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Author Topic: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition  (Read 2506 times)

Aotrs Commander

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #30 on: 30 November 2022, 16:17:04 »
all this, because the dev in charge didn't want to front-load the initiative on an asymmetrical fight so that the larger force has to move more units earlier rather than later-a change that DOES in fact, address unfair initiative sinking (and reflects that it's more difficult to command larger units than smaller ones-which it is.)

Which is what Maneouvre Group does, actually; the side with the smallest number of elements gets to choose to go first or second, and can force the other side to go until the numbers are equal.

I find it limited at best, like challenge rating in D&D.

I don't think it's QUITE that bad. BV2 doesn't become COMPLETELY useless (except as a measure of XP given out) if you have more than four mechs...!

NomadicChronicler

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #31 on: 30 November 2022, 23:23:49 »
IF there was aver a total overhaul / variant ever created, My wish would be to have the whole thing based on a single Economic and a single Technical and a single Logistical model.

Yes, me and my fellow grognards prefer late 4th to very early invasion chunk (IS) due to both tech restrictions and  the medieval underpinnings of it; the planet of hats, mechs themselves being the equivalent of knight titles, early medieval grade lack of knowledge, the fasa(ph)ysics* of AC/20s shooting shorter than AC/2s and so on but we wouldn't be devastated if those got toned down and smoothed over if the tone and underlying mechanics stopped jumping from medieval to cold war to ww2 to modern warfare with each new age.
Speaking of physics, I'll happily accept/overlook ground pressure issues from the 100 ton Mechs (because stompy robots) but can someone please put some realistic caps on Vehicles and Aero and AeroSpace? There is an extremely wide range of reasons why Tanks don't go over 70 metric tons. Same for triple main guns and/or many different weapons.
Also some more gradients between primitive-industrial standard-standard military would be nice for all sub-systems as well as expanding the sub-systems (comms/sensors and so on) and having the subsystems themselves have some impact on the mech?
Fleshing out the Civilian, Aero and Space tech?

The list goes on and on and on...


*assume each mount can handle only a certain amount of recoil and AC/2s firing APFSDS, AC/5s firing APDS andor APHE, AC/10s firing HEAT and AC/20s firing HESH; the larger the caliber, the faster the shot but less spalling and post-penetration damage.

DevianID

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #32 on: 01 December 2022, 01:08:20 »
In maneuver group, if its say 8 versus 4, and you make the side with 8 go first and move 5 units, do you still get reaction fire on all of them?  Its been a while since I read those rules, not sure if units that haven't activated get their full reactions or not.

Aotrs Commander

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #33 on: 01 December 2022, 06:12:09 »
In maneuver group, if its say 8 versus 4, and you make the side with 8 go first and move 5 units, do you still get reaction fire on all of them?  Its been a while since I read those rules, not sure if units that haven't activated get their full reactions or not.

In standard MG (and not BRBT*), you can shoot as often as you like, so you can always take reactions - you just don't WANT to take more than three, because then (aside from being at -3) each subsequent reaction is instead 2 Leadership, which Is Bad.

You could only make them go with four units, once you're down to even you have to activate a unit.

More realistically what happens is one side has, like 20 units and the other has, 26 or something, but especially for the defender, to start with, a lot of your actions are going to be just activating a unit to down nothong (turning the marker over) initially, while you hold your defensive positions (especially with infantry in ambush).

Sidetrack: I only just thought about it (because Facebook now make it diffiult), but I did do an extended MG Sci-Fi shooting example on the Shipyards Facebook page. Here is - theorhetically - a link. (Theorhetical becase Facebook apparently decided to not let you view individual posts to get a link from them anymore, so I attempted a work around using the link from my notifications I'd posted in my group. I have no idea if it works or not...)

IF said link works, it's an only moderately-contrived example of what I (theorhetically) play "normally.")

(I mean if it doesn't and anyone is bothered to look, it's only a few posts down on the Aotrs Shipyards page; I won't link that directly since that IS my business page and this is CGL's playground, but you can google it.)



*Because Guass Rifles Would Be The Super-Weapon (more than they already are)

VanVelding

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #34 on: 01 December 2022, 17:57:58 »
Yes, me and my fellow grognards prefer late 4th to very early invasion chunk (IS) due to both tech restrictions and  the medieval underpinnings of it; the planet of hats, mechs themselves being the equivalent of knight titles, early medieval grade lack of knowledge, the fasa(ph)ysics* of AC/20s shooting shorter than AC/2s and so on but we wouldn't be devastated if those got toned down and smoothed over if the tone and underlying mechanics stopped jumping from medieval to cold war to ww2 to modern warfare with each new age.
...Same for triple main guns and/or many different weapons.
Also some...expanding the sub-systems (comms/sensors and so on) and having the subsystems themselves have some impact on the mech?
I also like the period of 'mechs being rare, timeless, and devastating. If you know of any good rulesets which give nods to an improvement in ballistics, hook me up.

What's up with having triple main guns? I prefer units have fewer, large weapons than more weapons (I made a dropship in MegaMekLab recently and it was exhausting), but is there another reason?
I also have a blog about gaming, comics, and news at vanvelding.blogspot.

Retry

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #35 on: 01 December 2022, 19:28:22 »
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Yes, me and my fellow grognards prefer late 4th to very early invasion chunk (IS) due to both tech restrictions and  the medieval underpinnings of it; the planet of hats, mechs themselves being the equivalent of knight titles, early medieval grade lack of knowledge, the fasa(ph)ysics* of AC/20s shooting shorter than AC/2s and so on but we wouldn't be devastated if those got toned down and smoothed over if the tone and underlying mechanics stopped jumping from medieval to cold war to ww2 to modern warfare with each new age.
While IS military technology developed fairly fast ~3045-3145 by Battletech standards (Going from 3025-level to Star League grade and eventually even some Clan-grade manufacturing), it hasn't developed that quickly in absolute terms.  Their military technology has largely been evolutionary and fundamentally similar in nature: Some new versions of stuff are lighter, a bit longer ranged, hit a bit harder, etc, but even something like a bleeding edge Mad Cat Mk.IV?  A well-selected lance of 3025 heavies & assaults still have a fighting chance.  (Comparatively, basically no amount of Me-262 fighters have any sort of realistic chance against a 5th gen F-35; and this is with a technology gap of less than 100 years.)

Could you clarify on the tone question, as I'm not sure I fully understand.  Does this mean 3025+ remains stagnant in terms of both 3025-levels of technology & political situation, or does it mean we don't really venture out past whatever years the 3025 tone is in?

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Speaking of physics, I'll happily accept/overlook ground pressure issues from the 100 ton Mechs (because stompy robots) but can someone please put some realistic caps on Vehicles and Aero and AeroSpace? There is an extremely wide range of reasons why Tanks don't go over 70 metric tons. Same for triple main guns and/or many different weapons.
Many of those extremely wide range of reasons don't apply to BT, primarily due to various technologies available... Including some that's required to make the setting (and Battlemechs themselves!) work under the current rule set.

Ex: Ablative armor.  Without that technology, armored vehicles in general have to rely on resisting penetration to survive hits... which 'Mechs have a disadvantage against due to having more hit locations to armor (= less armor per location, = less likely to resist penetration from hits).

Ablative armor is also the reason why BT vehicles (and 'Mechs) can practically carry multiple weapons without losing efficacy.  If one small gun doesn't succeed to penetrate, two small guns will also fail, so it makes the most sense to upgun outside of specialty roles like AA.  This factor does not apply when the defensive mechanism is ablative instead of anti-penetrative, so the pressure for optimal weapon choices becomes not what weapons can penetrate the most armor but what weapons can ablate armor most quickly.  This could potentially be arrays of smaller weapons rather than single big guns (though some of this can also be attributed to the lack of truly-heavy weapons outside of artillery).

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Fleshing out the Civilian, Aero and Space tech?
That'd be quite nice.

DevianID

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #36 on: 02 December 2022, 02:54:42 »
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What's up with having triple main guns? I prefer units have fewer, large weapons than more weapons (I made a dropship in MegaMekLab recently and it was exhausting), but is there another reason?

VanVelding, no good reason.  Its mostly cause the designers made a small number of weapons to fit a certain look and stopped there.  Like, instead of a shrek with 3 ppcs, for 21 tons and 30 heat, you could have a single 'Shrek Gun' which is a single weapon that weighs 21 tons, generates 30 heat, does 10 damage, and has a rate of fire of 3.  Its literally the same thing, but the art would be a lot more realistic with 1 barrel assault tank-sized weapon system instead of three separate guns.  We see that all the time, in the way a 57mm naval autocannon for a destroyer is 8 tons in real life, yet a 57mm cannon on an IFV would be very light and operate completely differently.  Different weapons on different platforms do very different things.  But in battletech, both are an Ac/5, or the naval one is 3 ac/5s in a bay if you want 'more AC at 18 range', instead of a proper 24 ton naval gun with bespoke stats.  Once we got the PPC as the 'big' energy weapon, the only way to get bigger energy weapons was to buy multiple PPCs, instead of a bigger PPC which of course should exist.  The gap from 7 tons on a PPC to the naval PPC in the thousands is silly.  To change though you'd end up with a different game at this point, so its too late to start making '21 ton assault PPC' as a new weapon type.

Aotrs Commander

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #37 on: 02 December 2022, 06:59:00 »
Until the re-design that had two barrels, we treated the Behemoth's two guass rifles as a single double-fire one.

But generally, BattleTech has stuck rigidly to "model each gun" rather than using the mechanics as an abstract aggregate. I generally am not very fond of BT vehicles or aerospace fighters BECAUSE the "lots of little weapons" doesn't look right to me on them as opposed to on the mechs, where it DOES look cool. (It's very noticable the only BT vehicles I have are some of the smaller Clan ones and I am very unfond on BTs aerospace fighters.) It's not even the multiple weapon systems, it's that it's lots of little ones, one a big system and supplementary ones, and it doesn't LOOK right to me.

The temptation to model everything one to one is an easy trap to fall into, but it can be problematic, too. One thing I noticed down at roleplaying level is a subtle but fundemental error in most sci-fi RPG rules (that I've played) in that they attempt to model every bullet like you model every arrow. As a result, no-one EVER runs out of ammunition. Not even with fully automatic weapons. And doing my own starships, which I do simultaneously with my Entirely Optional lore/game stats, I realised at one point that if I wasn't careful, I'd be tempted to model every discrete battery in the game mechanics on the model every time... Which is explictly NOT what my own rules even assume (as they model effects). You are supposed to sometimes pretend that the spinal mount laser on a Herosine Beta Screen Drone is a single beam that rolls 3 dice, not three seperate beams that each roll a dice (as it only has one firecontrol, the difference is mechanically academic). So I try to sometimes do ships which explictly don't have, like, all the gun barrels or visible PD emplacements or something.

There is definitely something to be said for decoupling the mechanics from modelling each weapon to so can assume the game mechanics are modelling an aggregat effect, not a discrete one. It gives you more design room to play with aethetically. It goes from "this has got three guns on it" to "what effect does this gun I'm putting on it have" which has more "room."

Notably, when I'm doing ground vehicles, I don't have same issue as with the starships, since MG SciFi doesn't have a discrete stat block generation system. So if I do triple barrels there, it's purely Because It Is Cool.

(Though there is some justification mechanically, since while MG armour is penetrative, not ablative, the effect on energy weapons is assumed to be (somewhat) aggregate, rather than addative (so, analogously four MLs would be modelled as a single "gun" with 10 penetration instead of four guns of 5 each); and the existance of shields, which ARE ablative, means smaller weapon systems have a point even with low penetration, and finally the presence of active shoot-down-the-missiles point-defence means you have to lob a load of missiles out at once to ensure you get some through.)

But that said, I still tend to be more towards one BIG weapon systems and several supplemenatry ones - which is aesthetically where BT's vehicles and aerospace (and dropships) fall down for me, because they don't have the option of having the One Big Gun like a triple-fire-rate Shrek Big PPC*. You don't even have to change the mechanics to allow for that sort of thing - that's the point, a gun that rolls more dice can be just be assumed to either fire faster or a sustained discharge that you won't necessarily keep on target the entire time it fires (see: lasers in MechWarrior 5 and by implication MWO). Just by making the game mechanics a little bit more open to fluff interpretation, you don't even have to change the discrete units - your LEGO blocks as it were - (like PPCs) that you build it from. Technically, BattleSpace at least even did this, because you built arrays from weapons that had an aggregate value.



But one-to-one guns is pretty much ingrained in BT at this point; and I'm not sure changing it would be entirely beneficial. It would most obviously have issues with fluff salvage and replacement, because you then cannot logically, salvage the PPCs off a Shrek and mount them on your damage Awesome. To get around that, I feel you WOULD have to have Bigger Guns. But it woud be easy enough to restrict them from mechs by just having the critical spaces be too much. (It's been a long time since I generated a BT vehicle, weapon crit size doesn't matter to vehicles, does it?) So you might get an AC/40 on a tank, but at 24 or 27 crit slots or something, you can't fit it on a mech even if you have the tonnage. For energy weapons, you could say something like "must have engine rating of x tonnage to be able to generate a big enough spike to use it" and place that above a 400 rating. (I have a weapon type in the aforementioned starship rules which is simially under "you must be at least this big to have a big enough power core to use it.")



*The Shrek isn't too bad, actually, it's stuff like the Behemoth and Mars that I personally find egregious. That said, the new kickstarter stuff has made a LOT of stuff I previously wouldn't have because bad art cool, so I don't assume there's any reason why the new scuplts won't appeal to me more.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #38 on: 02 December 2022, 07:19:13 »
You'd have to work really hard to saturate the crits on a vehicle, that's why I outfit them with heavy ferro-armor all the time. I suppose you could have a lot of machine guns or rocket launchers (my wheeled 15t 120RL vehicle has wrecked assault mechs) but those would be niche.

DevianID

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #39 on: 02 December 2022, 07:51:19 »
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It would most obviously have issues with fluff salvage and replacement, because you then cannot logically, salvage the PPCs off a Shrek and mount them on your damage Awesome
We do still have this problem sadly.  Like ac5s on a wolverine are 80mm yet ac5s on Marauders are 120mm, but ac5 ammo can be salvaged from one onto the other.  I think this is why they stopped talking about guns as much, cause they goofed giving stats that you can demonstrate don't mix, but they don't want to retcon any fluff.  The big offender is the space ac5 versus the ground ac5 being the same gun, but the scale for space stuff is all hilariously wrong down to the dimensions of the ships.

You mention the clan vehicles, but my big pet peeve is rocket launchers.  They stick these giant comically oversized rocket launchers on everything, when a hydra 19 pod is pretty small.  The rockets are like 20 times bigger cause the want to "model each tube" so its visible on a tiny scale model... But then it looks super dumb to me with all these comically oversized missiles.

Aotrs Commander

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #40 on: 02 December 2022, 08:08:57 »
Another anecdotal illustration of the model-everything one-to-one trap was me yesterday, spending most of an hour whittling about the how many Teraxyllaqens (the made-up compative fluff unit; the x is pronounced “ch”)[1] a fighter torpedo had a looking back at the ones I'd already stated and comparing between the game stats for my starship system Accelerate and Attack (from which the lore stats are informed) and my fighter combat rules-based-on-X-Wing-Alliance (from which the fighter stats are informed, both mechanically in AccAtt and in lore fluff) and then writing myself a stern note in block capitals that the two sets of stats don't match-up and not to keep trying to make them. That AccAtt manages a fair approximation (given it is discrete design system like BT) of the fighter stats (which don't) is something of an achievement in itself, but the two games caon't and can't match-up one to one. AccAtt isn't granular enough, it has to be played on the tabletop with fleets; it just can't model every fighter warhead or do more than roughly approximate, meaning the damage of said weapons is a bit low-balled. (Quite frankly, in that system fighters are lethal enough as it is already, so you'd have to significantly uprate the starships entirely to even that out.)

But again, this was because I was forgetting my own rules that a game is always an imperfect simulation of the "real" world and that you can't and shouldn't always back-work game stats.

(The "Locust can pull 12g" is another example of that, actually (because any assumptions you make to get acceleration are foiled by the fact that they then won't fit the game mechanics and scale you've already got, I did so idle thinkign yesterday, but I won't ramble on about that, I've blithered enough already today; suffice it to say that before you even start, you physically cannot be moving at 129kph (12 MP) and do a 360º turn inside a 30-hex (a 94m circumference 2πr) in exactly 10 ten seconds. Because to do so you're moving 36m/s (and a smaller radius just means you have less distance to cover in 10s which means you have to be moving SLOWER) which torpedoes any assumptions you can make about acceleration from which to calculate g-force. If you can cover it in less than 10 seconds, Locust should be able to move a hex, to do it in 10 seconds, you have to be moving at 9.4m/s (33.8kph), which is a centripetal acceleration of 5.89ms² (a bit over half a g). In short, you can't use BattleTech 2 MP to change facing by 60º to calculate centripetal force because it just doesn't match up with the ground, scale and time constraints of the mechanics. By linear acceleration, any value you choose (0-129kph in 10s? 0 to 129kph in 1s over less than a hex?) doesn't then fit with either the turning behavior or the distance it moves; one or the other or both would be wrong. (And even if you mangled the maths to get something like for the locust, you then won't get it to match anything else.)

(Crap, I did go over most of it, actually... *sigh*)

But my point is, becaue BattleTech has to be PLAYABLE without a twenty-year-old engineering degree and without being slower than it already IS, the movement mechanics aren't intended to be a realistic simulation. Which is fine, but while you can derive some simple stats from it (max speeds by ground scale per turn), as it doesn't follow the laws of physics, you can't get accurate fagpacket calculations of stuff like that because it just doesn't WORK like that. Your accuracy of an equation is only as good as the least accurate component and for that particular thing, you're starting from, basically, a foundation that is nonsense.

This isn't a dengration of BT mechanics by any means - you will get exactly the same BS from trying to apply given D&D rules as the actual physics of the world. Which is why I always say "imperfect simulation."

Right, now I really, really, REALLY have rambled enough and I need to get on an put the decorations up and do some actual work. (Even if that likely means "compiling a list of navy prefixes the Shipyards powers use, because I forgot entirely to mention it before" which is work technically.)



We do still have this problem sadly.  Like ac5s on a wolverine are 80mm yet ac5s on Marauders are 120mm, but ac5 ammo can be salvaged from one onto the other.  I think this is why they stopped talking about guns as much, cause they goofed giving stats that you can demonstrate don't mix, but they don't want to retcon any fluff.  The big offender is the space ac5 versus the ground ac5 being the same gun, but the scale for space stuff is all hilariously wrong down to the dimensions of the ships.

You mention the clan vehicles, but my big pet peeve is rocket launchers.  They stick these giant comically oversized rocket launchers on everything, when a hydra 19 pod is pretty small.  The rockets are like 20 times bigger cause the want to "model each tube" so its visible on a tiny scale model... But then it looks super dumb to me with all these comically oversized missiles.

Edit, dammit:

Counter-example: TOS-1 or HIMARs/MLRS.

I have some sympathy with them to an extent (the modellers at least), since at 144th scale, I have to oversize stuff like MGs to at least 1mm to be printable (so 15cm barrels) - but I'm working with models twice BT's scale, where proportionally, you have more room for it not to look entirely out of place. So I can make a reasonable arguement that you don't want to make the weapon systems invisible, as they should be at 6mm, where strictly even big guns shouldn't be more than 1mm (28.5 to 30cm barrel depending whether you care about whether it;s 285/286/288/300th).



[1]Necessary because talking about things in general compartives was becoming excruciating. Social experiment: do technical fluff for a BattleMech without making reference to the units of speed or engine size or armour tonnage. Now repeat that a hundred times without having to fall back on the same compartive guff.
« Last Edit: 02 December 2022, 08:17:55 by Aotrs Commander »

DevianID

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #41 on: 02 December 2022, 15:09:33 »
We usually call oversized weapons on scale models the "rule of cool".  How big is that hunchback barrel on the model?  Freaking huge.  How much is a 200mm gun per the lore, on a 12000mm tall when put into scale?  Really small.  Really really small for the biggest gun isn't "cool".

My issue is, ok rule of cool is a thing.  Does the rocket launcher spamming mech look cool?  Not at all to me.  They look comical, a joke... But muh battletech is serious business!  Bad art I feel greatly detracts from the game.

As for the locust pulling so many Gs at minimum using game movement, I use that to try and illustrate that mechs are advanced and "cool".  When I started reading battletech stuff, in GDL books, mechs with a good pilot were super agile, and that matches their derived stats.  In the mechwarrior games though, mechs drive like odd cumbersome tanks, and they all cheat gravity to make it like 5 times higher, so you cant bound/run like a mech should be able too.  If they are no more agile then tanks, mechs are "less cool".  But they are more agile then tanks when you dont mess with players perception cause gravity isnt 5 times stronger.  So I like to point out just how awesome mechs are without just writing fluff that says (mechs are awesome cause I said so, ignore the game stats they have no bearing to anything fluff related.)

Speedbump

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #42 on: 02 December 2022, 17:21:44 »
DevianID's mention of the GDL books reminded me of something. I reread the early GDL novels in the summer and I was struck by how differently heat was portrayed in those books. Mechs outright having to take a break on long marches on occasion. Mechs retreating because their heat had hit a point where they couldn't continue to fight further and that being a reason to break contact and not re-engage rather than spending 30 seconds reversing slowly unit the movement penalty wears off. At the time I wondered about a much more "sticky" heat system, but I ultimately concluded that you couldn't make it work without a complete rewrite of everything else.

idea weenie

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #43 on: 03 December 2022, 01:23:44 »
DevianID's mention of the GDL books reminded me of something. I reread the early GDL novels in the summer and I was struck by how differently heat was portrayed in those books. Mechs outright having to take a break on long marches on occasion. Mechs retreating because their heat had hit a point where they couldn't continue to fight further and that being a reason to break contact and not re-engage rather than spending 30 seconds reversing slowly unit the movement penalty wears off. At the time I wondered about a much more "sticky" heat system, but I ultimately concluded that you couldn't make it work without a complete rewrite of everything else.

It sounds like you'd have to reduce the effect of Heat Sinks further, but make each point of the heat scale require more heat to get to.  So instead of 1-30 it might be 3-90, with weapons doing double their listed heat and Heat Sinks being far more bulky.  Maybe Heat Sinks would be 1 ton, 2 crits, 1 pt of heat being dissipated, and engines only provide 1 Heat Sink per 50 pts engine rating, and the rest require actual tonnage in addition to bulk?

So if a Locust gets to 45 on the Heat Scale (equal to 15 originally) and wants to cool off using its inherent Engine Heat Sinks, it can only get rid of 3 pts of heat per turn.  That is 9 turns of doing nothing instead of ~2 turns.  If that Locust has taken even a single engine hit it is taking a net of +2 Heat per turn and has to shut down in order to cool off.  A second Engine critical hit means it is producing a net of 7 pts of heat per turn, before movement or weapons fire.

Aotrs Commander

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #44 on: 03 December 2022, 07:12:52 »
As for the locust pulling so many Gs at minimum using game movement, I use that to try and illustrate that mechs are advanced and "cool". 

But the numbers are just straight WRONG. You literally cannot make the numbers work from the very rules data you're deriving them from. (I am entirely open to a better educated engineer/physics person that me detailing the working and assumptions with their calcs to prove that I'm wrong, by-the-by.)

Sure, you can say "Aotrs, stop bringing physics into muh BattleTech/D&D/My Little Pony, rule of cool;" but you, by the same token, you can't choose to selectively pull incorrect physics maths up and say "look, this is cool, because it's real numbers." I'm an engineer, I understand the maths.

BattleTech is a low-tech scifi (like Judge Dredd, and to a slightly lesser extent, Mass Effect). Aside from having giant robots, BattleTech tech is NOT advanced. It was not even exactly high tech outside its central conceit even for 1980s scifi in general.

And that is fine.

Being able to win an internet verses arguement because [your thing] is the most advanced and bestest is the most pointless of exercises.

(One of the reasons I can't stand 40K is because GW writes it like they want to win all the verses debates in the world, with everything always being the superlative-ist.)

So I like to point out just how awesome mechs are without just writing fluff that says (mechs are awesome cause I said so, ignore the game stats they have no bearing to anything fluff related.)

But that means you're saying you are actively picking and choosing what laws of physics to apply to support a narrative that Mechs Are Cool[1] and tacitly, that we should all treat them like they were giant robot anime. You're still saying "mechs are awesome because I said so," but you're now trying to hide it under a veneer of statistics to (as one famous tome[2] once said about percentile RPG systems) "create a false sense of scientific credibility."

(Nothing I have ever personally read, watched or played suggests to me BattleMechs are (or should be) anything but relatively lumbering. Frankly, if BattleMechs did move like most giant robot anime robots, I'd have likely given the whole BT franchise a pass because - here's the kicker -I don't think that's cool.)

In BattleTech, giant robots are king because the central conciet of the entire franchise is that they are.

That is ALSO fine.

But by the same token, it's a self-defining criterion.

It sounds like you'd have to reduce the effect of Heat Sinks further, but make each point of the heat scale require more heat to get to.  So instead of 1-30 it might be 3-90, with weapons doing double their listed heat and Heat Sinks being far more bulky.  Maybe Heat Sinks would be 1 ton, 2 crits, 1 pt of heat being dissipated, and engines only provide 1 Heat Sink per 50 pts engine rating, and the rest require actual tonnage in addition to bulk?

So if a Locust gets to 45 on the Heat Scale (equal to 15 originally) and wants to cool off using its inherent Engine Heat Sinks, it can only get rid of 3 pts of heat per turn.  That is 9 turns of doing nothing instead of ~2 turns.  If that Locust has taken even a single engine hit it is taking a net of +2 Heat per turn and has to shut down in order to cool off.  A second Engine critical hit means it is producing a net of 7 pts of heat per turn, before movement or weapons fire.

That sounds like that would be excruitating to actually play, though (it'd be far longer than normal BattleTech) - even less fun in a non-tabletop game, because nobody likes standing around and waiting (a sign of a bad game is if you end up playing a a different game). Crap, no, worse; it'd make non-TT BattleTech feel like playing a cash-grab mobile game, only without the ability to pay money for cooldowns...

It would also call into question why anyone would use such units when a tank (which doesn't overheat) can just pick it apart during the really long periods it has to stop and stand still.

Was this heat thing in the same books that apparently portrayed mechs as super-agile ninja or whathaveyou?



[1]And like, that's 100% redundant, because I don't think anyone ever came into BattleTech and said "this would be a great franchise if it wasn't for the gosh-darned giant robots mucking the whole thing up." Like, we know, that's why we're here.

[2]Okay, it was the Munchkin's Guide to Power Gaming.
« Last Edit: 03 December 2022, 07:21:02 by Aotrs Commander »

Whiteagle

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #45 on: 03 December 2022, 11:04:08 »
Well now is probably as good a time as any to jump in...

BattleTech is a low-tech scifi (like Judge Dredd, and to a slightly lesser extent, Mass Effect). Aside from having giant robots, BattleTech tech is NOT advanced. It was not even exactly high tech outside its central conceit even for 1980s scifi in general.
Eh, BattleTech is relatively hard Sci-Fi with a pretty decent technological level.
One of the qualms I often have with this fandom is people wanting to take the post-fall of Rome Medieval technological regression TOO literally;
The Inner Sphere isn't going to just "Forgor" how to make Fusion Engines or Jump Cores, because those are both proven and VITAL technologies NEEDED to keep this Interstellar Civilization running.
If the scarcity of the Succession Wars got bad enough that they couldn't, then Human Interstellar Civilization has officially ended because without new JumpShips you simply are not traveling between Stars.
It CAN however get bad enough that Star League Era Interstellar Warfare becomes untenable; Proper WarShips fall out of use because none of the Great Houses ever get enough breathing room to afford creating new Compact WarShip JumpCores.
Since you have to put boots on the "ground" anyways, it's easier to send a regular JumpShip loaded to the gills with Military DropShips as those are far easier to replace!
Then you can worry about building up Orbital Defenses or otherwise fortifying your fresh holdings to prevent the other guy from taking it back.

(Nothing I have ever personally read, watched or played suggests to me BattleMechs are (or should be) anything but relatively lumbering. Frankly, if BattleMechs did move like most giant robot anime robots, I'd have likely given the whole BT franchise a pass because - here's the kicker -I don't think that's cool.)

In BattleTech, giant robots are king because the central conciet of the entire franchise is that they are.
Actually I'd agree with DevianID that Mechs should be surprisingly nimble.
The reason we don't see this in the video games is because that kind of organic movement is just plain hard to model to begin with, let alone creating a Graphics/Physics/Gaming Engine to accommodate it.
It's how Mechs can clown on conventional vehicles so hard; The NeuroHelmet allows them to operate more like a giant dude than a simple piece of machinery, thus they can pull of crazy stunts like suplexing an enemy Tank.

Speedbump

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #46 on: 03 December 2022, 17:36:47 »
That sounds like that would be excruitating to actually play, though (it'd be far longer than normal BattleTech) - even less fun in a non-tabletop game, because nobody likes standing around and waiting (a sign of a bad game is if you end up playing a a different game). Crap, no, worse; it'd make non-TT BattleTech feel like playing a cash-grab mobile game, only without the ability to pay money for cooldowns...

It would also call into question why anyone would use such units when a tank (which doesn't overheat) can just pick it apart during the really long periods it has to stop and stand still.

Was this heat thing in the same books that apparently portrayed mechs as super-agile ninja or whathaveyou?
I think you'd want to borrow from non-tabletop battletech and make heat something that kills you rather than stops you killing your enemy, so a mech that is pushing shutdown is also risking internal and/or pilot damage or instead of penalties to hit opponents get bonuses to hit you. Treat heat more like an ammo count or health bar than a moment to moment action limiter, but to actually make it work I think you'd want a full re-write of heat numbers.

As for why use mechs, while I don't recall any super-agile ninja stuff it's definitely a setting where 3 bug mechs initially cut through a conventional militia force like a hot knife through butter.(And only take any losses due to a combination of protagonist intervention and an inexperienced pilot pushing their heat too hard)

namar13766

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #47 on: 04 December 2022, 20:49:05 »
One Shot missiles changed to be half (round up to nearest half ton) the base launcher. The tonnage for ammo is consider negligible (tonnage for a single shot of even an MRM 40 is not even a half-ton) and is assumed to be subsumed in the weight of the launcher (sans its ammo feeding mechanisms, as it can now just be a simple set of tubes.) This still leaves room for rocket launchers vrs OS IS missles to be viable, if very only pays-your-money-takes-your-choice differences (clan OS are simply strictly better all round), with the differences now more cost (in BV and C-Bills) and the slight differences in range/accuracy etc. i-OS deprecated and unnecessary. Conversion likely fairly straight forward, given new versions are less tonnage/slots allowing more OS weapons to be mounted; units using a lot will require more extensive revisions.

So how many slots/criticals do these new One-Shots take up?

Daemion

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Re: Musings on a hypothetical BattleTech rules reboot/edition
« Reply #48 on: 17 December 2022, 08:41:23 »
RE: Autocannon Improvements, I have a question.

What kind of weapons fire are you envisioning with ACs?  Is it based on the HBS videogames?  Or, do you follow the fictional description of uber-sized machine guns?

I ask this because it will effect your style of rules when it comes to ballistic weapons.  I have a large suspicion that a lot of people seem to think of ACs as simply tank guns, and ultra/rotary as adding an extra shot or six.  With that comes the desire to fix the damage to the cannon's performance.

Where-as, if you follow the written lore description of Autocannons, yes you may find one or two designs that fire a single shot per round of ammo spent.  But, more often than not, ACs are supposed to fire how HBS depicts machine-guns in the BT PC game.  See what that does for your thinking on ACs, their range and damage.

Knowing that, I wonder why damage isn't more random for them, especially if you go backwards in time to before whatever makes them group so accurately was perfected.

This leads to a couple ideas.

1)Performance by Ammo - Now, a thought I've had for a long time, and have only recently implemented in house rules for different settings is simply treating higher damage shots per class as new ammunition.  That's the joy of ammo-based weapons: you have options, and not just whether you do full damage against armored- or soft-targets.

Want more damage from that AC/2?  You can get it, but it costs more and probably isn't as available. You want to argue price point, it might have some different characteristics for that damage, like reduced range.

Oh, You're running a rebellion, and you don't have access to the front-line stuff afforded the government? You can only produce unguided duranium darts?  Well, it may be cheap, but it's got some problems. (Low Tech Ammo has to roll on the cluster table for its final damage value for a shot, similar to LRMs, but without the 5-pt clustering)

And, you should see the stuff those named regiments get!  [excited whisper] Did you know that the stuff can be programmed on the fly to target hard units or squishy targets like infantry or buildings for full effect?  It's amazing!  But, it'll cost ya. (Old BMR application of AC damage to all targets.  No special ammo required for differentiated target types as we get in TW.  IE, this ammo, when fired, will do full damage against infantry or tanks/mechs/BA without having to pull from separate ammo bins.)

2)Autocannon Brands and performance characteristics - So, yeah.  You get that one-shot style AC. It'll hit and miss with the best of them, but it'll miss out on some extra options one can find with the bullet-bee spamming guns.

The rapid fire guns should be able to fire at a lower rate of fire for a change in performance characteristics.  If anAC/20 generally has crap range because of recoil, then it aught to be abile to pull a rotary or ultra and fire fewer rounds to get ranges similar to an AC/10, AC/5 or AC/2, but with equivalent damage performance.  Of course, you'd have to track each bullet, practically.

This could also apply to missiles, as well.  You can have LRMs that fire one large missile, delivering a cluster payload that does the standard damage.  It's cheeper, but runs the risk of being shot out of the air easily by AMS.  Conversely a more expensive version will protect the payload longer reducing the effect AMS has, but it's expensive.  The middle ground would still be the micro-swarm.

Potential application - the cheeper, bigger missile fires based on cluster-size in it's payload.  Say the stock is 5 per missile.  So, if you fire an LRM/20 that shoots the 5-cluster missile, it launches 4 missiles, and the AMS forces the firer to roll on the 4 table first to determine how many clusters of five potentially made it, then roll on the appropriate sized damage column for the final tally to get the real amount. So, from same said LRM-20, the AMS forces a roll on the four chart, making for 3 missiles getting by to deliver their payload.  That's 15 damage, so the roll would be on the 15 column, then divvyed up in 5-pt groups as normal.  A variation in expense would see the application of modifiers to either cluster roll.

The more expensive missile would function similar to how a Streak applies damage, but still expends ammo, hit or miss, and when an AMS gets involved, then the attack has to roll on the cluster table as normal. Some versions might have to roll but with a positive cluster modifier instead of full-on damage.
« Last Edit: 17 December 2022, 08:48:03 by Daemion »
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