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Author Topic: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)  (Read 1412 times)

Inspector2311

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House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« on: 08 November 2021, 00:53:17 »
To all the meticulous types out there, who have a part in the back of their brain that won't stop bothering them about Battletech Ranges:  I have fixed it.

With a house rule.  Partially.  Kind of.  Okay, I can't claim to have fixed everything by any means (*cough autocannons*), but I set out wondering if I could make the ranges just a bit less... silly.  And I think I can claim to have found a way to do that much.

First I tried simply doubling the ranges of all the weapons.  On playtesting, that messed with the way units moved on the board.  They couldn't really maneuver as much; the game didn't play the same.  I had to find a way to make the units move the same distances on the map, but have the map represent longer ranges.  I didn't want to just speed up the 'Mechs; I worried I'd be trading silly ranges for silly speeds.  Then it hit me: distance=speed x time.  I could increase distance while keeping speed and relative maneuvering constant, if I just changed time.  That is, the length of a turn.

It works like this.  If a unit moves at, say, 86.4kph (5 walking 8 running), then it goes 24 meters per second.  That means, in a ten second turn (stock Battletech), it crosses 240 meters, or 8 stock 30-meter hexes.  To cross 24 hexes (720m), using (Distance/Speed=Time), it would need 720/24=30 seconds to do so, three turns.  This is all exactly how the game plays, so all of this was set up to work out, mathematically.  I tested it with other 'Mech speeds, and it was consistent across units.  Bonus points to the original 1980s devs for that.

Now, say a turn is 20 seconds instead of 10.  Keep the number of turns to cross the 24 hexes the same: 3.  3x20 seconds is 60.  So now it'll take 60 seconds to cross 24 hexes.  How far does that make those 24 hexes if the speed is kept the same 24m/s? x/24=60.  Solving for x, x=60x24.  24 hexes just became 1440 meters, exactly double the range for the doubled turn time.  The game plays exactly the same: same stats, same boards, same movement, but the ranges doubled.  If a turn is one minute, then 24 hexes is 4320 meters.  And so on.  The size of a hex (in meters) is equal to 3 times the duration (in seconds) of a turn.  Rinse and repeat as much as you like; just increase turn duration until you get sufficiently realistic ranges.

So, there it is.  Game plays exactly the same, but turns take more in-universe time and ranges are less silly.  Not entirely free of silliness, but less silly.  And that's something, isn't it?

idea weenie

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #1 on: 08 November 2021, 01:38:37 »
It also gets into stacking units in the same hex, plus melee combat will only be allowed between units in the same hex.

You also have the fun of how many munitions are needed to make a minefield.  For example if you have a hex that is 3* as long, then you need 9* as many munitions to put a minefield in that hex.

Area effect weapons will need to be rewritten, so if a shot normally does 10 pts to the target hex and 5 pts to adjacent hexes, then an enlarged hex that is 3* the length will have all that blast damage inside itself.  You may have to phrase it as '10 pts to target unit, 5 pts to all other units in the hex'.

Would making the turns take longer mean that units can fire more often during a turn, or would the rates of fire remain at one shot per turn?

DevianID

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #2 on: 08 November 2021, 01:45:44 »
So good news is that your math is solid.  The bad news is that the weapons range in btech isnt actually off in the way you probably think.

The short of it is this--doubling time also doubles your mech's rate of fire.  Alpha strike is somewhere between 3-6 times the turn length--3x minimum but 6 times is more likely due to how movement works.  So in your 20 second turn, each attack should happen twice to keep the balance.  Alphastrike chose a 3x damage multiplier.

As an aside, extreme and line of sight ranges exist--the range of weapons in btech is about 60 hexes for most ground based mech weapons when you use the advanced rules, only limited by line of sight.

The weapons that have bad ranges in btech are weapons not designed to shoot mechs.  A machine gun needing to be point blank to cluster inside a 1 meter area in btech is accurate to the real world.  But in the real world, we dont care if the machine gun hits an area 14 meters wide after 90 meters--as we are shooting and suppressing infantry with this weapon, not trying to smash exposed bits on a tank.

If you look at the real world 30mm gau avenger, every meter a round travels it spreads 5 millimeters away.  So at 1000 meters, the round hits somewhere in a 10 meter diameter circle--this is far too inaccurate for battletech standards.  A 1 meter diameter circle puts the range of a GAU-8 avenger to 100 meters (3 hexes).

So how can we hit tanks in the real world at 2000 meters with a GAU?  First, we have to hit the side or top armor for the GAU to have a chance to pen, second you have to shoot hundreds of rounds for a few to actually connect to the tank in the giant diameter, and third real world tanks are almost always stationary when shooting or being shot at--tanks accelerate very, very slow in the real world so they wont be able to move very fast--2/3 speeds for MODERN tanks is accurate, 1/2 speeds in WW2 is downright generous.  So tanks are either immobile or 0 TMM when shot at in the real world, and only +1tmm when going flat out and not shooting.

Inspector2311

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #3 on: 08 November 2021, 01:58:15 »
Area effect weapons will need to be rewritten

I didn't change area effect weapons; I keep them as-is in terms of what they do on the map.  They just make bigger explosions and/or fire more munitions.  If you think about it, a world that has miniaturized fusion power can likely make "clean" nuclear weapons that don't rely on radioactives as a blasting cap.  So Long Toms and Arrow IVs are probably TacNukes.

Quote
You also have the fun of how many munitions are needed to make a minefield.  For example if you have a hex that is 3* as long, then you need 9* as many munitions to put a minefield in that hex.

Same deal with minefields.  Bigger explosions means you can cover a wider area with each mine.

Quote
Would making the turns take longer mean that units can fire more often during a turn, or would the rates of fire remain at one shot per turn?

(this is also addressed to DevianID's question about RoF)

I keep one shot per turn, but "shots" are true abstractions rather than representing a single trigger pull per se.  If you think about it, this is likely true in stock BT as it is, at least for some of the weapons.  How many actual shells does an autocannon 20 fire each turn, after all?  It doesn't say, and that's on purpose.
« Last Edit: 08 November 2021, 02:06:00 by Inspector2311 »

Inspector2311

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #4 on: 08 November 2021, 02:04:57 »
So good news is that your math is solid.  The bad news is that the weapons range in btech isnt actually off in the way you probably think.

Haha, good stuff.  I've actually thought along very similar lines, but the ranges still bugged me.  And it was when I was switching to Alpha Strike and wondered if it changed the ranges that I came up with all this.

DevianID

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #5 on: 08 November 2021, 03:07:47 »
Quote
And it was when I was switching to Alpha Strike and wondered if it changed the ranges that I came up with all this.

Yeah get it.  The scale of movement and speed is a hard thing to grasp when looking down at a map sheet, and the difference in range from real world numbers lacks the context of just how much acceleration and off-road speed things in btech have.  There are some cool vids showing the tank table live fire trials tank crews undergo.  While very impressive, the moving targets have a pretty steady, slow velocity.  Overlaying something like a madcat/timberwolf next to the target would blow your mind how much faster the madcat/timberwolf accelerates and changes direction, and how much the real world shooting tank has to slow/stop to shoot--the overall max speed might not seem much at 86kph, but what it can do with that speed is TERRIFYING.

My favorite thing about the disconnect in scale is that in mechwarrior online, they ramped gravity way up so jump jet mechs didnt look like they were hovering.  If you jump up 30 meters with 5 jump jets, it takes 2.5 seconds to come back down.  While accurate to physics, it looked 'floaty' so they amped up gravity so things land in a fraction of that time, to look like a human jumping a mere few meters instead of a 12 meter tall machine jumping 30 meters.  The physics show that an assassin, indeed anything with 7+ JJ, should be able to hover in the air as long as you dont mind crazily bouncing up and down from the irregular nature of jump jet pulses.

Inspector2311

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #6 on: 08 November 2021, 12:05:53 »
Overlaying something like a madcat/timberwolf next to the target would blow your mind how much faster the madcat/timberwolf accelerates and changes direction

Exactly!  And, consider this: if 'Mechs are so much taller then vehicles, why isn't it easier to hit them?  Because: they must be more nimble than vehicles.  A lot more nimble.

(It was when I was watching Tex's Mackie video that this occurred to me.)

Empyrus

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #7 on: 08 November 2021, 13:59:49 »
Exactly!  And, consider this: if 'Mechs are so much taller then vehicles, why isn't it easier to hit them?  Because: they must be more nimble than vehicles.  A lot more nimble.

(It was when I was watching Tex's Mackie video that this occurred to me.)
As far as i can recall, when i've suggested something similar, that 'Mechs are nimble (though more in other context than in comparison to vehicles), people have started complaining about BT not being anime and that 'Mechs are more like walking tanks.
(I've never been a fan of the idea of 'Mechs being walking tanks, just look at the poses in art, but i also don't think 'Mechs are anime-level agile.)

I'd say it is easier to say 'Mechs have strong built-in ECM/signature masking systems that degrade enemy targeting sufficiently to overcome the 'Mechs large size compared to vehicles.
As for why vehicles don't have those: cost, slow rate of production, lostech black box factories... take your pick.


I'll note on the range issue that if you alter hex sizes and turn times, rates of fire become utterly silly. It primarily shifts the problem rather than solves it IMO.
Off-hand, modern tanks can typically manage something like 6 rounds per minute with their main guns. That is one shot per 10 seconds, coincidentally how BT weapons work. Not sure if RoF of 6/min is typical in combat though, but since BT is futuristic and has autocannons and whatever else, somewhat faster RoF than IRL works OK.
Attacks happening once per 30 seconds, or even longer are weird. Why aren't they attacking more often?
Saying attacks represent multiple attacks over that time period sorta works but at least i find that quite dissatisfying explanation in BattleTech rules (how come they always hit only one hit location?). With more abstract system like Alpha Strike, such explanation makes more sense.
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Inspector2311

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #8 on: 08 November 2021, 14:09:06 »
With more abstract system like Alpha Strike, such explanation makes more sense.

Ah, you've figured me out, there.  I did this primarily for Alpha Strike.  And, as DevianID pointed out, Alpha Strike kind of already did this to some degree, quietly, without most people noticing.  (As AS turns are longer than BT by... various amounts, depending on who you ask.)

Nicoli

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #9 on: 08 November 2021, 14:13:31 »
So, there it is.  Game plays exactly the same, but turns take more in-universe time and ranges are less silly.  Not entirely free of silliness, but less silly.  And that's something, isn't it?

This is why modern game designers have realized that the answer to questions like "how big is this space?" or "How long is a turn?" is best answered with "as long or large as it needs to be".  Hard times and distances just run you a high risk of your rule set looking stupid.

Empyrus

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #10 on: 08 November 2021, 14:13:35 »
Ah, you've figured me out, there.  I did this primarily for Alpha Strike.  And, as DevianID pointed out, Alpha Strike kind of already did this to some degree, quietly, without most people noticing.  (As AS turns are longer than BT by... various amounts, depending on who you ask.)
AS turns are 30 second per AS rulebook if i recall correctly. No comment on its ranges though, those i'm pretty sure are completely abstract (otherwise it gets really weird).

This is why modern game designers have realized that the answer to questions like "how big is this space?" or "How long is a turn?" is best answered with "as long or large as it needs to be".  Hard times and distances just run you a high risk of your rule set looking stupid.
My take on this is that the devs didn't want to do any math  ;D

EDIT To expand upon this a bit, because i am serious to some extent.
Original BattleTech/Battledroids setting assumed basically everything had become LosTech. Not only KF-ship production or 'Mech production, but basically all electronics and stuff.
When a giant robot shoots something, the MechWarrior would be essentially eyeballing it with help from only most rudimentary sensors, perhaps a gun-camera. In this context, ranges topping out around 600 meters kinda make sense.
Basically the only odd stuff was things like machine guns and small lasers but since the game was about giant robots and the rules certainly promoted melee combat to some degree, them losing effectiveness beyond 90 meters is semi-reasonable*.
I am quite sure FASA staff back then did think of sizes and measures and figured they worked just fine in the context. The range stuff becomes a problem the moment it was stated Star League stuff was way better but when depicted, it wasn't actually that much better...

*How much kinetic energy has a machine gun lost when it has flown about 100 meters? It seems unlikely the energy loss is enough warrant "no damage" but the idea is still there perhaps. Hence semi-reasonable.
« Last Edit: 08 November 2021, 14:29:33 by Empyrus »
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Inspector2311

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #11 on: 08 November 2021, 14:29:49 »
AS turns are 30 second per AS rulebook if i recall correctly. No comment on its ranges though, those i'm pretty sure are completely abstract (otherwise it gets really weird).

I read that somewhere, too, but can't find it at the moment.

Interestingly, AS ranges are presented as somewhat abstract, but really aren't if you look closely enough.  (and if you believe that they carry over the physical speeds of units from BT)  The calculations I used initially in the first post show that AS ranges are calculable.  Even if they don't tell you how much an "inch" is, if a 'Mech is going W kph, can fire X inches, can move Y inches in a turn, and a turn is Z seconds, you can solve for X.  (This was the reason I did those calculations in the first place - I wanted to see if AS had fixed the range problem.  It kind of did, but I think it could have gone farther.)

Nicoli

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #12 on: 08 November 2021, 14:49:01 »
I'll note on the range issue that if you alter hex sizes and turn times, rates of fire become utterly silly. It primarily shifts the problem rather than solves it IMO.
Off-hand, modern tanks can typically manage something like 6 rounds per minute with their main guns. That is one shot per 10 seconds, coincidentally how BT weapons work. Not sure if RoF of 6/min is typical in combat though, but since BT is futuristic and has autocannons and whatever else, somewhat faster RoF than IRL works OK.
Attacks happening once per 30 seconds, or even longer are weird. Why aren't they attacking more often?
Saying attacks represent multiple attacks over that time period sorta works but at least i find that quite dissatisfying explanation in BattleTech rules (how come they always hit only one hit location?). With more abstract system like Alpha Strike, such explanation makes more sense.
Practical rate of fire is much lower then stated rate of fire. Things like target identification, aiming, moving, and battlefield observation all cut down on trigger time. This is why nations are very reticent to decrease tank crews down below Driver, gunner, commander and often don't even want to go below including a loader, because splitting the workload is that beneficial.

Empyrus

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #13 on: 08 November 2021, 15:03:31 »
Practical rate of fire is much lower then stated rate of fire. Things like target identification, aiming, moving, and battlefield observation all cut down on trigger time. This is why nations are very reticent to decrease tank crews down below Driver, gunner, commander and often don't even want to go below including a loader, because splitting the workload is that beneficial.
Makes sense.
And i think it makes sense that BT manages higher practical rate of fire thanks to futuristic sensors, computers, automation, etc.
Just think there's a limit, in terms of standard tactical BattleTech, not more abstract systems like Alpha Strike, how long turns can be.
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Nicoli

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #14 on: 08 November 2021, 22:52:20 »
Makes sense.
And i think it makes sense that BT manages higher practical rate of fire thanks to futuristic sensors, computers, automation, etc.
Just think there's a limit, in terms of standard tactical BattleTech, not more abstract systems like Alpha Strike, how long turns can be.
Sensors aren't inherently a benefit. The british run an occasional program where they let the soldiers that use their equipment make changes they think they needed. When they did this with their tanks the soldiers added a bunch of cameras to provide extra visibility for extra situational awareness. This basically caused the crew to get bogged down in information overload.

But the best thing is that you don't even mention the length of time a turn takes. It is simply as long as needed. Specifics for "Hard" sci-fi settings generally just cause more problems then it's worth, and most historical games don't bother with it.

DevianID

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #15 on: 08 November 2021, 23:52:09 »
So in tac ops, one thing I really like is how the extra crew in a tank helps out.  Each crew adds one arc of visibility, so you need 4 to scan 360 for acquiring targets, and each crew focuses on one arc.  Each crew also lets you shoot a different target, meaning a tank with mguns in each arc (there are a few) can see and cover all 4 directions at once at 50+ tons.  Mechs do a lot with 1 pilot, but mechs can't multitask like a tank for shooting multiple targets, especially ones not in the front (main) arc of vision.

So btech tanks have a driver, commander, and ton of gunners each focused on a narrow job profile.

As for mech's agility, while the initial battle droids may have lead some to think they are slow walking tanks, from the beginning the movement has shown them to be very fast accelerating and turning at speed, just most probably didnt crunch the math on how terrifying 5/8 looks accelerating and stopping on a dime, or what making a 180 turn at 55kph with at most a 15m turn radius feels like.

Empyrus

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #16 on: 09 November 2021, 06:25:36 »
As for mech's agility, while the initial battle droids may have lead some to think they are slow walking tanks, from the beginning the movement has shown them to be very fast accelerating and turning at speed, just most probably didnt crunch the math on how terrifying 5/8 looks accelerating and stopping on a dime, or what making a 180 turn at 55kph with at most a 15m turn radius feels like.
Inertia def wasn't considered. I would assume this part at least may have been strongly anime influenced, from what little i've seen of... Gundam i think.

With walking tanks, i figure that depiction is more because of other Western mech things and various MechWarrior video games which certainly lack agility.
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DevianID

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #17 on: 10 November 2021, 04:01:39 »
When crunching numbers, a 5/8 mech can expect 4g in acceleration from rest the first 1-2 seconds of its run, averaging out over 10 seconds as it gets up to speed.  So piloting faster mechs is very much like piloting a high performance fighter craft, as something quicker like a Locust can absolutely explode off a starting line at like 9g for .8 seconds and hit 5g turns with ease if not on slippery pavement.  Phawks hit 4.5gs each jump, while assassians get over 5gs per jj burn.  Thus it makes sense why immobile targets get a -4, when even slow mechs are assumed to be bouncing a few meters to the left or right as they move about--mech movement would look like skipping due to the required power/weight ratios.  (Think how the astranaughts moved on the moon in bounds; the stride length of a mech would only multiply the true walking speed of a mech versus a human to about 10km/h for a 12 meter tall mech, thus any faster than 1 mp spent/turn and a mech, even an atlas, CANT walk and would either be running/hopskipping due to the relationship of stride length and gravity forcing both feet off the ground any faster than 10 km/h)

Empyrus

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #18 on: 10 November 2021, 12:17:48 »
Should be noted that 'Mech average speeds tend to be slower than than their rated speeds, except in straight and open.
Walking through light woods halves maximum speed, a Locust would manage only 43 to 64 KPH in a forest or so. Heavy woods slows it down even more. Any turns slow down movement.

But i do wonder if perhaps movement rates should be slowed down more, by altering time scale slightly.
Say a turn takes 15 seconds, so speeds would be only 66% of current. The Locust could now manage only 85 KPH or so at maximum run. Less acceleration.
Weapons firing about 4 times per minute is reasonable rate of fire for futuristic weapons, i think.

Not sure if this does any good to BT ranges and weapon accuracy though.
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BATTLEMASTER

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #19 on: 10 November 2021, 13:34:28 »
Has anyone considered adapting the RPG weapon ranges to table top?  My understanding is that the RPG ranges are more realistic interpretations of weapon performance.
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Empyrus

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #20 on: 10 November 2021, 13:48:07 »
Has anyone considered adapting the RPG weapon ranges to table top?  My understanding is that the RPG ranges are more realistic interpretations of weapon performance.
Space becomes an issue. How many maps can your table hold? And as Total Warfare and BMM prefaces note, realistic ranges reduce effect of maneuverability (though this does depend on the map itself heavily).
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DevianID

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #21 on: 11 November 2021, 02:26:04 »
Quote
My understanding is that the RPG ranges are more realistic interpretations of weapon performance.
RPG weapon ranges are actually really bad and not at all realistic for well armored mobile warfare.

A .50 cal bullet can travel 1800m.  But, if averaging 900m/s velocity (very fast), the bullet will drop 20 meters over this time, making the .50 cal more of a mortar than a direct fire weapon, especially with the slower rounds.  When bolted firmly to a heavy vehicle, you can get 2mm dispersion from the gun, so the .50 cal will strike an area 4 meters wide--instead machine guns are built with looser tolerances to spray more distance left and right, to make an oval shaped area of effect 14 meters wide by 7 meters deep.  To sufficiently suppress that 70 meter area of effect requires hundreds of bullets, which only do damage to infantry/soft targets.  Thus, the RPG range doesnt mean anything to a Mech, and the first 50 shots dont mean anything to infantry either!  A gau/8 gattling cannon has a range of 3/6/9 30m hexes against the largest assault mech to avoid clustering it damage to multiple areas, rendering the weapon ineffective or at reduced damage past an already generous 9 hexes (at 9 hexes you are hitting 80% within a 2.7 meter diameter thanks to the 5mil dispersion, and 20% are even further spread to nowhere)

IF mechs are mobile, then it turns out the actual ranges in btech are accurate when you need to cluster damage in groups as small as 1 square meter in size on the smallest mechs.  Beyond this, LOS weapon ranges, with +8 to hit and damage/cluster penalties, are good representations of real world accuracies against moving targets at such ranges, and drive home the importance of not being immobile versus long range weapons just like the Iraqi tanks in hull down immobile positions learned versus the abrams.  A factory fresh never fired abrams can get rounds at .7mil dispersion, though a used/cheaper barrel gets to 1.4mil or worse.  At .7mil, you can hit a 1.26 meter diameter at 1800m, but at 1.4mil this goes to 80% 2.5 meters.  If you aim center mass at mech 3m wide like a griffin, AND lead it properly predicting where it will be over 1 second in the future, you can still miss due to 1.4mil dispersion.

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Re: House Rule: I fixed Battletech Ranges! (Sort of)
« Reply #22 on: 18 November 2021, 23:58:32 »
B-tech units can move rather fast if one looks at it.

A 100 ton battlemech say an Atlas moving at 3/5 or 54 kph is not to bad for a heavy thing going off road. Considering that it can reach that speed in under 5 seconds (IIRC it can reach that speed in a single RPG turn). 

Now keep in mid that per it's official specs an M1A2 Abrams MBT is a 65ish ton tank that can move at 30ish MPH off road or about 48kph (4.45 hexes per turn or 3/5 rounding up), can go from 0 to 32 kph in 7.2 seconds and move at up to 27kph on a 10 degree slope, roughly the equivalent to a single B-tech hex elevation, which is a 20% grade or 11 degree slope)).

None the less an Atlas can go much much faster than it's specs indicate.
Throw in a Nav satellite you can add a +1 to that movement rate.
Give it a Speed demon pilot and give it a further 2 hexes per turn.
And then their sprinting rules twice it's walking rate.
Yep that Atlas is now moving at 9 hexes per turn or 97kph. All of this is cross country...
And we have not even done any mods to the mech yet. Cheifly MASC and superchargers (the supercharger states it actually disables the governor).

A Mad Cat with these rules can reach 13 hexes per turn (140kph or 87.25mph), your bog standard Locust some 205kph... (127.5 mph)

Battlemechs it seems have the same speed on roads as they do off roads. Now ground vehicles get a +1 to their movement if they stay on roads. So that Demolisher tank traveling on a road can reach a speed of 108kph (67mph) using the same rules already listed.

Though it should be said by in large most of these rules preclude the unit from firing as such are more for getting into position or out of one...
As such one can see b-tech units can be much faster than it seems.

==========================================
As for rate of fire, it should be noted that the US army Expects about 5 or 6 rounds a minute from their Abrams crews (This is complete firing cycle, not just loading which can be done in under 5 seconds), After all the Commander has to find a target, identify it, pass that info to the gunner, who has then has to see and identify it as well and then tell the loader what to load and then once loaded make any last second adjustments before firing. And then once fired the sight can be obstructed for a few seconds making observation tricky, or the target might also be obscured by smoke or dust.

As for the supposed mobility and agility. I would suspect that yes battlemechs are far more mobile and agile than what is often thought, they can go from zero to over 200kph in under 10 seconds (well some can), and I suspect that part of their agility is in part why B-tech tanks have far worse critical hits, they they can use their superior agility to better angle themselves to better handle incoming fire.   

One thing to note about B-tech weapons range is that a MG can hit a target flying at 500 elevations, yes a B-tech can hit a fly VTOL at 3,000 meters above the ground as long as it's only under 120 meters away from the firing unit on it's X axis.