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Author Topic: Newbie needs points lists for 2 player game with the following kits ...  (Read 566 times)

dfernand

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I've never played Battletech before, it will be our first game, we don't know if we are going to play a scenario or a balanced points system for a 2 player game ... I believe the game is balanced  based on 'tonnes' not points being equal on both sides, anyone got a recommended points lists (tonnes list) for 2 players given that I own the following boxed sets from 2019 onwards and each boxed set contains potential minis we can play with ?  We have around 3-3.5 hours of game time given 30 minutes for setup.

1 x Beginner Box (2019)
1 x A Game of Armored Combat Box (2019)
1 x Clan Invasion Box (2020)
1 x Clan Command Star miniatures box (2020)
1 x Inner Sphere Battle Lance miniatures box (2020)
1 x Inner Sphere Command Lance miniatures box (2020)
1 x Clan Heavy Striker Star (2020)

I have quite a few of the new post rule books also from 2019 onwards, so if there are hidden lists in there please tell me and I will take a look, I'm assuming that both of the 2 players will take 2-3 mechs each.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated.



dfernand

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new player seeks advice on 2 player first balanced game
« Reply #1 on: 19 April 2021, 11:58:42 »
I've never played Battletech before, it will be our first game, we don't know if we are going to play a scenario or a balanced points system for a 2 player game ... I believe the game is balanced  based on 'tonnes' not points being equal on both sides, anyone got a recommended points lists (tonnes list) for 2 players given that I own the following boxed sets from 2019 onwards and each boxed set contains potential minis we can play with ?  We have around 3-3.5 hours of game time given 30 minutes for setup.

1 x Beginner Box (2019)
1 x A Game of Armored Combat Box (2019)
1 x Clan Invasion Box (2020)
1 x Clan Command Star miniatures box (2020)
1 x Inner Sphere Battle Lance miniatures box (2020)
1 x Inner Sphere Command Lance miniatures box (2020)
1 x Clan Heavy Striker Star (2020)

I have quite a few of the new post rule books also from 2019 onwards, so if there are hidden lists in there please tell me and I will take a look, I'm assuming that both of the 2 players will take 2-3 mechs each.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated.


Red Pins

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Re: new player seeks advice on 2 player first balanced game
« Reply #2 on: 19 April 2021, 12:05:33 »
Playing the same Mechs is by far the easiest option.  I used to shuffle a stack of record sheets and draw at random, same with maps (Pull anything like lake, marsh, or heavy woods since I considered those more specialized maps.), then roll dice to decide who picks a side first.  Losing player places his units on the map last (like this; X - Y - X - Y, not X - X - Y - Y), then start by rolling initiative.

Tonnage isn't always best; your best bet may be the Master Unit List, the 'MUL' you see below the 'TT' in the Battletech header on the forum.  Battle Point Value (BPV) takes into account things like speed, movement potential, weapons, etc.

Good luck.
« Last Edit: 19 April 2021, 12:10:25 by Red Pins »
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mvp7

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As a new player with the same set of boxes/miniatures, I'd recommend you stick to the rulebook from GoAC (and have all players read through that before the game night) and only use Inner Sphere Mechs for now.

For 3-4 hour game I'd suggest you pick one medium and one light mech for each side, try to keep the BV differences below 200 or so, and just play until one side is clearly defeated.

edit. Two map sheets is good size for a simple game like this.
« Last Edit: 19 April 2021, 13:07:47 by mvp7 »

RazorclawXLS

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Actually, balancing forces on tonnage and not on battle value is not the correct thing to do. You will get more balanced forces if you go by BV.

mvp7

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Actually, balancing forces on tonnage and not on battle value is not the correct thing to do. You will get more balanced forces if you go by BV.
I never suggested balancing by tonnage and also recommended keeping the possible BV gap under 200.

I recommended having one medium and one light IS mech on both sides because that should produce a fairly interesting game that introduces a lot of important gameplay concepts without dragging on for ever or being over after couple turns. Obsessing over BV in two players' first game is silly and it wouldn't even necessarily be balanced if, for example, one decided to go with a single 3000 bv clan mech while the other brings in four IS mechs for the same BV. For first games it's better to have a fairly small and symmetrical force and minimal amount of necessary rulebooks.

Greatclub

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For a first game Thunderbolt VS catapult is pretty classic. Just be aware each mech teaches different lessons.

mvp7

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For a first game Thunderbolt VS catapult is pretty classic. Just be aware each mech teaches different lessons.
Duel between two mechs comes with a high risk of extended slugfest where to-hit numbers are constantly high and initiative roll has a massive impact on every turn. My first game was duel between two 55 ton mechs and it took forever with neither side being able to outmaneuver the other or achieve good to hit numbers without lowering their own in equal measure. Playing 2 vs 2 would have made for a much faster and more decisive game as there would have been more options for outmaneuvering and overpowering an opponent with initiative roll being slightly less decisive factor.

Greatclub

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Which is one reason I didn't suggest using the griffin. I've actually made my opinion of that mech being in the 'beginner' box known in the past.

mvp7

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Which is one reason I didn't suggest using the griffin. I've actually made my opinion of that mech being in the 'beginner' box known in the past.
True, I actually had Wolverine and Shadow Hawk in the first game because Griffin really didn't seem like the ideal dueling matchup for Wolverine on single map sheet. It is a peculiar pick for the beginner box although the Beginner Box rules don't have rules for heat so there's at least that. Then again I don't really see much reason to use that stripped down rulebook at all. GoAC is brief enough for a first game and much closer to the real BMM/TW rules.

But yeah, I'd recommend 2 vs 2 over duel or lance vs lance for the first game. A duel will easily degenerate into insanely drawn out running and jumping match where initiative loser's only real objective and option is to avoid letting the winner move behind its back and neither can really get a good to-hit chance without offering one to the opponent in exchange. My first game only ended after we started getting into melee just for the sake of seeing how the physical attacks work and actually ending the game. In the end you couldn't help feeling that the outcome was complete toss-up.

Had there been couple light mechs in the mix I think there would have been far more interesting opportunities and tactical choices. A bigger game on the other hand would have lasted far more than an evening since the first time involves a lot of rule searching and reading no matter how well you have prepared in advance (this is also why I recommend sticking to the GoAC rulebook for the first couple games even if you have the CI rulebook and BMM).

Charistoph

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We did an interesting setup last Friday.  We had started with a 2v2, till one had to leave.  Then we went 2v1.

The newest of us decided he wanted to try out light mechs, so he chose a Commando and a Locust.  Very interesting choices especially on a very rugged lunar map we were using.  The most experienced of us (for at least, recent playing time), chose to partner with him and took a Shadowhawk.  I had a collection of metal models and plastics, but not record sheets for them all (focusing on the metals).  My lightest record sheets were an Enforcer and a Starslayer.  All were set up to use Introtech (I modified the Starslayer sheet in SSW earlier that day).

It was interesting.  Due to my jumping around, I had a very hard time landing hits, but so did they.  I had managed to hobble the Locust a little, and both light mechs had exposed torsos by the time we were done, but my Enforcer was showing more than a little leg bone.  The Starslayer had spent most of its time trying to keep the Shadowhawk off, but had taken a shot at the Commando when it showed its side to it, just like the Shad took time to shoot at the Enforcer while I hid my Starslayer.

We didn't really have time to do a full recap so I don't know how he felt about using both lights against my Enforcer.  Still, I think it was educational about much a difference speed and firepower can bring in the game, especially when I started overheating my Starslayer excessively.
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Greatclub

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One teaching game I've run is centurion V charger, with the teacher in the charger as a handicap.

Still win a bunch though

guardiandashi

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2v2 or 2v1 can make for an interesting experience if I remember right my first match was actually a 3 way 1v1 match I don't actually remember exactly what the guy who actually had the boxed set brought ... I want to say it was either a warhammer, or a battlemaster. the other person had a crusader I think, but I do remember I had a pxh-1 Phoenix Hawk

and I know we played on the map(s) that came in the 2nd edition boxed set.

what I will say is having different mechs with similar but different performance on each side can make for a good experience.

one suggestion that can be interesting is also to do something like the bug lance on the heavy/assault
for example Phoenix hawk, stinger, wasp, and locust vs warhammer or battlemaster
or phoenix hawk and wasp vs shadowhawk, and stinger
or another... a pair of panthers vs 1 warhammer

the reason I kind of recommend some of the fast and slow or other kind of non mirror matches is that they help show off some of the positive and negatives of various designs.

Charistoph

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The 3rd Ed box's book came with a scenario that pitted the included Battlemaster against a lance of Lights made out of what was provided in the box.

Never actually ran it, but it sounded like a challenge as they pretty much all has short-range weapons like Med Lasers and SRMs.
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nova_dew

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I've never played Battletech before, it will be our first game, we don't know if we are going to play a scenario or a balanced points system for a 2 player game ... I believe the game is balanced  based on 'tonnes' not points being equal on both sides, anyone got a recommended points lists (tonnes list) for 2 players given that I own the following boxed sets from 2019 onwards and each boxed set contains potential minis we can play with ?  We have around 3-3.5 hours of game time given 30 minutes for setup.

1 x Beginner Box (2019)
1 x A Game of Armored Combat Box (2019)
1 x Clan Invasion Box (2020)
1 x Clan Command Star miniatures box (2020)
1 x Inner Sphere Battle Lance miniatures box (2020)
1 x Inner Sphere Command Lance miniatures box (2020)
1 x Clan Heavy Striker Star (2020)

I have quite a few of the new post rule books also from 2019 onwards, so if there are hidden lists in there please tell me and I will take a look, I'm assuming that both of the 2 players will take 2-3 mechs each.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated.

While having the sets is nice, the contents are there to look pretty and to differentiate unit's, what matters is the record sheets and being able to tell units apart, put your record sheets in plastic wallets and use dry wipe markers, pick two sets of identical mechs, so each player has one of each, I'd say a Centurion (cluster weapon, lasers and a boom stick, minimum ranges, some heat management) and a Locust (fast with a laser but weak armour) each, write what model you're proxying on the record sheet and play, no need to worry about BV or tonnage matching to start with, get used to the rules first, then sort out your own forces for a rematch

Frabby

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Ulisses Spiele put out this fantastic tutorial scenario pack that requires nothing but the basic box set. If you can read German, I strongly recommend it. (CGL should really consider translating it.) Free download link in the article.

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Atlas3060

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Welcome to the game.
If you're going pure Inner Sphere or pure Clan then Battle Value and tonnage might work either way. Yes some will praise BV over tonnage (which I agree) based on pure "but you can eek out more from it" but for a first timer's game that's really a moot point.
Learning the set up of the game is more important.

That's a good list of boxed sets. Stick with the first two in your list for rules and record sheets. The Clan one IS FUN but also I recommend that later after they get a few battles under their belt.

All the boxed sets (Beginner Box (2019),A Game of Armored Combat Box (2019),Clan Invasion Box (2020)) have enough minis or stand ins to play the game, but the physical miniatures isn't completely make or break for a game. The record sheets are what really provide the unit stats, so don't feel bad about a proxy here and there if needed.

The miniature boxes you got are wonderful and honestly I'm jealous right now since I'm waiting for my Fire Lance to come home.

For a quick set up game 2v2 is nice, but for the first game I recommend 1v1 until the players get the gist of how the rules work. Reading them is one thing, reading then seeing the map helps some players make that connection faster.

Something like
Locust versus Commando
Shadowhawk versus Wolverine

Those are fine, put down one of the maps with hills and trees. Maybe a second map if you feel like you need the space.
A good rule of thumb from earlier rulebooks is 1 map per every 4 mechs on each side. So if there's 8 total on a game perhaps 2 maps for a snug game. Tastes will vary of course.

Ideally you want Mechs that are close in tonnage or some other factor (speed, armor, weaponry) but different enough to give someone an advantage in one place while their opponent has another advantage. That way when you switch around Mechs, they can both get the feel for differences.

In my earlier examples, Locusts are fast. They are also paper thin with armor.
Commandos have firepower but they lack the speed of a Locust really.
Both however are armored enough that if someone says "Screw it I'm going to do a physical" then it's gonna hurt the target and it's a fun gamble.


Shadowhawk and the Wolverine are different in movement but also firepower. Shadowhawks have an assortment to outrange at times. Meanwhile the Wolverine can get pretty nasty up close. This teaches them that hit and fade might be worthwhile.

It's okay if nobody destroys the other, sometimes in a game that happens. We even have rules about that: Withdrawal Damage.
You can invoke that and have the more beat up start to back away until they leave the table.

As for more record sheets, don't forget the Downloads section of this site: https://bg.battletech.com/downloads/
For your situation I recommend the following specifically:
A Game of Armored Combat Record Sheets (& Counters)
BattleTech Force Packs Record Sheets – Wave One

If you do play a 2v2 game, make it with a weight difference. Give them both 1 big mech like a Heavy or Assault and 1 Medium Mech. I don't recommend lights in these situations because if someone tries to play cheeky spotter and bites it, then you're forcing that player to waddle their big ride against 2 Mechs. Again your tastes may vary, that could be just the thing to excite someone.

As you and the players progress further, you may want to look into the Master Unit List site for force building. Yes it does lean more towards the Alpha Strike game, but it is useful for the Total Warfare scaled games (what we're talking about) for point values and direction for products to get record sheets http://www.masterunitlist.info/

Addendum: If you read through this and wondered "great nice but I just want lists", well this game isn't built like those kinds of games.
That's why you get quite a discussion from the forum goers here instead of "Boom, get these, that's all."
« Last Edit: 21 April 2021, 08:17:43 by Atlas3060 »
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JadeHellbringer

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I used to run a newbie game way back when- in fact, the scenario was the one I submitted to join the Demo Team way back in 2003. It worked well then, it works well now.

During a raid, a House Steiner assault lance was cut off from the Union-class dropship LCS Rodney. The ship is waiting for the survivors, but it can't wait a lot longer. Marik units are closing in, and time is running out. Steiner survivors are also being pursued though- it's a mess. Can our heroes survive?

Setup: Two maps, both original Battletech box set maps, laid out so that they form one long map (short edge to short edge)- orientation is up to the players. Steiner forces begin at one of the short edges (determine which one during layout). Once the Steiner team's edge is determined, Marik forces may set up anywhere they wish on the other mapsheet.

Team 1: Steiner assault lance survivors, consisting of a ZEU-6S Zeus and a VTR-9B Victor. Both have a gunnery rating of 4, and a piloting rating of 5. Their objective is to withdraw from the battlefield's far edge, and destroy at least two Marik Mechs along the way. They must withdraw within ten turns- if they do not, pursuing Marik forces will overrun the battlefield and the game ends.

Team 2: Marik ambush force, consisting of an HBK-4G Hunchback, TBT-5N Trebuchet, SDR-5V Spider, and HER-5S Hermes II. All Mechwarriors are gunnery 4, piloting 5. Marik's objective is to destroy at least one of the Steiner assault Mechs before they escape off the far edge of the battlefield. Marik units cannot leave the battlefield or the guns of the LCS Rodney will destroy them.

Victory conditions:

Steiner total victory: Both assault Mechs survive, at least two Marik Mechs destroyed
Steiner partial victory: At least one assault Mech survived and two Marik Mechs destroyed, OR both Mechs survive but less than two enemy Mechs destroyed.

Marik total victory: Both Steiner Mechs destroyed, at least three Marik units survive
Marik partial victory: One Steiner Mech destroyed, at least three Marik units survive OR both Steiner Mechs destroyed, but more than two Marik Mechs were destroyed.

(You'll notice that it's quite possible for both sides to end up declaring a partial victory here. This being designed for new players, it's always good to have a situation in which both sides walk away happy!)

The scenario was designed to use nothing out of the box set (the one being made at the time) other than the Victor, which can be replaced by a Grasshopper if one wishes, so it was very easy to keep the materials for it on-hand for a newbie game any time the opportunity arose at a game store.
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Geg

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Here is a quick and dirty list for a simple 3 vs. 3 game.   The x/y is the gunnery and piloting skills for each sheet with the adjusted battle value or BV for each unit based in the updated skills..   The WVR-6R would have a gunnery skill of 2 and a piloting skill of 3, and an adjusted BattleValue of 1850.

Team 1:   6345bv
  • Wolverine WVR-6R; 2/3; 1850bv
  • Awesome AWS-8Q; 2/3; 2696bv
  • Marauder MAD-3R; 3/4; 1799bv


Team 2:   6342bv
  • BattleMaster BLR-1D; 2/3; 2557bv
  • Pheonix Hawk PXH-1D; 2/4; 1603bv
  • Warhammer WHM-6R; 2/3; 2182bv

All the record sheet you need can be found on this free download.  Given your time constraints, I would play this on a single map sheet and you don't need any objectives beyond just kill the other team.
« Last Edit: 21 April 2021, 09:48:00 by Geg »

Simon Landmine

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Re: new player seeks advice on 2 player first balanced game
« Reply #19 on: 21 April 2021, 16:47:20 »
For a first game, I might advise against anything with too much in the way of fiddly rules (TSM being a good example). One approach for getting the hang of things is to have the same units on each side, as Red Pins suggests, maybe playing a rolling reinforcement game (where each side starts with a couple of lighter mechs, and as those are crippled, or after a set number of turns, heavier reinforcements arrive) - that can give you a chance to get the hang of the basics with a couple of machines each, before the numbers turn up ...

And, as Red Pins said, I'd recommend using the BV points ratings from the MUL to balance forces, rather than tonnage, if you're not practicing with equal forces - it may not be completely perfect, but it's a lot better than trying to use tonnage, especially if you're using Clan machines (which have a tonnage advantage due to technology) against Inner Sphere.
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Atlas3060

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Merged this topic with one that had the same exact questions and posts from OP.
So if anyone feels any deja vu, that's why
Stone wasn't cryo frozen. He just got stuck in a freezer Hans Moleman style and we felt bad about it. So we made up this lie.

 

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