BattleTech - The Board Game of Armored Combat

BattleTech Player Boards => Fan Designs and Rules => Topic started by: Daemion on 17 September 2021, 23:23:09

Title: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 17 September 2021, 23:23:09
I was originally going to try to keep this private, at the suggestion of someone who'd been a little too enthusiastic of their criticism of certain recent products. And, I did, even though I actually felt it might get more traction being put in front of the most amount of eyes.  >:D

But, then one of the recipients suggested that I post it here for discussion.  That person said "Verbatim".  So, here it is. I've struck out sections as they're not pertinent to the idea in question, but left them for completeness, so that you can see how much of a squeaky wheel I might have been. 

(Aside - For clarification: I feel that a message like this could be perceived as annoying. While I offer constructive ideas, it is still criticism.  And, who really likes getting called out for someone's opinion of perceived failures, whether they have merit or not?  Especially publicly. So, I was trying to be cute by acknowledging that from the start.)

But, my question stands, currently.  Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?

Quote
I would love to be annoying and post this down in the general forums to put the topic in front of the largest amount of eyes.  However, someone who had 'pushed a little too hard' on problems with a recent publication had advised that I keep it private.

So, I will.  However, I want a response so that I know you've at least reviewed my concerns.

My Inference
It had come to my attention in the last couple months that the Mech Manual doesn't have infantry as a support option.  I haven't been paying attention to the KSs, so I don't know if there are any plans for conventional forces in an expansion.

I'm both heartened and disappointed at the same time.  I know that some of the rules designers are not satisfied with how TW does infantry.  I have to admit I'm not a fan of the current rules, myself.  I know at least one contributor who thinks Infantry shouldn't be able to hurt armored units.  I both agree and disagree at the same time.

But, I can't help but infer that you guys don't know how to tackle infantry.

Do you go against your old promise that you can use any old sheets?  I know that is a thing that had been stated by older BT Devs.  Problem is that the current rules for conventional forces, especially conventional infantry go against the lore notion that BattleMechs are the supreme ground combat unit.  But!  I think they have their place in limited situations.


With what I imagine to be a growing success with the new boxes, (When can I by new Warhammers?!?)  I expect you're going to see an influx of players who will dive into the lore where they can find it.  They will be putting forth questions that we've seen on the forums before, but of which you have yet to give an honest, official take on.  FASA Socio-Economics and Infantry effectiveness go hand-in-hand.

In my opinion, it's high time you guys came down to a decision.  Do you support the lore and reform the rules to better emulate them?  Or do you reform the lore to support your current rule-set?  And, if you can't commit, either way, it's time to start looking at supporting divergent views with an optional rules frame-work.  (Maximum Tech did that in some regards. I don't see TacOps actually providing that, truly.)


Brief History Lesson
The actual FASAnomics aside, I would like to point out some of the rules evolutions regarding infantry in BT Rules.

In the old BattleDroids, Infantry squads only had access to the light weapons sported on Mechs and tanks: Small Laser, Flamer, and Machine Gun.  Also, a single point of damage would wipe out a squad.  Imagine what that could do with a full platoon. (Aside: I imagine that the point of damage was enough to take out the support weapon(s) in use.  The squad itself could still be mobile, but ineffective against armor.)


It was City Tech that introduced the body-count life-meter we know and love today.  (Well, I don't exactly love it.  I'd prefer an updated version of the BattleDroids infantry rules.  More on that later.)
 That has been the standard with only minor tweaks to how they deal and take damage, and even a means of defining a platoon's damage value and attack range.

Did you notice?  The earliest version of the game had infantry that were more or less only good when setting up ambushes or holding installations.


My Suggestions - Free of Charge (Show me where to sign in blood to give them away.)
I find the current body-count life-meter rather boring.  They're no fun.  So, while I do want to see them fielded in limited situations, I'd rather one of two different approaches.

Infantry Pogs
Completely abstract Infantry squads.  Give them two or three stat numbers, and a role.  Now, a role doesn't strictly have to be combat oriented.  Like a Coolant Truck or a MHQ, they could provide support in the form of bonuses, or effects.  Maybe a command platoon that gives an initiative bonus.  Or, spotters for indirect/artillery fire.  Maybe a sig-int squad that can disrupt C3 effects like a mobile ECM, or can spot for C3 systems like those C3 pods.

The video games would be great examples for more.  A squad can operate a turret or gate-house for one side.  Have an infantry with an anti-infantry role that goes in to clear out a building and escort a replacement squad to change the side who benefits from the building's effect.  Engineers can come in to hot-wire unpowered units and put a crew or pilot into it.

And, you don't need a body-count life meter for that.  You just need a couple basic stats that determine how well the unit can take fire, return it, and perform their role.


Revised BattleTroops
Infantry need more detail to be truly fun on an expanded battlefield.  It might have to be on a different scale of damage, and maybe on a different scale altogether.  Regardless, you can make infantry week against armored units by allowing them to be detoothed easily, but still have some long-term presence if people desire.

Support weapons would be the only way to harm armored units.  And, those weapons can be targeted and knocked out at range with ease.  The squad doesn't have to be wiped out completely, and they would still have an anti-infantry attack value that they can use to track down other infantry and engage.

Roles could still be applied, here, too.


BT-compatible Generic Sci-Fi Ground Combat Game
Does Catalyst have its own Generic Sci-Fi combat game, yet?

If you're concerned about not being able to sell enough conventional boxes with infantry, maybe you should consider making a BattleTroops, BattleForce and BattleSpace style set of games in their own universes, but design them so that they can be integrated into BattleTech along with the optional rules to do so.

You could then tap into other potential Sci-fi wargamer crowds who might not be interested in Giant War Robots.

After all, wouldn't it be fun to tackle such historical events (Out of BT Lore) such as World War III and the Second Soviet Revolution, or the expansion of the different star empires before the Star League and the advent of the BattleMech?  Would those be BattleTech, really, without the Mech?  Space and Infantry Combat rule the day in that period.

And, as for a revised BattleForce, what is that, really, than setting up Battalion and Regimental skirmishes on a larger map?  (You have a good frame-work in your low-altitude maps...  :thumbsup: )

Conclusion
Yup!  Best to tackle those strange issues, now.  Time to come up with an officially recognized vision and stick with it.  Or, it's time to point out the issues, and offer suggestions on how to implement a couple three visions in the form of optional rules.

Again.  Respond to this so I know that you're taking it into consideration.  If I don't get a reply by Friday, 24 September, then I will conclude I'm being ignored.   

Thanks.

So! Thoughts?  Discuss.

And, Merry GenCon for all those in attendance.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 17 September 2021, 23:55:05
Infantry and battle armor need not be different rules wise.  A platoon of infantry would lose the +1 modifier since it isn't squad sized, but 4x7 troopers versus 4 troopers with 6 armor and 1 body would function the same, no need for damage rounding or anything else other than burst fire bonus damage.  Each squad, like each member of a battle armor squad, would carry 1-2 BA scale weapons like srms, mguns, ect, just like battle droids--no need for any other weapon on a record sheet.

For clans, give them heavy armor, so their 5 man squads have 2 pips, for 7 total to match IS.  Comstar 6 mans have 1 pip of armor, also making them 7/squad.  No squad can go over 10 armor/structure.

Mech infantry would be the same, collections of small vehicles with armor and structure and different motive types, functioning as primitive and heavier battle armor--same as how battledroids had a jeep with 5 armor--just put 4 jeeps in a platoon for a mech infantry platoon.

This is more or less a KISS approach to match infantry with existing battle armor rules found in the clan invasion--the only difference being that battle armor gets a +1 to be hit thanks to squad deployment versus infantry platoon.  Drastically simplifies infantry on the table, no need for a new record sheet.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Aotrs Commander on 18 September 2021, 05:02:46
I don't think it is that Catalyst doesn't know how to handle infantry, it is that BattleTech was never written with the intention of infantry being anything other than cannon fodder in a game about giant stompy robots. I can absolutely garentee you, the original authors of the BT infantry rules did not do any research on how infantry SHOULD act, but just decided what games mechanics they wanted to use for them (which is how 95% of wargames rules are written, even histroical ones, unfortunately.) Catalyst has inherited that baseline, and while they have improved things a bit from say, the Rules Compendium (which is pretty much where I came in), they haven't - like the rest of BattleTech - changed anything dramatically as would be needed. BT's historical rules inertia is good in some ways, but not in others.

To handle infantry "properly" you would be better served by not giving them hit points AT ALL, and instead using a more abstracted system that better handles fear, fire and fatigue, suppression, cover and most importantly at all, spotting. (Something that aside from hidden units, is an area that BattleTech isn't set-up to really handle, especially as the primary means of play is still assumed to be mapsheets, which by their nature are more abstracted.) You shouldn't be interested in whether the infantry dude is dead or wounded (he's out of action either way), really, just whether the unit is still combat ineffective or not. (As BT would have your infantry kiilled off one by one until the last man dies, which is... Not Really A Thing that happens. Just think about landmines, for an easy real-world example. They are designed to wound more than kill, since  a wounded dude takes out two enemy combatants - the wounded one and the bloke that has to carry him. BattleTech, by assigning infantry one (or even more) hit points, makes infantry a binary state, which doesn't serve how they really do work.

(By the same token, BT doesn't have any kind of morale at all for anything else, either, and every basically fights to the death. You never get vehicle crews abandoning a nearly-destroyed vehicle as they do in the real world. Nor for BattleMechs - something that some of the mods to HBS BT do, like when enemy morale gets low, they automatically punch out. But I can see there's a good argument why you might not want to implement that in a game that's small numbers about giant stompy robots, since it takes some of the control out of a small number of units out of the player's hand.)

A PBI dropped to ground, nor firing and just grovelling out of the way, should not able to be spotted to be attacked at all, you shouldn't be able to TARGET infantry with heavy weapons individually (because catching infantry in the open should only happen if they enemy really, really screws up) - the best you'd hope for would be hopefully suppress the squad, rather than actually kill anyone. And the only way to dislodge infantry from a defended fighting position should be, in the end, other infantry. (Even artillery isn't terribly effective, since in the real world, its role is more keeping the enemy in position, and to actual destroy stuff takes a long and extended bombardment which uses a great deal of ammo. But that's a whole other complex kettle of fish.)

If you wanted infantry to be more "real", you would have to make such that they AREN'T the cannon fodder BattleTech has always treated them as (as the lowest rung in a game principlely about vehicle combat), but the way to do that would be to do the really NASTY thing of starting to make stuff no be able to see in every direction at once, which is when vehicles have to start be worried about infantry. Since if you don't see the little snot firing an anti-tank round from his position on the rear of a building/forest/rear hill slope up your arse, you can't do frack all about it.

(Battle Armour is a bit of a grey area, since they're sort of really more of one-man vehicle and they function adequately for the their intended purpose.)

But doing so would be fundementally making a bit of a paradigm shift. I could suggest ways this could be accomplished, but I feel I'd mostly be parroting Maneouvre Group, which does handle infantry in a way such that they are simulated such that real-world tactics work. But the "problem" with that is that... You have to actually learn how fight like a real-world general, and that's, like, hard, sufficiently hard that the authors of that game even admit that it's only for the really geeky. They have more than a few people who have played that game say its just to hard a thinking exercise (nevermind that the rules are simpler than BT's).

You could, do it, though if you were prepared to. BattleTech is, because of its storied history, one of the few games I've seen that DOES make at least a token effort to deal with often-ignored issues like dead ground, which is more than most wargames rules do, and even (if perhaps somewhat nominally) things like Turning the Tank Turret, which is considered to be Grossly Over-Complicated by some rules. So there is some precedent.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: SCC on 18 September 2021, 05:31:54
I don't think it is that Catalyst doesn't know how to handle infantry, it is that BattleTech was never written with the intention of infantry being anything other than cannon fodder in a game about giant stompy robots. I can absolutely garentee you, the original authors of the BT infantry rules did not do any research on how infantry SHOULD act, but just decided what games mechanics they wanted to use for them (which is how 95% of wargames rules are written, even histroical ones, unfortunately.) Catalyst has inherited that baseline, and while they have improved things a bit from say, the Rules Compendium (which is pretty much where I came in), they haven't - like the rest of BattleTech - changed anything dramatically as would be needed. BT's historical rules inertia is good in some ways, but not in others.
This is the problem. The thing is that fixing it would involve declaring all existing infantry record sheets void and that's a move that CGL or WizKids is unwilling to make.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Aotrs Commander on 18 September 2021, 06:12:14
This is the problem. The thing is that fixing it would involve declaring all existing infantry record sheets void and that's a move that CGL or WizKids is unwilling to make.

It would, one feels, hardly be an insurmountable issue, especially since infantry seems to be little used; it's not a problem on the same order of magnitude as BT. I know from my own stuff on Wargames Vault/DriveThru RPG that you could simply add an errata file to the PDFs there (and even send out a notification), or you could release a free (or very token fee) PDF.

Hell, the point I was going for was that you sort of shouldn't NEED to have a record sheet for infantry at all, because you ideally would be in a situation where there wouldn't be a damage track that would require on. A QR sheet ought to be enough, really, and that really should be something I could see CGL would have any trouble putting out even for a free update.

(Now, I'll grant you, it would require an investment of time and money on CGL's part to develop the rules which might necessitate an "infantry rules" manual or something - but you could slap all the infantry record sheets, such as they would be, into that for all existing infantry or something.)

But yeah, it would first require a) that CGL would have to WANT to do it and

b) that everything prior not be considered quite so rigidly sacred.

(After all, at least one revision in BT's history required a much more major change, the dropping of fractional tonnages. This would be nothing like that extensive. Or the various iterations of Aerotech and/or Battlespace. Like I said, in some (possibly many) ways, the inertia is good, but in others, it locks elements of BT in a sub-optimal pattern. Change for change's sake is bad, I wholeheartedly concur (random UI "updates" in browsers and websites, looking at you VERY hard), but locking everything entirely in stone because that's the way it was done before isn't great either.)
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: RifleMech on 18 September 2021, 06:25:33
(snip)


To be accurate, Battledroids infantry only had SRM-2s or Machine Guns with limited ammo.

I would love to have motorized and mechanized infantry so that they were less abstract and more like battle armor. Even if it were just an optional rule. If Battle Armor can have dozens of types with their own stats why can't motorized and mechanized infantry?

I also wish there were better conversion/integration between the BG and the RPG. I understand wanting game play to be faster and easier but I think TW abstracts infantry too much. TW Infantry end up doing the same damage to the family car as they do to the family mech. In AToW, a single trooper could take out the car.

In a way the RPG and BG kind of feel like two different universes. The RPG says and does one thing but the BG says and does something else. And then there's infantry weapons on small support vehicles which adds a third layer to complicate things.

That said, considering all the abstraction, I'm okay with the how infantry can damage units in TW. Infantry should have a chance against Mechs and tanks. BT armor doesn't work the same as currant tank armor so let a squad do a tiny bit of damage before they die.  I would prefer it if support weapons were truer to their fluff and RPG though. Support weapons should be more dangerous than a guy with an auto-rifle.

Beyond all that, I think the generic infantry in TW should be seen as your Level 1 infantry. TM infantry should be seen as your Level 2 infantry. TO infantry should be seen as your level 3 infantry. TW infantry should be okay for intro level games and above. Then the more complex you want to go the higher the level.


(snip)



I don't think we need more abstraction. There's too much already. Whether or not a trooper is dead or just unconscious is beyond a normal pickup game. It's more a campaign thing. There are rules for really dead or not but for most play, he gets hit and he's out. And as troopers get hit the platoon gets less effective. Sure BT normally ignores the wanting to help your buddy in favor of "Keep shooting!" but there's times when you have to do that. Treatment usually happens after the fighting is over. However, nothing says that you can't have one trooper stop shooting to treat the wounded trooper. TacOps even gives us Paramedics to treat the wounded troopers, as well as dead vs truly dead rules.

I don't get where an infantry trooper laying on the ground can't be spotted. Maybe if he were in a ditch or behind something or in tall grass or something, then I could see him disappearing from visual sight but not thermal or IR. Other than they they should still be visible. The battle scene on Hoth in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes back is a perfect example. There's views from the AT-AT cockpit where they can see the fleeing troopers being hit and falling to the ground. They didn't disappear after. They just laid there. It shouldn't be any different for BT.

I also don't get where infantry are only considered cannon fodder. In the Clans, sure but not the rest of BT. But then I remember infantry chasing down bug mechs and defeating them or forcing them to surrender.



(snip)

How do you keep track of how many troopers and which get killed during the game without a record sheet?   ???
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: ActionButler on 18 September 2021, 07:29:33
I would love the idea of infantry pogs. Unarmored foot infantry have no place on a Battletech battlefield except as a defense of last resort, but we have the rules for them, so I am inclined to use them. Without readily available minis, though, it’s kind of a pain. Give me the option to buy a tube of poker chips with various infantry stats printed on them and I’m there.

The rest of it? Not so much. CGL already supports two ways to play Battletech and two ways to play Mechwarrior. We don’t need to resurrect BattleTroops and split the focus of an already small company even more than it already is. Especially when all signs point to mechs being billed as the stars of the show. The Battletech Manual didn’t just manifest out of nowhere. There’s a reason that CGL decided to write an entire rulebook that completely ignores every secondary unit in the game.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Aotrs Commander on 18 September 2021, 07:47:01
I should qualify all the following as being part of a discussion about what CGL COULD do to change the infantry rules (if they wanted to) or how one might look at implementing house-rules, not what they SHOULD do. I.e. I'm not calling on them to revise the rules to do it or anything on my personal account. Just to be clear.

(As if at any point I did want to use infantry in by BT games, I'd just do any necessary houseruling myself, same as I have for BT itself - and every single other rules system I've ever played.)

I'm going on about this at length, because, if I'm honest, it's procrastinating on starting modelling the QF 25-pounder because I am struggling to face another day of eight, nine hours of unfun (unfulfilling) CAD work, so thanks for the because, BT forum...!


I don't think we need more abstraction. There's too much already. Whether or not a trooper is dead or just unconscious is beyond a normal pickup game. It's more a campaign thing. There are rules for really dead or not but for most play, he gets hit and he's out.

So why do we care if an individual trooper is out, verses just degrading the effect of the unit overall, which is the thing that matters on the actual battlefield?

I don't get where an infantry trooper laying on the ground can't be spotted. Maybe if he were in a ditch or behind something or in tall grass or something, then I could see him disappearing from visual sight but not thermal or IR.

Because that's basically how it really works. IR is not magic. TI doesn't give a modern soldier infinite god vision. It does NOT, Hollywood, allow you see through walls. IR is still electromagnetic radiation - like light - and thermal imaging uses it too. It does not penetrate through walls unless they are very thin and I mean "thinner than a house walls." It's not radar, and radar isn't even what Hollywood thinks radar is.

(And let us remember, modern armies have BETTER digital technology than BattleTech's 1980s pulp sci technology, so you really can't even give the excuse that "well, they have more advanced gear in The Future" because in BT, they really DON'T. If you have actual scifi sensors all proper-like like Star Trek tricorders or somehing, that's a different kettle of fish... But even THERE, you have to be actively using your scanner, it's not part of sights or something.)   

The thing about the real-world is that spotting (and thus terrain) is THE single most important factor in warfare. If it was that easy, beating insurgents would be trivial. But the real world is a messy, dense and cluttered place, where it is actually really easy for a person to hide. And even so-called "triple AAA" shooters can't come more than vaguely close to modelling it 1:1. Tabletop games stand no chance.

Other than they they should still be visible. The battle scene on Hoth in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes back is a perfect example.

Of Hollywood not understanding how real warfare works, yes. Star Wars as a whole is a TERRIBLE example of how infantry (or even ground combat generally) actually works, from a franchise that that basically is thinking in Napoloenic terms where everyone lines up to shoot each other (Attack of the Clones was a particularly risible example;  even the Clone Wars animated show was occasionally really stupid. "I know, we'll fool them by attacking in parade ground formation!") Star Trek is arguably even WORSE.

Quote
How do you keep track of how many troopers and which get killed during the game without a record sheet?   ???

You DON'T. You only need to track whether the unit is combat ineffective or not. Casualties DON'T really need to matter. The aforementioned Maneouvre Group manages with a simple single number on a marker (which as the number increases, degrades the unit's ability to function*), and it's only on a marker because of the way MG handles movement.

Trying to track each individual soldier as a seperate entity is making the same order of mistake as many scifi RPGs do in trying to track every bullet like fantasy RPGs track every arrow. It basically starts to fall apart and you get very unrealistic results**, because you can't simulate that except at a very high-level simulation, which is basically the purview of something involving computers, far too complex to do on a tabletop.

The important part of any simulation (and standard disclaimer as I quote from an aerospace fire safety engineer, "All Simulation Are Unrealistic, but Some Simulations Are Useful") is modelling the EFFECT of what happens, over how that effect is achieved. The question should not be "how many men did I kill" but "what effect does that have on the unit's performance."

You could say "but what about campaign casualties" to which the answer would be "treat them the same way, as unit strength," with perhaps a nominal adjustment if you really needed to determine individual soldiers.

But by the same token, I might ask "but what about fusion engine fuel? Sure, it has been handwaved to 'virtually never need refuelling if thrust is not generated', but that isn't 'never,' and what about jump jets?" Why? Because no-one needs (or wants) to do that. I'm saying that a similar mentality can be applied to infantry; you don't NEED to be concerned with whether a particular soldier in a particular squad is alive, dead, wounded or taking a leak, because the squad's overall effect is the important thing. Now, you might be able to tell me that BT's campaign rules have a sort of general supply/logistics maintainance cost which abstracts all that. So just do the same for infantry.

The key here is that a soldier is NOT a tiny BattleMech unit that works in a cluster - a soldier is actually more like a COMPONENT of a BattleMech.



*Specificially, their ability to remove suppression, react and receive command and control, and their ability to make or withstand close assaults. The number is closest akin to the piloting score in BT (except it also pertains to command and control and morale), and basically, as it increases, it gets more difficult to do stuff. It DOESN'T affect the shooting capability, because MG isn't too concerned with weapons factors, only effects. Small arms fire suppresses before it inflicts "damage" and being suppressed stops you shooting until you take the suppressions off anyway (which as noted, is affected by the "piloting" number). At a certain threshold of "piloting", the unit is rendered combat ineffective. "But that's sort of like hit points, isn't it?" I hear you cry. Well, a only little bit - for one, it's not just "damage" that can cause an increase, but other things as well, but a pertinent point is that this "piloting" "hit point" score doesn't represent a single trooper's health. It's a conglomerate combination of fear, fire and fatigue (including ammunition expendature). Squad might be anything from 6 to 10 blokes, but their "piloting" number is not affected by how many there are, but more on the quality of the troops. A highly-trained professional sqaud of sic might be quite a bit better than a squad of ten conscripts, for example.



**In such an aforementioned sci-fi RPGs, nobody EVER runs out of ammunition when you track by every bullet; especially when they carry an amount that a soldier would realistically. (Examples, Judge Dread D20, Spacemaster, just from my own experiences.) Also, VERY pertinent case in point: see BattleTech's own machine gun ammo quanties, modelled on really a different scale to all other weapons, to the point a ton of MG ammo widely considered nearly a death trap without CASE. Aside from very MG heavy models and using rapid-fire rules, I find it hard to believe anyone has ever run out of MG ammo on, say, an introtech design, since it would likely require an extended campaign that would more likely to see the mech out action due to damage before it ran out.

(For the vast majority of purposes, BT likely would have been better served to absolutely qualifiy an MG shot was a burst of fire that was many individual rounds, and quartering the amount of ammunition (which would at least put in line with ammo/ton for other weapons). But that's really another topic.)
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: bobthecoward on 18 September 2021, 07:54:03
Wait, why do we need morale rules? Nothing stops anyone from retreating/punching out. I do it in pickup games.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: SteelRaven on 18 September 2021, 08:04:45
Without adding another info dump:

Do I personally agree with TW infantry rules? No.

Did I use infantry under the old BMR rules? No.

Do others agree with my view on infantry? No.

It's hard to find balance for the weakest unit in the game and harder to find a balance everyone will agree to.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: idea weenie on 18 September 2021, 10:11:59
I would love the idea of infantry pogs. Unarmored foot infantry have no place on a Battletech battlefield except as a defense of last resort, but we have the rules for them, so I am inclined to use them. Without readily available minis, though, it’s kind of a pain. Give me the option to buy a tube of poker chips with various infantry stats printed on them and I’m there.

The rest of it? Not so much. CGL already supports two ways to play Battletech and two ways to play Mechwarrior. We don’t need to resurrect BattleTroops and split the focus of an already small company even more than it already is. Especially when all signs point to mechs being billed as the stars of the show. The Battletech Manual didn’t just manifest out of nowhere. There’s a reason that CGL decided to write an entire rulebook that completely ignores every secondary unit in the game.

That would make things simple.  Each token lists the anti-infantry and anti-armor protections, along with the attack type and damage the infantry unit can perform.  Once the attack is performed, flip the token over to show that the infantry unit has expended its anti-armor attack.

Much easier than trying to design the infantry units with varying amounts of anti-armor weapons (i.e. 28 troopers where half carry just the SRM launcher and the other half carry a single SRM, or 28 troopers where 4 of them carry SRM launchers and the other 24 carry SRMs for two examples)
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Aotrs Commander on 18 September 2021, 10:45:45
Wait, why do we need morale rules? Nothing stops anyone from retreating/punching out. I do it in pickup games.

As you say, nothing stops anyone from retreating punching out, but it's entirely OPTIONAL on the part of the player and nothing stops anyone fighting to the death either  (which that happens far less frequently than Hollywood would have you believe), which is mechanically and tactically is more advantageous in pretty much anything but campaign circumstances.

BattleTech as is stands, doesn't particularly NEED morale rules as such, because the command and control level is skirmish (nearly roleplaying) level for the primary intended focus (the BattleMechs); of who even in its own canon, it admits runs closer a fighter-pilot sort of mentality. You're dealing, with fundementally, individuals at nearly roleplaying level.

Morale starts to become important as the number of people modelled in a unit increases (vehicles crews, infantry and especially as you drop down through technology). One of the critical problems for a general is that your units don't always go what they're told (for any number of reasons) - and human instinct tends to make people in groups  somewhat less inclined to fight to the death. Morale rules in wargames basically model that most soldiers actually don't want to fight to the death and will at some point up and leg it instead.

With the small crews and/or BattleMech pilots in BT, you can sort of sidestep the issue as statistics of smaller numbers. And indeed, you don't tend stuff like routs as much on the vehicular onwards battlefield like unit breaking in pre-industrial times, it's true. But there's still a point where your PBI, who has seen all his mates getted karked, is running out of ammunition, some fracking machine gunning his position and a giant stompy robot blowing the hell out if his side's giant stompy robots will think to himself "bugger this for a game of soldiers, I've done my bit for today" whether you/ his general want him to or not. But BT doesn't address that, since infantry is either alive and fighting or dead.

(HOW you address that is the difficult question, of course; I've already noted one way, the way in which Maneouvre Group handles it, but there would be other ways, though MG's is an elegant one.)

In essence, BT doesn't give you quite enough friction in command as its command and control system is, well... Basic, since it hasn't really been updated for 35 years. But for the large part of BattleTech's intended purpose (giant stompy robot fights at what is fundementally skirmish levels*), that's sufficient for purpose.

Could it be better? Yes, there is very little in this world that cannot be measurably incremented on and improved. (The theory of game design itself has changed dramatically since the 1980s, since, like, it has now 40 years of stuff to have built on.) But it is certainly not the worst, and is decidedly above the average.

But, when you start moving further and further out of that "eight giant robots zapping each other" design paradigm of, like BattleDroids as I understand it, its starts to show the flaws a bit more.



At the end of the day, it depends what you want. If you are happy with the way infantry works in BT, then there's no issues. If you want them to act more like real-world infantry do, it largely mandates a bit of a paradigm shift away from "stack of hit points you kill."



*When I say this I mean, like, when I play an evening's game of BattleTech, you can get to a result with maybe one or two lances aside (so around 4-8 (or 10 or 12 maybe) elements, as in discrete things you move and shoot, per side). When I play an evening's game with my 144th stuff, I am looking about probably 20-30 elements per side.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Cannonshop on 18 September 2021, 10:52:08
I think this thread's really articulated why we have the infantry rules we've got, because I remember seeing largely the same discussions going on when we were playtesting what became the then-current rules in Total Warfare.

some want MORE detail, others want more abstraction, nobody really can agree, so we move to a compromise MOST can at least manage on the tabletop, if not fully endorse in their hearts, because that's how you get product out the door on time to the largest number of players and users.

'Mech Manual was an attempt to make the game accessible to newer players that aren't, maybe, as versed in the lore and especially the rules and their history-it says it right there in the open, it's an introductory setup for new players or people who want to have a beer-and-pretzels (coke and pretzels?) game that doesn't require a personal library to play on a saturday afternoon.

a 'slimming down' if you will to the original core of the game.

Big, Stompy Robots beating the fluids out of each other.

Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: General308 on 18 September 2021, 11:16:07
Honestly I am fine with the infantry rules we have.  Better than what we had before TW.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: bobthecoward on 18 September 2021, 11:20:52
As you say, nothing stops anyone from retreating punching out, but it's entirely OPTIONAL on the part of the player and nothing stops anyone fighting to the death either  (which that happens far less frequently than Hollywood would have you believe), which is mechanically and tactically is more advantageous in pretty much anything but campaign circumstances.

BattleTech as is stands, doesn't particularly NEED morale rules as such, because the command and control level is skirmish (nearly roleplaying) level for the primary intended focus (the BattleMechs); of who even in its own canon, it admits runs closer a fighter-pilot sort of mentality. You're dealing, with fundementally, individuals at nearly roleplaying level.

Morale starts to become important as the number of people modelled in a unit increases (vehicles crews, infantry and especially as you drop down through technology). One of the critical problems for a general is that your units don't always go what they're told (for any number of reasons) - and human instinct tends to make people in groups  somewhat less inclined to fight to the death. Morale rules in wargames basically model that most soldiers actually don't want to fight to the death and will at some point up and leg it instead.

With the small crews and/or BattleMech pilots in BT, you can sort of sidestep the issue as statistics of smaller numbers. And indeed, you don't tend stuff like routs as much on the vehicular onwards battlefield like unit breaking in pre-industrial times, it's true. But there's still a point where your PBI, who has seen all his mates getted karked, is running out of ammunition, some fracking machine gunning his position and a giant stompy robot blowing the hell out if his side's giant stompy robots will think to himself "bugger this for a game of soldiers, I've done my bit for today" whether you/ his general want him to or not. But BT doesn't address that, since infantry is either alive and fighting or dead.

(HOW you address that is the difficult question, of course; I've already noted one way, the way in which Maneouvre Group handles it, but there would be other ways, though MG's is an elegant one.)

In essence, BT doesn't give you quite enough friction in command as its command and control system is, well... Basic, since it hasn't really been updated for 35 years. But for the large part of BattleTech's intended purpose (giant stompy robot fights at what is fundementally skirmish levels*), that's sufficient for purpose.

Could it be better? Yes, there is very little in this world that cannot be measurably incremented on and improved. (The theory of game design itself has changed dramatically since the 1980s, since, like, it has now 40 years of stuff to have built on.) But it is certainly not the worst, and is decidedly above the average.

But, when you start moving further and further out of that "eight giant robots zapping each other" design paradigm of, like BattleDroids as I understand it, its starts to show the flaws a bit more.



At the end of the day, it depends what you want. If you are happy with the way infantry works in BT, then there's no issues. If you want them to act more like real-world infantry do, it largely mandates a bit of a paradigm shift away from "stack of hit points you kill."



*When I say this I mean, like, when I play an evening's game of BattleTech, you can get to a result with maybe one or two lances aside (so around 4-8 (or 10 or 12 maybe) elements, as in discrete things you move and shoot, per side). When I play an evening's game with my 144th stuff, I am looking about probably 20-30 elements per side.

This seems like a place for roleplaying rather than rules?
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: GreekFire on 18 September 2021, 11:27:09
I'm just gonna chime in to say that morale rules exist in TacOps.

As for simpler/more fragile infantry I'd suggest checking out the Battlefield Support: Combined Arms rules in Battle of Tukayyid.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Greatclub on 18 September 2021, 12:04:29
Delete the maxtech survival buff and I'm happy.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: The Eagle on 18 September 2021, 15:19:20
I have zero problems with the TW infantry rules as they stand.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Aotrs Commander on 18 September 2021, 15:22:52
This seems like a place for roleplaying rather than rules?

Not... really, no, since at the level I'm talking about is the point at which you are trying to simulate and thus need to have the player not always 100% in control of what happens (like a real general). Friction generated for a something approaching realistic simulation of people needs, like, to not always be under player control. (Note that there is a VERY big difference between "it doesn't always go to plan" and "player can't make a plan because the game put them totally at the mercy of RNG.")



And speaking as the kind of insane DM who HAS gone on record as running combats with what was it, nearly 40 assorted casters from levels 12-20 in 3.5 against a half-dozen level 17 PCs... (Which was probably the most moving parts of anything I've ever done...) You can't roleplay an entire army at the individual level required to create that sort of friction. Especially when you're also trying to run complex tactics as well.



And... Finally, not trying to put too fine a point on it, a set of rules released into the wild should be written with the understanding that not everyone is going to be prepared to roleplay, especially if it doesn't let them win. You HAVE to, as a rules author, assume that some people reading the rules are going to... Shall we say, optimise the heck out of them. Whether or not a given group of players does or does not do that is not really relevant.

Heck, one wargamers I've spoken to couldn't wrap his head around the idea that a wargame COULD have elements of roleplaying. (The chap I spoke to was even on a ROLEPLAYING BOARD, but he say he couldn't see his wargames as anything more than, like, game pieces and rules mechanics. He was, I believe, a 40K player, but I'm not even sure I'd blame GW entirely for that, happy as I am to blame them for most things. That might be an extreme case, though.)



The TLDR should be that while you CAN roleplay stuff like that, but a good set of rules simulation should have it baked into the rules mechanics so that it generates the appropriate friction where necessary.



But as noted, people do not necessarily always want a realistic simulation (because, as previously noted, for one thing, it can be perceived as being too much like hard work, if to borrow a phrase from Full Thrust, you just want a six pack and boldly go).
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Scotty on 18 September 2021, 15:25:33
To anyone who wants BattleTroops or something like it back, I feel compelled to remind you that BattleTroops is dogshit from a game perspective, genuinely one of the worst tabletop game systems I've ever played.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Aotrs Commander on 18 September 2021, 15:48:26
To anyone who wants BattleTroops or something like it back, I feel compelled to remind you that BattleTroops is dogshit from a game perspective, genuinely one of the worst tabletop game systems I've ever played.

Never having heard of it until this thread, might I ask as to where it failed so spectacularly?

I mean, I can imagine a large number of ways that it could, because I've seen lots of terrible wargames (some of which are inexplicably popular, and no, I'm not specificially thinking about GW...), but...

Are we talkiing AD&D psionics arse-backward stupid "roll under your skill check, but don't roll a 1 and don't roll a twenty and you actually want to roll exactly your score" kind of inane mechanics, or like, FATAL (speaking purely on the mechanical level) "roll D1000000" levels or mere overcomplexity or something else?
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: worktroll on 18 September 2021, 15:53:54
Clumsy. Just not inspired.

For inspired, seek out the very old SPI game "Sniper!" That game was the real thing, and I still remember playing the Stalingrad scenarios.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Scotty on 18 September 2021, 15:54:10
It is very X-COM (90s version like) where your movement results in complex overwatch angles based on how much movement points are left and your facing, on maps that are made up of points in a hex pattern rather than actual hexes.  Damage is handled comically poorly, and there's a ~27% chance that an unarmored individual that takes a direct hit from an AC/2 walks it off.

The whole thing is a clunky mess even by the standards of games in the 80s.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: RifleMech on 19 September 2021, 02:49:14
I would love the idea of infantry pogs. Unarmored foot infantry have no place on a Battletech battlefield except as a defense of last resort, but we have the rules for them, so I am inclined to use them. Without readily available minis, though, it’s kind of a pain. Give me the option to buy a tube of poker chips with various infantry stats printed on them and I’m there.

The rest of it? Not so much. CGL already supports two ways to play Battletech and two ways to play Mechwarrior. We don’t need to resurrect BattleTroops and split the focus of an already small company even more than it already is. Especially when all signs point to mechs being billed as the stars of the show. The Battletech Manual didn’t just manifest out of nowhere. There’s a reason that CGL decided to write an entire rulebook that completely ignores every secondary unit in the game.


There's all kinds of roles for infantry. Most of those are for campaign style or double blind games but spotting is always useful.
Would love poker chips for all kinds of units.  :thumbsup:

Battlemechs have always been the star of the show. They've also had a supporting cast. It seems as if CGL is trying to turn BT into a 1 man show. Some times those shows are good. Other times not as much.



So why do we care if an individual trooper is out, verses just degrading the effect of the unit overall, which is the thing that matters on the actual battlefield?

Who's the trooper with the demolition charge, the field radio, the medic, the machine gunner, the one with the SRM? Knowing which trooper is dead determines how much damage the squad or platoon can do the next turn. Knowing helps determine who might live or die after being hit during campaign.


Quote
Because that's basically how it really works. IR is not magic. TI doesn't give a modern soldier infinite god vision. It does NOT, Hollywood, allow you see through walls. IR is still electromagnetic radiation - like light - and thermal imaging uses it too. It does not penetrate through walls unless they are very thin and I mean "thinner than a house walls." It's not radar, and radar isn't even what Hollywood thinks radar is.


(And let us remember, modern armies have BETTER digital technology than BattleTech's 1980s pulp sci technology, so you really can't even give the excuse that "well, they have more advanced gear in The Future" because in BT, they really DON'T. If you have actual scifi sensors all proper-like like Star Trek tricorders or somehing, that's a different kettle of fish... But even THERE, you have to be actively using your scanner, it's not part of sights or something.)   

The thing about the real-world is that spotting (and thus terrain) is THE single most important factor in warfare. If it was that easy, beating insurgents would be trivial. But the real world is a messy, dense and cluttered place, where it is actually really easy for a person to hide. And even so-called "triple AAA" shooters can't come more than vaguely close to modelling it 1:1. Tabletop games stand no chance.

(snip)

What you're referring to is line of site. The line of site for a trooper would naturally be different than that of a pilot 30 meters up. A trooper could easily loose site of someone that the Pilot would still see. The AT-AT crew could see the troopers through the cockpit window. No tech involved there. But lets say they were looking through a thermal camera. It should pick up warm bodies against the cold snow, standing or not.

We also weren't talking about scanning for hidden units but those one could actually see. Sometimes tech can help with that and sometimes not. And while technology can't do everything it can still do a lot. That's why it's so widely used. If anything, BT does tech a disservice by not being able to use tech to see through smoke. That or smoke on other planets is a lot more effective.


Quote
You DON'T. You only need to track whether the unit is combat ineffective or not. Casualties DON'T really need to matter. The aforementioned Maneouvre Group manages with a simple single number on a marker (which as the number increases, degrades the unit's ability to function*), and it's only on a marker because of the way MG handles movement.
(snip)

The key here is that a soldier is NOT a tiny BattleMech unit that works in a cluster - a soldier is actually more like a COMPONENT of a BattleMech.

That's wrong. You need to track who's doing what because who does what and if they're dead or not effects how effective the unit is. For a Generic Rifle Platoon it doesn't matter as much. For units with support weapons it matters a lot more.

And yes they are more like a group of tiny mechs working as a group. Which reminds me. Infantry should have more than one attack. Melee weapons hitting at multiple hexes away because 1 trooper has a rifle? :o



Quote
*Specificially, their ability to remove suppression, react and receive command and control, and their ability to make or withstand close assaults. The number is closest akin to the piloting score in BT (except it also pertains to command and control and morale), and basically, as it increases, it gets more difficult to do stuff. It DOESN'T affect the shooting capability, because MG isn't too concerned with weapons factors, only effects. Small arms fire suppresses before it inflicts "damage" and being suppressed stops you shooting until you take the suppressions off anyway (which as noted, is affected by the "piloting" number). At a certain threshold of "piloting", the unit is rendered combat ineffective. "But that's sort of like hit points, isn't it?" I hear you cry. Well, a only little bit - for one, it's not just "damage" that can cause an increase, but other things as well, but a pertinent point is that this "piloting" "hit point" score doesn't represent a single trooper's health. It's a conglomerate combination of fear, fire and fatigue (including ammunition expendature). Squad might be anything from 6 to 10 blokes, but their "piloting" number is not affected by how many there are, but more on the quality of the troops. A highly-trained professional sqaud of sic might be quite a bit better than a squad of ten conscripts, for example.

I'd say more like gunnery. Does suppression fire really stop return fire or does it just make it less accurate as weapons can still be fired blindly? And a terrible pilot could still be the best gunner and the mech doesn't have to move to shoot.

I also believe that there are rules concerning moral but they're more a campaign thing.


Quote
**In such an aforementioned sci-fi RPGs, nobody EVER runs out of ammunition when you track by every bullet; especially when they carry an amount that a soldier would realistically. (Examples, Judge Dread D20, Spacemaster, just from my own experiences.) Also, VERY pertinent case in point: see BattleTech's own machine gun ammo quanties, modelled on really a different scale to all other weapons, to the point a ton of MG ammo widely considered nearly a death trap without CASE. Aside from very MG heavy models and using rapid-fire rules, I find it hard to believe anyone has ever run out of MG ammo on, say, an introtech design, since it would likely require an extended campaign that would more likely to see the mech out action due to damage before it ran out.

The MG ammo on units is to keep away from fractional accounting. That got a bit weird when the Clans were introduced with .25 ton MGs. Still, Fractional Accounting is a legal rule so if wanting to carry less than .5 tons of MG ammo one can do that.


Quote
(For the vast majority of purposes, BT likely would have been better served to absolutely qualifiy an MG shot was a burst of fire that was many individual rounds, and quartering the amount of ammunition (which would at least put in line with ammo/ton for other weapons). But that's really another topic.)

You want a burst of MG rounds to weigh 20kg instead of 5kg? There is the rapid fire rules for MGs. It's damage rolled x 3. I believe that's 15kg-90kg of ammo fired per turn.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: sadlerbw on 19 September 2021, 11:38:07
I’d say Catalyst knows exactly what to do with infantry: ignore them completely until you get to at least the TW level, and don’t invest too much time or space for their rules until you get to the advanced books. Infantry rules aren’t a likely great place to expend development effort. It’s nice that you are so passionate about infantry, and I encourage you to beef up or change the official rules however it suits you, but I personally don’t care about basic infantry rules in the least. I sort of care about battle armor, but even then I generally only use them in Alpha Strike. For me, the BMM was fantastic, and I happily picked one up even though I own TW as well. I mostly tolerate the existence of basic infantry so my machine guns and flamers have something to do, but other than that, I’d be perfectly happy if they only showed up in fiction. I don’t necessarily want to deny anyone new infantry rules, but if you ask me what I want CGL to spend time on, there are many, many more things I would put above infantry rules. In fact, I’m not sure they would ever make it to the top of my list. I think there are enough players out there with similar sentiments that the infantry rules stay the way they are. CGL could certainly improve them, it just isn’t ever a high enough priority. That’s the way it seems to me at least.

Of course, now that I say all that, Scotty is probably going to find some way to work a pile of infantry into an event and make me play them!
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DOC_Agren on 19 September 2021, 13:57:29
I will start bt saying I used BT infantry for years.

Yep I was that guy in campaign playing:

Your Mech group doesn't have anyone but 1 mech running base security...  gee perfect for my inf to slip in and raise Cain in your base, you know ammo doesn't like explosives going off near it.  Nor does your barracks.

I brought in to run a urban defense force "Street gang/protection force" as a 3 force between a raiding house unit and defending mech force but not based around the city.  back before there were rules for support vehicles, I had a bunch of Jeeps (MW1) armed with MG or RL, a few 10ton vehicles, 2 20 contruction trucks and 1 "we found the keys" Demolisher, plus 6 platoons of Inf.  Was I very effective, nope.. but I did capture with 2 inf squads 1 enemy pilot whose mech suffered ammo hit and auto ejection.  You should have seen the other players faces when I announce "we would be having a good fair trial and when found guilty he would be hung by the neck until dead".  And charges were bring war into our city, and causing willful distruction of property"

Using Scout/Sniper teams to run my recon behind your lines, to find your Rearm & Rearmor sites, and the call Arty and Airstrikes on them and now and then take shots at your mechpilots trying to remount their mechs.

Infantry has it uses in the game, either running from the Godzilla like mech, or laugh insanely as they fall into your trap.  That I believe is someone sig her or damm close.

Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Stormy on 19 September 2021, 14:55:26
I heart the Tukayyid support rules for infantry. The tent is bigger than it used to be, rules-wise, which is fantastic in this context.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: ActionButler on 19 September 2021, 15:08:51

There's all kinds of roles for infantry. Most of those are for campaign style or double blind games but spotting is always useful.
Would love poker chips for all kinds of units.  :thumbsup:

Agree to… agree but also disagree? 

You’re right. There are plenty of roles for infantry in BT. Realistically, those roles would be filled by Battle Armor and not dudes in flak jackets desperately dodging 30 foot tall tanks stomping around and firing lightning guns.

I’m all for keeping infantry in the game, I’m even all for keeping unarmored infantry in the game, but I don’t think there so much a need for a massive overhaul of the rules as much as there is a need to flip expectations of what, exactly, is on the battlefield.

But… once more… 100% on board with poker chip infantry tokens.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: RifleMech on 19 September 2021, 16:40:05
Agree to… agree but also disagree? 

You’re right. There are plenty of roles for infantry in BT. Realistically, those roles would be filled by Battle Armor and not dudes in flak jackets desperately dodging 30 foot tall tanks stomping around and firing lightning guns.

I’m all for keeping infantry in the game, I’m even all for keeping unarmored infantry in the game, but I don’t think there so much a need for a massive overhaul of the rules as much as there is a need to flip expectations of what, exactly, is on the battlefield.

But… once more… 100% on board with poker chip infantry tokens.

Totally!  :thumbsup:

Depending in the military and location, sure.

I'd be okay with Foot and Jump Infantry as they are if it weren't for the RPG. Saying some infantry weapons are equal to BA or Vehicle weapons and and then being given something weaker just bugs me.

For me its the Motorized and Mechanized Infantry that need work. Maybe a little for Beast Mounted but mostly the other two.

Ditto :)
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: GRUD on 19 September 2021, 17:27:30
If you're looking in the BattleMech Manual for Infantry Rules, or anything OTHER THAN Rules for BattleMechs, you're looking in the WRONG book to start with.   :-\
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: idea weenie on 19 September 2021, 20:28:27
Who's the trooper with the demolition charge, the field radio, the medic, the machine gunner, the one with the SRM? Knowing which trooper is dead determines how much damage the squad or platoon can do the next turn. Knowing helps determine who might live or die after being hit during campaign.

That's wrong. You need to track who's doing what because who does what and if they're dead or not effects how effective the unit is. For a Generic Rifle Platoon it doesn't matter as much. For units with support weapons it matters a lot more.

Infantry construction would have to be re-done.  The infantry would be arranged as Squads are first to be removed, then the Command squad (with the special abilities and lower firepower) is removed.  Such as:
Squad 1-n (Squads are arranged in decreasing order of firepower per per squad, then each squad is arranged in order of decreasing firepower per trooper)
Command personnel (Platoon Lieutenant, Plt Sergeant, radio person, medic, etc.  These personnel are also arranged in decreasing order of firepower, because whoever has the firepower will be drawing attention)


For example:
Squad: 6 people, 1 with SRM launcher (2 pts A-M damage) and 5 with autorifles (.5 A-M damage)
Platoon: 4 squads, 4 command staff (.2 A-M damage per since they are carrying the fancier gear and don't have as much firepower)
So the damage chart for the 28-person platoon would be:
(19, 17, 16, 16, 15, 15), (14, 12, 12, 11, 11, 10), (10, 8, 7, 7, 6, 6), (5, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1), (1, 1, 0, 0)

The parentheses indicate the groupings of the 4 squads and and the command staff, and would not be present on the infantry sheet)


And yes they are more like a group of tiny mechs working as a group. Which reminds me. Infantry should have more than one attack. Melee weapons hitting at multiple hexes away because 1 trooper has a rifle? :o 

This is another detail people have been wanting changed.  Squads would have a Primary and a Secondary weapon, and the ranges for the two would not be crossed.  Otherwise you might have someone equipping the squads with Sniper rifles for maximum range, and machetes for damage.  This setup should be possible, but there would be two damage lines used, and the ranges for the two would be different.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Geg on 19 September 2021, 22:16:42
Didn't they say in one of the podcasts, that CGL was experimenting with rules to create an infantry option for BattleField Support Points (BSP) like they did for Air and Arty in the BMM and Vees in the BoT.   Which is basically the Pogs proposal.

Edit:  Jump and Mechanized were in the BoT book.  I can't really see needing more than an on foot version to round it out.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 19 September 2021, 22:17:18
Instead of tracking damage by individuals, using the battlearmor method i mentioned earlier with each squad acting as 1 battle armor obliviates the need for man by man damage tracking.  Either the squad is functional with their weapon system, or it isnt, and the only weapon systems we need for infantry in battletech would be the ones with only battletech stats, namely the battle armor ones.  When the squad loses it's last pip, whatever cohesion keeping it firing its weapons is gone--up to the campaign rules to determine killed/wounded/equipment destroyed statuses per damage pip.  We can also give more pips to 5 man elementals, or WOB zombie infantry, or less pips to unarmored infantry, without needing odd damage divisors or anything, the same as heavy and light battle armor gets more or less pips.  Infantry keeping the same record sheet, whether battle armor or mechanized or foot, with their movement types and all, also helps standardize things.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: five_corparty on 19 September 2021, 22:37:26
I can absolutely garentee you, the original authors of the BT infantry rules did not do any research on how infantry SHOULD act, but just decided what games mechanics they wanted to use for them (which is how 95% of wargames rules are written, even histroical ones, unfortunately.)

You're wrong, but I think it actually kinda proves your point better??  :D  FASA, at that point, had several veterans on staff who VERY MUCH knew what infantry operations looked like.  That says they VERY DELIBERATLY abstracted it to keep the focus on the BattleMechs.

Just thought I'd point that out: Infantry operations weren't designed from ignorance, but deliberate decisions on what the game should look and feel like.   :)

(for what it's worth, I'm fine with them playing second fiddle and how the rules are laid out- if anything, I feel like elementals can be a hair OP!  but that's a topic for another thread...  ^-^ My biggest complaint, if TPTB wander by, is that I -LOOOVED- the infantry sections of TRO:3085 and want MORE!  :)  ;D
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 19 September 2021, 23:01:52
Instead of tracking damage by individuals, using the battlearmor method i mentioned earlier with each squad acting as 1 battle armor obliviates the need for man by man damage tracking.  Either the squad is functional with their weapon system, or it isnt, and the only weapon systems we need for infantry in battletech would be the ones with only battletech stats, namely the battle armor ones.  When the squad loses it's last pip, whatever cohesion keeping it firing its weapons is gone--up to the campaign rules to determine killed/wounded/equipment destroyed statuses per damage pip.  We can also give more pips to 5 man elementals, or WOB zombie infantry, or less pips to unarmored infantry, without needing odd damage divisors or anything, the same as heavy and light battle armor gets more or less pips.  Infantry keeping the same record sheet, whether battle armor or mechanized or foot, with their movement types and all, also helps standardize things.

Some variant of this is the best way to handle it. Pretty much every game that is in a smaller scale then 25-28mm doesn't bother tracking individuals for good reason. you don't deal in individuals you deal in abstracted squads or fire teams at this scale.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: RifleMech on 20 September 2021, 04:38:53
Infantry construction would have to be re-done.  The infantry would be arranged as Squads are first to be removed, then the Command squad (with the special abilities and lower firepower) is removed.  Such as:
Squad 1-n (Squads are arranged in decreasing order of firepower per per squad, then each squad is arranged in order of decreasing firepower per trooper)
Command personnel (Platoon Lieutenant, Plt Sergeant, radio person, medic, etc.  These personnel are also arranged in decreasing order of firepower, because whoever has the firepower will be drawing attention)


For example:
Squad: 6 people, 1 with SRM launcher (2 pts A-M damage) and 5 with autorifles (.5 A-M damage)
Platoon: 4 squads, 4 command staff (.2 A-M damage per since they are carrying the fancier gear and don't have as much firepower)
So the damage chart for the 28-person platoon would be:
(19, 17, 16, 16, 15, 15), (14, 12, 12, 11, 11, 10), (10, 8, 7, 7, 6, 6), (5, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1), (1, 1, 0, 0)

The parentheses indicate the groupings of the 4 squads and and the command staff, and would not be present on the infantry sheet)


Why would anything need to be removed? If the Platoon has 28 troopers there's 4 squads of 7 trooper. Designate one as the command squad. Designate troopers with certain jobs or gear. Machine Gunner, MG's assistant, Radio Operator, Paramedic, k-9 handler, etc.


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This is another detail people have been wanting changed.  Squads would have a Primary and a Secondary weapon, and the ranges for the two would not be crossed.  Otherwise you might have someone equipping the squads with Sniper rifles for maximum range, and machetes for damage.  This setup should be possible, but there would be two damage lines used, and the ranges for the two would be different.

This I think is the most doable thing, especially as an optional rule. Yes, it means a change to the RS but if mechs can have an advanced RS why can't infantry?





Instead of tracking damage by individuals, using the battlearmor method i mentioned earlier with each squad acting as 1 battle armor obliviates the need for man by man damage tracking.  Either the squad is functional with their weapon system, or it isnt, and the only weapon systems we need for infantry in battletech would be the ones with only battletech stats, namely the battle armor ones.  When the squad loses it's last pip, whatever cohesion keeping it firing its weapons is gone--up to the campaign rules to determine killed/wounded/equipment destroyed statuses per damage pip.  We can also give more pips to 5 man elementals, or WOB zombie infantry, or less pips to unarmored infantry, without needing odd damage divisors or anything, the same as heavy and light battle armor gets more or less pips.  Infantry keeping the same record sheet, whether battle armor or mechanized or foot, with their movement types and all, also helps standardize things.


It sounds like you want Foot and Jump infantry to be treated like Mechanized infantry only without the MP and motive restrictions?  I think that's too much abstraction. Besides, isn't keeping track of pips keeping track of troopers killed? And as far as I know, most infantry weapons do have TW stats. I think you're wanting Infantry Support Weapons to be the only Infantry weapons doing damage to armor. Which would be okay except armor goes from BAR-2 to BAR-10. That makes anything with any armor immune to standard infantry weapons. There's also the fact that TW nerfs Infantry Support Weapons. They're only the same as BA weapons in the RPG or a couple no longer legal rules.





(for what it's worth, I'm fine with them playing second fiddle and how the rules are laid out- if anything, I feel like elementals can be a hair OP!  but that's a topic for another thread...  ^-^ My biggest complaint, if TPTB wander by, is that I -LOOOVED- the infantry sections of TRO:3085 and want MORE!  :)  ;D


+1 :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Apocal on 20 September 2021, 04:49:27
Just thought I'd point that out: Infantry operations weren't designed from ignorance, but deliberate decisions on what the game should look and feel like.   :)

Yeah, I really get that feeling too. The game already has an issue with "scout" mechs being outclassed in the role by vees and a lot of the mission types/scenarios failing to answer the old wargame artillery question ("If we know where their <static target> is, why don't we just blow it up with artillery?"), so I'd hate to have a situation where a player could reliably dump BV-equal values of infantry onto the table and win in a giant robot fighting game.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: RifleMech on 20 September 2021, 05:05:48
Yeah, I really get that feeling too. The game already has an issue with "scout" mechs being outclassed in the role by vees and a lot of the mission types/scenarios failing to answer the old wargame artillery question ("If we know where their <static target> is, why don't we just blow it up with artillery?"), so I'd hate to have a situation where a player could reliably dump BV-equal values of infantry onto the table and win in a giant robot fighting game.

First I heard of that, although I could see that being possible depending on terrain.

Because it's hard to capture intel when it's been reduced to a crater?

I can see that happening. I think casualties would be pretty high but I can see it happening. I also don't think it should be rendered an impossibility. The little guys should win once in a while. 



Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 20 September 2021, 05:17:24
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It sounds like you want Foot and Jump infantry to be treated like Mechanized infantry only without the MP and motive restrictions?  I think that's too much abstraction.

I mean, a bog standard jump infantry platoon would look like 3 suits of battle armor with 7 pips per squad or trooper.  Same exact MP and motive between the two, not sure why you think they would have to be different.  Bog standard Jump SRM infantry do 11 damage with 21 dudes tracking dudes in TW, all in 2 point clusters... or you can have each of the 3 jump squads in a jump platoon armed with an SRM2, for 12 damage in 2 point clusters by squad--just follow the battle armor rules.  No need for damage divisors, weird primary secondary math where your damage comes from autorifles but your range comes from the support weapon causing very weird squad numbers, ect ect.  Infantry platoons are worse than battlearmor because they dont have the +1 to be hit for only having 1 squad, and mguns do bonus damage to infantry but not battle armor, but that is already in the hit chart and weapon rule--no rules added or taken away from the battlemech manual  Edit or clan invasion box set.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: RifleMech on 20 September 2021, 05:50:28
I mean, a bog standard jump infantry platoon would look like 3 suits of battle armor with 7 pips per squad or trooper.  Same exact MP and motive between the two, not sure why you think they would have to be different.  Bog standard Jump SRM infantry do 11 damage with 21 dudes tracking dudes in TW, all in 2 point clusters... or you can have each of the 3 jump squads in a jump platoon armed with an SRM2, for 12 damage in 2 point clusters by squad--just follow the battle armor rules.  No need for damage divisors, weird primary secondary math where your damage comes from autorifles but your range comes from the support weapon causing very weird squad numbers, ect ect.  Infantry platoons are worse than battlearmor because they dont have the +1 to be hit for only having 1 squad, and mguns do bonus damage to infantry but not battle armor, but that is already in the hit chart and weapon rule--no rules added or taken away from the battlemech manual  Edit or clan invasion box set.


It's the description I was questioning. Among other things. How is a number of BA different from a number of APCs?

How is crossing off pips different than crossing off troopers?

How are you determining damage? And why would we follow BA rules?

If you get rid of damage divisors, how would you handle Armored Infantry and Beast Mounted Infantry?

I'm in total agreement with the damages and range thing. If they don't have the range, don't shoot. The only damage that should be inflicted are from the weapons fired that turn, at that target. Let the MGs fire at Target 1 and the Rifles fire at Target 2. That's why I think Infantry should have more than one attack.

Infantry squads do have the +1. Infantry operating at squad level is an advanced rule.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 20 September 2021, 06:26:40
Crossing off pips for infantry is different because you can have 7 pips represent 5 troopers, or 4 pips represent 7 troopers.  So beast infantry might get more or less pips instead of having armor divisors--just like battle armor pips change based on their options.

For squads, I'm saying a platoon of 28 does not get +1 to be hit despite looking like a squad of light battle armor in total pips/tonnage--keeping some advantages to battle armor.

And battle armor have multiple weapons, so would infantry as rules wise they could be identical.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: ActionButler on 20 September 2021, 09:05:38
**MOD NOTICE**

This is not a warning or even a stern talking to, but just a reminder that fan rules - any kind of fan rules - has its own section of the forum. If the conversation continues on a "well what if we changed X to do Y" track, don't be surprised if part (or all) of this thread gets relocated.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: idea weenie on 20 September 2021, 11:11:12
Why would anything need to be removed? If the Platoon has 28 troopers there's 4 squads of 7 trooper. Designate one as the command squad. Designate troopers with certain jobs or gear. Machine Gunner, MG's assistant, Radio Operator, Paramedic, k-9 handler, etc.

That would be all part of the design rules, this is strictly battlefield.  The battlefield is for Mechs, so platoons/squads/troopers would be categorized by their Anti-Mech damage values first, other duties second.

For example, on a battlefield you wouldn't care if a scout platoon was a K-9 unit, carried sensor gear, or had implanted equipment.  All the Battlemech-scale battlefield would care about is sensor range/effectiveness.  Detailed infantry platoon descriptions would be for the TRO details and RPG-level games.

(Similar to how Capital ships don't detail each laser firing, they just list the bay's total heat, damage, and range)


This I think is the most doable thing, especially as an optional rule. Yes, it means a change to the RS but if mechs can have an advanced RS why can't infantry? 

Life is cheap, Mechs are expensive.  Mechs are also supposed to be the stars, so infantry at that scale shouldn't get an advanced record sheet.  Advanced record sheets are for the stars at that level, and for most battlefields the Mechs are the stars.  If you want more detail for infantry, use them at the level they are the stars (i.e. the RPG).  Similar to Warships getting detailed record sheets, while ASF in squadron mode don't.


The idea for the poker chips representing infantry platoons is the best I have heard.  One side lists anti-mech firepower, one lists anti-infantry firepower.  Get a stack of 50 chips, place them on the board as wanted, and as thy are destroyed you put them back in the container.  Just have to select the poker chips so they fit completely within a hex (a 1-inch hex means no more than 25mm, but the smallest poker chips I have seen are 39mm, which means 1.5 inch hexes are not enough).  Make them write-on/wipe-off, and be sure to only use dry-erase markers.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 20 September 2021, 12:17:22
To anyone who wants BattleTroops or something like it back, I feel compelled to remind you that BattleTroops is dogshit from a game perspective, genuinely one of the worst tabletop game systems I've ever played.

Oh, I whole-heartedly agree.  When I mean a revised BattleTroops, I mean a complete revision.  Either current infantry with more detail, or a streamlined, simplified version of one of the RPG sets. (I'm particularly fond of MW 2nd Ed, myself.)

Same goes with BattleSpace and BattleForce.  I've seen the originals of each, and while interesting in their own right, need major overhauls, especially if you want them to integrate better with the stock game of the franchise. 

Example: BattleForce, first and foremost, should be a way to set up regular BT games in such a way that you can get uneven matchings and not be hide-bound to a point match system.  Best way to do that? Well, there's the low-altitude map scale, where each hex is a BT ground map.  Work on integrating honest maneuver, say over a minute, and you're set.  The game that comes with it should be optional, a quick means of resolving some of the battles if you don't want to bother playing each and every engagement out.

BattleSpace is warship combat.  I like that they took the time to map out ship systems, because it's working at not only a different time and space scale, but a different damage scale.  Not a bad idea, but it needs some serious reworking, because the smaller support vessels, including fighters, had plenty to be desired.

I just threw the names out as a typology that most people can understand.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: SteelRaven on 20 September 2021, 12:55:19
Really, I believe Infantry should be used almost soley for objectives like taking structures (vs having a mech demolish a building) simplify it vs create yet another rule set.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 20 September 2021, 13:00:36
Life is cheap, Mechs are expensive.  Mechs are also supposed to be the stars, so infantry at that scale shouldn't get an advanced record sheet.  Advanced record sheets are for the stars at that level, and for most battlefields the Mechs are the stars.  If you want more detail for infantry, use them at the level they are the stars (i.e. the RPG).  Similar to Warships getting detailed record sheets, while ASF in squadron mode don't.

However!  You can keep the detail, and still find a way to render a squad ineffective against armored units.  Why is it that advanced futuristic machines* can't identify and pick out the weapons that can hurt the machine, point them out to the pilot/gunner, and be picked off? 

Lasers don't really miss at the ranges involved.  (Heck, AeroTech 1 had the more plausible space ranges with each hex being an Earth-sized diameter, more or less.  Lasers should be easy hits out to between 100,000 to 300,000 km.)  And, mythbusters put the kibosh on humans dodging bullets.  What does that say for lasers moving at the speed of light?  And, I've concluded that armor, among other factors, plays a large part in the high failure rates for BT weapons at the ranges involved.  So, the pog standard trooper who isn't wearing full body protection, including a protective face mask, will be susceptible to mere grazing shots. 

* = Sorry, we're long past BT being the future of the 80's.  We've had plenty of retcon through art and writing.  And, it wasn't like they couldn't imagine some advanced stuff back then.  I vaguely recall quantum computing being mentioned in the Star League Source Book.

So, if you leave that vulnerability, in spite of squad layout detail such as numbers of guys, they can be rendered not worth tracking pretty quick.  However, they would have their standard weapons which are fit for shooting at other infantry.  And, they might still have their specialization which is pertinent to an objective on the map.

Conventional Infantry are good at a few things, and part of that would be securing buildings and repurposing any functions.  Again, mobile, interactive objective pieces.  That means city environments.  That means bases and supply depots.  That means defensive fortifications with guns.  That means drawbridges gate controls.  This was what inspired the idea behind infantry pogs, and assigned roles by squad.

So, maybe a revised CityTech is in order? 

And, remember, I did suggest that this could be done through a Catalyst Sci-fi game that can then be opted into BT if players wish.  Which is why I would love to see some advanced optional rules people can choose to use at least as a framework for going the direction they might want to go with something so hotly contested.  This would be more as for ease of mind for people who are concerned about the unsupported nature of house rules.

But, it shouldn't have to be directly tied to BT.  Look at the old Top Gun board game.  It had integration rules for BattleTech, though it was it's own aerial combat game.


Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: bobthecoward on 20 September 2021, 13:49:12
When I got back into battletech, I went to a demo-game where the players had 3025 light mechs and the host had scorpions and infantry. The regular game I got into has 15k lances dark age games regularly.

Yea, obviously infantry don't make the cut very often in the latter game. But I think TW still needs to support enough infantry detail for classic GDL/3025 play.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 20 September 2021, 14:03:26
However!  You can keep the detail, and still find a way to render a squad ineffective against armored units.  Why is it that advanced futuristic machines* can't identify and pick out the weapons that can hurt the machine, point them out to the pilot/gunner, and be picked off? 
That is incredibly hard thing to do, far harder then you realize especially if the weapon has no active guidance system. If it's in any sort of rough terrain it's even harder. For example under thermal imagery you have almost no clue what weapon a person is carrying outside of a flame thrower with the pilot lit.


It's the description I was questioning. Among other things. How is a number of BA different from a number of APCs?
Depends on the style of use of the APC. Mobile bunker or glorified taxi for example? If the mobile bunker tactic then treating one light APC similar to a BA makes a lot of sense. If its just a glorified taxi then you need to choose a different rule to handle them.

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How is crossing off pips different than crossing off troopers?
again depends on what your using it for. For example say infantry using field guns, a gun may be usable with a skeleton crew of 2 people but has 10 people assigned to it to handle thing not directly combat related. This may mean just scratching off troopers in general will be the wrong type of abstraction to use.

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How are you determining damage? And why would we follow BA rules?
out going or incoming? If incoming allowing just pure BA rules would work fairly fine. For outgoing your suggestion of splitting attack stats(anti infantry/anti armor) would probably be good even for BA. This would be an abstraction that would make more sense to most people, while still be practical for the scale.

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If you get rid of damage divisors, how would you handle Armored Infantry and Beast Mounted Infantry?
same way BA with different amount of armor is represented more or less hitpoints per squad.

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I'm in total agreement with the damages and range thing. If they don't have the range, don't shoot. The only damage that should be inflicted are from the weapons fired that turn, at that target. Let the MGs fire at Target 1 and the Rifles fire at Target 2. That's why I think Infantry should have more than one attack.
yeah, this is something that can solve a lot of "why can a pistol decapitate a mech?" Issues without a lot of rules bloat.
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Infantry squads do have the +1. Infantry operating at squad level is an advanced rule.
the goal of a rules change to infantry would be finding that sweet spot of the rules be abstracted enough to not make them burdensome to the game for a support unit, while at the same time allowing them to function in a way that makes sense to people. If we can combine rules for multiple types of units at the same time even better.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: RifleMech on 20 September 2021, 18:27:22
Crossing off pips for infantry is different because you can have 7 pips represent 5 troopers, or 4 pips represent 7 troopers.  So beast infantry might get more or less pips instead of having armor divisors--just like battle armor pips change based on their options.

For squads, I'm saying a platoon of 28 does not get +1 to be hit despite looking like a squad of light battle armor in total pips/tonnage--keeping some advantages to battle armor.

And battle armor have multiple weapons, so would infantry as rules wise they could be identical.


 :blank: :blank: :blank: ???

That's how it is now, except a platoon doesn't look like BA.

Infantry do have different weapons. Their rules just don't follow those of the other units.



That would be all part of the design rules, this is strictly battlefield.  The battlefield is for Mechs, so platoons/squads/troopers would be categorized by their Anti-Mech damage values first, other duties second.

For example, on a battlefield you wouldn't care if a scout platoon was a K-9 unit, carried sensor gear, or had implanted equipment.  All the Battlemech-scale battlefield would care about is sensor range/effectiveness.  Detailed infantry platoon descriptions would be for the TRO details and RPG-level games.

(Similar to how Capital ships don't detail each laser firing, they just list the bay's total heat, damage, and range)

Yes, BT cares about effectiveness. That's why you need to know if they guy with the equipment got turned into goo or not. For if he goes, so goeth his equipment.

Capital ships put weapons in bays to make things easier. You can still have each laser in it's own bay if you want.


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Life is cheap, Mechs are expensive.  Mechs are also supposed to be the stars, so infantry at that scale shouldn't get an advanced record sheet.  Advanced record sheets are for the stars at that level, and for most battlefields the Mechs are the stars.  If you want more detail for infantry, use them at the level they are the stars (i.e. the RPG).  Similar to Warships getting detailed record sheets, while ASF in squadron mode don't.

Just because Mechs are the stars doesn't mean that infantry aren't listed in the cast. If you want unnamed extras, they'd be the civilians. So if all the existing infantry RS aren't going to be errata'ed to include multiple attacks, then advanced RS for infantry would be needed.

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The idea for the poker chips representing infantry platoons is the best I have heard.  One side lists anti-mech firepower, one lists anti-infantry firepower.  Get a stack of 50 chips, place them on the board as wanted, and as thy are destroyed you put them back in the container.  Just have to select the poker chips so they fit completely within a hex (a 1-inch hex means no more than 25mm, but the smallest poker chips I have seen are 39mm, which means 1.5 inch hexes are not enough).  Make them write-on/wipe-off, and be sure to only use dry-erase markers.

Sounds like using Axis and Allies markers and chips. Marker ontop a stack of plus represented the number of that type of unit. White chips were 1, red chips were 5.


Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: RifleMech on 20 September 2021, 18:56:16

Conventional Infantry are good at a few things, and part of that would be securing buildings and repurposing any functions.  Again, mobile, interactive objective pieces.  That means city environments.  That means bases and supply depots.  That means defensive fortifications with guns.  That means drawbridges gate controls.  This was what inspired the idea behind infantry pogs, and assigned roles by squad.

So, maybe a revised CityTech is in order? 

And, remember, I did suggest that this could be done through a Catalyst Sci-fi game that can then be opted into BT if players wish.  Which is why I would love to see some advanced optional rules people can choose to use at least as a framework for going the direction they might want to go with something so hotly contested.  This would be more as for ease of mind for people who are concerned about the unsupported nature of house rules.

But, it shouldn't have to be directly tied to BT.  Look at the old Top Gun board game.  It had integration rules for BattleTech, though it was it's own aerial combat game.

What about canyons, forests, jungles, swamps, rivers and other bodies of water for SCUBA troops,

What about infantry being put out as a picket line? Acting as security? Spotters for artillery? All the various Engineers? Field guns and Field Artillery?  Scouts? Helping to evacuate civilians? Guarding prisoners? There's all kinds of rules for infantry.

As for infantry weapons not doing damage, remember that BT weapons don't increase in damage as BAR goes down. The do in the RPG so by default, infantry have to damage armor.

Has anyone seen the Top Gun rules or knows what they are?



When I got back into battletech, I went to a demo-game where the players had 3025 light mechs and the host had scorpions and infantry. The regular game I got into has 15k lances dark age games regularly.

Yea, obviously infantry don't make the cut very often in the latter game. But I think TW still needs to support enough infantry detail for classic GDL/3025 play.


I agree. For all eras.



Depends on the style of use of the APC. Mobile bunker or glorified taxi for example? If the mobile bunker tactic then treating one light APC similar to a BA makes a lot of sense. If its just a glorified taxi then you need to choose a different rule to handle them.

I was referring to the abstracted vehicles motorized and mechanized infantry ride around in. Many of which have stats in AToW or the AToW Companion.


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again depends on what your using it for. For example say infantry using field guns, a gun may be usable with a skeleton crew of 2 people but has 10 people assigned to it to handle thing not directly combat related. This may mean just scratching off troopers in general will be the wrong type of abstraction to use.


Well, you'd scratch them off to know how many can still operate the gun. Why the others are just sitting around, I don't know.


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out going or incoming? If incoming allowing just pure BA rules would work fairly fine. For outgoing your suggestion of splitting attack stats(anti infantry/anti armor) would probably be good even for BA. This would be an abstraction that would make more sense to most people, while still be practical for the scale.

I wasn't splitting attacks by anti infantry/anti armor. I was splitting attacks between all the weapons the platoon is carrying. If there's 8 operating the machine guns and 20 others firing auto-rifles that's two attacks.


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same way BA with different amount of armor is represented more or less hitpoints per squad.

 :-\


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yeah, this is something that can solve a lot of "why can a pistol decapitate a mech?" Issues without a lot of rules bloat.

If there's enough pistols, or enough time...I'm more concerned about melee weapons hitting at multiple hexes because a couple troopers have guns.


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the goal of a rules change to infantry would be finding that sweet spot of the rules be abstracted enough to not make them burdensome to the game for a support unit, while at the same time allowing them to function in a way that makes sense to people. If we can combine rules for multiple types of units at the same time even better.


I get that. That's why I wish Infantry had more than one attack and that motorized/mechanized infantry were treated more like BA/vehicles that an abstraction. It's also why I wish there wasn't such a wide degree of separation between TW and AToW.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: SteelRaven on 20 September 2021, 19:35:59
If there's enough pistols, or enough time...

...NO.

This argument is the only reason I hate talking about infantry in this game.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 20 September 2021, 19:47:30
Infantry do have different weapons. Their rules just don't follow those of the other units.
That's sort of the problem.

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Yes, BT cares about effectiveness. That's why you need to know if they guy with the equipment got turned into goo or not. For if he goes, so goeth his equipment.
Except it doesn't really work that way in reality. Even when people get hit by large caliber artillery not all of their equipment is destroyed. So unless your arguing we need to treat basically every individual soldier like a mech. Abstraction are going to have to be done, and honestly you wouldn't want to play a game with infantry if you tried to give them the rules you'd need to simulate them to your level.
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Capital ships put weapons in bays to make things easier. You can still have each laser in it's own bay if you want.
you can do that because it's unlikely your ever going to be fielding 100+ warships in a battle.

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Just because Mechs are the stars doesn't mean that infantry aren't listed in the cast. If you want unnamed extras, they'd be the civilians. So if all the existing infantry RS aren't going to be errata'ed to include multiple attacks, then advanced RS for infantry would be needed.

Honestly the new record sheets would not be significantly bigger then the current ones. It would actually just be identical to the BA record sheet for all intents and purpose. With the exception of each BA would now represent a squad or fireteam of the platoon. Which would have the added benefit of reinforcing how nasty BA are compared to regular infantry as they are treated equivalent to multiple men.
.
I was referring to the abstracted vehicles motorized and mechanized infantry ride around in. Many of which have stats in AToW or the AToW Companion.
they'd be treated as part of each squad or fire team. I'm trying to avoid getting into specific rules per the mods, but outside of AToW or similar scale ruleset they are fairly irrelevant, just like we don't track small arms ammunition for infantry in BT. Just because something is represented in one ruleset doesn't make it relevant in another. All the mechanized and motorized vehicle, as well as beasts, would do is be modifiers to movement during the game. During construction you could have them slightly more important, but in a BT game they are best described as vehicles that are irrelevant compared to the caliber of weapons being tossed around. You see this happen in a lot of company scale WWII games, a jeep and a kubelwagon both have identical stats because when you have 152mm cannon on the table whether your in a jeep or kubelwagon is irrelevant.

 
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Well, you'd scratch them off to know how many can still operate the gun. Why the others are just sitting around, I don't know.


I wasn't splitting attacks by anti infantry/anti armor. I was splitting attacks between all the weapons the platoon is carrying. If there's 8 operating the machine guns and 20 others firing auto-rifles that's two attacks.

If there's enough pistols, or enough time...I'm more concerned about melee weapons hitting at multiple hexes because a couple troopers have guns.
And for the most part you'd get that from this system, you would most likely consist of dividing attacks roughly between "Major/Heavy" weapons, the big stuff that can hurt everything on the field of battle and you can have multiple of these. "Small arms" ranged weapons that can only provide a threat to infantry class targets, these would be clumped up in a single state line. And a "Close Quarters/Assualt" attack value used only if infantry are on top of each other. Each squad would have the same equipment so your sheet would just need to show each "weapon/attack" once and when attacking just roll per squad left or use the cluster table. This solves most of your problems and makes much more sense compared to reality.

As for pistols, yeah you don't shoot do you. I could dump thousands of combat loads worth of ammunition into something the a turret ring on a tank before the tank would realize the turret traverse is a little rough.
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I get that. That's why I wish Infantry had more than one attack and that motorized/mechanized infantry were treated more like BA/vehicles that an abstraction. It's also why I wish there wasn't such a wide degree of separation between TW and AToW.
well on TW and AToW, I whole heartily disagree, I want more of a separation. When games are handling different scales of combat, infantry fire team vs armored company and support, then your ruleset MUST be different. It's why games like Bolt Action treat each soldier as an individual and games like Flames of War only go as small as a 4-5 man fireteam, and games like proud monster deluxe which covers the entire Eastern Front only looks at Brigade and higher. What the game encompasses will determine how much of an abstraction you'll use.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DOC_Agren on 20 September 2021, 20:02:22
Yeah, I really get that feeling too. The game already has an issue with "scout" mechs being outclassed in the role by vees and a lot of the mission types/scenarios failing to answer the old wargame artillery question ("If we know where their <static target> is, why don't we just blow it up with artillery?"), so I'd hate to have a situation where a player could reliably dump BV-equal values of infantry onto the table and win in a giant robot fighting game.
Well you don't always have Artillery available, and if the terrain is right maybe the spotters can hit it. 

I have called in multiple times Artillery and Airstrikes in the past (before I was banned from inf) with my Scout/Sniper squads on targets behind the enemy lines in campaign games but then we were playing on "tables" above a 3 car garage

But I agree most people play this for Big Stomping Robots killing everything on the battlefield, not to run Infantry Operations.

I would love to play with some of the new BT inf units that were put out.  Plus Inf does the 1 job in BT they do in the real world Hold Objectives. 
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: idea weenie on 20 September 2021, 20:44:47
Yes, BT cares about effectiveness. That's why you need to know if they guy with the equipment got turned into goo or not. For if he goes, so goeth his equipment. 

I'm willing to accept a level of abstraction where the last person alive has the critical piece of gear for the platoon.  I.e. a scout platoon has the last person alive picking up and carrying the sensor equipment, a spotter platoon has the last person alive picking up and carrying the TAG, an anti-Mech platoon has the last person alive picking up a few satchel charges in the hope of damaging a Mech, etc.  A larger platoon might have better results (more sensors, more people with TAG gear, more satchel charges), but letting the last person carry the gear would be nice.  Or we have to make fan rules about when a platoon can no longer fulfill its specialty due to too few personnel.

Capital ships put weapons in bays to make things easier. You can still have each laser in it's own bay if you want.

Which makes things harder to track.  I don't want to keep track of what each trooper in a platoon can do when performing Lance-vs-Lance Mech combat.  A single Mech should be about as complex (rules-wise) as a battalion (9-12 platoons) of infantry.

Just because Mechs are the stars doesn't mean that infantry aren't listed in the cast. If you want unnamed extras, they'd be the civilians. So if all the existing infantry RS aren't going to be errata'ed to include multiple attacks, then advanced RS for infantry would be needed. 

Advanced sheets would just have existing dual-purpose armor rating changed to anti-infantry armor rating and anti-Mech armor rating, plus separate range and damage lines for the two different weapons.  Civilians can be statted as Green infantry with no armor and no weaponry.  We may have to change the infantry record sheets to handle the two types of attacks, so it might go from 6 platoons per page to 5 platoons per page.

Sounds like using Axis and Allies markers and chips. Marker ontop a stack of plus represented the number of that type of unit. White chips were 1, red chips were 5. 

That would be the ultimate abstraction, but I am willing to allow a little specialization (motive type, weapon range/damage, special abilities).  So a stack of platoons would not be addition, but rather small notes about what each platoon is capable of.  The key with this is that the data per platoon is written on the disk, instead of taking up one-sixth or one-fifth of of a sheet of paper.  You buy a holder containing a stack of 25 trooper-chips, mark some boxes on each indicating type, weapon, range, etc, then place them on the map appropriately.  As the platoons are eliminated, you wipe them clear and put them back in the holder.  The other option is getting a bunch of cheap poker chips, getting some paper and printing out small circles that can be cut and rubber cemented onto the poker chips (as the platoons get destroyed, the paper is peeled off the poker chip).

Of course if you have five platoons in a single hex and the enemy fires an AoE weapon that affects that hex, existing rules will be used to determine damage when multiple platoons are present in a single hex.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: RifleMech on 20 September 2021, 22:22:31
...NO.

This argument is the only reason I hate talking about infantry in this game.

 ;D I get you. That's just how BT armor works. The trick of course is having all those infantry survive that long.



That's sort of the problem.
Except it doesn't really work that way in reality. Even when people get hit by large caliber artillery not all of their equipment is destroyed. So unless your arguing we need to treat basically every individual soldier like a mech. Abstraction are going to have to be done, and honestly you wouldn't want to play a game with infantry if you tried to give them the rules you'd need to simulate them to your level. 

you can do that because it's unlikely your ever going to be fielding 100+ warships in a battle.

Which I hope will be fixed one day.
Except in a regular game that is how it is. There are advanced rules for dead vs mostly dead in TacOps that can be used. Maybe Bob's portable ECM will still work. Once you pick all the pieces of Bob out of it.
Do you mean motorized/mechanized treated more like BA/Vehicles? Sure I would. I've done it and it worked fine. If you mean keeping track of which trooper is doing what, that's how we've been doing it and it's worked fine.

True but I could have 100 LLasers on a single ship. It'd be my choice. That wouldn't be a practical one but it's one I could make.


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Honestly the new record sheets would not be significantly bigger then the current ones. It would actually just be identical to the BA record sheet for all intents and purpose. With the exception of each BA would now represent a squad or fireteam of the platoon. Which would have the added benefit of reinforcing how nasty BA are compared to regular infantry as they are treated equivalent to multiple men.


I never said anything about making foot or jump into BA. All I'm saying a RS listing their attack or weapons. Not the everything added together at 6 hexes even melee weapons. Motorized/Mechanized would need completely new sheets though that would be more similar to BA sheets. 

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they'd be treated as part of each squad or fire team. I'm trying to avoid getting into specific rules per the mods, but outside of AToW or similar scale ruleset they are fairly irrelevant, just like we don't track small arms ammunition for infantry in BT. Just because something is represented in one ruleset doesn't make it relevant in another. All the mechanized and motorized vehicle, as well as beasts, would do is be modifiers to movement during the game. During construction you could have them slightly more important, but in a BT game they are best described as vehicles that are irrelevant compared to the caliber of weapons being tossed around. You see this happen in a lot of company scale WWII games, a jeep and a kubelwagon both have identical stats because when you have 152mm cannon on the table whether your in a jeep or kubelwagon is irrelevant.

That's exactly the kind of abstraction I don't like and want to get away from. Actually, there's a lot of differences between a Jeep and a Kubelwagon, the least of which is that the Jeep is 15mph faster. Sure, neither will survive a round from a 152mm cannon but one is easier to hit than the other. And then there's things like weapons, and towing, and all the customizations one can do. All those things can make a difference on the battlefield, until that one shell hits. 

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And for the most part you'd get that from this system, you would most likely consist of dividing attacks roughly between "Major/Heavy" weapons, the big stuff that can hurt everything on the field of battle and you can have multiple of these. "Small arms" ranged weapons that can only provide a threat to infantry class targets, these would be clumped up in a single state line. And a "Close Quarters/Assualt" attack value used only if infantry are on top of each other. Each squad would have the same equipment so your sheet would just need to show each "weapon/attack" once and when attacking just roll per squad left or use the cluster table. This solves most of your problems and makes much more sense compared to reality.

What's wrong with having a RS like that? 

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As for pistols, yeah you don't shoot do you. I could dump thousands of combat loads worth of ammunition into something the a turret ring on a tank before the tank would realize the turret traverse is a little rough.

Actually I do and I know that's what would happen to a tank. At least a modern one. I also know BT armor doesn't work that way. Neither do the weapons. (In BT infantry weapons do the same damage to BAR2 armor as they do to BAR 10. In BT you need fire Auto Pistols to defeat 1 point of armor. In AToW, all you need is one against BAR3 armor. Not even the lowest rated armor.


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well on TW and AToW, I whole heartily disagree, I want more of a separation. When games are handling different scales of combat, infantry fire team vs armored company and support, then your ruleset MUST be different. It's why games like Bolt Action treat each soldier as an individual and games like Flames of War only go as small as a 4-5 man fireteam, and games like proud monster deluxe which covers the entire Eastern Front only looks at Brigade and higher. What the game encompasses will determine how much of an abstraction you'll use.

I understand differences in scale but they should convert without a problem. They don't. Infantry weapons get so nerfed it isn't funny. I can understand abstraction but to say this weapon is the same as that weapon and then give completely different stats is just wrong. And then there's the abstracted vehicles motorized and mechanized infantry use. AToW gives stats to some of those vehicles and they in no way match TW rules. Not for infantry. To me that is a problem. Things should be close not far off.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: RifleMech on 20 September 2021, 22:43:08
I'm willing to accept a level of abstraction where the last person alive has the critical piece of gear for the platoon.  I.e. a scout platoon has the last person alive picking up and carrying the sensor equipment, a spotter platoon has the last person alive picking up and carrying the TAG, an anti-Mech platoon has the last person alive picking up a few satchel charges in the hope of damaging a Mech, etc.  A larger platoon might have better results (more sensors, more people with TAG gear, more satchel charges), but letting the last person carry the gear would be nice.  Or we have to make fan rules about when a platoon can no longer fulfill its specialty due to too few personnel.

That's be find but one guy can't carry and use all that. We also do have rules about when infantry stop being effective.


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Which makes things harder to track.  I don't want to keep track of what each trooper in a platoon can do when performing Lance-vs-Lance Mech combat.  A single Mech should be about as complex (rules-wise) as a battalion (9-12 platoons) of infantry.

I would have said, just use the generic infantry  but 9-12 platoons for 1 mech? Sorry. That's just way too much abstraction to me.


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Advanced sheets would just have existing dual-purpose armor rating changed to anti-infantry armor rating and anti-Mech armor rating, plus separate range and damage lines for the two different weapons.  Civilians can be statted as Green infantry with no armor and no weaponry.  We may have to change the infantry record sheets to handle the two types of attacks, so it might go from 6 platoons per page to 5 platoons per page.

You want the AToW armor ratings and TW armor divisors listed? Okay. Separate lines for separate weapons. Not anti infantry/anti-armor. One platoon could have 8 pistols and 20 rifles.  So one line per weapon. And sure, we could list civilians that way. In games were civilians matter. Ever notice that in most games, even in towns and cities there's no civilians? No wrecked or abandoned cars. No trampled people, lost pets, looters, people who forgot something and came back to get it, or anything to show that the city was ever occupied. Civilians are extras in the show. Unless they have a speaking part, the extras don't rate their names in the credits. Infantry aren't the starts but they are a part of the cast.


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That would be the ultimate abstraction, but I am willing to allow a little specialization (motive type, weapon range/damage, special abilities).  So a stack of platoons would not be addition, but rather small notes about what each platoon is capable of.  The key with this is that the data per platoon is written on the disk, instead of taking up one-sixth or one-fifth of of a sheet of paper.  You buy a holder containing a stack of 25 trooper-chips, mark some boxes on each indicating type, weapon, range, etc, then place them on the map appropriately.  As the platoons are eliminated, you wipe them clear and put them back in the holder.  The other option is getting a bunch of cheap poker chips, getting some paper and printing out small circles that can be cut and rubber cemented onto the poker chips (as the platoons get destroyed, the paper is peeled off the poker chip).

Of course if you have five platoons in a single hex and the enemy fires an AoE weapon that affects that hex, existing rules will be used to determine damage when multiple platoons are present in a single hex.

There'd be some abstraction. They only had one type of infantry. Last I played anyway. But it is less than a chip with everything. Really, 1 marked chip sitting on a "platoon" of blank chips would work just fine. As troopers are killed off, blank chips get removed until that one marked chip remains or is also removed. That way if you wanted your 12 Platoons, all you'd need is 12 marked chips and a bunch of blanks. There should still be some paperwork though. Just to keep the print readable.

Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 21 September 2021, 02:09:45
So a 'no fan-rule' change is including the existing scenario rules to the game.  Infantry play a big role in objective play... it takes 3 turns to load up objective cargo with 1 platoon or mech with hands, and multiple infantry can further speed this up.

If you want infantry to matter without a fan rule, making scenario's part of standard play can do this.  12 turn games, 4 objectives (1 close to each deployment side, 2 in no-mans land).  Controlling an objective at game end is 1 point, getting it off the board is worth 3, and controlling the battlefield (killing more than your opponent) is worth 2 points.  In this scenario, if you dont bring infantry you can wipe the floor of your opponent, but if his combined arms force got his close objective off the board before dying the game is 3-2 and you lose.  So now, you have a reason to drop a mech for a few platoons of infantry and a few APCs, if only to get your close objective off.  Then you have to decide if the BV of that second mech is worth not having enough infantry to get a middle objective off the field.  Also, you may want many more light mechs like locusts and stingers, great for infantry but terrible for their BV against mechs, to dive in and harry the enemies close objective.

Objectives would make both light mechs (which are terrible for their BV, confirmed by analysis from the 'deathfromabove' guys) and infantry integral to gameplay.  You would still be playing 6k BV per side, but would need more diverse forces rather than the nastiest BV efficient mechs.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Apocal on 21 September 2021, 05:26:17
First I heard of that, although I could see that being possible depending on terrain.

Because it's hard to capture intel when it's been reduced to a crater?

I can see that happening. I think casualties would be pretty high but I can see it happening. I also don't think it should be rendered an impossibility. The little guys should win once in a while.

Referring strictly to the "scout" portion of scout mech: vees are faster, more mobile when talking about VTOLs, cheaper, spot just as well, are more common and don't suffer any real downside if they stay in the scout lane. The one niche I can think of off the top of my head is extreme weather conditions that just kill vees outright (although I'm not sure if that is a TT rule versus MegaMek's implementation).

And I agree infantry should have a chance against mechs, I just don't want to see their relative power creep high enough that taking boatloads of infantry is a better force comp than one based around mechs.

Plus Inf does the 1 job in BT they do in the real world Hold Objectives.

Not disagreeing with the rest, but this stands out since infantry are reasonably easy to push off an objective if you have any number of counters: MGs, flamers, infernos, artillery. You need a few optional rules and an opponent who doesn't field much (if any) anti-infantry weaponry in order to have a chance of holding out with infantry under fire. I think that is part of the issue with finding a role for them.

Sure, under double blind you can have the immortal spotter and that's useful in a lot of situations but it isn't the same as holding an objective.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: ActionButler on 21 September 2021, 06:15:19
**Mod Notice**

Alright gang, on review and discussion, the mod team has agreed that this thread belongs in Fan Rules. Per my last note, nobody is in trouble, nobody is getting a warning, and nobody is getting a sternly worded memo. It’s just going to be easier for everyone involved if you guys don’t have to tiptoe around not pitching your ideas for rules revisions.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: idea weenie on 21 September 2021, 10:00:23
That's be find but one guy can't carry and use all that. We also do have rules about when infantry stop being effective.

Since we're doing fan rules now, then platoons would be designed in decreasing damage per squad, then each squad would be in decreasing damage per trooper.  So the last person may have the TAG, but their anti-Mech damage is zero.  Plus use the existing rules about when a platoon stops being effective, so when a platoon gets down to 3-4 people it loses all its special abilities.  I.e. if a Scout Foot platoon is down to 4 people the platoon loses its 'Scout' tag, and is now just a regular Foot Platoon.

I would have said, just use the generic infantry  but 9-12 platoons for 1 mech? Sorry. That's just way too much abstraction to me.

How much does a Foot infantry platoon cost (C-Bill or BV) compared to a 20-ton Mech?  Both from the 3025 era to make things simple.

You want the AToW armor ratings and TW armor divisors listed? Okay. Separate lines for separate weapons. Not anti infantry/anti-armor. One platoon could have 8 pistols and 20 rifles.  So one line per weapon. And sure, we could list civilians that way. In games were civilians matter. Ever notice that in most games, even in towns and cities there's no civilians? No wrecked or abandoned cars. No trampled people, lost pets, looters, people who forgot something and came back to get it, or anything to show that the city was ever occupied. Civilians are extras in the show. Unless they have a speaking part, the extras don't rate their names in the credits. Infantry aren't the starts but they are a part of the cast. 

Not ATOW ratings, anti-infantry protection and anti-armor protection at the Battlemech scale.  Anti-Infantry is relatively cheap (heavier helmet and torso body armor), while anti-Mech protection needs helmet, torso armor, forearm/hand armor, and leg/foot armor (A-M armor value would be based on the lowest armor protection at any location, while AI is similar to current).  So an infantry unit could get 3 pts AI protection with zero A-M protection (good helmet and torso protection), while another unit would have 1 pt each anti-infantry and A-M protection (okay/poor head and torso protection because the arm and leg protection weighed too much).  The first would do well against other infantry units but take casualties when shot at by Mechs, while the second would take twice as many casualties from another infantry unit, but only half as many casualties from Mech-grade weapons fire.

A platoon could have 8 pistols and 20 rifles, but those pistols would be sidearms of the troopers carrying the heavy weapons or special equipment.  So there would not even be a separate line for pistol damage, just one line for anti-Mech (or heavy anti-Infantry) damage, and one line for the assault rifle damage (this would likely be including any heavy anti-infantry damage.  To keep things simple, the platoon designer would get to choose two of the following damage lines:
* Anti-Mech damage
* Anti-infantry damage
* enhanced melee damage

Anti-Mech examples would be satchel charges, SRM launchers, rifle-launched anti-armor grenades, swappable receivers (https://www.wearethemighty.com/mighty-tactical/awesome-kit-turns-assault-rifle-50-cal-destroyer/)/ammo, etc.
Anti-infantry examples would be dedicated machine guns (not anti-Mech capable, but very good at anti-infantry), assault rifles, shotguns, pistols, rifle-launched anti-infantry grenades, etc.
Enhanced melee damage is for when the troopers carry something bigger than the standard knife such as machetes, hand-thrown grenades, pitchforks, pistols, etc.

Pistols I included twice as they do damage at some range, but not a lot of range.

So the 20 assault rifles and 8 pistols if configured where the the 8 people are carrying anti-Mech weaponry would have one line for anti-Mech damage (only including the anti-Mech weapons) and one line for anti-infantry damage (including the 20 assault rifles and 8 pistols).  Since two lines are filled up, there is no special line for enhanced melee damage so the unit would be limited to basic knife damage.
If the 20 assault rifles and 8 pistols were configured where the the 8 people are carrying anti-infantry weaponry then there would be one line for anti-infantry damage (the heavy anti-infantry weapons and the assault rifles), and one line for enhanced melee damage (the pistols and whatever blades the troopers had).  There is no anti-Mech damage capability, so the designer skips creating that line.
If the 20 assault rifles and 8 pistols were configured where the assault rifles were only equipped with heavier receivers or anti-armor rifle-fired grenades, and the 8 people have antiMech weapons, then you would have one line of anti-Mech damage (the anti-Mech weapons and the rifle-fired grenades) and one line for melee damage (pistols and whatever knives the troopers have).


Compared to a 20+ ton war machine, infantry are extras but they are armed extras.  Also this is Battletech where raids happen on the borders decently enough that the locals know the drill to stay out of sight until the raiders are gone.  Most looters know that drawing attention while a fight is going on is a good way to get 'darwined'.

There'd be some abstraction. They only had one type of infantry. Last I played anyway. But it is less than a chip with everything. Really, 1 marked chip sitting on a "platoon" of blank chips would work just fine. As troopers are killed off, blank chips get removed until that one marked chip remains or is also removed. That way if you wanted your 12 Platoons, all you'd need is 12 marked chips and a bunch of blanks. There should still be some paperwork though. Just to keep the print readable.

How many blank chips would be needed for a 28-person platoon?  How tall would the stack be if there were two platoons in a single hex?

The original idea was 1 chip per platoon, not one chip per person or squad.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: RifleMech on 21 September 2021, 16:28:09
Since we're doing fan rules now, then platoons would be designed in decreasing damage per squad, then each squad would be in decreasing damage per trooper.  So the last person may have the TAG, but their anti-Mech damage is zero.  Plus use the existing rules about when a platoon stops being effective, so when a platoon gets down to 3-4 people it loses all its special abilities.  I.e. if a Scout Foot platoon is down to 4 people the platoon loses its 'Scout' tag, and is now just a regular Foot Platoon.

How is that different from now? There's 28 troopers, with 1 MG per squad. The rest have rifles. You end up with a squad with 6 rifles and 1 MG. How much anti-mech or special abilities should depend on the platoon.


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How much does a Foot infantry platoon cost (C-Bill or BV) compared to a 20-ton Mech?  Both from the 3025 era to make things simple.

Don't know. Don't care to look it up either. It's a scifi universe, set in the future. Infantry should be some threat to Mechs and Armor. Infantry are threats to Armor now. Shoulder fired missiles knock down aircraft. RPGs blow holes in tanks. Even during WWII rounds were taking out tanks view port glass. During WWI rounds hitting the tank would cause spalling. Add all that with how BT armor is ablative and I don't have a problem with a bunch of infantry doing damage to a mech. They just have to live long enough to do that damage and hope to live to get away with it.

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Not ATOW ratings, anti-infantry protection and anti-armor protection at the Battlemech scale.  Anti-Infantry is relatively cheap (heavier helmet and torso body armor), while anti-Mech protection needs helmet, torso armor, forearm/hand armor, and leg/foot armor (A-M armor value would be based on the lowest armor protection at any location, while AI is similar to current).  So an infantry unit could get 3 pts AI protection with zero A-M protection (good helmet and torso protection), while another unit would have 1 pt each anti-infantry and A-M protection (okay/poor head and torso protection because the arm and leg protection weighed too much).  The first would do well against other infantry units but take casualties when shot at by Mechs, while the second would take twice as many casualties from another infantry unit, but only half as many casualties from Mech-grade weapons fire.

That would be AToW armor ratings and TW armor divisors.


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A platoon could have 8 pistols and 20 rifles, but those pistols would be sidearms of the troopers carrying the heavy weapons or special equipment.  So there would not even be a separate line for pistol damage, just one line for anti-Mech (or heavy anti-Infantry) damage, and one line for the assault rifle damage (this would likely be including any heavy anti-infantry damage.  To keep things simple, the platoon designer would get to choose two of the following damage lines:
* Anti-Mech damage
* Anti-infantry damage
* enhanced melee damage

You're presuming that those 8 troopers are carrying something else. TW doesn't even work like that. It's 1 weapon per trooper. Special equipment for everyone or replacing support weapons. AToW though each trooper could carry a pistol, a rifle, a knife, a few grenades, plus any support weapon assigned, and maybe a disposable weapon too.
You also neglected the option for the MG troopers to fire their pistols instead of their MGs. So the line should still be there.

Infantry should have at least one attack per weapon. Like all other units. One problem is infantry are so abstracted that they all fire together at one target. Sure a part of that is training but if standard infantry weapons aren't supposed to do anything why are they shooting at the tank? Shouldn't they be shooting at the infantry around the tank while the support weapons shoot at the tank?

The other problem is that Infantry are so nerfed, and getting more so, that many support weapons aren't really any better than standard weapons. A platoon with 28 light MGs would do less damage than a platoon with 28 auto-rifles. I could see something along the lines of the old rules from TRO:3026 where if the troopers got lucky they'd do some damage, to BAR 6+ armor with standard weapons but the support weapons would have to actually be support weapons. That's at minimum support weapons equaling BA weapons as seen in the tables of Combat Equipment.


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Compared to a 20+ ton war machine, infantry are extras but they are armed extras.  Also this is Battletech where raids happen on the borders decently enough that the locals know the drill to stay out of sight until the raiders are gone.  Most looters know that drawing attention while a fight is going on is a good way to get 'darwined'.

No, infantry are supporting cast and sometimes it's the cast that ends up carrying the show. Times when the star is miscast, or is being a diva and won't come out of their hanger.

That may be true about civilians but there are still casualties, and Pirates still manage to capture them for slaves. And it still doesn't explain the absence of any civilian vehicles in the town. Sure most would have left town but there's always going to be some that get into a wreck or broke down.




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How many blank chips would be needed for a 28-person platoon?  How tall would the stack be if there were two platoons in a single hex?

The original idea was 1 chip per platoon, not one chip per person or squad.

5 red and 3 white. If they're the same type of platoon? Then you'd have 11 red and 1 white. Unless you want to add another color for 10s. That'd be alright with me. If they're different types it'd depend on how many troopers are in the platoon as you'd have two stacks of chips.

Then you'd still need a RS to keep track of how many troopers are killed. Really, the chips are just a visual representation of how many troopers are in that hex. The RS should be keeping track of everything.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: idea weenie on 21 September 2021, 20:58:43
How is that different from now? There's 28 troopers, with 1 MG per squad. The rest have rifles. You end up with a squad with 6 rifles and 1 MG. How much anti-mech or special abilities should depend on the platoon.

The key is that in a squad, the person with the most damage-dealing would be removed first as that person is drawing fire and the weapon is smashed as well..
So a squad with a 2-pt machine gun, and five people with assault rifles that do .5 damage each would look like this (before rounding):
4.5, 2.5, 2, 1.5, 1, .5

A platoon with 4 of those squads, and 4 people carrying pistols (.2 damage each) would look like this (before rounding):
(18.8, 16.8, 16.3, 15.8, 15.3, 14.8) (14.3, 12.3, 11.8, 11.3, 10.8, 10.3) (9.8, 7.8, 7.3, 6.8, 6.3, 5.8) (5.3, 3.3, 2.8, 2.3, 1.8, 1.3) (0.8, 0.6, 0.4, 0.2)
The squads doing the most damage are removed first, though since the 4 squads are identical it would not matter.  After that the command staff is removed.

That would be a convenient way to handle things where the command staff carries the specialized gear for the platoon (radio, TAG, sensors, medical supplies, etc), but if the command staff is the only personnel left then the special abilities are lost (enough people have been shot or hit with shrapnel that the special equipment is destroyed).



Don't know. Don't care to look it up either. It's a scifi universe, set in the future. Infantry should be some threat to Mechs and Armor. Infantry are threats to Armor now. Shoulder fired missiles knock down aircraft. RPGs blow holes in tanks. Even during WWII rounds were taking out tanks view port glass. During WWI rounds hitting the tank would cause spalling. Add all that with how BT armor is ablative and I don't have a problem with a bunch of infantry doing damage to a mech. They just have to live long enough to do that damage and hope to live to get away with it.

That would be AToW armor ratings and TW armor divisors.

Today's infantry have the advantage that firepower has trumped armor, while infantry in BT are dealing with armor trumping firepower (except for firing at a VTOL's rotors).  Even then, modern infantry does best when attacking from ambush, not in direct fights.  Shoulder-fired missiles knock down aircraft with zero armor on them, not the armored flying tanks that exist in BT.  For Port glass, those were lucky shots that got a crew critical hit, rather than reliable shots.  Plus, we were still learning tank design. BT has likely refined tank design and even then still gets crew critical hits.

The very basic for infantry vs armor is that a single 5 kg projectile will do 1 pt of damage at up to 9 hexes of range (an SRM masses 10 kg and does 2 pts of damage).  That should be the meterstick for infantry anti-Mech range, damage, and mass needed.
Satchel charge = higher damage, but zero range
man-portable LRM = longer range than SRM, lower damage than SRM, 8.33 kg


The armor would be set up where TW armor divisors are the only thing cared about, but Anti-Mech protection is based on the lowest armor protection of any of the locations, instead of the sum of all the armor locations.  So there are two armor values, but one of them is harder to raise.  So you could have a unit with Anti-infantry protection of 3 and anti-Mech protection of zero because the legs and forearms are not protected.  An Anti-Mech infantry unit would have an anti-Infantry protection of 1, but also anti-Mech protection of 1 because the designer used lighter helmet and torso armor to get enough free mass to let the infantry carry the extra armor on their legs and forearms.  An easy way to calculate anti-Mech protection is to take the armor values in the lowest protected location, multiply that by 4, and use that as the value used to calculate Anti-Mech protection.

You're presuming that those 8 troopers are carrying something else. TW doesn't even work like that. It's 1 weapon per trooper. Special equipment for everyone or replacing support weapons. AToW though each trooper could carry a pistol, a rifle, a knife, a few grenades, plus any support weapon assigned, and maybe a disposable weapon too.
You also neglected the option for the MG troopers to fire their pistols instead of their MGs. So the line should still be there.

Infantry should have at least one attack per weapon. Like all other units. One problem is infantry are so abstracted that they all fire together at one target. Sure a part of that is training but if standard infantry weapons aren't supposed to do anything why are they shooting at the tank? Shouldn't they be shooting at the infantry around the tank while the support weapons shoot at the tank?

The other problem is that Infantry are so nerfed, and getting more so, that many support weapons aren't really any better than standard weapons. A platoon with 28 light MGs would do less damage than a platoon with 28 auto-rifles. I could see something along the lines of the old rules from TRO:3026 where if the troopers got lucky they'd do some damage, to BAR 6+ armor with standard weapons but the support weapons would have to actually be support weapons. That's at minimum support weapons equaling BA weapons as seen in the tables of Combat Equipment.

I was assuming the 8 troopers would be carrying anti-Mech weaponry.  If they are not carrying anti-Mech weaponry, then they are carrying other gear (medical equipment, radio, TAG, sensors, etc).  Still, how much gear is a trooper going to carry?  A pistol, a rifle, a knife, grenades, support weapon (or part of it), and a disposable weapon?  These are Battletech soldiers, not FPS characters.  A US army trooper would be carrying about 70 pounds or 34 kilos, using the chart from here (https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/the-soldiers-heavy-load-1) (modified for only one weapon, only one day of food/water/batteries, and no personal gear).

So, 20 troopers with assault rifles + 8 troopers with pistols, no other gear:
Anti-Mech damage would be 20 troopers firing anti-armor grenades (unless these specialized grenades count as 'other gear')
Anti-infantry damage would be 20 troopers firing assault rifles normally (pistols would not contribute as their range disadvantage compared to assault rifles would make them effectively irrelevant)
Enhanced melee damage would be 20 troopers with knives and 8 troopers with pistols (pistols would lose their range but get higher damage)

The platoon designer can only pick two lines.  If they have anti-armor grenades, then they will likely use the anti-Mech and anti-infantry damage lines.  If no anti-Mech capability, then they would use the anti-infantry and enhanced melee lines.

The problem with allowing infantry two attacks is that you have to carefully work in the design phase to make sure the infantry can perform 2 attacks.  In your example of 20 assault rifles and 8 pistols and no other gear, all the assault rifles are already busy firing at the Mech using anti-armor grenades, so cannot fire at infantry.  The infantry melee damage is based on all the troopers being available with knives to support the 8 pistol users so that would not work either.  Using the same 20 assault rifles and 8 pistols set up, assuming 4 squads at 7 troopers per, where the SRM units are first, all 8 are firing SRMs (2 dmg/person), and the remaining assault rifles are doing .5 anti-infantry damage,  the two weapon damage lines would look like:
Anti-Mech: (16, 14, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12) (12, 10, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8) (8, 6, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4) (4, 2, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0)
Anti-Infantry: (10, 10, 10, 9.5, 9, 8.5, 8) (7.5, 7.5, 7.5, 7, 6.5, 6, 5.5) (5, 5, 5, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3) (2.5, 2.5, 2.5, 2, 1.5, 1, 0.5)
Pistols are not included as their range is different than the assault rifles

To make it easier on the designers, just go with one attack type per turn.  Detailed attack types would be for RPG or squad-level combat, not Battlemech-scale combat.


Infantry are nerfed because they are fighting in the same environment as fusion-powered armored targets that are faster and outmass an infantry platoon by over 6:1 (20 ton Locust vs 30 people @ 100 kg each, and the slowest Mech has a Run speed of 2 unless using Hardened armor).  Their best hope is to stay out of sight and only attack when their target is distracted, and preferably from ambush.


No, infantry are supporting cast and sometimes it's the cast that ends up carrying the show. Times when the star is miscast, or is being a diva and won't come out of their hanger.

That may be true about civilians but there are still casualties, and Pirates still manage to capture them for slaves. And it still doesn't explain the absence of any civilian vehicles in the town. Sure most would have left town but there's always going to be some that get into a wreck or broke down.

Non-combat forces in a town are already hidden by being irrelevant to the fight at hand.  Pirates raiding for captives are assumed to have control over an area when the defenders have been driven out, and can search at their leisure.  You also have difficulty moving through buildings, and part of that could be stepping over/through civilian vehicles.  Few civilian homes are 30 meters from one side to another, so there will be room for the house, the carport, a vehicle, septic tank, etc.


5 red and 3 white. If they're the same type of platoon? Then you'd have 11 red and 1 white. Unless you want to add another color for 10s. That'd be alright with me. If they're different types it'd depend on how many troopers are in the platoon as you'd have two stacks of chips.

Then you'd still need a RS to keep track of how many troopers are killed. Really, the chips are just a visual representation of how many troopers are in that hex. The RS should be keeping track of everything.

The original plan was 1 token per platoon.  I do not want to keep track of potentially up to 6 tokens to represent a single platoon, when only a single marker is used for Mechs.  Plus, if a marker slides you have to keep track of which platoon it was from initially.

Keep it simple: 1 marker = 1 unit on a battlefield
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 22 September 2021, 02:51:59
Well, I'm out.  The goal was to discuss the idea of the need for change, not necessarily come up with the specifics.  I've already tackled that down here.  And, if I recall rightly, I don't think any of the Devs actually look around down here.  So,  :P , I say!   :P

Still, 2 pages in the course of a weekend is not bad.  I figured it get heated and locked, personally, so I lost that Dead Pool bet.

Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: RifleMech on 22 September 2021, 06:31:13
The key is that in a squad, the person with the most damage-dealing would be removed first as that person is drawing fire and the weapon is smashed as well..
So a squad with a 2-pt machine gun, and five people with assault rifles that do .5 damage each would look like this (before rounding):
4.5, 2.5, 2, 1.5, 1, .5

A platoon with 4 of those squads, and 4 people carrying pistols (.2 damage each) would look like this (before rounding):
(18.8, 16.8, 16.3, 15.8, 15.3, 14.8) (14.3, 12.3, 11.8, 11.3, 10.8, 10.3) (9.8, 7.8, 7.3, 6.8, 6.3, 5.8) (5.3, 3.3, 2.8, 2.3, 1.8, 1.3) (0.8, 0.6, 0.4, 0.2)
The squads doing the most damage are removed first, though since the 4 squads are identical it would not matter.  After that the command staff is removed.

That would be a convenient way to handle things where the command staff carries the specialized gear for the platoon (radio, TAG, sensors, medical supplies, etc), but if the command staff is the only personnel left then the special abilities are lost (enough people have been shot or hit with shrapnel that the special equipment is destroyed).

You're making a lot of presumptions there. The biggest is that troopers are killed in order of importance. If it were an ambush and you could clearly identify officers and those with special weapons/abilities and shoot them first, that would work. Most of the time it doesn't work like that. Infantry pop up and they get shot at. Troopers die randomly. To hit a specific trooper would be an aimed shot. Unless you're hidden or out of range, you don't usually have time for that.

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Today's infantry have the advantage that firepower has trumped armor, while infantry in BT are dealing with armor trumping firepower (except for firing at a VTOL's rotors).  Even then, modern infantry does best when attacking from ambush, not in direct fights.  Shoulder-fired missiles knock down aircraft with zero armor on them, not the armored flying tanks that exist in BT.  For Port glass, those were lucky shots that got a crew critical hit, rather than reliable shots.  Plus, we were still learning tank design. BT has likely refined tank design and even then still gets crew critical hits.

That's true and false. Mostly false. BT Infantry are intentionally nerfed so that they can't compete with mechs. They can get lucky sometimes but most just die. AToW is a bit better for infantry as weapons will do more damage.  Both in general and specifically. The ordnance using weapons are all the same as BA. That makes them more effective against mechs and deadly to lightly and unarmored vehicles. Even with the nerf, if enough infantry hit even pistols will do damage. And that's with how TW does damage for all armor ratings. In AToW weapons get less effective as the BAR goes up.

As for the port glass , there's still camera lenses, and port glass that could suffer a lucky hit.


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The very basic for infantry vs armor is that a single 5 kg projectile will do 1 pt of damage at up to 9 hexes of range (an SRM masses 10 kg and does 2 pts of damage).  That should be the meterstick for infantry anti-Mech range, damage, and mass needed.
Satchel charge = higher damage, but zero range
man-portable LRM = longer range than SRM, lower damage than SRM, 8.33 kg

And that there is a problem because the infantry two shot SRM only does 1.14 damage. That's for both SRMs. Even the Heavy SRM at 18kg only does .57 damage. That should be 4 points of damage for each of them. 



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The armor would be set up where TW armor divisors are the only thing cared about, but Anti-Mech protection is based on the lowest armor protection of any of the locations, instead of the sum of all the armor locations.  So there are two armor values, but one of them is harder to raise.  So you could have a unit with Anti-infantry protection of 3 and anti-Mech protection of zero because the legs and forearms are not protected.  An Anti-Mech infantry unit would have an anti-Infantry protection of 1, but also anti-Mech protection of 1 because the designer used lighter helmet and torso armor to get enough free mass to let the infantry carry the extra armor on their legs and forearms.  An easy way to calculate anti-Mech protection is to take the armor values in the lowest protected location, multiply that by 4, and use that as the value used to calculate Anti-Mech protection.

So you want to change the existing armor divisor to something more complicated. I do think they should be better against Infantry weapons but I don't think we need to rewrite the book to do so. As for armor values being weaker in certain areas, that's the advanced  truly dead vs mostly dead rules.


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I was assuming the 8 troopers would be carrying anti-Mech weaponry.  If they are not carrying anti-Mech weaponry, then they are carrying other gear (medical equipment, radio, TAG, sensors, etc).  Still, how much gear is a trooper going to carry?  A pistol, a rifle, a knife, grenades, support weapon (or part of it), and a disposable weapon?  These are Battletech soldiers, not FPS characters.  A US army trooper would be carrying about 70 pounds or 34 kilos, using the chart from here (https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/the-soldiers-heavy-load-1) (modified for only one weapon, only one day of food/water/batteries, and no personal gear).

That again is a presumption. THere's infantry who's primary weapons are swords. with the support weapons being rifles. Also have you seen the sample troopers in AToW? They can carry a lot more than a US trooper will.


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So, 20 troopers with assault rifles + 8 troopers with pistols, no other gear:
Anti-Mech damage would be 20 troopers firing anti-armor grenades (unless these specialized grenades count as 'other gear')
Anti-infantry damage would be 20 troopers firing assault rifles normally (pistols would not contribute as their range disadvantage compared to assault rifles would make them effectively irrelevant)
Enhanced melee damage would be 20 troopers with knives and 8 troopers with pistols (pistols would lose their range but get higher damage)

You do know that TW lumps in the rifle and the grenade damage together, right? Also that  an infantry unit's range is that of the weapon with the longest range? To me that is a problem.

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The platoon designer can only pick two lines.  If they have anti-armor grenades, then they will likely use the anti-Mech and anti-infantry damage lines.  If no anti-Mech capability, then they would use the anti-infantry and enhanced melee lines.

They should have a line for each weapon carried.


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The problem with allowing infantry two attacks is that you have to carefully work in the design phase to make sure the infantry can perform 2 attacks.  In your example of 20 assault rifles and 8 pistols and no other gear, all the assault rifles are already busy firing at the Mech using anti-armor grenades, so cannot fire at infantry.  The infantry melee damage is based on all the troopers being available with knives to support the 8 pistol users so that would not work either.  Using the same 20 assault rifles and 8 pistols set up, assuming 4 squads at 7 troopers per, where the SRM units are first, all 8 are firing SRMs (2 dmg/person), and the remaining assault rifles are doing .5 anti-infantry damage,  the two weapon damage lines would look like:
Anti-Mech: (16, 14, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12) (12, 10, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8) (8, 6, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4) (4, 2, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0)
Anti-Infantry: (10, 10, 10, 9.5, 9, 8.5, 8) (7.5, 7.5, 7.5, 7, 6.5, 6, 5.5) (5, 5, 5, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3) (2.5, 2.5, 2.5, 2, 1.5, 1, 0.5)
Pistols are not included as their range is different than the assault rifles

To make it easier on the designers, just go with one attack type per turn.  Detailed attack types would be for RPG or squad-level combat, not Battlemech-scale combat.

How do mechs fire at more than one target? The infantry could fire their grenades at a mech, then fire the rifles at infantry. The guys with pistols can fire at whomever is with in range. The guys operating the field guns fire at the mechs, the left over troopers fire at enemy infantry. It isn't that complicated only the rules abstract everything down to a single infantry attack.



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Infantry are nerfed because they are fighting in the same environment as fusion-powered armored targets that are faster and outmass an infantry platoon by over 6:1 (20 ton Locust vs 30 people @ 100 kg each, and the slowest Mech has a Run speed of 2 unless using Hardened armor).  Their best hope is to stay out of sight and only attack when their target is distracted, and preferably from ambush.

Infantry in the open at any time period are at a disadvantage. That hasn't changed since, ever. Yes, they're better off being dug in or under cover some place. That doesn't mean that infantry can't be effective in the field, especially motorized/mechanized infantry. I just don't agree how they're portrayed. 


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Non-combat forces in a town are already hidden by being irrelevant to the fight at hand.  Pirates raiding for captives are assumed to have control over an area when the defenders have been driven out, and can search at their leisure.  You also have difficulty moving through buildings, and part of that could be stepping over/through civilian vehicles.  Few civilian homes are 30 meters from one side to another, so there will be room for the house, the carport, a vehicle, septic tank, etc.

If there's no defenders, there's no reason for the Pirates to leave. Even if there are defenders and they get defeated, why is it that Pirates can find civilians and the military can't? And yes, we get buildings but how many games have you played or seen where there's x number of cars in the driveway, or parked or abandoned on the street blocking roadways and intersections, or in a parking lot or parking garage? There might have been some in a couple stories but I've never seen it happen in a game unless it was my game.

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The original plan was 1 token per platoon.  I do not want to keep track of potentially up to 6 tokens to represent a single platoon, when only a single marker is used for Mechs.  Plus, if a marker slides you have to keep track of which platoon it was from initially.

Keep it simple: 1 marker = 1 unit on a battlefield

Sure but you still need record sheets.

Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 22 September 2021, 16:16:51

Which I hope will be fixed one day.
Except in a regular game that is how it is. There are advanced rules for dead vs mostly dead in TacOps that can be used. Maybe Bob's portable ECM will still work. Once you pick all the pieces of Bob out of it.
Do you mean motorized/mechanized treated more like BA/Vehicles? Sure I would. I've done it and it worked fine. If you mean keeping track of which trooper is doing what, that's how we've been doing it and it's worked fine.
Okay so your up for an online game where I'm bringing an infantry battalion (360 troops) to support my mechs in an urban fight with all that tracking and it's going to be done in under 2 hours? And will I have cared that we did so by the end? my guess is no on both.
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True but I could have 100 LLasers on a single ship. It'd be my choice. That wouldn't be a practical one but it's one I could make.
And you'd also quickly find yourself with a dwindling amount of opponents. Doing things that deliberately extend the play time of a game with little to no real benefit will actually get you penalized in most tournaments if not ejected if it happens repetitively. This is why rules must be designed weighing Resolution time vs. Actual game effect.
 
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That's exactly the kind of abstraction I don't like and want to get away from. Actually, there's a lot of differences between a Jeep and a Kubelwagon, the least of which is that the Jeep is 15mph faster. Sure, neither will survive a round from a 152mm cannon but one is easier to hit than the other. And then there's things like weapons, and towing, and all the customizations one can do. All those things can make a difference on the battlefield, until that one shell hits.
Speed is the only thing that matters, everything else is irrelevant. That is because when it comes to the game the vehicle in my towed gun motorized platoon WILL have the towing capacity to tow the guns regardless of whatever it may be and will be able to be armed with whatever weapons it is armed with, because I said so.

The problem is your coming at games and rules design from the opposite direction. Normal games design start with a question of "What is relevant to the game I am designing?" So for example in a squad level infantry game Fuel range of a scout car is not relevant. A car with a 250 mil range versus a car with a 600 mile range has no difference in a game with a battle taking place over 20 minutes in game on a map/table representing no more then a few acres. So since it is irrelevant to the needs of the game its irrelevant.

Your coming at it from the place of "What is different between these things and how am I going to make it relevant to the game?" This creates more rules for very little practical benefit. For example, what would be the purpose of possibly creating a situation in the rules where you could outfit a towed gun motorized platoon with vehicles that couldn't tow their guns from the start,  just so you could have detailed information of the vehicle towing capacity. None.



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Actually I do and I know that's what would happen to a tank. At least a modern one. I also know BT armor doesn't work that way. Neither do the weapons. (In BT infantry weapons do the same damage to BAR2 armor as they do to BAR 10. In BT you need fire Auto Pistols to defeat 1 point of armor. In AToW, all you need is one against BAR3 armor. Not even the lowest rated armor.
I don't think you know nearly as much as you think you do, nor do the game designers. I've worn ablative armor into combat, it will always have a structural armor backing to provide structure to prevent exponential armor degradation. In my case it was a ballistic ceramic back plate. Without this the armor takes about 3 shots then fails completely as it no longer has any structural support. The key thing to remember is that in game development core mechanics are normally designed before the fluff. Battletech armor is ablative because the rules require it to be ablative, not the other way around.
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I understand differences in scale but they should convert without a problem. They don't. Infantry weapons get so nerfed it isn't funny. I can understand abstraction but to say this weapon is the same as that weapon and then give completely different stats is just wrong. And then there's the abstracted vehicles motorized and mechanized infantry use. AToW gives stats to some of those vehicles and they in no way match TW rules. Not for infantry. To me that is a problem. Things should be close not far off.
Why should they convert without a problem? How would trying to keep direct conversion from a guy with a .22lr pistol to a Naval PPC or Nuke be beneficial? AToW happens to be among my least favorite RPG rulesets, since I got it when it came out, it's has only moved when I moved house. It was a failure because it tried to seamlessly convert from AToW to BT. This resulted in a ruleset that not only was in my gaming groups opinion a poor RPG rule set, It was also a poor BT pilot campaign ruleset. All because it was limited to the scaling and game resolution mechanic of a same system designed to do something completely different. If anything the attempts to try that easy conversion has resulted in more WTF gaming moments then it ever has helped.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 22 September 2021, 17:58:59
+1 for the Mod team moving this thread where it was inevitably headed!  :thumbsup:

And now that it's safely down here, I think I can share my thoughts without a warning...   8)

Personally, I think there should only be three scales in the rules: Personal (AToW, to include "support" weapons that rival light Vehicular weapons), Vehicular ('mech/vehicle), and Capital (WarShips, et al.).  The BA/Protomech/Sub-capital stuff should be binned in one of those three.  I acknowledge there are levels of abstraction beyond that (BattleForce, Inner Sphere at War, et al.), but those don't account for individual weapons like the first three (Alpha Strike is a "between" level of abstraction I haven't cottoned on to yet; I may never do so).

I also think there should be rules for mounting sub-scale weapons on "higher" scale vehicles (my "Remote Weapon Station" thread refers, linked in my sig block along with a lot of other stuff; if you don't see it, just PM me... it's right under my "Blazer Cannon Manifesto").  Going the other way would be very tricky, and is something I haven't decided should be tackled yet, though I acknowledge Field Guns exist.

As far as designating support weapon gunners, I feel compelled to point out that "Support Weapons" is specifically part of the AToW Infantry skill field.  For further support, I offer this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arZCCrnjDtA) (Strucker's perfectly reasonable expectation was that anyone else in that HMMWV, not just the special operator, was able to operate the Ma Deuce) .  If a support weapon gunner is rendered hors de combat, another trooper will pick up the weapon.

Ultimately, I remain convinced the AP vs. BAR system could be the E=mc2 of the gaming universe.  BattleTech has the potential to be the only game to seamlessly go from personal to interstellar warfare, and I aim to see it get there.  37 more months to RL retirement, and I can devote more of my energy to it.

Nicoli: I acknowledge it could be done better, but I think there is value in being able to move seamlessly between scales.  The discontinuities are what result in those "WTF?" moments your group has experienced.  Nukes are absolutely special rules.  One does not lightly throw that many orders of magnitude around!
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 22 September 2021, 22:16:27
As far as designating support weapon gunners, I feel compelled to point out that "Support Weapons" is specifically part of the AToW Infantry skill field.  For further support, I offer this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arZCCrnjDtA) (Strucker's perfectly reasonable expectation was that anyone else in that HMMWV, not just the special operator, was able to operate the Ma Deuce) .  If a support weapon gunner is rendered hors de combat, another trooper will pick up the weapon.

Honestly, due to the scale of the game, I think the best route to take would be to take in to consideration a simple concept of there are still a certain number of people in the unit that will be using and carrying the weapons with maneuvers.  That being said, I would have it represented in the simple manner of looking at the damage the unit does.  It would be divided in to squad rankings, with a rate of dropping damage of something like 1 a person, but it jumps (depending on the weapon) when the amount of a full squad dies.

For example, if there are 28 members of a 4 squad platoon, and they are armed with SRMs, there will be 1-2 SRMs per squad, which would be something like 4-8 SRMs total.  With the two, total squad damage would be something like 16+10 damage total at full strength, but when 7 guys are out, it's 12+5 damage.

Of course, if we really want to do proper representation, the rifles and the SRMs would be tracked separately, each having their own range bands, which I believe is akin to what Riflemech recommended.  This way it would be easy to track each group.  Platoon's SRM damage would still be 16 for 28, then when you went down to 22, it goes to 14, with 21 going 12 till you reached 15, and so on.  Meanwhile, the Rifle damage goes down from 28-22, but doesn't change till you go to 20-16, and so on.  The support weapons are then tracked with some level of proper arbitration without have to completely write the script on everything, just add some lines of damage to a platoon chart.  This would probably be more noticeable with LRM ranges being what they are, and even Recoilless can start being added in as a ConvInf option.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 22 September 2021, 23:13:28
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Personally, I think there should only be three scales in the rules: Personal (AToW, to include "support" weapons that rival light Vehicular weapons), Vehicular ('mech/vehicle), and Capital (WarShips, et al.).

So I agree here with scale.  However, we may have different ideas on implementation.

A Ma Deuce has a stupid range befitting a heavy round on a heavy platform as machine guns go.  Against a tank, it wont cause appreciable damage but up close you will start knocking off surface components.  Against infantry, though, you beat an area of ground to death over and over with ballistic bullet trajectories, tracking 15x5 meters of ground.  So on the personal scale, a machine gun becomes an area effect weapon at range, and is still super lethal to people even if not versus heavy armor.  You also pin infantry behind cover while beating this area of terrain, as if they step out in front of a live machine gun its all over.

So in btech, you would still have a point blank range with a machine gun when firing at a heavy armor target, but against infantry all burst fire and anti infantry weapons become area effect weapons (as far as you can detect them, ive seen reports of shooting over hills with machine guns like a mortar though that is not common practice).

End result?  If you want infantry real world ranges it works both ways, and it is safe to say any infantry you can detect will be obliterated by armor.  This can work still btw... the infantry 'unit' is only to be used in hidden deployment, as spotters, and for point blank ambushes.  Once detected, when shooting at infantry any non-flamer burst fire/anti infantry weapon can target infantry as if they were at long range despite otherwise being out of range.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: RifleMech on 23 September 2021, 01:16:25
Okay so your up for an online game where I'm bringing an infantry battalion (360 troops) to support my mechs in an urban fight with all that tracking and it's going to be done in under 2 hours? And will I have cared that we did so by the end? my guess is no on both. 

And I would bring infantry of my own and plenty of anti-infantry weapons. So what's the question?


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And you'd also quickly find yourself with a dwindling amount of opponents. Doing things that deliberately extend the play time of a game with little to no real benefit will actually get you penalized in most tournaments if not ejected if it happens repetitively. This is why rules must be designed weighing Resolution time vs. Actual game effect.

Possibly but that would be my choice and in this case the rules give me that choice.

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Speed is the only thing that matters, everything else is irrelevant. That is because when it comes to the game the vehicle in my towed gun motorized platoon WILL have the towing capacity to tow the guns regardless of whatever it may be and will be able to be armed with whatever weapons it is armed with, because I said so.

No speed is not the only thing that matters. Game immersion and suspension of disbelief matters. If a unit breaks those things then it's a broken unit. It's even worse when rules at two different scales cannot mesh. That breaks the universe as now you have one unit that super powerful and another that's uber nerfed trying to be the same thing. It doesn't work. And because you say so, may work on your table but not mine. Nor anyone else's I know. 


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The problem is your coming at games and rules design from the opposite direction. Normal games design start with a question of "What is relevant to the game I am designing?" So for example in a squad level infantry game Fuel range of a scout car is not relevant. A car with a 250 mil range versus a car with a 600 mile range has no difference in a game with a battle taking place over 20 minutes in game on a map/table representing no more then a few acres. So since it is irrelevant to the needs of the game its irrelevant.

I have no idea where you're going with that. Who cares what the car's range is if it's out of gas? The question could be more like does it have the gas to get out of town? or Will this car protect my troops getting out of town? or What do I need to get the car running to get out of town? or Can we A-Team this car into an attack vehicle to use against the enemy and if so do we have enough time and parts to do so?


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Your coming at it from the place of "What is different between these things and how am I going to make it relevant to the game?" This creates more rules for very little practical benefit. For example, what would be the purpose of possibly creating a situation in the rules where you could outfit a towed gun motorized platoon with vehicles that couldn't tow their guns from the start,  just so you could have detailed information of the vehicle towing capacity. None.

Why are vehicles that can't tow the weapon being used to tow the weapon? If it isn't capable of towing it, you use a different vehicle.
Why is it an abstracted Jeep that weighs .285kg - .5 kg (depending on motorized or mechanized) looses 1 MP if it carries 2 support weapons but it can tow a 3 ton Light Rifle Cannon and 1 ton of ammo with no MP penalties? Why is it that an AToW version will be twice as heavy and move twice as fast, and can carry as many weapon as it has spaces and weight available with no penalties? Why is it each of these three jeeps take damage differently? Why is it a Beast Mounted Platoon can't pull a Field Gun, when they've been doing so for centuries? Not even a Magshot Gauss Rifle with ammo weighing 1.5 tons? Yet a Platoon of Motorcycles can tow 15 tons Arrow IV Missile Launcher and ammo?

Maybe you don't think it's important. That the abstraction is just fine. If that works for you, great. But I think how fast my jeep gets it's field gun where it needs to be is important. If my Jeep towing a field gun can get into position 2-3 times faster, and maybe provide a bit of protection from enemy snipers with its armor, I want to use that jeep and not the abstracted one. Even if it does mean a little more paperwork. An no I would not assign a Jeep to try tow a field gun above it's towing capacity. If I want to tow something heavier I get a bigger vehicle.



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I don't think you know nearly as much as you think you do, nor do the game designers. I've worn ablative armor into combat, it will always have a structural armor backing to provide structure to prevent exponential armor degradation. In my case it was a ballistic ceramic back plate. Without this the armor takes about 3 shots then fails completely as it no longer has any structural support. The key thing to remember is that in game development core mechanics are normally designed before the fluff. Battletech armor is ablative because the rules require it to be ablative, not the other way around. Why should they convert without a problem? How would trying to keep direct conversion from a guy with a .22lr pistol to a Naval PPC or Nuke be beneficial? AToW happens to be among my least favorite RPG rulesets, since I got it when it came out, it's has only moved when I moved house. It was a failure because it tried to seamlessly convert from AToW to BT. This resulted in a ruleset that not only was in my gaming groups opinion a poor RPG rule set, It was also a poor BT pilot campaign ruleset. All because it was limited to the scaling and game resolution mechanic of a same system designed to do something completely different. If anything the attempts to try that easy conversion has resulted in more WTF gaming moments then it ever has helped.

Oh I know there's a lot of things I don't know.  I do know that some abstraction is okay. I also know that too much abstraction is a problem. BT Infantry, some types more than others, take the abstraction too far. It's those places where the abstraction is too much or the rules simply don't work that I'd like to have fixed
And thank you for wearing that armor. What you are describing with multiple hits though is the RPG part of Battletech. The RPG gets into that level of detail that the board game abstracts. Which is totally fine. Trying to do that in the board game would in fact be more of a problem. Not only does TW not go into that detail in a regular game but the weapons involved are far more powerful. Vehicle Scale Weapons in AToW are AP10/BD TW damage x6. So a trooper hit with even the lightest vehicle weapon is out.
And why must conversions be accurate? Because, even though scale is different the end results should be the same. Look at the .10kg SRM. For Vehicles and BA it's 2 points per missile. For infantry its 1.14 damage for the pair. Damage is only 1 point for a small vehicle. In ATow, Vehicle Scale SRMs do 6X/12A. BA and infantry high explosive ordnance does 6X/12A. One game it's the same in the other there's 3 different damage. How about the Heavy Recoilless Rifle? In TW that's 3 points for BA, 1 point for small vehicles, and .57 for infantry. AToW? Same damage. 6X/12A high explosive ordnance. That gives two wildly different results for the same battle. Non of that includes bonuses AToW gives to damage like MoS.
I agree that the RPG isn't the best. I've never made a character using AToW but I can say that for a lot of other games too. I also get "WTF?" moments a lot when converting. That doesn't mean that I don't think the games shouldn't be close when converted. Right now, I don't think they are. If that means some abstraction is required, fine, but don't go overboard. If infantry ammo gets abstracted away, why average all the Ordnance types, except inferno together? Why not let the platoon carry multiple types of ammo? I also think that vehicle using infantry should be using the stats for their vehicles.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: RifleMech on 23 September 2021, 02:54:17
+1 for the Mod team moving this thread where it was inevitably headed!  :thumbsup:

And now that it's safely down here, I think I can share my thoughts without a warning...   8)

Personally, I think there should only be three scales in the rules: Personal (AToW, to include "support" weapons that rival light Vehicular weapons), Vehicular ('mech/vehicle), and Capital (WarShips, et al.).  The BA/Protomech/Sub-capital stuff should be binned in one of those three.  I acknowledge there are levels of abstraction beyond that (BattleForce, Inner Sphere at War, et al.), but those don't account for individual weapons like the first three (Alpha Strike is a "between" level of abstraction I haven't cottoned on to yet; I may never do so).

I believe BA, PM, and sub-capital weapons are all vehicle scale in TW.  In AToW though BA occupy a weird place. Some weapons are in between Infantry and Vehicle Scale others are infantry weapons and some like SRMs are the same as Infantry which are equal to or equivalent to vehicle scale weapons. It'd be nice if it wasn't so weird.

I don't think standard Infantry weapons should be done away with though. They should have a chance of doing some damage even if minor to a Mech or vehicle. I can see some abstraction in the name of faster game play. I'm okay with most damages for standard infantry weapons listed in TM even though they do less against lower BAR armors as I don't have to look up the damage for each armor level. Some weapons though should have a line for each type of attack they can make. For example. one for the Rifle, one for the grenade launcher, and one for the bayonet. Support weapons though should be support weapons.


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I also think there should be rules for mounting sub-scale weapons on "higher" scale vehicles (my "Remote Weapon Station" thread refers, linked in my sig block along with a lot of other stuff; if you don't see it, just PM me... it's right under my "Blazer Cannon Manifesto").  Going the other way would be very tricky, and is something I haven't decided should be tackled yet, though I acknowledge Field Guns exist.

I do to and I believe there are such rules for buildings in TacOps. At least I remember them being there. Basically add them all up and round up to the nearest .5 ton. There also used to be rules in Combat Equipment. Weapons got rounded up to .5 tons, required a slot for ammo, energy weapons needed a heat sink.


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As far as designating support weapon gunners, I feel compelled to point out that "Support Weapons" is specifically part of the AToW Infantry skill field.  For further support, I offer this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arZCCrnjDtA) (Strucker's perfectly reasonable expectation was that anyone else in that HMMWV, not just the special operator, was able to operate the Ma Deuce) .  If a support weapon gunner is rendered hors de combat, another trooper will pick up the weapon.

That works in a vehicle as the vehicle takes most of the impact. Or it should. (Looking at motorized/mechanized infantry) When it's just the trooper though, with the damages involved, there may not be any Ma Deuce for someone else to pick up. 


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Ultimately, I remain convinced the AP vs. BAR system could be the E=mc2 of the gaming universe.  BattleTech has the potential to be the only game to seamlessly go from personal to interstellar warfare, and I aim to see it get there.  37 more months to RL retirement, and I can devote more of my energy to it.

I hope you can get the oddities worked out so conversion is seamless.

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Nicoli: I acknowledge it could be done better, but I think there is value in being able to move seamlessly between scales.  The discontinuities are what result in those "WTF?" moments your group has experienced.  Nukes are absolutely special rules.  One does not lightly throw that many orders of magnitude around!

What about the nuclear grenades?  >:D


Honestly, due to the scale of the game, I think the best route to take would be to take in to consideration a simple concept of there are still a certain number of people in the unit that will be using and carrying the weapons with maneuvers.  That being said, I would have it represented in the simple manner of looking at the damage the unit does.  It would be divided in to squad rankings, with a rate of dropping damage of something like 1 a person, but it jumps (depending on the weapon) when the amount of a full squad dies.
(snip)

Yes, one line per weapon and even a line for hand to hand if things get to that point.

I disagree with how troopers should be killed off. You don't hit a mech and automatically the best weapon or worst weapon is destroyed. It'd be random, unless that's the only option left. You assign weapons/equipment out by squads with each trooper having a number and the roll to see who gets hit. Maybe the machine gunner gets hit, maybe he doesn't.


So I agree here with scale.  However, we may have different ideas on implementation.

(snip)

End result?  If you want infantry real world ranges it works both ways, and it is safe to say any infantry you can detect will be obliterated by armor.  This can work still btw... the infantry 'unit' is only to be used in hidden deployment, as spotters, and for point blank ambushes.  Once detected, when shooting at infantry any non-flamer burst fire/anti infantry weapon can target infantry as if they were at long range despite otherwise being out of range.

I think all units should share the same ranges. Targeting may be more difficult but that goes with the range. I'm also okay with most ranges in TW. Many of the support infantry ranges bug me. SRMs should be 9 hexes. And arrows! They have ranges of several hundred yards. They shouldn't be a base zero. That's said, I'm okay with the ranges because if we were to use real ranges the map sheets would be huge!



Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 23 September 2021, 06:46:19
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I think all units should share the same ranges.

The issue, as noted in the 'snip', is that weapons have a much, much farther range to infantry than they do tanks.  Yes, a tank can shoot at armor at 5k meters--at a stationary target, taking 30 seconds.  In btech, with careful aim and LOS range bands you can do that too. 

However, every weapon meant to target infantry has a massive range without all the fuss of long range shots, but a very short range to armor, since you get 'area effect' damage versus infantry that does no damage to armor.  Again, see the beaten zone.  So something like an autorifle with grenade launcher would have like a 900 meter extreme range versus infantry, but a 3 hex anti-armor range where you can pick out sensitive surface equipment.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: idea weenie on 23 September 2021, 11:10:43
You're making a lot of presumptions there. The biggest is that troopers are killed in order of importance. If it were an ambush and you could clearly identify officers and those with special weapons/abilities and shoot them first, that would work. Most of the time it doesn't work like that. Infantry pop up and they get shot at. Troopers die randomly. To hit a specific trooper would be an aimed shot. Unless you're hidden or out of range, you don't usually have time for that.

I am arranging the infantry in terms of whoever does the most damage and drawing attention.  The extra troopers after the SRM carrier in the squad are the ones carrying extra ammo for the SRM trooper.  The Mechwarrior might know that the trooper carrying the TAG is the one guiding the LRMs onto them, but the person with the SRM tube is the one drawing the Mechwarrior's attention (plus the other troopers would be trying to draw attention as well so the TAG-equipped trooper can keep doing their job).  Plus I am also assuming that if the person with the TAG gets hit, there is a chance the TAG equipment could still be intact and the other infantry might be able to pick up the TAG and continue using it.

That's true and false. Mostly false. BT Infantry are intentionally nerfed so that they can't compete with mechs. They can get lucky sometimes but most just die. AToW is a bit better for infantry as weapons will do more damage.  Both in general and specifically. The ordnance using weapons are all the same as BA. That makes them more effective against mechs and deadly to lightly and unarmored vehicles. Even with the nerf, if enough infantry hit even pistols will do damage. And that's with how TW does damage for all armor ratings. In AToW weapons get less effective as the BAR goes up.

As for the port glass , there's still camera lenses, and port glass that could suffer a lucky hit.

That small chance is a golden BB, and this is for Battlemech-scale play.  The level of golden BBs for infantry using a pistol to take out a Mech would be at the AToW scale, not the Battlemech scale.

Also, what keeps a technician from simply grabbing a few thousand pistols and equipping a Mech with those as weapons, since pistols would do more anti-Mech damage per ton than a Mech-scale weapon?

And that there is a problem because the infantry two shot SRM only does 1.14 damage. That's for both SRMs. Even the Heavy SRM at 18kg only does .57 damage. That should be 4 points of damage for each of them. 

I was using example numbers so they would be immediately visible in their differences, and the order the personnel and squads are in.  Feel free to replace the example numbers I used and change the infantry platoon damage values as appropriate.

The goal is that the squad with the heaviest damage is removed first, and within that squad the heaviest damage trooper is removed first.  If someone draws attention, they get the results.

So you want to change the existing armor divisor to something more complicated. I do think they should be better against Infantry weapons but I don't think we need to rewrite the book to do so. As for armor values being weaker in certain areas, that's the advanced  truly dead vs mostly dead rules.

It is only complicated during platoon creation, not during gameplay.  The armor values are already being used when determining if the infantry unit has extra armor for Battlemech scale protection.  The existing armor calculation would still be used, just the result would be the anti-infantry protection.  Anti-armor protection is done by comparing the 4 locations (head, torso, arms, legs), picking the lowest, and multiplying that by 4 to get anti-armor protection.  During a game these armor ratings would not change.  The lower armor rating reflects that Mech-scale or area-effect damage only needs to get through the weakest armor to harm someone.

That again is a presumption. THere's infantry who's primary weapons are swords. with the support weapons being rifles. Also have you seen the sample troopers in AToW? They can carry a lot more than a US trooper will.

You do know that TW lumps in the rifle and the grenade damage together, right? Also that  an infantry unit's range is that of the weapon with the longest range? To me that is a problem.

They should have a line for each weapon carried.

Sword and rifle = anti-infantry damage and enhanced melee damage.  The key is to make sure the sword damage is not added to the rifle damage, and vice versa.

The sample troopers in my copy of AToW (version = Corrected 2nd printing) are the High Budget trooper (p339) carrying 34.9 kg of gear and needing STR 6 to do so, and the low-budget trooper (p340) carrying 7.4 kg of gear, and needing STR 3.  (Based on the Encumbrance table ad rules on page 170, you don't want your infantry to ever be Encumbered).  That High-Budget trooper only carries an assault rifle, a laser pistol, and a bayonet in terms of weapons.  No support weapons, and only grenades for disposable weapons.  The Low-Budget Trooper on page 340 only carries a knife and an automatic rifle for weapons.  The Soldier NPC example (page 338) has a STR of 4 and is considered comparable to a PC, meaning they have a non-encumbered carry limit of 20 kg.  What example troopers do you have that can carry a knife, a pistol, a rifle, and a support or disposable weapon?

If the grenade is anti-infantry and fired from the rifle, then it would be added to the rifle's anti-infantry damage.  If the grenade is anti-armor and fired from the rifle, then the grenade damage is only used for the anti-Mech damage.  If the grenade is hand-thrown, the grenade would be added to enhanced melee damage.

Infantry firing assault rifles vs Mechs and doing anti-Mech damage gets into the question of why don't Mech's just mount massive arrays of assault rifles and using that to fight each other with.  By specifically requiring dedicated anti-armor weaponry to hurt Mechs, this problem is reduced.  An example would be the AR-15 rifle firing regular 5.56mm, vs an AR-15 rifle with Beowulf receiver firing 12.7mm.  One is used for anti-infantry purposes, the other is used for anti-armor purposes.

Too many lines = too much detail for infantry at the Battlemech scale.  If you want infantry to have multi-attacks, then the battlefield would be at the infantry scale, which is AToW rules not Battlemech rules.  This is a similar reason why ASF are put into squadrons when Dropships and Warships are fighting.

How do mechs fire at more than one target? The infantry could fire their grenades at a mech, then fire the rifles at infantry. The guys with pistols can fire at whomever is with in range. The guys operating the field guns fire at the mechs, the left over troopers fire at enemy infantry. It isn't that complicated only the rules abstract everything down to a single infantry attack.

Mechs at Battlemech scale are the stars.

Infantry in the open at any time period are at a disadvantage. That hasn't changed since, ever. Yes, they're better off being dug in or under cover some place. That doesn't mean that infantry can't be effective in the field, especially motorized/mechanized infantry. I just don't agree how they're portrayed. 

ok

If there's no defenders, there's no reason for the Pirates to leave. Even if there are defenders and they get defeated, why is it that Pirates can find civilians and the military can't? And yes, we get buildings but how many games have you played or seen where there's x number of cars in the driveway, or parked or abandoned on the street blocking roadways and intersections, or in a parking lot or parking garage? There might have been some in a couple stories but I've never seen it happen in a game unless it was my game.

Sure but you still need record sheets.

Cars can easily be part of the piloting roll to go through a building.  A mech accidentally stepped on a family's left-behind minivan and slipped.

Record sheets already exist, and are a better option than using multiple counters for a single infantry platoon, when Mechs and vehicles only get one counter.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 23 September 2021, 13:10:34
Yes, one line per weapon and even a line for hand to hand if things get to that point.

That may be the easiest way to do it, but it would almost require each Platoon have a "unique" line set that would vary based on their equipment set up, such that there is a notable difference between LRM, SRM, Flamer, etc, in Support Weapons; Rifles, SMGs, Shotguns, etc, for Infantry Weapons; and butts, bayonets, swords, etc, for melee.

It could even be set up by squad so that one squad is carrying LRMs and SMGs, and another is carrying SRMs and Rifles.  Of course internal tracking of squad damage ala Battle Armor would be required in that instance.

I disagree with how troopers should be killed off. You don't hit a mech and automatically the best weapon or worst weapon is destroyed. It'd be random, unless that's the only option left. You assign weapons/equipment out by squads with each trooper having a number and the roll to see who gets hit. Maybe the machine gunner gets hit, maybe he doesn't.

There is a HUGE difference in how a platoon works and how a mech works, though.  If a Griffin 1N's right arm is blown off, the other arm cannot pick it up and start shooting the PPC.  However, if a trooper sees a support gunner in their squad go down, they can drop their rifle and pick up the support weapon.

This was part of a lot of fan rule arguments in regards to 40K, where each trooper IS tracked on the table, and where that Support Trooper was had great influence on what was in range and what was not.  There were several iterations on how troopers were removed in the 3 editions I played (5, 6, and 7), to say nothing about the rest.  They went round and round between the attacking player choosing who died, the owning player choosing who died, and even had Wounds allocated to the closest model to the attacker for a time.

No matter what happened, there was always complaints.  It is easy to do such damage application in a game as close in as Infinity or Warmachine, where each trooper can be targeted individually.  But as one pulls farther out, like to 40K's standard where only the units can be targeted instead of individual troopers, abstraction becomes more and more required.  Battletech is closer to Epic's scale where a Platoon is represented by a single token as opposed to the 5+ that 40K's scale is at, so abstraction becomes very necessary.

So the entire platoon is armed the same, and they just get whittled down squad by squad, or the platoon is made up of squads and the squads are what take the damage.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: RifleMech on 23 September 2021, 15:28:41
The issue, as noted in the 'snip', is that weapons have a much, much farther range to infantry than they do tanks.  Yes, a tank can shoot at armor at 5k meters--at a stationary target, taking 30 seconds.  In btech, with careful aim and LOS range bands you can do that too. 

However, every weapon meant to target infantry has a massive range without all the fuss of long range shots, but a very short range to armor, since you get 'area effect' damage versus infantry that does no damage to armor.  Again, see the beaten zone.  So something like an autorifle with grenade launcher would have like a 900 meter extreme range versus infantry, but a 3 hex anti-armor range where you can pick out sensitive surface equipment.


I'm not following you. I'm talking where a weapon on an aerospace unit has one range, another range when used by a ground unit, and a third range when used by infantry.

Making called shots should be far easier up close than at an extreme distance. Still, if you're picking off infantry at 900 meters why can't you pick off specific targets on a tank? If you're wanting additional damage from being, up close, then maybe direct blows and a reversing of the damage reduction by range rule. Instead of so much less at extreme range, you get that much more point blank.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: RifleMech on 23 September 2021, 16:18:10
I am arranging the infantry in terms of whoever does the most damage and drawing attention.  The extra troopers after the SRM carrier in the squad are the ones carrying extra ammo for the SRM trooper.  The Mechwarrior might know that the trooper carrying the TAG is the one guiding the LRMs onto them, but the person with the SRM tube is the one drawing the Mechwarrior's attention (plus the other troopers would be trying to draw attention as well so the TAG-equipped trooper can keep doing their job).  Plus I am also assuming that if the person with the TAG gets hit, there is a chance the TAG equipment could still be intact and the other infantry might be able to pick up the TAG and continue using it.

You're not shooting at the squad.  You're shooting at a specific part of the squad. And that would be a called shot.

Also at BT scale play, I'm not going to presume a troopers equipment survived his being hit without using more advanced rules.


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That small chance is a golden BB, and this is for Battlemech-scale play.  The level of golden BBs for infantry using a pistol to take out a Mech would be at the AToW scale, not the Battlemech scale.

Except that's how is in TW play because the damage is for all levels of armor, not just BAR10. TW is ablative. AToW is penetrative. That leads to a pistol doing more damage to BAR2 armor in AToW than in TW.


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Also, what keeps a technician from simply grabbing a few thousand pistols and equipping a Mech with those as weapons, since pistols would do more anti-Mech damage per ton than a Mech-scale weapon?

Besides space limits? And that it'll illegal to mount such weapons? Even if you used the multiple mounting from XTRO:1945 you still wouldn't get close to a thousand pistols. Only something like 236 pistols. And then there's the range. The best you'll get is 3 hexes. There's also the time for installation, plus reloading and then there's the damage. Infantry weapons don't get added together on vehicles. Those 236 pistols would still do zero damage to everything but infantry. (unless you're using XTRO:1945 rules or AToW rules.) That all presumes that the tech isn't shot part way through for trying such a stunt.


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I was using example numbers so they would be immediately visible in their differences, and the order the personnel and squads are in.  Feel free to replace the example numbers I used and change the infantry platoon damage values as appropriate.

The goal is that the squad with the heaviest damage is removed first, and within that squad the heaviest damage trooper is removed first.  If someone draws attention, they get the results.

Doesn't change the fact that a weapon does less damage for one unit type than it does another.

Again, that's a called shot. A Warhammer doesn't lose its PPC's first when hit because they're the biggest guns it has. They go first because they were specifically targeted or sheer luck. Infantry should be the same. Want to specifically hit the SRM Trooper? Then take the time to specifically aim at the SRM Trooper.


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It is only complicated during platoon creation, not during gameplay.  The armor values are already being used when determining if the infantry unit has extra armor for Battlemech scale protection.  The existing armor calculation would still be used, just the result would be the anti-infantry protection.  Anti-armor protection is done by comparing the 4 locations (head, torso, arms, legs), picking the lowest, and multiplying that by 4 to get anti-armor protection.  During a game these armor ratings would not change.  The lower armor rating reflects that Mech-scale or area-effect damage only needs to get through the weakest armor to harm someone.

No. That complicates game play. Right now in TW, it's x points hit equals x troopers dead depending if their armor can reduce that. Usually, it can't. Now you want to take time out to roll hit locations for each trooper hit? That's shoving an RPG element into the board game and it would complicated things a lot.


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Sword and rifle = anti-infantry damage and enhanced melee damage.  The key is to make sure the sword damage is not added to the rifle damage, and vice versa.

Totally agree, the weapons damage should have different lines and should not be added together. They're separate attacks. What constitutes just "anti-infantry" damage is an RPG thing. They do damage to all units in TW, unless there's a change in the rules.


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The sample troopers in my copy of AToW (version = Corrected 2nd printing) are the High Budget trooper (p339) carrying 34.9 kg of gear and needing STR 6 to do so, and the low-budget trooper (p340) carrying 7.4 kg of gear, and needing STR 3.  (Based on the Encumbrance table ad rules on page 170, you don't want your infantry to ever be Encumbered).  That High-Budget trooper only carries an assault rifle, a laser pistol, and a bayonet in terms of weapons.  No support weapons, and only grenades for disposable weapons.  The Low-Budget Trooper on page 340 only carries a knife and an automatic rifle for weapons.  The Soldier NPC example (page 338) has a STR of 4 and is considered comparable to a PC, meaning they have a non-encumbered carry limit of 20 kg.  What example troopers do you have that can carry a knife, a pistol, a rifle, and a support or disposable weapon?

Notice how many weapons the trooper is carrying? That's not one weapon, with attachments, but 3 or more separate weapons. That can't legally be done in TW. The closest is Disposable Weapons.


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If the grenade is anti-infantry and fired from the rifle, then it would be added to the rifle's anti-infantry damage.  If the grenade is anti-armor and fired from the rifle, then the grenade damage is only used for the anti-Mech damage.  If the grenade is hand-thrown, the grenade would be added to enhanced melee damage.

That presumes the rifle was fired at the same time. Maybe they were just firing the grenade launcher. Depending on the Grenades they only have standard and inferno. I think that's wrong.
And why would a hand thrown grenade be added to damage from a melee weapon. If they're that close, they'll be hit by the blast.


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Infantry firing assault rifles vs Mechs and doing anti-Mech damage gets into the question of why don't Mech's just mount massive arrays of assault rifles and using that to fight each other with.  By specifically requiring dedicated anti-armor weaponry to hurt Mechs, this problem is reduced.  An example would be the AR-15 rifle firing regular 5.56mm, vs an AR-15 rifle with Beowulf receiver firing 12.7mm.  One is used for anti-infantry purposes, the other is used for anti-armor purposes.

There isn't a problem. At best, with Quad Mounts, Compact Engine, Compact Gyros, Small Cockpits, not hand or lower arm actuators, you might get 236 assault rifles. It'd also take into next year to service and load all of them. You're techs are more likely to shoot you or demand their overtime up front. There are also various types of rounds for various targets made in 5.56 mm. And that's all an RPG thing. In the RPG, the damage decreases and the BAR goes up. In TW damage is abstracted to cover all BAR levels with the same flat damage. Don't want Rifles do damage BAR 10 armor in TW? Then the Rifle's damage needs to be listed for each BAR level.


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Too many lines = too much detail for infantry at the Battlemech scale.  If you want infantry to have multi-attacks, then the battlefield would be at the infantry scale, which is AToW rules not Battlemech rules.  This is a similar reason why ASF are put into squadrons when Dropships and Warships are fighting.

How is that any more complicated than a Mech firing multiple attacks, or a tank? Multiple attacks, eliminates things like swords hitting at 9 hexes because someone has a sniper rifle. Also multiple attacks are less complicated than trying to determine how badly injured each trooper is with every hit.

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Mechs at Battlemech scale are the stars.

So?


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Cars can easily be part of the piloting roll to go through a building.  A mech accidentally stepped on a family's left-behind minivan and slipped.

Ever see that in a game? Did it in a story once. Mech slipped on the Mayor's limo, during a training exercise, and crashed into a donut shop. The Mayor and PD were not pleased.


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Record sheets already exist, and are a better option than using multiple counters for a single infantry platoon, when Mechs and vehicles only get one counter.

You didn't want RS though. Plus a line for each weapon is far less complicated than keeping track of each trooper's BAR levels, and their injuries.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: RifleMech on 23 September 2021, 16:28:27
That may be the easiest way to do it, but it would almost require each Platoon have a "unique" line set that would vary based on their equipment set up, such that there is a notable difference between LRM, SRM, Flamer, etc, in Support Weapons; Rifles, SMGs, Shotguns, etc, for Infantry Weapons; and butts, bayonets, swords, etc, for melee.

It could even be set up by squad so that one squad is carrying LRMs and SMGs, and another is carrying SRMs and Rifles.  Of course internal tracking of squad damage ala Battle Armor would be required in that instance.

That's why there's blank sheets.

Why not? It'd make operating at squad level easier.


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There is a HUGE difference in how a platoon works and how a mech works, though.  If a Griffin 1N's right arm is blown off, the other arm cannot pick it up and start shooting the PPC.  However, if a trooper sees a support gunner in their squad go down, they can drop their rifle and pick up the support weapon.

(snip)
So the entire platoon is armed the same, and they just get whittled down squad by squad, or the platoon is made up of squads and the squads are what take the damage.

And if a trooper gets hit by a 130mm cannon, do you expect much of the trooper and their equipment to remain?

I can see why there'd be problems. Unless a called shot is made, which trooper gets hit should be random.

Under TW, squads are the same. Once you start getting to more advanced squads though things change.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 23 September 2021, 20:21:12
That's why there's blank sheets.

Not at present.

Why not? It'd make operating at squad level easier.

It could work, but it depends on how much detail and rolling one is looking to allow for in the game.  There is a reason why ConvInf is so abstracted at present.

Of course, looking at addressing Squads could make it easier if one was willing to have them split off and separate in the middle of the game.

And if a trooper gets hit by a 130mm cannon, do you expect much of the trooper and their equipment to remain?

Depends on how they were hit, the weapon in question, and how it was being held when they got hit.  A PBI is more likely to be hit by shrapnel and explosive effect from such a large weapon than directly by the round.

I can see why there'd be problems. Unless a called shot is made, which trooper gets hit should be random.

Which creates more detail than is probably justified outside of an RPG scenario.

Under TW, squads are the same. Once you start getting to more advanced squads though things change.

And I was speaking of a potential change, not as they are.  Please keep up and don't get it mixed up with how things are again like the last time we were talking about Infantry.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 23 September 2021, 23:00:32
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im not following you. I'm talking where a weapon on an aerospace unit has one range, another range when used by a ground unit, and a third range when used by infantry

A weapon should have 3 ranges listed in honesty, an 'infantry' effective range, a direct heavy 'armor' range, and an 'air' unit range.  For infantry and air, the range is greater because you are targeting an area with saturation attacks via 'shaky' guns.

A real light autocannon fires 3, very accurate, AP rounds in 1 second bursts right now for light armor work at long range.  Versus infantry, it uses ammo with a 5 meter explosive burst and can shoot ballistic trajectories to get 'close enough' against squishy guys; versus air targets the rate of fire goes up to 10 rounds per 1 sec burst, and the stabilizers are loosened on the gun to make it less accurate to spray rounds in a large area instead of a tight anti-armor grouping.  Air targets have a much more massive surface area compared to ground unit, but all that surface area can not be armored like ground units can, so you dont want too accurate of a weapon when firing multiple shots.

We have greater ranges for air targets, as we should... maybe the implementation isnt perfect but a mech's guns shoot about 2x as far against altitude 5 targets than they do versus ground with the same range modifier.  However, against infantry we dont have the massive range on anti infantry burst weapons, only the point blank warcrimes damage and range.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 24 September 2021, 00:30:21
The issue, as noted in the 'snip', is that weapons have a much, much farther range to infantry than they do tanks.  Yes, a tank can shoot at armor at 5k meters--at a stationary target, taking 30 seconds.  In btech, with careful aim and LOS range bands you can do that too. 

However, every weapon meant to target infantry has a massive range without all the fuss of long range shots, but a very short range to armor, since you get 'area effect' damage versus infantry that does no damage to armor.  Again, see the beaten zone.  So something like an autorifle with grenade launcher would have like a 900 meter extreme range versus infantry, but a 3 hex anti-armor range where you can pick out sensitive surface equipment.

So, my main group has already implemented this in our games, along with squad-sized deployment.  All weapons have a stock anti-infantry range, including the infantry rifles.  We didn't go into any damage modifiers, but it coudld be done based on TW infantry weapons. It would be a light modifier, though.  But, for the most part, anyone not involved with a support weapon adds to a d6 roll, and checks against the crit chance chart. 

I had initially considered 'pinned' for light crit effects.  They could fire, but moving was out of the picture.  Since someone mentioned a, what I'm calling, 'stress factor', I may revisit this.

Since we're using the crit chance resolution, I'm also tempted to come up with armor levels to act as the base target value.  IE - normal armor would be base 7, since you have to roll an 8 or better to score one crit.  MOS/2 would be the 'crit level'.  You cold have lighter packages, and even some heavier packages that isn't Power Armor.

Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 24 September 2021, 00:45:50
If you want to have fun with what amounts to LoS ranges, have a gander at the RPG weapon stats.  You can actually find them on Sarna.net!  :thumbsup:

Here is the Imperator AX-22 Assault Rifle (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Imperator_AX-22_Assault_Rifle).  Versus the TK Assault Rifle (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/TK_Assault_Rifle) used by the Lyrans.  And, finally, the ubiquitous, generic Laser Rifle (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Laser_Rifle) used Sphere-wide.

So, while I decided that half a kilometer (18 hexes split into 6/12/18 brackets) seemed like a good engagement range for unmodified infantry having to bore-sight their weapons, those that have fancy TAG in their helmets and HUDs on the goggles might actually be able to get much farther.

I just haven't taken the time to get into that nitty gritty, yet. I did play around with SRMs having the two different ranges  of armor or personnel.  Here's the standard SRM (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Standard_SRM_Launcher), versus the light SRM (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Light_SRM_Launcher).

I would be all over using the RPG ranges for squad- and platoon-level engagements.  While I'm generally in agreement with Daryk, I think there should be a fourth level allowing for massed troop engagements.  Once someone pointed out that the RPG stats should be for those instances outside of combat, I've decided I agree.  Since Mech Combat usually get sent to the Board Game level, with PCs having additional stats for things not needed there, I think personnel combat should be similarly sent to a troop-level combat game.

Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: idea weenie on 24 September 2021, 11:32:39
You're not shooting at the squad.  You're shooting at a specific part of the squad. And that would be a called shot.

Also at BT scale play, I'm not going to presume a troopers equipment survived his being hit without using more advanced rules.

Bigger weapon = bigger target, and more likely to blow up or get ruined when hit.  Assault rifles or other personal gear can be traded around among the living.

I also want to give another reason for having larger squads.  I don't want people to hear the rule about "1 anti-Mech weapon per squad", then decide to make the squads as small as possible to get as many anti-Mech weapons per trooper as possible.  There needs to be a reason to 'pad' the squads with non-specialist weapons.

Reversng it where weapon squads are arranged in increasing order of damage, and within the squad in increasing order of damage might work for a single squad, where if you have 4 squads of 6 people each, then each squad has 5 'ablative' troopers, and one holding the support weapon.  The problem then becomes that designers will want to have their 24-person infantry unit to have a single squads where all the support weapons/equipment are allocated to the last 4 members of that 'squad', and the other 20 members are considered 'ablative'.  (This is assuming that the last 4 troopers out of 28 are the command squad, so 24 troopers are the weapons squads).

I don't know yet how to balance that, where designers would want large squads to provide ablative protection for critical weapons, yet also more squads for some reason.  I need a good reason where 4 squads of 6 people are better than a single squad of 24.  Putting all the Support weapons at the start of the squad was my attempt to encourage more squads, as the regular troopers between each support weapon would serve as ablative armor.  Putting support weapons at the end just encourages a single squad, with all the support weapons protected by the bodies of the other troopers.

To avoid players creating super-sized platoons on way would be to give Anti-Infantry weapons bonus damage if there are excess people in a single hex.  So you could have a 50-person platoon in a single hex, but the extra 20 people means +2 AI damage is applied to every AI attack against that large platoon.

I basically want to avoid players creating the following to exploit rules:
- a 28-person platoon where all the specialist equipment is assigned to the last few people so the rest of the troopers are ablative armor (this prevents the random chance effect)
- a 28-person platoon consisting of as many squads as possible to exploit the 1 support weapon/equipment per squad
- a 28-person platoon consisting of as many squads as possible to exploit any leadership bonuses from having more squad leaders
- a 28-person platoon consisting of a single squad to exploit rules about larger squads getting benefits

I want to make it where designers have to choose between wanting 5-person squads (Clans), 6-person squads (Com*/WoB), 7 person squads (most Inner Sphere), 10-person squads (Marian Hegemony), and other sizes.  The designers will be measuring squad size vs number of squads per platoon, and if the platoon is too large it takes extra damage from AI weapons so you can't get away with just making a super-size platoon.


Except that's how is in TW play because the damage is for all levels of armor, not just BAR10. TW is ablative. AToW is penetrative. That leads to a pistol doing more damage to BAR2 armor in AToW than in TW.

Besides space limits? And that it'll illegal to mount such weapons? Even if you used the multiple mounting from XTRO:1945 you still wouldn't get close to a thousand pistols. Only something like 236 pistols. And then there's the range. The best you'll get is 3 hexes. There's also the time for installation, plus reloading and then there's the damage. Infantry weapons don't get added together on vehicles. Those 236 pistols would still do zero damage to everything but infantry. (unless you're using XTRO:1945 rules or AToW rules.) That all presumes that the tech isn't shot part way through for trying such a stunt.

The problem is that pistols still do damage against Mechs.  We have a given weapon that does Mech damage (SRM @ 2 pts @ 9 hexes @ 10 kg).  That equates to roughly 5 kg to do 1 pt of BT damage at 9 hexes.  Pistols, assault rifles, swords, and similar would be reduced to zero BT damage, and only do anti-infantry damage.  If you want to damage a Mech, then carry anti-Mech weaponry.  It also makes the conversion easier as the designers don't have to worry about converting small-scale weapons to BT tabletop damage.

If you want to go into the math, then if you need 5 kg to do 1 pt of damage, and the 5.56x45mm NATO is similar to BT assault rifle ammo in terms of weight (~12.5 grams per cartridge), then you will need ~400 rounds to inflict one point of damage.  Assuming a platoon of 28 people, that is roughly 15 rounds per person to do 1 point of BT damage.  So even if it is possible, you would have a 28-person platoon sheet consist of 14 columns with 1 pt of damage, and 14 columns of 0 pts of damage.

No. That complicates game play. Right now in TW, it's x points hit equals x troopers dead depending if their armor can reduce that. Usually, it can't. Now you want to take time out to roll hit locations for each trooper hit? That's shoving an RPG element into the board game and it would complicated things a lot.

It does not complicate game play, because the math was done during platoon creation.  In gameplay you do the same math, and divide by the anti-armor protection instead of the current anti-infantry protection.  So if platoon was listed as having 3/0 armor (anti-infantry/anti-Mech), then it is treated as having zero anti-Mech armor protection.  If a platoon was listed as having 1/1 armor, then it would be treated as having 1 pt of anti-Mech protection.

You are not rolling out to-hit locations, you are just exposing the troops to AoE damage as a side effect of being on the receiving end of BT-scale weapons, and the location that protects the least lets the damage through.  (Similar to a submarine with a single hole in it, it doesn't matter how good the rest of the hull is if there is a weak point)

Totally agree, the weapons damage should have different lines and should not be added together. They're separate attacks. What constitutes just "anti-infantry" damage is an RPG thing. They do damage to all units in TW, unless there's a change in the rules.

Notice how many weapons the trooper is carrying? That's not one weapon, with attachments, but 3 or more separate weapons. That can't legally be done in TW. The closest is Disposable Weapons.

Change the rules.  You want to damage armor, you need anti-armor weapons.  You don't use a pistol when facing a tank in combat, you grab a support weapon.  You have an assault rifle firing 5.56, it does anti-infantry damage.  You quick-change the assault rifle to have a 12.7mm receiver, and now you have the potential for anti-armor damage (if firing at full-auto).

You commented about example troopers carrying a knife, a pistol, a rifle, and a support weapon, I haven't seen the support weapon trooper loadouts yet.  The only troopers I saw in AToW were those carrying anti-infantry weapons, and the fancier of the two was requiring STR of 6 to carry everything.  That trooper would be doing anti-infantry damage with the laser rifle, and the laser pistol would be added to the enhanced melee damage.  If that trooper wants to do anti-armor damage, then either the trooper needs to carry something heavier (needing STR 7+), see if one or more of the laser rifle packs can be overloaded (reducing anti-infantry damage because that trooper has to conserve their shots), or leave some of their weapons/gear behind (reducing their AI damage, armor protection, or other capabilities).

That presumes the rifle was fired at the same time. Maybe they were just firing the grenade launcher. Depending on the Grenades they only have standard and inferno. I think that's wrong.
And why would a hand thrown grenade be added to damage from a melee weapon. If they're that close, they'll be hit by the blast.

Grenades in AToW have AP option (High Budget Trooper, p339).  Technically for anti-armor weaponry we should be using the ordnance chart on page 282, and only the anti-vehicle stuff is able to hurt Mechs and vehicles during combat.

The hand-thrown grenades are tossed to disrupt the enemy charge (or disrupt the enemy in fixed positions) since the range of a thrown grenade is based on the individual's STR value (AToW 2nd Corr print, p277, Equipment -> Explosives).  The platoon then engages at less than 30 meters, so grenades do belong in the melee category.  Remember, in a Battlemech-scale map close range is less than 30 meters (the size of 1 hex), and STR 8 is needed to throw a grenade 32 meters (Extreme range for grenade throwing is STR*4).  The example Elemental on page 97 has STR 7.  Yes, disrupting does include injuring/killing troopers.

There isn't a problem. At best, with Quad Mounts, Compact Engine, Compact Gyros, Small Cockpits, not hand or lower arm actuators, you might get 236 assault rifles. It'd also take into next year to service and load all of them. You're techs are more likely to shoot you or demand their overtime up front. There are also various types of rounds for various targets made in 5.56 mm. And that's all an RPG thing. In the RPG, the damage decreases and the BAR goes up. In TW damage is abstracted to cover all BAR levels with the same flat damage. Don't want Rifles do damage BAR 10 armor in TW? Then the Rifle's damage needs to be listed for each BAR level.

Easier method - rifles need anti-armor munitions to damage BAR 10 vehicle armor.  Carry an assault rifle with a quick-change receiver, so you can fire 5.56 to deal with another platoon, then swap the receiver to 12.7 to try to damage the nearby Mech or vehicle (likely by firing at full-auto, which does 'wonders' for aim). The problem is that the heavier receiver and different ammo take up more mass, so you need stronger troopers or less other gear.  It'd be like dropping a fragmentation grenade on top of a tank.  The grenade is at the top of today's technology, but it still isn't enough to get through a tank's armor.

How is that any more complicated than a Mech firing multiple attacks, or a tank? Multiple attacks, eliminates things like swords hitting at 9 hexes because someone has a sniper rifle. Also multiple attacks are less complicated than trying to determine how badly injured each trooper is with every hit.

Mechs are the stars, Infantry are not.  Multiple attacks mean you have to carefully design the unit so troopers are only armed with rifles or swords.  By only allowing one attack, you get the best attack for each category (anti-armor, ranged anti-infantry, or 'melee' anti-infantry), where the troopers can fire their rifles at ranged, then on the next turn close to melee range to finish off the survivors.  Separating the damage so it only falls into one of three categories also prevents the swords increasing the rifle damage.  Technically you could have a unit where each trooper carries a satchel charge (anti-armor damage), a laser pistol (ranged anti-infantry damage), and a sword (enhanced melee damage).  But only two lines are allowed, so the designer converts the pistols to boost the enhanced melee damage of the swords (where the troops use the pistols to get a few shots off before closing with swords).

Ever see that in a game? Did it in a story once. Mech slipped on the Mayor's limo, during a training exercise, and crashed into a donut shop. The Mayor and PD were not pleased.

Mechwarrior driving a Mech makes a piloting roll to pass through a Light Building hex and fails piloting roll.  Details established after the game.

You didn't want RS though. Plus a line for each weapon is far less complicated than keeping track of each trooper's BAR levels, and their injuries.

I'd rather record sheets with 2 lines per infantry platoon, than multiple markers per platoon, more than 2 attack lines, and more than 1 attack.

Ideally it would be just a single marker per platoon, with one side for anti-Mech damage and one side for anti-infantry damage.  Dry-erase markers would allow for basic customization/labeling.  Each anti-infantry hit takes out one squad, when all squads are gone the infantry chit is removed from the board.  A more basic version of Clickytech, but for infantry only.  (Anti-infantry damage would have to be adjusted due to it damaging a squad rather than an individual, and the smaller the squads are in the platoon the easier this would be to mission-kill a squad)
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Talen5000 on 24 September 2021, 15:25:01
Infantry?
Here's the thing...if you want a "realistic" depiction of infantry in the BTU, then the best thing you can do is not have infantry on the battlefield.

Infantry in the BTU, on the board game, are heavily buffed. They do a lot more damage than they should, are far more resilient than they are.

That's not to say you couldn't have infantry, but you'd have to envision dedicated antiMech infantry using gorilla powersuits to protect from the blast and shrapnel of near misses, or covered armoured Jeeps armed with SRMs with "foot infantry" relegated to manning turrets.

The infantry rules in TW are a decent compromise providing a focus on Mechs, but giving infantry enough bite that they are worth taking, and so providing an important degree of visual and gameplay variety.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 24 September 2021, 16:01:06
I basically want to avoid players creating the following to exploit rules:
- a 28-person platoon where all the specialist equipment is assigned to the last few people so the rest of the troopers are ablative armor (this prevents the random chance effect)
- a 28-person platoon consisting of as many squads as possible to exploit the 1 support weapon/equipment per squad
- a 28-person platoon consisting of as many squads as possible to exploit any leadership bonuses from having more squad leaders
- a 28-person platoon consisting of a single squad to exploit rules about larger squads getting benefits

I want to make it where designers have to choose between wanting 5-person squads (Clans), 6-person squads (Com*/WoB), 7 person squads (most Inner Sphere), 10-person squads (Marian Hegemony), and other sizes.  The designers will be measuring squad size vs number of squads per platoon, and if the platoon is too large it takes extra damage from AI weapons so you can't get away with just making a super-size platoon.

There are numerous ways to do that, but first thing to address is that 5, 6, and 10 man squads will never properly reach 28 men.  That's why Clan ConvInf Platoons number 25 (5 squads of 5 men), Com Guard Level 1s are 36, etc.  And if one can make construction stipulations as complicated, including tech, as a Battlemech or Protomech, the instructions do not have to be complex, but sufficiently varied to present what exists in the lore.  If I have to make a decision on using Clan tech versus IS tech, it shouldn't be that hard to have a similar stipulation for ConvInf construction.  And if people are going to Munchkin Battlemechs, there is no way to stop them Munchkining ConvInf.

Mechs are the stars, Infantry are not. 

Sorry, but that is absolutely no argument against having ConvInf having multiple attack vectors.  Vehicles do it, and Battle Armor do it.  It's not rocket surgery to consider that 28 different people couldn't manage to have separate targets.

Multiple attacks mean you have to carefully design the unit so troopers are only armed with rifles or swords.  By only allowing one attack, you get the best attack for each category (anti-armor, ranged anti-infantry, or 'melee' anti-infantry), where the troopers can fire their rifles at ranged, then on the next turn close to melee range to finish off the survivors.  Separating the damage so it only falls into one of three categories also prevents the swords increasing the rifle damage.  Technically you could have a unit where each trooper carries a satchel charge (anti-armor damage), a laser pistol (ranged anti-infantry damage), and a sword (enhanced melee damage).  But only two lines are allowed, so the designer converts the pistols to boost the enhanced melee damage of the swords (where the troops use the pistols to get a few shots off before closing with swords).

Not really.  It would only mean having specific lines of weapon damage instead of all of them.  One already needs to fill out the RS for Battlemechs, so doing similar for Infantry shouldn't be too obscure a concept.

Ideally it would be just a single marker per platoon, with one side for anti-Mech damage and one side for anti-infantry damage.  Dry-erase markers would allow for basic customization/labeling.  Each anti-infantry hit takes out one squad, when all squads are gone the infantry chit is removed from the board.  A more basic version of Clickytech, but for infantry only.  (Anti-infantry damage would have to be adjusted due to it damaging a squad rather than an individual, and the smaller the squads are in the platoon the easier this would be to mission-kill a squad)

That would be ideal for you, but not necessarily for everyone.  Honestly, I think being able to have squads separate and do their own actions and be diminished in a variable manner is far better for Total Warfare which is designed for such variableness.  For Alpha Strike, such a token system is perfectly viable, though.  But then, Alpha Strike IS far more abstract than Total Warfare is.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 24 September 2021, 20:11:26

Nicoli: I acknowledge it could be done better, but I think there is value in being able to move seamlessly between scales.  The discontinuities are what result in those "WTF?" moments your group has experienced.  Nukes are absolutely special rules.  One does not lightly throw that many orders of magnitude around!

Nope, If you figure it out screw doing it for battletech. The WWII wargaming community will look at you like the second coming. If the WWII community, which is the largest and most popular wargaming period, hasn't figured it out yet, I don't hold much hope. The reason why it doesn't work is that as you scale up in the game you run into one of two problems. Either you start increasing the values of weapons to the point where they are not manageable due to size (warships with 100s of thousands of damage points per facing) or you end up with the issues of dealing with weapons that do less then a fraction of a point of damage (Pistols crit decapping a mech).

This is before you run into the issue that the needs of the game will often change as the scale does. To bring this back around to how to handle infantry in BT. At each level, the method of infantry operation is going to change in order to compensate for how terrain is handled, how damage is handled, and how much time can be afforded in resolving it's actions to keep within a planned time length of the game. So in BT case, having specific stats for various makes of battle rifle makes a lot of sense for AToW where the granularity and the time you can afford to spend to revolve each attack is fairly large. In the BT boardgame having an average "Battle Rifle" statline that is uniform with maybe just a fluff descriptor is more practical. Even in BT doing that you run the issue that just the damage output from an infantry rifle versus a HGR is on such a different order of magnitude that you have difficulty putting them on the same scale in the same game. This is why it is almost uniform across game systems to resolve weapon damage differently based on what the target is. This is also why it is best to design a game system that does what you need it to do at a specific scale then to try and design some omni-system, you need to compromise too much to get too much stuff to work on the same system.

No speed is not the only thing that matters. Game immersion and suspension of disbelief matters. If a unit breaks those things then it's a broken unit. It's even worse when rules at two different scales cannot mesh. That breaks the universe as now you have one unit that super powerful and another that's uber nerfed trying to be the same thing. It doesn't work. And because you say so, may work on your table but not mine. Nor anyone else's I know.

Having played many campaigns that took place across multiple scales not having the rules mesh between the scales was never an issue for my group. This is because the only time it is an issue is when you are trying to use two different rule sets to resolve the same game. When I was playing MW 3ed I never cared what the specific rules for BT or any of the other games were and how they handled damage because they were not the game I was playing now. And it applies in reverse, how human sized entities are able to take crouch behind a wall and how that wall will protect that person in MW 3ed or AToW, is irrelevant to me while I'm playing BT.

This is something that leads to my first question whenever a group wants to play a BT Campaign... "What are we going to be doing? We need to figure out what rule set we are going to use." If we are going to be doing mostly battlemech combat, then I had a really simple 2 page rule set for creating Battlemech pilots with just enough selection of out of combat skills to handle the few out of mech interactions. If we were going to do a bunch of smaller covert ops on foot style things, then we would use MW 3ed or another roleplay system and we would never bring out BT ruleset. In each case I would pick the rule set that made sense for what we were doing and rarely if ever get the other rule set out.

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I have no idea where you're going with that. Who cares what the car's range is if it's out of gas? The question could be more like does it have the gas to get out of town? or Will this car protect my troops getting out of town? or What do I need to get the car running to get out of town? or Can we A-Team this car into an attack vehicle to use against the enemy and if so do we have enough time and parts to do so?


Why are vehicles that can't tow the weapon being used to tow the weapon? If it isn't capable of towing it, you use a different vehicle.
Why is it an abstracted Jeep that weighs .285kg - .5 kg (depending on motorized or mechanized) looses 1 MP if it carries 2 support weapons but it can tow a 3 ton Light Rifle Cannon and 1 ton of ammo with no MP penalties? Why is it that an AToW version will be twice as heavy and move twice as fast, and can carry as many weapon as it has spaces and weight available with no penalties? Why is it each of these three jeeps take damage differently? Why is it a Beast Mounted Platoon can't pull a Field Gun, when they've been doing so for centuries? Not even a Magshot Gauss Rifle with ammo weighing 1.5 tons? Yet a Platoon of Motorcycles can tow 15 tons Arrow IV Missile Launcher and ammo?

Maybe you don't think it's important. That the abstraction is just fine. If that works for you, great. But I think how fast my jeep gets it's field gun where it needs to be is important. If my Jeep towing a field gun can get into position 2-3 times faster, and maybe provide a bit of protection from enemy snipers with its armor, I want to use that jeep and not the abstracted one. Even if it does mean a little more paperwork. An no I would not assign a Jeep to try tow a field gun above it's towing capacity. If I want to tow something heavier I get a bigger vehicle.
You kind of answered exactly where I was going with that yourself. The thing with designing good rules is making sure that you only include what is actually important for the game your designing. Your trying to design "Classic Battletech: the Mechwarrior RPG" The problem is that different things are relevant at different scales. You spending time to A-team out a jeep is important if your playing at the pure RPG level with mostly man sized combat. But at the Battlemech scale, there is nothing you can "A-team" out a jeep to matter. Heck, whether that is an abstracted Jeep or 2.5ton isn't even that important game wise as both are completely unarmored vehicles in relation to Battlemech grade weaponry.

However, you pointed out some serious issues with the infantry rules that are a result of the fact that there is a major push to not do a proper rewrite of the rules. The standard sized infantry bay made bare minimum sense when infantry was dirt simple with basically 3 weapon types across 4 variants, with the modern complex infantry it makes absolutely none. Another thing you hit on the right problem but the wrong solution was what can pulled "towed" weapons. During a game of Battletech what is towing them is irrelevant if they are light units native to the platoon, but their weight DOES matter and at construction could be calculated with a formula. For example, you could simply say that a unit with Towed guns weight is increased by 2xtonnage of weapons and ammo towed for motorized and mechanized platoons, and say 4x for beast towed platoons. This would come with the fact that weight of the platoon would be calculated for each type of platoon.

Here is the thing, you could even get more detailed then that, but the goal would be to an abstracted value for during game play. You want to have a bunch of different types of beasts that give you different movement rates while requiring different tonnage worth of beasts that's fine, But leave that in the unit construction phase. 


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Oh I know there's a lot of things I don't know.  I do know that some abstraction is okay. I also know that too much abstraction is a problem. BT Infantry, some types more than others, take the abstraction too far. It's those places where the abstraction is too much or the rules simply don't work that I'd like to have fixed
And thank you for wearing that armor. What you are describing with multiple hits though is the RPG part of Battletech. The RPG gets into that level of detail that the board game abstracts. Which is totally fine. Trying to do that in the board game would in fact be more of a problem. Not only does TW not go into that detail in a regular game but the weapons involved are far more powerful. Vehicle Scale Weapons in AToW are AP10/BD TW damage x6. So a trooper hit with even the lightest vehicle weapon is out.
And why must conversions be accurate? Because, even though scale is different the end results should be the same. Look at the .10kg SRM. For Vehicles and BA it's 2 points per missile. For infantry its 1.14 damage for the pair. Damage is only 1 point for a small vehicle. In ATow, Vehicle Scale SRMs do 6X/12A. BA and infantry high explosive ordnance does 6X/12A. One game it's the same in the other there's 3 different damage. How about the Heavy Recoilless Rifle? In TW that's 3 points for BA, 1 point for small vehicles, and .57 for infantry. AToW? Same damage. 6X/12A high explosive ordnance. That gives two wildly different results for the same battle. Non of that includes bonuses AToW gives to damage like MoS.
This comes from the difference in time scales and mounting for the weapons, something that comes from the real world, and was shown quite a bit in the old solaris VII weapon rules. Different mountings are going to provide different rates of fire that are outside the limit of the BT game. A battlearmor unit is going to spend less weapon weight on the mounting system for the weapon, but will instead have a fully automatic reloading system on it if not the ability to much more easily man handle the heavy rounds with the power armor assist. Infantry are going to have to breakdown and remount the rifle every time it wants to fire (by the way want to piss off heavy weapon guys in the field have them move their weapons after the set them up) this takes time. Vehicles don't have to tear down and set up but still have to man handle the rounds. These different mounting means that the same weapon will have very different practical rates of fire. Since BT operates in a fixed able to shoot every turn most likely those fire rates are abstracted to average out setup and teardown times. This is why what the game is doing is more important then a perfect stat conversion.

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I agree that the RPG isn't the best. I've never made a character using AToW but I can say that for a lot of other games too. I also get "WTF?" moments a lot when converting. That doesn't mean that I don't think the games shouldn't be close when converted. Right now, I don't think they are. If that means some abstraction is required, fine, but don't go overboard. If infantry ammo gets abstracted away, why average all the Ordnance types, except inferno together? Why not let the platoon carry multiple types of ammo? I also think that vehicle using infantry should be using the stats for their vehicles.
Ammo being abstracted comes from the fact that infantry have an abstracted out damage stat a legacy from early in the game. This is Infantry rules need some sort of rewrite, with that they have to be kept to where they are not a drag on the play time of the game. This is why I think treating infantry platoons like squads of Battle armor is probably the best solution. You swap the weird aggregated abstraction at the platoon level for squad level abstraction. It allows you to handle weapons separately without a bunch of weird weapon loss rules that are not shared by any other unit.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 24 September 2021, 20:25:18
The AC/20 is literally an order of magnitude above the 'mech Machine Gun.  One or so orders is doable between scales on that basis, I think.  The WWII scale example you give is two scales apart.  I agree Infantry scale weapons should round down to zero against Capital scale armor.  But that's my point: they should ROUND down, not arbitrarily BE zero.  That's where TPTB have erred in the past.  Arbitrary zeros are BAD game design.  Singularities like that are loopholes you drive all kinds of things through...
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 24 September 2021, 20:40:56
If you want to have fun with what amounts to LoS ranges, have a gander at the RPG weapon stats.  You can actually find them on Sarna.net!  :thumbsup:

Here is the Imperator AX-22 Assault Rifle (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Imperator_AX-22_Assault_Rifle).  Versus the TK Assault Rifle (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/TK_Assault_Rifle) used by the Lyrans.  And, finally, the ubiquitous, generic Laser Rifle (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Laser_Rifle) used Sphere-wide.

So, while I decided that half a kilometer (18 hexes split into 6/12/18 brackets) seemed like a good engagement range for unmodified infantry having to bore-sight their weapons, those that have fancy TAG in their helmets and HUDs on the goggles might actually be able to get much farther.

I just haven't taken the time to get into that nitty gritty, yet. I did play around with SRMs having the two different ranges  of armor or personnel.  Here's the standard SRM (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Standard_SRM_Launcher), versus the light SRM (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Light_SRM_Launcher).

I would be all over using the RPG ranges for squad- and platoon-level engagements.  While I'm generally in agreement with Daryk, I think there should be a fourth level allowing for massed troop engagements.  Once someone pointed out that the RPG stats should be for those instances outside of combat, I've decided I agree.  Since Mech Combat usually get sent to the Board Game level, with PCs having additional stats for things not needed there, I think personnel combat should be similarly sent to a troop-level combat game.
Problem with those ranges are that long range shots are not really practical in firefights. Normally the ability to identify a possible shot, get your firearm on target, fire, all while trying to not get shot yourself reduces practical firing ranges down from the .5km+ range down to 75m-150m.
The AC/20 is literally an order of magnitude above the 'mech Machine Gun.  One or so orders is doable between scales on that basis, I think.  The WWII scale example you give is two scales apart.  I agree Infantry scale weapons should round down to zero against Capital scale armor.  But that's my point: they should ROUND down, not arbitrarily BE zero.  That's where TPTB have erred in the past.  Arbitrary zeros are BAD game design.  Singularities like that are loopholes you drive all kinds of things through...
The issue is that as we are discussing effective ranges versus various targets, trying to put even a round to 0 as being an unwelcome choice as there may be something on the field that is capable of being hit. This is because even in one game we already have multiple magnitudes of damage being represented in fairly basic weapons. This is why I really like the idea of treating squads (all outfitted the same) like a suit of Battle armor. Then give yourself Support weapon/mech scale weapons individual attacks, then an anti-infantry attack value and a melee value. This allows you to have infantry with real long range anti-infantry fire from small arms and melee weapons without the damage being applied to full Mechs and vehicles.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 24 September 2021, 20:45:43
Infantry?
Here's the thing...if you want a "realistic" depiction of infantry in the BTU, then the best thing you can do is not have infantry on the battlefield.

Infantry in the BTU, on the board game, are heavily buffed. They do a lot more damage than they should, are far more resilient than they are.

That's not to say you couldn't have infantry, but you'd have to envision dedicated antiMech infantry using gorilla powersuits to protect from the blast and shrapnel of near misses, or covered armoured Jeeps armed with SRMs with "foot infantry" relegated to manning turrets.

The infantry rules in TW are a decent compromise providing a focus on Mechs, but giving infantry enough bite that they are worth taking, and so providing an important degree of visual and gameplay variety.
The reason why infantry exist and are valuable is it is far harder to kill infantry then what you think. The amount of ammunition expended to kill a single infantry soldier even in the day of modern combat is just absolutely stupid, Think in the tens of thousands of rounds and you'll still be short. This is because even with super accurate computer guided weapons, it doesn't take much for an infantry man to not be hurt by the weapon if he isn't hit directly and hitting him is really hard.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: idea weenie on 26 September 2021, 07:41:39
There are numerous ways to do that, but first thing to address is that 5, 6, and 10 man squads will never properly reach 28 men.  That's why Clan ConvInf Platoons number 25 (5 squads of 5 men), Com Guard Level 1s are 36, etc.  And if one can make construction stipulations as complicated, including tech, as a Battlemech or Protomech, the instructions do not have to be complex, but sufficiently varied to present what exists in the lore.  If I have to make a decision on using Clan tech versus IS tech, it shouldn't be that hard to have a similar stipulation for ConvInf construction.  And if people are going to Munchkin Battlemechs, there is no way to stop them Munchkining ConvInf.

5, 6, and 10 can just go to 'platoons' of 25, 24, or 20.  The key is to make sure people don't see a rule that limits 1 support weapon per squad, and just go with as many squads as possible.  Or a rule that gives bonuses based on the number of people per squad, and just go with a single massive squad for the most bonuses.  I want people to have to think about what size thy want instead of just finding out whatever is optimal and repeating that.  You could have one person wanting lots of small squads to give more anti-mech weapons, while another person wants larger squads to give more troopers per A-M weapon allowing them reduce the total weight carried per squad, giving them more flexibility.  Which platoon organization is better would depend on the situation.  The first squad might be better holding the line, while the second would be relocating after each shot causing the opponent a lot of headache trying to dig them out.

To deal with larger 'platoons', just make a rule where if there are more than 30 people in a hex (every 10 people, or fraction thereof) gives +1 AI damage to AI inflicted.  Split up the damage based on the sizes of the platoons involved.  So if someone wants to make a Marian Hegemony platoon of 100 people, that is 70 more than 30, so any AI attack does an extra 7 pts of AI damage against the platoon.  Another person wants to stack an entire company into a single hex to deliver a lot of damage (84 people), which s 54 more than 30, so that is 5.4 extra pts of AI damage, and rounded up to +6 AI damage against that hex.  Extra damage would be applied as evenly as possible to all platoons present in the hex.

A Comstar/WoB platoon of 36 n a single hex would take +1 AI damage from enemy weapons fire until it was down to 30 people.

You could even have a case where a mob has surrounded a platoon of local enforcers.  The mob has 200 people in that hex, and the enforcers in the same hex are down to 20 people.  That is 220 people total, 190 more than the safe number, so there is an extra 19 pts of AI damage being inflicted.  That extra 19 pts of damage is split up among the 220 people present in the hex, meaning the rioters are 10* as likely compared to the enforcers to be hit by the extra damage.

I fully expect people to try and munchkin the rules, and want to make it where munchkining the rules is fairly difficult and only gives a minor bonus.  You might design an Inner Sphere platoon equipped with Clantech for various tech bonuses, but BV and C-Bill costs (plus RPG difficulties of finding Clantech-trained technicians) would be the penalties.


Sorry, but that is absolutely no argument against having ConvInf having multiple attack vectors.  Vehicles do it, and Battle Armor do it.  It's not rocket surgery to consider that 28 different people couldn't manage to have separate targets.

The fun part is designing the platoon to handle that.  Using the example of a platoon with 4 SRM launchers, 24 assault rifles, 4 pistols (sidearms for the SRM people), and 28 vibro knives, you would have four damage lines.  During combat you would have to remember that the SRM damage line cannot be used at the same time as the pistol line, but that the assault rifle damage line can be used at the same time as the pistol damage line.  Similarly, the SRM damage line can be used at the same time as the assault rifle line, as it would technically be two different sets of people.  You would also have to remember that the pistol line can be used at the same time as the vibro knife line, since the pistol can be held in one hand and the knife in the other.  You would need to put a list after that platoon along the lines of:
(SRM + AR), (AR + Pistol), (Pistol + knife)
to show what combinations are allowed.

Or just go with only allowing one damage line at a time to be used.  Maybe the SRM line can get a more difficult to-be-hit penalty vs other infantry to reflect the assault rifle troopers firing in suppression?

Mechs and vehicles have the advantage that each weapon is completely independent.  Firing more than one weapon only affects total heat generation, and does not prevent other weapons from firing.  Vehicles can fire all of their weapons at the same time, but require sufficient heat sinks for the energy-based weapons.

Not really.  It would only mean having specific lines of weapon damage instead of all of them.  One already needs to fill out the RS for Battlemechs, so doing similar for Infantry shouldn't be too obscure a concept.

The problem is that some weapons can be used by the same infantryman, so you need a way to show that the infantryman with an SRM launcher cannot fire their pistol at the same time.  By having a single platoon allow multiple targets it feels like trying to use a Pulse laser with the Cluster chart to hit different parts of the same battlemech, or get extra critical hit rolls.

To me generic infantry platoons at the Mech scale should be very fast to use.  You move them if you choose, select a target, select the damage line, roll to-hit, roll on cluster table, and apply damage.  That platoon is done, go on to the next.  A platoon with a PC or other primary character would get the multiple targets because that person deserves the attention.

That would be ideal for you, but not necessarily for everyone.  Honestly, I think being able to have squads separate and do their own actions and be diminished in a variable manner is far better for Total Warfare which is designed for such variableness.  For Alpha Strike, such a token system is perfectly viable, though.  But then, Alpha Strike IS far more abstract than Total Warfare is.

The fun part with separating squads is calculating the damage for each squad.  You could have the infantry platoon designed where each trooper delivers half a point of BT damage, so a platoon of 21 people does 11 pts of damage.  You then split it into seven squads of 3 people each resulting in each squad doing 1.5 pts of BT damage, and that is rounded up to 2 pts per squad.  The result is that the squad format means the 21 troopers are now doing a potential of 14 pts of damage, while the platoon does 11 pts of damage.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 26 September 2021, 13:48:31
5, 6, and 10 can just go to 'platoons' of 25, 24, or 20.  The key is to make sure people don't see a rule that limits 1 support weapon per squad, and just go with as many squads as possible.  Or a rule that gives bonuses based on the number of people per squad, and just go with a single massive squad for the most bonuses.  I want people to have to think about what size thy want instead of just finding out whatever is optimal and repeating that.  You could have one person wanting lots of small squads to give more anti-mech weapons, while another person wants larger squads to give more troopers per A-M weapon allowing them reduce the total weight carried per squad, giving them more flexibility.  Which platoon organization is better would depend on the situation.  The first squad might be better holding the line, while the second would be relocating after each shot causing the opponent a lot of headache trying to dig them out.

Not necessarily.  One should be building a Platoon as one solid unit, not just arbitrarily making Platoons as large as one wants.  The source of the platoon will determine squad size and maximum number of squads just like the source of armor determines its weight for armor points.  This is largely how it is already done, but as you said, munchkining can still happen.  Where it should change would be that each squad is purchased as part of that, and their weapon loadout will be specific to that squad instead of for the platoon as a whole.

Squad number would be restricted by squad size and source.  Only Comstar can take six 6 man squads, for example, while everyone else is reduced to being 30 men total for the Platoon or five squads, but created from whole squads (so no four 8+ man squads).  Squads wouldn't be smaller than 5 (unless Clan Jumpers).

From there, I would say if a squad numbers 7-10, they can get two support weapons for the squad, but 5-6 may only take one.  Only Jump Infantry would be able to get below 5 men per squad (and only with the Clans), and it wouldn't change their support limit.  This would give the normal Foot Platoon access to 8 Support Weapons, but ComStar and Marian Hegemony would be limited to 6, and Clans to 5.  This would make the "standard" 28 man foot platoons the most optimal size!

To deal with larger 'platoons', just make a rule where if there are more than 30 people in a hex (every 10 people, or fraction thereof) gives +1 AI damage to AI inflicted.  Split up the damage based on the sizes of the platoons involved.  So if someone wants to make a Marian Hegemony platoon of 100 people, that is 70 more than 30, so any AI attack does an extra 7 pts of AI damage against the platoon.  Another person wants to stack an entire company into a single hex to deliver a lot of damage (84 people), which s 54 more than 30, so that is 5.4 extra pts of AI damage, and rounded up to +6 AI damage against that hex.  Extra damage would be applied as evenly as possible to all platoons present in the hex.

A Comstar/WoB platoon of 36 n a single hex would take +1 AI damage from enemy weapons fire until it was down to 30 people.

That might work, so long as the opposite happens when a Platoon reaches a certain point.  The reasoning would be that the more people in that hex, the easier it is to catch them out, but the fewer people there are, the harder it is.  It would probably have to be like under 10 or something (like a single squad size), and definitely worked through, but at least an idea to explore.

The fun part is designing the platoon to handle that.  Using the example of a platoon with 4 SRM launchers, 24 assault rifles, 4 pistols (sidearms for the SRM people), and 28 vibro knives, you would have four damage lines.  During combat you would have to remember that the SRM damage line cannot be used at the same time as the pistol line, but that the assault rifle damage line can be used at the same time as the pistol damage line.  Similarly, the SRM damage line can be used at the same time as the assault rifle line, as it would technically be two different sets of people.  You would also have to remember that the pistol line can be used at the same time as the vibro knife line, since the pistol can be held in one hand and the knife in the other.  You would need to put a list after that platoon along the lines of:
(SRM + AR), (AR + Pistol), (Pistol + knife)
to show what combinations are allowed.

Not really.  There would be only the lists for the Small Arms, Pistols (if they are even included), and Melee.  The Support Weapons would keep their normal damage profile from the vehicle-mounted versions (though range should be considered adjusted in some cases, like the missiles, I think), and also assign their damage as the vehicle-mounted versions.  The rest of the weapons are the ones that will have the most arbitrary value, and it can easily be a rule that if all the squads hit the same target, you just add their damage numbers together and then assign as current.

And honestly, I wouldn't even track Pistols at this level as separate from melee.  Their accuracy isn't the best thing in the world when compared to a rifle.  But then, if we're going to track shotguns, then pistols should be tracked.  If so, I'd probably put it as if the Support Weapons are not shot, +1 Small Arms damage, and just let it go.

Mechs and vehicles have the advantage that each weapon is completely independent.  Firing more than one weapon only affects total heat generation, and does not prevent other weapons from firing.  Vehicles can fire all of their weapons at the same time, but require sufficient heat sinks for the energy-based weapons.

The problem is that some weapons can be used by the same infantryman, so you need a way to show that the infantryman with an SRM launcher cannot fire their pistol at the same time.  By having a single platoon allow multiple targets it feels like trying to use a Pulse laser with the Cluster chart to hit different parts of the same battlemech, or get extra critical hit rolls.

But we're talking about single pilot assigning shots in a Battlemech, and a crew organizing shots in a Combat Vehicle.  Every single shot from a Platoon is an individual trooper or similar.  Having targets assigned by squad is actually more organized by that, though, and separating the Missile fire from the Small Arms fire should be no different then separating the Missile and Machine Gun fire for a Mech.    Damage and targeting is then organized by squad, so the platoon can split fire by squad, weapon, or both.

Of course, a certain amount of simplification could be applied by allowing squads to separate out, and so long as they are in a separate hex, then they can fire at separate targets by squad.  But that's a rule I always had a problem with in 40K, where it made even less sense as each trooper is being represented instead of Battletech's more (necessary) abstraction.

To me generic infantry platoons at the Mech scale should be very fast to use.  You move them if you choose, select a target, select the damage line, roll to-hit, roll on cluster table, and apply damage.  That platoon is done, go on to the next.  A platoon with a PC or other primary character would get the multiple targets because that person deserves the attention.

While I find it hard to disagree with wanting to speed things up, I think having the ability for Support Weapons to hit one target, and Small Arms to hit another is just too useful to consider.

The fun part with separating squads is calculating the damage for each squad.  You could have the infantry platoon designed where each trooper delivers half a point of BT damage, so a platoon of 21 people does 11 pts of damage.  You then split it into seven squads of 3 people each resulting in each squad doing 1.5 pts of BT damage, and that is rounded up to 2 pts per squad.  The result is that the squad format means the 21 troopers are now doing a potential of 14 pts of damage, while the platoon does 11 pts of damage.

It shouldn't be.  Each squad's damage should be consistent to itself, it is only when the platoon fires at the same target that they should all be considered together, and at that point, it is just adding it all up.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 26 September 2021, 17:58:35
So a lot of the finicky guys per squad and who carries what doesnt matter at the battletech scale.  This is why I push for each squad of infantry to work like a suit of battle armor.  A squad carries some number of weapons with some amount of redundancy, and can fire each weapon separate from the others.  How much redundancy?  Look at how many pips of structure/armor your squad/suit has.  There is a variant rule which already exists for crits on such targets--any hit after the first has an 8+ chance to render the squad/suit out of commission.  So you want to know if the srm squad ammo got blown up or the squad failed morale under fire?  Use the critical damage rule.

How many pips does a 5 man clan squad of standard light infantry have?  7 at most--the same as light battle armor suits.  A 6 man standard comstar squad?  7 at most.  A 7 man IS squad?  7 at most--less if the squad is under the max armor light infantry can carry.  A medium armored infantry clan/comstar/IS squad?  More like 10.  An assault armored HMMV?  Up to what assault battle armor has.  A toyota hilux 4 wheel very light technical squad?  Same as a very light battle armor.  Want a squad of guys shooting out an mh-6 little bird vtol?  A vtol battle armor does a much better job representing vtol infantry squads than the goofy gogo-gadget helicopter pack infantry.

As an aside, weapons in btech are massive.  The scale makes it easy to forget that 5kg of machine gun ammo in the laughable btech 200 shot/ton machine gun is 200 shots of 25g 7.62x51mm NATO--maybe only 165 shots due to the ~83% efficiency of disintegrating belt fed ammo and storage cans we use today.  That is a 2-4 second burst from a minigun firing either 6k or 3k rounds a minute.  The idea that the blast, radiation, plasma vapor wave et all from a 10 damage PPC does 1 damage to a platoon of infantry in the current rules is laughably quaint--a 10 damage ppc blast taking out a squad of infantry from the fight (there are rules for killed versus not), but not carrying over to other squads (like how battle armor works) makes much more sense when visualizing how infantry should work.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 26 September 2021, 18:14:15
The proposition of a PPC killing more than one properly ducking infantry trooper overlooks the 30 meter hex said trooper and their friends are tacking cover in.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: idea weenie on 27 September 2021, 14:30:52
Not necessarily.  One should be building a Platoon as one solid unit, not just arbitrarily making Platoons as large as one wants.  The source of the platoon will determine squad size and maximum number of squads just like the source of armor determines its weight for armor points.  This is largely how it is already done, but as you said, munchkining can still happen.  Where it should change would be that each squad is purchased as part of that, and their weapon loadout will be specific to that squad instead of for the platoon as a whole.

Squad number would be restricted by squad size and source.  Only Comstar can take six 6 man squads, for example, while everyone else is reduced to being 30 men total for the Platoon or five squads, but created from whole squads (so no four 8+ man squads).  Squads wouldn't be smaller than 5 (unless Clan Jumpers).

From there, I would say if a squad numbers 7-10, they can get two support weapons for the squad, but 5-6 may only take one.  Only Jump Infantry would be able to get below 5 men per squad (and only with the Clans), and it wouldn't change their support limit.  This would give the normal Foot Platoon access to 8 Support Weapons, but ComStar and Marian Hegemony would be limited to 6, and Clans to 5.  This would make the "standard" 28 man foot platoons the most optimal size!

How about if one support weapon per squad, and the ratio of non-support weapon personnel affected the anti-infantry defense?  So if you have a squad with 3 people in it (2 using the support weapon and 1 not) you might get a small bonus.  A larger squad with 2 troopers servicing the support weapon and 8 not would get a larger bonus.  This benefit would be affected by trooper skill levels.

A platoon made up of lots of small squads would be very dangerous to Mechs or other single targets, but also very vulnerable to other infantry.  A platoon with larger squads would have fewer support weapons, but larger defensive benefit vs other squads when firing their support weapons.  (This is assuming both platoons are of 30 people)

You could even go for someone making 4-person squads where each squad has a support weapon, as a form of fire team.  Here you would have 4 people, where there are 2 people with the support weapons, and 2 without.  That would give a larger defensive bonus than the 2&1 setup, but a smaller defensive bonus than the 2&8 setup.

Size and source would be selected based on flavor and designer preference, rather than fixed values.  You could have a merc unit that prefers 8-man squads because their infantry is of Regular level, while Comstar would prefer 6 troopers per squad because they have access to better training programs and simulators.  Clans have their culture of multiples of five and their warriors having higher skills.  Marian platoons are Green/Poor trained conscripts and are in squads of ten to try and keep the support weapon troopers alive.

If the designer wants to make a platoon with several large squads to get both high firepower and high protection, that platoon will likely be over 30 people in size, and that platoon will take extra damage from AI weapons if it is all in a single hex-level.  So if a Marian platoon of 100 people is in a single hex and there is only a single level present, that platoon will take +7 AI damage (as infantry are lost, this bonus drops too).  But if that same Marian platoon is split up with 20 people on each level of a 5-level building, then there is no bonus AI damage.  If the platoon split up so there are 10 levels, each with a squad of 10 people each then there would even be a penalty to-hit vs the squads.  At that point the opponent would likely be shooting at the building instead.

That might work, so long as the opposite happens when a Platoon reaches a certain point.  The reasoning would be that the more people in that hex, the easier it is to catch them out, but the fewer people there are, the harder it is.  It would probably have to be like under 10 or something (like a single squad size), and definitely worked through, but at least an idea to explore.

This would also reinforce squad deployment to encourage survival.  Make it 10 people or less to get the penalty to be hit, and the Marian squads of 10 people each can still fit.

Not really.  There would be only the lists for the Small Arms, Pistols (if they are even included), and Melee.  The Support Weapons would keep their normal damage profile from the vehicle-mounted versions (though range should be considered adjusted in some cases, like the missiles, I think), and also assign their damage as the vehicle-mounted versions.  The rest of the weapons are the ones that will have the most arbitrary value, and it can easily be a rule that if all the squads hit the same target, you just add their damage numbers together and then assign as current.

And honestly, I wouldn't even track Pistols at this level as separate from melee.  Their accuracy isn't the best thing in the world when compared to a rifle.  But then, if we're going to track shotguns, then pistols should be tracked.  If so, I'd probably put it as if the Support Weapons are not shot, +1 Small Arms damage, and just let it go.

The key with infantry is that you have not just a total limit of firepower, but each trooper has their own limit on firepower.  So technically you could have a platoon of 28 people, meaning you have 56 hands available.  One person could try to argue that 20 assault rifles and 16 knives could then be used, since that uses a total of 56 hands.  Common sense would tell otherwise since a trooper with 2 knives is not twice as deadly as two troopers with one knife each (all else identical).  Having just a single line of damage in use at a time would be a very easy way to prevent this problem.

I can also see people minmaxing and trying for the smallest/lightest pistol to get the +1 damage, and not grabbing anything bigger.  But combining pistol damage with melee damage would be good, and pistols would provide a nice bonus to melee damage since pistols hit before melee weapons.  Here you get design flexibility as people can try to take a larger pistol for more damage, while the larger pistols and their ammo need stronger troopers to carry it.

But we're talking about single pilot assigning shots in a Battlemech, and a crew organizing shots in a Combat Vehicle.  Every single shot from a Platoon is an individual trooper or similar.  Having targets assigned by squad is actually more organized by that, though, and separating the Missile fire from the Small Arms fire should be no different then separating the Missile and Machine Gun fire for a Mech.    Damage and targeting is then organized by squad, so the platoon can split fire by squad, weapon, or both.

Infantry has a limit of 2 hands per trooper, while Mechs don't have a limit for amount of heat produced per limb.  Targets assigned by squad would be used for when the squad is independent, rather than as part of a platoon.

The problem is when you have identical infantry weapons issued to the support weapon troops.  An 28-person infantry unit with 4 anti-Mech missile launchers and 28 submachine guns would have to prevented during the design phase if you wanted to allow anti-Mech and anti-infantry fire at the same time.

Of course, a certain amount of simplification could be applied by allowing squads to separate out, and so long as they are in a separate hex, then they can fire at separate targets by squad.  But that's a rule I always had a problem with in 40K, where it made even less sense as each trooper is being represented instead of Battletech's more (necessary) abstraction.

While I find it hard to disagree with wanting to speed things up, I think having the ability for Support Weapons to hit one target, and Small Arms to hit another is just too useful to consider.

Have Small arms be used to suppress enemy infantry fire aimed at the platoon, and it can still work.  Base it on the ratio between troops not on support weapons vs troops using the support weapons.

It shouldn't be.  Each squad's damage should be consistent to itself, it is only when the platoon fires at the same target that they should all be considered together, and at that point, it is just adding it all up.

That is the problem, the adding up of smaller squads would be greater than the platoon's whole damage.  If a squad has 3 people, where each person does half a point of Battlemech scale damage, then each squad will do 2 pts of Battlemech damage after rounding.  Seven of those squads would be a platoon of 21 doing 14 pts of damage.  But if you made squads of 7 people each that is 3.5 pts rounded to 4 pts of damage per squad, and three of squads would still be 21 people but now doing 12 pts of damage.  How long before a munchkin decides to make 'squads' of one person each, where each 'squad' does 1 pt of Battlemech damage after rounding?

One way to prevent this would be to round down damage.  So a squad of 3 people would do 1.5 pts damage base, but only 1 pt after rounding, and a 21-person platoon of 7 of those squads would do 7 pts of damage.  A squad of 7 people would do 3.5 pts damage, or 3 pts after rounding, and a platoon of 21 would do 9 pts of damage.

By rounding down damage per squad this encourages people to make larger squads.  The problem with larger squads is that you get fewer support weapons being deployed.  If you try to equip more support weapons per squad, you get fewer people to provide situational awareness/suppression of enemy units.  If you try to make larger platoons to give enough support weapons and situational awareness, you take more damage from AI weapons.

If you add another limit of only one target per platoon, that further encourages people to split off squads to engage multiple targets.  The problem comes when someone decides to take a platoon, split off all four squads, have all four squads in a single hex, then assign independent targets to each.  That takes a single unit (the platoon) and turns it into 4* as many units that have to be tracked during combat.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 27 September 2021, 15:09:18
Problem with those ranges are that long range shots are not really practical in firefights. Normally the ability to identify a possible shot, get your firearm on target, fire, all while trying to not get shot yourself reduces practical firing ranges down from the .5km+ range down to 75m-150m.

I would like to point out that Long Range imparts a huge rate of failure onto an already pretty high failure number.  Standard gunnery skill of 4 equates to a 1 in 6 chance of attack failure.  Long range bumps that up to a success rate of less than 50/50.

Considering we're not looking at armor being the cause for that, I'm not too concerned.  And, I've seen what half a kilometer looks like.  Barring terrain, that is the optimal distance where you can still make out a target to shoot without enhancements like a scope.  I agree that quarter-kilometer or less is probably more likely. 
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 27 September 2021, 15:14:14
The proposition of a PPC killing more than one properly ducking infantry trooper overlooks the 30 meter hex said trooper and their friends are tacking cover in.

Uhh... A little visual aid:

For your consideration - A Full Platoon in an appropriately scaled hex.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 27 September 2021, 15:18:54
More visual aids:
- Said platoon comes under attack by a huge mob of Ork Boyz.
- Two platoons worth of infantry barely fit inside one hex.  There's bound to be spill-over.*
- Why I prefer squad deployment.

* = And, remember, kids!  According to Stacking rules, there's room for two more platoons at the least, as long as there are only two platoons a side.  This is assuming a 2-sided engagement.  But, the rule of two conventional units per side could have that ballooning for each potential party in the conflict beyond the first two.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 27 September 2021, 15:23:41
Throw in the fact that lasers and speed of light beam weapons like a PPC can be whipped around with computer precision by your machine's fire-control algorithms, and, yeah, I can see a PPC incapacitating up to 20 dudes, or 30 if it's got the tech boost.

The fact that combat units can distinguish their own from among all that, when its a nice blender job once the two infantry formations are in melee should say a lot.  If you don't like that, then the rules have to change to reflect the chaos.

Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 27 September 2021, 18:26:55
You need exceptionally fine thread to represent a laser or PPC beam on that scale.  And no, you don't get to hose them around for the full ten seconds.  That's an even more ridiculous amount of energy than the rules currently presume.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 27 September 2021, 20:09:32
How about if one support weapon per squad, and the ratio of non-support weapon personnel affected the anti-infantry defense?  So if you have a squad with 3 people in it (2 using the support weapon and 1 not) you might get a small bonus.  A larger squad with 2 troopers servicing the support weapon and 8 not would get a larger bonus.  This benefit would be affected by trooper skill levels.

This would only work if there was an absolute limit on ConvInf in a Hex.  2 100 man platoons in a hex is quite crowded, but if they are made up of 25 squads, they won't be at a deficit.  So limits need to exist.  This is partly why the Mechs and Vehicles have their own internal limits when being constructed.  Therefore the maximum size to a squad and number of squads in a platoon has to have a hard limit. 

The key with infantry is that you have not just a total limit of firepower, but each trooper has their own limit on firepower.  So technically you could have a platoon of 28 people, meaning you have 56 hands available.  One person could try to argue that 20 assault rifles and 16 knives could then be used, since that uses a total of 56 hands.  Common sense would tell otherwise since a trooper with 2 knives is not twice as deadly as two troopers with one knife each (all else identical).  Having just a single line of damage in use at a time would be a very easy way to prevent this problem.

Only a person who has never held a rifle would think it would be useful to have a rifle in one hand and a knife in the other.  There is a reason bayonets were created, after all.

And no, it shouldn't have a single line of damage unless one wanted to keep ConvInf to using only the same weapons outside of their Support Weapons, and consider rifles and knives to be the exact same thing.  That part isn't very characterful and is part of the complaints about the abstraction of the current Conventional Infantry.

I can also see people minmaxing and trying for the smallest/lightest pistol to get the +1 damage, and not grabbing anything bigger.

Such differences in pistol type should not make any notable difference on the scale of Total War.  If it is not going to note the difference between the Centurion's Luxor AC/10 and the Orion's KaliYama AC/10, then noting the differences between pistols would be rather ridiculous.  Leave those distinctions to BattleTroops and the RPG.

But combining pistol damage with melee damage would be good, and pistols would provide a nice bonus to melee damage since pistols hit before melee weapons.  Here you get design flexibility as people can try to take a larger pistol for more damage, while the larger pistols and their ammo need stronger troopers to carry it.

Again, pistols sizes shouldn't make a difference in Total Warfare.  However, improving the melee damage, could work, as well as having something like Shotguns doing the same would work as well.

Infantry has a limit of 2 hands per trooper, while Mechs don't have a limit for amount of heat produced per limb.  Targets assigned by squad would be used for when the squad is independent, rather than as part of a platoon.

How many hands a trooper has has makes zero difference.  If there are 28 people carrying weapons, ostensibly, the unit can fire at 28 different targets.  However, keeping track of that damage, especially at the scale that Total Warfare operates at, is pointless.  Tracking the ability for a Platoon to do damage offers the best of both worlds.  Even then, the idea that the guy with a Support PPC cannot shoot at a tank or mech because his mates need to fire their rifles at incoming Infantry is ridiculous.  It was ridiculous in 40K for 5 editions, and it is just as ridiculous when Total Warfare already has mechanisms in place for multiple targeting.

That being said, splitting a squad's rifle fire may be a bit much.

The problem is when you have identical infantry weapons issued to the support weapon troops.  An 28-person infantry unit with 4 anti-Mech missile launchers and 28 submachine guns would have to prevented during the design phase if you wanted to allow anti-Mech and anti-infantry fire at the same time.

A strawman argument.  I never stated nor implied such a thing.  In fact, I stated as part of the possible considerations that when the Support Troopers not fire, they improve the Small Arms fire due to their Pistols, if you remember.

I would set it up so that the Small Arms values take in to consideration that the Support Weapon carriers will not be having the Rifles, SMGs, or Shotguns.  Their job is that Missile Launcher, Support Laser, etc.  That could then be swapped around the squad (in abstraction), but still require the swapping of the Rifle, etc.

Have Small arms be used to suppress enemy infantry fire aimed at the platoon, and it can still work.  Base it on the ratio between troops not on support weapons vs troops using the support weapons.

No.  Two platoons should be able to kill each other with Small Arms and not need to consider bringing their Support Weapons in to play.  While some Support Weapons are very good at killing Infantry (Machine Gun, Flamer, etc), just as often as not, they will be carrying missile launchers to punch armor.

That is the problem, the adding up of smaller squads would be greater than the platoon's whole damage.  If a squad has 3 people, where each person does half a point of Battlemech scale damage, then each squad will do 2 pts of Battlemech damage after rounding.  Seven of those squads would be a platoon of 21 doing 14 pts of damage.  But if you made squads of 7 people each that is 3.5 pts rounded to 4 pts of damage per squad, and three of squads would still be 21 people but now doing 12 pts of damage.  How long before a munchkin decides to make 'squads' of one person each, where each 'squad' does 1 pt of Battlemech damage after rounding?

One way to prevent this would be to round down damage.  So a squad of 3 people would do 1.5 pts damage base, but only 1 pt after rounding, and a 21-person platoon of 7 of those squads would do 7 pts of damage.  A squad of 7 people would do 3.5 pts damage, or 3 pts after rounding, and a platoon of 21 would do 9 pts of damage.

By rounding down damage per squad this encourages people to make larger squads.  The problem with larger squads is that you get fewer support weapons being deployed.  If you try to equip more support weapons per squad, you get fewer people to provide situational awareness/suppression of enemy units.  If you try to make larger platoons to give enough support weapons and situational awareness, you take more damage from AI weapons.

Only if you have to do all those calculations on a per weapon basis instead of just devolving it in to weapon type and giving set numbers based on the number of people present.  On average at present, four 7 man squads still do the same damage as 28 man platoons.  There are a couple one offs where the full 28 does 1 more damage than 4 7s, and in some cases it is 1 less.  Best to unify it and just stick with it for consistency.  This way, the concept of splitting the platoon's fire by squad is practical and usable.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 27 September 2021, 21:03:29
You need exceptionally fine thread to represent a laser or PPC beam on that scale.  And no, you don't get to hose them around for the full ten seconds.  That's an even more ridiculous amount of energy than the rules currently presume.

I never said anything about a full 10 seconds.  Heck, you barely need one.  ::)  how quickly can you flick your wrist with a laser pointer?  Now, dare to imagine! Same laser pointer attached to a gimbal linked to an advanced computer with code derived from a couple centuries of evolving combat.  How many do you envision that tagging while avoiding ones with friendly IFF signals?

Then realize that said pointer is magnitudes more powerful, everything the beam touching catching fire or flash-vaporizing.

And, if I see 'Future of the 80's' in any follow up comment, you lose my respect. ::)
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: CVB on 27 September 2021, 21:20:29
When I'm so precise, why do I bother with gropos instead of piercing turret rings or 'mech arm and leg joints? :)
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 28 September 2021, 03:15:41
I'm nor sure you even get one full second of beam, and cover still plays into it.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 28 September 2021, 03:24:42
Dont forget that when high energy hits things like water, say from a tree or rock, it explodes.  So even if you don't believe lasers can spread around (pulse lasers do that and are like machine guns in some cases) lasers and ppcs striking near the ground still make giant explosions/craters.

A few PPC shots clear forests guys.  If a ppc can quickly clear a forest, what do you think the infantry think when shot by a ppc?

20 ppc shots make a 30 meter wide 6 meter deep crater.  You can calculate backwards to see that a single PPC makes a 9 meter wide shallower crater.  Like i mentioned, its easy to forget the SCALE of damage being slung around.  There is a great video of a should launched missile being shot at a barricade and sending a car flying across the screen from the blast.  That is like 2 damage in battletech.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 28 September 2021, 15:58:48
When I'm so precise, why do I bother with gropos instead of piercing turret rings or 'mech arm and leg joints? :)

And this is why I conclude that there is defensive motion algorithms inherent in combat vehicles post-BattleMech Intro.  When the advanced targeting has to play a guessing game due to a computer in the target noting where the shot will land if fired at any given moment, then shifting, stutter-stepping, braking, accelerating, etc, so-on and so-forth, it will appear to the naked, uneducated eye that shots are going wild.

Conventional dudes can't do that, even with helmet sensor support giving them visual and audio warning cues.  They would have to be strapped to a frame with that kind of system built in, and even then, they would need to be encased in BT magic armor to not get incapacitated by a near miss.  (If you haven't noticed, I just described Battle Armor.  ^-^ )

This is my head-canon, having been playing the game since the late 90's.

Without that, you'd be right.  The game and the setting would have no more in common than any edition of 40k versus stories from the Black Library.

I personally don't like that.

But, it is only my preference and opinion.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: CVB on 28 September 2021, 18:57:33
Fair enough. In my head canon, such a degree of precision would mean instant decapitation for any shutdown mech, so I envision a middle of the road (multiple hits to infantry because of explosive vaporization from energy weapons or from multiple AC shells, including friendly fire when blue and red infantry forces mingle in one hex, but not instant death for a whole platoon from the laser pointers of death that you described.
Of course, my HC isn't any better or more true than yours :)
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 28 September 2021, 22:16:43
Well, I know that my head-canon has issues with that and terrain.  Sometimes I have to come up with 'house' rules to fit a situation. 

For example, my currently weak explanation for Head Shots when shut down and dealing with ranges for clearing woods or damaging buildings would be 'ambient ECM put up by enemy units'.*  This can be circumnavigated with old rules and existing ones.  There's the old accidental clearing woods rules that went with the accidental fires check when 'missing' a target occupying woods.  The clearing happened on an 11 or 12. Combine that with firing weapons beyond long range to generate heat or expend ammo, the auto-miss would trigger that check.  ;)

However, that's with an active armored target on the field.  I could rule that as long as there was line of sight, and no armored enemy was on the table, you could engage terrain at low-altitude ranges instead.  IE, the range in hexes would translate to ground mapsheets.

* (Although, I could see the Mech valuing the pilot more than its own survival, and where the head is concerned, the Mech isn't immobile when shots are aimed at the cockpit.  Anywhere else, it won't react.  But, when a weapon is pointed at the head, the Mech will juke, use baffling lasers to blind sensors, and what-not to keep the pilot alive as best it can.)
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 29 September 2021, 02:54:57
I just assumed because the head is 6 times smaller than some other locations, it is harder to hit the head.  It doesnt need to be more complex than that for me.

As for ecm, you need 4 tons of communications equipment to connect to a gps satellite right?  That says to me some powerful jammimg is in play.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Talen5000 on 29 September 2021, 07:50:09
The reason why infantry exist and are valuable is it is far harder to kill infantry then what you think. The amount of ammunition expended to kill a single infantry soldier even in the day of modern combat is just absolutely stupid, Think in the tens of thousands of rounds and you'll still be short. This is because even with super accurate computer guided weapons, it doesn't take much for an infantry man to not be hurt by the weapon if he isn't hit directly and hitting him is really hard.

The amount of energy even the lightest BT weapons would be dumping into the ground where it impacts is not going to leave many places for infantry to hide from damage. You have blast, concussion, shrapnel from ground/tree/rock..you have superheated air from lasers that is hot enough to sear flesh from bone even metres away...you have noise and blast...the discharges from particle weapons and more.

The 31st century battlefield is not one which is conducive to infantry survival or effectiveness.

Gameplay and marketing reasons dictate infantry, artillery, melee combat and so on are all much more effective than they should be. But if infantry was anywhere near as effective in the BTU as they are in the board game, then Mechs wouldn't exist.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Cannonshop on 29 September 2021, 08:40:13
The amount of energy even the lightest BT weapons would be dumping into the ground where it impacts is not going to leave many places for infantry to hide from damage. You have blast, concussion, shrapnel from ground/tree/rock..you have superheated air from lasers that is hot enough to sear flesh from bone even metres away...you have noise and blast...the discharges from particle weapons and more.

The 31st century battlefield is not one which is conducive to infantry survival or effectiveness.

Gameplay and marketing reasons dictate infantry, artillery, melee combat and so on are all much more effective than they should be. But if infantry was anywhere near as effective in the BTU as they are in the board game, then Mechs wouldn't exist.





so maybe some rebalance might be examined, but don't bet on it going the way you want it to. because on a purely practical scale, giant walking robots are the WORST choice for an armored vehicle without the sort of 'inconsistencies' you're all yammering about.

It's 30 feet tall, it's fundamentally unstable, it's heavy, it's crewed by a single man and has more guns than a mark VIII (https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/british-mark-iv-tank.html) landship while moving at speeds competitive with modern tanks-by definition, it's easy to spot, easy to hit, easy to destabilize and easy to penetrate with weapons that can get through the armor.

SOME THINGS MUST BE FUDGED or the whole premise of the setting collapses in a cloud of illogic.

Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: idea weenie on 29 September 2021, 13:35:21
This would only work if there was an absolute limit on ConvInf in a Hex.  2 100 man platoons in a hex is quite crowded, but if they are made up of 25 squads, they won't be at a deficit.  So limits need to exist.  This is partly why the Mechs and Vehicles have their own internal limits when being constructed.  Therefore the maximum size to a squad and number of squads in a platoon has to have a hard limit. 

I was figuring the bonus AI damage for more troopers in a single hex-level would help with that.  Not troopers per platoon, total troopers in a hex (i.e. two 100-person platoons in a hex would be getting +17 AI damage when shot at).  So a player could design a larger platoon or squeeze infantry in so there is more than 30 people in a hex, but +1 AI damage for very 10 people (or fraction) over 30 would make that tactic very dangerous.  A 'platoon' of 100 people would have to be separated into multiple squads/levels in order to survive.

Of course now I am wanting to come up with ideas where a squad is less effective offensively than a platoon.

Only a person who has never held a rifle would think it would be useful to have a rifle in one hand and a knife in the other.  There is a reason bayonets were created, after all.

And no, it shouldn't have a single line of damage unless one wanted to keep ConvInf to using only the same weapons outside of their Support Weapons, and consider rifles and knives to be the exact same thing.  That part isn't very characterful and is part of the complaints about the abstraction of the current Conventional Infantry.

I was comparing it to 28 people having a total of 56 hands, so 20 troopers would fire 2-handed weapons and 8 troopers being handed 2 knives each, similar to how Support Weapons and Small Arms damage lines can be used.  This would be one part of the platoon engaging in melee, and the rest of the platoon firing at another target.

Such differences in pistol type should not make any notable difference on the scale of Total War.  If it is not going to note the difference between the Centurion's Luxor AC/10 and the Orion's KaliYama AC/10, then noting the differences between pistols would be rather ridiculous.  Leave those distinctions to BattleTroops and the RPG.

Again, pistols sizes shouldn't make a difference in Total Warfare.  However, improving the melee damage, could work, as well as having something like Shotguns doing the same would work as well.

The fun with shotguns is that their damage could work for both ranged Small Arms (slug ammo) and melee (buckshot).  Pistols would be a similar setup where a platoon armed solely with pistols would count them as the Small Arms damage line  It wouldn't be that high in damage, or that long in range, but would still be considered Small Arms.  On the other hand a platoon where most of its troopers are armed with assault rifles and knives and the rest of the platoon armed with pistols (and knives) would have the Pistols be part of the melee damage line (and Pistols would get a nice multiplier to their damage due to their range advantage).

How many hands a trooper has has makes zero difference.  If there are 28 people carrying weapons, ostensibly, the unit can fire at 28 different targets.  However, keeping track of that damage, especially at the scale that Total Warfare operates at, is pointless.  Tracking the ability for a Platoon to do damage offers the best of both worlds.  Even then, the idea that the guy with a Support PPC cannot shoot at a tank or mech because his mates need to fire their rifles at incoming Infantry is ridiculous.  It was ridiculous in 40K for 5 editions, and it is just as ridiculous when Total Warfare already has mechanisms in place for multiple targeting.

That being said, splitting a squad's rifle fire may be a bit much.

How about just go with each 'unit' can engage a single target, but the smaller the unit the less dangerous it is offensively?  So a squad per hex would be harder to hit, but 4 individual squads would not do as much damage as the same four squads operating as a single platoon.

A strawman argument.  I never stated nor implied such a thing.  In fact, I stated as part of the possible considerations that when the Support Troopers not fire, they improve the Small Arms fire due to their Pistols, if you remember.

Ah.  I was thinking that a munchkiner would see combat rules where a platoon could fire both the support weapon line and the anti-infantry line.  The munchkiner then designs their platoon with several Support weapons and all the troops have the same Small Arms weapon to take advantage of using both damage lines.  Like a platoon with a few people carrying LAWs, but everyone has an assault rifle.  If the platoon gets to fire both the LAWs and assault rifles, you would have some troopers doing both jobs.  By forcing a platoon to only use one line at a time, it prevents that munchkinery.

One option would be calculating how many troopers in the platoon don't have support weapons, divide that by the total number of troopers in the platoon, and make a note that the Small Arms damage should be multiplied by that value (FRD).  This value would be set during platoon creation and not changed.

Example: A platoon with 28 troopers has a total of 8 troopers that will be busy when firing the Support weapons (4 SRM launchers, one trooper holding the SRM launcher, and one trooper loading the SRM).  The platoon also carries submachine guns that do .3 anti-Infantry damage, with the result that the entire platoon could do 8.4 pts of A-I damage, rounded down to 8 pts A-I damage.  So if firing at one target using the Support Weapon line, and the platoon controller also wants to fire their Small Arms at a second target, the multiplier is 20/28 (aka 5/7 or 71%).  Multiplying that by 8 pts of damage is 5.7 pts A-I damage, rounded down to 5 pts A-M.

By setting up a ratio it would prevent the munchkinery of firing both the Support Weapons and Small Arms at the same time.  Ideally I'd want to halve the percentage to reflect that the platoon is focusing its attention on the armored unit that will be very cranky after the SRMs hit, the armored unit might decide to scratch the itch, so the platoon has to be ready to run.

I would set it up so that the Small Arms values take in to consideration that the Support Weapon carriers will not be having the Rifles, SMGs, or Shotguns.  Their job is that Missile Launcher, Support Laser, etc.  That could then be swapped around the squad (in abstraction), but still require the swapping of the Rifle, etc.

So this would be in the rules for platoon construction, where a trooper armed with a Support weapon cannot be given another 2-handed weapon or a one-handed weapon over X weight?  That could work nicely.

No.  Two platoons should be able to kill each other with Small Arms and not need to consider bringing their Support Weapons in to play.  While some Support Weapons are very good at killing Infantry (Machine Gun, Flamer, etc), just as often as not, they will be carrying missile launchers to punch armor.

I was referring to one platoon using its support weapons to engage Mechs, and the rest of the platoon would be using their Small Arms in anti-infantry mode.  Instead of worrying someone is going to munchkin the damage by grabbing both damage lines, only the Support line would be used and just have a note about that the platoon is keeping another infantry unit away.  Next turn the infantry unit can focus all of its attention (and Small Arms) on the other infantry platoon.  Reducing the Small Arms damage line by a multiplier based on non-Support Weapon troopers could also help.

Only if you have to do all those calculations on a per weapon basis instead of just devolving it in to weapon type and giving set numbers based on the number of people present.  On average at present, four 7 man squads still do the same damage as 28 man platoons.  There are a couple one offs where the full 28 does 1 more damage than 4 7s, and in some cases it is 1 less.  Best to unify it and just stick with it for consistency.  This way, the concept of splitting the platoon's fire by squad is practical and usable.

So damage per 'unit is totaled, and rounded down?  This encourages the player to use larger units to get the fractional damage, but at the same time larger units are easier to hit.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 29 September 2021, 23:05:55
I was figuring the bonus AI damage for more troopers in a single hex-level would help with that.  Not troopers per platoon, total troopers in a hex (i.e. two 100-person platoons in a hex would be getting +17 AI damage when shot at).  So a player could design a larger platoon or squeeze infantry in so there is more than 30 people in a hex, but +1 AI damage for very 10 people (or fraction) over 30 would make that tactic very dangerous.  A 'platoon' of 100 people would have to be separated into multiple squads/levels in order to survive.

Of course now I am wanting to come up with ideas where a squad is less effective offensively than a platoon.

And the answer to both is hard caps on unit size.  There is nothing wrong with hard caps on unit size, and we already have that for literally every other unit in the game, so being unlimited with PBI makes no sense.

The fun with shotguns is that their damage could work for both ranged Small Arms (slug ammo) and melee (buckshot).  Pistols would be a similar setup where a platoon armed solely with pistols would count them as the Small Arms damage line  It wouldn't be that high in damage, or that long in range, but would still be considered Small Arms.  On the other hand a platoon where most of its troopers are armed with assault rifles and knives and the rest of the platoon armed with pistols (and knives) would have the Pistols be part of the melee damage line (and Pistols would get a nice multiplier to their damage due to their range advantage).

So long as Pistols and Shotguns are still given a poor effective range as compensation, them both giving a bonus in melee makes sense, however it wouldn't mix with heavier dedicated melee weapons like swords or axes to keep things somewhat reasonable.

How about just go with each 'unit' can engage a single target, but the smaller the unit the less dangerous it is offensively?  So a squad per hex would be harder to hit, but 4 individual squads would not do as much damage as the same four squads operating as a single platoon.

Why?  Nothing else is restricted to a single target on the battlefield, why can't 28 men?  Just keep things appropriately separated by weapon, and possibly by squad, and it's easy.

Ah.  I was thinking that a munchkiner would see combat rules where a platoon could fire both the support weapon line and the anti-infantry line.  The munchkiner then designs their platoon with several Support weapons and all the troops have the same Small Arms weapon to take advantage of using both damage lines.  Like a platoon with a few people carrying LAWs, but everyone has an assault rifle.  If the platoon gets to fire both the LAWs and assault rifles, you would have some troopers doing both jobs.  By forcing a platoon to only use one line at a time, it prevents that munchkinery.

But then you're back to making non-sensical measures.  Dudes with missiles should be shooting armor.  Dudes with rifles should be shooting other dudes or trying to dislodge an armor plate here or there.

One option would be calculating how many troopers in the platoon don't have support weapons, divide that by the total number of troopers in the platoon, and make a note that the Small Arms damage should be multiplied by that value (FRD).  This value would be set during platoon creation and not changed.

Example: A platoon with 28 troopers has a total of 8 troopers that will be busy when firing the Support weapons (4 SRM launchers, one trooper holding the SRM launcher, and one trooper loading the SRM).  The platoon also carries submachine guns that do .3 anti-Infantry damage, with the result that the entire platoon could do 8.4 pts of A-I damage, rounded down to 8 pts A-I damage.  So if firing at one target using the Support Weapon line, and the platoon controller also wants to fire their Small Arms at a second target, the multiplier is 20/28 (aka 5/7 or 71%).  Multiplying that by 8 pts of damage is 5.7 pts A-I damage, rounded down to 5 pts A-M.

By setting up a ratio it would prevent the munchkinery of firing both the Support Weapons and Small Arms at the same time.  Ideally I'd want to halve the percentage to reflect that the platoon is focusing its attention on the armored unit that will be very cranky after the SRMs hit, the armored unit might decide to scratch the itch, so the platoon has to be ready to run.

Or, you know, have a Small Arms line which just covers the Troopers with the Small Arms in the squad, and leave the Support Weapons back to using appropriate Heavy Arms stats.  The calculations would already be done based on what is available now, and you just track each squad's contribution.

So this would be in the rules for platoon construction, where a trooper armed with a Support weapon cannot be given another 2-handed weapon or a one-handed weapon over X weight?  That could work nicely.

Precisely.  A squad of 5 with a Support Weapon would have 1 Support Weapon Weapon, and 4 Rifles, with the stats presenting that.  A Squad of 10 with 2 Support Weapons would have the 2 Heavy Weapons would be using the Small Arms stats based on 8 Rifles.  Going by earlier, if the Heavy Weapons aren't used, Melee stats are improved by +1.

I was referring to one platoon using its support weapons to engage Mechs, and the rest of the platoon would be using their Small Arms in anti-infantry mode.  Instead of worrying someone is going to munchkin the damage by grabbing both damage lines, only the Support line would be used and just have a note about that the platoon is keeping another infantry unit away.  Next turn the infantry unit can focus all of its attention (and Small Arms) on the other infantry platoon.  Reducing the Small Arms damage line by a multiplier based on non-Support Weapon troopers could also help.

Right, and it's what 40K did for decades.  It was a dumb idea for them, it is not a good idea for this game.  Keeping the Support Weapons as being able to target something different from the Small Arms makes sense.  It's not like it wouldn't be that much more difficult than tracking most of the weapon systems on the average Medium Mech.  Being able to split that fire by squad also makes sense in cases of being surrounded, like at Gqokli Hill, for example.

So damage per 'unit is totaled, and rounded down?  This encourages the player to use larger units to get the fractional damage, but at the same time larger units are easier to hit.

It wouldn't need to be rounded at all.  Each squad would have a specific damage rating for Small Arms based on their number, just like a Platoon is now.  Add up those numbers to get to work.  Or apply each squad as each being a separate weapon of the Platoon, much like a Piranha does for each Machine Gun.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Talen5000 on 30 September 2021, 05:13:04
So maybe some rebalance might be examined, but don't bet on it going the way you want it to. because on a purely practical scale, giant walking robots are the WORST choice for an armored vehicle without the sort of 'inconsistencies' you're all yammering about.

Sure...Mechs have issues as well. But we aren't talking about real life.

In the BTU...Mechs are, for whatever reason, king. The physics, etc, behind that reality don't really matter for this point.

The problem is not comparing BTU Mechs vs RW infantry. Its comparing BTU infantry with BTU Mechs. If the BTU infantry were as capable and dangerous as the board game shows, there'd be no Mechs. And if Mech weapons were as dangerous and devastating as shown, infantry would be dying in droves.

But gameplay and marketing reasons prevail in the board game. Infantry get buffed. The same energy weapons which can sear flesh merely by passing within metres or cause a tree to explode in a shower of steam and wooden shrapnel only mission kills a single trooper.

Gameplay trumps the story. Always has. Always will.

Meaning...

The most accurate depiction if BTU combat is most likely the Mech vs Mech with no infantry on the field at all, or at least, they'd be manning fixed emplacements.
Those conventional infantry units which are on the field would not be the standard unit we see, but would be elite troopers, specially trained and equipped to deal with Mechs. A minimal impact but a potentially meaningful one.

But gameplay requires interest and variety, and there is a balance between simplicity and viability. So we have the rules we have

Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 30 September 2021, 16:57:10
A quick word about conventional infantry armor.  The armor they have to wear to NOT have damage against them doubled is at least one notch better than anything the real world can offer right now.  Without a total of 5 BAR, infantry are considered "unarmored".  If you look closely at the AToW stats for helmets, you'll also notice they all have a BAR (or AV) vs. flash, so eye protection is part of the standard kit, even for backwater worlds in the Periphery.

If energy weapons bloomed like you're describing, their effective range would be even shorter than game play demands.  You don't get to dump megajoules of energy into a meters wide path for hundreds of meters, even with a fusion engine.  The weapon that does that is a flamer, and its range is about right for that kind of area of effect.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 30 September 2021, 23:17:59
I would like to point out that Long Range imparts a huge rate of failure onto an already pretty high failure number.  Standard gunnery skill of 4 equates to a 1 in 6 chance of attack failure.  Long range bumps that up to a success rate of less than 50/50.

Considering we're not looking at armor being the cause for that, I'm not too concerned.  And, I've seen what half a kilometer looks like.  Barring terrain, that is the optimal distance where you can still make out a target to shoot without enhancements like a scope.  I agree that quarter-kilometer or less is probably more likely.
Try something more on the line of 1/30 or lower as being semi-realistic for anything over 150m. Sure the weapon is capable of handling the shot but the people aren't. The sudden emotional event of having rounds hopefully pass by you completely destroys the aim of pretty much anyone. Your not able to take calm collective shots while your waiting for your breathing to reach that nice rhythm to be able to make a nice simple. BT has a weird, linear difficulty increase with range due to the limitation of the dice. The reality is it should be closer to 0/+2/+6/+12 if not worse.  The RPG's detail allows you to potentially get much longer shots at some points. Which is why it can allow the ranges to be longer, because you might actually get a chance to get something approaching target shooting at the range.

The amount of energy even the lightest BT weapons would be dumping into the ground where it impacts is not going to leave many places for infantry to hide from damage. You have blast, concussion, shrapnel from ground/tree/rock..you have superheated air from lasers that is hot enough to sear flesh from bone even metres away...you have noise and blast...the discharges from particle weapons and more.

The 31st century battlefield is not one which is conducive to infantry survival or effectiveness.

Gameplay and marketing reasons dictate infantry, artillery, melee combat and so on are all much more effective than they should be. But if infantry was anywhere near as effective in the BTU as they are in the board game, then Mechs wouldn't exist.
I don't think you have any real world experience from this stuff, I know silly to say about a futuristic game, but there is a lot of stuff that currently exists that you can draw experience from. First, The ground is the worst thing for you to pump energy of any type into be it explosive, electrical, or thermal. It is amazing how close you can be to a lot of explosives if you have some dirt between you and it. If you couldn't, well I wouldn't be able to have this conversation. It's also why it takes a massive amount of bombardment to dig out dug-in infantry. It is why you had very specifically designed shells to take out infantry like Willy-pete and Air-burst or tactics like Time-on-Target. Because to get to the infantry through dirt, mud, and concrete requires a lot of energy to expend it first and it doesn't take much distance to make a prone soldier protected from things that hit near him.

Lasers don't produce a massive area of super-heated air around the beam path. Kinda goes against the whole concept of a Laser, you do get a small bleed area of temperature increase, but nothing to worry about even as unprotected infantry. Got a chance to go to several of the US military weapon test for the chemical based airborne laser system and the Naval laser. The restricted area for those firing was entirely due to a potential targeting misalignment or other equipment failure and fear of being burned by the air heating up. If you ever get to be around commercial grade heavy CNC laser cutters you'll see the same thing. the only real heat you get comes from the material you are cutting nothing near the beam path.

Don't get me wrong, Catching infantry out in the open (standing/moving) is not good for infantry, but it is amazing how little things can give you such really good cover from. Things that we are just not able to directly simulate in the game unless we want to start handling elevation changes by 6" increments.

The thing you getting stuck on is the fact that just because infantry can have a real role, doesn't mean that Mech's aren't the star of the game/base unit/whatever. Mechs have plenty of advantages that infantry will never be the main star, but that doesn't mean that we can't have rules that don't make a lot of sense and are an extra set of rules that are almost exclusive to them. A unit type that should actually be fairly common at least in the support role.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: idea weenie on 01 October 2021, 01:03:21
And the answer to both is hard caps on unit size.  There is nothing wrong with hard caps on unit size, and we already have that for literally every other unit in the game, so being unlimited with PBI makes no sense.

An Assault Mech is no easier to hit than a Light Mech (assuming they are both moving at the same speed, and all else identical).  Giving platoons a damage penalty penalty based on size would be a useful incentive to keep platoon sizes down.  A Small Laser (or other weapon that does 1 pt of AI damage) against a 30-strong platoon will only mission-kill 1 trooper (~3% of that platoon's strength).  That same Small Laser fired against a 100-person 'platoon' will mission-kill 8 troopers, aka 8% of the platoon's strength.  This boosted damage will be stated at the start of the platoon construction so designers are encouraged to keep their platoon at or below this 30-trooper number.  I chose 30 troopers as 30 is close enough to 28, and subtracting 30 from a number is much easier than subtracting 28.

The other option would be a bonus to-hit based on how large the platoon is (and would probably better reflect that more troopers = more likely to hit someone).  So instead of +1 AI damage per 10 troopers (or part thereof), platoons would be 1 pt easier to hit for every 10 troopers (or fraction thereof) ?  It would appropriately reflect that if squads being smaller are harder to hit, then large enough platoons are easier to hit.

AoE weapons would go with bonus damage simply because there are more people to be hurt.

So long as Pistols and Shotguns are still given a poor effective range as compensation, them both giving a bonus in melee makes sense, however it wouldn't mix with heavier dedicated melee weapons like swords or axes to keep things somewhat reasonable.

Pistols and Shotguns would take up extra mass if used for both Melee and Small Arms, reflecting their greater demand for ammo.  This would also cause higher maintenance and training costs for the troopers.  This would be a good case for dedicated melee weapons, as training with a melee weapon just needs an empty room, while practicing with Pistols or Shotguns needs a dedicated range.  So training with melee weapons would be cheaper than training with ammunition-based weapons.  The obvious problem is that melee weapons can only apply their damage once the opponent is in range, which will be after the Pistols and Shotguns have been used.

You then get into the fun of what defines a better melee weapon, plus what can the trooper carry effectively.  A STR 4 trooper might be able to carry a light pistol and a thin blade, while a STR 6 trooper might carry a heavy Pistol and a one-handed sword/machete.  A rule would have to be made where 2-handed melee weapons, or melee weapons above a certain weight (based on the average STR value of that trooper) cannot be used at the same time as a pistol.  2-handed weapons obviously cannot be used with a pistol, and one-handed weapons that are too heavy would cause the Pistol to be poorly aimed, reducing the Pistol's damage to effectively zero.

For Shotguns, if the shotgun is a 2-handed weapon then it obviously cannot be used at the same time as a melee weapon.  A one-handed shotgun (i.e. sawed off) might be used, but would have the similar limits as a pistol.  Perhaps the combined weight of the short-ranged weapon and melee weapon would be compared?  This would give a mathematical reason to avoid everyone using a heavy pistol and a broadsword, as together the two weapons are too heavy for most troopers.

Why?  Nothing else is restricted to a single target on the battlefield, why can't 28 men?  Just keep things appropriately separated by weapon, and possibly by squad, and it's easy.

Vehicles and Mechs have auto-aiming systems, while Support weapons are the only items that would normally have auto-aiming systems.  If Small Arms are fired at the same time as Support Weapons, but at separate targets, this would reflect the platoon splitting its attention (and would reinforce the idea that an anti-Mech platoon is supposed to be fighting Mechs first).  Anti-infantry Support Weapons firing at the same target as Small Arms would not cause this penalty (i.e a platoon with light machine guns that are designed for anti-infantry work are fired at a platoon, and the rest of the platoon joins in with their Small Arms).

But then you're back to making non-sensical measures.  Dudes with missiles should be shooting armor.  Dudes with rifles should be shooting other dudes or trying to dislodge an armor plate here or there.

Or, you know, have a Small Arms line which just covers the Troopers with the Small Arms in the squad, and leave the Support Weapons back to using appropriate Heavy Arms stats.  The calculations would already be done based on what is available now, and you just track each squad's contribution.

The guys with the rifles would be there to support the anti-armor crew.  They would mainly be using cover fire to keep other platoons' heads down so that the anti-armor people don't lose their heads.  Each person with an anti-armor weapon (or supporting them) is another person that has to be protected and is not returning fire.  As to dislodging armor plates, that is still what anti-armor weaponry is for.  That could be rifle-fired anti-armor grenades, and since the rifles are firing grenades instead of suppressing other platoons, you now have a problem because now you have troopers that can do both Support Weapon and Small Arms damage.  If both damage lines are used, then those troopers are getting to fire twice.  There needs to be a number on the Support Weapons line that tells what fraction of troopers are available for Small Arms fire.

Situations like this where troopers can qualify for both the Support Weapon or Small Arms damage lines will cause problems when you try to let the platoon use both lines.  You also have the issue that the platoon itself has to focus on more than one target, and methods that work for the anti-Armor crew might not be good for the anti-infantry fire, and vice versa.

This is where Squad fire could work.  A single Squad can only engage a single target at a penalty (due to lack of advanced aiming systems), and the platoon can choose to get a bonus vs one of the targets (the platoon leader focuses their efforts on that target).  So you have the Support Weapon Squad firing at the enemy armor (using only the Support Weapon damage line), while the rifle squads are firing to keep other infantry units pinned down or dead (using the Small Arms damage line).  The Rifle squads have a difficult time because the Support Weapon crew has to remain relatively exposed, are stationary, and when firing anti-armor munitions aren't able to help return fire.  We can add a rule about Suppressing fire that uses the Small Arms damage line, but modified to create a defensive bonus at the cost of some of the damage (this is the troops watching/suppressing in all directions, instead of engaging in one direction)

The problem with the calculations, is that the rounding rewards people for making ultra-small squads.
Examples of three 21-person platoons, where each trooper is equipped with a weapon that does .5 pts AI damage:
7 squads of 3 people each: each squad does 1.5 damage, rounded up to 2, multiplied by 7 = 14 pts of damage
3 squads of 7 people each: each squad does 3.5 damage, rounded up to 4, multiplied by 3 = 12 pts of damage
1 'squad' of 21 people: the squad does 10.5 damage, rounded up to 11, multiplied by 1 = 11 pts of damage

I'd like to change that part so damage caused by a unit is rounded down.  This rewards larger squads/formations, and the platoon damage for the above would be 7, 9, and 10 pts damage respectively.  The key is to prevent someone making a 21-strong 'squad' to exploit rules.  If Squad Fire is used where each squad can only engage a single target, that would help.

Precisely.  A squad of 5 with a Support Weapon would have 1 Support Weapon Weapon, and 4 Rifles, with the stats presenting that.  A Squad of 10 with 2 Support Weapons would have the 2 Heavy Weapons would be using the Small Arms stats based on 8 Rifles.  Going by earlier, if the Heavy Weapons aren't used, Melee stats are improved by +1.

Support Weapons in this case only need 1 trooper to carry/operate them.  For Support Weapons that need 2+ troopers, that would take away more, but it gets into fun where troopers can have double-use weapons.  I.e. the troopers are armed with quick-change assault rifles.  In anti-infantry mode they use the standard anti-infantry barrel/ammunition, but for anti-armor mode they swap out the barrel/chamber/ammunition for anti-armor rounds.  Or for a more advanced version, the troopers are armed with laser rifles, and have a few batteries set up for rapid-discharge to allow for heavier firepower.  These troopers would also have a Support Weapon damage line reflecting every trooper firing their lasers in anti-armor mode, plus a Small Arms damage line reflecting every trooper firing their rifle in standard mode.  If a platoon or squad is allowed to fire as both Support Weapons and Small Arms, this allows the infantry unit to get double bonus.  You'd need some way to prevent that double-damage from happening, or watch munchkins switch to those double-capable weapons for the bonus damage.

I'd actually want to drop this flat Melee bonus, as it encourages munchkinism by attempting to get the lightest pistol possible with the fewest Support Weapons per platoon.  Imagine a platoon with a single Support Weapon and the rest of the troopers carrying a melee weapon (in addition to their rifle), then reading that the Support Weapon pistol adds 1 pt of damage to Melee.

Right, and it's what 40K did for decades.  It was a dumb idea for them, it is not a good idea for this game.  Keeping the Support Weapons as being able to target something different from the Small Arms makes sense.  It's not like it wouldn't be that much more difficult than tracking most of the weapon systems on the average Medium Mech.  Being able to split that fire by squad also makes sense in cases of being surrounded, like at Gqokli Hill, for example.

The Medium Mech at least has targeting penalties for splitting its fire.  Vehicles are a better example as they use extra people.  They key with vehicle weapons is that each weapon is separate, while for infantry you would have to design the platoon or squad so troops can only fire Support Weapons or Small Arms weapons.  Rifle Grenades, changeable receivers, and high-power laser cartridges are three examples where Support Weapon troops can also do Small Arms fire, and individuals potentially get to shoot twice.

Splitting by Squads is getting into platoon vs platoon combat, rather than Battlemech-scale combat.  Also, the Battle of Gqokli Hill (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Gqokli_Hill) was 5000-strong on the smaller side, and at the key moment of the battle the victorious force split off 1/3 of their force to engage the enemy.  If you were fighting platoon-scale combat then splitting squads would be appropriate, but if it is Mech-scale then a platoon is the smaller element being split off (unless you are referring to a different Battle of Gqokli Hill).  Unfortunately, I don't see another option where you can have part of the platoon engaging armor, and the rest of the platoon suppressing/engaging other infantry.  Squad-level target selection seems to be the only option that allows for this mixture.

Using the original rules, I figure one piece of paper should be equal complexity.  So one Mech should be as complex to run as two vehicles or 4-6 infantry platoons.

It wouldn't need to be rounded at all.  Each squad would have a specific damage rating for Small Arms based on their number, just like a Platoon is now.  Add up those numbers to get to work.  Or apply each squad as each being a separate weapon of the Platoon, much like a Piranha does for each Machine Gun.

It would need some rounding so we don't deal with fractional damage to a platoon.  Each hit would be a whole number, and if the damage is enough to bypass armor and still inflict damage then that trooper is mission-killed.  The problem is that if damage is rounded up, then smaller squads are rewarded.  Munchkins will want to use as small a squad as possible to get the most damage, so that needs to be avoided.  But at the same time, how do you prevent someone from making a 28-person 'squad'?  If we create rules that make the price for each person above a certain value more expensive due to the Squad Leader having to coordinate more, then how do we explain platoons being relatively cheap?
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 01 October 2021, 13:10:17
An Assault Mech is no easier to hit than a Light Mech (assuming they are both moving at the same speed, and all else identical).  Giving platoons a damage penalty penalty based on size would be a useful incentive to keep platoon sizes down.  A Small Laser (or other weapon that does 1 pt of AI damage) against a 30-strong platoon will only mission-kill 1 trooper (~3% of that platoon's strength).  That same Small Laser fired against a 100-person 'platoon' will mission-kill 8 troopers, aka 8% of the platoon's strength.  This boosted damage will be stated at the start of the platoon construction so designers are encouraged to keep their platoon at or below this 30-trooper number.  I chose 30 troopers as 30 is close enough to 28, and subtracting 30 from a number is much easier than subtracting 28.

You're not making any cases for allowing an unlimited size Platoon in to the game, just what could be used to counter them.  We have minimum and maximum sizes for every unit in the game from Support Vehicles to Warships, why should we consider allowing for 100 man platoons?  Because you want to have Adeptus Militarum Conscripts that can "Send in the Next Wave"?

Pistols and Shotguns would take up extra mass if used for both Melee and Small Arms, reflecting their greater demand for ammo.  This would also cause higher maintenance and training costs for the troopers.  This would be a good case for dedicated melee weapons, as training with a melee weapon just needs an empty room, while practicing with Pistols or Shotguns needs a dedicated range.  So training with melee weapons would be cheaper than training with ammunition-based weapons.  The obvious problem is that melee weapons can only apply their damage once the opponent is in range, which will be after the Pistols and Shotguns have been used.

You then get into the fun of what defines a better melee weapon, plus what can the trooper carry effectively.  A STR 4 trooper might be able to carry a light pistol and a thin blade, while a STR 6 trooper might carry a heavy Pistol and a one-handed sword/machete.  A rule would have to be made where 2-handed melee weapons, or melee weapons above a certain weight (based on the average STR value of that trooper) cannot be used at the same time as a pistol.  2-handed weapons obviously cannot be used with a pistol, and one-handed weapons that are too heavy would cause the Pistol to be poorly aimed, reducing the Pistol's damage to effectively zero.

For Shotguns, if the shotgun is a 2-handed weapon then it obviously cannot be used at the same time as a melee weapon.  A one-handed shotgun (i.e. sawed off) might be used, but would have the similar limits as a pistol.  Perhaps the combined weight of the short-ranged weapon and melee weapon would be compared?  This would give a mathematical reason to avoid everyone using a heavy pistol and a broadsword, as together the two weapons are too heavy for most troopers.

Or, you know, just to keep things in perspective on the Total Warfare scale, only have it be for melee as Knife, Pistol, and Sword*, with the ranged option being Shotgun, SMG, Rifle, or Support Weapon.  If we're not making fine distinctions between the Autocannons used by the Centurion and Orion, there is literally no reason to be making such fine distinctions of pistol weight for Small Arms at that same scale.  Such considerations between a light Pistol and a heavy Pistol should be left to the scale of game of the RPG or BattleTroops (if that ever comes back again).

*Sword meaning any heavier melee weapon, it could be axes, spears, whatever.

Vehicles and Mechs have auto-aiming systems, while Support weapons are the only items that would normally have auto-aiming systems.  If Small Arms are fired at the same time as Support Weapons, but at separate targets, this would reflect the platoon splitting its attention (and would reinforce the idea that an anti-Mech platoon is supposed to be fighting Mechs first).  Anti-infantry Support Weapons firing at the same target as Small Arms would not cause this penalty (i.e a platoon with light machine guns that are designed for anti-infantry work are fired at a platoon, and the rest of the platoon joins in with their Small Arms).

It's not like there is only one brain controlling every single hand in a Platoon, though.  Platoons also have auto-aiming systems.  It's called the human brain, and in a 28 man platoon, there are 28 of them.  To help even things out and make for easier control, it wouldn't be hard for Squad Leaders to shout simple commands like "Heavy Weapons on that Mech! Rifles on the Toads!", and the brains inside the Troopers take care of the rest, allowing appropriate weapons to be used against appropriate targets.

The guys with the rifles would be there to support the anti-armor crew.  They would mainly be using cover fire to keep other platoons' heads down so that the anti-armor people don't lose their heads.  Each person with an anti-armor weapon (or supporting them) is another person that has to be protected and is not returning fire.  As to dislodging armor plates, that is still what anti-armor weaponry is for.  That could be rifle-fired anti-armor grenades, and since the rifles are firing grenades instead of suppressing other platoons, you now have a problem because now you have troopers that can do both Support Weapon and Small Arms damage.  If both damage lines are used, then those troopers are getting to fire twice.  There needs to be a number on the Support Weapons line that tells what fraction of troopers are available for Small Arms fire.

Not a good case considering the history of the game, and that was the same argument used as to why Bolters couldn't shoot at Orks while the Missile Launcher shot at the Stompa.  It was a bad argument in 40K, and an unnecessary one for Battletech.

Support Weapons in this case only need 1 trooper to carry/operate them.  For Support Weapons that need 2+ troopers, that would take away more, but it gets into fun where troopers can have double-use weapons.  I.e. the troopers are armed with quick-change assault rifles.  In anti-infantry mode they use the standard anti-infantry barrel/ammunition, but for anti-armor mode they swap out the barrel/chamber/ammunition for anti-armor rounds.  Or for a more advanced version, the troopers are armed with laser rifles, and have a few batteries set up for rapid-discharge to allow for heavier firepower.  These troopers would also have a Support Weapon damage line reflecting every trooper firing their lasers in anti-armor mode, plus a Small Arms damage line reflecting every trooper firing their rifle in standard mode.  If a platoon or squad is allowed to fire as both Support Weapons and Small Arms, this allows the infantry unit to get double bonus.  You'd need some way to prevent that double-damage from happening, or watch munchkins switch to those double-capable weapons for the bonus damage.

Why should it be considered a double bonus or double damage?  You didn't make any point as to why it should be considered thus.  A 5 man squad has 5 brains guiding their 5 weapons.  1 brain handles the Support Weapon, and the other 4 brains handle Small Arms.  Should I consider a Firestarter's Machine Gun as bonus damage for its Flamers or Medium Laser, or just consider each one its damage alone?

I'd actually want to drop this flat Melee bonus, as it encourages munchkinism by attempting to get the lightest pistol possible with the fewest Support Weapons per platoon.  Imagine a platoon with a single Support Weapon and the rest of the troopers carrying a melee weapon (in addition to their rifle), then reading that the Support Weapon pistol adds 1 pt of damage to Melee.

And if that bonus is just simply part of all of the Squad using Pistols in melee?

The Medium Mech at least has targeting penalties for splitting its fire.  Vehicles are a better example as they use extra people.  They key with vehicle weapons is that each weapon is separate, while for infantry you would have to design the platoon or squad so troops can only fire Support Weapons or Small Arms weapons.  Rifle Grenades, changeable receivers, and high-power laser cartridges are three examples where Support Weapon troops can also do Small Arms fire, and individuals potentially get to shoot twice.

Why would I have to design the Squad or Platoon to have such detail on the Total Warfare scale?  We already have cases where Rifle Foot Platoons do damage to Armor, just use that information and proceed from there.  No reason to invent the wheel.  From there, the Support Weapons will have their own profiles to work with, the majority already listed in the Heavy Weapons list.

Where do you get the idea that somehow individuals would be able to get to shoot twice?  Sounds like you're building a strawman around assumptions of things I have definitely not stated, if not stated otherwise a couple times now.

Splitting by Squads is getting into platoon vs platoon combat, rather than Battlemech-scale combat.  Also, the Battle of Gqokli Hill (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Gqokli_Hill) was 5000-strong on the smaller side, and at the key moment of the battle the victorious force split off 1/3 of their force to engage the enemy.  If you were fighting platoon-scale combat then splitting squads would be appropriate, but if it is Mech-scale then a platoon is the smaller element being split off (unless you are referring to a different Battle of Gqokli Hill).  Unfortunately, I don't see another option where you can have part of the platoon engaging armor, and the rest of the platoon suppressing/engaging other infantry.  Squad-level target selection seems to be the only option that allows for this mixture.

Merely pointing out a situation where a unit was surrounded and that sub-units were able to focus on things that the whole unit would not able to using your rules.  You are saying that this is impossible, and couldn't be handled on the Battletech scale, but we already have units which fire different weapons at different targets, and ConvInf don't have the issue that Mechs have of guiding all of them with one brain.

If each Squad had its own damage profile of Support Weapon and Small Arms, it would be easy to sort out just as much as it would be a Thunderbolt TDR-5S using its Multi-Trac against a Mech, a Combat Vehicle, and ConvInf Squad (did that in a campaign a few weeks ago, actually).

It would need some rounding so we don't deal with fractional damage to a platoon.  Each hit would be a whole number, and if the damage is enough to bypass armor and still inflict damage then that trooper is mission-killed.  The problem is that if damage is rounded up, then smaller squads are rewarded.  Munchkins will want to use as small a squad as possible to get the most damage, so that needs to be avoided.  But at the same time, how do you prevent someone from making a 28-person 'squad'?  If we create rules that make the price for each person above a certain value more expensive due to the Squad Leader having to coordinate more, then how do we explain platoons being relatively cheap?

You're putting too much unnecessary detail in to the construction program and overcomplicating it.  It's like trying to force a 25kg difference to be recognized between two AC/10s.  We already have the numbers for Rifles in place, so we use those.  We don't use fractional accounting for a Rifle Platoon damage now, so we would not need to use it in this adjustment.  If we were designing a Platoon for BattleTroops, that would be a different matter, but we'd also be using a much finer degree of control at that level than we would on the much more macro scale of Total Warfare.

The prevention of Platoon size is currently the same way they are kept to a size now: Source.  It also changes their BV and internal cost, as it does now.  Is it also so broken right now?
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Hellraiser on 01 October 2021, 13:22:09
While I'm glad we have the reduced damage to infantry rates, I will say, after seeing that hex example, you can see that the possibility of more than 1 kill is possible.

I felt that the divisor of 5 would have been better for the Direct Energy/Ballistic.

Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Cannonshop on 01 October 2021, 13:31:34
Sure...Mechs have issues as well. But we aren't talking about real life.

In the BTU...Mechs are, for whatever reason, king. The physics, etc, behind that reality don't really matter for this point.

The problem is not comparing BTU Mechs vs RW infantry. Its comparing BTU infantry with BTU Mechs. If the BTU infantry were as capable and dangerous as the board game shows, there'd be no Mechs. And if Mech weapons were as dangerous and devastating as shown, infantry would be dying in droves.

But gameplay and marketing reasons prevail in the board game. Infantry get buffed. The same energy weapons which can sear flesh merely by passing within metres or cause a tree to explode in a shower of steam and wooden shrapnel only mission kills a single trooper.

Gameplay trumps the story. Always has. Always will.

Meaning...

The most accurate depiction if BTU combat is most likely the Mech vs Mech with no infantry on the field at all, or at least, they'd be manning fixed emplacements.
Those conventional infantry units which are on the field would not be the standard unit we see, but would be elite troopers, specially trained and equipped to deal with Mechs. A minimal impact but a potentially meaningful one.

But gameplay requires interest and variety, and there is a balance between simplicity and viability. So we have the rules we have

I don't think you're quite getting my point.  Are they unrealistic? sure.  So are star-wars style lasers instead of continuous beams, faster than light travel, and a fair amount of what is 'bread and butter' for the Battletech setting.

But infantry? Is not going to displace giant walking robots in this setting.  For one thing, they're NOT that powerful under teh current rules except in extremely edge circumstances, they also need a lot of food, water, and air when you're traveling from warzone to warzone. (not to mention pay), and so on.

it's a bit like when people were insisting that Tanks made Infantry obsolete, or when Horses made infantry obsolete, or when artillery made infantry obsolete, or when antitank missiles made Tanks obsolete, etc. etc. etc.

The key grace that Battlemechs have, is to have a tank, with the flexibiity and mobility of an infantryman moving at the speed, protection, and firepower of a tank, with a crew of one.

While it's quite flexible, there are jobs it can't do, just as there are jobs you can't use infantry to do.  Having a system be VIABLE doesn't invalidate another system, because the roles may be similar, but they aren't the same.

MY point is that this is a fictional setting, and within this fictional setting we have BAttlemechs, and we've got Camacho's Caballeros (Look up their infantry chick).

same universe.  (*A woman who can take out a BAttlemech while wearing an evening dress does not invalidate Battlemechs, y'all.)
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 01 October 2021, 18:00:00
I think the photo is a bit out of scale... the bases make the infantry look bigger than people are at that scale.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Hellraiser on 01 October 2021, 23:28:44
I think the photo is a bit out of scale... the bases make the infantry look bigger than people are at that scale.

I was going to say the scale looks fine to me but I was looking at Infantry to Mech scale.

I think your right though about the actual big hex, the big hex needs to bigger I think when you look at it being 30m & the Warhammer is 12 tall.

That doesn't look like its 2.5 times the height of the mech going across the hex, or 5x the width of the hex if we assume 6m BT hex sizes since that the hex width is about 1/2 a mech tall.


That said even the 3rd pick w/ only 13 infantry is pretty good scale to what 28 would look like on a bigger hex.

And I still see no issue with a LL or PPC or AC10 managing to kill/cripple/incapacitate 2 soldiers in 10 seconds.

So I stand by my "it should have been divisor-5" theory from above, lol.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: idea weenie on 03 October 2021, 16:20:42
You're not making any cases for allowing an unlimited size Platoon in to the game, just what could be used to counter them.  We have minimum and maximum sizes for every unit in the game from Support Vehicles to Warships, why should we consider allowing for 100 man platoons?  Because you want to have Adeptus Militarum Conscripts that can "Send in the Next Wave"?

Because infantry can come in formations anywhere from 1 trooper to over a thousand, and in the current rules the only limit is number of personnel per hex.  They are also far more vulnerable to the weapons used by Mechs so attempting to put all those troops in a single hex will result in the troops getting killed faster.  Instead of infantry having higher structural requirements for larger units (i.e. regular Battlemechs and Superheavy Battlemechs), infantry get higher casualties for larger units.  As to unit sizes, we can make cost problems and lower Skill rating for larger formations (cost = more training needed for larger number of subordinates; skill rating = leaders can't keep all their troops motivated).  So you can design a 100-person platoon or four 25-person platoons, but the following differences:
100-person platoon: 1 platoon leader, 9 squad leaders, 90 riflemen
4 * 25-person platoons: 4 platoon leaders, 16 squad leaders, 80 Riflemen (I am assuming 1 Platoon leader and four squads of 6 each)
So if the designer cannot count on (or doesn't want to pay for) sufficient skilled leadership, then larger platoons are used so the mob can be corralled and pointed.  In this example the four smaller platoons need twice as much skilled leadership just in terms of numbers.

We already have the Conscripts, they are called Marian Hegemony platoons (100 people each).  If someone deploys one of those platoons, the person using that 'platoon' should expect lots of casualties, or have thoroughly read the rule about detaching squads.

It would also allow people to model real-life platoons that are over 30 people, but making sure the designers know that if they deploy that platoon in a single hex-level that the platoon will take more damage than if it was split in half.  A note about the battlefield penalties for too-large platoons can be included in platoon design rules, likely at the very start of the rulesm.

Or, you know, just to keep things in perspective on the Total Warfare scale, only have it be for melee as Knife, Pistol, and Sword*, with the ranged option being Shotgun, SMG, Rifle, or Support Weapon.  If we're not making fine distinctions between the Autocannons used by the Centurion and Orion, there is literally no reason to be making such fine distinctions of pistol weight for Small Arms at that same scale.  Such considerations between a light Pistol and a heavy Pistol should be left to the scale of game of the RPG or BattleTroops (if that ever comes back again).

*Sword meaning any heavier melee weapon, it could be axes, spears, whatever.

For weapon weight, it would be case of "your trooper can only get melee damage bonuses from up to two one-handed weapons or one 2-handed weapon, up to a total of X weight based on the trooper's strength score".  So if the trooper can only use (for example) 6 kg in melee combat, and they are carrying a 4 kg pistol and a 4 kg sword/mace/axe/etc, then only one of the two weapons would count towards the damage.  At that point the designer gets to choose which one they want (likely the one with better stats).

I don't mind complexity on the design side, as it only has to be done once.  For example, you can create three types of troopers (Support Weapon Carrier, Support Weapon Assistant, Rifleman), and from there you just copy the Rifleman's stats 4 more times and do the math for that squad.  Once that squad is done, you take 3 more of them and make a platoon.

A trooper gets made in the RPG style, and their weapon gets converted to tabletop.  To design a platoon of troops, you figure out what their average STR will be, allocate standard equipment for them (i.e. gear that every trooper in that platoon will have such as armor, bandages, a knife, etc), then use the remaining kilogrammage to purchase weapons/special equipment (i.e. gear for the platoon medic, radio operator, support weapon personnel, etc).

Troopers assigned to a Support Weapon cannot be used for calculating Small Arms damage.  So if you have a squad where one trooper carrying an SRM launcher, and a second trooper is needed to load the SRM launcher, that second trooper would not contribute to the Small Arms damage line.  A 7-person squad might be composed of:
- 1 Support Weapon trooper carrying the SRM launcher and a pistol
- 1 Support Weapon Assistant (SWA) trooper carrying the ready SRM and a pistol (since any heavier weapon would not contribute to the Small Arms line, the squad designer selects a pistol)
- 5 troopers carrying a single SRM and equipped with Assault Rifles

When firing Support Weapons, the SWT preps the SRM launcher while the SWA preps the SRM for firing.  When the SRM is fired, the SWA trooper carrying the ready SRM is supposed to take an SRM from one of the other 5 troopers to replace the one the SWA was carrying.

When firing regular Small Arms, the two troopers assigned to the Support weapon would not contribute to Small Arms damage.  If there is a support Weapon that only needs 1 trooper to handle, it should be low damage or limited shots (i.e. the Battletech equivalent of a LAW that you fire once and throw away)


It's not like there is only one brain controlling every single hand in a Platoon, though.  Platoons also have auto-aiming systems.  It's called the human brain, and in a 28 man platoon, there are 28 of them.  To help even things out and make for easier control, it wouldn't be hard for Squad Leaders to shout simple commands like "Heavy Weapons on that Mech! Rifles on the Toads!", and the brains inside the Troopers take care of the rest, allowing appropriate weapons to be used against appropriate targets.

Not a good case considering the history of the game, and that was the same argument used as to why Bolters couldn't shoot at Orks while the Missile Launcher shot at the Stompa.  It was a bad argument in 40K, and an unnecessary one for Battletech.

Because at this level it is getting to platoon vs platoon combat, not Battlemech-scale combat.  You also have to decide if detaching squads is allowed, which will mean additional damage lines for each platoon, as each squad will need to be tracked.

40k tabletop is platoons vs platoons combat.  Battletech is on the scale of Knight force vs Knight force (https://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Knight) battles.  On the WH40k tabletop splitting can be done because it is that small a focus.  Battletech Mech-scale is a larger scale, and can drop the focus.

Why should it be considered a double bonus or double damage?  You didn't make any point as to why it should be considered thus.  A 5 man squad has 5 brains guiding their 5 weapons.  1 brain handles the Support Weapon, and the other 4 brains handle Small Arms.  Should I consider a Firestarter's Machine Gun as bonus damage for its Flamers or Medium Laser, or just consider each one its damage alone?

And if that bonus is just simply part of all of the Squad using Pistols in melee?

That only works for Support Weapons that can be fired by one person.  If a Support weapon needs help (i.e. missile loader, ammo belt monitor, battery checker, etc) then those extra people should not count towards Small Arms damage value.

Why would I have to design the Squad or Platoon to have such detail on the Total Warfare scale?  We already have cases where Rifle Foot Platoons do damage to Armor, just use that information and proceed from there.  No reason to invent the wheel.  From there, the Support Weapons will have their own profiles to work with, the majority already listed in the Heavy Weapons list.

The standard assault rifle and ammo would have to be made unable to damage Mechs in Battlemech-scale combat.  If players want to damage armored units, then they use anti-armor rounds/weapons.  This can be assault rifles that have quick change receivers/breeches, rifle-fired AP grenades, hot-shot laser packs that are only good for one shot, or dedicated anti-armor weapons. No pistols doing anti-armor damage (unless they are dedicated anti-armor pistols such as the Pfeifer-Zeliska .600 Nitro Express Revolver).  Even then, weapons would lose a lot of their range due to their mass, the need to carefully aim, or the need to spray more bullets to hope you hit something.

We have a rough guide for anti-armor damage in the form of the SRM: 10 kg for 2 pts Mech damage at up to 9 hexes (and needing a launcher to do so).  Converting down that is 5 kg for a single point of Mech damage at up to 9 hexes.  Assuming assault rifles in BT use the same mass cartridges as today (~4 grams per), that 5 kg is 1250 bullets, which for 30 troopers is about 40 rounds each.  So that means each trooper would need to empty an entire clip of ammunition in order to do 1 pt of BT damage at 9 hexes range.

If you can drop that range down to 4 hexes, that ammunition weight could be halved, meaning you only need half a clip from each of 30 troopers to do 1 pt of BT damage.

Assault Rifles using basic rounds should not do anti-armor damage.  There might be scenario setups where the enemy force is out of their vehicle and anti-infantry fire would work, but for Battlemech-type combat figure every vehicle is buttoned up.

Where do you get the idea that somehow individuals would be able to get to shoot twice?  Sounds like you're building a strawman around assumptions of things I have definitely not stated, if not stated otherwise a couple times now.

1 Trooper carrying and firing the Support weapon, 1 trooper needed to help the Support Weapon trooper.
Examples are:
* the trooper making sure the Heavy Machine Gun ammunition belt is free of kinks and debris
* the trooper loading the missile launcher (unless the SRM trooper is carrying both the 10 kg SRM launcher and a 10-kg SRM)
* the trooper making sure that the anti-armor laser is charging properly so the capacitors don't explode
* the trooper prepping and loading munitions for the platoon mortar
* the trooper monitoring the fuel tanks for the heavy-duty flamethrower

Does that helper get their own assault rifle and provide a boost to the Small Arms damage line?  If so, then is that trooper counted towards the Support Weapon damage profile and the Small Arms damage profile, getting double damage?  Or, should Support Weapons would be limited to what one person can carry?  If other troopers carry extra ammo, would that count as an assistant?  Or is the Support Weapon trooper expected to handle loading as well as prepping the Support weapon's position?


Merely pointing out a situation where a unit was surrounded and that sub-units were able to focus on things that the whole unit would not able to using your rules.  You are saying that this is impossible, and couldn't be handled on the Battletech scale, but we already have units which fire different weapons at different targets, and ConvInf don't have the issue that Mechs have of guiding all of them with one brain.

The unit being surrounded was 6 regiments, and had a 7th regiment detached.  In the main fight the commander had 6 regiments under their command and gave orders to 2 of them.  The opponent had the equivalent of 18 regiments (12,000 people vs 5,000 total).  Units can separate, but you also have to factor in the scale of the battle.  For a Lance on Lance battle, that might be ~1000 BV.  The most expensive infantry unit I saw in the MUL is ~150 BV.  So in terms of scale, that regiment being detached is about the same as one platoon of the most expensive infantry among the lightest Mech force.

If you want to look at it in terms of numbers it is basically a Clan Star vs an Inner Sphere Company, where the Clan force also took advantage of good terrain to get a victory.  The separated decoy force would be the equivalent of the Clan Commander sending a single Mech forward to distract the enemy.


If each Squad had its own damage profile of Support Weapon and Small Arms, it would be easy to sort out just as much as it would be a Thunderbolt TDR-5S using its Multi-Trac against a Mech, a Combat Vehicle, and ConvInf Squad (did that in a campaign a few weeks ago, actually).

How would that Squad's damage line look on a record sheet for a platoon?  Would the entire platoon take up a single page, a half page, a quarter page, or would it be similar to the current record sheets with 6 platoons per sheet?

You're putting too much unnecessary detail in to the construction program and overcomplicating it.  It's like trying to force a 25kg difference to be recognized between two AC/10s.  We already have the numbers for Rifles in place, so we use those.  We don't use fractional accounting for a Rifle Platoon damage now, so we would not need to use it in this adjustment.  If we were designing a Platoon for BattleTroops, that would be a different matter, but we'd also be using a much finer degree of control at that level than we would on the much more macro scale of Total Warfare.

The prevention of Platoon size is currently the same way they are kept to a size now: Source.  It also changes their BV and internal cost, as it does now.  Is it also so broken right now?

I want to make sure someone doesn't munchkin with extra large squads because of a hardcoded rule somewhere. At the same time I want to avoid munchkining by making squads barely large enough to have a single Support weapon, then having someone make a platoon composed of those ultra-small squads to make a massive anti-armor capability.

By making the extremes bad, it encourages people to pick something in the middle, but they can still pick whatever they want.  One mercenary unit might pick the 10-person squads like the Marian Hegemony uses because they have a shortage of skilled/trustworthy Squad Leaders, while another might pick the 5-person squad size and have those squads composed of a Support Weapon Trooper, a Support Weapon assistant, and 3 riflemen, due to life support limitations in their transport.

If Squad damage is rounded down, that discourages small squads because a lot of damage is lost.  There needs to be a similar penalty for having large squads, where the squad leader cannot control them effectively.  Modern squads try to help the Squad leader by giving them an assistant, so maybe larger squads without that assistant could take to-hit penalties?  Otherwise, what prevents someone from making a 28-person 'squad'?
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 03 October 2021, 18:46:03
Because infantry can come in formations anywhere from 1 trooper to over a thousand, and in the current rules the only limit is number of personnel per hex.

Not quite true.  Each Platoon would have to be separated out so their sub-platoons number no more than 30.  A 100-man Marian Platoon would have to be broken up to a minimum of 4 25-man sub-Platoons when placed on the tabletop, though it would be more practical to set them up as 5 2-man sub-platoons due to their squad design.

So again, WHY should we not have such hard caps on deployable Platoons?

They are also far more vulnerable to the weapons used by Mechs so attempting to put all those troops in a single hex will result in the troops getting killed faster. 

Vulnerable only in taking hits.  Actually hitting a vast majority of them to take them out is a different story.

For weapon weight, it would be case of "your trooper can only get melee damage bonuses from up to two one-handed weapons or one 2-handed weapon, up to a total of X weight based on the trooper's strength score".  So if the trooper can only use (for example) 6 kg in melee combat, and they are carrying a 4 kg pistol and a 4 kg sword/mace/axe/etc, then only one of the two weapons would count towards the damage.  At that point the designer gets to choose which one they want (likely the one with better stats).

Outside of BattleTroops and the RPG, why is such detail needed?

Troopers assigned to a Support Weapon cannot be used for calculating Small Arms damage.  So if you have a squad where one trooper carrying an SRM launcher, and a second trooper is needed to load the SRM launcher, that second trooper would not contribute to the Small Arms damage line.  A 7-person squad might be composed of:
- 1 Support Weapon trooper carrying the SRM launcher and a pistol
- 1 Support Weapon Assistant (SWA) trooper carrying the ready SRM and a pistol (since any heavier weapon would not contribute to the Small Arms line, the squad designer selects a pistol)
- 5 troopers carrying a single SRM and equipped with Assault Rifles

When firing Support Weapons, the SWT preps the SRM launcher while the SWA preps the SRM for firing.  When the SRM is fired, the SWA trooper carrying the ready SRM is supposed to take an SRM from one of the other 5 troopers to replace the one the SWA was carrying.

When firing regular Small Arms, the two troopers assigned to the Support weapon would not contribute to Small Arms damage.  If there is a support Weapon that only needs 1 trooper to handle, it should be low damage or limited shots (i.e. the Battletech equivalent of a LAW that you fire once and throw away)

You're not saying something I haven't said.  You're not making a case of why one needs to consider the weight of the Small Arms for generating a Platoon.

Because at this level it is getting to platoon vs platoon combat, not Battlemech-scale combat.  You also have to decide if detaching squads is allowed, which will mean additional damage lines for each platoon, as each squad will need to be tracked.

40k tabletop is platoons vs platoons combat.  Battletech is on the scale of Knight force vs Knight force (https://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Knight) battles.  On the WH40k tabletop splitting can be done because it is that small a focus.  Battletech Mech-scale is a larger scale, and can drop the focus.

40K tabletop is more squad vs squad combat.  The only army that even HAD Platoons lost them at the start of 8th Edition, and each Squad was required to deploy separately, with only a few being able to join up together.  Each Squad was required in the rules to fire at only one target (with only a couple of Special Rule exceptions) up until 8th.  This stopped being a thing, and no one complained.  As it was, each model was measured to see if it was in range or how many shots it could fire, but for the longest time, they still had to fire at the same target.

That still does not answer the question as to why a Platoon should not split its fire by weapon and/or by squad.

That only works for Support Weapons that can be fired by one person.  If a Support weapon needs help (i.e. missile loader, ammo belt monitor, battery checker, etc) then those extra people should not count towards Small Arms damage value.

Or situations where the SWA isn't needed exclusively for that action.

The standard assault rifle and ammo would have to be made unable to damage Mechs in Battlemech-scale combat.  If players want to damage armored units, then they use anti-armor rounds/weapons.  This can be assault rifles that have quick change receivers/breeches, rifle-fired AP grenades, hot-shot laser packs that are only good for one shot, or dedicated anti-armor weapons. No pistols doing anti-armor damage (unless they are dedicated anti-armor pistols such as the Pfeifer-Zeliska .600 Nitro Express Revolver).  Even then, weapons would lose a lot of their range due to their mass, the need to carefully aim, or the need to spray more bullets to hope you hit something.

This is getting to be a problem.  You are saying WHAT to do, but not WHY to do it.

Enough Rifles will knock the ablative armor off of a vehicle in Battletech.  It's a fact.  So we don't have to make a complex script with such detail over something that is so far removed from the individual trooper.  So WHY do we need to make such processes in the game?

If we were dealing with having to overcome a value on a consistent basis to do damage like in Warmachine, I would agree that it would be necessary, but we don't, so we don't have to.  Save it for Battletroops.

Assault Rifles using basic rounds should not do anti-armor damage.  There might be scenario setups where the enemy force is out of their vehicle and anti-infantry fire would work, but for Battlemech-type combat figure every vehicle is buttoned up.

So you say, but the history of the game says otherwise.

Does that helper get their own assault rifle and provide a boost to the Small Arms damage line?  If so, then is that trooper counted towards the Support Weapon damage profile and the Small Arms damage profile, getting double damage?  Or, should Support Weapons would be limited to what one person can carry?  If other troopers carry extra ammo, would that count as an assistant?  Or is the Support Weapon trooper expected to handle loading as well as prepping the Support weapon's position?

I was looking at it as more what one person can fire.  An argument could be made for an assistant, but either way, whoever is involved in shooting said Support Weapon would not be firing Small Arms.  The Support Weapon's damage would not be rated according to how many people are on it, but its own stats.  If there is just one SRM in the squad, it would only do 2 points of damage.  In the scenario I presented, there would only be 1 Support Weapon user.

The unit being surrounded was 6 regiments, and had a 7th regiment detached.  In the main fight the commander had 6 regiments under their command and gave orders to 2 of them.  The opponent had the equivalent of 18 regiments (12,000 people vs 5,000 total).  Units can separate, but you also have to factor in the scale of the battle.  For a Lance on Lance battle, that might be ~1000 BV.  The most expensive infantry unit I saw in the MUL is ~150 BV.  So in terms of scale, that regiment being detached is about the same as one platoon of the most expensive infantry among the lightest Mech force.

If you want to look at it in terms of numbers it is basically a Clan Star vs an Inner Sphere Company, where the Clan force also took advantage of good terrain to get a victory.  The separated decoy force would be the equivalent of the Clan Commander sending a single Mech forward to distract the enemy.

You're not listening and going off on an unnecessary tangent.  Each of the elements of that surrounded command were able to deal with what was in front of them.  This is because they could rely on their troopers to keep a focus on what was in front of them and not have to turn to shoot guys on the other side of the formation.  In the same manner, a Platoon's fire can be separated by Squad instead of all of them targeting only one thing.

How would that Squad's damage line look on a record sheet for a platoon?  Would the entire platoon take up a single page, a half page, a quarter page, or would it be similar to the current record sheets with 6 platoons per sheet?

Considering one can put multiple platoons on a page, and one would only need to provide the maximum stat line for the squad, it shouldn't take up any more than what is currently being used.  You are over complicating it. 

I want to make sure someone doesn't munchkin with extra large squads because of a hardcoded rule somewhere. At the same time I want to avoid munchkining by making squads barely large enough to have a single Support weapon, then having someone make a platoon composed of those ultra-small squads to make a massive anti-armor capability.

Too bad, it will happen, either way.  And if a person has large squads, so what?  It would limit what they would be able to bring, they'd have to be split up in to smaller bits anyway and couldn't offer each other the support you're so scared of.  In my suggestion, and going by the separation by Marian rules, each Sub-Platoon would only be able to bring 4 Support Weapons with a maximum of 16 Small Arms.

If Squad damage is rounded down, that discourages small squads because a lot of damage is lost.  There needs to be a similar penalty for having large squads, where the squad leader cannot control them effectively.  Modern squads try to help the Squad leader by giving them an assistant, so maybe larger squads without that assistant could take to-hit penalties?  Otherwise, what prevents someone from making a 28-person 'squad'?

It wouldn't need to be rounded as the values for Rifles, SMGs, and Shotguns would have set values dependent on the number of Riflemen in the squad, just like it is now.

As to why not make a 28 person squad?  Because they'd still only have 2 Support Weapons, while that 28 4-Squad Platoon is bringing 8 Support Weapons.  Also that large squad would only be able to target two things, one with Small Arms and one with Heavy.  Meanwhile the same-size Platoon with Squad fire, could have 8 Targets with the same considerations.  They'd take damage exactly the same, either way.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 05 October 2021, 00:19:59
On the point of the 100 man platoon, they dont deploy 10 squads in the same square, as at that density friendly unit could not even pass through, and you would have 0 chance of even 20% being able to shoot.  Even the 28 man platoon is too dense for the most part--so demi-platoons for the Marians make sense.  3x30 and 1x10 command squad.

As for the amazing example scale photo, the bases are useful because the infantry would most likely be prone a bunch--the base is a great example of the space each trooper needs when low, which should be a lot of the time.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 05 October 2021, 00:44:37
On the point of the 100 man platoon, they dont deploy 10 squads in the same square, as at that density friendly unit could not even pass through, and you would have 0 chance of even 20% being able to shoot.  Even the 28 man platoon is too dense for the most part--so demi-platoons for the Marians make sense.  3x30 and 1x10 command squad.

The current rules require what they split up in to, to be as equal as possible.  3x30 and 1x10 would go against that.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: idea weenie on 07 October 2021, 23:38:12
Not quite true.  Each Platoon would have to be separated out so their sub-platoons number no more than 30.  A 100-man Marian Platoon would have to be broken up to a minimum of 4 25-man sub-Platoons when placed on the tabletop, though it would be more practical to set them up as 5 2-man sub-platoons due to their squad design.

So again, WHY should we not have such hard caps on deployable Platoons?

Vulnerable only in taking hits.  Actually hitting a vast majority of them to take them out is a different story.

Platoons taking damage in a Battletech game would be a mixture of its personnel being mission-killed and actually killed.  A trooper that can't use their hands effectively for some reason is a trooper that is no longer shooting.  A trooper that was tossed in the air from a nearby Gauss Rifle impact resulting in a broken leg and being carried off by a buddy is the same as taking 2 infantry damage.

The limits would be what size unit is 'safe' to deploy in a single hex.  If there are a number of infantry/people/etc above that limit, then there is a chance for more hits.  If two players each have a 25-strong platoon in a single hex to fight each other, there should be bonus damage inflicted if someone fired a Mech-scale weapon into that hex.

Similarly, if there is 10 or fewer people in  hex then the attacker gets a penalty to hit them.

Outside of BattleTroops and the RPG, why is such detail needed?

You're not saying something I haven't said.  You're not making a case of why one needs to consider the weight of the Small Arms for generating a Platoon.

It allows creating soldiers using the RPG system, then use a mild conversion to turn them into tabletop platoons.  Someone could use the lifepath setup to make the various minimums for their infantry, then use the carrying capacity from the Encumbrance chart to see what sort of equipment they would be able to carry.  You then have a number of XP available to make the platoon have interesting characters.

Smaller troopers can only carry smaller weapons.  Bigger troopers carry bigger weapons.  Bigger weapons do more damage.  If a trooper is statted as carrying a weapon that is too heavy for them to use, then that weapon should not be used for the Small Arms or Melee damage values.

40K tabletop is more squad vs squad combat.  The only army that even HAD Platoons lost them at the start of 8th Edition, and each Squad was required to deploy separately, with only a few being able to join up together.  Each Squad was required in the rules to fire at only one target (with only a couple of Special Rule exceptions) up until 8th.  This stopped being a thing, and no one complained.  As it was, each model was measured to see if it was in range or how many shots it could fire, but for the longest time, they still had to fire at the same target.

Battletech is not squad vs squad, it is the scale of Knight vs Knight.

That still does not answer the question as to why a Platoon should not split its fire by weapon and/or by squad.

Or situations where the SWA isn't needed exclusively for that action.

The problem I want to avoid is if the Support Weapon requires one or more Assistants, and those Assistants each carry a Small Arms weapon, then rules would be put in place that the SWA Small Arms would not be added to the platoon's Small Arms damage values.

This is getting to be a problem.  You are saying WHAT to do, but not WHY to do it.

Enough Rifles will knock the ablative armor off of a vehicle in Battletech.  It's a fact.  So we don't have to make a complex script with such detail over something that is so far removed from the individual trooper.  So WHY do we need to make such processes in the game?

If we were dealing with having to overcome a value on a consistent basis to do damage like in Warmachine, I would agree that it would be necessary, but we don't, so we don't have to.  Save it for Battletroops.

So you say, but the history of the game says otherwise.

The WHY is to prevent someone from taking the equivalent of a BB gun and arguing it should do Mech-scale damage if you fire enough of them.

Then we have to change the history going forward.  We can separate anti-infantry damage and anti-armor damage, and state that certain weapons are useless on a Battlemech-scale boardgame for anti-armor use.  A Needler type weapon that fires thin plastic darts should be useless against a piece of armor, while a heavy Sniper Rifle with APDS-type ammunition would be used for trying to penetrate armor.  There can be special scenarios where an enemy soldier is out of their armored unit, but for most Battlemech-scale games the soft targets are behind pieces of metal that need anti-armor weapons.

I was looking at it as more what one person can fire.  An argument could be made for an assistant, but either way, whoever is involved in shooting said Support Weapon would not be firing Small Arms.  The Support Weapon's damage would not be rated according to how many people are on it, but its own stats.  If there is just one SRM in the squad, it would only do 2 points of damage.  In the scenario I presented, there would only be 1 Support Weapon user.

That makes much more sense, thank you.  It still prevents us from deploying a platoon that uses anti-armor rifle grenades, where each trooper would be issued such a grenade.  This sort of platoon would have the entire platoon firing anti-Mech weapons, but would need a special rule or note saying that it can only fire in Support Weapons or Small Arms mode.

You're not listening and going off on an unnecessary tangent.  Each of the elements of that surrounded command were able to deal with what was in front of them.  This is because they could rely on their troopers to keep a focus on what was in front of them and not have to turn to shoot guys on the other side of the formation.  In the same manner, a Platoon's fire can be separated by Squad instead of all of them targeting only one thing.

I am looking at it from Shaka's perspective.  He only had to keep track of 7 units total, similar to a Battletech player only needing to keep track of 5-12 units total.  So at best you would have the platoon dividing its firepower, not squad-level separation of targets.  Also each regiment was engaging a single opponent, the enemy regiment that was in front of them (since the attackers had to bunch up).

Considering one can put multiple platoons on a page, and one would only need to provide the maximum stat line for the squad, it shouldn't take up any more than what is currently being used.  You are over complicating it. 

Can you provide an example of what such a platoon with separatable squads would look like?  I.e. the number line.
For example, a 28-person squad, with four 7-person squads, where each trooper does .5 pts of damage, FRN, would look like:
(14, 14, 13, 13, 12, 12, 11) (11, 10, 10, 9, 9, 8, 8) (7, 7, 6, 6, 5, 5, 4) (4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1)
How would that look if a squad was split off?  Would you have to split off the last squad, and subtract 4 from the other damage values?  But what happens when you split off a second squad, would you have to subtract 3 from the damage values?  Or would you list it as multiple separate squads and have to add them together:
(3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1, 0) (4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1) (3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1, 0) (4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1)

Also how do you prevent such a platoon from exploiting the rounding to make multiple small squads that do more damage than the platoon as a whole?  I.e. taking multiple copies of the (4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1) squad to make a platoon that did a total of 16 pts of damage


Second example:
Platoon of 21 people, each of whom does .4 damage:
7 squads of 3 each: each squad does 1.2 damage, rounded up to 2 pts, doing a total of 14 pts of damage
3 squads of 7 each: each squad does 2.8 damage, rounded up to 3 pts, doing a total of 9 pts of damage

By cutting the squad size in half, this platoon has increased its damage by just over 50%.  If the rules allowed rounding up on an individual level, this would be even more damage.

Off-hand I want to round down the damage per squad, to encourage larger squads (or at least reduce the occurrence of smaller squads).  This would change the totals to 7 pts and 6 pts of damage.  The full platoon (or a squad of 21 people) would do 8 pts of damage.

Too bad, it will happen, either way.  And if a person has large squads, so what?  It would limit what they would be able to bring, they'd have to be split up in to smaller bits anyway and couldn't offer each other the support you're so scared of.  In my suggestion, and going by the separation by Marian rules, each Sub-Platoon would only be able to bring 4 Support Weapons with a maximum of 16 Small Arms.

So it would be 1 Support Weapon for every 5 people or however many people the Support Weapon needs, whichever is higher?  (And in your example it is a Support Weapon that only needs 1 person to use it.  If it was a Support Weapon that needed a total of 3 people to use it, it would still be 4 Support Weapons, but only 8 people for Small Arms)

Also, splitting up the squads should have some penalty, at least for morale.  Platoons would be used for offensive capability, squads would be used for defensive evasion.  The primary orders for a squad should be "retreat to shelter".  Once in a shelter, squads can consolidate into a platoon to engage opponents.  By encouraging consolidation to perform offensive actions, this reduces the number of markers on a map that a player has to keep track of.  This would require weapon damage to be rounded down on a per-unit basis, so multiple smaller units are less effective than a single larger unit.  A player with multiple squads on a map will want to merge them together, instead of sending them out to do damage and have multiple small units to keep track of.

It wouldn't need to be rounded as the values for Rifles, SMGs, and Shotguns would have set values dependent on the number of Riflemen in the squad, just like it is now.

As to why not make a 28 person squad?  Because they'd still only have 2 Support Weapons, while that 28 4-Squad Platoon is bringing 8 Support Weapons.  Also that large squad would only be able to target two things, one with Small Arms and one with Heavy.  Meanwhile the same-size Platoon with Squad fire, could have 8 Targets with the same considerations.  They'd take damage exactly the same, either way.

Here it sounds like you are saying 14 people per Support weapon.  Unless you are saying that each squad, no matter the size, can have up to two Support Weapons, due to leadership and similar requirements?  That would work nicely to keep squads from getting too big.

Target splitting on the squad level is getting too small.  If you allow that platoon to split by squads and engage up to 8 targets as a result, that could be a single sheet of platoons (4-6 platoons) getting anywhere from 32 to 48 targets.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 09 October 2021, 02:58:19
Platoons taking damage in a Battletech game would be a mixture of its personnel being mission-killed and actually killed.  A trooper that can't use their hands effectively for some reason is a trooper that is no longer shooting.  A trooper that was tossed in the air from a nearby Gauss Rifle impact resulting in a broken leg and being carried off by a buddy is the same as taking 2 infantry damage.

The limits would be what size unit is 'safe' to deploy in a single hex.  If there are a number of infantry/people/etc above that limit, then there is a chance for more hits.  If two players each have a 25-strong platoon in a single hex to fight each other, there should be bonus damage inflicted if someone fired a Mech-scale weapon into that hex.

Similarly, if there is 10 or fewer people in  hex then the attacker gets a penalty to hit them.

You didn't answer the question: WHY should there not be a top limit on platoons and squads?

It allows creating soldiers using the RPG system, then use a mild conversion to turn them into tabletop platoons.  Someone could use the lifepath setup to make the various minimums for their infantry, then use the carrying capacity from the Encumbrance chart to see what sort of equipment they would be able to carry.  You then have a number of XP available to make the platoon have interesting characters.

Smaller troopers can only carry smaller weapons.  Bigger troopers carry bigger weapons.  Bigger weapons do more damage.  If a trooper is statted as carrying a weapon that is too heavy for them to use, then that weapon should not be used for the Small Arms or Melee damage values.

You're overcomplicating it.  If someone takes a larger rifle, and someone takes a smaller rifle in the RPG, they are both carrying Rifle Small Arms.  Done, let's move on.  We don't pay attention to the idiosyncracies of the stars' equipment (i.e. the Battlemechs), so we don't need to pay attention to such a small detail when playing Total Warfare.

Battletech is not squad vs squad, it is the scale of Knight vs Knight.

Only this isn't about the knights, but the peasants who support the knights.

The problem I want to avoid is if the Support Weapon requires one or more Assistants, and those Assistants each carry a Small Arms weapon, then rules would be put in place that the SWA Small Arms would not be added to the platoon's Small Arms damage values.

Still doesn't answer the question as to WHY a platoon cannot split fire.  Why can a platoon not split there fire by weapon, if not by squad?

The WHY is to prevent someone from taking the equivalent of a BB gun and arguing it should do Mech-scale damage if you fire enough of them.

Then we have to change the history going forward.  We can separate anti-infantry damage and anti-armor damage, and state that certain weapons are useless on a Battlemech-scale boardgame for anti-armor use.  A Needler type weapon that fires thin plastic darts should be useless against a piece of armor, while a heavy Sniper Rifle with APDS-type ammunition would be used for trying to penetrate armor.  There can be special scenarios where an enemy soldier is out of their armored unit, but for most Battlemech-scale games the soft targets are behind pieces of metal that need anti-armor weapons.

Than the simple answer is that those weapon damage that wouldn't show up on the BT field, like the Rifle on an Elemental Suit, just doesn't show up in the game when the unit is converted.

However, I can easily see where there is a caveat that certain Small Arms damage is reserved for Conventional Infantry only.  If we can do it with a Heavy Arm like a Light Rifle Cannon, it's not a stretch to do it here.

That makes much more sense, thank you.  It still prevents us from deploying a platoon that uses anti-armor rifle grenades, where each trooper would be issued such a grenade.  This sort of platoon would have the entire platoon firing anti-Mech weapons, but would need a special rule or note saying that it can only fire in Support Weapons or Small Arms mode.

Why?  Adding in such a one-shot type of thing happens in BT.  Look at the SRMs on Elementals.  Such a consideration isn't outside the idea of possibility.

I am looking at it from Shaka's perspective.  He only had to keep track of 7 units total, similar to a Battletech player only needing to keep track of 5-12 units total.  So at best you would have the platoon dividing its firepower, not squad-level separation of targets.  Also each regiment was engaging a single opponent, the enemy regiment that was in front of them (since the attackers had to bunch up).

And still ignoring the point.  These are each independently controlled commands.  While smaller, a squad is controlled by its non-com (depending on the unit).  There is no reason to force 28 people to shoot the same target, especially if they have 2 different groups of weapons with disparate roles.

Can you provide an example of what such a platoon with separatable squads would look like?  I.e. the number line.
For example, a 28-person squad, with four 7-person squads, where each trooper does .5 pts of damage, FRN, would look like:
(14, 14, 13, 13, 12, 12, 11) (11, 10, 10, 9, 9, 8, 8) (7, 7, 6, 6, 5, 5, 4) (4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1)
How would that look if a squad was split off?  Would you have to split off the last squad, and subtract 4 from the other damage values?  But what happens when you split off a second squad, would you have to subtract 3 from the damage values?  Or would you list it as multiple separate squads and have to add them together:
(3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1, 0) (4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1) (3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1, 0) (4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1)

Already explained that the Squad's damage would be listed separately and instead of adding them together, just treat each as its own weapon.

Also how do you prevent such a platoon from exploiting the rounding to make multiple small squads that do more damage than the platoon as a whole?  I.e. taking multiple copies of the (4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1) squad to make a platoon that did a total of 16 pts of damage

Already happens as a platoon is depleted.

So it would be 1 Support Weapon for every 5 people or however many people the Support Weapon needs, whichever is higher?  (And in your example it is a Support Weapon that only needs 1 person to use it.  If it was a Support Weapon that needed a total of 3 people to use it, it would still be 4 Support Weapons, but only 8 people for Small Arms)

The number of Support Weapons that could be assigned would be based on the Platoon's squad size, as mentioned before.  In the case of the Marians with a 3-man weapon, that would be 6 people per squad on the Support Weapon, leaving 4 per squad with Small Arms.

Also, splitting up the squads should have some penalty, at least for morale.  Platoons would be used for offensive capability, squads would be used for defensive evasion.  The primary orders for a squad should be "retreat to shelter".  Once in a shelter, squads can consolidate into a platoon to engage opponents.  By encouraging consolidation to perform offensive actions, this reduces the number of markers on a map that a player has to keep track of.  This would require weapon damage to be rounded down on a per-unit basis, so multiple smaller units are less effective than a single larger unit.  A player with multiple squads on a map will want to merge them together, instead of sending them out to do damage and have multiple small units to keep track of.

Why should it have a penalty?

Here it sounds like you are saying 14 people per Support weapon.  Unless you are saying that each squad, no matter the size, can have up to two Support Weapons, due to leadership and similar requirements?  That would work nicely to keep squads from getting too big.

That is only sounding that way in your mind, and you're having a horrible way of mathing it out.  I already explained that Support Weapons would have a limit based on squad size, 1 for smaller and 2 for larger.  At the very least, there needs to be enough people to provide Small Arms support as well as crew the weapons.  Even considering a 3 man crew per Support Weapon, a 7 man squad would have one man left, (probably the commanding officer/NCO of the squad), but most will have smaller crews leaving 3-5 men in a 7 man squad.  The 10 man squad is under the same limit, but with two 3-man crews, they'd have 4 people left on Small Arms at a minimum, and 7 with the 1-man "crews".

Smaller squads, on the other hand, just wouldn't have the man power to cover everything, so one Support Weapon for each squad for 6 and smaller.

Target splitting on the squad level is getting too small.  If you allow that platoon to split by squads and engage up to 8 targets as a result, that could be a single sheet of platoons (4-6 platoons) getting anywhere from 32 to 48 targets.

Considering that's 4-6 disparate units, I honestly don't see what the problem is.  Would you complain if 4-6 mechs with 8 weapons each could engage up to 48 targets?
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 09 October 2021, 21:02:03
It allows creating soldiers using the RPG system, then use a mild conversion to turn them into tabletop platoons.  Someone could use the lifepath setup to make the various minimums for their infantry, then use the carrying capacity from the Encumbrance chart to see what sort of equipment they would be able to carry.  You then have a number of XP available to make the platoon have interesting characters.
Why do we care if this is the case? How many people are going to quit playing Battletech if this is ignored? Honestly, I'd be curious how many people who play Battletech use infantry regularly let alone custom infantry. My guess it is less then a quarter and even less of a percentage for the latter. This seems like something that is purely in the category of "things that can be sacrificed first" in rules development.

The issue with Infantry in battletech is it went from being hyper abstracted to the point of being useless, to being so overly detailed to the point of covering the irrelevant. It needs to be somewhere in the middle.

So for example, basic weapon loadout, whether they have rifles/pistols/etc... can be abstracted out to general stats without any serious loss of game play. Squad hitpoints and number of squads can be limited to a fixed based on Faction and motive type. Now the area that really should be important is the support weapon loadout. This can be done by classifying support weapons as Light, Medium, Heavy and giving each faction/motive type a number of Light, Medium, Heavy slots and this is where people can do the customizations.

This would reduce construction down to pick your faction, pick what type of infantry, then select what support weapons they can take based on the slots they have.


Quote
Smaller troopers can only carry smaller weapons.  Bigger troopers carry bigger weapons.  Bigger weapons do more damage.  If a trooper is statted as carrying a weapon that is too heavy for them to use, then that weapon should not be used for the Small Arms or Melee damage values.
Clearly you have never been in the military. It is well know fact that the 250lb person gets the carbine and 105lb person gets the machine gun.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 26 October 2021, 03:20:33
So I was looking into US rifle and weapon companies for info on how infantry might be 'actually' organized outside of stuff like weapons/damage and maths, so I figure I'd share on the 2 week old thread.

First, a light company has roughly 4 elements, which is good because btech companies have 4 elements.  The light infantry company has 3 42 man platoons and 1 set of 19 assorted HQ logistic and light mortar support guys.  Ignoring the issues with representing the 3 platoons, we dont have anything to represent the 4th part of the infantry company, the mixed HQ/logistic/medic/indirect section.  This HQ indirect section likely should be the only one capable of spotting, removing that role from the combat platoon and making it an HQ section role would certainly give this 4th company element some character without reinventing the wheel or requiring a weapon.  This also frees up what the role of basic foot platoons are--they are simple combat units that can have simple rules, leaving the HQ section to have all the complex infantry and spotting rules.

Next, and this was touched on a bit, but you wont ever see 2 platoons occupying the same 30 meter hex.  There is just about enough room in a hex for a single platoon, if you disallow all stacking--the platoon will also block infantry from occupying the same hex the way a mech blocks enemy mechs.  If we were going to add a melee option for infantry, engaging in melee would probably be like a charge in that the infantry enters the hex of an enemy infantry unit, and pushes the enemy infantry out at the end of a successful melee charge like how mechs move other mechs, or is repulsed back into their hex if failed.  This is a good thing for adding some depth to how melee and cqb battles work, while borrowing from mech combat mechanics.  Standard doctrine prefers about 10 meters of separation for each of 8 fireteams in a platoon, so even putting 1 28 man platoon in a hex is pushing it.  Allowing stacking or friendly and enemy infantry to stay in the same hex is just not a thing, as the first 28 guys in 1 hex gives an average of only 5.5 meters spacing between all members.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 26 October 2021, 03:35:55
I took a shot at an organically supported infantry company a few years ago: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-designs-rules/organically-supported-infantry-company/
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 26 October 2021, 05:10:31
Daryk, reading through the organic listing you have, you also made 4 platoons, 3 combat and 1 HQ/assorted.  You have a full blown doctor plus medical team per company instead of just 1 medic, plus admins and technicians deploying at a company instead of battalion/regiment level, increasing your assorted HQ platoon to 30 compared to 19.  Still, the idea is similar.  The light infantry company assorted HQ team is a mechanized force compared to the foot guys for the real army formation, which I think makes sense to abstract the trucks and MRAPs this mixed HQ section has that it supports the rest of the company with.

Off the top, for game rules giving the HQ section in an infantry company the abilities from a recon camera and 4 tons of communication equipment lets that section interface with a satellite or provide +1 command initiative per the communication equipment rules, and provide spotting and target designation from the recon camera.  The battalion level HQ unit might count as 7 tons of communication equipment to represent the better and higher level communication and command abilities of battalion level HQ.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 26 October 2021, 17:43:07
My intent was a "stand alone" company, which is why the HQ is so heavy.  As far as the Comms Gear and Recon Camera, I'm in complete agreement, but it would take a 10-ton vehicle to do it right.  A Swift Wind might be able to cram it all in, but it wouldn't have much armor.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 26 October 2021, 22:43:47
The light rifle company HQ section has a 10-15t truck including a 5 ton cargo capacity, a 15 ton armed MRAP including up to 2 tons cargo/trailer, and a 5 ton HMMV with roughly 1 ton of cargo, despite the rest of the company being a 'foot' company.  I just handwaved those 3 vehicles as a mechanized infantry squad for simplicity, as placing 3 little vehicles that act as part of an infantry force versus the mechanized infantry unit type is always a fine line.  Btech doesnt like the blurred lines of motorized/mechanized and separate combat vehicles for infantry units that fight both mounted and dismounted.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 27 October 2021, 03:30:27
I would definitely make those actual combat vehicles, personally.  Of course, that means at least three more techs and drivers.  IF you standardize on the 25-rated engine, the 5-ton vehicle goes 9/14, while the 9-ton can get to 5/8 (off road).
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 28 October 2021, 04:12:36
Making them 3 actual combat vehicles is doable, but an unarmored 5 ton jeep and 9 ton truck, with 3 extra guys inside each one to fill out the US 4 person crew per vehicle, seems pointless--the truck and jeep crew can fight with their 4 small arms dismounted which is not represented when using a combat vehicle in btech with no heavy weapon.  That has got to be the case for the motorized wheeled infantry typing to exist.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 28 October 2021, 17:56:47
The jeeps I made for my non-canon unit had 2.5 tons of armor and 1 ton of cargo (troops).
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 29 October 2021, 01:06:13
That jeep sounds entirely reasonable if the jeep doesnt have an integrated infantry component and just ferries 1 person around plus cargo.  But the jeep im talking about has a crew of 4, who fight in or out of the jeep, and no embarked infantry or heavy weapon.  I suppose you could make little 3 man infantry squads to disembark, but that still strands 1 guy.  Instead you can do a mechanized wheeled infantry squad of 4, which kind of covers the guys fighting in and out of the jeep.  Infantry and small vehicles are not handled well in btech as mentioned in this thread, but its the closest analog currently.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 29 October 2021, 03:21:17
I use them to ferry squads around.  Technically, 10 Taurians fit into a ton.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 13 November 2021, 17:46:54
Making them 3 actual combat vehicles is doable, but an unarmored 5 ton jeep and 9 ton truck, with 3 extra guys inside each one to fill out the US 4 person crew per vehicle, seems pointless--the truck and jeep crew can fight with their 4 small arms dismounted which is not represented when using a combat vehicle in btech with no heavy weapon.  That has got to be the case for the motorized wheeled infantry typing to exist.

Motorized infantry are infantry that have dedicated vehicles assigned to the unit to transport them (and often driven by said infantry), but do not fight from the vehicles. Mechanized infantry are infantry with dedicated vehicles assigned to the unit to transport them and are designed and EXPECTED to allow them to fight from the vehicle.  That bolded part is the the key thing in the difference. A group of soldiers with integrated tracked transportation that functioned like a basic truck would still be a Motorized platoon, yet a a group of extremely light attack vehicles with wheels would be considered a mechanized element.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 14 November 2021, 04:16:47
Quote
A group of soldiers with integrated tracked transportation that functioned like a basic truck would still be a Motorized platoon
I was going by the btech definition, which has motorized infantry riding bikes/buggies, and mechanized riding dedicated tracked/wheeled/hover vehicles several to a vehicle.

Btech is exactly backwards compared to real life--part of the frustration of infantry rules.

Also, btech treats infantry with vehicles with actual stats, like a heavy hover APC, as a foot infantry unit and a hover vehicle, not a single unit--which again is backwards.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Cannonshop on 14 November 2021, 20:55:57
I was going by the btech definition, which has motorized infantry riding bikes/buggies, and mechanized riding dedicated tracked/wheeled/hover vehicles several to a vehicle.

Btech is exactly backwards compared to real life--part of the frustration of infantry rules.

Also, btech treats infantry with vehicles with actual stats, like a heavy hover APC, as a foot infantry unit and a hover vehicle, not a single unit--which again is backwards.

Separate vehicles predates your 'Mechanized' battletech infantry by...well, by quite a lot, really.  The abstracted "Mechanized Infantry" thing didn't even exist for a long time, istr sometime about when they were formulating the rules for building battlesuits and they were still doing material for FCCW.

So the 'backwards' you're talking about is because having separate APC and Infantry was first and abstracting it to the point of having an infantry platoon hauling their tracked fighting vehicle into the residential building with narrow stairwells and no elevator came a lot later-and for my money, it still doesn't make any damned sense to have the abstracted unit on the same map at hte same scale, as the more rational, earlier, rules that don't violate suspension of disbelief with a chainsaw while screaming 'romperstomperbomperboo'.

as in I'm seriously not a fan, can you tell?
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 14 November 2021, 22:04:56
Separate vehicles predates your 'Mechanized' battletech infantry by...well, by quite a lot, really.  The abstracted "Mechanized Infantry" thing didn't even exist for a long time, istr sometime about when they were formulating the rules for building battlesuits and they were still doing material for FCCW.

So the 'backwards' you're talking about is because having separate APC and Infantry was first and abstracting it to the point of having an infantry platoon hauling their tracked fighting vehicle into the residential building with narrow stairwells and no elevator came a lot later-and for my money, it still doesn't make any damned sense to have the abstracted unit on the same map at hte same scale, as the more rational, earlier, rules that don't violate suspension of disbelief with a chainsaw while screaming 'romperstomperbomperboo'.

as in I'm seriously not a fan, can you tell?

Agreed, especially when Support Vehicle construction rules available to cover most of them.

Mechanized Infantry should be ones specially trained to mount and dismount transport, at best, just rules covering transported ConvInf at worst.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Cannonshop on 14 November 2021, 22:21:14
Agreed, especially when Support Vehicle construction rules available to cover most of them.

Mechanized Infantry should be ones specially trained to mount and dismount transport, at best, just rules covering transported ConvInf at worst.

Without getting too far into it, there's always a certain amount of 'pulling at odds with each other' in game development, esp. with established games, as people in development try to leave 'Their mark'.  There has been a contingent in the community for a long, long time that wanted Infantry to be useless, and another that wanted them to be ridonkulously powerful, and another that wanted them to be average, and another that just wanted them to work consistently, and people who wanted them more abstract and people who wanted a less abstract system.

MechInf is the result of people who wanted to make their mark, and wanted infantry to be more abstracted, and didn't want to futz around with tracking mounting and dismounting, because "The game is about 'mechs!!!"

thus, there you go.

Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 14 November 2021, 23:01:23
Quote
Separate vehicles predates your 'Mechanized' battletech infantry by...well, by quite a lot, really.
 
I get all of that, but when you say 'my' mechanized infantry, its not me who comes up with names.  Mech infantry is a thing with a definition, motorized infantry is a thing with a definition, and the dirt bike infantry is a thing with a definition.  Motorized in real life is guys riding in trucks and unarmored hummers.  In btech this is mechanized.  Mechanized is infantry attached to ifv transports.  In btech this is foot infantry and an unattached seperate apc unit.  Bike infantry is basically special forces infantry who use light personal vehicles to chase down or scout area better than foot, in any environment.  Bikes, trikes, quads, even repurposed taxis.  In btech this is motorized infantry, in real life we dont have a good name for this despite using it, but its not motorized.

An mrap would be a combat vehicle, a hummer or a truck is btech mechanized wheeled (but in real life called motorized)  and trike and bike infantry are special but called motorized in btech.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Cannonshop on 14 November 2021, 23:19:34
I get all of that, but when you say 'my' mechanized infantry, its not me who comes up with names.  Mech infantry is a thing with a definition, motorized infantry is a thing with a definition, and the dirt bike infantry is a thing with a definition.  Motorized in real life is guys riding in trucks and unarmored hummers.  In btech this is mechanized.  Mechanized is infantry attached to ifv transports.  In btech this is foot infantry and an unattached seperate apc unit.  Bike infantry is basically special forces infantry who use light personal vehicles to chase down or scout area better than foot, in any environment.  Bikes, trikes, quads, even repurposed taxis.  In btech this is motorized infantry, in real life we dont have a good name for this despite using it, but its not motorized.

An mrap would be a combat vehicle, a hummer or a truck is btech mechanized wheeled (but in real life called motorized)  and trike and bike infantry are special but called motorized in btech.

I know, DevianID,

I mean, come on, we're talking about a game where a thirty foot tall bipedal walker isn't a joke for a combat unit despite skylining itself and being almost ridiculously unstable (even works as a scout somehow? really?? and you thought the Bradley was too tall to be a scout...)

Just do what I do and say, "Okay, well, it's a different setting and universe, we'll cope as long as the game's enjoyable and the mechanics work."

Oh, and if it REALLY bothers you, then rename shit for your own games and stories and ignore the hyper-abstraction that includes ideas like how a platoon of 28 men with carbon-reinforced fingernails backed by a squad of longbowmen (integrated into it) can have more range and do more damage than 28 men with modern weapons supported by a 120mm cannon.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: TigerShark on 14 November 2021, 23:59:00
IMO, we already do have what I would consider decent infantry rules for BT play: Field Gunners.


Only 'Mech-scale weapons should be able to damage 'Mechs. Not semi-auto rifles, not hand grenades, not combat knives; but only things like portable SRM launchers, portable PPCs, etc. and the satchel charges for anti-'Mech attacks. These things already have existing rules on crew sizes and how many can be brought. The only thing needed is to use a Palladium RPG style "Standard Damage vs Mega Damage" type system, wherein the small arms (auto rifles, laser rifles, pistols, etc.) do 0 damage to BAR 10 armor and support weapons are considered 'Mech-scale. We'd then revise the damage for these infantry-scale support weapons and "presto!".


For example, a PPC Platoon would have 28 men. The crew for a Support PPC is 5, giving a maximum of 5 PPCs for the platoon (28 / 5 = 5.6, rounded down to 5). Let's assign them a revised damage value of, say, 3 per PPC and 3/6/9 range. This would give the platoon a maximum damage value of 15 (5 PPCs x 3 damage) and they'd roll on the 5 column of the cluster table when hitting. As troopers die, the maximum damage value falls, just as it would in a Field Gunner platoon, since those large guns can no longer be manned.


You'd still keep the same damage values for small arms in infantry v infantry combat, but the Support Weapons would take on 'Mech-scale damage and effects. I think this system would be a lot better and more consistent with the most-effective rules we have coming out of TacOps without requiring some massive overhaul. The big change? If your platoons have no 'Mech-scale weapons, they flat-out do zero damage to BAR 10 units, other than anti-'Mech attacks (if they can even do that). This has the several benefits:


1. Inclusion: It keeps infantry on the field without making them over-powered.


2. Adds balanced realism: An AR-15 shouldn't be able to knock out a BattleMech and, currently, it can. A platoon of 28 currently does a max of 15 damage, divided into 2-point clusters (8 separate dame rolls). This means that, for the low price of 180 BV, you can have 2 platoons inflicting 16 points of damage on a 'Mech, possibly causing head hits and blacking out out. I can't begin to tell you how unbalanced that is, especially for the cost.


3. Focus on 'Mechs: BattleTech has a focus on 'Mechs as the core unit. By making infantry small arms completely ineffective, this brings home a hard emphasis on this fact, while (potentially) keeping them in the game for people who want them.


4. Simplicity: Current tables in TechManual are voluminous tomes of diverse values. For example, a Blazer Rifle and Marx XX have separate damage values which need to be broken down to figure out the infantry platoon's specific damage. With these proposed rules, we'd simply have a single table of all available infantry types and stats:


Example:


Code: [Select]
INNER SPHERE INFANTRY

Support Weapon    Crew       Shots    Dmg/Shot      Type       Range
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Support PPC         5          5          3           E        3/6/9
Support AC          6          4          3           B        3/6/9
Infantry SRM        3          8          2           M        2/4/6
Infantry LRM        3          8          1           M        4/8/12
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: TigerShark on 15 November 2021, 01:06:30
This would also have the effect of rectifying the odd inclusion of infantry transport both within the platoon and without. i.e.: we have "Wheeled" platoons, but also Wheeled APCs. Why? 'Mech-scale weapons mounted on vehicles are (wait for it!) combat or support vees. We already have APCs with mounted LRM-5s and troop space. If the platoon isn't using an APC, it's a Field Gunner, aka, it would use the previously-mentioned Support weapons and have Foot movement.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 15 November 2021, 09:27:04
Quote
Only 'Mech-scale weapons should be able to damage 'Mechs.
This times infinity.
I mean, some of use circle back to this constantly.  I feel like the battle armor weapons with battletech stats are the gold standard--often the battle armor weapon and infantry weapon are the same weapon, but the battle armor one has mech-scale attributes and the infantry doesnt.

I wouldnt make 'infantry srms' either BTW.  An SRM is an SRM.  KISS principle.  An SRM squad has an SRM-2 with 10 shots, done.  A rifle squad has a squad machine gun, while a machine gun squad has 2 machine guns.  ECT.  I build infantry squads using the battle armor construction rules, just replacing armor with 'bodies' in my head, keeping to 30 points max 'bubbles' for standard infantry going up to 30 men, 60 max 'bubbles' for the armor divisor 2 infantry, 15 for the armor divisor .5 infantry.

My 'jeep' infantry is a quad battle armor with 5mp, and the turret on the battle armor is the jeep turreted weapon mount.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 15 November 2021, 11:06:53
This times infinity.
I mean, some of use circle back to this constantly.  I feel like the battle armor weapons with battletech stats are the gold standard--often the battle armor weapon and infantry weapon are the same weapon, but the battle armor one has mech-scale attributes and the infantry doesnt.

I disagree, if only because it has been long established that enough plinkers will take off armor.  Other than that, I agree that the basic rifle shouldn't be able to do that.

I wouldnt make 'infantry srms' either BTW.  An SRM is an SRM.  KISS principle.  An SRM squad has an SRM-2 with 10 shots, done.  A rifle squad has a squad machine gun, while a machine gun squad has 2 machine guns.  ECT.  I build infantry squads using the battle armor construction rules, just replacing armor with 'bodies' in my head, keeping to 30 points max 'bubbles' for standard infantry going up to 30 men, 60 max 'bubbles' for the armor divisor 2 infantry, 15 for the armor divisor .5 infantry.

Why an SRM-2 and not an SRM-1?  It would make more sense.

I do like having a Rifle Squad considered to be just carrying a Machine Gun, and make it optional to be a Light Machine Gun if they are looking at wanting range.  This would go along with SRM squad using SRM-1s, as they would ostensibly be the same weight, but the ammo is so much heavier.

However, as I have pointed out before, the size of the Squad should be the biggest determiner of how many of those Support Weapons a Squad can carry.  Either that, going along with your ammo limit, the amount of ammo they can carry, or even have the option to say, you can carry an SRM-1 with 20 ammo or two SRM-1s with 8 ammo.

My 'jeep' infantry is a quad battle armor with 5mp, and the turret on the battle armor is the jeep turreted weapon mount.

But why when we have Support Vehicle rules that should cover creating those Jeeps?  Alter their rules so that Support Vehicles of a certain mass are run in squads like Battle Armor instead of as currently, and you're good.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 15 November 2021, 19:12:12
I feel exactly the opposite way about BA-scale weapons.  To me, they should just be infantry scale weapons with autoloading and aiming hardware.

Also, just to be clear: an Auto-Rifle isn't a "standard rifle" by any means.  It's a TL C full auto weapon, effectively an IAR on steroids.  Some of the possible tech that's just coming into production now includes composite cased ammunition that can deliver a heavier bullet and higher muzzle velocity with lower overall weight and heat transferred to the barrel and receiver than brass cased ammo.  That allows higher sustained rates of fire, and that's with current barrel and receiver metallurgy.  An Auto-Rifle can deliver 15 rounds in 5 seconds at AToW scale.  I figure that burst figure fits into TW scale as a trooper is also doing other things during a 10-second turn.  Couple that with the ablative paradigm of "modern" armor, and enough them taken together can certainly hurt a 'mech, if only in 2-point groups.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: TigerShark on 15 November 2021, 21:20:16
I feel exactly the opposite way about BA-scale weapons.  To me, they should just be infantry scale weapons with autoloading and aiming hardware.

Also, just to be clear: an Auto-Rifle isn't a "standard rifle" by any means.  It's a TL C full auto weapon, effectively an IAR on steroids.  Some of the possible tech that's just coming into production now includes composite cased ammunition that can deliver a heavier bullet and higher muzzle velocity with lower overall weight and heat transferred to the barrel and receiver than brass cased ammo.  That allows higher sustained rates of fire, and that's with current barrel and receiver metallurgy.  An Auto-Rifle can deliver 15 rounds in 5 seconds at AToW scale.  I figure that burst figure fits into TW scale as a trooper is also doing other things during a 10-second turn.  Couple that with the ablative paradigm of "modern" armor, and enough them taken together can certainly hurt a 'mech, if only in 2-point groups.
Right now, there's no bullet made which can be fired from a standard battle rifle and penetrate tank armor. And I don't see that changing now or 1,000 years from now. The heaviest element we have for this, depleted uranium, still cannot punch through, even at .50 BMG. A 30mm cannon round can, and even that requires a high rate of fire and multiple rounds. This is a size comparison between it and an intermediate .556 cartridge. This just flat-out isn't going to be fired by anything the size of a human being. Hence, the need for Field Gunners shooting full-sized autocannons:


(https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-c32cdc35eae604f6103a103a2b9d6653)
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 16 November 2021, 00:56:03
Well, on the autorifle front... If you use caseless (not the plastic cartridge, which is cool but not quite as good as caseless for max hurt) a 3mm performs roughly double its mm due to no case bloating the diameter.  So a big 9mm futuristic caseless would look like an 18mm rifle round, which would look like a round hitting the gold rings on the 30mm pictured below if chambered in brass instead of caseless.  At that size, if you use a low velocity round (which you have to or you kill the user in autofire) then the slow heavy round can ALSO get some shaped explosive armor piercing nastyness.  THIS autorifle I believe would have a btech .52 damage and range 1/2/3, because that is what the real world rifle looking like that would do.

The name of this real world comparable rifle btw?  Its an automatic light grenade launcher firing at 185 m/s.

So its possible to arm infantry with this kind of weapon today, but the kind of destruction a .52 'generic autorifle' can put out is comprable to an automatic grenade launcher.  Since the weapon is not described as that powerful, then it must be the rifle's stats and damage conversion that are out of whack.  For the same reason the makeshift rifle is .03 damage and is too low, the autorifle at .52 is too high--reload and rapid fire multipliers are the major culprits i think.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: victor_shaw on 16 November 2021, 01:23:52
The main issue is that it's a game about giant robots. So infantry is an after thought. How do you make the average GI useful on a battlefield full of super robots.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 16 November 2021, 01:30:00
Quote
The main issue is that it's a game about giant robots. So infantry is an after thought. How do you make the average GI useful on a battlefield full of super robots

Its the same question about how do you make infantry useful when submarines are duking it out.  Mechs (and submarines) operate on a different level from infantry.
Infantry DO exist in that environment, but their role is for mostly out of combat stuff like seal team insertion and boarding crippled units (whether mech or submarine).  So infantry is important for submarines (and mechs) but we dont care about it on the table for the most part.

Infantry on timed objective missions where the infantry have to search inside a building while the mechs hold back the enemy is how 'dropzone commander' used infantry.  This, and spotting, are the 2 best uses for infantry IMHO, and both uses dont involve shooting at a mech.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 16 November 2021, 02:08:06
Right now, there's no bullet made which can be fired from a standard battle rifle and penetrate tank armor. And I don't see that changing now or 1,000 years from now. The heaviest element we have for this, depleted uranium, still cannot punch through, even at .50 BMG. A 30mm cannon round can, and even that requires a high rate of fire and multiple rounds. This is a size comparison between it and an intermediate .556 cartridge. This just flat-out isn't going to be fired by anything the size of a human being. Hence, the need for Field Gunners shooting full-sized autocannons:

Except for the fact that we know it happens, probably due to the ablative nature of Battletech Armor.  Modern armor is designed to prevent penetration by being a hard stop or deflect if properly shaped.  Battletech Armor diffuses the energy by basically requiring it to be shot off to be penetrated.  We also see this in the damage reduction of Rifle Cannons and Ferro-Lamellor Armor.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 16 November 2021, 04:13:36
Quote
Except for the fact that we know it happens, probably due to the ablative nature of Battletech Armor
The formula grants a ton of bonus damage to the rifle due to rapid fire, so in excess that they put an errata capping it at .6.  Thus it only happens since TW, and only due to the formula that already was faulty.  2 rifles have .03 damage and .52 damage, because of wonky multipliers and rounding.

For example, .52 +.52 = 1.04, BUT if it was 1 rifle shooting 2x as fast (a double barrel autorifle) then the base damage would be .65 or so (someone who is better with the ATOW conversion could answer what the autorifle, if the burst setting and ammo capacity was 2x larger, would do.  It is not anywhere near 1.04 IIRC)
Thus, 1 guy doublefisting autorifles firing the same amount of lead would do less damage compared to 2 guys, despite both hitting with the same number of shots in the RPG--completely because of how multipliers, rounding, and cumulative damage applies.  The autorifle platoon should instead be calculated as if the burst was 28x the normal burst size for 28 guys, not .52 x28, as they give super different numbers, and the RPG separated out burst damage for that reason, but then unseparated it for btech because lazy--hence why rifle infantry jumped WAY up in damage from older editions to TW when they just added all the burst.

Edit: im much worse math crunching ATOW stuff.  I think an autorifle with burst 30 (2 guys shooting) is .76 damage (not .52+.52) and 28 guys, for burst 420 instead of burst 15, comes out to 7 damage.  Why this is intersting--the OLD damage before TW made it additive instead of multiplicative, was 7 damage for rifle platoons.  Thus in ATOW when using burst 420 for 28 guys is the old calculation of 7 damage per rifle platoon.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 16 November 2021, 04:46:41
Yes, Reload Factor and Burst Fire modifiers are exactly why that difference is so large.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: monbvol on 16 November 2021, 11:42:02
The formula grants a ton of bonus damage to the rifle due to rapid fire, so in excess that they put an errata capping it at .6.  Thus it only happens since TW, and only due to the formula that already was faulty.  2 rifles have .03 damage and .52 damage, because of wonky multipliers and rounding.

For example, .52 +.52 = 1.04, BUT if it was 1 rifle shooting 2x as fast (a double barrel autorifle) then the base damage would be .65 or so (someone who is better with the ATOW conversion could answer what the autorifle, if the burst setting and ammo capacity was 2x larger, would do.  It is not anywhere near 1.04 IIRC)
Thus, 1 guy doublefisting autorifles firing the same amount of lead would do less damage compared to 2 guys, despite both hitting with the same number of shots in the RPG--completely because of how multipliers, rounding, and cumulative damage applies.  The autorifle platoon should instead be calculated as if the burst was 28x the normal burst size for 28 guys, not .52 x28, as they give super different numbers, and the RPG separated out burst damage for that reason, but then unseparated it for btech because lazy--hence why rifle infantry jumped WAY up in damage from older editions to TW when they just added all the burst.

Edit: im much worse math crunching ATOW stuff.  I think an autorifle with burst 30 (2 guys shooting) is .76 damage (not .52+.52) and 28 guys, for burst 420 instead of burst 15, comes out to 7 damage.  Why this is intersting--the OLD damage before TW made it additive instead of multiplicative, was 7 damage for rifle platoons.  Thus in ATOW when using burst 420 for 28 guys is the old calculation of 7 damage per rifle platoon.

*nod*

A lot of the problem of the conversion formula we have really comes down to the fact that it makes certain weapons that should be better against infantry less useful all because it is rigged in a way to calculate usefulness against armored targets.

Which would not be so bad if it did not value burst rating higher than AP rating.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 16 November 2021, 12:01:37
The formula grants a ton of bonus damage to the rifle due to rapid fire, so in excess that they put an errata capping it at .6.  Thus it only happens since TW, and only due to the formula that already was faulty.  2 rifles have .03 damage and .52 damage, because of wonky multipliers and rounding.

...

Edit: im much worse math crunching ATOW stuff.  I think an autorifle with burst 30 (2 guys shooting) is .76 damage (not .52+.52) and 28 guys, for burst 420 instead of burst 15, comes out to 7 damage.  Why this is intersting--the OLD damage before TW made it additive instead of multiplicative, was 7 damage for rifle platoons.  Thus in ATOW when using burst 420 for 28 guys is the old calculation of 7 damage per rifle platoon.

Which means what in terms of preventing small arms being able to damage Battletech Armor?  It just seems that you're arguing a level of degree rather than capacity, when what you quoted was simply talking about capacity.  As you noted, even the farthest back one can find Infantry records, even one trooper can do one point of damage (though it used to take more to add more points of damage for the platoon).

To properly recognize just how useless small arms are in modern combat and apply that to Battletech, we'd be looking at something like how Infernos work for Combat Vehicles.  No damage, but a possibility to make a crit (with a decent modifier like a +2 or 3).  This would only apply to Rifles, though, as the higher energy of Machine Guns, lasers, PPC, missiles, and gauss would be easily justifiable in knocking armor off.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: monbvol on 16 November 2021, 12:16:36
Which means what in terms of preventing small arms being able to damage Battletech Armor?  It just seems that you're arguing a level of degree rather than capacity, when what you quoted was simply talking about capacity.  As you noted, even the farthest back one can find Infantry records, even one trooper can do one point of damage (though it used to take more to add more points of damage for the platoon).

To properly recognize just how useless small arms are in modern combat and apply that to Battletech, we'd be looking at something like how Infernos work for Combat Vehicles.  No damage, but a possibility to make a crit (with a decent modifier like a +2 or 3).  This would only apply to Rifles, though, as the higher energy of Machine Guns, lasers, PPC, missiles, and gauss would be easily justifiable in knocking armor off.

What makes it worse is that Infantry armor is clearly non-ablative in Battletech and thus works much more on the principle akin to modern armor of pass/fail penetration.  Yet the Autorifle is arguably more effective against a mech or tank than it is against other infantry.

Two guys with Autorifles will always do 1 damage to a tank or mech but will never mission kill more than 1 PBI.

This is why I celebrate the errata and honestly wish it was set even lower than .6.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Hellraiser on 16 November 2021, 15:12:47
TLDR......

You know, in regards to infantry damage based on Support Weapons v/s no SW,  I had an idea.

What if Infantry had brackets similar to how AT has them.

For example....

A laser bay with 1 each ML, ERML, LL, ERLL looks like this.
Short-26 (3),  Medium-21 (2),  Long-8 (1)


As I think about it it might stop the cheese of the AR platoons w/ a really long range support gun.
It might also allow for different squads to mount different weapons.  (2 Standard (w/ 1 MG), 2 Support w/ (2 HSL)

All weapons with range of 6 or less would be Short.   Which is "most" of the non-Support units.
Then there would be a few that would reach medium & some more that reach long.

No issues w/ this Heavy-ER SupLas going 15 while this one goes 18, etc etc.
Just have them all fit the 6-12-20 ranges of the AT brackets.

Each pair of MGs or other burst weapons regardless of if its Support or Standard could qualify for a D6 of burst against Infantry.

The "mixed" platoon I mentioned above would have 1D6 Burst Damage at Short but also could reach out to Medium for small taps against mechs.

Basic weapons need to have a lot of their damage nerfed  (.52 for AR, looking at you)
Support could be boosted a bit on the other hand.

I wouldn't let basic weapons do more than .2 damage at most.
Support on the other hand shouldn't be doing LESS than 2 points IMO since Mech MGs do that much.   (EDIT... Except LRM tubes at 1 each)
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 16 November 2021, 15:46:26
Support on the other hand shouldn't be doing LESS than 2 points IMO since Mech MGs do that much.

Might I suggest that the only exception to this would be LRM Support Weapons?  They have insane range compared to the rest of the Support Weapons of the Succession Wars, so them being doing 1 per would make sense, and keep with how the individual LRM is considered.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Hellraiser on 16 November 2021, 17:15:17
Might I suggest that the only exception to this would be LRM Support Weapons?  They have insane range compared to the rest of the Support Weapons of the Succession Wars, so them being doing 1 per would make sense, and keep with how the individual LRM is considered.

Valid, I hadn't considered the LRM launcher.

FYI.   
LRM Infantry are not a thing in the Succession Wars,  the Man-Portable LRM Launcher was developed by the FWL in 3057.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 16 November 2021, 21:00:47
The AR is the least of your worries, really.  Just take a look at any of the stock weapons with an attached grenade launcher.  And don't even look at the MG-42B...  ::)
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 17 November 2021, 00:07:11
Daryk, was my math correct that a burst 420 autorifle is 7 damage?  Im not confident in the AToW side, so I may have seen 7 and missed something because I wanted it to match the 7 damage rifle infantry did pre-TW.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 17 November 2021, 04:27:06
Yes, at least according to my spreadsheet...  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: TigerShark on 17 November 2021, 05:04:42
Regardless, this should be a situation where infantry are drag-and-drop. New players shouldn't have to do math to average out what a platoon can/cannot do. Nor should a 100-BV platoon be that deadly to a 3,000 BV 'Mech, IMO. It's one thing to game the system and make a custom vee with 20 MGs intended to sand blast a unit to death; it's another to have it the base, canon unit of that type.

I think that's part of what turns people off from Infantry, IMO.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 17 November 2021, 10:37:21
Regardless, this should be a situation where infantry are drag-and-drop. New players shouldn't have to do math to average out what a platoon can/cannot do. Nor should a 100-BV platoon be that deadly to a 3,000 BV 'Mech, IMO. It's one thing to game the system and make a custom vee with 20 MGs intended to sand blast a unit to death; it's another to have it the base, canon unit of that type.

I think that's part of what turns people off from Infantry, IMO.

But one of many reasons, I think. Heck, in most cases, most ConvINf is drag-and-drop, and only becomes a challenge when one is building a unique unit.

However, when one considers how weak and fragile ConvInf is, and how slow non-Motorized/Mechanized is, the only reason to be having ConvInf in a game is for campaign reasons aside from being cheap Initiative sinks.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: TigerShark on 17 November 2021, 12:31:58
But one of many reasons, I think. Heck, in most cases, most ConvINf is drag-and-drop, and only becomes a challenge when one is building a unique unit.

However, when one considers how weak and fragile ConvInf is, and how slow non-Motorized/Mechanized is, the only reason to be having ConvInf in a game is for campaign reasons aside from being cheap Initiative sinks.
We play with infantry all of the time in MekWars. I would say I play a minimum of 4 - 5 games/week with it. I can imagine folks eschew them on table top for simplicity sake, but with such abstracted construction simplified, there's not much reason we can't bring them.


It's been a while since I've allowed Conventional platoons to occupy an initiative slot, though. I forget that insane rule still exists in canon. lol Good lord...
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 17 November 2021, 18:43:00
Well, on the autorifle front... If you use caseless (not the plastic cartridge, which is cool but not quite as good as caseless for max hurt) a 3mm performs roughly double its mm due to no case bloating the diameter.  So a big 9mm futuristic caseless would look like an 18mm rifle round, which would look like a round hitting the gold rings on the 30mm pictured below if chambered in brass instead of caseless.  At that size, if you use a low velocity round (which you have to or you kill the user in autofire) then the slow heavy round can ALSO get some shaped explosive armor piercing nastyness.  THIS autorifle I believe would have a btech .52 damage and range 1/2/3, because that is what the real world rifle looking like that would do.

The name of this real world comparable rifle btw?  Its an automatic light grenade launcher firing at 185 m/s.

So its possible to arm infantry with this kind of weapon today, but the kind of destruction a .52 'generic autorifle' can put out is comprable to an automatic grenade launcher.  Since the weapon is not described as that powerful, then it must be the rifle's stats and damage conversion that are out of whack.  For the same reason the makeshift rifle is .03 damage and is too low, the autorifle at .52 is too high--reload and rapid fire multipliers are the major culprits i think.
As an Armorer and Gunsmith that made me want to slam my head into a sharp pointy object.

Caseless ammunition is pretty much a bad idea, it's been tried, I've tried it... with a very long string and a wall between me and the gun. This is because if your powder charge is not perfectly burned you get to have an explosive go off in your hand while the next round is being loaded. Cartridge size and shape has little to do with the Projectile being used and almost always the mechanical design of the firearm or Magazine. A round's total design is done with an idea on how it is to be used. Larger rounds are heavy, bulky and make the firearm harder to handle, this is why militarys went to smaller rounds with improved powders and gunmetal alloys. It allowed them to tailor the projectile much better to allow soldiers to fire more of them, maintain accuracy, all while being able to carry enough rounds to actually last a fight.

The reason we have infantry doing ablative damage is because instead of redesigning infantry rules from scratch to allow detail, they just kept bolting it onto the existing heavily abstracted rules.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 17 November 2021, 19:27:26
Which means what in terms of preventing small arms being able to damage Battletech Armor?  It just seems that you're arguing a level of degree rather than capacity, when what you quoted was simply talking about capacity.  As you noted, even the farthest back one can find Infantry records, even one trooper can do one point of damage (though it used to take more to add more points of damage for the platoon).

To properly recognize just how useless small arms are in modern combat and apply that to Battletech, we'd be looking at something like how Infernos work for Combat Vehicles.  No damage, but a possibility to make a crit (with a decent modifier like a +2 or 3).  This would only apply to Rifles, though, as the higher energy of Machine Guns, lasers, PPC, missiles, and gauss would be easily justifiable in knocking armor off.
Or we could just realize that CBT's way of handling infantry has been built off of an adhoc set of rules and should of had a complete revisit it to it to make proper rules for infantry a long time ago. The only reason we have small arms doing damage to mechs and full combat vehicles is because that is all the rules they had to work with. There is no reason to even waste time looking at the current rules and how to beat the square peg into that round hole to get the rules to work. Just design proper infantry rules and split anti-infantry weapons from full heavy support weapons.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 17 November 2021, 20:06:20
I think most people are still underestimating what TL C means.  A full platoon of troops with 2AP/3BD, 3-round burst rifles rounds up to (at most) two, 2-point groups of damage.  If only three troopers hit, it's properly zero damage.  THAT is 1980's "small arms".  Bog standard Auto-Rifles are far more powerful than that.  Heck, even the "vintage" assault rifle (also TL C) has a burst of 10 (and still needs three troops to hit to do even 1 point of damage)...
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Hellraiser on 17 November 2021, 21:02:14
The AR is the least of your worries, really.  Just take a look at any of the stock weapons with an attached grenade launcher.  And don't even look at the MG-42B...  ::)

Those are taken into account with BV & C-Bill costs really.

The ability to dump junk ARs that are cheap in BV & C-Bills onto a couple longer range "support" guns breaks the BV & cost calculations both.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 17 November 2021, 21:07:20
Even with Field Guns in the mix, the M42B remains an outlier...
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: victor_shaw on 17 November 2021, 22:11:47
The main issue  with the idea of it's higher tech comes in with how these weapons work against infantry take in standard ballistic vest in Mechwarrior. If the weapons have trouble getting through a ballistic vest I don't care how many you fire at a tank, you're not doing anything more than scratching the paint.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: TigerShark on 17 November 2021, 22:12:28
I can easily show how a pure conventional army can absolutely wipe the map with a Clan force without breaking a sweat (welcome to try it out in MegaMek! It's actually pretty fun lol). Plain infantry are flat-out overpowered. Something should change so that this unit type is a bit more balanced.

I tend to hear "don't be a jerk" in regards to fielding things that are considered broken in the rules. But my reply is usually "don't be lazy". :) The play-testing is out there and has been for over a decade. It's pretty well-known that infantry are really too useful for the minimal BV they cost. The "sand blast" critical hits, initiative sinking, and dirt cheap missile/artillery spotting can all happen for 1/10 the cost to field a single 'Mech.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 18 November 2021, 00:10:03
Quote
Caseless ammunition is pretty much a bad idea, it's been tried, I've tried it...
I dont doubt Nicoli.  BUT... the fiction (at least what I read) had most of the guns using caseless rounds.  3mm caseless with 80 round mags is a thing they tried in real life, but failed because the powder charge, as your experience tells me, stinks/is dangerous.  The techC weapons seem to have figured this out.
The new plastic cartridge could be just as big a dud as caseless in 10 years, but plastic cased ammo is the future of the 2020s like caseless was the future of the 80s.  Both follow the paradigm of heavier bullet but lighter total cartridge.

That aside, I agree trying to make small arms do damage to a mech is the wrong direction.  Squads should have an antipersonnel damage value and a selection of heavy weapons taken right from the btech stats.

Quote
I think most people are still underestimating what TL C means.
  Not me, I likened the autorifle to a light automatic grenade launcher with 30 rounds and 15 burst.  That weapon deletes, and firing 15 rounds in burst without a heavy mount is a joke.  But the damage of 7, keeping the same base weapon but using multiplicative methods, versus 15 using questionable burst+burst trooper addition, puts 7 autorifles at 1 btech machine gun versus 3.5.  I can buy 7 fancy tech c autorifles matching a machine gun, making each 7 man rifle squad have 1 mgun for btech gameplay.  I cant buy 3-4 guys being the equal to a heavy mounted machine gun.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 18 November 2021, 04:23:13
Recoil is another thing technology can take care of...  8)
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: monbvol on 18 November 2021, 10:22:41
The main issue  with the idea of it's higher tech comes in with how these weapons work against infantry take in standard ballistic vest in Mechwarrior. If the weapons have trouble getting through a ballistic vest I don't care how many you fire at a tank, you're not doing anything more than scratching the paint.

I now have this amusing image of tank crews grabbing surplus flak jackets and strapping them over every bit of their tank that they can just because it would protect them better against infantry than their actual armor.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Hellraiser on 18 November 2021, 10:37:41
LOL.

As mentioned, the real issue is the values given to non-support weapons.

They should all be in the .01-.2 range of power.

Regardless of "reality" I don't have an issue with an infantry platoon doing 5 points of damage at 1 hex range.

28 points out at 15 hexes is an entirely different beast.

They don't need new rules for creating platoons or anything.

They just need to reduce the damage values & then redo how range works so that its like a mixed bay of different range lasers.

The only damage that reaches "Long" range is the weapons that have "Long" as their range.

If the basic AR is .2 & you have 20 of them then its 4 points of damage + whatever support weapon adds on.

I can handle that.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 18 November 2021, 20:10:36
I dont doubt Nicoli.  BUT... the fiction (at least what I read) had most of the guns using caseless rounds.  3mm caseless with 80 round mags is a thing they tried in real life, but failed because the powder charge, as your experience tells me, stinks/is dangerous.  The techC weapons seem to have figured this out.
The new plastic cartridge could be just as big a dud as caseless in 10 years, but plastic cased ammo is the future of the 2020s like caseless was the future of the 80s.  Both follow the paradigm of heavier bullet but lighter total cartridge.
Problem with caseless ammo is that you need a perfect powder burn all the time which is just not possible ever because chemical reactions are just not that perfect. Any powder failure risks igniting the following round with an open breach which causes a magazine chain reaction 90% of the time. The thing to do is to use a light stable casing like cellulose that only burns at the temperature of the full exothermic reaction of the powder going off. This protects the powder better then canvas bags or caseless with negligent weight.
Quote
That aside, I agree trying to make small arms do damage to a mech is the wrong direction.  Squads should have an antipersonnel damage value and a selection of heavy weapons taken right from the btech stats.
You don't need them straight from the Battle tech stats because infantry aren't going to be carrying around a 1.5 ton LRM or SRM launcher with all the nice auto-loaders. That said there should be a selection of infantry support weapons that either boost their Anti-infantry/light vehicle capability or provide full anti-armor. I'd suggest looking at how Battlefront handles the difference in their games for ideas. Is based the idea to treat each squad like a battle armor unit from them treating platoons as a collection of fire teams not individual soldiers.

Also Infantry weapons need to be culled heavily, seriously bows... I don't have issues with adapting a ruleset to another period but keep them separate. Infantry should have equipment packages, for example "Light", "Standard", "Grenadiers". That package gives you a standard stat line and then you can add support weapons based off the package.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 19 November 2021, 03:37:38
Quote
You don't need them straight from the Battle tech stats because infantry aren't going to be carrying around a 1.5 ton LRM or SRM launcher with all the nice auto-loaders.
  While I agree, the idea of another chart with weapons just to circle back to eventual btech-like stats gets me.

In my mind, a light squad, which weighs .5 tons currently in BTECH, can carry a .5 ton machine gun/light machine gun or .5 ton small laser.  A heavy squad, which weighs 1 ton in BTECH, can carry an SRM-2, or flamer, or medium laser, or heavy machine gun, OR can carry a mgun/LMG/small laser + antimech equipment.  Uses the weights we have now for infantry squads and fits with minimal fuss without creating an additional table of weapons.

I also support squad based deployment.  Fitting platoons inside a hex is not a thing, and fitting multiple friendly and enemy platoons would look like a wall of spartans fighting a wall of immortals--IE not a real battle situation.  There is just enough room for 2 friendly squads and 2 enemy squads in a hex if they are being VERY neighborly.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 19 November 2021, 18:03:29
  While I agree, the idea of another chart with weapons just to circle back to eventual btech-like stats gets me.

In my mind, a light squad, which weighs .5 tons currently in BTECH, can carry a .5 ton machine gun/light machine gun or .5 ton small laser.  A heavy squad, which weighs 1 ton in BTECH, can carry an SRM-2, or flamer, or medium laser, or heavy machine gun, OR can carry a mgun/LMG/small laser + antimech equipment.  Uses the weights we have now for infantry squads and fits with minimal fuss without creating an additional table of weapons.

I also support squad based deployment.  Fitting platoons inside a hex is not a thing, and fitting multiple friendly and enemy platoons would look like a wall of spartans fighting a wall of immortals--IE not a real battle situation.  There is just enough room for 2 friendly squads and 2 enemy squads in a hex if they are being VERY neighborly.
This is why you should look at non-Bt game systems. In Battlefronts system infantry models are not representing where the infantry are but the area in which they are fighting. This is easily transferred to BT. The Hex which an infantry unit occupies represents the center of the unit and while the infantry may spill over in reality to other hexes as their formations are required all distances and line of sight is measure to that hex for record keeping. Adding a bunch of individual units to track is not something Battletech needs as a game. I mean how many players say "I want more paperwork!" and are not being sarcastic A-holes like myself? This is also why I shudder when people suggest bringing in Support vehicle rules for things like jeeps and HMMWVs.

As for the weapons adding tables, I don't mind adding them to construction rules... I just hate the unit sheets not having them.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: DevianID on 20 November 2021, 01:29:57
Quote
This is also why I shudder when people suggest bringing in Support vehicle rules for things like jeeps and HMMWVs.
I like attaching support vees to infantry so you dont see them other than as a motive type in a squad.  Personally i think all sub 10 ton units belong in a battle armor style sheet deployed together.  Protomechs being in 5 different places, or a dozen 3 ton toyota hilux running around as independent units, irks me.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 20 November 2021, 16:39:06
I like attaching support vees to infantry so you dont see them other than as a motive type in a squad.  Personally i think all sub 10 ton units belong in a battle armor style sheet deployed together.  Protomechs being in 5 different places, or a dozen 3 ton toyota hilux running around as independent units, irks me.

Yeah, I'm working with my group to do a BT mk2 picking up a lot from the HBS battletech game to update it. The goal is to remove a lot of the extraneous book keeping, while maintaining as much of the core game as we can. We haven't gotten to infantry yet but they'll be run very similar to BA, the idea being that first a squad is the minimal sized element that is viable in a BT game and nothing smaller then what is minimally viable should be tracked. The hitpoints of each squad will be an abstraction of how much damage they can take and still be functional as opposed to the number of people in the squad.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 22 November 2021, 13:53:02
Playing catch-up.

For example, a PPC Platoon would have 28 men. The crew for a Support PPC is 5, giving a maximum of 5 PPCs for the platoon (28 / 5 = 5.6, rounded down to 5). Let's assign them a revised damage value of, say, 3 per PPC and 3/6/9 range. This would give the platoon a maximum damage value of 15 (5 PPCs x 3 damage) and they'd roll on the 5 column of the cluster table when hitting. As troopers die, the maximum damage value falls, just as it would in a Field Gunner platoon, since those large guns can no longer be manned.

I'm mostly on board with what you're saying, Tiger Shark.  I know I've voiced something similar. 

However, I'd personally limit the amount of support weapons based on squad, instead of weird, seemingly arbitrary, crew requirements.  4 squads of seven are what most house Field Manuals have for a platoon breakdown.

To show that I think squad crews for field guns was an initial consideration, I will reference the history section of the Galtor Campaign BattleForce Supplement - Page 14, Strategic Situation subsection, 2nd to last paragraph: 
Quote
"I entrusted the defense of the fake Star League depot to a company from Prince Davion's heavy infantry regiments: the 782nd Davion Guard Auxiliary.  They were good men and willing to fight to the death for their Prince.  Attached to each squad was a Sniper artillery piece.  No BattleMechs were within the [minefield] perimeter."
I bolded the word squad for emphasis. 

(Aside: I found this little gem a while ago, but I'm now working my way through.  There are some things that I can attribute to misconceptions and typos or misnomers.  But, that seemed pretty straightforward.  The book has a copyright of 1987 on the back cover, so it's still early in the BattleTech Game's history.)

This predates the strange 'crew count by weapon tonnage' found as early as Maximum Tech, last I recall.  It makes field guns very crew intensive for artillery pieces, which makes no real sense when looking at modern 20th and 21st century howitzer batteries and crews.  According to that set of rules, it would take most of a platoon to man the 20-ton artillery piece.  Unless tech has reverted backward so bad that you need a chain gang to aim and load the gun (40k fleet style), it shouldn't need near that many men. 

In this same vein, I find trying to break down 4 groups of 7 into odd increments by an arbitrary number like five equally as odd.

If you need limitations on a weapon, then maybe put in a limit of how many such weapons can be carried per squad of a certain size.  So, instead of 'crew of 5'  A squad of 5-9 troopers is limited to one.  A Marion 'Century' (?) of 10 men is limited to two.

Let's keep in mind that the rest of the squad will be busy with their own tasks, including covering fire against other infantry.   
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 22 November 2021, 14:34:03
This predates the strange 'crew count by weapon tonnage' found as early as Maximum Tech, last I recall.  It makes field guns very crew intensive for artillery pieces, which makes no real sense when looking at modern 20th and 21st century howitzer batteries and crews.  According to that set of rules, it would take most of a platoon to man the 20-ton artillery piece.  Unless tech has reverted backward so bad that you need a chain gang to aim and load the gun (40k fleet style), it shouldn't need near that many men. 

I agree a rework of infantry should split off towed gun unit construction into a separate section
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 22 November 2021, 14:49:03
Again, playing catch-up.

Except for the fact that we know it happens, probably due to the ablative nature of Battletech Armor. 

From CityTech days, we didn't know jack squat about how infantry damage actually broke down.  It was inferred from the way the squad damage went down incrementally with the Platoon's HP block.

You want to know what changed that?  BattleTroops!  Whatever you might think of that sub-game, it set some lore standards.  It doesn't matter if it was later discarded the same way AT1 was.  It still showed some conceptual intent. 

For as long as it existed, I imagine it was considered canon. And, you know what that game said about infantry damage on Mechs?  Support weapons were the only certain source of damage.  Individual weapons could do damage, but required a roll of twelve somewhere, and it was only one point.  (It might have been in the to-hit roll, needing a nat-12.  I don't have the rules handy to be sure.  Someone feel free to enlighten me.)


And, when you look at the damage drop in the old platoons, I could see each damage value drop being a support weapon lost.  It wasn't the easiest to suspension of disbelief, but it was at least plausible. 

I don't know where or when the notion of the entire platoon's fire having some effect came into being.  Maybe in a novel somewhere?  But, it was never overtly stated that was how it worked.  If you can cite a source for me, please do, and give me the Copyright date on that product.  I'd love to know where the shift happened.


Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 22 November 2021, 14:58:49
Or we could just realize that CBT's way of handling infantry has been built off of an adhoc set of rules and should of had a complete revisit it to it to make proper rules for infantry a long time ago. The only reason we have small arms doing damage to mechs and full combat vehicles is because that is all the rules they had to work with. There is no reason to even waste time looking at the current rules and how to beat the square peg into that round hole to get the rules to work. Just design proper infantry rules and split anti-infantry weapons from full heavy support weapons.

Yup.  Whole-heartedly yup.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 22 November 2021, 15:14:45
Yeah, I'm working with my group to do a BT mk2 picking up a lot from the HBS battletech game to update it. The goal is to remove a lot of the extraneous book keeping, while maintaining as much of the core game as we can. We haven't gotten to infantry yet but they'll be run very similar to BA, the idea being that first a squad is the minimal sized element that is viable in a BT game and nothing smaller then what is minimally viable should be tracked. The hitpoints of each squad will be an abstraction of how much damage they can take and still be functional as opposed to the number of people in the squad.

I like that last idea.  It can be a combination of stress, wounds and other things like ammo deficiency, right? 

Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 22 November 2021, 15:33:02
Okay.  Now I'm caught up.

I'm gonna make one more comment.  Someone made a comment, many posts and days ago, about the current version of infantry in TW being the current compromise that the PsTB were hamstrung into making.  But, the BattleMech Manual has shown that they really don't have to make compromises anymore.  They can simply not include them, and the game seems to run fine without their inclusion.

If they don't have to compromise, then, as per my thoughts at the start of this thread, what's stopping them from coming up with something a little more palatable.  It speaks to me that they didn't include them in the Mech Manaual.  It suggests that they aren't comfortable with even throwing in the core units in TW, which are pre-generated.  No TechManual required.

If they wanted to, they could fix things, and present that in a new product.  If they wanted to abstract infantry, now would be the best time to do so.

I'm personally fond of the Platoon broken down like a BA squad, with two different attack values, one for Anti-Armor, and one for Anti-personnel, with separate ranges for both.

But, I'm not averse to Infantry as objective pieces to transport, protect, and get them to an objective point, where they need to spend so many turns to accomplish their role.  Engineers to take over a control tower, or start up a shutdown mech and put a pilot in it.  Security to sweep an objective hex of any enemy resistance (in the form of Security squads) before bringing in a specialist to find whatever the objective is and cart it away.  Imagine if that were a boarding party to a landed dropship.  The imagination is the limit.

I've stated all that before, and my inspiration is also from watching playthroughs of the HBS BattleTech.  Those games, in my eyes, seem much more satisfying when you can potentially gain a huge advantage or lose it by protecting or failing to protect a simple APC while it goes to a designated part on the map.  The battle can be swung so easily by something so fragile.

By leaving them out, I feel people are missing out on that aspect of gaming, and I think it is a shame.

Everything else is semantics.

Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Cannonshop on 22 November 2021, 15:41:23
Okay.  Now I'm caught up.

I'm gonna make one more comment.  Someone made a comment, many posts and days ago, about the current version of infantry in TW being the current compromise that the PsTB were hamstrung into making.  But, the BattleMech Manual has shown that they really don't have to make compromises anymore.  They can simply not include them, and the game seems to run fine without their inclusion.

If they don't have to compromise, then, as per my thoughts at the start of this thread, what's stopping them from coming up with something a little more palatable.  It speaks to me that they didn't include them in the Mech Manaual.  It suggests that they aren't comfortable with even throwing in the core units in TW, which are pre-generated.  No TechManual required.

If they wanted to, they could fix things, and present that in a new product.  If they wanted to abstract infantry, now would be the best time to do so.

I'm personally fond of the Platoon broken down like a BA squad, with two different attack values, one for Anti-Armor, and one for Anti-personnel, with separate ranges for both.

But, I'm not averse to Infantry as objective pieces to transport, protect, and get them to an objective point, where they need to spend so many turns to accomplish their role.  Engineers to take over a control tower, or start up a shutdown mech and put a pilot in it.  Security to sweep an objective hex of any enemy resistance (in the form of Security squads) before bringing in a specialist to find whatever the objective is and cart it away.  Imagine if that were a boarding party to a landed dropship.  The imagination is the limit.

I've stated all that before, and my inspiration is also from watching playthroughs of the HBS BattleTech.  Those games, in my eyes, seem much more satisfying when you can potentially gain a huge advantage or lose it by protecting or failing to protect a simple APC while it goes to a designated part on the map.  The battle can be swung so easily by something so fragile.

By leaving them out, I feel people are missing out on that aspect of gaming, and I think it is a shame.

Everything else is semantics.

You make it sound so...arbitrary.  "If they wanted to..." but here's the thing:

what's the business case for doing it?  Catalyst, like Fanpro, and to an extent FASA, is a for-profit business.  Every move, every compromise, every development decision and rulebook, every boxed set and approved miniature, is designed to do one more thing beyond the artistic pleasure of doing it.

Make Money.

The diversity angle they were working with infantry rules? is about making money from an audience thirsty for more.  The decision to exclude things from the combat manual, was about the need to increase the audience in an ever-shrinking tabletop gaming market by presenting an easier to handle, 'dumbed down' version of the game as a gateway drug.

to make money.  Money so that they can pay artists, and writers and game developers, suppliers and distributors.  Money.

so...


make your business case, present the ways Catalyst and Topps can make money from your idea.

because in the end the decisions are NOT arbitrary-they're not governed by 'want to' beyond 'do you WANT TO be able to eat and pay rent?'

Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 22 November 2021, 15:52:36
I was including the monetary considerations as part of the 'if they want to'.



Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 22 November 2021, 16:17:34

I like that last idea.  It can be a combination of stress, wounds and other things like ammo deficiency, right?

Yeah, its's kind of a catchall for a bunch of things. Say a basic infantry squad had 5 hitpoints. might actually be 8 guys but when you account for Morale, carry capacity, and chance for special equipment to be destroyed once 5 points of damage have been done the squad is ineffective and the rest are either running or worrying more about taking care of the wounded. If the troops are poorer quality just reduce the number of hitpoints, say conscripts would be 3 hitpoints as they are more likely to book it after fewer casualties. Mechanized platoons can have extra hitpoints to represent the extra defense of the vehicles they fight from. Also since they are like BA you can include ammo pips for Support weapons like SRMs.

make your business case, present the ways Catalyst and Topps can make money from your idea.

because in the end the decisions are NOT arbitrary-they're not governed by 'want to' beyond 'do you WANT TO be able to eat and pay rent?'

The reason to do it to make money is that bad rules kills engagement with your game regardless of the strength of the IP. There is a reason that Battletech has maintained such a small market share of the games industry and it is entirely the fact that it is an outdated rule set that is extremely clunky and time consuming to play a fairly simple game overall.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Cannonshop on 22 November 2021, 16:26:35
Yeah, its's kind of a catchall for a bunch of things. Say a basic infantry squad had 5 hitpoints. might actually be 8 guys but when you account for Morale, carry capacity, and chance for special equipment to be destroyed once 5 points of damage have been done the squad is ineffective and the rest are either running or worrying more about taking care of the wounded. If the troops are poorer quality just reduce the number of hitpoints, say conscripts would be 3 hitpoints as they are more likely to book it after fewer casualties. Mechanized platoons can have extra hitpoints to represent the extra defense of the vehicles they fight from. Also since they are like BA you can include ammo pips for Support weapons like SRMs.

The reason to do it to make money is that bad rules kills engagement with your game regardless of the strength of the IP. There is a reason that Battletech has maintained such a small market share of the games industry and it is entirely the fact that it is an outdated rule set that is extremely clunky and time consuming to play a fairly simple game overall.

YOu do realize, don't you, that Battletech has outlived not only three publishers so far, but also most of the competition?  that it was a growing concern even when it was not being published anymore??

ISTR there's even a list of games with 'mechanics not as clunky' and detailed world building that came, burned, and went.  there are even more that never got to the burn stage.

It's only tiny compared to Warhammer.  That's like being second behind Microsoft, and far ahead of your competitors.

It's Chrysler to GM.  get it? 'tiny' is relative.  The entire tabletop MARKET is tiny, and when it started, there was Avalon Hill and TSR dominating the market.  where are they now??
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 22 November 2021, 17:00:45
YOu do realize, don't you, that Battletech has outlived not only three publishers so far, but also most of the competition?  that it was a growing concern even when it was not being published anymore??

ISTR there's even a list of games with 'mechanics not as clunky' and detailed world building that came, burned, and went.  there are even more that never got to the burn stage.

It's only tiny compared to Warhammer.  That's like being second behind Microsoft, and far ahead of your competitors.

It's Chrysler to GM.  get it? 'tiny' is relative.  The entire tabletop MARKET is tiny, and when it started, there was Avalon Hill and TSR dominating the market.  where are they now??
Hate to tell you but the overall games industry has taken off quite a bit at a far faster rate then BT is growing. Battletech stuck around in spite of the game rules because the fact that the fan base is filled with dies hards. But the sad reality is that even though BT got a massive bump from the KS and recent screw-ups of GW, people playing BT have taken an absolute nose-dive in all my local FLGSs. And the reason is that after spending 3 hours playing after memorizing a bunch of tables and using a bunch of player created aids you feel like you just finished a 1 hour skirmish game and not in a good way. Even among the diehard Battletech fans in my local group I'm the only one still buying stuff, and that is just to finish out my collection pre-ilclan, because at that point barring a proper rules rewrite I'm out. There are just frankly a lot more games out there that I can get a better game out of it, if I want to deal the the Battletech IP I'll just go to the Computer games which are much more enjoyable and get rid of all the clunk of the game.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: monbvol on 22 November 2021, 17:28:42
Avalon Hill is actually still a going concern under Hasbro.

TSR's most popular game is still very much alive under Wizards of the Coast.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 22 November 2021, 18:49:00
Again, playing catch-up.

From CityTech days, we didn't know jack squat about how infantry damage actually broke down.  It was inferred from the way the squad damage went down incrementally with the Platoon's HP block.

You want to know what changed that?  BattleTroops!  Whatever you might think of that sub-game, it set some lore standards.  It doesn't matter if it was later discarded the same way AT1 was.  It still showed some conceptual intent. 

For as long as it existed, I imagine it was considered canon. And, you know what that game said about infantry damage on Mechs?  Support weapons were the only certain source of damage.  Individual weapons could do damage, but required a roll of twelve somewhere, and it was only one point.  (It might have been in the to-hit roll, needing a nat-12.  I don't have the rules handy to be sure.  Someone feel free to enlighten me.)


And, when you look at the damage drop in the old platoons, I could see each damage value drop being a support weapon lost.  It wasn't the easiest to suspension of disbelief, but it was at least plausible. 

I don't know where or when the notion of the entire platoon's fire having some effect came into being.  Maybe in a novel somewhere?  But, it was never overtly stated that was how it worked.  If you can cite a source for me, please do, and give me the Copyright date on that product.  I'd love to know where the shift happened.

You might have a point except for two concepts: I was only looking at the Rifle damage chart, not one that had Support Weapons; BattleTroops operates on a completely different standard than Battletech, and that is of which I was speaking, and in there the 1 Rifle Trooper still manages to do 1 damage, and CityTech's Rifle Infantry damage is WAY lower than what is in Total Warfare right now.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 22 November 2021, 20:17:50
While the principal focus of this video is on video games, I think the principles discussed are applicable to the argument about the soul of the game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3q5nSqGXr4
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 24 November 2021, 15:17:49
You might have a point except for two concepts: I was only looking at the Rifle damage chart, not one that had Support Weapons; BattleTroops operates on a completely different standard than Battletech, and that is of which I was speaking, and in there the 1 Rifle Trooper still manages to do 1 damage, and CityTech's Rifle Infantry damage is WAY lower than what is in Total Warfare right now.

Yeah.  The gameplay has all its own issues in BattleTroops.  (Interaction with armored units from the BattleTech board was one of the most egregious sins I'd ever seen committed.  Forcing them to use the same MP action restriction system on top of heat was the worst of that part.)  I was mostly looking at the fictional padding added to it.

And, yeah, TW infantry are higher damage.  But, CityTech infantry, if I recall, were standard all the way through the BMR, just before TW.  I'll look to be sure.  BMR happened to add a couple new types.

{back to the larger discussion}
Now, as for my treating decisions as arbitrary, in the end, it is just that.  If the people in charge don't feel/think they can justify a budget, they won't act on it.  Cannonshop, himself, pointed out in a different thread some of the early infantry playtest decisions made in spite of seemingly better ideas proposed.  You can make a grand, well-informed case with lots of data points, but it ain't happening if they 'don't want to' for whatever reason. 

Could it have been a knockout success? {quoth the Drinker; "Don't know!"}  And, we may never until someone decides 'they want to' take the risk on making it.  And, this could be done with a simple sentence encapsulating the idea and that person's wheels turning. 

So, yeah.  It really is as arbitrary as 'if they want to'.

And, trying to make a selling case here, in his sub-forum, is immaterial, because the people that make the decisions don't generally come down here, and I gather aren't supposed to for 'covering butt' reasons.



Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 24 November 2021, 15:35:03
And, trying to make a selling case here, in his sub-forum, is immaterial, because the people that make the decisions don't generally come down here, and I gather aren't supposed to for 'covering butt' reasons.

There is a point in that.  While a lot of people here would be totally fine with, "Sure implement my idea and I'll buy the book," there are enough people who would be like, "I though it up, put it on their forum, and now they're implementing it.  Where's my cut?", that they can't take the risk of starting it.

In a way, I would almost like to see the whole concept of "Rifle" Infantry disappear, and they would all be using one Support Arm of one or another, be it MG, Laser, Missile, PPC, etc.  The Support Arms would then be what damages armor, and then based on the Support Weapon, they would have a certain amount of Anti-Infantry ability based on who wasn't needed for the Support Arm.  This goes with an earlier idea, it just negates all small arms fire from affecting any armored vehicle.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 24 November 2021, 15:43:34
While the principal focus of this video is on video games, I think the principles discussed are applicable to the argument about the soul of the game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3q5nSqGXr4

Honers vs Innovators.  I see where some extremes lie.  IntroTech only crowds certainly fit the far end of the Honer crowd.  House Rules folks are definitely in the Innovator class bubble.  Certainly degrees in between.

(Aside: If I were to place myself, I'd call myself a Campaigner.  I like story.  You get to stick with a group of characters and Mechs and hone the use of your team.  Their perpetual use grants you rewards in the form of levelling up.  Story keeps missions different and thus entertaining.  And, some rewards come in the form of upgrades which could potentially be given out if you make a good choice (designed by the GM) in a mission.  And, when I'm the GM, I can play around with some small concepts with rules or tech which are unique to the scenario.)

A bit of everything.  I probably lean more toward the Innovator in many ways.  But, I've done my share of Honing when it comes to BattleTech.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 24 November 2021, 15:54:27
Glad you found the video useful!  :thumbsup:

As far as "rifle" infantry, it should help to remember that a TL C "Auto Rifle" is basically a light machine gun (no, not a Light Machine Gun).
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: victor_shaw on 24 November 2021, 16:25:52
The thing with Battletech is that it is a 36 year old game that started showing the cracks in its system 34 years ago (release of AeroTech, CityTech).
The system was for lack of a better word "an outdated board gaming engine" just two years after it was released.
And 5-10 years after its released there were already games doing the same thing better and/or faster. (Renegade Legion, Heavy Gear)

The fact that Infantry is as messed up as it is fall squarely on the fact that they are still trying to make this outdated and flawed from the start engine do things it was never meant to do in the first place (everything except BattleMechs).

The main issues has always been, how do you make Infantry, tanks, fighter, etc. worth taking while still keeping BattleMechs the main focus. So now you have Rifle infantry that can for some unknown reason damage a mech with their rifles. You have LAM who own rules almost make them non-functional on the game board. You have tanks that have to move like a bunch of slaved RC cars. You also get the ballooning of the game from a couple of 40 page guides (construction rules include) to play most units, to multiple 300+ page mega book just to play most of the same stuff.

The problem with getting new players into battletech is not "Gatekeeping" or "Old Guard" running them off. The issues is Battletech in its frankensteined massive form is a cost and lore gate to new players. Add to this that, sorry to say, the actual game itself is really not that good and you wind up with less and less people willing to pay the entry fee or give it a shot.

To make a long story longer, all these threads about how to fix this part or how to change that part, are just trying to put patches on a system that needs and has needed for years, a complete overhaul.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 24 November 2021, 16:36:22
Infantry has always been able to damage 'mechs.  The handwavium and magnitude have changed to varying degrees, but the Godzilla vs. spearmen trope was never quite true.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: victor_shaw on 24 November 2021, 16:45:13
Infantry has always been able to damage 'mechs.  The handwavium and magnitude have changed to varying degrees, but the Godzilla vs. spearmen trope was never quite true.

I know they have always been able to damage mechs that's why I said the cracks start when CityTech came out. You miss the point that they shouldn't be able to without support weapons. And just firing more of rifles at the Mech should not be able to change this.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 24 November 2021, 17:00:14
My previous point was that TL C "rifles" would be "support" weapons with current technology.  They're basically "machine guns for all my friends".
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Charistoph on 24 November 2021, 17:01:43
And 5-10 years after its released there were already games doing the same thing better and/or faster. (Renegade Legion, Heavy Gear)

Better is a matter of opinion.  While I haven't looked at Renegade legion this century, I have looked at Heavy Gear.  It isn't a better system, just different, and closer to trying to do Alpha Strike than Battletech.  It neither had nor has the grit like Battletech did and does.

You are correct that the scale is part of the problem.  The little davids against goliaths.  That doesn't mean the system is wrong, just different and probably needs to be fine-tuned.  That fine-tuning is often met with resistance.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: victor_shaw on 24 November 2021, 17:17:06
Better is a matter of opinion.  While I haven't looked at Renegade legion this century, I have looked at Heavy Gear.  It isn't a better system, just different, and closer to trying to do Alpha Strike than Battletech.  It neither had nor has the grit like Battletech did and does.

You are correct that the scale is part of the problem.  The little davids against goliaths.  That doesn't mean the system is wrong, just different and probably needs to be fine-tuned.  That fine-tuning is often met with resistance.

I was pointing out Renegade legion as the better system and Heavy Gear as the faster system to be clear.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 24 November 2021, 17:19:34
If Renegade Legion was so much better, why did it not survive but BattleTech did?  ???

I'm not trying to be facetious in any way... that's a totally honest question.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: victor_shaw on 24 November 2021, 17:32:33
If Renegade Legion was so much better, why did it not survive but BattleTech did?  ???

I'm not trying to be facetious in any way... that's a totally honest question.

Same reason that a lot of game with good mechanic fail.
The universe story was not as engaging and FASAs couldn't support both games towards the end.
Add to this the IP limbo that Renegade Legion has been in for awhile and you have an answer.
There was a fan movement to bring it back, but to the best of my knowledge either Topps is unwilling to license the IP or are unaware that they even own it, because they never seemed to respond to the inquiries.
 
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: victor_shaw on 24 November 2021, 17:38:52
If you are interested in discussing it PM me or we can start a new thread. Don't want to bog this one down.
I have all the books and the Renegade Tech conversion (A Battetech Conversion for the game)
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daryk on 24 November 2021, 18:01:22
I'll shoot you a note, thanks!   :thumbsup:

We now return you to the regular discussion regarding BT infantry...
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Nicoli on 24 November 2021, 21:48:24
While the principal focus of this video is on video games, I think the principles discussed are applicable to the argument about the soul of the game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3q5nSqGXr4
I don't think that is a real issue with Battletech, in a game system like Battletech there is plenty of room for both types of people. The real issue with Battletech is "Brute Force" vs. "Elegance and Efficiency". You don't need to study rules in battletech to become a better player, you need to study them to be able to play in a timely manner. This is why Battletech needs a new edition. Not to "Dumb-down" the game but to make the game more time efficient to play and learn.

This can be done in many different ways, some are so stupidly simple to do it's not even funny. For example, just changing the Engine critical slot to "Engine (+5HT/turn per) so you don't need a critical hit chart along with all the rest. These things are just changes to how the players interact with the rules to reduce the need for a 10 double sided "Cheat sheet" or just rote memorization. The other thing is just changing some of the more glaring excessive resolution mechanics (*cough* Cluster hits *cough). The last which includes things like Infantry and Electronic warfare is to bring them into a system that standardizes rules as much as possible. For example, by treating infantry squads like battle armor you need less rules. By creating a good EW system you don't need to reference how each systems interacts with each other on a case by case basis as the system determines it.
Title: Re: Does Catalyst Not Know How to Handle Infantry?
Post by: Daemion on 17 January 2022, 17:26:12
Well, something can also be said for sheet design.

I actually like Heavy Metal's advanced print options for the record sheet.  It puts the core tables along the side.  You have a basic attacker to-hit list, then the different hit location tables and the core cluster hit char.  Having the to-hit mods right there for reference, barring some situation-specific ones, is extremely helpful. 

Doing this with vehicles is extremely helpful, since you have different hit location tables for VToLs over Hover/Wheeled/Tracked. 

Having a shortened cluster hit table to reference is really nice.  That was very insightful programming on Rick's part, and when we print out sheets, I always go that route.

The little section below where you can track movement mode and heat, in detail, by turn up to 12 turns is also useful, especially for record-keeping if you're wanting to use a battle in a story (fanfic).

So, sometimes, it's more a matter of having the relevant information readily to-hand so you don't have to go digging through a book, even referencing BoB. 

This is one of the reasons I actually pine for a notes section on the sheet that prints out minor rules for equipment, or a set of gear cards with said rules on them.  There's so much equipment with specific in-game modifiers or quirks for the later eras that I feel like I have to spend an hour refreshing my knowledge on them so I can play them properly in the same vein as reading up on spells for a Wizard or Paladin build in Pathfinder. (Fantasy RPG)

Back to infantry:
At least with City Tech, I could imagine that the support weapon was what was indicated by the type of platoon, and that it was what they were using to damage armored units.  Not as elegant as using the light weapon stats of armored units to match, but it was something to head-canon due to the abstract stats.

Again, I'll point out that my group played with the BA platoon layout, and we liked it.  Even were okay with the nebulous Anit-Infantry Attack stat and range values.  Why they didn't decide to go this way after a while, or from the start? Quoth the Critical Drinker: "Don't know!"

Why Cat Labs doesn't try using that now, even in a stand-alone generic Stellar Conflict setting? See prior quotation, but someone pointing out Renegade Legion and what may have happened there could be a reason.

It just feels like a missed opportunity that it's only being used as a home-brew modification. 

Same with infantry as objective pieces and objective modifiers.  Watching playthroughs of HBS's BattleTech shows how infantry can be escorted or blocked in such a way as to have in-game effects, like the activation of sensors, gates, or especially defense towers, looks loads of fun!  And, they don't even have to be shooting at Mechs and tanks to swing the battle so wildly.