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Author Topic: Rifle Cannon Math  (Read 13333 times)

RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #60 on: 29 June 2021, 20:40:38 »
Based on the discussion in the other thread, it seems the LRC was an attempt by some of TPTB to start down the road of nerfing infantry weapons completely.  Being that would invalidate a significant number of now canon units, I can't see that working.

I don't know about that as it would invalidate to many canon units as well as 35+ years of game play. I do think that some do want to nerf infantry. Otherwise their weapons wouldn't be reduced from BA and vehicle versions, even though they're fluffed as being the same.

Mostly, I just don't think they thought Rifles out. They and a lot of others are too caught up with muzzle velocity and that Rifles are supposed to be old and inferior. In doing so they ignored all the other pre-spaceflight weapons would have similar muzzle velocities or be inferior in other ways. They also forgot that armor is ablative so muzzle velocity isn't as big a concern.
 
When I look at everything, Rifles are already outclassed and obsolete when doing full damage. Even XTRO:1945's Tank Cannons outclass them. So I just ignore the -3 now. Otherwise there's no reason for Rifles, especially the Light, to stay in existence so long. No even if they could fire indirectly or had area effect ammo. Zero damage is still zero damage



CVB

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #61 on: 29 June 2021, 21:18:31 »
I regard them as a BT equivalent to the WW2 vintage german Infantry Guns, leIG18 and sIG18. Useful against infantry, but ineffective against tanks. Just one more (rather limited) tool in the combined arms toolbox.

Cetero censeo: I would prefer to see the LRC do some damage against BAR8+ units, but not full damage against BA.
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monbvol

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #62 on: 29 June 2021, 22:25:19 »
The Barrier Armor Table AtoW page 187 gives these examples of items with a BAR2 Rating; Window, Safety Glass; Interior Wall/Door, Residential/Commercial; Personal Computer. So it isn't inconceivable of a family car with a BAR2 armor. We even have examples in TRO:Vehicle Annex.

That's how Motorized/Mechanized are treated in canon. I would treat them more like Battle Armor with a small vehicle replacing the BA. And right now, small support vehicles with BAR8 armor are immune to LRC shots while BA with BAR10 armor are not.

From the same page:
This value—determined by the gamemaster based
on the nature of the barrier—does not necessarily translate
to the same resilience as the kind of armor carried by
battlefield vehicles

But let's go ahead and turn to the section where it has example vehicles.  Page 324.  Let's go ahead and take the A-M Fiver Traveler minivan.  F/S/R are all 2 points of tactical armor.  BAR 4.  For vehicles like these IS will be 1 point and match the BAR.  So with 4 shots from a bolt action rifle this civilian grade van will be rendered  unsalvageable.

Motorized/mechanized infantry are explicitly stated to use stuff like that.  Stuff we do not have construction rules for, not even the small support vehicle rules work for it.

Also please stop using XTRO 1945 as a source.  It isn't meant to be one.  It is just a gag product.  It has exactly zero bearing how Battletech actually works.  Otherwise I could use Nebula California as a valid counter argument.

Daryk

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #63 on: 30 June 2021, 03:17:48 »
*snip*
Mostly, I just don't think they thought Rifles out. They and a lot of others are too caught up with muzzle velocity and that Rifles are supposed to be old and inferior. In doing so they ignored all the other pre-spaceflight weapons would have similar muzzle velocities or be inferior in other ways. They also forgot that armor is ablative so muzzle velocity isn't as big a concern.
*snip*
There have been assurances that they "meant to do that".  And I believe them.

RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #64 on: 30 June 2021, 03:33:19 »
From the same page:
This value—determined by the gamemaster based
on the nature of the barrier—does not necessarily translate
to the same resilience as the kind of armor carried by
battlefield vehicles

But let's go ahead and turn to the section where it has example vehicles.  Page 324.  Let's go ahead and take the A-M Fiver Traveler minivan.  F/S/R are all 2 points of tactical armor.  BAR 4.  For vehicles like these IS will be 1 point and match the BAR.  So with 4 shots from a bolt action rifle this civilian grade van will be rendered  unsalvageable.

Motorized/mechanized infantry are explicitly stated to use stuff like that.  Stuff we do not have construction rules for, not even the small support vehicle rules work for it.

Also please stop using XTRO 1945 as a source.  It isn't meant to be one.  It is just a gag product.  It has exactly zero bearing how Battletech actually works.  Otherwise I could use Nebula California as a valid counter argument.

You'd still have the internal structure to destroy. In TW, it'd take twice as many shots to destroy all the armor and then there's the internal structure to destroy the vehicle.

Actually, we have cannon examples of Infantry using vehicles like that and the construction rules do allow it. In fact we even have game stats for the same vehicles mechanized/motorized infantry are stated as using. The problem is they're not treated as vehicles but just a group of rapid moving foot infantry. I think you'd agree that there's a big difference between a guy with a rifle and a guy in a Battle Armor. So why isn't there a difference between a guy with a rifle and a guy in a vehicle? I think there should be and it does work in the game.

I wasn't using it as a source. Someone asked how it compared so I compared. The last time I mentioned them was as a preference. At no point did I say that they were canon. Also, gag product or not, it's still a product that we can use in a game. As such Tank Rifles end up outclassing Rifle Cannons.

If we were to bring in Nebula California, I'd bring up how the Dual Small Blaster Cannon does 0 damage even though both Infantry Support Blasters end up doing 1 point of damage each. Which also makes zero sense. It's like saying .50 cal machine guns do more damage when used by infantry than those mounted on vehicles.

This topic isn't about gag products though. which is why I didn't mention them. It's about Rifle Cannons and if they have a role on the battlefield. I think they do, without the -3 nerf. With it, the Light doesn't and it'd iffy about the Medium and Heavy. Considering how common Autocannons are though, I think finding any Rifle Cannon after the start of the Star League would be as easy as finding a Tank Cannon or Blaster Cannon.  If that -3 damage wasn't there though, or at least the Light did 1 point of damage, then I could see Rifles lingering around. Not going extinct, just being harder to find.

Personally, I think more thought went into XTRO:1945 and Nebula California than went into Rifle Cannons. Rifle Cannons feel like someone had an idea about arming IndustrialMechs with Ancient Ballistic Weapons. I think it's a cool idea. I love the idea. Only the reasoning behind the -3 and the Light doing no damage just doesn't hold up. 


And for those interested, here's some muzzle velocities.
M16 Rifle; 3,150 ft/s (960 m/s) (M855A1 round)
AK47; 715 m/s (2,350 ft/s)
Brown Bess; 1,300–1,800 ft/s (400–550 m/s)
M1919 Browning machine gun; 2,800 ft/s (850 m/s)
M2 Browning machine gun; 2,910 ft/s (890 m/s) (M33 ball)
75mm gun M2–M6; M48 high explosive round, 625 m/s (2,050 ft/s);
Canon de 75 modèle 1897; 500 m/s (1,600 ft/s)
76 mm gun M1; between 900 ft/s (270 m/s) for Smoke Rounds and 3,400 ft/s (1,000 m/s) for T4 (M93) HVAP (APCR) rounds.
8.8 cm KwK 43;  1,130 m/s (3,700 ft/s)
3-inch ordnance rifle; 1,215 ft/s (370 m/s)
M101 howitzer; 1,550 ft/s (472 m/s)

If we just go by size the 3-in ordnance rifle's muzzle velocity is nearly that of the 8.8cm and if muzzle velocity determines damage...  >:D Know what that means?

Thinking about the -3 damage while looking up things, and considering reality, if muzzle velocity is to be the determining factor, why not have the -3 against BAR8+ at long range only? In reality the closer they were the better they performed. It'd also be more consistent with other weapons which lose damage beyond long range rather than losing damage right out of the barrel. As older lower velocity weapons the damage decrease for range just happens sooner. It would also be a reason these weapons would continue to exist through the Star League and beyond. They're no where near as good as AC/s but they'll work.

RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #65 on: 30 June 2021, 04:02:06 »
There have been assurances that they "meant to do that".  And I believe them.

I know they meant to make Rifles inferior. I just don't think they thought out all the ramifications of how they were making Rifles inferior. The 0 damage for the Light especially. It's created a mess.

The biggest argument I've seen against Rifles doing full damage is that the Heavy become better than the AC/10 because of it's greater range and lower weight. I suppose that could be true, but what about availability? They shouldn't be easy to find.

Also reading their fluff again, muzzle velocity isn't mention. What is are Rifles slower reloading and rates of fire as well as relying on larger rounds with a greater amount of propellant. In the rules part it says they lack penetration but unless you're using Armor-Piercing  Rounds, penetration isn't how damage is inflicted. It's ablation. So why the -3 damage?

Another thing to think about is that the fluff says that the Clans had abandoned the weapon. How can you abandon a weapon, unless you had the weapon? Which comes right back to why Rifles would exist through the Star League unless they were useful?


Maingunnery

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #66 on: 30 June 2021, 06:42:23 »
if muzzle velocity determines damage... 
It does not, in BT the relationship is nonlinear. First off there are cases of needing a minimum threshold before doing any damage. Secondly increased velocity seems to decrease the efficiency in how kinetic energy turns into damage, which is why Gauss rifles only do 15 dmg, and railguns seem to be extremely extinct. This might be partly related in how it seems to be highly capable of resisting penetration, this can also be seen from the surviving ballistic weapons (Autocannon, mech-scale MG) that are more focused on jack-hammering a small section of armor with many hits.
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monbvol

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #67 on: 30 June 2021, 08:19:32 »
You'd still have the internal structure to destroy. In TW, it'd take twice as many shots to destroy all the armor and then there's the internal structure to destroy the vehicle.

I did account for internal structure.  But still more proof if we're going to truly solve this issue in a consistent manner we're going to also have to accept that infantry small arms might have to be massively reduced or even outright rendered ineffective against proper vehicular armor and that the current conversion system is not meant to work for mech scale weapons.

Quote
Actually, we have cannon examples of Infantry using vehicles like that and the construction rules do allow it. In fact we even have game stats for the same vehicles mechanized/motorized infantry are stated as using. The problem is they're not treated as vehicles but just a group of rapid moving foot infantry. I think you'd agree that there's a big difference between a guy with a rifle and a guy in a Battle Armor. So why isn't there a difference between a guy with a rifle and a guy in a vehicle? I think there should be and it does work in the game.

There is a difference already.

Quote
I wasn't using it as a source. Someone asked how it compared so I compared. The last time I mentioned them was as a preference. At no point did I say that they were canon. Also, gag product or not, it's still a product that we can use in a game. As such Tank Rifles end up outclassing Rifle Cannons.

If we were to bring in Nebula California, I'd bring up how the Dual Small Blaster Cannon does 0 damage even though both Infantry Support Blasters end up doing 1 point of damage each. Which also makes zero sense. It's like saying .50 cal machine guns do more damage when used by infantry than those mounted on vehicles.

This topic isn't about gag products though. which is why I didn't mention them. It's about Rifle Cannons and if they have a role on the battlefield. I think they do, without the -3 nerf. With it, the Light doesn't and it'd iffy about the Medium and Heavy. Considering how common Autocannons are though, I think finding any Rifle Cannon after the start of the Star League would be as easy as finding a Tank Cannon or Blaster Cannon.  If that -3 damage wasn't there though, or at least the Light did 1 point of damage, then I could see Rifles lingering around. Not going extinct, just being harder to find.

Personally, I think more thought went into XTRO:1945 and Nebula California than went into Rifle Cannons. Rifle Cannons feel like someone had an idea about arming IndustrialMechs with Ancient Ballistic Weapons. I think it's a cool idea. I love the idea. Only the reasoning behind the -3 and the Light doing no damage just doesn't hold up. 


And for those interested, here's some muzzle velocities.
M16 Rifle; 3,150 ft/s (960 m/s) (M855A1 round)
AK47; 715 m/s (2,350 ft/s)
Brown Bess; 1,300–1,800 ft/s (400–550 m/s)
M1919 Browning machine gun; 2,800 ft/s (850 m/s)
M2 Browning machine gun; 2,910 ft/s (890 m/s) (M33 ball)
75mm gun M2–M6; M48 high explosive round, 625 m/s (2,050 ft/s);
Canon de 75 modèle 1897; 500 m/s (1,600 ft/s)
76 mm gun M1; between 900 ft/s (270 m/s) for Smoke Rounds and 3,400 ft/s (1,000 m/s) for T4 (M93) HVAP (APCR) rounds.
8.8 cm KwK 43;  1,130 m/s (3,700 ft/s)
3-inch ordnance rifle; 1,215 ft/s (370 m/s)
M101 howitzer; 1,550 ft/s (472 m/s)

If we just go by size the 3-in ordnance rifle's muzzle velocity is nearly that of the 8.8cm and if muzzle velocity determines damage...  >:D Know what that means?

Thinking about the -3 damage while looking up things, and considering reality, if muzzle velocity is to be the determining factor, why not have the -3 against BAR8+ at long range only? In reality the closer they were the better they performed. It'd also be more consistent with other weapons which lose damage beyond long range rather than losing damage right out of the barrel. As older lower velocity weapons the damage decrease for range just happens sooner. It would also be a reason these weapons would continue to exist through the Star League and beyond. They're no where near as good as AC/s but they'll work.

Looking at the entry for Rifle Cannons now and it says nothing about low muzzle velocity being the reason they get the -3.  It just says lack of penetration power and not useful in space.  I suppose you could interpret the not useful in space to meant that they have lower muzzle velocities than Autocannons and Gauss Rifles but that's only really by comparison and as others have stated most likely not the only reason even if true why they get the -3.

Cannonshop

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #68 on: 30 June 2021, 11:19:54 »
I did account for internal structure.  But still more proof if we're going to truly solve this issue in a consistent manner we're going to also have to accept that infantry small arms might have to be massively reduced or even outright rendered ineffective against proper vehicular armor and that the current conversion system is not meant to work for mech scale weapons.

There is a difference already.

Looking at the entry for Rifle Cannons now and it says nothing about low muzzle velocity being the reason they get the -3.  It just says lack of penetration power and not useful in space.  I suppose you could interpret the not useful in space to meant that they have lower muzzle velocities than Autocannons and Gauss Rifles but that's only really by comparison and as others have stated most likely not the only reason even if true why they get the -3.

Monbvol, you're really trying hard to push that mushroom cloud back into the steel casing with infantry, aren't you?

It's been a little over twenty years since the late 1990s/early 2000's when they got all granular with Infantry weapons and put together the basic elements of the system we've got today.

and lots of people argued against it every step of the way, because somehow it was going to remove 'mechs as the star of the show.

It didn't.

It didn't with combat ops, it didn't with the House Books, it didn't with late BMR era and it didn't with Total Warfare/Techmanual/etcetera.

admittedly there WAS that hiccup with  MWDA, but despite where the ownership sits and what gets periodically promoted, THAT DID NOT STICK and surprise! Battlemechs are still the star of the show.

even with people getting carbon-reinforced fingernails or longbow platoons with grenades for support weapons.

Now, we've largely got a system that works-it's worked for DECADES now in realtime, and that system lets infantry weapons do damage to battlemechs.

From a pragmatic perspective, when you have a system that WORKS, that your market can use, that your market DOES use, and there's a hiccup because of a new add-on, you change the add-on, not the system that's been working.

Why? because you want to keep your audience while attracting people, and this is gaming-make too many changes too fast or too drastically, and you lose that invested market.  In the case of Battletech, that invested market represents how the game's survived three publishers going belly up, numerous staff changes, several economic recessions that have absolutely SLAUGHTERED older games and properties that at their height, eclipsed BT in all its forms.

YOUR solution means retconning something close to forty years worth of game materials, novels, sourcebooks, stories, tradition, and player involvement.

In doing so, you also have to engage in tens of thousands of dollars in new materials in the hope you won't lose the market that's been keeping this game alive for, at this point, generations of players.

Risk-assessment wise, your proposed 'solution' is a bad solution.  It's a good way to end up being an aborted kickstarter sometime twenty years from now.

The Games-Workshop method only works for Warhammer, Monbvol, they dominate their niche (which is ever shrinking) so completely that adopting their policies (which was tried) will fail.

It's too late for the reset button, alright?  it's in fact 30 years and 2 publishers too late for a hard reset to the original box-set's setting.  It's hundreds of novels too late, it's metric tons of lore too late.  The market itself has contracted so far that there's no room for a total reset and still keeping the lights on, and product coming.

simple fact: Physical attacks do damage.  Infantry does damage.  Infantry weapons (no matter how ludicrous) do damage.

That is the paradigm, that's the systems that have kept Battletech from being an also-ran only a few diehards even remember existed.

There were giant robot games where infantry were completely useless.  guess what? they're not still being made.  Battletech IS.

That's the paradigm. It's the market.  BT has a niche that's strong enough to keep it alive-which a lot of niche games never achieved and didn't maintain.

In dealing with an engineering or mechanical problem with a prototype, the simplest, least invasive fix is usually the right fix.

so which is simpler/less invasive? Adjusting the damage on LRC's, or scrapping thirty years of evolution in the game mechanics and thousands of dollars in product, promotion, market penetration and development to satisfy a minority of players who don't like that infantry can hurt 'mechs?

You tell me, what's the simpler fix?  Which adjustment generates the least amount of retcon, reboot, errata, and rules changes?

[Full discllosure here: MY solution is: if I don't like something, I don't bring it to the table, as opposed to asking for a major portion of the setting to be rewritten to exclude something I don't like, I just don't use it.]
« Last Edit: 30 June 2021, 11:25:28 by Cannonshop »
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Maingunnery

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #69 on: 30 June 2021, 11:56:08 »
YOUR solution means retconning something close to forty years worth of game materials, novels, sourcebooks, stories, tradition, and player involvement.
Not true, the proposed solution does not affect all infantry weapons just the small arms (nails, pistols, rifles), the old traditional anti-Mech weapons such as missile launchers, field guns and explosive satchels remain. This will result in more purposeful infantry that would be a better match for the universe.
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monbvol

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #70 on: 30 June 2021, 12:19:29 »
Monbvol, you're really trying hard to push that mushroom cloud back into the steel casing with infantry, aren't you?

It's been a little over twenty years since the late 1990s/early 2000's when they got all granular with Infantry weapons and put together the basic elements of the system we've got today.

and lots of people argued against it every step of the way, because somehow it was going to remove 'mechs as the star of the show.

It didn't.

It didn't with combat ops, it didn't with the House Books, it didn't with late BMR era and it didn't with Total Warfare/Techmanual/etcetera.

admittedly there WAS that hiccup with  MWDA, but despite where the ownership sits and what gets periodically promoted, THAT DID NOT STICK and surprise! Battlemechs are still the star of the show.

even with people getting carbon-reinforced fingernails or longbow platoons with grenades for support weapons.

Now, we've largely got a system that works-it's worked for DECADES now in realtime, and that system lets infantry weapons do damage to battlemechs.

From a pragmatic perspective, when you have a system that WORKS, that your market can use, that your market DOES use, and there's a hiccup because of a new add-on, you change the add-on, not the system that's been working.

Why? because you want to keep your audience while attracting people, and this is gaming-make too many changes too fast or too drastically, and you lose that invested market.  In the case of Battletech, that invested market represents how the game's survived three publishers going belly up, numerous staff changes, several economic recessions that have absolutely SLAUGHTERED older games and properties that at their height, eclipsed BT in all its forms.

YOUR solution means retconning something close to forty years worth of game materials, novels, sourcebooks, stories, tradition, and player involvement.

In doing so, you also have to engage in tens of thousands of dollars in new materials in the hope you won't lose the market that's been keeping this game alive for, at this point, generations of players.

Risk-assessment wise, your proposed 'solution' is a bad solution.  It's a good way to end up being an aborted kickstarter sometime twenty years from now.

The Games-Workshop method only works for Warhammer, Monbvol, they dominate their niche (which is ever shrinking) so completely that adopting their policies (which was tried) will fail.

It's too late for the reset button, alright?  it's in fact 30 years and 2 publishers too late for a hard reset to the original box-set's setting.  It's hundreds of novels too late, it's metric tons of lore too late.  The market itself has contracted so far that there's no room for a total reset and still keeping the lights on, and product coming.

simple fact: Physical attacks do damage.  Infantry does damage.  Infantry weapons (no matter how ludicrous) do damage.

That is the paradigm, that's the systems that have kept Battletech from being an also-ran only a few diehards even remember existed.

There were giant robot games where infantry were completely useless.  guess what? they're not still being made.  Battletech IS.

That's the paradigm. It's the market.  BT has a niche that's strong enough to keep it alive-which a lot of niche games never achieved and didn't maintain.

In dealing with an engineering or mechanical problem with a prototype, the simplest, least invasive fix is usually the right fix.

so which is simpler/less invasive? Adjusting the damage on LRC's, or scrapping thirty years of evolution in the game mechanics and thousands of dollars in product, promotion, market penetration and development to satisfy a minority of players who don't like that infantry can hurt 'mechs?

You tell me, what's the simpler fix?  Which adjustment generates the least amount of retcon, reboot, errata, and rules changes?

[Full discllosure here: MY solution is: if I don't like something, I don't bring it to the table, as opposed to asking for a major portion of the setting to be rewritten to exclude something I don't like, I just don't use it.]

For a lot of that time infantry just because they were called rifle were still assumed to have grenades, vlaws, and other effective weapons that can hurt mechs.  This abstraction was done away with in Tech Manual for reasons I do not know and the game has suffered from inconsistency issues for it.

So no my solution isn't to retcon nearly fourtty years of units and history.  If anything it is to return infantry back to when they did work best and were closer to as how described in lore.  That the better idea was to reach for a VLAW/LAW/SRM launcher than an autorifle if shooting at a mech or tank.  Or even grenades if you have them.  Or Satchel charges.

I've even taken to listening to Battletech audiobooks this year and I got to say that is the impression I get of how they work in lore anyway.

Not true, the proposed solution does not affect all infantry weapons just the small arms (nails, pistols, rifles), the old traditional anti-Mech weapons such as missile launchers, field guns and explosive satchels remain. This will result in more purposeful infantry that would be a better match for the universe.

Indeed.

Cannonshop

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #71 on: 30 June 2021, 13:04:04 »
For a lot of that time infantry just because they were called rifle were still assumed to have grenades, vlaws, and other effective weapons that can hurt mechs.  This abstraction was done away with in Tech Manual for reasons I do not know and the game has suffered from inconsistency issues for it.

So no my solution isn't to retcon nearly fourtty years of units and history.  If anything it is to return infantry back to when they did work best and were closer to as how described in lore.  That the better idea was to reach for a VLAW/LAW/SRM launcher than an autorifle if shooting at a mech or tank.  Or even grenades if you have them.  Or Satchel charges.

I've even taken to listening to Battletech audiobooks this year and I got to say that is the impression I get of how they work in lore anyway.

Indeed.

You're still trying to push the mushroom cloud back into the steel casing, Monbvol.  I was INVOLVED with some of the debates (and even got credited as a playtester) around the Infantry damage system.  initially I advocated for separating anti'mech capabilities from base damage/range on the infantry sheet.

So you're not completely wrong about that imho, but the system they came up with? it works.  It's worked consistently through multiple editions at this point.

We actually have players now, who've never used infantry as we learned it in BMR days, and not newbies still in high school, but people who've got careers after learning hte game back in Junior High (or earlier).

I even advocated for WEIRDER shit-like 'mech machineguns having six times the range against light infantry on the TW map, but it was tested and found clunky and unworkable to keep separate ranges along with the damages.

One challenge I'll put up to you, because maybe you haven't actually put a hand to applying your ideas on your own table, is to work it out and play-test it with your own local community, see if your ideas have legs by putting them in someone else's hands.

a lot of what came out for infantry in terms of the infantry build system and the conversion charts, is a compromise reached because the initial ideas were good-but they didn't WORK when put into hands that weren't part of the person who developed them.

It's possible to teach the basics of Battletech in thirty minutes to a curious person-we tested this repeatedly, including at game conventions, friendly local game-stores, etcetera.  in terms of play, we did this with both BA generation and infantry rules, and that's on top of the months spent playtesting systems in closed settings.

I was one of those people who used to beat Clanners using mostly-conventional forces PRIOR to total Warfare, and without access to Maxtech or unbound.  I played for YEARS with those 'simpler' rules and made guys who ran icebox energy boats (with clan pilots) throw the table over in frustration.

BEFORE all the enhanced survival and extra tables were added to vehicles, and long before we could make custom infantry sheets at all.

so I've seen a little of this evolution I'm talking about, and I know a bit about where it came from and why it passed, when a lot of my own ideas that looked good in the forums, did not and do not work.

I like to think I've been at this long enough to spot when something will turn into a sink-hole that ends up going nowhere good.  Nerfing never gets the result you want, unless it's a very SMALL nerf, that doesn't invalidate player agency.

The LRC 0 problem is something that eliminates player agency-it's over-compensation for an imbalance unlikely to matter, because in the end, rifle cannons aren't the star of the show, neither is infantry.  or Battlearmor.

I'm one of the people on the boards who openly stated "Mechanized' infantry was a mistake.  I still think so, but it's in the game and it works for people who want to use it well enough that it's not a deal-killer when it gets incorporated into a published scenario.

That's where it's at with this-the system you object to, works for the players who bother to use it. It's imperfect, but it works, and your proposed changes have already failed in playtest once, unless you've got a new version that needs some tread-wear.

So, I'll submit two challenges to the forum here:

1. Take Daryk's suggested change to Rifle cannons and TEST IT.

2. Take Monbvol's suggested changes to infantry, and "TEST THEM."

Put up your version of what rules need to be changed, Monbvol, do the math, and put it up here on the board, and get people to give it a shot.

Daryk and Riflemech? same thing. You're further because you've already got your references out, but put up a document and get people who aren't you to run a few scenarios with it and report back.

It's like my house-rules for asymmetrical initiative-people tried it, and now 'front loaded initiative' shows up on Megamek as an option.  It won't ever be published material in anything official, but I know it works well enough that people see it as a viable alternative for their own games, and that's good enough.

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Maingunnery

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #72 on: 30 June 2021, 13:42:05 »

Sounds like an interesting challenge, I am starting to feel inspired.
So a small rewrite of the rules/tables and creating a number of basic record sheets.
Any specific platoon types you think we should focus on?
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Charistoph

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #73 on: 30 June 2021, 13:59:32 »
For my group, we've got too many people just coming in to the game new or after a while.  They weren't even enthused about using the Enhanced Flamer rule from the Battlemech Manual.  We haven't even introduced Combat Vehicles to our regular sessions, much less any type of Infantry.  So probably wouldn't be able to help much.

Off hand, I wonder if using the range-based damage found in the Snub-Nose PPC, VSP Lasers, and Heavy Gauss Rifle might not be a better solution?

Say, using 3/2*/0* for the LRC with the * indicating that it does short-ranged damage to Support Vehicles and Infantry.

Edit: A better specificity as to who the "we" are.
« Last Edit: 30 June 2021, 14:37:58 by Charistoph »
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monbvol

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #74 on: 30 June 2021, 14:08:31 »
Hmmm....

Honestly I could be convinced to go for the simple solution of keep the final stats, just forget the details, and go back to the more abstracted nature where not everything had to be listed on the infantry recordsheet but could be assumed to still be carried by said infantry.  This would also largely require forgetting we even have infantry construction rules but the older I get and the more I play this game I only see two possibilities:

1. Players having construction rules needs to be deemed a bad thing and we should start forgetting them all really.

2. The game needs a foundation up overhaul so that the construction rules work better with how much they influence the game rules because how it is now is frankly a mess that only works because of sheer inertia at this point.

Daryk

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #75 on: 30 June 2021, 17:38:35 »
Monbvol, it sounds like you're developing your own "First Principles", and I can't applaud that enough!  :thumbsup:

Cannonshop: Thank you for the history there!  Having only the results in print hides a lot of the back and forth in development.  The forum here provides a potential view into that development, and I encourage that too!  :thumbsup:

As far as playtesting, I don't have quite that much pull with my local group.  They're in an era where even my proposed change has literally no relevance (I believe I've mentioned the Orion in our unit with a Long Tom Artillery Cannon; we discovered early on you can kill vehicles in defilade by simply knowing they're there, and shooting a hex near them you CAN see, and we're not even using thermobarics yet...).

Honestly, that's been my main consternation with this whole discussion across two threads (one locked) at the moment.  TPTB made a bad game design decision (an unnecessary singularity) for no perceptible reason.  LRCs would be just as irrelevant to the vast majority of players if they did 1 point of damage, and those of us who care wouldn't be complaining.  Consistency is my #1 priority, and I don't see how that harms TPTB's bottom line in any way.  Seriously... I gave up on 40K the edition after Rogue Trader because I saw exactly where that nonsense was going, and lo and behold, we've had it for over 20 years now.  Companies who base their business models on "there's a sucker born every minute" have suckers for customers, no matter how many of them there are.

monbvol

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #76 on: 30 June 2021, 18:06:38 »
All it's taken is a global pandemic, me getting a stable 40 hour a week job for the second time in my life but this one is less likely to get yanked out from under me, and not even having played a living person in probably at least three years even via MegaMek.  Hell it's been a bit since I even bothered to fight the bot.

Daryk

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #77 on: 30 June 2021, 18:33:24 »
Whatever it takes, brother!  Keep pushing!  :thumbsup:

RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #78 on: 01 July 2021, 14:11:05 »
It does not, in BT the relationship is nonlinear. First off there are cases of needing a minimum threshold before doing any damage. Secondly increased velocity seems to decrease the efficiency in how kinetic energy turns into damage, which is why Gauss rifles only do 15 dmg, and railguns seem to be extremely extinct. This might be partly related in how it seems to be highly capable of resisting penetration, this can also be seen from the surviving ballistic weapons (Autocannon, mech-scale MG) that are more focused on jack-hammering a small section of armor with many hits.

However, I keep reading how it's Rifles slow velocity that causes them to do less damage. If slower does more damage then why the -3? As for Rail Guns, we don't know what their stats would be. They're among the weapons we haven't been given.

Cannonshop

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #79 on: 01 July 2021, 14:19:28 »
Sounds like an interesting challenge, I am starting to feel inspired.
So a small rewrite of the rules/tables and creating a number of basic record sheets.
Any specific platoon types you think we should focus on?

The types you feel (or the board here feels) are the most problematic would be a start, along with some that replicate the most basic layout or 'generic' you can come up with.

basically, you need a control group (something book-basic under the system) to compare with your more extreme cases, and probably more than one scenario or run to really get good data-I'd suggest for your first series, rotate players between sides with specific loadouts, that way you get both the 'virgin' test, and one based on player-lessons-learned to catch edge cases or unintended consequences.
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RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #80 on: 01 July 2021, 14:45:59 »
I did account for internal structure.  But still more proof if we're going to truly solve this issue in a consistent manner we're going to also have to accept that infantry small arms might have to be massively reduced or even outright rendered ineffective against proper vehicular armor and that the current conversion system is not meant to work for mech scale weapons.

At what scale would infantry weapons do no damage though? AToW does one thing. TW does another. Or should we do something else?


Quote
There is a difference already.

Yeah. When used by infantry in TW they pretty much aren't there. When used in AToW or as Vehicles in TW they're far superior.


Quote
Looking at the entry for Rifle Cannons now and it says nothing about low muzzle velocity being the reason they get the -3.  It just says lack of penetration power and not useful in space.  I suppose you could interpret the not useful in space to meant that they have lower muzzle velocities than Autocannons and Gauss Rifles but that's only really by comparison and as others have stated most likely not the only reason even if true why they get the -3.

I said that. It's in the forums I keep reading about muzzle velocity. Not useful in space is also applied to Tube Artillery but they don't get a -3 damage.


For a lot of that time infantry just because they were called rifle were still assumed to have grenades, vlaws, and other effective weapons that can hurt mechs.  This abstraction was done away with in Tech Manual for reasons I do not know and the game has suffered from inconsistency issues for it.

So no my solution isn't to retcon nearly fourtty years of units and history.  If anything it is to return infantry back to when they did work best and were closer to as how described in lore.  That the better idea was to reach for a VLAW/LAW/SRM launcher than an autorifle if shooting at a mech or tank.  Or even grenades if you have them.  Or Satchel charges.

I've even taken to listening to Battletech audiobooks this year and I got to say that is the impression I get of how they work in lore anyway.

Indeed.

I never assumed that. It was Anti-Mech Infantry that had Satchel Charges. Also, infantry SRM and such do far less damage than they're fluffed unless you're using the rules in TRO:3026 or Battledroids Infantry. Currently they're not really any better than Auto-Rifles.

Auto-Rifle .52 damage
SRM Launcher (Light) .57
Machine Gun (Support) .94
Recoilless Rifle (Heavy) .57
Support Laser .84
Rocket Launcher (LAW) .53
Grenade Launcher .81

They all round up to 1 point of damage. I think its so the abstracted infantry types (Rifle, Laser, Flamer, MG, SRM) aren't completely overshadowed.

Edited to fix damage values.
« Last Edit: 01 July 2021, 19:35:25 by RifleMech »

RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #81 on: 01 July 2021, 14:48:46 »

 :thumbsup:



Not true, the proposed solution does not affect all infantry weapons just the small arms (nails, pistols, rifles), the old traditional anti-Mech weapons such as missile launchers, field guns and explosive satchels remain. This will result in more purposeful infantry that would be a better match for the universe.

Actually it is true as we've had a variety "abstracted" infantry types for 30+ years now. Rifle, Laser, Flamer, SRM, MG. TM just allows us greater variety, and I believe some of the weapons are intentionally nerfed so that the older "abstracted" infantry are still valid.

RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #82 on: 01 July 2021, 15:18:12 »
So, I'll submit two challenges to the forum here:

1. Take Daryk's suggested change to Rifle cannons and TEST IT.

2. Take Monbvol's suggested changes to infantry, and "TEST THEM."

Put up your version of what rules need to be changed, Monbvol, do the math, and put it up here on the board, and get people to give it a shot.

Daryk and Riflemech? same thing. You're further because you've already got your references out, but put up a document and get people who aren't you to run a few scenarios with it and report back.

I'd love to get other people to play just normally. Unfortunately, between a lack of space, just about everything being packed up, and a serious lack of interest I'm not able to right now. :) The last is the biggest problem. :(

I can say thought that in the past, We've played with Rifles doing full and damage reduced, all the way to zero for Lights. (I haven't tried reduced damage only at long range though. I'd love to try it.) Will full damage, Rifles were bad but useful. They became less useful as the damage was reduced but as long as they did damage there was a reason to use them. Once we got to -3, Lights only saw use as low tech BA hunters post 3050 or in early Age of War games.

Playing infantry doing no damage? I think I've done that a long time ago and if I remember right, it didn't go over well. I'd be willing to try again if I had means to do so. I do remember using Battledroids infantry. That went okay. I've also tested my version of mechanized/motorized infantry and it worked. We liked it more than the currant version. Currant is okay but we didn't like the abstraction.

RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #83 on: 01 July 2021, 15:27:18 »
Off hand, I wonder if using the range-based damage found in the Snub-Nose PPC, VSP Lasers, and Heavy Gauss Rifle might not be a better solution?

Say, using 3/2*/0* for the LRC with the * indicating that it does short-ranged damage to Support Vehicles and Infantry.

Sounds kind of familiar and a lot better than a flat -3 damage.  :thumbsup:


Honestly, that's been my main consternation with this whole discussion across two threads (one locked) at the moment.  TPTB made a bad game design decision (an unnecessary singularity) for no perceptible reason.  LRCs would be just as irrelevant to the vast majority of players if they did 1 point of damage, and those of us who care wouldn't be complaining.  Consistency is my #1 priority, and I don't see how that harms TPTB's bottom line in any way.  Seriously... I gave up on 40K the edition after Rogue Trader because I saw exactly where that nonsense was going, and lo and behold, we've had it for over 20 years now.  Companies who base their business models on "there's a sucker born every minute" have suckers for customers, no matter how many of them there are.

That's how I feel. I probably wouldn't have given Rifles, reduced damage a second though if the Light was only reduced to 1. It doing 0 is what caused me to question it.

I also wish things were more consistent. I know things change over the years but the differences between TW and AtoW is just frustrating.

Maingunnery

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #84 on: 01 July 2021, 17:03:07 »
Actually it is true as we've had a variety "abstracted" infantry types for 30+ years now. Rifle, Laser, Flamer, SRM, MG. TM just allows us greater variety, and I believe some of the weapons are intentionally nerfed so that the older "abstracted" infantry are still valid.
Sorry I can't make sense of your reply, it doesn't seem to be connected to my post. Could you please rephrase it?
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Daryk

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #85 on: 01 July 2021, 17:39:03 »
What reference are you using RifleMech?  Most of your weapon conversions are right, but Auto-Rifles are only 0.52 and Support Lasers are only 0.84 by the current Tech Manual errata.

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #86 on: 01 July 2021, 18:43:22 »
Monbvol: switching the BD per TW point of damage to 4.5 (from 6) seems to work with the assumptions of every TW scale weapon getting the "splash" bonus and a single shot.  Did you not try varying that parameter?

RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #87 on: 01 July 2021, 19:37:45 »
Sorry I can't make sense of your reply, it doesn't seem to be connected to my post. Could you please rephrase it?

Sorry about that.

Cannonshop said,
Quote
Quote from: Cannonshop on 30 June 2021, 11:19:54
YOUR solution means retconning something close to forty years worth of game materials, novels, sourcebooks, stories, tradition, and player involvement.

You replied,
Not true, the proposed solution does not affect all infantry weapons just the small arms (nails, pistols, rifles), the old traditional anti-Mech weapons such as missile launchers, field guns and explosive satchels remain. This will result in more purposeful infantry that would be a better match for the universe.

I'm saying that Cannonshop is right. Infantry have been using small arms (Rifles) since at least 1987. That's almost 35 years of Rifles doing damage to Mechs and Vehicles. That's 35 years of all those things Cannonshop mentioned needing to be retconned.

Now I can see an advanced rule saying that "For additional realism,  Infantry weapons that do or are using ammo with an AP of 4 or less will have no impact on BAR 5 or greater.  Armor Piercing Ammo rounds are played normally." or something. It wouldn't retcon anything, just add an extra degree of realism for those that want it.


What reference are you using RifleMech?  Most of your weapon conversions are right, but Auto-Rifles are only 0.52 and Support Lasers are only 0.84 by the current Tech Manual errata.

I was looking in TechManual and you're right. Sorry about that.  I really hate reading PDFs with these glasses. I'll fix it.

Monbvol: switching the BD per TW point of damage to 4.5 (from 6) seems to work with the assumptions of every TW scale weapon getting the "splash" bonus and a single shot.  Did you not try varying that parameter?


So instead of x6 you think it should be x4.5? So a small laser or LRC would have an BD of 13.5 instead of 18?

Daryk

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #88 on: 01 July 2021, 19:53:54 »
13.5 rounded to 14, yes.

RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannon Math
« Reply #89 on: 01 July 2021, 20:13:12 »
13.5 rounded to 14, yes.

Cool!  :thumbsup:

 

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