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Author Topic: Does anyone else dislike the clans?  (Read 36962 times)

igycrctl

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Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« on: 15 December 2018, 09:37:07 »
I’m a returning player. I played the IS stuff with my friends in high school. Got out just as the clans were arriving. Then I didn’t play Battletech for 30+ years. Not because of anything related to the game, just life took over. Now I’m back, but most games I see are clan invasion. I don’t think I like the clans. From a lore perspective, they don’t make sense to me. From a game perspective, they seem to have amazing ‘mechs that can do everything: running, shooting, and managing their heat well. They don’t seem to force players to make decisions: shoot or run, heat management, like the older less efficient designs do. I guess as a positive, with the super deadly weapons and the better gunnery skill the game does move more quickly.

Maybe I need to give them more time. Would love for someone to convince me that the clans are awesome. Thanks for listening. I await all the responses.

Luciora

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #1 on: 15 December 2018, 09:43:30 »
Standard "Its your game, play the way you like." response. 

I was surprised by the introduction of the clans myself, but I think the shock was highly mitigated by the fact I was mainly collecting TROs at the time, and just saw it as new toys and tech to play with mentally, having already been primed by tro:2750. 

I wasn't heavily into the lore at the time, nor did I have any favored factions so there was no real broken feelings for me once way or the other.

Daryk

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #2 on: 15 December 2018, 09:57:37 »
There are a few around here who avoid the clans like the plague (me among them), so even if you don't come to like them, you won't be alone.  As a long time poster here once said, "BattleTech is a huge house" (I forget which one).  Luciora is spot on with "play the way you like".

EDIT: I saw it in ColBosch's signature line (who's sadly no longer active), quoting nckestrel (who is still around).
« Last Edit: 15 December 2018, 10:06:10 by Daryk »

NeonKnight

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #3 on: 15 December 2018, 09:58:00 »
I only dislike them as EVERYTHING they have has to be better than the Inner Sphere:

Lower Tonnage on most weapons
Lower Crit Slots on most Weapons
Better Range on most weapons
Better Damage on Most weapons
Better Double Heat Sinks across the board

All of the above leads to a Ton-for-Ton better armed/armored/heat efficient mech for the Clans compared to the inner sphere.
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caioaf

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #4 on: 15 December 2018, 10:05:28 »
From a lore perspective, they don’t make sense to me.
It is a game about giant robots fighting space feudal wars. The entire setting does not make sense if you think about it

igycrctl

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #5 on: 15 December 2018, 10:19:24 »
I’m actually going to be playing them again tomorrow, so I guess I don’t dislike them that much.  :) My personal feeling is that I will play what others are playing, because it is better to have played than not. Just glad I’m not alone in my general distaste for the clans. I even watched the entire Battletech animated series to see if I could get into the story. I liked the show, but not the clans too much. Of course, they are the villains, and I don’t think we are supposed to like them.

Sartris

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #6 on: 15 December 2018, 10:27:42 »
From a lore perspective, I find all of the factions mostly ridiculous. The Jihad-era breakup of the free worlds league is really one of the only outcomes I actually buy in the whole timeline. I accept the rest because the game is fun and I’m not going to paint myself into a corner that avoids 80% of published materials after 1992. In a universe rebuild I think a lot of us would probably be like “yeah let’s not do that” but until then this is what we’ve got

Post 3050 is where the game itself actually becomes interesting for me. I have little love for the good ole days before then and without the early 90s shift I would have moved on long ago. IS tech catches up and differentiates enough by 3060 to counter the big bad clans. If anything, fighting against the clans improved my tactical awareness subatially because making bad moves will be severely punished. It’s also where I learned to use combined arms effectively since vehicles and infantry fall outside of the clan honor system and can be exploited for good advantage

Also there’s battle value balancing. The clans’ gunnery advantage becomes less appealing when they have to pay a 38% fee on top of their already more expensive machines. Playing the clans requires a bit of RP buy in. Bidding also reduces the clan advantage by intentionally holding part of your force back to prove to your brethren your prowess.

Ultimately you should play what you like to play. It’s all pointless if you’re not having fun.

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #7 on: 15 December 2018, 10:31:23 »
It's far to say MechWarrior 2 played a big part of why I became a fan of the BTU and I can't imagine the game without the TimberWolf.

Also been playing allot of 3rd SW games, plenty of room for both.
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The_Livewire

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #8 on: 15 December 2018, 10:35:23 »
They are ok,  Given my preferences, I like the clans as antagonists, and the Nova Cats/Sprint Cats for obvious reasons, but their tech does grate on me at times, as Neon Knight mentioned above.

You might look at the Empires Aflame one shot.  It proposes a universe where Kerensky got a sniper round to the head pre-Exodus, and the SLDF didn't go away.  It's a rough outline on a Time of War adventure, but it is interesting.
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Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #9 on: 15 December 2018, 10:48:43 »
I've always felt that the Clans as a theme are a "Villain of the Week" schtick that's loooooong overplayed its welcome and as a rules-aspect are munchkin magnets.  So, yeah pretty much nothing but negative feelings about the Clans.

However, even as a staunch Clan-hater, I have to admit that FASA did a better job portraying a fictional society than they did with the Inner Sphere itself.  The chronic questions of "why do populations have such ridiculously tiny armies" and "I get why there's such a hodge-podge of units available in the game, but why would formations be that way in-universe.. the logistics is sheer insanity" and especially "Why are sheeple willing to just let some offworld warriors fight some battle like a sporting event to decide their family's fates" are better answered by the descriptions of Clan society than by the descriptions of how things work in the Great Houses.  Hell, aside from House Kurita, the Inner Sphere doesn't even have any made-up lexicon of words and phrases so that fans can talk 'in character'.

It's very much like FASA invented a second BattleTech universe and then mashed the new one into the old one.

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #10 on: 15 December 2018, 11:05:17 »
I would also point out that by 3140s the IS produces some Clan lasers, and due to the fluff of the draw-down the Clans quit producing as much of their gear and so had to take in IS stuff to beef up their forces.

Plenty of timeframes to play in as someone mentioned . . . and since I have played that way, its fun to fight the Clans as they invade though its really hard to get that 'shock' impact of the unknown invaders.  I also had fun at our local Con when folks moved from the grinder to one of the RP events, "You guys are space samurai and we are Mongol invaders with a dueling code.  If you accept challenges we will fight as declared until its resolved."  Despite the recommendation of the veteran players on their side, the rookies decided to accept some of the challenges to let the duels play out while using what was not involved in the melee on the other side of the map they were defending.  Of course, we were RP'ing the Smoke Jaguars so the cocky challenges were rolled out and they were actually fair-ish fights, we fought up 1 weight class IIRC.

Part of the problem with the 3025 hate is that the Clans were new (WERE, its been over 25 years . . . ), were introduced without a easy balance mechanism, and b/c of the power creep attracted certain types of players.  Those players moved on . . . for the most part, and now most of your Clan players you will find are folks who came to the game b/c of MW2 (and are Clan adherents the same reason the grognards hold to the 5 Houses) or came in through later games like MW4 and so are set for 3060 era.

If you are getting back into the game you may want to look at MegaMek, its a computer version of the table top that is shareware and lets you play people from across the globe.


TDC, citizens/residents were for the most part sheeple as described before the Napoleonic era.  Since they houses are supposed to be lifted, depending on opinions, from eras prior to that point it makes some sense.  Its just a lack of historical perspective.
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Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #11 on: 15 December 2018, 11:16:45 »
TDC, citizens/residents were for the most part sheeple as described before the Napoleonic era.  Since they houses are supposed to be lifted, depending on opinions, from eras prior to that point it makes some sense.  Its just a lack of historical perspective.

I was just saying that FASA's efforts to flesh out Clan Society were actually better done than their efforts to do the same for the Inner Sphere.  Something they invented whole is inherently more consistent than mashing together contexts from before and after invention of Westphalian sovereignty :D
« Last Edit: 15 December 2018, 11:28:21 by Tai Dai Cultist »

SteveRestless

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #12 on: 15 December 2018, 11:53:27 »
as a dedicated clan player, most of the time it feels like a good 60% of the vocal fanbase dislikes the clans. I would probably have never gotten into the game to the depth I have without them though.

I like their technology. the clans, and the things innovated by the inner sphere in response to the arrival of the clans make games go faster. I have more fun and get more options by way of their inclusion. it is markedly not the same game as one plays in 3025, and whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is personal opinion. It's not even a munchkin thing really, I don't mind if everyone has access to the technology. I think the inner sphere should have been replicating invasion era clantech by the start of the jihad really.

I like warrior cultures. the clans are bands of Warriors and not Soldiers, and I find it far more enjoyable to play an exceptional warrior character, out for personal strength and glory as much as the success of his tribe, than I do an unremarkable soldier, whose strength is entirely a function of the whole. I also like the "High Tech, High Skilled, Highly Outnumbered" aspect of the clans. I like it in the clans, I like it in other media too. the clans have nothing on most gundam shows' tech/numbers gap, for example.

I like that the Clans have an unusual culture, that their norms and values are rearranged by the experiment that bore them. The clan system being what it is, means an individual warrior need not fear death so much, knowing that his legacy continuing is not wholly dependent on his survival. I love their system of Trials, it's a great way to facilitate small unit actions without stunting the growth of the world around them. You're fighting five on five because that's all the objective in question is worth, not because five mechs is all you could get ahold of.

Battletech is also a game about fighting. Warrior Cultures and their obsession with points of honor and conduct are WONDERFUL for providing excuses to fight, and with the Trials in the clans, you are never lacking for a reason to have a battle. You are having this duel because of this unforgivable slight to your honor. or to refuse the outcome of a political decision, or for possession of that mcguffin over there. You can constantly fight, but do not have to do so at the fever pitch of all-out-war.

Really, there's very little functional difference between the way of the clans and the way of the succession wars when you really look at it. You say objective raid, I say trial of possession. You say retalliation strike, I say trial of grievance. You might find the trappings a little goofy if you're not into them the way I am, but they're tracing the same path.

I like the clan rank system, it's very straightforward.

I like the clan organizational systems. With the different definitions of what constitutes a "Point" in a star, you can do some very interesting things in playing around with unit composition. If by the fluff I'm going to be forced to adopt combined arms, I may as well get something out of that.
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NeonKnight

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #13 on: 15 December 2018, 11:59:20 »
The problem is CLAN tech is (rules wise) Different from IS Tech. They just can't (without special rules) be used on opposing tech chassis. In other words, an existing Atlas AS7-D cannot just take it's IS AC20 and swap it out for the Clan tech AC20, because "your filbert flange won't mesh with their grapple grommets". All Clan tech is Proprietary :(

Below are a couple of examples of CLAN superiority

IS ER Large Laser
Heat: 12
Damage: 8
Short: 1-7
Med: 8-14
Long: 15-19
Tons: 5
Slots: 2

CLAN ER Large Laser
Heat: 12 same
Damage: 10 2 better
Short: 1-8 1 better
Med: 9-15 1 better
Long: 16-25 6 better
Tons: 4 -1 ton
Slots: 1 -1 slot

So the CLAN ER Large is better than the IS on Damage, Range, Tonnage and Slots. But HEY! What is saves on weight it can make up for on a double heat sink, so, win-win!

Or one of the BIGGEST offenders

INNER SPHERE Large Pulse Laser
Heat: 10
Damage: 9
Short: 1-3
Med: 4-7
Long: 8-10
Tons: 7
Slots: 2

CLAN Large Pulse Laser
Heat: 10 same
Damage: 10 +2 damage
Short: 1-6 x2 IS range
Med: 7-14 surpasses IS long range
Long: 15-20 x2 IS long range
Tons: 6 1 ton light
Slots: 2 same

So again, every aspect is better than IS! Stay outside IS long range and you are effectively at medium range for the Clan weapon, and because it's a Pulse, you are effectively looking at Short range To Hit numbers thanx to the -2 modifier for Pulse Weapons.

I honestly think if the game moves past 3150, there needs to be a 'reboot' of sorts and just go through the weapon charts and say...OK we took the 'best weapons' from both Tech Bases and they are now the default going forward. Both IS and Clan have access to them.

It's why in the real world, no-one wages ware with muskets and flint-lockes any more ;)
« Last Edit: 15 December 2018, 18:10:11 by NeonKnight »
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Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #14 on: 15 December 2018, 12:06:17 »
Really, there's very little functional difference between the way of the clans and the way of the succession wars when you really look at it. You say objective raid, I say trial of possession. You say retalliation strike, I say trial of grievance. You might find the trappings a little goofy if you're not into them the way I am, but they're tracing the same path.

This is another dimension of what I was saying FASA did better with the Clans than with the Inner Sphere.

Give things goofy made up names... you don't get (as prone to being) stuck extrapolating real-world military science into the fictional game.  How much grief has been, in the entirety of BattleTech fandom, trying to rationalize the logic in a lance or company sized Recon Raid across interstellar space?  And c'mon, the entire (pre-Clan) setting is basically predicated on such military actions.  However hard (or impossible) it is to explain that logic grounded in real-life military science, the Clans doing the exact same thing makes sense because "reasons".  They're crazy to begin with.  They're too proud to spy, so obviously they just send warriors to go violently look at things.  And what they're looking at isn't an entire planet anyway; it'd just be a highly finite enclave on that planet.  Etc.

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #15 on: 15 December 2018, 12:15:25 »
Um . . . the only thing that prevents a Clan weapon from being mounted on a battlemech is the normal customization rolls with maybe a difficulty modifier.  Its not done except in old L3 rules b/c its mixed tech which can get more abusive but that is not something you are worrying about for campaign play.  But its along the same lines as taking that old AC/20 and replacing it with a LB-20X- still going to have those difficulty rolls.  Except for Omni-mechs, IIRC the Dragon Roars fluff they came up with those configurations b/c the universal nature of Omnipods made it easy to reconfigure the IS Omnis if you captured enough Clan weapons.

By 3130s, a lot of the chassis are mixed tech (Wulfen uses CC developed armor for example) and you do have a few cases where the IS weapon is superior- for instance I prefer Plasma Rifles over Plasma Cannon b/c I want to be able to damage that mech besides just heating it.  Snub PPCs have the longest short range for more than 2 damage, wresting that mark away from the Clan ERLL.

And the Clans pay in BV for the superior tech- especially since most IS players I have run across are quite happy to play in a phone booth of 2x2.  Without more room, the more numerous (with correspondingly more armor to shoot through) IS will be able to pin the Clan player against the edge.  With BV balance, the Clans are not a 'I Win' button, more like 'You Lose' due to the way games are normally set up.

They may not take muskets but folks do and can take M1s against modern semi-automatic rifles.  Clan vs IS dynamic has often been quantity vs quality- as the future of the 80s, it always strikes me as NATO vs Pact.
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NeonKnight

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #16 on: 15 December 2018, 12:22:52 »
So, as I said, 'special rules' to allow mixed tech.

From the TECH MANUAL page 19, TECHNOLOGY BASE


Quote
The technology base (tech base) of a given unit determines
its access to components and its general level of
sophistication. Most units in standard rules (as presented in
Total Warfare) game play fall into two broad technological
categories: Clan and Inner Sphere. Clan technology is more
advanced, lighter, more powerful and generally more compact
than Inner Sphere technology. The broader industrial
capacity of the Inner Sphere and Periphery, however, means
that such equipment is generally more varied, less expensive
and easier to obtain and maintain.

Equipment and components are generally assigned a Clan
or Inner Sphere technology base in the core construction rules,
as well as in the Equipment section (starting on p. 200) and the
Equipment Tables (starting on p. 341). Units built with a Clan
Technology Base may only use equipment and components
available to the Clans, while units built with an Inner Sphere
Technology Base may only use equipment and components
available to the Inner Sphere.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #17 on: 15 December 2018, 12:50:08 »
Yeah . . . 'Core' construction rules which means 3050/3060 setting and explicitly for OOC use.  You were talking about modifying a existing chassis as a 1 off, which in the customization rules is not too much harder than the swap I mentioned- if you have the parts.  You are citing a OOC/Meta/rules complaint from 3050s/60s (fluff I can find in TM says '67) and trying to address it to 'in universe' concerns when its done OOC for simplification based on the time frame.  Also IIRC there are the prototype & experimental designs from that era (Invasion & Civil War) that are mixed tech- designed and built in universe that way, but for OOC rules purposes are considered advanced (thus optional) tech.

A unit built/designed for 3120 does not have that segregated tech base problem since Clan, IS or Mixed are all equal options at that time frame
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NeonKnight

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #18 on: 15 December 2018, 12:58:04 »
Which is all still optional rules. That entire chapter in STRATEGIC OPERATIONS is optional rules.

And show me ONE person who utilizes those rules to routinely swap out CLAN tech for their Inner Sphere counterparts ;)
« Last Edit: 15 December 2018, 13:02:14 by NeonKnight »
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Sartris

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #19 on: 15 December 2018, 13:05:26 »
Pendantic arguing about the rules makes every thread better

NeonKnight

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #20 on: 15 December 2018, 13:11:11 »
Pendantic arguing about the rules makes every thread better

It does, doesn't it ;)
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Colt Ward

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #21 on: 15 December 2018, 13:14:41 »
TPTB used IS Stealth Armor on the Wulfen as cited.

You are swinging back & forth between customization and construction rules- they are two different things and neither is a BTU setting.  Customization rules are also optional, and if you are not using them then you are going to replace that AC/20 with another AC/20.  But Joe Bob Tech is not going to walk over to his mechwarrior and tell him the shiny new Clan UAC/20 they pulled off a wrecked Stormcrow cannot be put on his Atlas b/c only a bog standard AC/20 can be put in that space because rules.  He will tell him its going to take longer, be harder, and might cause damage to the cannon or the mech if they screw up adapting it into the chassis.

MMLs for SRMs, Plasma Rifle for Plasma Cannon as already mentioned

And for 3130s as mentioned, the Wulfen and Clan laser armed Black Knights are considered 'normal' units w/o special rules since the 'Advanced' rules are default for that timeframe.
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I am Belch II

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #22 on: 15 December 2018, 13:38:17 »
Ive always liked the Clans, but I know many people don't. I think many of the clan rules and tactics make the superior tech on a even footing. I don't know of a Battletech with out the Clans. For a while the Word of Blake were getting all the new tech hell even changed a huge part of the rules for them. Just as much as the clans.
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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #23 on: 15 December 2018, 13:43:05 »
Equipment Compatability rules always read to me like someone who thinks of mechs as being like computers in the 90s, and I doubt they were written by someone who actually wrenches on shit or wires it up for a living.

There's nothing stopping someone from dropping a Chevy engine into a Ford Chassis, or using a Bosch sensor with a DMP Security system. Heck, said DMP security system can happily use their main competitor's wireless sensors because they manufacture a wireless receiver designed to do exactly that. I can mount a picatinny rail on a SKS and use modern gun accessories on a rifle from the end of world war II. Analog cameras with a digital recorder? I can offer a very nice 4, 8 or 16 channel converter. Wherever there's a mismatch in technologies, you'll usually find something to span that gap.

It would take all of no time flat for someone to start manufacturing intermediary controllers to handle the weapon's databus, power converters to step down voltage/amperage issues, connectors to mate IS harnesses and cooling lines to clan recievers.

Wrong flange? weld the right one in. Can't join lego bricks to duplo blocks? Get me some sandpaper and epoxy. Software incompatability? Bridges and Emulators.

"Tech Base" is a silly game mechanic at this scale. It's not like we have Faction A using Nanobots, Faction B using Enchanted Meat, and Faction C using Steampunk.
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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #24 on: 15 December 2018, 14:26:13 »
I only dislike them as EVERYTHING they have has to be better than the Inner Sphere:

Lower Tonnage on most weapons
Lower Crit Slots on most Weapons
Better Range on most weapons
Better Damage on Most weapons
Better Double Heat Sinks across the board

All of the above leads to a Ton-for-Ton better armed/armored/heat efficient mech for the Clans compared to the inner sphere.
This. I find it incredibly irritating that somehow they manage to still produce these things so well, *without* drawbacks in any way.
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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #25 on: 15 December 2018, 14:27:49 »
Responding to the OP, I find the Clans fine lorewise. The SLDF disappearing was a major point of the setting since the beginning, IIRC, so having them return makes perfect sense. Gameplay wise, I am a bit disgruntled with how overtuned their weapons are. With their starting advantages in 3050, they don't really have any way to improve the way that the IS has over the decades without being even more broken. I mean, just look at the ERML. The ERML is better being a Large Laser than the actual Large Laser aside from an irrelevant decrease in damage (neither 7 nor 8 damage cross any important breakpoints). A 1 ton laser being better in nearly every category than a weapon 5 times its tonnage is just insane. There's no way to evolve from that.

Snub PPCs have the longest short range for more than 2 damage, wresting that mark away from the Clan ERLL.

Eh, Snubbies are good for the techbase, but its competition on the Clan side isn't the ERLL, it's the LPL. Construction-wise they're effectively identical, but the LPL is obviously so much more better.

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #26 on: 15 December 2018, 16:09:27 »
I really dislike "The Clans" as originally introduced - overpowered tech, a thin cultural veneer laid over the basest might makes right power structure, an utterly implausible social structure, & a military advance by brute force utterly devoid of guile.  There rivalries seemed more meaningless than those of professional sports teams, & their equipment attracted the worst power gamers.

Now though? I'm much more mellow. Despite my distaste for how they began, I've found the way various Clans have been forced to adapt to life in the Inner Sphere & evolve & integrate culturally relatively interesting. That War of Reaving seemed like the inevitable end game of Clan culture albeit delayed by around a century didn't hurt either. I still dislike their tech-base. Not because it is inherently better than Inner Sphere tech - technological advancements are inevitable, & the Inner Sphere has begun to catch up as of the 3140s - but because nearly all of its advancements are offensive in nature, which I feel damages the game experience by minimizing the benefits gained by defensive movement & positioning & maximizing the benefits of rushing to range & praying for lucky hits. In a Clantech engagement, terrain & positioning matter much less than just putting as many guns on target as possible & praying for a headcap or TAC. That there are a handful of Clantech weapons that are significantly better than all the others doesn't really endear me to their equipment either. IS options are just so much more varied & interesting.

Elmoth

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #27 on: 15 December 2018, 16:33:06 »
The thing that I dislike the most is not he clans (that I just find laughable) but double heat sinks. And thanks thot reintroduced by the helm memory core.

That thing breaks the whole setting of "heat matters". This was a cornerstone of differenciation between BT and other Mecha universes. Now it is just a generic Mecha universe like the other dozens of Mecha settings.

In any case the setting seems to be designed as to only allow itself to advance through melodrama that breaks everything. Clans. Then Blake. Then the next tantrum of the Fortress. All drama queens. A more organic setting that evolves without breaking itself would be welcome for a change. This is why I prefer the periphery: the supporting cast works much more consistently than the main actors.

Sartris

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #28 on: 15 December 2018, 16:51:40 »
Good riddance. Another annoying micromanaging aspect in a game full of them

In any case the setting seems to be designed as to only allow itself to advance through melodrama that breaks everything. Clans. Then Blake. Then the next tantrum of the Fortress. All drama queens. A more organic setting that evolves without breaking itself would be welcome for a change. This is why I prefer the periphery: the supporting cast works much more consistently than the main actors.

Sounds like world history 1870-1950 to me. Ymmv

MadCapellan

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Re: Does anyone else dislike the clans?
« Reply #29 on: 15 December 2018, 17:39:34 »
Good riddance. Another annoying micromanaging aspect in a game full of them

I like the heat rules, but I like them better with double heat sinks. Damage output on single heat sink designs is just so paltry that it drastically slows game resolution without meaningfully changing game outcomes. I can design a 'Mech around overheating whether or not I use single heat sinks, & with both I still end up paying in penalties later on for damage up front, but when players play conservatively with their heat - and most of the players I've met do - it takes players twice as many turns to chew through the same amount of armor with no appreciable difference in whether or not the 'Mech is destroyed. Essentially, double heat sinks allow you to halve the number of turns of play without changing how your tactics on the map will decide victory. Having to spend an additional turn firing only two medium lasers while you cool down doesn't really add to the overall game experience, it just detracts from it.