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Author Topic: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...  (Read 11236 times)

Charistoph

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #90 on: 27 January 2022, 18:25:36 »
Maybe the ECM is thrown in there simply to negate the advanced rules? I've never played with advanced rules so that's the only thing I can come up with. But, then again... The ECCM cancels it all out..

ECM isn't too bad.  It throws off C3, NARC, and ArtIV, out of everything that's in Total Warfare.  It will also throw off Active Probes, but those only work in blind games.

Some of the Advanced Rules for both ECM and Probes are nice, and not too difficult to run.  Things like ECCM, Sensor Ghosting, and removing a little Wood penalty are rather nice.
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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #91 on: 27 January 2022, 19:57:27 »
run across plenty of players who do not want to use any 'advanced' rules ..............
Which is why I said, use another force or play with different players.
The ECM is useless if none of those items are in play so the ECM wastes BV too.
Not to say its equal, its NOT, at all.
If I was designing BT rules from the ground up, I'd remove the dang ECM messing w/ certain items entirely & have it give you a flat bonus to be hit like being in Light Woods & then I'd charge more BV for it but at least it would be a single fixed effect.


Quote
The point with 10MP is that moving 10 hexes straight gets you the +4 TH mod . . .
Which is no different than any other TMM break point as I mentioned above.
The +1 at 10 hexes is no different than the +1 at 7 or 5 or 3
The Issue if anything is that MASC is charging you for use every turn but the rules won't let you do that.

Quote
BUT as pointed out, official maps almost never have 10 hexes straight in a row to gain that mod. 
Okay, NOW your getting to something I can support & buy in on.
THIS is pretty valid. 

Personally I probably would avoid 5/8 MASC designs since the bonus is pretty slim.
If I'm using MASC I tend to favor really sprinty bugs like the Locust or Firemoth.
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Scotty

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #92 on: 27 January 2022, 20:15:29 »
Which is no different than any other TMM break point as I mentioned above.
The +1 at 10 hexes is no different than the +1 at 7 or 5 or 3

Yeah the problem though is that units with exactly 7 run MP are very few and far between (and I complain about those, too), and the 3 and 5 run MP units are either 1) very uncommon or 2) very likely to be able to get five hexes in a straight line at some point.

It gets worse as you go higher, too, because the TMM modifier is not linear, it gets more punishing the higher you go.  Going from +2 TMM at 4/6 to +3 TMM at 5/8 is a smaller jump than going from +3 at 5/8 to +4 at 7/11 or 5/8[10].  In the case of the 5/8[10] you get basically nothing but it costs an arm and a leg.
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StCptMara

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #93 on: 30 January 2022, 04:11:36 »
What doesn't help much is that there isn't actually anything at all that teaches good tactics.  Even in this thread the only examples are beating someone until they learn it the hard way, which don't get me wrong is improvement but it's largely improvement against that person's personal tactics and can be entirely incidental to getting better at the game of BattleTech.

When I teach new players, I teach them the following:
1) Never let an enemy get in your back.
   1a) Your armour is thinner there.
   1b) If you get behind someone, one hex back, and to one side, you dictate which arm they can shoot at you with
         if they are not an arm-flip 'Mech
2) Speed is Life.
    1a) The faster you move, the more you can control the range of combat.
    2a) The more hexes you move, the harder you are to hit.
3) Heat is a resource.
    1a) Plan your heat, so you know when you need to cool down.
    2a) Sometimes, shutting yourself down/crippling yourself with heat is worth it to get a kill shot.
4) Position and facing matter.
    4a) Present less damaged side arcs towards your enemy to distribute damage.
    4b) Use partial Cover to protect your legs, especially as two of the most common results after the torsos hit
          the legs.


I'm not sure how 10 movement is any different than hitting any other break point in TMM modifiers.
MASC as a whole, or TSM or JJ, AFAIK all charge you for constant use which isn't a very realistic modifier.
But charging you for having a higher TMM is a good thing in terms of balance.
It's just how they implemented that, that is the issue.

Exactly. Treating it the same as the cost of hitting a 10 TMM base is a hugely flawed way of handling it, and does not take in to account when you are not using it. Same as paying for full price MASC and Jump Jets when you are never going to use both at the same time. They are over priced in BV2.

Where are you coming up with 40% PS BV for being a Quad?

Why does the Ostscout have to retreat after taking 1 point of damage?

Quads get a -2 to their pilot rolls, so should have to pay a similar cost to improving their pilot skill by 2, in theory.

As for why the "I only have a TAG" OstScout needs to retreat after taking 1 point of damage: Force Withdrawal rules. Once it takes that single point of damage, you check, and it is considered crippled as it has no weapons that total up to inflict 5+ points of damage, so is considered "Crippled" and kicks in the Forced Withdrawal rule for it.

The value of C3 was a bit too low in BV1 but they OVER compensated for BV2, but there is no denying that C3 is a useful tool.   ECM or not.

C3 is a useful tool...but is it worth an assault 'mech in a level 2 or light 'mechs? Also, there is no difference in the BV cost for c3i and standard C3 using a master, even though the first is only negated at the destruction of the last unit, and the second is taken out by killing a single 'mech.

As for allowing ECCM as a player.  You don't get the game played if you don't. 
Or the C3 player chooses a different force.  This is outside the scope of BV discussion really.

ECCM should be in the core (TW) rules. It is one of the simplest of the so-called advanced rules, and *FIRE* is in the core(TW) rules! As it is, ECCM is an Advanced Rule, and therefore something both sides need to agree on.  Note: C3 can still work with ECM on the board, you just have to plan things out a little differently...but having ECCM rules makes it easier.
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OatsAndHall

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #94 on: 31 January 2022, 10:46:56 »
When I teach new players, I teach them the following:
1) Never let an enemy get in your back.
   1a) Your armour is thinner there.
   1b) If you get behind someone, one hex back, and to one side, you dictate which arm they can shoot at you with
         if they are not an arm-flip 'Mech
2) Speed is Life.
    1a) The faster you move, the more you can control the range of combat.
    2a) The more hexes you move, the harder you are to hit.
3) Heat is a resource.
    1a) Plan your heat, so you know when you need to cool down.
    2a) Sometimes, shutting yourself down/crippling yourself with heat is worth it to get a kill shot.
4) Position and facing matter.
    4a) Present less damaged side arcs towards your enemy to distribute damage.
    4b) Use partial Cover to protect your legs, especially as two of the most common results after the torsos hit
          the legs.


Good teaching points; I haven't taught them much about positioning. My beginners group is mainly playing with fairly heat neutral mechs right now; we're gradually introducing managing heat. I've been teaching them to hit +4 on heat and stay there as long as possible. It's all a learning process; a few have tried to ignore it until +12 points and they pay for it early in the game.

Movement is key; absolutely. I've been teaching them to be careful with fielding big slow mechs (i.e. 2/3). If they're that slow, they're need to game-plan around that mech. It needs to be a serious threat at multiple ranges and they need to find a path on the map to get it into the fight ASAP.  This has been a struggle for some of the players as they fight with "taking the damage". We played a game last night where I fielded an Annihilator ANH-1G (three Gauss Rifles and an ER PPC). I got the big SOB into the fight quick, hammered mechs as I closed the distance and let it take a beating; it was the first mech to go down. My son-in-law couldn't understand what I was doing until I flanked him with the rest of the lance.

StCptMara

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #95 on: 01 February 2022, 03:03:50 »
Movement is key; absolutely. I've been teaching them to be careful with fielding big slow mechs (i.e. 2/3). If they're that slow, they're need to game-plan around that mech. It needs to be a serious threat at multiple ranges and they need to find a path on the map to get it into the fight ASAP.  This has been a struggle for some of the players as they fight with "taking the damage". We played a game last night where I fielded an Annihilator ANH-1G (three Gauss Rifles and an ER PPC). I got the big SOB into the fight quick, hammered mechs as I closed the distance and let it take a beating; it was the first mech to go down. My son-in-law couldn't understand what I was doing until I flanked him with the rest of the lance.

Ah, yes, the whole "Here is a thing of terror! Be afraid! Focus on it!" *whisper to self* 'This is meant to die first...how do they not see the trap that is unfolding around them!' ploy! I have seen opponents focus on my 'Mechs, ignoring the point of Protomechs moving around to behind them..and then, when I drop Zellbrigen...BAM! into that nice, thin back armor! Important lesson is to never dismiss anything, and if something it big and scary, look for the stuff that is smaller, but just as dangerous..
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OatsAndHall

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #96 on: 01 February 2022, 10:31:13 »
Ah, yes, the whole "Here is a thing of terror! Be afraid! Focus on it!" *whisper to self* 'This is meant to die first...how do they not see the trap that is unfolding around them!' ploy! I have seen opponents focus on my 'Mechs, ignoring the point of Protomechs moving around to behind them..and then, when I drop Zellbrigen...BAM! into that nice, thin back armor! Important lesson is to never dismiss anything, and if something it big and scary, look for the stuff that is smaller, but just as dangerous..

We have a guy in our regular group who almost always fields an Adder with double ER PPCs. He sets it with a low gunnery skill and picks people apart with it. He's so good with it that many (myself included) have started to focus on that mech too much and lose sight of the big boys he's fielding.

Colt Ward

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #97 on: 01 February 2022, 11:01:03 »
Adder Prime?  Firing a single ERPPC a turn?

Get a plasma cannon or rifle into range and mess up his plans.
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OatsAndHall

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #98 on: 01 February 2022, 11:44:46 »
Adder Prime?  Firing a single ERPPC a turn?

Get a plasma cannon or rifle into range and mess up his plans.

That's the problem; he manages to stay just at the edge of range with it. And he moves, A LOT. Best case scenario; I tie the damn thing up with a quick mech so he can't get the flanks. Worst case, he kills that mech and get behind the big boys and pepper them with ER PPC shots. When you play him, you know you're going to have to dedicate at least one mech to hunting that little SOB down. The last game we played, he smacked my Peregrine around, tied up my main body with his and then got a gyro hit on my Dire Wolf.
« Last Edit: 01 February 2022, 11:51:42 by OatsAndHall »

Colt Ward

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #99 on: 01 February 2022, 11:56:09 »
Is he firing a single shot or getting off doubles?

Suggest the Viper G- 8/12/8, Plasma Cannon, Heavy Med Laser, & 4 AP Gauss Rifles at 1574 BV base.  Faster, more mobile, and besides screwing up his heat curve, when you do catch him you can punch through that light mech armor.
« Last Edit: 01 February 2022, 11:59:01 by Colt Ward »
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OatsAndHall

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #100 on: 01 February 2022, 11:58:24 »
At range, he fires off singles so he doesn't build up heat. Once he sees an opening, he closes the distance and fires off doubles until he shuts down. There are games we he snipes with it until the bitter end if he doesn't get an opening and you don't kill it. 
« Last Edit: 01 February 2022, 12:02:15 by OatsAndHall »

Scotty

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #101 on: 01 February 2022, 14:04:45 »
A 6/9 Light mech, especially one that expensive (around 2900 by my guess), is something you should definitely be bringing counters for if it's a regular appearance.  Basically anything with Reflective, pulse lasers, and a high ground speed will do, because they prevent the Adder's own mobility from meaning much, they are significantly more efficient at the ranges you want to be at, and they will suffer little damage on the way in.

My personal suggestions for such a counter are either a Gunsmith (or two), a Locust IIC 10, or a Royal Locust (or four).
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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #102 on: 01 February 2022, 14:09:28 »
hmm, Uziel 8S . . . Phoenix Hawk 7K . . .
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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #103 on: 01 February 2022, 16:41:05 »
A 6/9 Light mech, especially one that expensive (around 2900 by my guess), is something you should definitely be bringing counters for if it's a regular appearance.  Basically anything with Reflective, pulse lasers, and a high ground speed will do, because they prevent the Adder's own mobility from meaning much, they are significantly more efficient at the ranges you want to be at, and they will suffer little damage on the way in.

My personal suggestions for such a counter are either a Gunsmith (or two), a Locust IIC 10, or a Royal Locust (or four).

I think the Gunsmith solution is an elegant one.  It is lower BV and a hard counter to an Adder Prime.  He'll be doing half damage to your mech and keep him completely tied up.

Fear Factory

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #104 on: 06 February 2022, 18:35:42 »
Yesterday, Adam and I got another game in, testing out a tournament-style system using 6k BV where we can use whatever we want within BV and unit count restrictions (4v4 in this case). We tried to spend as little time as we can in the movement phase, it's not MegaMek and we're not going to min/max our movement.

My Force: Stormcrow C (3/4), Nova C (3/4), Kit Fox D (3/4)
His Force: Awesome 8Q (2/4), Wolverine 6K (3/4), Jenner K (3/5), Jenner A (4/4)

They were both made first then he picked the map. Caustic Valley without special rules because it looked pretty. I lost EVERYTHING. He lost nothing... things were learned.

1 - I was told that Clan players are way too conservative on the forums, so I went for a short range blitzkreig approach. Outside of my comfort zone.

2 - The 'Mechs that I took were not good for the map.

3 - I was tied between sticking with 3/4 pilots or staying 4/5 and taking another Kit Fox. I feel like taking the extra 'Mech, and switching to a Nova B, would have been a much better choice. This even made it feel like I was Clan, because I was "bidding units" to make the most of my BV.

The game itself, believe it or not, was not that one sided and pretty fun. I used 'Mechs that I liked with variants that never show up. Never had a way to use them efficiently. When you play games with players who just use whatever they want without restrictions... Nova C isn't good. Adam's dice were hot. Mine were too, but my shots just did not line up when they needed to. That Gauss never hit. I was able to drill into single locations but all of my cluster shots would move around the holes. There were several turns where he should have lost his Awesome and Wolverine, and that saved him. The Awesome only had a few points left in its center torso and the Wolverine should have had its ammo go boom. Such is BattleTech.

Tournament rules totally need to happen. 6k 4v4 is really good for quick stock games that work well. I could then walk into a game store with the same force and throw down without any real setup. We got this game done in two hours and there was no slog at all, even with all the cluster shots flying around. We've been playing BattleTech for a long time and we still reference tables and rules. I'm a fan of Alpha Strike, don't get me wrong, but BattleTech doesn't take long to play and it's not complicated. I think it's overexaggerated, mostly because of the min/maxing that goes on because there is no standard for gameplay.

So for the next game? Who knows. I'm kind of feeling some Steel Viper... I do have a Trinary of Battle Cobras I need to break in...

For 6k BV, I have a few options.

Idea 1: 4 x Battle Cobra Prime, 4/5
Idea 2: Nova B, 2 x Battle Cobra Prime, Viper Prime, 4/5
Idea 3: 2 x Battle Cobra A, 1 x Crossbow A, 3 x Elemental Points (MicroPL), 4/5
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OatsAndHall

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #105 on: 07 February 2022, 10:43:03 »
Yesterday, Adam and I got another game in, testing out a tournament-style system using 6k BV where we can use whatever we want within BV and unit count restrictions (4v4 in this case). We tried to spend as little time as we can in the movement phase, it's not MegaMek and we're not going to min/max our movement.

My Force: Stormcrow C (3/4), Nova C (3/4), Kit Fox D (3/4)
His Force: Awesome 8Q (2/4), Wolverine 6K (3/4), Jenner K (3/5), Jenner A (4/4)

They were both made first then he picked the map. Caustic Valley without special rules because it looked pretty. I lost EVERYTHING. He lost nothing... things were learned.

1 - I was told that Clan players are way too conservative on the forums, so I went for a short range blitzkreig approach. Outside of my comfort zone.

2 - The 'Mechs that I took were not good for the map.

3 - I was tied between sticking with 3/4 pilots or staying 4/5 and taking another Kit Fox. I feel like taking the extra 'Mech, and switching to a Nova B, would have been a much better choice. This even made it feel like I was Clan, because I was "bidding units" to make the most of my BV.

The game itself, believe it or not, was not that one sided and pretty fun. I used 'Mechs that I liked with variants that never show up. Never had a way to use them efficiently. When you play games with players who just use whatever they want without restrictions... Nova C isn't good. Adam's dice were hot. Mine were too, but my shots just did not line up when they needed to. That Gauss never hit. I was able to drill into single locations but all of my cluster shots would move around the holes. There were several turns where he should have lost his Awesome and Wolverine, and that saved him. The Awesome only had a few points left in its center torso and the Wolverine should have had its ammo go boom. Such is BattleTech.

Tournament rules totally need to happen. 6k 4v4 is really good for quick stock games that work well. I could then walk into a game store with the same force and throw down without any real setup. We got this game done in two hours and there was no slog at all, even with all the cluster shots flying around. We've been playing BattleTech for a long time and we still reference tables and rules. I'm a fan of Alpha Strike, don't get me wrong, but BattleTech doesn't take long to play and it's not complicated. I think it's overexaggerated, mostly because of the min/maxing that goes on because there is no standard for gameplay.

So for the next game? Who knows. I'm kind of feeling some Steel Viper... I do have a Trinary of Battle Cobras I need to break in...

For 6k BV, I have a few options.

Idea 1: 4 x Battle Cobra Prime, 4/5
Idea 2: Nova B, 2 x Battle Cobra Prime, Viper Prime, 4/5
Idea 3: 2 x Battle Cobra A, 1 x Crossbow A, 3 x Elemental Points (MicroPL), 4/5

I've really enjoyed playing Nova and it's variants over the last few weeks. Great mobility and they pack a punch. Some folks don't like the Prime variant but he's been fun to field. I bounce around at long-medium range and fire 7 of his 12 lasers until he starts to draw a lot of fire. Then close the distance and start punching with all 12 until he shuts down or dies. I picked apart an opponent's Dire Wolf with him last night; dice rolls went my way but they also underestimated the Nova.
« Last Edit: 07 February 2022, 10:49:33 by OatsAndHall »

Fear Factory

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #106 on: 20 February 2022, 15:28:51 »
Back at it again!

My Force: Viper/Black Python (3/5), Crossbow A (2/5)
His Force: Manticore, 2x Saladin, Schrek (AC), Ontos, Condor (Davion), all 2/5 except the Ontos and Condor at 3/5

This time I picked out the map... I wanted to give the new Desert pack a shot. 2 maps.

Man, A LOT was learned:

1 - Adam had some really, REALLY, bad dice luck for this game. Despite making some really good moves he just could NOT hit my 'Mechs. I wasn't even using my full MP, consistently generating +1 or +2 modifiers.

2 - This time it seemed like the units were actually well-suited for the map.

3 - Clan Pulse Lasers... I don't care what the opinion is, they are so damn broken. I haven't played Clan like this in a very long time, the Viper is great but I never choose to use it, but I felt pretty damn dirty.

4 - My opinion on vehicles is actually changing a bit. I used to think they can be very OP in Total Warfare. Adam took a lot of motive hits and critical hits, which could have been because of my slightly above average dice luck this game (last game my cluster hits would not connect the right way, this game they did wonders).

Despite the result of the game which was a clean-sweep for me, and poor dice luck for Adam, it did seem fairly balanced. Adam almost got an early golden BB moment on my Crossbow. The mobility I had did work out the way I had planned it and it felt great to use a Steel Viper OmniMech again. The pulse lasers performed a lot better than expected... like, I knew they were good, but holy crap I still feel dirty. I totally had to watch my back, though. Adam's mobility kept me cornered and I had no room to make mistakes. Winning initiative for almost the entire game helped me with that.

It was just a bad day for Adam. He made some good damn moves but his dice betrayed him, almost to a JadeHellbringer level of bad luck.

I've really enjoyed playing Nova and it's variants over the last few weeks. Great mobility and they pack a punch. Some folks don't like the Prime variant but he's been fun to field. I bounce around at long-medium range and fire 7 of his 12 lasers until he starts to draw a lot of fire. Then close the distance and start punching with all 12 until he shuts down or dies. I picked apart an opponent's Dire Wolf with him last night; dice rolls went my way but they also underestimated the Nova.

The Nova is a great 'Mech, despite that terrible Sarna.net article. You know, because having 12 IS Large Lasers is a boon because it can't fire all of them at once... ugh.

I prefer the Nova B and C, honestly. I know C gets a ton of hate but it has a low BV and carries a Gauss Rifle. You can get some use out of it. B is just a nice hoppy sniper that can work in any situation.
« Last Edit: 20 February 2022, 16:58:25 by Fear Factory »
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CarcosanDawn

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #107 on: 20 February 2022, 23:25:57 »
Well, as a new player (who dove in head first. I've had my miniatures since Thursday and have played 3 games [though only one at 5k BV, the rest were 100 ton learning games] at my FLGS) I will offer my $0.02 for what it's worth.

- A "standard army construction" method (guideline is probably a better word) would be awesome for this game, even if it's only really lore-based. For example, I've kept myself to a lance of 4 mechs for starters (these are my hardcore merc lads). I'm playing Inner Sphere, and this 4-man lance has given me the structure I needed to make heads or tails of the game. I would have no idea what to do at 5k with Clans or ComStar/WOB though.

- The eras are extremely confusing. I prefer post-clan-invasion/jihad timeframe (appx 3075 if I am braining correctly) because part of what drew me to battletech was getting away from the "world war 2 in space" feeling that other games often have (and not just 40k, but lots). 3025's rules feel very "basic" - the "guided missiles" (LRMs) don't feel guided, for example. But in 3075 you start seeing things like the Arrow IV or Semi-Guided LRMs (which pretty much require TAG) showing up in lists, both forcing cooperation between specific mechs, but also increased tactical employment - at least from my noobish perspective. Picking that hex for the Arrow IV can really cause a sweat, because if you miss that TAG or the enemy is more than 8 hexes away... anyways...

- Vehicles seem very OP, at least hover vehicles with good weapons. I was able to spectate a game where there was some kind of hover tank with a Large Laser and SRM-6 that could move 14 a turn and pretty much delete a mech (saw it happen once, with the potential to happen twice). That said, I suppose constraining the maneuverability of these hover tanks would be the plan; I am not wholly sure how to beat them but I'm willing to put in the effort to figure it out. I don't actually think they're that bad, but it was pretty astounding watching light-mech speed with medium-mech (or even heavy mech) flash-bulbishness.

- Recommendations for how to build a lance sensibly. I've watched youtube videos, but they boil down to "you'll figure it out" or "it's an art, not a science" essentially. That may be true, but some insights into (in my case, running lots of missiles): what to bodyguard the missile carriers with, or when NOT to bodyguard them (they're assault mechs with a large laser and two medium lasers, and they're near each other). Is it better to skimp on the Mechs to round-out combined arms, and if so, what? Or should BV be blown on mechs/mechwarriors leaving just the extra bits for the filler around the edges?

- why is there no way to filter by equipment on any of the myriad databases I'm yet aware of? I know the MUL "filter by Alpha Strike ability" trick, but that doesn't work for everything.

There are some examples of the things I've been struggling with as a new player... if we're trying to talk about how to make the game more inviting.

Charistoph

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #108 on: 21 February 2022, 00:10:24 »
- why is there no way to filter by equipment on any of the myriad databases I'm yet aware of? I know the MUL "filter by Alpha Strike ability" trick, but that doesn't work for everything.

MegaMekLab's Advanced option in their Load by Cache option can do a search by equipment.  It will only pull up what units you have unzipped in to your mechfiles folder, so keep that in consideration.
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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #109 on: 21 February 2022, 01:15:46 »
Well, as a new player (who dove in head first. I've had my miniatures since Thursday and have played 3 games [though only one at 5k BV, the rest were 100 ton learning games] at my FLGS) I will offer my $0.02 for what it's worth.

- A "standard army construction" method (guideline is probably a better word) would be awesome for this game, even if it's only really lore-based. For example, I've kept myself to a lance of 4 mechs for starters (these are my hardcore merc lads). I'm playing Inner Sphere, and this 4-man lance has given me the structure I needed to make heads or tails of the game. I would have no idea what to do at 5k with Clans or ComStar/WOB though.

First, welcome to the madness that is BattleTech! You have taken your first steps into a wider world! Now..

BattleTech is not like other games. You don't build your force to any real standard, because there are so many different units out there with such wildly different capabilities. There are certain biases from different factions: Kurita favour heavies and lights, with relatively few Medium and Assault 'Mechs. Davion favor AC/10s and 20's and Jump Jets, Steiner tends to cleave towards heavier 'mechs. Marik favor actually building forces with mechs with multiple roles and over-lapping abilities with each 'mech meant to support the rest of the lance/company. Liao like stealthy units and LRMs.

However, the huge issue is that some units, based on your play-style, work better for you than others. The Rifleman is my "home mech," and I can pull out performance from that heat curve that others can't. I love the Nova Prime because of that heat curve. Yet, there are others who only use 'mechs that are more forgiving on the heat scale. I like mobile combat, waging a war of maneuvre, and "death by a thousand cuts" but others like 'mechs that just hammer things brutally as they move inexorably down the field. You can't really give someone a "here is how you build the perfect lance" when your perfect lance is a long range fire support lance, and mine is highly maneuverable brawlers, and a third person's is all about confusing their opponent.


- The eras are extremely confusing. I prefer post-clan-invasion/jihad timeframe (appx 3075 if I am braining correctly) because part of what drew me to battletech was getting away from the "world war 2 in space" feeling that other games often have (and not just 40k, but lots). 3025's rules feel very "basic" - the "guided missiles" (LRMs) don't feel guided, for example. But in 3075 you start seeing things like the Arrow IV or Semi-Guided LRMs (which pretty much require TAG) showing up in lists, both forcing cooperation between specific mechs, but also increased tactical employment - at least from my noobish perspective. Picking that hex for the Arrow IV can really cause a sweat, because if you miss that TAG or the enemy is more than 8 hexes away... anyways...

Eras exist because BattleTech has been around for a long time, and has an often fairly inflexible playerbase. People like me, who are happy to play in Star League, Succession Wars, Clan Invasion, Jihad, Dark Age, ilClan era, or any other era, are rare. So, the purpose of the Eras is to tell the either stuck in their ways older players or the people who are new and only want to play in the current era that a sourcebook is for them or not for them. There is also a simple fact that some eras are easier for new players than others. Late Succession Wars with IntroTech is simpler, and easier to learn the game with than playing in the Jihad fighting using mixed tech designs against Blakist Shadow Divisions...or during the Dark age when you are fighting with Forestry 'mechs along side actual BattleMechs against Super Heavy Tripods armed with RISC gear..

- Vehicles seem very OP, at least hover vehicles with good weapons. I was able to spectate a game where there was some kind of hover tank with a Large Laser and SRM-6 that could move 14 a turn and pretty much delete a mech (saw it happen once, with the potential to happen twice). That said, I suppose constraining the maneuverability of these hover tanks would be the plan; I am not wholly sure how to beat them but I'm willing to put in the effort to figure it out. I don't actually think they're that bad, but it was pretty astounding watching light-mech speed with medium-mech (or even heavy mech) flash-bulbishness.

Vehicles have their advantages and their disadvantages. They cannot use all terrain. Those fast moving hovers , for example, cannot enter woods hexes. Vehicles can also only change one level in a single hex. But, the biggest weakness is that they have lots of locations that cause motive system effects. Hovercraft even have a penalty applied to those rolls, so they suffer more severe effects from lower rolls. Harrassers and drillsons are great hover tanks...but they do not want to get shot at with Infernos or any cluster weapons, just because the Infernos do auto-crits, and the clusters have a greater chance of hitting those motive hit locations.

- Recommendations for how to build a lance sensibly. I've watched youtube videos, but they boil down to "you'll figure it out" or "it's an art, not a science" essentially. That may be true, but some insights into (in my case, running lots of missiles): what to bodyguard the missile carriers with, or when NOT to bodyguard them (they're assault mechs with a large laser and two medium lasers, and they're near each other). Is it better to skimp on the Mechs to round-out combined arms, and if so, what? Or should BV be blown on mechs/mechwarriors leaving just the extra bits for the filler around the edges?

Again, this is because BattleTech has lots of units, and every playstyle is different. My preference for defending missile carriers, for example, is something with a BIG GUN. Like: Longbow, Zeus, Stalker, Fafnir would be a logical assault Fire Lance for me. Someone else, though, might go with a Long Bow, Stalker, a Centurion and an Orion. Both choices are equally valid, and I am sure someone out there has even more interesting choices. I think what would help is more of the old-school scenario books, to help players see various effective forces, but everyone builds very differently.
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Charistoph

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #110 on: 21 February 2022, 01:49:14 »
Again, this is because BattleTech has lots of units, and every playstyle is different. My preference for defending missile carriers, for example, is something with a BIG GUN. Like: Longbow, Zeus, Stalker, Fafnir would be a logical assault Fire Lance for me. Someone else, though, might go with a Long Bow, Stalker, a Centurion and an Orion. Both choices are equally valid, and I am sure someone out there has even more interesting choices. I think what would help is more of the old-school scenario books, to help players see various effective forces, but everyone builds very differently.

All this one said is very true.  I quoted this part as I'm also a little weird in that I generally like to use lists on models I have, and even when allowed to customize, my customization follows the design scheme of that model's concepts, but weapon-wise, I tend to be eclectic and go from Introtech to 3145 without breaking a sweat.

I'll use missile boats, beam boats, gun boats, or mechs with a mix like my favorites in the Thunderbolt, Thanatos (in my Avatar), or Centurion, though someone has noted I do like ATMs (or better yet their improved cousins) for my missile racks if I can bring them. 

This last Friday, we could bring 200 tons from the 2nd Edition book, so I brought a Marauder, Thunderbolt, and Merlin.  The week before I brought an Osteon Prime.  The week before that I brought all custom designs based on 3 models, 4 slow Light LPPC carriers that was effectively an Urbanmech the weight of a Locust, 3 Large Vibroblade delivery system based on the Valiant with a Supercharger, and a Banshee that was equipped with Claws, Talons, Supercharger and MASC. 

I love to experiment with ideas (like the combo above) and units, and while I do have certain units I like to anchor my armies with, such as a Thunderbolt for Introtech days (especially since I have 3 models of it now), and then have the rest work around that.

That's for our weekly game nights.  In a campaign I'm in, all the units I control focus on Jumping and Large Lasers with Medium Lasers to back them up (at least, once my original Thunderbolt was blown up after a lucky Rear Crit by a commando).  Currently I have a FS9-A Firestarter, Mercury II (hard-earned acquisition, cost me a Centurion AL), Wolverine 6M, and a Lancelot.  All have been modded in one way or another, such as ripping out the missiles of the Wolverine and adding Heat Sinks and a Flamer so it won't blow up, or giving the Lancelot wings by ripping off its PPC.  But when we field trios (18 mechs, 13 pilots), mine is the most manueverable trio followed closely by our Force Commander.

As another example, there was someone in the group who liked bringing masses of Lights because he liked to maneuver and control the activation.  I often jokingly called him our Ice Hellion (even though he preferred Inner Sphere).

And those old scenario books can largely still be used today as well, as the game hasn't changed that much to invalidate them.  Who knows, being forced to use a Mech you're not sure of, might help you see the bright side of it.  Or the pilot may die burning due to a lucky cERPPC to the Head before you can really try anything.
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GuyIncognito

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #111 on: 21 February 2022, 03:49:11 »
And those old scenario books can largely still be used today as well, as the game hasn't changed that much to invalidate them.  Who knows, being forced to use a Mech you're not sure of, might help you see the bright side of it.
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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #112 on: 21 February 2022, 05:34:09 »
With regard to vehicles, AOE weapons (like the artillery you already mentioned) are the hard counter.  5-point groups that ignore TMMs will very likely generate the motive system hits StCaptMara mentioned.

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #113 on: 21 February 2022, 06:00:32 »
With regard to vehicles, AOE weapons (like the artillery you already mentioned) are the hard counter.  5-point groups that ignore TMMs will very likely generate the motive system hits StCaptMara mentioned.

The Nova Prime is great for anti-vehicle, especially if the pilot has the Hot Dog SPA. Mostly because throwing 11 shots down range is likely to get a couple hits on the hover vehicle. I am also crazy, and perfectly willing to throw fire down range that pushes the heat curve(11 of the 12 ER Mediums with a run puts you at 22 heat)

I also like LB-X Autocannons cluster munitions, simply because a -1 bonus to hit and multiple 1 point pellets hitting means more chances to get those motive hits.

Pulse Lasers or pulse+Targ comp if you just want to punch into that fast mover, and not worry about slowing it down to sane TMM levels.
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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #114 on: 21 February 2022, 11:18:45 »
To be fair, I did not use the terrain to my advantage like I should have. My tactical error cost me by using the wrong portions of the map. Also losing a bunch of initiatives didn't help either. My dice were cold as ice.

For example, in one of the last rounds my Manticore fired its PPC and LRM-10 and my Ontos all its weapons. It was an 8+ to hit with only the PPC succeeding.

I had 11 failed rolls in a row.

So in this case, I don't think BV failed. I think it was more bad luck and poor tactical judgement.

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #115 on: 21 February 2022, 19:05:21 »
Well, as a new player (who dove in head first. I've had my miniatures since Thursday and have played 3 games [though only one at 5k BV, the rest were 100 ton learning games] at my FLGS) I will offer my $0.02 for what it's worth.

Welcome to the game!  :thumbsup:

- A "standard army construction" method (guideline is probably a better word) would be awesome for this game, even if it's only really lore-based. For example, I've kept myself to a lance of 4 mechs for starters (these are my hardcore merc lads). I'm playing Inner Sphere, and this 4-man lance has given me the structure I needed to make heads or tails of the game. I would have no idea what to do at 5k with Clans or ComStar/WOB though.

This is EXACTLY the problem with the game. No standard = more confusion, AND a ton of old and new players just making what they want with no limitations.

Check the last two games I played at 6k. Used two different Clan formations that worked out nicely. It's possible to make a Clan force with 6k... you just can't spam powerful designs or 3/4 pilots. I really think another problem is that you have a lot of current players that will cry when they can't use a star of Timber Wolf A's to steamroll Inner Sphere 'Mechs anymore.

At 5k you would have to stick with medium and light designs, or the less optimized variants that exist. The Clans have an advantage that even the "worst" variants can be useful, because Clan tech is just overpowered.

- The eras are extremely confusing. *snip*

Another reason why the game needs a standard.

- Vehicles seem very OP, at least hover vehicles with good weapons. I was able to spectate a game where there was some kind of hover tank with a Large Laser and SRM-6 that could move 14 a turn and pretty much delete a mech (saw it happen once, with the potential to happen twice). That said, I suppose constraining the maneuverability of these hover tanks would be the plan; I am not wholly sure how to beat them but I'm willing to put in the effort to figure it out. I don't actually think they're that bad, but it was pretty astounding watching light-mech speed with medium-mech (or even heavy mech) flash-bulbishness.

Pulse lasers and cluster weapons take care of fast vehicles. Put a low gunner in an SRM boat and watch them murder the vehicles mobility.

- Recommendations for how to build a lance sensibly. I've watched youtube videos, but they boil down to "you'll figure it out" or "it's an art, not a science" essentially. That may be true, but some insights into (in my case, running lots of missiles): what to bodyguard the missile carriers with, or when NOT to bodyguard them (they're assault mechs with a large laser and two medium lasers, and they're near each other). Is it better to skimp on the Mechs to round-out combined arms, and if so, what? Or should BV be blown on mechs/mechwarriors leaving just the extra bits for the filler around the edges?

I would disregard all of the previous comments about using pilot and lance quirks. That stuff totally unbalances the game and are better reserved for RPG play. It's too overwhelming and leaves a lot open for munchkinism.

Really, it comes down to what BV are you playing at. Again, a problem right now, because every damn person who posts some formation asks this question without ANY context. If you're in 6k BV, you could have a few LRM carriers with a Hunchback by them to provide cover. Or maybe some Hetzers. Big guns = bubble of doom.

- why is there no way to filter by equipment on any of the myriad databases I'm yet aware of? I know the MUL "filter by Alpha Strike ability" trick, but that doesn't work for everything.

Isn't that a shame? The MUL isn't great in that respect because even if you look by era you're bombarded with a wall of text and no idea on what to do with it.
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Daryk

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #116 on: 21 February 2022, 19:29:48 »
*snip*
...AND a ton of old and new players just making what they want with no limitations.
*snip*
That's a feature, not a bug...

Fear Factory

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #117 on: 21 February 2022, 19:32:50 »
That's a feature, not a bug...

How so?
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Daryk

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #118 on: 21 February 2022, 20:28:15 »
I, for one, prefer not being straight jacketed by army lists.

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Re: A soap box on force formation for beginners. Or...
« Reply #119 on: 21 February 2022, 20:32:59 »
I, for one, prefer not being straight jacketed by army lists.
For a simple, pick-up PvP game having a total BV limit doesn't really seem like a straight jacket. Nothing prevents you from taking any 'mechs you want as long as it fits within the total. I mean, a few pages up you were advocating for having an independent GM to balance the game. Is having BV worse than a GM changing pilot skills or changing units on you because he perceives it not to be balanced?

 

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