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Author Topic: Math Men/Women: Statistics, Vehicles in TW vs. House Rules  (Read 577 times)

Fear Factory

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This is something I've toyed around with on and off for a very long time.

My idea is a halfway point between the strength Vehicles have in Total Warfare and their weaknesses that were lost from Compendium/Master Rules/Maximum Tech. Vehicles in Total Warfare can sometimes be superior to 'Mechs and you can easily lose track of things. You CAN print 2 vehicles per record sheet, but with how massive the tables are at the bottom of a record sheet, it's not really a good idea. It's easy to lose track of effects and the like.

Do I like the rules in Total Warfare? Sort of. I appreciate the effort to make Vehicles stronger by working off of the advanced charts from Maximum Tech. However, I feel like the ruleset was built to beef up vehicles for Clan Hells Horses players, like they really needed it.

So the idea I have does a few things differently.

Hit Locations and Motive Hits

The table works like Total Warfare in that you roll location and depending on the result you roll a check for a motive hit. The idea is to make vehicles stronger when taking hits from the front or rear, but they're far more vulnerable from taking hits on the side. The turret actually takes more damage now being on the 5, 9, 11, and 12, results. Most of the time you're hitting the front, but the spread of damage goes between the front and turret with the sides being far between. Changes were also made to the motive hit table to account for these vulnerabilities.

Critical Hits

Instead of having multiple charts to look at, everything is on a single chart. Unlike in Total Warfare, there is a higher chance to lose a vehicle by critical hit, being on results 2, 3, and 12. ICE is slightly more vulnerable because the 4 result will also kill it. The effects on the table accomplishes about the same thing that Total Warfare does without any turn-based or arc-based effects. Way more simple to look at.

Fire

This one irked me a ton because fire got nerfed against vehicles. Like, REALLY damn nerfed. I did not like the insta-kill on 8+, but a Vehicle should fear moving through a fire hex or getting slapped by tons of napalm. The chart here is a modification of the one from Maximum Tech that was skipped over (probably because, again, making vehicles better for Hells Horses). Fire is now a legitimate threat, but it doesn't (or shouldn't) insta-kill. Most of the time you're going to take motive hits while taking hits from inferno rounds or hits from flamers (both mech and infantry grade). If a 'Mech like a Firestarter hits a vehicle it will have a chance to force a motive hit and even cause 1d6 damage per location (this was something dropped from Maximum Tech). Mind you, I have flamers cause heat and damage in my games.

Fire is really a threat when you take loads of inferno missiles from a single unit (Kintaro) or if the vehicle is moving through or sitting in a fire hex. Again, not the 8+ insta-kill, but it can still be insta-killed if it has pretty bad luck.

So, math gurus, how do the odds look on these tables? I'm interested in seeing the probability compared between TW and what I have.
« Last Edit: 05 May 2022, 14:18:12 by Fear Factory »
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DevianID

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Re: Math Men/Women: Statistics, Vehicles in TW vs. House Rules
« Reply #1 on: 05 May 2022, 02:42:27 »
I wondered why my 1d6 vee hit chart got some attention recently lol. 
So first, the turret location easier to hit, but the 'facing' location still takes the brunt, and the sides are even less impactful on 4s and 10s compared to 5s and 9s.  Thus, a vehicle without a turret can just go nuts on front armor, as that is all that will get hit (83% will hit front/turret, 8% left, 8% right).  The turret is now at 30.6% to get hit, which is 'fine' but still kind of low if you wanted a more realistic surface area to hit location coloration.  The Facing goes from 61% to 53%, which is better, but again it was at the expense of the sides getting hit less.

For motives, VTOLS should get rotor wierdness or motive systems, but not both.  Its like, you could represent a hovercraft with a hoverskirt with 2 points of armor+structure instead of a motive system, but using both to track what does the same thing for mobility at the same time is too much.

For fire damage, adding another chart is too much.  I run vehicles a lot as enemies in my campaign games, and I hate needing lots of book keeping for them.  If you wanted to track fire properly, you should just slap the mech heat scale on them and use normal rules for heat.  If they track heat, they take pilot damage from having no life support like mech warriors, have ammo explosions on the same numbers, shutdown on the same numbers.  ICE will get wrecked like you want, as they often dont have heat sinks, while fusion will last longer.  What you have isnt bad, its just the current system is simple, and a more realistic system also doesnt deviate from how mechs operate like your chart does.  Unifying the systems is more important to me then adding another chart for heat weapons on vehicles.

Finally, critical hits.  I cant say much here, as your single chart is better then the 4 charts for front/side/rear/turret, but I still hate that mechs and vehicles have different rules for crits.  On a mech, a 12 is 3 crits or limb blown off.  On a vee, a 12 I have to look up, as the crit system works different.  Instead, if it were like mechs, a 12 would blow the turret off, or roll 3 times on the body of the tank, which would have 6 or 12 crit slots exactly the same as how mechs track crits.  The crit slots would be all the normal things like engine, pilot, weapon, ect, but the process wouldnt be different compared to how mechs work.  But thats a vehicle grip in general--your chart is better then the catalyst one, even if I feel that both methods are bad game design by being different from the flagship unit for no gameplay reason.

Cannonshop

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Re: Math Men/Women: Statistics, Vehicles in TW vs. House Rules
« Reply #2 on: 05 May 2022, 10:20:32 »
I wondered why my 1d6 vee hit chart got some attention recently lol. 
So first, the turret location easier to hit, but the 'facing' location still takes the brunt, and the sides are even less impactful on 4s and 10s compared to 5s and 9s.  Thus, a vehicle without a turret can just go nuts on front armor, as that is all that will get hit (83% will hit front/turret, 8% left, 8% right).  The turret is now at 30.6% to get hit, which is 'fine' but still kind of low if you wanted a more realistic surface area to hit location coloration.  The Facing goes from 61% to 53%, which is better, but again it was at the expense of the sides getting hit less.

For motives, VTOLS should get rotor wierdness or motive systems, but not both.  Its like, you could represent a hovercraft with a hoverskirt with 2 points of armor+structure instead of a motive system, but using both to track what does the same thing for mobility at the same time is too much.

For fire damage, adding another chart is too much.  I run vehicles a lot as enemies in my campaign games, and I hate needing lots of book keeping for them.  If you wanted to track fire properly, you should just slap the mech heat scale on them and use normal rules for heat.  If they track heat, they take pilot damage from having no life support like mech warriors, have ammo explosions on the same numbers, shutdown on the same numbers.  ICE will get wrecked like you want, as they often dont have heat sinks, while fusion will last longer.  What you have isnt bad, its just the current system is simple, and a more realistic system also doesnt deviate from how mechs operate like your chart does.  Unifying the systems is more important to me then adding another chart for heat weapons on vehicles.

Finally, critical hits.  I cant say much here, as your single chart is better then the 4 charts for front/side/rear/turret, but I still hate that mechs and vehicles have different rules for crits.  On a mech, a 12 is 3 crits or limb blown off.  On a vee, a 12 I have to look up, as the crit system works different.  Instead, if it were like mechs, a 12 would blow the turret off, or roll 3 times on the body of the tank, which would have 6 or 12 crit slots exactly the same as how mechs track crits.  The crit slots would be all the normal things like engine, pilot, weapon, ect, but the process wouldnt be different compared to how mechs work.  But thats a vehicle grip in general--your chart is better then the catalyst one, even if I feel that both methods are bad game design by being different from the flagship unit for no gameplay reason.


I disagree with some of this.  One of the problems with tW is that it makes Vees play too much like 'mechs, if you want it to be 'just like a 'mech' make it a 'mech and be done with it.

VTOLs get a movement profile and SHOULD have more vulnerabilities because they can ignore terrain and (like Hovers) they get a movement multiplier that allow them to run a lower-mass engine for the same payload at a given speed (and have a higher peak speed).

I'd actually suggest simplifying the fire/heat thing the opposite way-if your vehicle gets hit with fire/heat generating weapons, it SHOULD be in danger of going boom.  There's a REASON that 30 meter tall, easily-seen and easily-hit combat units replaced Tanks, most attack helicopters, and several classes of much-harder-to-see (and thus harder to hit) vehicle types, thus keeping a key vulnerability is kinda necessary to keep the core of the game and setting logical and relevant.  giving them the same heat-scale as 'mechs? might as well just make 'mechs and stop using vehicles at all.



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Fear Factory

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Re: Math Men/Women: Statistics, Vehicles in TW vs. House Rules
« Reply #3 on: 05 May 2022, 11:17:03 »
If you give a heat scale to vehicles you're going to have to do a ton of work to get stats and record sheets updated.

The odds for having the sides getting hit from the front/rear arc has to do more with the motive hit effect. I wanted the front and rear arcs to be stronger to encourage vehicles to keep their targets in that arc. If they do need to expose their side arcs, that's why the turret takes more hits, and that's why I put critical hits (and motive) more in line with the odds for mechs where 2d6 2-7 is effectively nothing. It's slightly harder to get critical hits and motive hits, but they're also more lethal because of the insta-kill criticals added back in. Also, yes you're going to pummel the arc a lot more, but again that's why I split it between the arc and the turret. It made no sense to me that Turrets were only on the 10, 11, 12, results when they're usually the entire top part of the vehicle.

EDIT: Also, keep in mind that you're only looking a 3 smaller charts for vehicles now. It's actually far less complicated than Total Warfare for about the same thing.

I'd actually suggest simplifying the fire/heat thing the opposite way-if your vehicle gets hit with fire/heat generating weapons, it SHOULD be in danger of going boom.  There's a REASON that 30 meter tall, easily-seen and easily-hit combat units replaced Tanks, most attack helicopters, and several classes of much-harder-to-see (and thus harder to hit) vehicle types, thus keeping a key vulnerability is kinda necessary to keep the core of the game and setting logical and relevant.  giving them the same heat-scale as 'mechs? might as well just make 'mechs and stop using vehicles at all.

With the heat chart it is in danger of going boom, but it is designed to be fair so that vehicles are still useful. If you're firing a single SRM-2 with infernos you're going to cause some issues. If you're unloading a ton of infernos or flamers on a vehicle it's going to actually worry about it because it CAN die, instead of TW's weirdness where it's just taking some minor hits. You can take a lot more risks in TW with vehicles and most of them can be really unfair.

However, I'm not necessarily interested in other house rules. I'm more interested in the math/probability of the charts I made. I have a basic knowledge of it but if someone who's good at math can chime in I would greatly appreciate it.
« Last Edit: 05 May 2022, 11:33:13 by Fear Factory »
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Maj. Isaac "Litany" Van Houten, Lone Wolves, The Former 66th "Litany Against Fear" Company

Fear Factory

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Re: Math Men/Women: Statistics, Vehicles in TW vs. House Rules
« Reply #4 on: 05 May 2022, 11:27:51 »
Also, pay no attention to the infantry portion of the fire chart... I have house rules for that too, but it probably won't help to talk about it here unless you're all curious to see what I got.
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Daemion

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Re: Math Men/Women: Statistics, Vehicles in TW vs. House Rules
« Reply #5 on: 05 May 2022, 20:55:45 »
Fear Factory, do you mind if we treat this as a general 'Ways to Tweak Vehicles' discussion?  I'd like to discuss personal experiences in games past, across different versions, as well as any minor house rule changes to 'fix' an issue.

For example, one of the campaigns my group has running is a '5th Succession War' idea where we have a bunch of mini campaigns on any front.  The last set of games I ran in this setting, I was using vehicles as more of a delaying defense against a Hero Mech force.  One of the things I found when piecemealing a company of Harassers to the front 5-Mech element is that I prefer the LRM variant much more than the SRM or Laser options.  And, I would keep them outside the medium range bracket if I could. 

The other ones had to get in dangerously close to be effective, and would easily get cut down by heavier weapons with better short range brackets, or pulse weapons.  Because of high TMMs, it would be about 50/50.  But, for thin-skinned Harassers, that's too close.  Whereas LRM-10s, being inside short range was a bad Idea.  Kinda wishing they had missile spam in pairs of 5s.  One thing I noticed is that the ammo bin was never really low on ammo for the LRM Harasser.  The way I ran them, coming in, getting off a shot or two, then bugging off the map, hit or miss, not only would I have many rounds to work with then next time I dashed them in, but keeping at long range with High TMMs meant I would only lose a tank from the luckiest of hits or from really skilled gunners. (We run random skills more often than not.)

Then, I discovered the Flamer Harasser.  I'd only run that one as a drone, but it hit all the right points.  Lots of one gun, and one that can have a ridiculous impact on Mechs that run hot.

I also noticed something that I had forgotten what we had used this setting for: A tweak of unit rules from TW. 
There were some things we liked from TW.  And there were some things we didn't.

Things we liked:
- Infantry with alternate motive types.
- Randomized motive damage.
- [pending]

Things we didn't like:
- Hovercraft had to not only make PSRs to avoid side slipping when using flank speed, but also had a straight +3 motive damage penalty when rolling on the motive table.  Each on its own wasn't a problem.  But, both together was too much.
- Vehicles taking damage down oblique sides which should be, by all accounts, a miss due to the magic nature of the armor and mobility.
- Tech Manual Infantry Construction System.  Let's face it, I did play with the Dark Age stuff, and was expecting to make Hover-craft Infantry in the style of the Hover-bike squad.  Lo and behold, that wasn't strictly true.  And, there were some other odd mental hurdles to get the stats by life meter.
- Terrain Factor.  The amount of damage required to take down light woods, let alone heavy was weird.  And, for a 'tournament rule-book', I found the extra record keeping mindboggling. 
- Partial Cover.  It makes some sense when you're fighting among buildings and you want to track whether a stray shot hurt a building or not.  I can't help but wonder if they were thinking woods that are acting as partial cover would take damage similarly.  But, woods don't provide partial cover, in any version. So...

Since this is about vehicles, that's the only fix I'll bring up. 

The fix for the Hover nerf was pretty simple:
- Some tanks are highly mobile with great control features and programming.  They get the +3 hover motive damage mod, but they don't have to make a DSR when using Flank MP. 
- Other Tanks are very well protected, but not as nimble.  They don't have a +3 motive damage, but they do have to make a DSR to avoid side slipping while using flank MP.

We decided to make it based on Tech Base.  I let my Hell's Horses fan make the decision, and wierdly enough, he gave the clans the requirement for making a DSR at speed.  I pointed out the general skill levels for tank warriors in Clan Toumans to confirm his choice, but he stuck with it.

When it came to damaging vees, we stuck to the old BMR vehicle hit tables, and substituted the random motive hits for all motive results on that chart. 

So, these periphery Harassers were IS base designs with the +3 mod to the random motive damage chart.  I probably should have lost a few more Harassers in those games, because motive results did happen.


You may ask why we didn't do something similar for Tracked and Wheeled vehicles regarding the mod versus mobility.  But, the Hovercraft was the only vehicle type that had the side-slip issue.  Since we've taken a large break from this setting until recently, I may propose that that application could be applied in cases where those motive types would suffer a skid. 

(Aside: We have long since enacted the house rule that dedicated combat units, like BattleMechs and Combat Vehicles, ignore the skidding rules.  Hundreds of years of programming should account for that.  Sideslips are also the simple one hex off as per the old VToL rules.)

So, that's my general contribution to 'what my group did'.  But, I'm more interested in how things work, how they used to work, and how that should have had an impact on designs.  I'll bring that up in a pending post.  I look askance at some of the choices made overall for TW from BMR(r) and MaxTech.

If that's alright with Fear Factory.
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Fear Factory

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Re: Math Men/Women: Statistics, Vehicles in TW vs. House Rules
« Reply #6 on: 05 May 2022, 21:05:56 »
It's fine, I just didn't want the thread to derail into a discussion far beyond what I initially posted. I'm really looking to see how the math shakes out, but if you see anything based on experiences, that's cool too.

I guess for the hell of it I'll post my infantry idea. That'll be a pending post.
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Re: Math Men/Women: Statistics, Vehicles in TW vs. House Rules
« Reply #7 on: 05 May 2022, 21:20:52 »
This is the record sheet for my infantry idea. Mind you, this is built off of the old rules:
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Re: Math Men/Women: Statistics, Vehicles in TW vs. House Rules
« Reply #8 on: 05 May 2022, 21:22:33 »
These are the tables:
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Re: Math Men/Women: Statistics, Vehicles in TW vs. House Rules
« Reply #9 on: 05 May 2022, 21:32:47 »
Infantry in Total Warfare are a bit much. The way they take damage makes absolutely no sense to me. I get that they're all spread out in a hex, but realistically, they're not evenly distributed or avoiding damage from explosions or shrapnel. Also, I missed being able to pick up a generic sheet and just go. I want to focus on BattleMechs, not spend a crap load of time putting together different types of infantry.

The base rules are from the compendium but I made some changes:

1 - They don't take "double damage" in open hexes. That's why there is a chart and it's pretty simple.

2 - Lasers and PPC's are garbage against infantry but still do slightly more damage than TW. Missiles, Autocannons, Machine Guns, Flamers.. those are your real winners. An Autocannon 20 should be an absolute beast against a platoon.

3 - I expanded on types and gave them unique bonus' and ranges so they all have a different feel. They don't lose MP on Foot, Jump, or Motorized, platoons.

4 - Added Mechanized Infantry. They're the ones that lose MP depending on what weapons are carried or being transported.

5 - Added skill levels for Gunnery, Leg, and Swarm, attacks.
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Daemion

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Re: Math Men/Women: Statistics, Vehicles in TW vs. House Rules
« Reply #10 on: 05 May 2022, 21:59:09 »
Hit Locations and Motive Hits

The table works like Total Warfare in that you roll location and depending on the result you roll a check for a motive hit. The idea is to make vehicles stronger when taking hits from the front or rear, but they're far more vulnerable from taking hits on the side. The turret actually takes more damage now being on the 5, 9, 11, and 12, results. Most of the time you're hitting the front, but the spread of damage goes between the front and turret with the sides being far between. Changes were also made to the motive hit table to account for these vulnerabilities.

Critical Hits

Instead of having multiple charts to look at, everything is on a single chart. Unlike in Total Warfare, there is a higher chance to lose a vehicle by critical hit, being on results 2, 3, and 12. ICE is slightly more vulnerable because the 4 result will also kill it. The effects on the table accomplishes about the same thing that Total Warfare does without any turn-based or arc-based effects. Way more simple to look at.

Fire

This one irked me a ton because fire got nerfed against vehicles. Like, REALLY damn nerfed. I did not like the insta-kill on 8+, but a Vehicle should fear moving through a fire hex or getting slapped by tons of napalm. The chart here is a modification of the one from Maximum Tech that was skipped over (probably because, again, making vehicles better for Hells Horses). Fire is now a legitimate threat, but it doesn't (or shouldn't) insta-kill. Most of the time you're going to take motive hits while taking hits from inferno rounds or hits from flamers (both mech and infantry grade). If a 'Mech like a Firestarter hits a vehicle it will have a chance to force a motive hit and even cause 1d6 damage per location (this was something dropped from Maximum Tech). Mind you, I have flamers cause heat and damage in my games.

Fire is really a threat when you take loads of inferno missiles from a single unit (Kintaro) or if the vehicle is moving through or sitting in a fire hex. Again, not the 8+ insta-kill, but it can still be insta-killed if it has pretty bad luck.

Hit Locations
First, while I applaud trying to take advantage of the probability values of 2d6, there was something you could do with the layout of the 'normal' table.  You could come up with a simple means of going 'hull-down' for a vehicle.  I don't know if this is how they did it in the advanced rule books, but I had always thought of simply using d6+6 when rolling damage against tanks in Hull Down positions.  Very simple to execute.  Mixing up the location results takes that away.

Critical Hits
I almost think that, instead of having a singular, unified chart, the tank's record sheet should be as equally streamlined as the Mech's.  You don't need the weapons list to take up any more space than what's on a Mech sheet.  Then, use the room to customize the crit results for the vehicle by location.  Basically, give them a bit of a crit table or five. 

For example:  create a main body table to handle a lot of things where the crits from outside will transfer to, like the crew, the engine, the fuel and the ammo.  Then each side location would have anything specific, like weapons, apply there.  It could be arrayed similarly to the Aircraft critical slots.  Then, just put the crit result MOS value next to the appropriate items.  How many vees don't have side weapons? It would be nice to see that and be able to skip the relevant item. 

So, you could build the crit damage table into the record sheet, and not have to worry about printing it off at the bottom with the hit location table(s).

Fire
While I'm sympathetic, I'm not sure if Motive Damage should be the go-to effect.  I can't envision tracks melting apart.  I could see tires blowing.  Hovercraft have a built-in means of keeping the flames away.

I personally think the vehicle should suffer critical hit damage.  I view this as things malfunctioning because of heat stress to the equipment at random times.  It could be straight random 2d6. 

It could also be based on external heat sustained in the turn, like heat+1d6.  A Mech normally sustains 2 heat per hex passed through at the end of the heat phase.  For a vee that had escaped a single fire hex, that would be an easy 2+1d6 on the critical hit table.  If they've had the bad luck of being trapped in a fire hex, it would be 5+1d6.  I'd probably limit this version to whichever's higher if the vee escaped one or more fire hexes to end in a fire hex.

There is one other option to consider:  Giving the crew members individual pilot damage charts.  Then, they take damage based on if they had to pass from one or more fire hexes but ended in a non-fire hex or if they had to end in a fire hex. This would be fun for 'super tanks'. 

Because, that's another thing to consider: Tech Advancement.  Between the BMR and TW, I looked at the rules changes as a sort of timeline advancement, showing both tech improvements in some places and tech regressions in others.  That was my initial approach.  But, that changed when it became apparent that BattleTech: Randall N Bills edition was going to be the new end-all-be-all of BattleTech Combat throughout all time.  The BMR couldn't be a set of rules applied to tech
from an earlier Golden Era.

A lot of things in TW feel like a heavy tech regression, especially for BattleMechs.  You could cut down a swath of woods with a PPC or two.  Now, it takes 4 to 9 PPC shots.  Said PPC could wipe out half a platoon in cover, or most of it out in the open.  Now, it can almost certainly kill one or two, with no chance for extras.  Tanks were more susceptible to the engine, fuel, or ammo overloading, or the crew succumbing to electrical discharge from a PPC shot.  Now, not as likely.

Some of the things could easily be viewed as progress in tech, like armor kit and training for infantry, and better protection for vehicle crews, and maybe better construction techniques.  But, you can't upgrade trees.

I would love to see vehicle crews track 'pilot damage' with the same values as Mech pilots, but in similar methods.  So, crew hit results would damage each person.  Then you'd roll consciousness checks for each member damaged. If your gunner(s) go out, you can't shoot whichever weapon they're attached to.  If the driver dozes off, the tank suffers random movement until it comes to a stop. If the commander takes a nap, tank coordination suffers.

Of course, you can't run vehicles in numbers with this kind of detail, though I welcome it for conventional forces, as well as something similar for infantry.

Anyway, those are some suggestions.

At some point, I want to pick apart some of the design choices for the rules that are, maybe speculate why they were made from the rules that were, and see if there couldn't be something else done to find a nicer middle ground.  Fire is one of those things.  And, I'm wondering how we can limit the use of something as devastating as infernos against conventional forces beyond 'role play' reasons.

One other thing I want to discuss is the notion of TurreTech warfare with heavy tanks, and whether we need to add the extra sides or not to make it effective.  I know Cannonshop brought up the notion of mobile tank warfare by rule necessity versus fixing the rules to allow for static firing lines.  From that I wonder if there shouldn't be a shift in in-universe designs to make either version more effective.

But, I'm running out of time for today, so I'll just float that out there. I'll start a new thread if I have to.
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Re: Math Men/Women: Statistics, Vehicles in TW vs. House Rules
« Reply #11 on: 05 May 2022, 22:11:46 »
Note: I do appreciate using the bell curve for the vehicle crit table, by the way.  I almost would have preferred the crew result be a little more common, because they're the most vulnerable part of the tank. 

As for infantry, I'd rather run the platoons with squads set up like a BA squad, and then standardize the support weapons stats and damage off the Mech/Tank/BA counterpart, and then use tweaked RPG ranges for an Anti-infantry attack.  That's in another thread.

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Re: Math Men/Women: Statistics, Vehicles in TW vs. House Rules
« Reply #12 on: 05 May 2022, 22:17:25 »
So, you're interested in Math for your house rules.  Gotcha.

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Fear Factory

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Re: Math Men/Women: Statistics, Vehicles in TW vs. House Rules
« Reply #13 on: 06 May 2022, 07:04:57 »
Hit Locations
First, while I applaud trying to take advantage of the probability values of 2d6, there was something you could do with the layout of the 'normal' table.  You could come up with a simple means of going 'hull-down' for a vehicle.  I don't know if this is how they did it in the advanced rule books, but I had always thought of simply using d6+6 when rolling damage against tanks in Hull Down positions.  Very simple to execute.  Mixing up the location results takes that away.

I like that as an advanced rule. I'm more focused on keeping things simple or creating a base, first.

Critical Hits
I almost think that, instead of having a singular, unified chart, the tank's record sheet should be as equally streamlined as the Mech's.  You don't need the weapons list to take up any more space than what's on a Mech sheet.  Then, use the room to customize the crit results for the vehicle by location.  Basically, give them a bit of a crit table or five. 

For example:  create a main body table to handle a lot of things where the crits from outside will transfer to, like the crew, the engine, the fuel and the ammo.  Then each side location would have anything specific, like weapons, apply there.  It could be arrayed similarly to the Aircraft critical slots.  Then, just put the crit result MOS value next to the appropriate items.  How many vees don't have side weapons? It would be nice to see that and be able to skip the relevant item. 

So, you could build the crit damage table into the record sheet, and not have to worry about printing it off at the bottom with the hit location table(s).

I suppose you could do that, but at that point, you're talking about doing this for all conventional units... other than that you're just making them 'Mechs with different motive systems since they will play almost the same.

Fire
While I'm sympathetic, I'm not sure if Motive Damage should be the go-to effect.  I can't envision tracks melting apart.  I could see tires blowing.  Hovercraft have a built-in means of keeping the flames away.

I personally think the vehicle should suffer critical hit damage.  I view this as things malfunctioning because of heat stress to the equipment at random times.  It could be straight random 2d6. 

It could also be based on external heat sustained in the turn, like heat+1d6.  A Mech normally sustains 2 heat per hex passed through at the end of the heat phase.  For a vee that had escaped a single fire hex, that would be an easy 2+1d6 on the critical hit table.  If they've had the bad luck of being trapped in a fire hex, it would be 5+1d6.  I'd probably limit this version to whichever's higher if the vee escaped one or more fire hexes to end in a fire hex.

Even modern combat vehicles have means to combat fire. TW just ignores that fire is a legitimate threat to ammunition, fuel, various vehicle fluids like power steering and oil.... list goes on. Motive is more of an abstraction for those things happening without making new effects.

As the vehicle gets hit with more fire, or decides to stay in a fire hex, then your start getting damage to each location and start dealing with critical hits. That's what I prefer because it's simple and it has already been done in Maximum Tech. Again, it's another thing that TW decided to shrug off. Again, I get why it was done, but it's something done to protect a unit that is a secondary part of the game. If the Hell's Horses want to use them like crazy the game shouldn't have to be built around them. That's why cost and battle value exists.

There is one other option to consider:  Giving the crew members individual pilot damage charts.  Then, they take damage based on if they had to pass from one or more fire hexes but ended in a non-fire hex or if they had to end in a fire hex. This would be fun for 'super tanks'.

Instead of adding the chart that's why I added the crew damage effect. On the 4th hit, they're dead. Also, crew killed, because that's effectively a "head shot."[/quote]

Because, that's another thing to consider: Tech Advancement.  Between the BMR and TW, I looked at the rules changes as a sort of timeline advancement, showing both tech improvements in some places and tech regressions in others.  That was my initial approach.  But, that changed when it became apparent that BattleTech: Randall N Bills edition was going to be the new end-all-be-all of BattleTech Combat throughout all time.  The BMR couldn't be a set of rules applied to tech from an earlier Golden Era.

A lot of things in TW feel like a heavy tech regression, especially for BattleMechs.  You could cut down a swath of woods with a PPC or two.  Now, it takes 4 to 9 PPC shots.  Said PPC could wipe out half a platoon in cover, or most of it out in the open.  Now, it can almost certainly kill one or two, with no chance for extras.  Tanks were more susceptible to the engine, fuel, or ammo overloading, or the crew succumbing to electrical discharge from a PPC shot.  Now, not as likely.

Some of the things could easily be viewed as progress in tech, like armor kit and training for infantry, and better protection for vehicle crews, and maybe better construction techniques.  But, you can't upgrade trees.

I would love to see vehicle crews track 'pilot damage' with the same values as Mech pilots, but in similar methods.  So, crew hit results would damage each person.  Then you'd roll consciousness checks for each member damaged. If your gunner(s) go out, you can't shoot whichever weapon they're attached to.  If the driver dozes off, the tank suffers random movement until it comes to a stop. If the commander takes a nap, tank coordination suffers.

Of course, you can't run vehicles in numbers with this kind of detail, though I welcome it for conventional forces, as well as something similar for infantry.

Normally when tech gets better in Battletech you get new equipment. A lot of that other stuff is 'Meta' and could be fixed by adding vehicle quirks, honestly.

Anyway, those are some suggestions.

At some point, I want to pick apart some of the design choices for the rules that are, maybe speculate why they were made from the rules that were, and see if there couldn't be something else done to find a nicer middle ground.  Fire is one of those things.  And, I'm wondering how we can limit the use of something as devastating as infernos against conventional forces beyond 'role play' reasons.

One other thing I want to discuss is the notion of TurreTech warfare with heavy tanks, and whether we need to add the extra sides or not to make it effective.  I know Cannonshop brought up the notion of mobile tank warfare by rule necessity versus fixing the rules to allow for static firing lines.  From that I wonder if there shouldn't be a shift in in-universe designs to make either version more effective.

But, I'm running out of time for today, so I'll just float that out there. I'll start a new thread if I have to.

It's cool man. It made me think.

So, you're interested in Math for your house rules.  Gotcha.

Yeah, I want to get a better idea on probability. I think I did it all right, but I know a lot of you around this section spend a lot of time crunching numbers to make designs and house rules so I figured I would ask.
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DevianID

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Re: Math Men/Women: Statistics, Vehicles in TW vs. House Rules
« Reply #14 on: 08 May 2022, 20:18:45 »
The infantry changes may be better lore wise, but I think that has a lot to do with the original rules being so bad.  In your new system, you still need a chart to consult for units, each damage type, and unit conditions.  It may be more lore accurate, but it doesn't play any better (still look up a chart to see each weapons modified damage, ect.)  Mathwise, on your chart a Gauss Rifle does 7 damage to infantry in cover.  Now, again, this is probably fair considering what a gauss rifle is and how packed in 1-2 platoons of infantry in a single hex are, but infantry has been positioned as the unit that shrugs off gauss rifles and only efficiently dies to short range machine guns/burst fire--this has influenced a lot of their design balance.  The infantry SRM is shorter range, the LRM is vastly shorter range, ect.  But now, long range weapons can and will demolish infantry, thus their guns are too short for their expected damage survivability.  Even your extended range guns, like the 9 hex autocannon, are just too short to challenge large lasers and PPCs that can spend all day out of range.

So your infantry is even more of an ambush predator, relying on hiding or urban environments that artificially limit range by not allowing long range mechs to spend 5 in game minutes leveling everything, forcing them to walk into places that are known traps.  Their cost would need to be even lower, and the BV for infantry is already criminally low.  Ambushing/hidden units is not costed/balanced, so using any infantry as hidden units makes them more deadly then normal.

The best way to use infantry in a balanced way is pretend they are battle armor.  Battle armor weapons have normal mech weapon ranges.  This is important as they pay for long range in BV on things like SRMs or LRMs or medium lasers.  They also take damage like normal units, meaning no chart to see what a gauss rifle does.  They still have an advantage, in that damage doesnt spill over from one squad to the next (So if you have 7 man squads in a Platoon, a gauss rifle still does 7 damage to your infantry platoon of 28).  The changes mean that a clan elemental unit costs 400+ BV, a real number equal to the lightest light mechs.  You can get 5 platoons of infantry for that cost in the core rules, which cant not lead to numbers/initiative imbalance or hidden unit abuse.  The only thing is that you still need to keep the burst fire damage to infantry rules from the main book, and apply it to the infantry platoons laid out like battle armor.

TL;DR, your infantry changes make infantry worse at holding terrain at long range, by making the damage divisors worse for infantry.  They are more survivable versus burst fire with no 'double damage 4d6 flamer' but burst fire against infantry was only used cause it was the only game in town.  PPCs become premier anti infantry weapons with your changes, and PPCs are already anti-everything.  Yes, its more realistic your way.  But your system forces infantry even more to become ambushers and only ambushers, which 1) cant be fairly balanced and 2) is arbitrary.  Honestly, infantry are just at a bad scale for btech and are always going to be too cheap, core system or your system, and IMHO the battle armor rules are more in line with fair and useful play.
« Last Edit: 08 May 2022, 20:20:53 by DevianID »

 

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