun for my opponent-which translates to fewer matches and a harder time finding other players.  By front-loading it, player retention has increased, and matches are more balanced.

"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Terminax

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1130
  • Never despair. Never surrender.
Re: High Mileage House Rules
« Reply #16 on: 05 June 2021, 10:45:40 »
Prototype TSM increases Walking by 1 and multiples physical damage & lifting capacity by 1.5x / 50%.

This one achieves the original promises of faster, stronger Battlemechs which we were promised in the original fluff/text. Still vulnerable to Anti-TSM gas/missiles of course.
« Last Edit: 05 June 2021, 10:51:23 by Terminax »

PurpleDragon

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1667
Re: High Mileage House Rules
« Reply #17 on: 05 June 2021, 14:11:33 »
One my group used until we moved to MekHQ/MegaMek:
Two rules.  If you used one you had to use the other.  They worked hand in hand with each other:
1.  Use torso facing for target instead of feet facing.  This seemed more realistic but then made it near impossible to get a back shot. 

2.  change the facing diagram such that you had three fronts and three backs.   Thus if the hexside directly in front of the torso was #1 and going clockwise if you were looking top down, #1 would be front hit; #2 would be Right Side hit; #3 would be Right Rear side hit; #4 would  Rear hit (front/rear table); #5 would be left rear side hit; and #6 would be Left Side hit. 

If you didn't use one rule, you couldn't use the other. 

Another rule using artillery strikes:  If a targetted hex is hit and a unit is in said hex roll 2d6.  On either boxcars or snake eyes, the unit in the hex directly caught the round.  Add up all damage done by arty strike in target and nearby hexes then apply that amount of damage to the unit in question.  Apply damage in 5 point clusters until done.  Use front hit location table.  Apply other damages to target and surrounding hexes normally. 

another rule:  Arty strikes:  Continue expanding the ring around the target hex for damage, dividing by 2, until you can no longer get a whole number for damage. 

I'm sure there are a couple of other rules we used, but I'm not able to remember them right now. 
« Last Edit: 05 June 2021, 14:13:41 by PurpleDragon »
give a man a fire, keep him warm for a night. 
Set him on fire, keep him warm for the rest of his life!

The secret to winning the land/air battle is that you must always remain rigidly flexible.

I like tabletop more anyway, computer games are for nerds!  -  Knallogfall