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Given our setup; does Clan have an unfair advantage in forces of equal BV?

Clan usually has a noticeable advantage
13 (16%)
Clan tends to have a slight advantage
10 (12.3%)
The balance should be more or less the same in forces of equal BV
20 (24.7%)
Clan can actually have a slight disadvantage
38 (46.9%)

Total Members Voted: 81

Author Topic: POLL: What is the community's thoughts on Clan tech balance in terms of BV?  (Read 3653 times)

Fear Factory

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I almost feel the opposite of this sometimes; as someone who plays primarily 4/5 and 4/4 pilots those games go very quickly if you are actually effectively using your units.  Not trying to be confrontational, but I feel like using 3/4 units by default can often function as a crutch some (many?) players lean on to avoid actually getting better at the game for both maneuvering game pieces and playing efficiently for time purposes.  Paradoxically I think it actually slows the game down over the course of a player developing bad habits that accurate pilots will mitigate.  TurretTech is not a fast way to play but its shortcomings are masked when the pilots are accurate enough that the chip damage adds up faster than a given player's boredom.

Makes sense, honestly. Stack that with flashbulbs, loads of assault 'Mechs, etc, and you have a really long, boring, and drawn out game.

Or, I know "speed is life" is another thing that's been out there for a very long time, but some players can benefit from knowing that 'Mechs can walk and shoot instead of just running and jumping all the time. Walking most Clan 'Mechs in the 3050 era can get you a +2 modifier that most of the 4/6 IS 'Mechs struggle to get. Couple that with their range advantage... oof.

As it stands, "I deploy 12 to your 3" is always a recipe for disaster.

Well, if we had actual guidelines for a standard game that would level the playing field like 6 or 7k and no more than a 2 to 1 ratio on 2 to 4 maps, this wouldn't be a problem. Instead it's whatever random BV someone wants against whatever on whatever, I guess.
« Last Edit: 24 June 2022, 19:14:21 by Fear Factory »
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BATTLEMASTER

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I almost feel the opposite of this sometimes; as someone who plays primarily 4/5 and 4/4 pilots those games go very quickly if you are actually effectively using your units.  Not trying to be confrontational, but I feel like using 3/4 units by default can often function as a crutch some (many?) players lean on to avoid actually getting better at the game for both maneuvering game pieces and playing efficiently for time purposes.  Paradoxically I think it actually slows the game down over the course of a player developing bad habits that accurate pilots will mitigate.  TurretTech is not a fast way to play but its shortcomings are masked when the pilots are accurate enough that the chip damage adds up faster than a given player's boredom.

I haven't looked at it that way, so that's an interesting point of view.  I guess I just prefer that stuff blows up faster :)
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Jellico

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TurretTech is not a fast way to play but its shortcomings are masked when the pilots are accurate enough that the chip damage adds up faster than a given player's boredom.

Curiously for me 4 gunners descend into turret tech. A Clan pilot having to maintain mobility at range to overcome the armor deficit values the accuracy. The IS forces can turret up relying on having more armor to protect them and greater number of weapons and lack of movement to overcome the 4 gunnery.

Scotty

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That is a map quality and size consideration.  The Clan player should not be able to keep the range open indefinitely; the Inner Sphere player should not be able to maintain stationary units without ceding the position game.  The grasslands battlemats are generally good at preventing both due to size and density and I strongly recommend them.
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Colt Ward

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. . . but I feel like using 3/4 units by default can often function as a crutch some (many?) players lean on to avoid actually getting better at the game for both maneuvering game pieces and playing efficiently for time purposes.

It also starts to discourage having the speedsters . . . speed is armor only works to a point on the probability curve.
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Cannonshop

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Just on an aside...

One of the reasons behind FSM in the first edition of BV2.0, was the impact numbers have when dealing with initiative.  (Initiative Sinking with poorer quality units) and another, was to address the seeming shortcoming Clan players have when their BV per unit is 2-3 times what it would be with IS pilots.

One of the knock-ons that caused FSM to be removed from BV2.0, was a nasty little phenomena in the hands of players who can exploit systems.

What is that, you ask?

Why, taking a SINGLE unit, optimizing the hell out of it, and by doing so, imposing a massive BV penalty on someone who doesn't ALSO take a single Clan 'mech and optimize the hell out of it for their entire force.

trying to account for factors like tactics, player skill, terrain, or quantities, turns out to be pretty hard to do and still have a game that's actually playable today, instead of a week from now after everyone's recalculated their units.

The point?

BV is a starting point.  it's a somewhat objective measure of the combat power of a given unit, when compared to other units in a vacuum where all players are equal and the terrain is 'flat'.

aka a starting point. 

hence my comment on using 'blind BV'-because if you know what you're facing, and where you're facing it, it's pretty easy to optimize a force using BV that will RULE that specific terrain with those specific enemy types, (think the company that is optimized for close Urban, or the Binary optimized for sniping across open country).

but when it's 'blind' then you have to account for "I don't know where we'll be fighting or who" and that's going to pressure toward a more generalist approach to force composition and even size.  5000 BV of light infantry can be a right nightmare in an urban fight, or dense forest, but it's 5000 bv of easy targets on an open plain.

If you don't know who you're fighting or where, you have to design your forces to cover multiple scenarios, and that tends to end up being a lot more 'balanced' than highly optimized choices like "I'm going into a duel, so I'll take a Dire Wolf Widwomaker with all my slack poured into the pilot so they don't miss." (because that'll do you no good at all if you're facing a horde of crunchies with anti'mech training in a close urban fight.)

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Suboptimal

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...exploit systems...optimize a force...
This effect is known as Campbell's Law, Goodhart's Law, and probably some other names. Any summarizing metric has this problem to varying degrees.

bugman

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If you don't know who you're fighting or where, you have to design your forces to cover multiple scenarios, and that tends to end up being a lot more 'balanced' than highly optimized choices like "I'm going into a duel, so I'll take a Dire Wolf Widwomaker with all my slack poured into the pilot so they don't miss." (because that'll do you no good at all if you're facing a horde of crunchies with anti'mech training in a close urban fight.)

As a recently returned player and never having played a BV design your own force game. I played a 6k BV game not long ago. It was very fun designing the force. Units before 3039 and a 220 ton limit. But the GM noted it would be a city battle and posted a picture of the terrain. So I designed a urban lance. Without that knowledge I would have designed a different force.
« Last Edit: 25 June 2022, 12:05:41 by bugman »

Hellraiser

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PV has some weird quirks as well. I forget the examples off the top of my head, but there are a few units that are statistically identical in AS, yet have different PVs.

That shouldn't be the case w/ the new PV revamp from a few years ago.
I would love to see some of those examples.
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pokefan548

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That shouldn't be the case w/ the new PV revamp from a few years ago.
I would love to see some of those examples.
If I happen across one again while perusing the MUL, I'll bring it up. Never really thought much of it before, just sort of went "huh, neat" and moved on most of the time.
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Geg

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It also starts to discourage having the speedsters . . . speed is armor only works to a point on the probability curve.

This is why I prefer to let the player invest BV into skills vs specifying skills.

Starfury

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Much of the disadvantage the Clans can face is also determined by what forces the IS has access to.  Games will be radically different between an IS/Periphery/merc force with introtech units vs one that has access to more advanced equipment, and akao whether custom designs are allowed.  Environmental and zellbrigen rules, if any, also make a huge difference along with the aforementioned map dependency.  Lastly, it also depends on what force multipliers, if any, either side has, such as artillery, C3/C3i/Nova CEWS, laser guided munitions and son. 

What i have yet to see is any one dona group of battles to test these variations out across the era. I'd love to see the difference between a 3050 vs a 3060, 3075, 3085, 3133, 3150 to 3152 struggle.

Gribbly

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That is a map quality and size consideration.  The Clan player should not be able to keep the range open indefinitely; the Inner Sphere player should not be able to maintain stationary units without ceding the position game.  The grasslands battlemats are generally good at preventing both due to size and density and I strongly recommend them.

This is the probably the most significant factor with IS vs Clan balance in my experience. Not necessarily a problem if the players co-operate and vary the maps from time to time.

Colt Ward

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This is why I prefer to let the player invest BV into skills vs specifying skills.

Same.
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Frantic Pryde

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I dunno, from what I've seen, PV has some weird quirks as well. I forget the examples off the top of my head, but there are a few units that are statistically identical in AS, yet have different PVs. The PV system is also just a lot less granular- which works fine for the very abstracted systems of AS, but leaves something to be desired in Classic.

Now, is BV perfect? No. But, it's good enough to put the result of the game in the hands of the players... and their dice, of course.

Battletech is a hard game to balance perfectly. There will be some oddities here and there no matter what, but I can tell you that in my group’s experience PV does a dramatically better job at balancing than BV does. We’ve been playing with PV since the change to the new version a few years ago and I think its as good a balance as you can hope for.