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Author Topic: In Hindsight  (Read 2820 times)

Maingunnery

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In Hindsight
« on: 12 April 2021, 03:39:55 »

"What advice would you give to TPTB if you could travel back in time by 35 years?"

A bit of a thought experiment, many of us have been fans for decades and thus will have thoughts about what could have been better.
I am kind of curious what everyone else thinks. Personally I am leaving out story type ideas/feedback as that could be a bit too divisive.


[TECH]
Limit heat sink absorption by engines to the base 10 heat sinks or heat points (hard nerf).
AC/20s (all types) should produce less heat (5 heat/shot?)
Let UAC attempt to unjam
Let the other LBX sizes (2,5,20) also be lighter than the std ACs.
IS Pulse lasers should have as much range as standard lasers.
Equal Gauss explosions to the weapon's normal damage value.
Clan LRMs should have a minimal range of 3 hexes.
Clan Large Lasers have too much range (suggested: cLPL 18, cERLL 22).
Allow Torpedos, Extended LRM, and Silver-bullet Gauss to just be special munitions.
Have BV system in place before introducing the Clans or other tech bases.

[ART]
Make the initial batch of ProtoMechs look mechanical
Handing over the KS art & minis, "this is the minimal quality level".



Please let us hear your own thoughts/ideas.
Herb: "Well, now I guess we'll HAVE to print it. Sounds almost like the apocalypse I've been working for...."

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AlphaMirage

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #1 on: 12 April 2021, 06:40:39 »
Just stick with single heat sinks. Also all Mechs are at least somewhat omnicapable and can carry 20% of their mass as a handheld using the normal restrictions for that. In fact it should be standard issue on the record sheet like a protos main gun

Basic Large laser only generates 6 heat

Clantech missiles and ballistics are lighter, their energy weapons more damaging and long ranged at cost of heat. Additionally their advanced structures and engines take up less critical space.

Have warship construction tools in place beforehand.

Focus build two dozen narrowly focused but useful armored fighting vehicles, no weird 75% gun tanks with paper armor. Provide variants for each house. They should also be drones

*Shows them the abstracted support rules of BMM and Tukayyid. Use these instead of attempting to match aerospace on the ground board

mbear

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #2 on: 12 April 2021, 08:55:09 »
"What advice would you give to TPTB if you could travel back in time by 35 years?"

A bit of a thought experiment, many of us have been fans for decades and thus will have thoughts about what could have been better.
I am kind of curious what everyone else thinks. Personally I am leaving out story type ideas/feedback as that could be a bit too divisive.

[TECH]
Limit heat sink absorption by engines to the base 10 heat sinks or heat points (hard nerf).
Limit double heat sinks to engine, using the engine rating/25 formula currently used. EDIT: Additional heat sinks must be singles.
Add Rocket launchers.

[ART]
Don't re-use anime images. Commission your own.


[MWDA]
Make sure players know that these are new factions and old factions are not going away.
« Last Edit: 15 April 2021, 06:39:06 by mbear »
Be the Loremaster:

Battletech transport rules take a very feline approach to moving troops in a combat zone: If they fits, they ships.

You bought the box set and are ready to expand your BT experience. Now what? (Thanks Sartis!)

CVB

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #3 on: 12 April 2021, 12:08:58 »
[TECH]
Add special ammo types for ACs from the beginning. Energy weapons are more heat/weight efficient, safer and cheaper (at least in the long run). Let ACs at least be more versatile.

Add low-tech weapons like Rocket Launchers, Rifles, Mortars from the beginning.

Formalize quirks in the design rules and include them in all unit types.

Completely overhaul infantry construction and infantry weapon conversion between the various game systems. Replacing two Gyroslug rifles with Light MGs (actually saving some weight in the process) slows down a squad, but adding two Light Rifle field guns at 8 tons does not. Really?

Minor: Smooth out ammo damage capacity (why does a ton of AC/2 ammo contain 90 damage points, a ton of MG ammo 400?)

[HISTORY]
Don't over-dramatize major timeline events. BT has always had a tendency to select a victim and then let everything go wrong for him. It would be much more believable to give the Capellans at least some defensive victories in the 4th SW, instead of
  • Intelligence organization infiltrated
  • Major secret ally has already been uncovered and is used for misinformation
  • Enemy attacks with complete surprise
  • Major official ally is distracted by personal vendetta
  • Minor official ally does basically nothing
  • Counterattack fails completey, costing several regiments
  • Top military commander defects with half a province plus several regiments
  • Heir defects with a whole province and several regiments
  • Major merc command defects to enemy with several regiments
  • Ruler goes insane
and later "Godlike successor undos all that and more in a single generation"
« Last Edit: 12 April 2021, 12:36:43 by CVB »

idea weenie

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #4 on: 12 April 2021, 18:38:29 »
[TECH]
Add special ammo types for ACs from the beginning. Energy weapons are more heat/weight efficient, safer and cheaper (at least in the long run). Let ACs at least be more versatile.

Minor: Smooth out ammo damage capacity (why does a ton of AC/2 ammo contain 90 damage points, a ton of MG ammo 400?)

Weapons & Ammo:
Make the Medium laser heavier/less damage, to prevent it from being the optimum laser for a wide variety of Mechs (either the primary weapon for the light Mechs, a good secondary for Mediums, and a good space filler for Heavy & Assault).  I agree with your logic about energy weapons being more efficient over time, and ballistic weapons being better over a short duration

120 missiles per ton of ammo.  So SRM-2 gets 60 shots, SRM-4 gets 30, SRM-6 gets 20.

Missile weapons are more efficient in tonnage and/or heat the larger they get.  Change the LRM-5's mass to 3 tons and heat production to 3 pts, and change the LRM-20's mass to equal 9 tons.

Micro Jump jets - .25 tons per Jump MP, but can only be mounted on Mechs 25 tons or less. (this would save 1.5 tons on the Stinger and Wasp, making them a little nastier)

Make the Cluster Chart more linear.  For example, the '20' column should have different values for the 11 and 12 rolls.  One modification might be changing the 20 column to:
6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20
This adds up to 456 missiles out of the 36 possibilities, vs the existing 457 missiles.
(Similar modifications for the others)

LB-X.  Please don't make us roll to-hit locations for each sub-munition

Pulse lasers are short range and do bonus damage.  No to-hit bonus, just have them do more damage.

Power Packs - small stuff (radios) needs a battery with at least 1 power point in it, but does not appreciably drain the power.  Make it where larger power packs (for the same technology base) get more power per unit of weight (so there is one chart for civilian power packs, one for military, one for Star League, and one for Clan).  Power used per shot should be proportional to damage and range.


Design:
Clan Mechs are optimized for ~10 turns of combat, Inner Sphere Mechs are designed for 20 turns of combat.  This will affect their ammunition carried.

If Battlearmor can get 30 shots for a small laser using a battery that is 16 kg in mass, allow for Vehicles to mount similar weapons.  This would be instead of needing half a ton of Power Amplifier for firing ten Small Lasers at one shot each.  This would be paired with the Power Pack adjustments above (and modifying the Battlearmor Power pack if needed)

Mechs are flexible, and can have a variety of options used to build them.  Instead of just nuclear engines, you can also have ICE engines (inefficient, no internal heat sinks, but relatively easy to understand), Battery (silent, airtight, easy to understand, but shorter range than an ICE), Fuel cell (silent and airtight like batteries, relatively smaller than ICE, but more complex to make and maintain).  Internal structure can be either military (10% mass) or Civilian (20% mass).

Dropships - make a reason to use the civilian engine, instead of everyone automatically choosing the military engine.

Dropships, Jumpships, and Warships - instead of using tables and flat break points, use an equation where possible.  For example instead of a 99 kton Dropship burning ~20 tons of fuel per burn-day and a 100 kton Dropship burning ~40 tons per burn-day, make the Burn-day consumption equal to .0003 times the Dropship's weight.

For Dropships, Warships, and Space stations, Threshold is based on Internal Structure tonnage, while armor plays nearly no part in Threshold.  DS/WS/SS can mount as much internal structure as they want.  Similarly, they can mount as much armor as they want, just note that armor takes a lot of tonnage for the protection it offers (and there is an equation governing tons per armor point vs ship mass, instead of a table with fixed break points).

If there are tables for masses of items related to Dropship sizes, the break points on the tables will be different.  So instead of having (for example) three tables having a breakpoint at 300 ktons, you would have one table having a break point at 200 ktons, another at 300 ktons, and the third table at 400 ktons.  Do the best to avoid certain masses having an obvious advantage.

Dropships can be built with KF cores, but cannot be attached to another KF-capable vessel (they can only jump on their own).  Similarly, Warships can be built with atmospheric capability.  The problem is that these vessels had the disadvantages of both (i.e. the Warship's KF cost multiplier, and the Dropship hull cost multiplier, maximum mass, and engine mass percent).

Infantry get a fixed number of anti-Mech shots.  Anti-Mech weapons on infantry get to choose 1 of: range, damage, or shots.  So the infantry platoon might have anti-Mech SRMs, but they only get 2 shots for their SRM-8 salvos (and the more infantry lost, the salvo strength drops).  Lots of satchel charges can be carried, but their damage is poor and the infantry unit has to get into the same hex as the target Mech.  Infantry LRMs can be carried, they allow the infantry unit to be a longer-ranged annoyance, but do light damage.  Infantry without anti-Mech weapons will do more damage to other infantry units, and can be used to swarm a stopped vehicle.


System Rules:
A Jumpship holding position at a Jump point consumes one hundredth of a 'G' per day, not a tenth of a G.  This will allow Jumpships to carry a useful amount of Fuel. 

A Jumpship can travel in-system using its engine on Strategic use, it just takes 10* longer than a Dropship, and uses 1/10 the fuel.  So assuming equal mass, a system where a Dropship that would normally take 12 days to burn from the Jump point to the planet while needing 300 tons of fuel to do so, a Jumpship would take 120 days to arrive, and use 30 tons of fuel.

Extended observation of a pirate point along with sufficiently advanced computers to crunch numbers allows for bonuses to arrive at the pirate point.  Make it proportional to the square root of the observation time, so in order to get double the bonus you have to spend 4* as long observing.  Plus a limit to the bonus so someone who is in-system for 100 years will always hit it.

Bays can carry items through a KF jump, but requires cargo tonnage to do so.  So you could have an Unpressurized repair bay with a capacity of up to 2 million tons, but if the ship only has 140,000 tons of cargo capacity, that means it can only carry up to 140ktons inside its repair bay when it jumps.


Fluff:
Battlemech Engines are described as being not just the fusion reactor itself, but also the myomers and structural reinforcements needed to handle the higher speeds (notice how a Locust that moves 1/2 and 8/12 still has the same 10% internal structure?)

NewGrange and Faslane were famous not for their massive repair bays, as they carried Dropships that mounted repair bays.  The Faslane and NewGrange were instead famous for their massive internal Machine shops that could turn out a wide variety of repair items needed by a damaged ship.  They were also the 'herders' for spare KF cores for a fleet.  They would have one of their Repair Dropships stay with the damaged ship and extend its repair gantry.  The NewGrange would use its Machine Shops to remove the rear of the Warship, and extract the non-functional KF core.  The replacement core would be jumped to the repair location, and inserted into the Warship.  The NewGrange would then close up the Warship enough for the Warship to get to a proper repair yard.  The damaged core would be rubbled in the meantime, and sent back to the repair yard via cargo Dropship.

The Free Worlds League space navy was designed so if one sub-faction tried to rebel, its fleet units would have obvious weaknesses that could be exploited.  So you might have carrier units that were vulnerable to capital ships, capital-armed ships that were vulnerable to carrier strikes but could easily splatter escort ships, and escort ships that were great against fighters but weak against larger ships.  Carrier vessels could be either Warships or Dropships.  Battle-line ships were armed with a few large weapons (so Warships with NAC/40, and Dropships with Killer Whale launchers).  Escort ships were equipped with lots of smaller weapons (Warships with lots of Screen Launchers, or Dropships with Barracuda missiles).  Together it made an effective whole, separated the parts were vulnerable.

Davion Warships tended to put more autocannons on their ships, as it allowed them to resupply at nearly any world in the Federated Suns.  RAC/5 equipped ships had large ammo reserves, but would also chew through that ammo quickly.

Monitors (Warships without a KF core) are possible, but are described as a strategic defensive only unit, normally only deployed by single-system factions.  Their lack of strategic maneuverability turned them into a fancier form of battle station, and were only used to defend critical locations.  This often resulted in the attacking force setting up bases elsewhere in the target system and steadily overwhelming the defender.  Make comparisons to wolves attacking a bear for KF-capable Warships attacking a Monitor.

When Wolf Dragoons received their orders to prepare the Inner Sphere for the coming Clan Invasion, what they did was start setting up their version of Mechwarrior Academies, trying to find the best of the best to fight the Clans with.  This is due to their mindset of Warrior vs Warrior honorable combat, rather than mobilizing the entire Inner Sphere for war.  So they actually did try to prepare the Inner Sphere for war, but in their dueling style.  A comparison to Solaris7 could be made, where they have Mechwarriors duel each other, and the WD trying to find the best of the best of the best of the best of the best of the best of the best.  By the time the Clans invade they managed to find ~500 people as a result, but those 500 have natural capabilities for both Piloting and Gunnery, and are very skilled.  The idea of getting the rest of the Inner Sphere to be up-teched and restore its industry to bury the Clans under a mass of metal never occurs to them.

WoB's decision to seize Terra was based on Comstar (and other IS nations) agreeing to work with several of the Invading Clans (or their sub-factions).  Comstar did not like the seizure of Terra, but was more than happy to let the Clans focus their anger against the WoB so Comstar could rebuild.  WoB proceeded to sell Comstar more Mechs, but at cost (i.e. no profit for WoB, and potentially even at a loss).  WoB made sure to get the merchandising rights, and made up their losses on each Mech by selling the toys to kids across the Inner Sphere (who wants an Atlas plushie, to keep the bad dreams of Clanners away?  For the low price of 40 C-Bills, you can keep your kids' dreams safe).

When WoB set up the Blake Protectorate, they were using Pirate point shipping to reduce transit times.  Instead of needing to spend ~10 days transiting from planet to the Z/N point, they would send the Dropship to the pirate point, and the Jumpship at that pirate point would get coordinates to the destination system's pirate point.  After the Jumpship jumps, the Dropship is then looking at 1-2 days transit instead of another ~10 days transit.  So cargo would be delivered within 5 days, instead of needing 20 days.

WoB's assault against the Inner Sphere was referred by them as the Cleansing, not Jihad.

WoB had developed a Willow Run style factory on Terra, and were using it to produce a 60-ton 5/8/5 Mech design, and those Mechs were being shipped out to all the other worlds in the Blake Protectorate.  One Mech per hour, but they needed to be sent to ~70 worlds, meaning each world would only get ~120 Mechs every year.  It also meant that when the Manei Domini needed spare parts for their 30-ton 10/15 scout, or 75-ton 4/6 heavy, or 100-ton 3/5 Assault Mech, they could use the Protectorate supply depots.  The Manei Domini would later (under orders from the Master) wind up attacking Protectorate supply depots later in the WoB Cleansing.  These attacks against the Protectorate by the Manei Domini would allow several Alliance 'victories', where the Protectorate agreed not to attack the Stone Alliance forces. The planets were still rabidly against re-joining the Successor States, and still had a large military, so the Successor states agreed to let the planets leave (in exchange for trade agreements).
« Last Edit: 17 April 2021, 17:44:13 by idea weenie »

five_corparty

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #5 on: 12 April 2021, 20:59:30 »
I'd add Blazers into intro tech, putting a laser-based headcapper into the game.  And it fits, canon wise.

I like: adding rockets into the beginning tech, extending the IS Pulse ranges, nerfing the medium laser, 120 shots per ton of ammo, limiting Double heat sinks to just what you can fit into the engine, giving Clan LRMs a TINY Min range (I'm ok with with either 2 or 3)  Also agree with torpedoes and SB Gauss just being different ammo types, like infernos.

I also think the L/AC 2 & 5 should have been the original versions, and included the LBXs to start with.  Just drop the original 4 altogether, only have the good 6.  (the "originals" could have been introduced during an Age of War type thing Historical)

Sketch out ALL the Clans before 3050 kicks off.  Look, I -LOVE- me some Diamond Sharks, but they managed to beat out the Adders for slot 7?  or the Scorpions?  or, HECK, the Spirits or Ice Hellions?  I think we've all kinda looked past that since we love our wee baby-shark friends, but, realistically, it shoulda been an Adder/Scorp fight for the Wild Card.  ;)

Also, I think it should be said that NO DA OR JIHAD COMPLAINING ALLOWED!  There's other threads for that.    :D ;D
« Last Edit: 12 April 2021, 21:04:10 by five_corparty »
"Inside the Army, we squabble about which part of the Army gets the most stuff.  After a while, some really important general comes down and tells us to knock it off and 'cooperate.' If we don’t, the bad people will whack us and even the Air Force won’t be able to bail us out. This is called 'combined arms.' "  FM 3-0 Operations (Simple Version: "Doctrine for Dummies")

five_corparty

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #6 on: 12 April 2021, 21:03:43 »
Oh, of course:

I'd say NO MACROSS STUFF! it'll bite yah in the end, trust me, your wise, time traveling friend! Also: never put down how many mechs a factory can produce a year!  And keep track of how many regiments you have and where!  :D ;D

Oh, and for the love that is holy, make hatchets hit on the punch chart.  So many people screwed up that rule and love it as the "bad" way you might as well canonize it!

"Inside the Army, we squabble about which part of the Army gets the most stuff.  After a while, some really important general comes down and tells us to knock it off and 'cooperate.' If we don’t, the bad people will whack us and even the Air Force won’t be able to bail us out. This is called 'combined arms.' "  FM 3-0 Operations (Simple Version: "Doctrine for Dummies")

Atarlost

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #7 on: 12 April 2021, 23:29:50 »
Battledroids:

1) Only have one size of SRM and one size of LRM in the construction rules that get grouped together when the designer completes the record sheet. 

2) Make the original autocannon either lighter or more damaging. 

3) Survivable ammo explosions.

4) The premade mechs are going to be icons.  Make sure you own exclusive US toy and videogame rights to whatever art you use, and have more variety.  There are by my count two 20 tonners, both doing 6/9/6, one 45 tonner doing 6/9/6, three 55 tonners two doing 5/8/5 and one doing 5/8/3, two 65 tonners doing 4/6, two 70 tonners doing 4/6, and a 75 tonner doing 4/6.  Nothing exists between 25 and 40 tons or in the assault range.  Nothing is under 4/6 or over 6/9/6 and no heavies that jump or lights or mediums that don't jump. 

Early Battletech:

1) Keep the heatsinks on the crit chart. 

2) Compress your lore timescales so wars and the periods between them are of more normal duration. 

3) Decide how populous the Inner Sphere is and base your economic statistics on an encyclopedia or the CIA World Factbook so they bear a passing resemblance to reality. 

4) Decide if you really want psionics and stick with your choice.  The attempts to retcon stuff like phantom mech never really worked very well so you'll have to live with your decision. 

Helm Renaissance Era:

1) Hire some munchkin consultants to make sure your designs aren't completely stupid.  Especially the stuff that's supposed to be closely based on Star League era designs. 

2) Write at least draft design rules before publishing units.  You don't want the SLDF Navy to be a joke because when you get around to publishing the rules you find that the sizes don't make sense.  Also, give the warships from after the invention of the ASF AA suites. 

Clan Invasion Era:

1) Just say no to Space Mongol Furries.  Unless you justify them with something Lovecraftian pulling their strings and driving them mad.  That might actually be pretty cool. 

2) Societies based on shooting people and taking their stuff are not sustainable while societies based on mutually beneficial exchange are.  Thus, no trials of possession within or between Clans.  Also, most trials of position should not be live fire as that goes against the minimizing waste thing the Clans are supposed to have. 

HABeas2

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #8 on: 14 April 2021, 16:39:03 »
Thirty-five years ago? 1986?

My Advice: Stop there, and move on to something else entirely. There's nothing more you can do with this setting that won't ruin it for someone.

- Herb

Daryk

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #9 on: 14 April 2021, 18:53:46 »
+1 for Blazer Cannons, five_coparty!

One thing I haven't seen in the list yet: NEVER design a vehicle scale weapon with zero damage!

Sabelkatten

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #10 on: 16 April 2021, 10:46:38 »
Increase armor weight such that hard armor limits are no longer needed. Decrease weapon weight to compensate.

Get a couple of power gamers to look at the weapons and nerf the ones they take.

When adding improved tech make sure it doesn't provide massive performance jumps without a disadvantage (looking at you, DHS).

Never introduce WarShips. Keep dropships around 10,000 tons as the largest practical combat units.

Daemion

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #11 on: 19 April 2021, 15:04:13 »
Thirty-five years ago? 1986?

My Advice: Stop there, and move on to something else entirely. There's nothing more you can do with this setting that won't ruin it for someone.

- Herb

[snort] Oh, Herb. I get your personal experience might give you some bias.   ^-^



[back to general topic]
Lore
A lot of my gripes come down to the lore, because that should drive general presentation and mechanics.
Are Mechs super valuable but rare?  Then tanks and infantry and other conventional forces should not stand up to them.  Lots of combined arms gaming, even in the older rules sets, have Mechs getting wrecked pretty easily.  Of course, conventional forces should be more common.  Otherwise, if you're satisfied that some tanks can stand up to Mechs easily, then Mechs should be pretty common, with the inclusion of tanks being a doctrine choice.

Help me figure out how to role-play a faction.  Not just unit choices, but how they respond to raids, invasion, and infighting.  Each faction should have a general characteristic tendency to react a certain way in a certain situation.  I know there are going to be outliers.  How common would that be?

Do you want players to have fun generating their own forces? (Something I would believe, considering how quickly the game was cobbled together)  Then come up with ways that the setting can allow for lots of mayhem and means for justifying fights and raids, and so on.

Once you have an aesthetic, this should help influence the rules designs, especially for supplementary systems.

Supplementary Systems
Try for design consistency. 

BattleTroops was an interesting concept, but doesn't fit with the Core BattleTech game in execution.  Whereas MechWarrior 2nd Ed used and expanded on a core game mechanic for personnel: The pilot damage chart.  But, both would be a good use for the plethora of conventional forces that can't compete with Mechs, but can amongst each other.

It doesn't hurt to come up with an explanation for why the ranges are the way they are and stick with it. But, you must commit.

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

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #12 on: 19 April 2021, 17:07:45 »
The trick is HOW MANY "conventional" tanks and infantry formations can stand up to a 'mech.  Given that 'mechs can literally deploy anywhere on a planet, and that it's impossible to cover ALL targets with "enough", that provides plenty of scope for many games.  In my head canon at least, 'mechs are the ultimate SOF... supremely flexible, deployable just about anywhere, and fast enough to get away before sufficient conventional forces can be concentrated to deal with them.  That also explains my love of LAMs...  ^-^

Col Toda

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #13 on: 19 April 2021, 19:15:23 »
By 3085 all tech base goes to Clan except at the periphery states . All tech loses faction proprietary situation 1-5 years  after captured or purchased .   

idea weenie

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #14 on: 19 April 2021, 21:50:14 »
The trick is HOW MANY "conventional" tanks and infantry formations can stand up to a 'mech.  Given that 'mechs can literally deploy anywhere on a planet, and that it's impossible to cover ALL targets with "enough", that provides plenty of scope for many games.  In my head canon at least, 'mechs are the ultimate SOF... supremely flexible, deployable just about anywhere, and fast enough to get away before sufficient conventional forces can be concentrated to deal with them.  That also explains my love of LAMs...  ^-^ 

This has been my go-to explanation as well.  Mechs provide more combat power per ton, Vehicles provide more combat power per C-Bill.  So if you are attacking, then a Mech is what you use first.  If you are defending, then you want vehicles, to avoid stressing your budget.

Of course, the weight of a Mech Bay in a Dropship causes problems since even a single 20-ton Locust takes up all 100 tons capacity of the Battlemech bay.  You'd have to convince the original designers that a Battlemech bay is 50 tons base (to provide for pilot and tech life support, repair equipment, Mech Cocoon, 1-use landing jets, etc), then a number of tons.  The number of tons is the maximum tonnage of Mech that can fit in that bay.  Changing this limitation requires extensive work (several days) in order to change that value, and the total tonnage allocated to Mechs must be allocated during design (Clan tech would allow for using cargo tonnage freely and only need a couple hours of work).

Converting Mech capacity to cargo storage is easy, but is a hard change.  Turning the cargo space into Mech Bay capacity will cost a lot of C-Bills (so pirates that lost a couple of their Mechs in a raid gone bad but managed to steal several dozen tons of supplies are able to shove those supplies into the capacity where the Mechs once were.  However the various support structures, electronics systems, and safety barriers have to be torn out to do so.  As a result, the Pirate unit loses 45 tons from their Mech Bay capacity.  They will be spending several days/weeks back at their base returning those Mech Bays back to their full capacity.

So if you wanted to design a Leopard that was for carrying Light Mechs (max tonnage 40 tons), then the max for the Mech weight per Lance would be 160 tons, and it would need 200 tons of Bay equipment.  A Leopard has 900 tons available, so the player designs it as follows:
320 tons - dedicated to Mech storage (cannot be used for general cargo)
400 tons - for a total of 8 Mech Bay equipment
180 tons - cargo tonnage for life support, spares, etc.
Layout = 8 Mech Bays with a capacity of one 40-ton Mech each.

On a mission, the force is able to cripple a Phoenix Hawk, and claim it as salvage.  However, a Phoenix Hawk is 45 tons, meaning it cannot fit into any of the Mech bays, and as such must be loaded into cargo to be brought back.  Staying on-site to change the capacity of the Mech Bays is not an option.

Back at their base, the unit decides to keep the Phoenix Hawk.  They decide to increase one of the Mech bays to have a capacity of 45 tons, but in order to do this, they have to reduce another of the Bays to 35 tons.  As a result, the Layout is as follows:
1 Mech Bay @ 45 tons (95 tons total)
6 Mech Bays @ 40 tons (90 tons each, 540 tons total)
1 Mech Bay @ 35 tons (85 tons)
180 tons cargo
If they wanted to convert five tons of cargo capacity to more Mech storage, that would take longer than moving around the Mech Bay Equipment.

A Clan unit would likely be able to make the change while they are on their raid/Trial, and have their techs working on the damaged Phoenix Hawk while returning from the mission.  If they needed additional cargo capacity, that would be an easy change.  The Clan Layout would be:
1 Mech Bay @ 45 tons (95 tons total)
7 Mech Bays @ 40 tons (90 tons each, 630 tons total)
175 tons cargo

Daryk

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #15 on: 20 April 2021, 03:30:18 »
I do like the concept of "bays are overhead plus capacity", but I don't think it should be that hard to stuff cargo into a bay.  Doing so should merely prevent you from doing any of the things a bay can normally do (e.g. drop a 'mech, repair a 'mech, etc.).

Daemion

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #16 on: 20 April 2021, 09:50:27 »
By 3085 all tech base goes to Clan except at the periphery states . All tech loses faction proprietary situation 1-5 years  after captured or purchased .
+1

And, from there, we should be looking at micronization of existing tech.  For example, an advanced cockpit that weighs 4 tons and ads an 'electronics crit' to the head.  That cockpit can act as a C3 slave, has basic Active Probe and ECM functionality, and can impart targeting computer functionality when combined with enhanced myomer systems.

Or, looking at the Republic, and their system of Knights and Knights Errant, something similar to the Clan Scientist Cabal interlink computers could be developed where they can link up with different such computers at the flip of a switch, or could tie in and use old C3 and C3i as 'spotters', but may or may not be able to do more than take the data from such units rather than a full shared system like having a full C3 command computer.
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Daemion

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #17 on: 20 April 2021, 10:13:25 »
The trick is HOW MANY "conventional" tanks and infantry formations can stand up to a 'mech. 

And, this also comes back to a little more forethought on how to role-play factions. 

How much would be dedicated to conventional forces on any given world inside, say, the Fed Suns?  Or the DraCom? How involved would space and air asset interdictions be? How common?  If Neo-fuedalism is a thing, how much would be left to a lord who own's one of the potential targets on a world?  What would that Lord be allowed to have by law?  At what point would the local militia step in? How often is said lord away, performing maneuvers and practice with which-ever Front Line regiment (s)he's been pledged to? 

And, this roles into picking an aesthetic and sticking with it, especially in fiction.  The BattleTech World is big enough that there should be some emphasis on the fact there's more going on in the background.  Kinda like watching the space battle from the throne-room in Return of the Jedi.  Sure, the key battle is in that moment, right there.  But, there are two other battles being waged at the same time, and we only get glimpses of each.

I rarely get that sense of scale in most of the novels.  And, what I do get is schizophrenic, more often than not.  The universe is big enough to have many regimental sized mercenary units fully outfitted with BattleMechs.  (Caballeros, anyone?)  So... how are Mechs rare, again?  And, yet, a lot of the battles are for a whole world, with just those forces involved. 

So, yeah.  If Mechs are rare, but worth it, cheap tricks shouldn't be taking them out.  It should be taking at least a company of tanks to take out one 'Mech.  Though, maybe we could scale that value by weight class.  If tanks can stand toe-to-toe with Mechs, then those tanks should be equally rare and/or expensive.

Consistent vision. An aesthetic bible.  Everything should work from and around that. 

If you're going to stick with the ranges you've devised for the board game, come up with a reason in fiction why it's that way.  (I have an elaborate suggestion)  If ranges are trunkated for game-play, use that, and come up with optional rules for people to use the system to play out accurate battles if they so wish. 

(Personally, I'm strongly of the opinion that the division between fiction and gameplay shouldn't be so wide.  The game is generally what people know BT combat by, and a lot of authors follow some aspects in their writing.  You can feel the location dice rolls when Stackpole wrote his combat scenes.)     

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Maingunnery

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #18 on: 20 April 2021, 10:49:28 »
I do like the concept of "bays are overhead plus capacity", but I don't think it should be that hard to stuff cargo into a bay.  Doing so should merely prevent you from doing any of the things a bay can normally do (e.g. drop a 'mech, repair a 'mech, etc.).
In my headcanon the 'Mechs is on the inside of the gantry, while the cargo is mounted on the outside of the gantry, so I can even excuse no having any downsides.  ;)
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idea weenie

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Re: In Hindsight (rules idea for overstuffed Mech Bays)
« Reply #19 on: 20 April 2021, 12:31:42 »
I do like the concept of "bays are overhead plus capacity", but I don't think it should be that hard to stuff cargo into a bay.  Doing so should merely prevent you from doing any of the things a bay can normally do (e.g. drop a 'mech, repair a 'mech, etc.).

What about if remaining tonnage being used for cargo posed increasing penalties?  Something like the following:
% space remaining - effect
100% - no effect
<=80% - repair times are doubled (can destroy cargo to remove this penalty, player chooses which ton or tons to destroy)
<=60% - also have repair roll penalties, Bay cannot be used to perform Mech drops (attempting to perform a Mech drop will result in destruction of sufficient random cargo to allow a Mech drop)
<=40% - also have quadrupled exit times (time needed for that Mech to exit the Dropship) (attempting to leave at a faster rate will result in destruction of sufficient random cargo to allow a Mech to exit at a faster rate)
<=20% - also have No repairs allowed, and the mech cannot exit the Bay (attempts to exit will result in destruction of sufficient random cargo to allow leaving the bay)
0% - no maintenance allowed (can destroy 1 ton of cargo to remove this penalty, player chooses which ton)

If random cargo is destroyed, pick an amount of tonnage equal to 6* the necessary tonnage (or the maximum tons stored in the bay), split that into six equal-mass piles (minimum 1 ton each, rounding down to the nearest ton and putting the least valuable stuff aside), then use a D6 to select which of the piles is destroyed.  If there is still more cargo that will be destroyed, follow a similar process, reducing the size of the piles each time until there is sufficient space.  This reflects that while the personnel will try to keep the path clear, some breakage will occur, and there is always a chance the expensive stuff gets broken in the process.

Examples:
So a 30-ton Mech is in a Bay designed for a 100-tonner, that means 70 tons is available.  When the bay has less than 56 tons available, then all repair times are doubled.  If the bay has less than 42 tons available, you not only take twice as long to repair, you also have repair roll penalties, and that bay cannot be used to perform Mech Drops.  At less than 28 tons available you have all of the prior and now have to deal with longer exit times.  At less than 14 tons available you cannot perform repairs at all and the Mech is too cramped to even leave the bay safely, and at 0% available that Mech cannot be maintained at all.

If that 30-ton Light Mech was getting packaged into a Mech cocoon and there was 53 tons of cargo stored in the Bay, then the Light Mech has a problem.  The Light Mech needs 42 tons of space to safely be launched via Cocoon, meaning there is 11 tons excess (53 tons - 42 tons).  The rule would require 66 tons of cargo to be put into 6 even piles (11 tons * 6 piles), but there is only 53 tons available.  So the owning player divides 53 tons by 6, getting just under 9 tons each (53/6 = ~8.8333).  That is rounded down to 8 tons per pile, for a total of 48 tons (8 tons/pile * 6 piles), and the least expensive 5 tons is put aside (53 tons - 48 tons).  A d6 is rolled, and pile #3 is listed as destroyed.  The Mech Bay now only has 45 tons of cargo, which is still too much.  However, the player now only has to create 6 piles that are three tons each (45-42).  The 5 tons set aside can be used as part of that 18 tons.  6 more piles are made, a D6 is rolled, and pile #1 is destroyed.  Net result is that whatever is listed in the contents of the 8-ton pile #3 and the 3-ton pile #1 are now destroyed.  Hope there wasn't any ammunition in either of those piles, or things will get 'interesting'.

Light Mech Pilots that wind up seeing their Mech by being used as easy storage tend to either get annoyed, develop excellent Scrounge capabilities, or become experts in 'losing' things ("Why no Colonel, I have no idea where that case of wine went to.  There's so much combat-related equipment stored around my Mech someone might have mistaken it for SRM ammo and loaded it into their ammo bays.  Have you checked with the Commando pilots?").


I wanted to use the fluff about Dropships being crowded, and give a series of escalating penalties to encourage players to try to avoid storing extra stuff in a Mech Gantry.

Daryk

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #20 on: 20 April 2021, 17:16:25 »
My thought was that any cargo being stuffed into a 'mech bay turns the 'mech into cargo, not a combat ready unit that can be launched into space and survive re-entry...  8)

idea weenie

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #21 on: 20 April 2021, 23:14:44 »
My thought was that any cargo being stuffed into a 'mech bay turns the 'mech into cargo, not a combat ready unit that can be launched into space and survive re-entry...  8)

That would make the rules easy, but I didn't want to have it where someone would complain about "one ton, it is just one ton, how can it be interfering with equipping a Locust when the bay is sized to fit an Atlas".  By scaling it with the reduced elbow room, I wanted it to have reduced capabilities that reflected the available capacity being reduced.  The nice part is you can get up to 20% of the remaining space being used to store cargo, the key is that 'remaining space'.  A 20-ton Locust in a 55-ton capacity bay would only have 35 tons as available space (55 tons - 20 tons) and the players could safely store up to 7 tons (35 tons * 20%) of cargo in the same Bay as the Locust.  If they had made the bay sized to 30 tons (so only 10 tons available space), they would only be able to store 2 tons in with the Locust (1o tons * 20%), but there would be an extra 20 tons (50 tons - 30 tons) of cargo capacity (total 22 tons of free capacity, vs 7 tons).  So you would want to make your Mech bays the correct size for the carried unit, to maximize the available cargo capacity.  Still, there could be a reason to have  larger bay than needed.

(It also means that if a Bay is empty, you can us the full cargo capacity since there is no Mech to interfere with.  Most mercenary units consider this a bad situation, as a Mechwarrier with a Mech is better than a Mechwarrior with a pile of scrap.)

One idea would be a Mech unit that sizes their Mech Bays so they are like a queue, where each Bay is sized for the next larger Mech just in case.  Using a Lance-sized Mech force as an example:
Bay Capacity - current Mech:
100 tons - Marauder
75 tons - Shadow Hawk
55 tons - Valkyrie
30 tons - Wasp

The Bays are sized so that if the unit is able to grab a fifth Mech, they can displace the others into the Bay that is one size smaller, and the Wasp gets strapped down in as cargo.  For example if they grab a Rifleman, the bay occupants change as follows:
Bay Capacity - current Mech:
100 tons - Marauder
75 tons - salvaged Rifleman
55 tons - Shadow Hawk
30 tons - Valkyrie
General cargo - Wasp

When they get back to a place where they can refit their Dropship, they can choose if they want to redo their Mech Bay capacities again, or sell off one of their Mechs, or add another set of Mech Bay Equipment to have a 5th Mech available for the next mission.

Daryk

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #22 on: 21 April 2021, 03:26:13 »
Don't forget that if a 'mech is dropped from space, everything in the bay is exposed to vacuum.

Nicoli

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #23 on: 21 April 2021, 11:22:44 »
Under no circumstances should distances or time for turns or spaces ever been spelled out. Also, tables are bad game UI figure out other ways to do it.

Daryk

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #24 on: 21 April 2021, 17:27:26 »
Which kind of table are you referring to?  ???

mvp7

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #25 on: 22 April 2021, 20:31:29 »
Double all heat generation (so weapons generate 2x heat, walking 2 heat, running 4 heat etc). Single Heat Sink loses 2 heat per turn, Double Heat Sink loses 3 heat per turn. (Or alternatively leave everything else as it but DHS sinks 1.5 heat per turn rounding down.)

Make the AC/5 an AC/6, make it lighter, min range 2.

Make AC/2 an AC/3, make it lighter, min range 2, allow it to take ammo in half tons, remove (or halve) heat.

Don't mention weapon damage in the weapon names so its not set in stone.

Don't rush the Jihad and Especially Dark Age stuff. Invest in Nokia and Microsoft so you don't go under in 2001.

Avoid Fasanomics.

---

Those are really the main issues I can think of that couldn't be fixed even without time travel. :)

five_corparty

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #26 on: 23 April 2021, 12:32:50 »
Make the AC/5 an AC/6, make it lighter, min range 2.

Make AC/2 an AC/3, make it lighter, min range 2, allow it to take ammo in half tons, remove (or halve) heat.

I like the cut of your jib, sir!

Invest in Nokia and Microsoft so you don't go under in 2001.

Wasn't Apple selling for practically pennies circa 96?  Yeah, jump on that, sell out circa 2006, profit!
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RifleMech

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #27 on: 23 April 2021, 13:57:01 »
Make sure any licensing rights are totally solid.

Make sure everything is 100% convertible between games.

Have construction rules for aircraft that move slower than 2 thrust points. The original TRO:3025 Boomerang for example.

Aerospace. Improve how aerospace units integrate with ground units, in atmosphere and in space. Airships use MP not Thrust. VTOL's can attack Aerospace units lower than them.

Infantry
Infantry get the same number of attacks as other units. Bicycle/Moped/similar Infantry replace current Motorized/Mechanized Infantry.
Motorized/Mechanized are completely redone, to act more like BA units. Allow for amphibious versions. Also allow for light water craft (jet ski) versions.
Better refinement of Mounted Infantry. Those that ride in APCs or on animals to fight on foot.
Field Gun and Field Artillery Infantry would be revised to allow to include Foot and Beast mounted Infantry. Regular Foot Infantry don't move. Mounted Foot Infantry use APCs to move. The Field Gun/Artillery becomes the APC's trailer. Takes 2 MP to hitch/unhitch and load/unload.
Beast Mounted Field Weapons use the same rules as Mounted Infantry. Set how much animals can pull by size which could increase the number of animals needed to pull the weapon.
Allow for Missile Weapons to be used, the same as ballistic cannons. Energy weapons require tonnage for a power supply.
Beast Mounted Infantry. Above plus allowing barding.

BA/ATOW
Allow the Exoskeleton (the TRO:3026 light version) to be used by foot infantry to carry heavier weapons. The other two would be Exoskeletons. Power Armor would be the next step up, then Battle Armor.
BA Equipment can be used by Protomechs and small support vehicles.

ProtoMechs.
Allow for IS versions and weapons to be used on other unit types, weight permitting.

Quirks,
Give availability ratings and costs. A fully intact and working battle computer that's been extinct for 100+ years should be very expensive and hard to find.
Changing a weapons quality or targeting system should cost too. Adding a bunch of quirks to a cockpit should also cause problems. Also keep older rules equipment as lower tech options.

Continue to use no longer legal equipment. They can be prototypes or primitive versions. Or just rare.

Continue to use the Combat Equipment rule allowing infantry weapons to be used on vehicles. Add in BA items too. Doesn't do much for larger vehicles but can make lighter ones more deadly for a shot or two.

Make more weapons Intro level.

Add more weapons and equipment. Add more classes to weapons. Move PPC sizes forward in time. Add in a Laser size. Small, Medium, Large, and Heavy. Heavy replaces Large in name. Large fits in between Heavy and Medium.
Bring in ballistic weapons between machine gun sized and autocannons.
Have more autocannon types. Gatling, Gast Guns, Not as good as Ultras and Rotarys but in between. Allow chances for UAC/s to be unjammed. Three tries and it's got to go to the shop.
Improved Weapons stay in production.
More naval weaponry and peace tech.
Various ammo types for all missile weapons and Rifle and Tank Canons. No -3 damage.
More ancient weapons. Rail Guns, primitive missile launchers, etc.
They'd still of been in use after 2300.
Also add black powder weapons other ancient versions of modern weapons and siege engines.
Keep Double Strength Heat Sinks. Have the DHS-Ps be a different tech.
Bring in a lot of non legal items. Not everything but most. Some would be lostech, some alternative tech and other prototypes.
 
Fix the Coolant Truck and flamers firing cargo issue.
Fix Handheld weapons to use the same rules as Physical weapons for construction/carrying, picking up, dropping, etc.

Allow more quirks and rules to create more differences in vehicles. Tilt Rotors get +2 MP in Plane Mode. Autogyros can't hover or take off vertically, they're STOL. Some might be built like the Boomerang with VTOL equipment (Gyrodynes)

Rocket Powered Fighters/ Spacecraft.
Sail Powered ships. Maybe land vehicles too. 

Allow for and update Solaris VII rules as an option.





idea weenie

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #28 on: 23 April 2021, 14:41:27 »
Socio-Industrial Indexes and Dragoon ratings get reversed.  'A' represents the worst possible rating, while F (and other letters) represent better ratings.  This avoids the need for Terra to be marked as "A(Advanced)", or for various mercenary units to be marked as A*.  This is opposite to the way grades are marked in school (where most of the BT players are), but in a school there is a limit of 100 (without bonus).  In BTech, there would be a lower limit (i.e. a merc unit with no history, broken-down Mechs, no tech support/transportation, and none of the pilots have useful skills), but there would not be an upper limit.

This would bring those ratings in line with the Technology Ratings, Legality Rating, Ordnance Types, Availability Rating, and most importantly avoid the collision at the front of the alphabet.


Another idea would be figuring a way so that higher Piloting/Gunnery is better.  When your character starts off, they have zero skill, so would have 0/0 for their P/G.  As they get higher skill, these numbers get higher.

HABeas2

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Re: In Hindsight
« Reply #29 on: 23 April 2021, 14:43:18 »
Allow for and update Solaris VII rules as an option.

You really needed an even SLOWER way to play BT that makes machine guns suddenly rival the Large Laser, PPC, and AC/10+?

Another idea would be figuring a way so that higher Piloting/Gunnery is better.  When your character starts off, they have zero skill, so would have 0/0 for their P/G.  As they get higher skill, these numbers get higher.

That was pretty much what AToW did, and--No, enough, Herb. They don't want your opinions anymore. Just stay out of it...

- Herb

 

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