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Author Topic: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?  (Read 841 times)

mvp7

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Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« on: 10 April 2021, 13:42:05 »
I was wondering what kind of rules/practices people have come up with that have QoL benefits but don't change the way the game plays out in any way (so excluding stuff like mixing alpha strike and boargame rules or changing order of various resolutions for example).

For example I use the movement dice to mark which way a mech is torso twisting.

Colt Ward

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #1 on: 13 April 2021, 09:55:31 »
Some folks cannot stand the noise, but the multi-roll box of dice . . . my group uses a 6 dice pair in a small box.  Six works well since that handles all SRMs, most every weapon a BA unit will mount/fire (like a Elemental Point's worth of Small Laser), all 4 or less clusters on LRMs . . . and the average for the 10 chart.  Keeps the noise down from the big 20 dice pair Box O' Doom.

When you get a crit with upper/lower . . . pull 1 die from 1 set and the 2nd die from a very different set.  IE, I use the old Wolf Clan die (orange) and a Wolf Dragoon die (black) when playing Wolves or now a KS Marik die (clear purplish) and '16 GenCon (multi-color, green/blue/purple) die for when I play IS.  This makes rolling up torso crits pretty fast . . . just left calling off 'Upper . . . 2, dang engine' and pick up the dice to roll the next crit.

If the battlefield has turned into a sprawling brawl we will resolve 'areas' . . . so you have a cluster over here?  It does not have LOS to this group over here on this other street where buildings are blocking?  Since we tend to have 5k per player and most players keep their own forces together even when we split into 2 teams, it allows sets of players to resolve combat faster.

We also have a collection of laser pointers for the table so anyone can check LOS easily as they are moving or planning their fire while waiting to get to the fire phase.  We will also resolve LOS questions during the movement phase, getting a 3rd party judgement instead of hashing it out in the fire phase.  This is a bit easier for us since even though we have 3D terrain (hills, trees, buildings, water features, etc) we still use a hex mat underneath . . . 3D terrain is great for feeling and immersion, but playing with hexes under it makes movement and LOS resolution easier for everyone- new or old player.  And since we are in a FLGS running the game for fun but also to get more people playing, the hexes make it easier to get new folks to try it and keeps the playing field a bit more level between walk up folks & experienced folks.

The Agent who made the buildings (some constructed, some 3D printed) put level markers on the buildings so you can look at them and know w/o having to ask the height of the building (L2, L3, L4, etc).  He also does this with battle armor squad/points, they have a little identifier on the base that is a white square with 'A3' or 'C1' that corresponds with the sheet.

We also use page protectors and dry erase markers . . . and I try to bring baby wipes since I still have a stash I am working through.  Much better than using pencil and sheets are able to be used multiple times.  The one thing I saw with them that I want to use that I have not is a paperclip w/ some sort of pointer on it that you can move up and down the heat scale.

We have tokens we put down next to units if they have something going on- 'Stealth' 'ECM' 'ECCM' 'Shut Down' 'Immobile' 'NARC' 'TAG' and to place in hexes, minefield densities 5/10/15/20/etc.  The ECM and ECCM ones are nice, but to make it easier to see I want to try getting some neon acrylic pick up sticks and cut one down to 6.5 of our hexes so that they can rest between the legs of a mech on the base to give players a quick visual that it has ECM and is in the bubble . . . sometimes folks tend to forget the ECM is there or if they are using NARC/Artemis/C3/etc that their LOS goes through the ECM bubble.  But I forget to look for pick up sticks when I am in stores that would have them, lol.
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mvp7

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #2 on: 13 April 2021, 10:36:29 »
Counters are definitely something I should make. I really like the laser line pointers for LOS checking idea, I should probably get one too before I break my neck trying to determine what hexes are in the LOS...

Sartris

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #3 on: 13 April 2021, 10:38:28 »
for the roll box i use 5mm dice and a transparent pill holder. three pairs per compartment, 7 compartments. 21d6 and all the added fun of a maraca

in addition to movement dice (white=walk, red=run, jade=jump, stone pattern=stand still)  i have mtg spindown d20s i use for heat tracking. if a mech requires a psr, it gets a purple die with the mod on the face. vtols get a d10 for elevation  i usually only have a max of 6-8 units on a side so the board rarely gets cluttered. i use the 12mm Warhammer-sized dice to save space - also a block of 36 is mad cheap, especially for monocolored

printing RS from SSW or MML with the tables on the RS is super helpful.

i took a pair of dice from each of the Q Workshop sets and roll up to 5d6 at once. i've got these d6 inside of a d6 dice i bought many years ago but the outer transpartent die is too small so the inner 12mm die doesn't rattle around enough to be usable, unfortunately.

one of those lasers that draws a line on the table for LOS

i have one of those small portfolios with sheet pockets that have all the most common tables from the back of TW and BMM.


Colt Ward

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #4 on: 13 April 2021, 10:40:41 »
one of those lasers that draws a line on the table for LOS

Yeah, that type of pointer which is different than the one you trick a cat with the dot.
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mvp7

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #5 on: 13 April 2021, 11:00:41 »
Yeah, that type of pointer which is different than the one you trick a cat with the dot.
You mean the kind that tricks the cat into DFA'ing onto the game table mid-match instead ;)?

Colt Ward

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #6 on: 13 April 2021, 12:14:42 »
Lol, well if you are playing around cats that might happen.

But Sartis was clarifying that they type laser pointer actually puts out a line on the board/map so you can see what terrain the LOS crosses.
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mvp7

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #7 on: 13 April 2021, 12:17:31 »
Lol, well if you are playing around cats that might happen.

But Sartis was clarifying that they type laser pointer actually puts out a line on the board/map so you can see what terrain the LOS crosses.
Yeah, I did realize that from your original post :). Do you remember the specific make and model of the pointers you use?

Sartris

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #8 on: 13 April 2021, 12:22:14 »
i use a laser designed for a table saw i got at harbor freight. central machinery laser marker. i filed off the nub for the bolt to attach it to the saw so it looks just like a normal cat-grade laser pointer

Colt Ward

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #9 on: 13 April 2021, 12:48:39 »
Yeah, I did realize that from your original post :). Do you remember the specific make and model of the pointers you use?

No our FLGS sells them . . . and usually there are 4 or so around each map- basically 1 on each side, just like the 6 set dice box.
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Daryk

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #10 on: 18 April 2021, 14:01:20 »
Those things are SO handy!  :thumbsup:

Greatclub

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #11 on: 18 April 2021, 20:04:41 »
army painter makes one.

I sometimes use poly dice for rolling crits. D4 for 2-4 items, D6 for 5-6 items, ect. Cuts down on "roll again", and it's the same odds.

Calimehter

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #12 on: 19 April 2021, 07:21:45 »
If you find yourself with a mob of identical "mook" style units, such as a lance of Scorpion or Vedette tanks, you can save some sheet flipping by just having one sheet for all of them to have the stats in front of you . . . then just track the armor damage, crit effects, and ammo usage in separate columns on the same sheet, with a column for each tank.  I start off each column blank for convenience, and only mark off any effects as they actually happen.

Kinda niche, but it does come up from time to time, especially if you GM for your group (as I often do) and need quick generic opposition.

mvp7

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #13 on: 19 April 2021, 07:49:12 »
Thanks for the tips.

Luckily it looks like a local game store has those Army Painter Target lock laser lines in stock. I was worried I'd have to get some heavy duty construction laser from hardware store...

Charistoph

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #14 on: 19 April 2021, 12:26:08 »
I got a game in last Friday, and we did a few things to help out.

We didn't have a laser guide available, but there was a plastic ruler from a Warcry kit on a nearby table we used for that.  I have a couple of GW's measuring "whips" from 40K's 5th and 6th Ed Starter sets I could use for that as well, but they were out of reach at the time.

Partway through the night, I noticed we were having issues remembering where a mech started from when planning out their movement.  In my box of Battletech, I had dropped off extra dice and tokens from a collection of Warmachine starter boxes.  I grabbed one of the spell tokens and we used that as a "starting point" marker.  They are big enough to be noticeable and small enough to fit underneath the AGoAC plastic models when he wanted to go back.

I also used some of the Focus tokens to help keep track of my model's shooting modifiers from movement as well as the targeting modifiers on the side dice.

Not really "house rules", but useful for keeping track of things on the table.

One thing brought up was using the Floating Crit rules for the introductory game, which was something I wasn't used to using.
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Sartris

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #15 on: 19 April 2021, 13:00:05 »
Partway through the night, I noticed we were having issues remembering where a mech started from when planning out their movement.  In my box of Battletech, I had dropped off extra dice and tokens from a collection of Warmachine starter boxes.

if you use movement dice, just keeping it in the starting hex serves the same purpose

mvp7

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #16 on: 19 April 2021, 13:29:04 »
While I was out buying the laser line pointer I also picked up D4 and D12 dice for rolling criticals and got some smaller size movement dices.

Charistoph

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #17 on: 19 April 2021, 14:11:55 »
if you use movement dice, just keeping it in the starting hex serves the same purpose
That was getting confused sometimes as to which hex it started in.  Sometimes the movement die was not moved in to the originating hex, and as I said, the spell token could be easily placed under the model's base.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #18 on: 19 April 2021, 14:40:25 »
We have also used dice with the PSR mods for running turns on pavement . . . I do not think I have seen (or the rules even support) a +7 though a experimental Fireball might do it.
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Daryk

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #19 on: 19 April 2021, 16:54:43 »
We don't move a mini until the move is decided... it's pretty much fingers until then...  ???
« Last Edit: 20 April 2021, 17:05:58 by Daryk »

Colt Ward

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #20 on: 20 April 2021, 11:14:53 »
We have the movement dice and for most mechs it is fine . . . BUT things like VTOLs, Hovercraft and Fireball or Firemoth w/MASC & SC tend to get dice down where they turn.
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jackpot4

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #21 on: 21 April 2021, 00:37:52 »
We have a fairly good set of house rules that have improved the game and worked towards avoiding gaming the game.
-1 Edge per mech, per game
---Allows a player to force a re-roll of just about any roll other than a to-hit roll.  For example, a player hits your mech in the head with a Gauss rifle, you cant make them re-roll to miss the shot but you can have them re-roll the location to try to get another spot.
-3/4 pilots all around, DO NOT adjust BV
-Gear restrictions
---NO C3, alt ammos, TAG, NARC, TSEMP, Artillery
-Modifications are kept to a minimum, swap out a C3 for a med laser, move an ammo bin out of the CT, deploy with less than a full bin or an empty bin of ammo, etc.
---Meant to keep some imperfection, but to avoid min/maxing and gundamtech.

That's most of it.  Most of the Optional Rules in the Battlemech Manual are solid additions as well.
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mvp7

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #22 on: 21 April 2021, 07:20:10 »
---Allows a player to force a re-roll of just about any roll other than a to-hit roll.  For example, a player hits your mech in the head with a Gauss rifle, you cant make them re-roll to miss the shot but you can have them re-roll the location to try to get another spot.
Do you have some limits or conditions for this re-rolling?

Sartris

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #23 on: 21 April 2021, 08:11:32 »
1 Edge

edge is a characteristic from the RPG side that is a quantifiable measurement of luck / plot armor / immense skill. you can burn an edge point to avoid consequences that would otherwise be fatal or otherwise Very Bad.

mvp7

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #24 on: 21 April 2021, 09:07:14 »
OK, that makes sense.

Colt Ward

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #25 on: 21 April 2021, 09:08:20 »
edge is a characteristic from the RPG side that is a quantifiable measurement of luck / plot armor / immense skill. you can burn an edge point to avoid consequences that would otherwise be fatal or otherwise Very Bad.

We played a fun game for a charity night (technically overnight) where they were raffling off various things (store put up a new GoAC box) and selling food as the FLGS's game room was open overnight.  For the fundraiser, we had purchasable Edge- everyone in the game started out with 1 token, getting a new one was $1.  I think we had 8-12 players off and on going into the night when we called the game at midnight.  I think we raised $50 or so off the purchased edge, which got hilarious . . . I think we had something like 3-5 edge used on a single roll- we even had someone spend a few edge point who was not the attacker or defender in a roll, so 3 different people spending a Edge point.
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Sartris

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #26 on: 21 April 2021, 09:28:43 »
For charity? I would have brought $100 and opened an edge tab

Colt Ward

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Re: Any good QoL "house rules" or practices?
« Reply #27 on: 21 April 2021, 10:01:20 »
We posted about it here, it was either like $49 or $98- to be honest I do not remember, but it was a ridiculous amount of edge being used and created some hilarious circumstances.  I want to say the craziest was re-rolling a Gauss Rifle hit location that was a head shot . . . rolled a 2 for CT TAC, got 2 crits, someone else dropped their Edge as a observer, and then the person rolled the 12 for 3 crits to take out the gyro w/2.

It was a good time, lots of fun and I think it was the most raised by the game store for the local medical charity.
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