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Author Topic: Favorite House Rules  (Read 535 times)


  • Master Sergeant
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Favorite House Rules
« on: 15 November 2021, 17:59:43 »
What house rules have you and your friends come up with that you feel enrich the BT experience? Either for Classic or Alpha Strike.


  • Lieutenant
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Re: Favorite House Rules
« Reply #1 on: 16 November 2021, 01:24:50 »
My main btech buddy and I use campaign formats with the ATB house rules from mekhq, just on the table.  I still use mekhq to manage all the paperwork btech has for campaign operations.

Since it is a campaign, my opfor has a known 'artificial intelligence', since I often outnumber him but he gets all the special unit abilities.  So I always move my bad guy units towards a unit that has moved if available, and always shoot the easiest shot on each unit.  This lets him shield weakened units by moving another unit in front or spacing his units out forming a battle line, so he can retreat in good order. 

If I wasn't constrained by these rules and just 'playing for real' I could do things like box his fast units in since I outnumber (so they cant get a TMM when it is his time to move) or focus my entire force on 1 unit at a time regardless of the hit mods to ensure kills instead of spreading damage around.

idea weenie

  • Major
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Re: Favorite House Rules
« Reply #2 on: 18 November 2021, 20:33:15 »
Pirates tend to prefer using Mule Dropships, as they are far more common, are small enough to land nearly anywhere, and have plenty of room for loot/recruits.  Being fairly common means they can swap the transponders to try and hide, plus they can trade with other Dropships for spare parts (the other Dropships can either trade for goods, or be shot at).  The smaller size means they have more options about where to land, while the player group is only allowed to land at the local spaceport.  Plenty of room means that pirates can steal more, and add a few quarters to grab some people from the local jail as recruits.

Since Mule Dropships are more common, that gives players a choice.  Do they go on alert every time a Mule shows up and raise their monthly maintenance costs, or do they take the risk of not being on alert when pirates attack?

Artillery that fires at less than its maximum range can do a one-unit time-on-target attack.  For example if the artillery unit is 2 turns away, and at maximum range its shells will take 5 turns to arrive, that means it can fire up to 4 shells (5-2+1) that will all arrive 5 turns after the first one is fired.  (First one is fired on turn 3 with an arrival time of 5 turns, second is fired on turn 4 with an arrival time of 4 turns, third is fired on turn 5 with 3 turns arrival time, and final shell is fired on turn 6 with 2 turn arrival time, meaning Turn 8 will have 4 shells arriving at once)

WoB was providing Terran-built Mechs at 25% their cost to Comstar with the condition that they be used against the Clans for at least one battle, but was also selling toys representing the Mechs to children across the Inner Sphere to make up for the discount.  The WoB was also using carefully worded descriptions on each box so the next generation would grow up hating the Clans.  These toys were accurate in terms of identifying thinner areas of armor on known Clan Mechs, and were sometimes used as briefing aids when planning attacks.  Comstar representatives tended to grumble when the toys were discussed.

Some nobles on borders between mutually hostile nations would have an 'understanding' with their opposite.  Noble A has a bunch of rioters causing him trouble thrown in a detention building, and sends a message via Noble B's spy/contact in his house.  Noble B sends a raid against the planet, and by pure coincidence gathers up a majority of the rioters.  Noble B then puts those rioters to work in a hostile environment mining location, trading food for ore.  Later on Noble B has a similar problem with rioters, and sends the appropriate message to Noble A.  The two Nobles have a calm Landhold, damages are kept to a minimum, and both have a source of cheap raw materials.

Cargo shipments are not performed by attaching a Dropship to a Jumpship, but instead by exchanging cargo with the large Dropship(s) attached to the Jumpship.  I.e. a Star Lord with 6 Dropship slots can only carry 48,000 tons of cargo per jump if Mules are attached, but if six Mammoths are attached then the cargo capacity is 240,000 tons per jump.  After arriving in the destination system, the Mammoths detach from the Jumpship and trade cargo with the waiting cargo Dropships.  This allows for a high throughput of cargo, but if Jumpships get removed from the route this screws up a schedule considerably.  Similarly if a Military Dropship wants to use a Docking Collar, that screws up the shipping rate as well due to 40,000 tons of cargo being bumped for a 1900 ton Leopard.

Drosphips can be carried intact inside another vessel, but cannot occupy more than 5% of the larger vessel's mass (based on the largest Dropshuttles being 5,000 tons and the smallest Warships being 100,000 tons).  Intact Dropships can only be loaded and unloaded in a Zero-G environment.  Dropships above that percentage must be disassembled where the disassembly and the reassembly will take 5* as long as the loading/unloading rate, but this can be done in a gravity environment as long as you have sufficient spaceport equipment (this is asuming you have the same amount of equipment available to disassemble/reassemble the Dropship as you do for loading/unloading).

Passenger Dropships that perform short trips (i.e. one system to another) will use Bays instead of Quarters in order to pack more people in per trip.

Small Craft can use Bay tonnage and Life Support Consumption rates in order to save tonnage (instead of using Quarters for every crew member).  Small Craft are still required to have one Steerage Quarter on board to provide basic recycling capability.

Protomechs can put BA weaponry in their Main Gun mount at no change in weapon mass.  Each BA weapon counts as 1/3 of a Protomech weapon for space limits.  Protomechs can put Mech-scale weapons into their Main Gun mount at half mass.  So a Clan Protomech putting a Clan LRM-5 in a shoulder will need 1 ton, but putting that same LRM-5 into the Main gun will only need half a ton as the Main Gun serves as the aiming platform.

Protomechs with a Main gun get 1 pt penalty to their Piloting rolls, because their hands are full.  They can drop the Main Gun to get rid of the 1-pt penalty, but the Main Gun takes 2 pts of damage due to being dropped/flung.

Protomechs can use Battery packs, removing the need for the pilot to be of the Aerospace caste or needing to have their limbs removed.  These Battery Packs mass the same as an equal statted Fusion engine, but reduce their endurance to 1 hour of movement or 8 hours of just standing around.  Since the Protomech does not have a fusion plant, thatmeans any energy weapons need Power Amplifiers.
(OOC: Has anyone specced the price and mass of just the fusion engine for a 2-ton Protomech moving 1/2?)

Protomech pilots without EI implantation use standard BA display systems, resulting in a 1-pt penalty on their attack rolls.

The BA equipment Extended Life Support can be installed on a Protomech at no change in endurance provided.
The BA equipment BAA Power Pack can be installed on a Protomech, but divide the Battery Packs's bonus time provided by the Protomech's mass in tons to get the actual bonus standing-around endurance (so an Inner Sphere Protomech massing 4 tons would only get 2.5 extra hours of endurance, or 18.75 minutes of combat movement).

This means Protomechs that are battery-powered can use the BA-sized battery packs for BA-scale energy weapons, rather than needing to install Power Amplifiers for them.

If a weapon does not do at least 1 pt of capital damage, it cannot be used to damage a Warship's armor.  It can still serve to try for getting a critical hit, and can still do damage to internal structure.

Adding extra armor to a Dropship does not increase its Threshold value.  To increase the Threshold value the Dropship has to spend time in a factory getting its internal structure refitted, and this is treated as having the entire Internal Structure repaired.

Standard Micro Power Packs only provide 1 point of power.  1 Point of Power is sufficient that non-weapon items that use Micro Power Packs don't have to worry about power demands for 12 hours (subject to common sense so you don't have one person linking their single Micro Power Pack to power an entire fence of basic sensors).

Satellites can be moduled together, but all equipment has to fit into the individual satellite (i.e. no splitting a 500-ton Large Naval Comm-Scanner Suite into 2+ satellites).  Any time a satellite is hit in combat, each moduled satellite rolls a 2d6 where on a 12 that satellite breaks off and is considered disabled.  This lets us build the ISS using a bunch of linked satellites, otherwise the ISS at ~410 tons is too large to be a satellite (max mass is 300 tons) and too small to be a space station (min mass is 2,000 tons).

Satellites and Space Stations have the same mass range (both up to 2.5 MTons).  However, Satellites will have two special rules: their Unit Cost modifier is maxed at five (same as a space station), and anything that requires a protected environment will cost 2* as much (Satellites are not designed to protect their interior from the vacuum of space, and Quarters need to protect the people in them from vacuum).  A large automated orbital laboratory can be built as a satellite with doubled cost for the lab equipment, or as a drone Space Station paying standard price for equipment.

This is the other way to build the ISS.

A satellite receiving or sending a transmission via Ground-Mobile HPG can re-transmit that message via radio to another location that has been pre-programmed into it.  Similarly Satellites can receive a regular radio signal and transmit that via HPG.

Here is where I asked about this sort of HPG capability

Satellites can mount more than one Ground-Mobile HPG on them, allowing the satellite to be part of a web of communications, rather than just a relay for manned communication stations.  Receiver locations must be set up by a person or on-board Drone system.

Standard satellites cannot re-orient their onboard HPGs or radios, and effectively serve as a form of relay station.  Adding Drone Systems to a Satellite allows for much better Command & Control abilities, including the ability for the satellite to change receiver locations based on transmitted data.

Arrow IV missiles fired at less than maximum range can loiter overhead.  Similar to the Artillery time-on-target attack, Arrow IV missiles fired at less than their maximum range can loiter over a battlefield until called by a TAG-equipped unit.  So if an Arrow IV unit was 2 turns away, and its maximum range was 5 turns of flight, then up to 4 missiles could be in the air at any time.  I.e. an Arrow IV missile fired on turn 11 would be overhead on turn 13, but would run out of fuel at the end of turn 16.
« Last Edit: 30 November 2021, 18:09:54 by idea weenie »


  • Lieutenant
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Re: Favorite House Rules
« Reply #3 on: 19 November 2021, 03:23:11 »
Artillery that fires at less than its maximum range can do a one-unit time-on-target attack.
Stolen!  I want your MRSI artillery too.