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Author Topic: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?  (Read 4243 times)

epic 2.0

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #120 on: 24 May 2022, 14:18:48 »
Leaving aside abstracts and variables for a moment:

When it gets right down to it... most TW games are close to even matches (using whatever balancing system you use).  The players that state that they would never fight in less than a 3:1 odds fight are being realistic in that really, that's the ideal of any combat situation; overwhelming force applied to particular areas to achieve objectives.

Battletech campaigns thrive on suspending that disbelief; that instead, for whatever reason, this battle is NOT very lopsided (and thus boring because the outcome is quite predictable).  Each independent action that leads to that mission could possibly influence the outcome, perhaps weighing a bit more heavily on the player's side.  Intel, sabotage missions, previous injuries, these all can add to assisting the players.

I also have to point out that a merc campaign, in this description, does not usually have independent command rights.  They still have orders to follow; failure to at least attempt execution of said orders can have dire results in a combat setting. 

"Your orders are to assault this position and destroy this supply depot by x hour, day 2." 

"BUT our intel says they have a company of mechs against my company of mechs!  We refuse unless we have a 3:1 advantage!"

"Are you refusing a direct order?"


epic 2.0

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #121 on: 24 May 2022, 14:26:20 »
That is the question. I think the answer to that is to start with how traditional RPGs handle this problem. I see several ways.

1) systems that allow players to try and get closer to the missing information in a structured way (perception checks, intelligence checks) and these also bring structure to the GMs approach. It gives the players a way to feel they exercised actions

2) Reducing the time between players taking their last decision and rolling initiative

3) Less information that affects outcome (a few trolls versus a a battalion)

and here are the two I think are most critical

4) Smaller encounter length reduces the salience of getting it wrong (you get one battletech fight on Saturday, but get 4 dnd encounters in the same length of time).

5) More robust encounter design systems lessens the impact of minor changes

1.  In regards to this, I would refer you to the Strategy skill if using ToW.  An opposed Strategy check against the opfor's strategy skill.
2.  ?
3?
4.  Perhaps because I play more megamek than live btech nowadays, I actually often get a lance on lance battle finished long before a good mid-level encounter in DnD.  Note also that repair times are far greater usually in btech vs DnD, where the cleric and a long rest heals everyone fully usually.  Bad damage on a mech can result in multiple days of repair.
5.  On this one, it's a challenging issue; I think you're talking about how difficult it is to craft a well designed and challenging scenario without wiping the floor with one side or the other.  That comes with experience; and even a good rated CR encounter in DnD still can - with a bit of bad luck - create a really lethal situation for one side or the other.  In btech, often BV is cited; and other players will point out that BV is a good general rule, but if you then change the environment to say... total vacuum with high gravity, there will be different units that will shine far better or worse than BV will note.  A different example would be in DnD, where the entire party is made of non-darkvision people, and they go into the Underdark, and their light sources are extinguished.  Suddenly a normal, not very challenging encounter could become quite lethal. 

bobthecoward

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #122 on: 24 May 2022, 14:31:02 »
Leaving aside abstracts and variables for a moment:

When it gets right down to it... most TW games are close to even matches (using whatever balancing system you use).  The players that state that they would never fight in less than a 3:1 odds fight are being realistic in that really, that's the ideal of any combat situation; overwhelming force applied to particular areas to achieve objectives.

Battletech campaigns thrive on suspending that disbelief; that instead, for whatever reason, this battle is NOT very lopsided (and thus boring because the outcome is quite predictable). 

This comment was so good I modified my last post with a comment about lopsided.

In a game like D&D, the fights are lopsided and fun. While there is an illusion of heightened danger, if the fight follows the encounter design rules, the fights are fun, feel challenging, but secretly the players have an incredibly high chance of winning that fight. And you play multiple encounters in a session.

Battletech: almost certainly one encounter per session. It is balanced in a way that a fun match  is actually dangerous and not the illusion of danger..

The harder balance, and fewer matches drives up the salience of each possible decision omitted having a lager impact.

If the GM in D&D gets an encounter wrong, you can say the next fight in 20 minutes will go better or we can reset the last 30 minutes.

In battletech, that's it, that's your whole Saturday in this campaign battle.

It seems like a much more demanding suspension of disbelief. That might not even be the right phrase. The players have to let the GM make more decisions and exercise greater control of the game.
« Last Edit: 24 May 2022, 14:34:00 by bobthecoward »

epic 2.0

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #123 on: 24 May 2022, 14:49:21 »
Okay. 

Let's talk about the traditional RPG (D&D) encounter system versus a battletech campaign battle.

One of the first things to note here is the format of the 4 encounter system in a day.  Something many speak of.  However, even there... we have players that game the system.  Barring a story reason, i know of MANY player groups that will simply fight 1 encounter, retreat, long rest, do another encounter, retreat, rest, repeat.

Others will - maybe because of story elements - push on as they have to (evil lord bad guy will have reinforcements show up/finish their Dark Ritual/kill the hostages) before a certain time line.  Each encounter serves to sap resources from the players, so that the Boss Fight is actually somewhat challenging.  If the players skipped right to the Boss Fight, unless the Boss has a LOT of forces, they lose and it ends up being an anti-climactic battle.

Battletech campaigns skip a lot of the prelim skirmishes and head to the Boss Fight.  Why?  Because the lopsided battles aren't as fun or challenging, as you say.  However, in a proper campaign, those would be abstracted.

Example: the players in my last campaign chose to head through the forest, knowing that they would be able to hit the flank of the enemy.  But, as I had warned, there was enemy PBI in there. 

Now.  We could play out a really boring, annoying game of Mechs running thru infantry infested woods where the mechs would squish the PBI but take a small amount of damage in return.  Thus also wasting our saturday afternoon.

Or.  we could abstract that (which is what we chose).  The mechs that had lots of anti-personnel weapons took no damage (the infantry were smart enough to not attack those mechs).  Meanwhile, I got a random amount of free infantry platoon attacks on each mech that didn't have anti-personnel weaponry.  Units could expend ammo to reduce damage if they so desired. The anti-personnel mechs even got to be the "hero" if they chose to expend large amounts of ammo to save other mechs from damage.  It's called suppression fire for a reason!

Bam. A scenario that didn't happen but was realistic, as the player forces headed to their headhunting mission.  Something that saps the players resources a smidgen, before play begins. 

I would also like to add that a lot of missions may not get to go off the way anyone wants due to repairs not being complete.  My main campaign I ran for years, the players were constantly going into battle with everything not fully repaired; why?  because the other side can attack too.  And if you don't repulse this attack with the army you've got, rather than the army you want, you won't HAVE an army in about 10 minutes. 

bobthecoward

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #124 on: 24 May 2022, 15:20:40 »
Okay. 

Let's talk about the traditional RPG (D&D) encounter system versus a battletech campaign battle.

One of the first things to note here is the format of the 4 encounter system in a day. 

One quick clarification....I meant 4 encounters a session....as I regardless.of rests, the players play 4 encounters during their session at the table.

Daryk

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #125 on: 24 May 2022, 18:03:27 »
It sounds like your players are asking to play out the "hours of boredom" between the "moments of terror" that is actual military life.  I say give them what they want until they don't want it anymore.

Aotrs Commander

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #126 on: 24 May 2022, 18:21:47 »
It REALLY depends on how your GM sets the encounter difficulty, though. Certainly, when I'm running, there is definitely NOT the "four encounters per day thing" 3.0 invented*, the PCs will usually only manage about three at most before the HAVE to stop and rest, because I throw encounters much closer to parity, especially if I'm writing myself instead of buffing up an adventure path or module for More Than Four Characters. (Which until lockdown, had been a thing for decades.)

An encounter battle can take between half a session to most of two or three (four occasionally) sessions (at around two hours per week).

I not infrequently will cheerfully throw really-not-that-far-off-parity groups of enemy adventurers (or near-equivalent) at the PCs as boss fights, with the difference mainly being the NPCs will have lesser gear and maybe a member under or all a level or two under the PCs, but there's not a lot in it. (I also cheerfully use combined arms encounters even when I'm not doing a boss fight, which typically would mean melee and missile enemy mooks with some level of caster support...)

In a BT equivalent, I would theorhetically toss a lance or two at the PCs of the same tonnage/BV/skill less a little bit (a mech or so down or something). But at the same time, I wouldn't treat the battle the slightest bit different to how I would running a D&D or Rolemaster combat, which is not the same way I would do it for a pick-up game of BattleTech.



*I consider 3.0/3.5/Pathfinder 1 to be the ideal system for me, despite its flaws (until then, my system of choice was Rolemaster, but you really can't have that many interesting fights in RM, because it IS so damned swingy). To the point I wrote my own 1000+ page functional edition hybrid of 3.5/PF1. But I always felt that the four encounter per day thing (along with EL) was a load of old rubbish.

The Colour Red

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #127 on: 24 May 2022, 18:52:01 »
One quick clarification....I meant 4 encounters a session....as I regardless.of rests, the players play 4 encounters during their session at the table.

Holy crap, how do you get 4 encounters in a session? Even if the stars align and my D&D group starts on time and we play for 5 hours, we only get 2 encounters done on a good night. Isn't there a story that's supposed to be going on?
Just once, I want to be on the red team...

General308

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #128 on: 24 May 2022, 19:03:52 »
I read about others talking about campaigns here, and I have no idea how you get players to buy in to scenarios.

In a game like DnD, players can devote time to bringing overwhelming force to an encounter. Planning for that is the game, and running the encounter after that is only a small part of a larger session.

I can't imagine buying into any remotely risky scenario.


Choosing a mission
GM: "Your choices of contracts are all against forces  at 90% of BV."
Me: then I wait for another contract
GM: There is none
Me: Then I sell a mech to cover expenses until an interior cadre duty contract comes up

Dropships burning in
GM: Okay, you are coming into the raid you identified you had a 2:1 advantage against, but you receive signs that another force is on planet
Me: then I retreat. This wasn't part of the contract
GM: But it actually was, so your reputation will be hurt
Me: then I will just sell my mech and retire

On planet:
GM: You need to raid the factory
Me: [proceed to negotiate with GM a bunch of strategies to reduce the force, countering every wrinkle or excuse brought up with a new strategy to account for the factors that my player would know as a military professional]

In game...I either waste my Saturday playing a match so have a 3:1 BV advantage, or a playing a fun game I do not respect because it is unwise to fight on those terms.


How is campaign play supposed to handle it?

Ok so a couple of things.  One you don't tell them how much BV they are going to face.  First BV doesn't exist inside the game universe.  It is an Outside universe messurement for balance.    As a GM you might as an example tell them that Intel expects say a company of mechs for example.  What that company is you may or may not have good intel on.   Even if the intel is good that doesn't mean it will be the same when they get to planet.  They don't want to take the contracts ok.  Let them burn C-bills when they are broke sitting at a Hireing  hall.

Once on Planet.  What startagies you negotiate can varry.  But again you may not know what you are having to fight up untill  you are fighting so again up to the GM.

As to the player selling there mechs and retiring.   Well You have two options game over.  Or even better let them sell it and have were ever they are retired to attacked by mechs and they die Via the hands of the mechs they sold.  But hey they died rich!

General308

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #129 on: 24 May 2022, 19:24:09 »
delete
« Last Edit: 24 May 2022, 19:31:30 by General308 »

bobthecoward

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #130 on: 24 May 2022, 22:13:22 »
It sounds like your players are asking to play out the "hours of boredom" between the "moments of terror" that is actual military life.  I say give them what they want until they don't want it anymore.

But by making a lot of the decisions leading up to that moment of terror for them,  they probably have a very reasonable claim that my conclusions are not consistent with what their characters would do if the situation was real.

Further, they are playing military commanders. Constantly evaluating the situation and making decisions between moving into the start of the battle is a major part of that job. By omitting that or making those choices for them, I'm tossing out a big part of their job. It is like letting someone play a wizard in D&D, and then never letting them cast spells

idea weenie

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #131 on: 24 May 2022, 22:33:49 »
"I sell my Mech and retire on  Canopian pleasure circus"

"Are you spending money for physical security so you don't get robbed of the multimillion C-Bill fortune your Mr Franklin has?"

"Um, no.  And what do you mean 'Mr Franklin', my character is a Baron."

"The Baron title was for only as long as you had a Mech.  Thanks to you selling it, you have lost your noble title, and your family has received a letter saying that if they cannot provide their support duty, they will be being kicked off their historical estates.  Also, how are your Perception and hand to hand skills?"

"Uh-"

(Turning to the rest of the group)

"The rest of you read an article in the paper the next day stating that the former Baron Franklin was found robbed in an alley.  He is expected to make a full recovery after a 2-week hospital stay.  Also," (pointing to another PC who is good with a Mech but does not have a noble title) "your character just received a message from the newly-widowed Lady Franklin asking to have lunch and discuss her family's future at a local restaurant.  Oh, and she said her daughters will be present as well."

bobthecoward

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #132 on: 24 May 2022, 22:36:09 »
"I sell my Mech and retire on  Canopian pleasure circus"

"Are you spending money for physical security so you don't get robbed of the multimillion C-Bill fortune your Mr Franklin has?"

"Um, no.  And what do you mean 'Mr Franklin', my character is a Baron."

"The Baron title was for only as long as you had a Mech.  Thanks to you selling it, you have lost your noble title, and your family has received a letter saying that if they cannot provide their support duty, they will be being kicked off their historical estates.  Also, how are your Perception and hand to hand skills?"

"Uh-"

(Turning to the rest of the group)

"The rest of you read an article in the paper the next day stating that the former Baron Franklin was found robbed in an alley.  He is expected to make a full recovery after a 2-week hospital stay.  Also," (pointing to another PC who is good with a Mech but does not have a noble title) "your character just received a message from the newly-widowed Lady Franklin asking to have lunch and discuss her family's future at a local restaurant.  Oh, and she said her daughters will be present as well."

At this point, not playing a battletech campaign is better use of your time than playing a campaign with me as a GM having to make so many decisions for you.

guardiandashi

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #133 on: 24 May 2022, 22:37:52 »
But by making a lot of the decisions leading up to that moment of terror for them,  they probably have a very reasonable claim that my conclusions are not consistent with what their characters would do if the situation was real.

Further, they are playing military commanders. Constantly evaluating the situation and making decisions between moving into the start of the battle is a major part of that job. By omitting that or making those choices for them, I'm tossing out a big part of their job. It is like letting someone play a wizard in D&D, and then never letting them cast spells
I can see the argument, but it is a false equivalence,

the reality is what you are actually describing is a micromanager, and everyone I have ever encountered HATES being given directions by those types.

a more accurate and I suspect realistic situation is:

strategy briefing:
discussion occurs, and the CO decides we are going with a plan 47 with these tweeks, and we will use 33 and 26 as plans B and C if  the enemy isn't good for the 47.

the rest say yes sir, and "mount up" and head towards where the battle is supposed to take place.

when they come into close range they deploy with the basic formation and general plan specified under the strategy dictated.  as they start running into the opposition, the unit leaders company and lance leaders make tactics checks and the margin of success or failure helps determine how well the relevant leaders get their troops to follow their plan.

that's if you were actually running it as a proper wargame,

epic 2.0

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #134 on: 24 May 2022, 22:52:19 »
Holy crap, how do you get 4 encounters in a session? Even if the stars align and my D&D group starts on time and we play for 5 hours, we only get 2 encounters done on a good night. Isn't there a story that's supposed to be going on?

Yeah, agreed - if we get 2 encounters on a 5 hour session, I'm a happy guy.

bobthecoward

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #135 on: 24 May 2022, 22:57:14 »
Yeah, agreed - if we get 2 encounters on a 5 hour session, I'm a happy guy.

What do you call it when you interact with an NPC?

epic 2.0

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #136 on: 24 May 2022, 23:01:02 »
But by making a lot of the decisions leading up to that moment of terror for them,  they probably have a very reasonable claim that my conclusions are not consistent with what their characters would do if the situation was real.

Further, they are playing military commanders. Constantly evaluating the situation and making decisions between moving into the start of the battle is a major part of that job. By omitting that or making those choices for them, I'm tossing out a big part of their job. It is like letting someone play a wizard in D&D, and then never letting them cast spells

It's a false equivalence.  A proper equivalence would be that you would want to know the exact somatic components that the wizard does, describing every hand gesture and arcane word, and if the player doesn't recite properly and do the proper hand gestures, their wizard can't cast the spell.  While there are former and active military personnel that do play this game, we don't expect everyone to know proper procedure and protocol for the armed forces - esp as a mechwarrior, with improbable sized armies and all. 

Also... you're denying agency to the NPCs/opfor.
If the players are able to tweak everything to be in their favour (representing being tactical geniuses, even though IRL they may not be), why aren't the npcs/opfor also getting the same advantage?  Is every npc commander that the players face a complete idiot that has never graduated command school (no comments about Lyran generals, please)? 

This is the whole reason for having the skills of Strategy (in ToW) and Tactics.  So that they give a quantifiable measurement of your character's ability, with each side making an opposing roll and perhaps getting some benefit from it.  This in turn also makes up for the fact that not everyone is actually a good tactician in real life - and nor can we cast fireballs from our hands (though we sometimes wish it were so). 

epic 2.0

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #137 on: 24 May 2022, 23:02:59 »
What do you call it when you interact with an NPC?

Depends on the npc; if they are doing their shopping run, they're not usually getting xp for the encounter as it were.  Otherwise though, yeah, storywise, if I get 2 combat encounters in a 5 hour session, I'm a happy gamemaster. 

bobthecoward

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #138 on: 24 May 2022, 23:09:22 »

Also... you're denying agency to the NPCs/opfor.
If the players are able to tweak everything to be in their favour (representing being tactical geniuses, even though IRL they may not be), why aren't the npcs/opfor also getting the same advantage?  Is every npc commander that the players face a complete idiot that has never graduated command school (no comments about Lyran generals, please)? 



That is a strange conclusion. Why do you think I'm not factoring that in?

Charistoph

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #139 on: 24 May 2022, 23:15:12 »
This is an interesting read, even if I haven't taken time to parse all of it yet.

With the campaign my group is running, our GM has only given us 2 strategic decisions over the last year.  The first was whether to abandon the Auregan Directorate for the Restoration (she didn't offer a lot of money, but CASE and other gear was being provided).  The second was when we finished that campaign and were offered a choice to operate for CapCon, FedSuns, LyrCom, or FWL.  He would plan on from there.  This last followed a small time skip in to 3028.

From there, we're given our missions at the table.  We have our stable of Mechs, (occasionally allowed to modify them) and our pilots.  We're NORMALLY allowed to pick what mechs we bring on a mission, though we've had a few alterations on that.  First was when we were doing a running battle across several missions.  The second was recently when we're invading Vega, so what we could pick had minimum speed requirements (our Awesome was left lumbering behind completely so far).

Our pilots may purchase SPAs, and we have Command Abilities, too.  Our unit's Command Abilities are Esprit de Corps and Hit & Run.  The former we chose to not be forced to leave if we don't want to, and allows us to avoid tactical morale problems.  The latter we eventually chose because out of all the missions we've run, we've started out matching their numbers once, and always been outnumbered before then.  If we reach the point of being able to gain a third, we're already planning on Camouflage.

We're not really given a whole lot of options as to which mission we take (aside from the noted exceptions above), but generally have full control over what we bring to the mission, and its generally worked out well.

If someone wants to bring some Tactical Genius to the table, there is an SPA for that, and one we may want to pursue ourselves a bit more in the future.  At the moment, Jumping Jack and Long Range Masters/Snipers seem to be our go-to SPAs at present.
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Greatclub

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #140 on: 24 May 2022, 23:19:25 »
  At the moment, Jumping Jack and Long Range Masters/Snipers seem to be our go-to SPAs at present.

Those are pretty much win-buttons.

bobthecoward

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #141 on: 24 May 2022, 23:20:33 »
This is an interesting read, even if I haven't taken time to parse all of it yet.

With the campaign my group is running, our GM has only given us 2 strategic decisions over the last year.  The first was whether to abandon the Auregan Directorate for the Restoration (she didn't offer a lot of money, but CASE and other gear was being provided).  The second was when we finished that campaign and were offered a choice to operate for CapCon, FedSuns, LyrCom, or FWL.  He would plan on from there.  This last followed a small time skip in to 3028.

From there, we're given our missions at the table.  We have our stable of Mechs, (occasionally allowed to modify them) and our pilots.  We're NORMALLY allowed to pick what mechs we bring on a mission, though we've had a few alterations on that.  First was when we were doing a running battle across several missions.  The second was recently when we're invading Vega, so what we could pick had minimum speed requirements (our Awesome was left lumbering behind completely so far).

Our pilots may purchase SPAs, and we have Command Abilities, too.  Our unit's Command Abilities are Esprit de Corps and Hit & Run.  The former we chose to not be forced to leave if we don't want to, and allows us to avoid tactical morale problems.  The latter we eventually chose because out of all the missions we've run, we've started out matching their numbers once, and always been outnumbered before then.  If we reach the point of being able to gain a third, we're already planning on Camouflage.

We're not really given a whole lot of options as to which mission we take (aside from the noted exceptions above), but generally have full control over what we bring to the mission, and its generally worked out well.

If someone wants to bring some Tactical Genius to the table, there is an SPA for that, and one we may want to pursue ourselves a bit more in the future.  At the moment, Jumping Jack and Long Range Masters/Snipers seem to be our go-to SPAs at present.

Is that railroading?

Kerfuffin(925)

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #142 on: 25 May 2022, 00:10:36 »
Is that railroading?

probably, but if its fun its fun.

Charistoph

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #143 on: 25 May 2022, 00:55:19 »
Those are pretty much win-buttons.

Indeed they are, especially after we got our hands on some Star League tech and some Minnesota Tribe mechs.  I've been using a Mercury II a lot, and its pilot has Jumping Jack (which got REALLY good after I swapped out its ER Large for a standard Large), while our Long Range Masters have been using an Awesome and Pulverizer. 

The GM allowed for us to reset our SPAs after the time skip, and one of the Long Range Masters swapped out for Sniper.  It is hard to tell which is more deadly, as we haven't been able to use it much (Sniper is rather expensive, after all).

Is that railroading?

To a point.  But considering that we're not doing a total RPG-style event out of it, it's not so bad, and we're still allowed to control the junctions (for the most part).  It allows us to get to the shooty-shooty-bang-bang part a lot faster.  We spend enough time just agonizing over what SPAs or skill upgrades to give our pilots as it is.

It carries weight while not getting bogged down in details.  If that is what you're looking for, than ATOW is probably more your thing, while we're kind of doing something more akin to Chaos March campaign.
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Aotrs Commander

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #144 on: 25 May 2022, 07:18:37 »
At this point, not playing a battletech campaign is better use of your time than playing a campaign with me as a GM having to make so many decisions for you.

idea weenie's post, whle amusing,  is an example of not what to do; you shouldn't try to to handle an out-of-game problem in-game. (Seriously, that is an example of how not to go about things, as was the advice given on every roleplaying board thread I've ever read on problem players. Maybe only as very last resort if you've tried talking out-of-character and for some reason you can't boot them out of the group unless you "pursuade" them to quit of their own accord, which seems like a fairly unlikely confluence of events. But even then, you'd be better just saying "okay, then," and ignore them for the rest of the session.)

But yes, ultimately, if a player decides that rather than play the game that is happening, they refuse and basically sulk ("I sell my mech and retire"), then YES, they (and everyone else in the group) would be better off if they didn't play.

At the end of the day, you've basically been creating this hypothetical straw obstreporous player that, as they are only a hypothetical and not a real, actual person, cannot be dealt with. Especially since the ultimate answer to a player who doesn't want to play the game the GM is running really boils down to a) to NOT play that game or b) suck it up, adjust their expectations and play the game that everyone else is playing. You can't make someome play a game they have decided they don't want to and it is silly to try, as it just makes in not fun for anyone else.



(And in my PERSONAL experience, GMs are so thin on the ground because no-one ever has any time anymore (which is why I am DM Forever Now), that any players keen enough to want to turn up every week tend not to be that fussy about what they play as long as the game isn't intolerable. In my group, I'll admit I'm probably the fussiest, to a degree, since there's stuff that I'm not keen on - western RPGs, for one, and I made a sporting effort as far as I could, because it was at least a break from DMing. (Something I won't get to do again, since the chap that ran that died last year.))

bugman

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #145 on: 25 May 2022, 08:25:47 »
Indeed they are, especially after we got our hands on some Star League tech and some Minnesota Tribe mechs.  I've been using a Mercury II a lot, and its pilot has Jumping Jack (which got REALLY good after I swapped out its ER Large for a standard Large), while our Long Range Masters have been using an Awesome and Pulverizer. 

The GM allowed for us to reset our SPAs after the time skip, and one of the Long Range Masters swapped out for Sniper.  It is hard to tell which is more deadly, as we haven't been able to use it much (Sniper is rather expensive, after all).

To a point.  But considering that we're not doing a total RPG-style event out of it, it's not so bad, and we're still allowed to control the junctions (for the most part).  It allows us to get to the shooty-shooty-bang-bang part a lot faster.  We spend enough time just agonizing over what SPAs or skill upgrades to give our pilots as it is.

It carries weight while not getting bogged down in details.  If that is what you're looking for, than ATOW is probably more your thing, while we're kind of doing something more akin to Chaos March campaign.
This very similar in philosophy to my own campaign. Minus the updated campaign rules you use. Campaign was based off MW 1 rules and home rules.

epic 2.0

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #146 on: 25 May 2022, 09:31:50 »
That is a strange conclusion. Why do you think I'm not factoring that in?

Because your hypothetical player in this situation assumes that their character would never go into a conflict without a 3:1 advantage because their character is a tactical genius. 

The issue is that, if both sides of a conflict thought this, there would never be any conflict.  We would have a game of PeaceTech, not Battletech. 

I'm sure almost every commander of a failed op in the history of failed ops thought that they had covered all the bases in regards to what the other side is doing, and also wouldn't attack/defend if they didn't think they had an advantage. 

However, if you truly, truly, have this as a concern, I'm almost out of cards to play.  I guess my last one would be to run it as a true double blind wargame.  One side plays opfor and makes strategic decisions, as does the other.  A neutral gm then interprets those orders and determines what units fight where.  Off-screen battles happen when something lopsided occurs and no one can retreat.  Other battles occur when both sides have made a tactical blunder and have more or less parity forces at an objective. 

I've done it more or less that way on occasion; it can be fun, especially if you do as I did and had a non-battletech (or even ever play a wargame) player play the Lyran Social General, and just make strategic decisions based on "what sounded good".  Hilarity ensues...

Colt Ward

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #147 on: 25 May 2022, 10:34:55 »
and nor can we cast fireballs from our hands (though we sometimes wish it were so).

My morning commute would be so much easier . . .

Because your hypothetical player in this situation assumes that their character would never go into a conflict without a 3:1 advantage because their character is a tactical genius. 

The issue is that, if both sides of a conflict thought this, there would never be any conflict.  We would have a game of PeaceTech, not Battletech. 

I'm sure almost every commander of a failed op in the history of failed ops thought that they had covered all the bases in regards to what the other side is doing, and also wouldn't attack/defend if they didn't think they had an advantage. 

However, if you truly, truly, have this as a concern, I'm almost out of cards to play.  I guess my last one would be to run it as a true double blind wargame.  One side plays opfor and makes strategic decisions, as does the other.  A neutral gm then interprets those orders and determines what units fight where.  Off-screen battles happen when something lopsided occurs and no one can retreat.  Other battles occur when both sides have made a tactical blunder and have more or less parity forces at an objective. 

Which is why I have stressed that nothing is ever completely known- because we have historical cases of true geniuses being surprised/ambushed/outflanked- and if he wants to give them the agency a Map style campaign would be best.  With the Map style all you have to do is create the strategic map with sectors/zones that are where battles can occur, set up rosters for each side (and unknown support/units for the OpFor), and let each side go at it how they will.

bob keeps rejecting the Map-style campaign but without clear reasons.
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bobthecoward

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #148 on: 25 May 2022, 10:45:10 »
Because your hypothetical player in this situation assumes that their character would never go into a conflict without a 3:1 advantage because their character is a tactical genius. 


Then there's a misunderstanding

bobthecoward

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Re: how do you get player but in to a mercenary campaign?
« Reply #149 on: 25 May 2022, 10:47:18 »

bob keeps rejecting the Map-style campaign but without clear reasons.

I haven't commented on it.

 

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