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Author Topic: Simple test games for different infantry systems  (Read 1090 times)

DevianID

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Simple test games for different infantry systems
« on: 28 November 2023, 01:17:22 »
So this is a simple 4 game test for some of the many infantry systems Battletech has used over the years.  This section, the AAR bit, is a little wordy as its half just data collection from me, so I have a record of how the games played out for later analysis.

The basis of the test is to see what I would want to play for a simple 4 troop versus 4 troop fire team.   Like if campaign players wanted to step out of their mechs for a bit, what game would I put on the table to have a fun but also manageable side trooper game.  With that mission statement, the test must be played out on the beginner box grassland map with just light/heavy trees for cover.  The game must function on this scale, as my whole point is to be able to whip out a single mapsheet (that everyone should have/be comfortable with) and play a quick skirmish game with the players, akin to putting down a map for the simple aero game (radar map) before a mech engagement.  If the game plays out quick enough, then we can be comfortable scaling it up to 2 mapsheets for a full session out of mech experience, using the same table space that the group is used to.

The first 4 games played was Total Warfare, using 1 strong infantry units with straight BattleTech rules, BattleTroops for that old school feel, Mechwarrior 2nd Edition, the edition I see a ton of people holding up to a high standard, and A Time of War, the new RPG game that is even crunchier then battletech.  I plan on getting the Destiny system for next time, and Ill probably do a Dungeons and Dragons or some other customizable RPG to playtest too.

DevianID

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Re: Simple test games for different infantry systems
« Reply #1 on: 28 November 2023, 01:28:16 »
****Total Warfare****

In total warfare, the hexes are 30 meters, so both sides (custom 1 strong infantry) moved up the right for 7-8 turns before shooting, with the stand of trees in the middle board the location of the battle.  With each side 1 shotting each other (rifle and grenade launchers do 1 damage, the SMG does 0 damage, each single trooper has 1 health, so the SMG is useless), this was kinda rocket tag.  If the enemy rolled the 7-11 needed to hit (infantry squad +1, Heavy Woods +2, base gunnery 4, range of +2/4) then I die, meanwhile I need a 6 to hit them, as I occupied the heavy woods first (the heavy woods was closer on my side).  The game ended with mutual destruction turn 10 thanks to simul fire, but honestly 6s v 7s its a coin flip on the last few troops... very swing-ey.  Im fast forwarding through this part, the dice rolls were all misses at long range and all hits at short, with both parties moving from 3 hexes away to 1 hex away as both moved forward.  Still, with the small movement and small range of classic, it took 10 turns to kill both sides off.

It may seem counter intuitive to play single troopers, BUT... every ejected mechwarrior is a single trooper squad.  So I wanted to know how the single trooper squad experience played out.

The movement to rifle range ratio is 3.  AKA, range is 3x greater then movement.  Record keeping isnt bad, as everything is pretty binary at this level.  Were I to use this system, I would probably need to make 2 house rules such as 10 meter hexes, and damage tracked by % not rounded to 0 or 1.  Thus, an SMG would deal .2 damage, .4 in the open, and troops would have 3 MP to start, with basic rifles going 3/6/9.  The to hit mods were pretty tame, no movement mods to worry about, just cover and range, so in terms of complexity ironically base TW gets an A+... You could put all the base TW rules need to play out this single soldier game on 1 card.

Time to play was fairly quick, but rounds to play was high at 10, due to the base MP being 1 and base range being 3.  The house rule of 10 meter hexes to make it 3 MP/9 range would cut lots of those early turns of slowly shuffling around out of the game when using the 1 mapsheet gameplay area.

DevianID

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Re: Simple test games for different infantry systems
« Reply #2 on: 28 November 2023, 01:42:14 »
****BATTLETROOPS****

Battle troops, Rifles do 4 damage with a range of 27/75 (13/37 when halved), SMG does 3 damage with range of 15/25(7/12), and the under slung grenade launcher is 10/24 (5/12) for 4 damage.  In this scale, the heavy woods would be the tree trunk type LOS blockers, with light woods just partial cover.  I felt I had to cut ranges of everything by half to fit on the standard mapsheet.

Turn 1: Since its 2MP to cross each 5 meter hex (base game is 1 MP and 2.5 meter hexes), the team that went first before the other team is on the field has their riflemen/grenadiers move on with 4 MP, and lay a 4mp 60degree overwatch cone (4mp, 4 MP).  The short range SMG ranges ahead 3 hexes forward behind a Heavy tree (2+2+4 MP)

My side moves up using the heavy wood cover that is LOS blocking so that only 1 rifleman has a shot.  Range is past 13, so TN is 8 +1 partial.  Roll is 6 so no hit.  The 3 rifleman dont want to risk more fire, so all 3 move up 1 more hex into 13 hex range for good shots, and set 4 MP cones on the 1 rifleman they can see.  The SMG, with no other cover to hide behind, stays back.
Turn 2, the one enemy rifleman is in 3 cones, so I get 6s base +1 partial for 13 hexes away.  First shot is an 8, roll 2d6 for damage track.  Rolled a 6, so track 6, 5, 4, 3 are hit.  Second cone rolls a 7 to hit, track 6 is rolled again for location so we go down to 2, 1, 0, dead.  I have 1 more cone peeking on that side.

Turn 2: The enemy advances up.  Since I am clustered around a tree, they can push up my right side out of sight.  They can cover both sides of the heavy tree im using with just a 2 MP cone, but the SMG is out of range if I move along the back edge.  Since I have to move out of LOS blockers if I want to move, the 2 riflemen go prone for better shots.

On my turn, I back up a bit with the riflemen to keep out of SMG range, and since you cant stack, there is a hexline I can get to where only 1 enemy can see me (well the SMG is 15 away so out of range).  They take their prepared shot, roll a 4 and miss.  (needed 6-1, lucky!).  I then set my cones.

Turn 3: Their turn, I have 3 cones on the Grenadier Rifle and SMG.  The SMG in cover acts first, hoping to bait my shots.  I need 8+1, so I take one shot to see.  Roll a 3, nothing.  The SMG moves up to 11 and 12 away, so now im scared and I shoot to try and stop the SMG cone on 3 dudes.  Need 6, roll 6, location 5, so 5 4 3 2 on damage track.  This drops them to 5 total MP, they spent 6 moving up, so they drop prone on the spot and have a +3 penalty if they survive to shoot next turn.  That leaves one last shot, which I take at range 15 as the grenadier might just lay an arc if I forgo the shot.  Need 8+1 for prone, roll 11, hit, roll 9 for location so 9, 8, 7, 6.  The wounded Grenadier has 7 MP now, so from range 15 they cant stand up (2) move 2 hexes (4mp) and place a cone (2mp).  So since they cant get to better range due to damage they instead just set a wide cone while prone.  The last rifleman get up and moves over to put a tiny cone on my troops who used a tree trunk to cut off LOS.

Turn 4:, the prone grenadier shoots, needed 8-1 prone +1 wounded, rolls a 6.  The standing trooper needs an 8 +1 partial cover.  Roll 10, my grenadier hit, location 3... finally had some bad luck.  3,2,1,0, trooper KO but at least not dead.  I move my SMG to cone all three remaining troopers, while the pair of riflemen move up, go prone, and set shot cones up.

Turn 5: Their turn, rifleman 1 versus wounded grenadier at range 13.  6 +1 prone -1 enemy prone, roll 6 so hit.  Track 4 hit location, so 4,3,2,1, this Kos their grenadier and takes them out of the fight.  The other rifleman needs 8s for long range, +1 for me being prone.  Roll 9, hit, roll 2 for location, im back to being lucky, that kills the other troops with 1 lucky headshot for 2,1,0,dead.  The SMG doesnt need to do much, 8 to hit +1 for range.  Rolls 2, nothing.

Final turn 6, the SMG just slaps a cone down with their wounded troop and hopes for the best.  Versus prone rifleman, needs a 12, rolls 7. Versus my smg needs 11 rolls 2, versus my other rifleman rolls a 9.  My cones back need only 9s since im not wounded, first roll is a 9 for the 7 location, filling 7, 1,0,dead.

Battletroops is a lot of back and forth.  Its less rocket tag compared to total warfare, but the sequencing of cones is rough honestly.  Like, an automatic Machine gun in range and LOS, is like infinite dead battle troopers with how many attacks it gets in its cone.  As I read LOS rules though, if you drop prone and have a little hedge, you can sneak up on the MG position pretty easy, as prone turns all partial terrain into blocking, unless the enemy has some high ground.  If they do have some high ground, the long range of the Mgs mean you need to bring dedicated Gyrojets or support lasers to counter them, so its VERY tough it seems to dislodge a heavy machine gun nest unless you have a massive map or long range guns you get lucky with before taking too much HMG fire.  The note for mechwarriors is especially funny... since they take 2 damage for every 2.5meter step they take, the book says that mechs under Mgun fire need to immediately stop and put cones on the Mgun or it will rip the mech apart with so many attacks with 1 per 2.5 meters on, say, a 90 meter walk.  I did like the balance of SMG and rifle here, though I imagine at longer ranges the rifles and SMGs are pointless as the Gyrojet gun is just a MONSTER personal weapon.  You pretty much have to sneak up or ambush any troop with a good regular gun—grenades and rifles are too short range to fight back.

Battletroops has a ratio of 4 movement hexes for 37 rifle hexes, so 9.25.  Thus, you will see ranged combat dominate the game, compared to TW with the 3 ratio that was mostly movement.  You need extremely claustrophopic terrain for grenades, with a 5 hex range for 1 turn or 8 hex range for 2 turns, to matter.  Like, its real hard to get into grenade range, but Battletroops all carry 4 grenades like thats an important part of the game.  BattleTroops is probably only good for Rainbow 6 Siege, where the entire battle is in 1 house, as otherwise the long range of guns means you should expect all damage to come from ranged combat.  I can see the cone system being fun for a raid on a house or factory or other very claustrophobic place using double blind rules, with both sides hunting each other.  But for trooper versus trooper, most of my gameplay was getting into LOS, laying down if possible, and setting multiple cones on 1 enemy.  The delayed reaction just felt off.  I dont see this working outside of a double blind 'horror' style game, like OG xcom.  Not being able to shoot the enemy in your LOS, instead just putting a cone on them and waiting, is just very different as you only have 1 attack anyway.

DevianID

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Re: Simple test games for different infantry systems
« Reply #3 on: 28 November 2023, 01:56:11 »
****MW 2nd Ed****

So here we have our MW2nd ed Grunt with 5 build, 6 reflexes.  Stats overall are really high in MW2 to get 'regular' skill troops at base 4 to hit.  5 Build means we walk 5, run 11, sprint 16.  Since base movement is so high, ill be doubling the suggested 5 meter hex size to play a simple 4v4 on one mapsheet like battletroops, but with 10 meter hexes instead of battle troops 5 meter hexes.  This gives 2, 5, 8 hexes per walk run sprint, more manageable numbers to emulate 2 mapsheets.

Ranges for the rifle will be 3/7/15 (already halved due to hex size).  The SMG is 1/3/5.  The Grenade Launcher attached to the rifle is 1/3/6.  All deal 3d6 damage, but SMG bursts in MW2nd get a -2 to hit, and have some splash damage of 1d6 to get a little of that 'hose an area down' feel from battletroops.  This kinda becomes splash weapons in ATOW, so in ATOW the closest equal to the MW2nd SMG is a shotgun, as the ATOW SMG is bad.  Grenades are fired at a hex, which means you dont apply the target movement mod, so they are a little easier to hit with then rifles versus moving targets (but there is no immobile bonus so they arnt ATOW crazy accurate).  They also stop scattering on hitting cover, so are good for hitting troops behind walls as they cant scatter forward where the wall is, only past.

Round one, enemy Rfl1 Rfl2 Gre3 SMG4 versus my Rfl5 Rfl6 Gre7 SMG8.  Init is 9 9 7 7 9 10 5 4.  My Grenader and SMG sprint on, and they just seek heavy woods cover.  The enemy Gre and SMG is next, the Grenadier runs into light woods to get a shot, the SMG is out of range so sprints into heavy cover.  The Grenadier is 4 + 4 (11 hexes) +2 ran +2 target sprinted +2 woods.  14's needed. 

3 riflemen now go.  The enemy rifleman1 moves first, into the same place as gre3.  Still needs a 13 to hit, thanks to heavy woods.  In return, my rfl5 moves into woods to try their luck onto the enemy gre3 that ran into light woods, 12 needed, 6 rolled.  The final Rfl2 on init 9 starts running on, by my high init of a 10 lets me sieze, the special init mechanic of MW2e.  So I run up while the enemy isnt in cover by interrupting their turn.  4 base, 4 for range 9, 2 cause I ran, 1 cause they ran, need 11s.  Its only 1 better but hey.  I roll a 9, so nothing, and the enemy resumes their turn and rolls a 12, so thats a 3d6 hit for 13 damage to location 5,6 onto the grenadier, Rt arm.  With a build of 5, this isnt an injury to the arm (bldx3 for damage), but that is a consciousness roll of 5+.  Roll is 9, Grenadier still awake.

Round 2, init is 7 7 4 7 9 6 2 5.  My grenadier has to move first, so the enemy grenadier on 4 and rest of the team on 7 all decide to interupt/sieze, to shoot me before my grenadier moves.  My init 9 siezes back, and my 5 and 6 can also act before the enemy grenadier, so everyone is seizing—its like its ATOW hehe.  My init 9 rfl5 aims for the grenadier.  4 base, 4 from range, 1 from light woods, -1 attacker stationary from not moving yet this turn.  Needs 8 rolls 6.  Next the 3 enemy riflemen and SMG go on init 9.  The enemy Rfl2 and SMG are 4 hexes away, while the RFL1 and GRE3 will be 6 hexes away from my wounded grenadier.  The SMG is at long range, but with -2 from rapid fire gets the same +2 as the medium range rifles.  4 +2 run +2 range +2 heavy woods -1 target stationary=9s to hit.  One rifleman hits, dealing 15 damage to the 5,6 again, so another arm hit... this time it does = buildx3 so the rt arm is incapacitated (later I realize you have to exceed the threshold).  Also, at 23 total damage taken, im on the 3rd line for damage so need a 7+, roll a 9, still awake.  My other rifle and SMG get to go before the GRE, so I try and go for him before he shoots but after he moves on init 4.  The SMG8 is 1 hex away, needs 4 +2 ran +1 target ran -2 burst=5, while my rfl6 is 2 away and needs 7s.  My SMG rolls a 4, missed by 1, and my rfl rolls a 5.  Sucks to suck.  In response, on init 4 the enemy grenadier lobs a grenade 6 away.  Needs 4+2 ran+4 long range (no cover or target movement cause grenade).  Rolls a 7, scatters 15 meters to the side, so nothing hit in the 5 meter blast range.  Thats good.  So my grenadier on init 2 gets to act, but with a +3 penalty.  Still, 4 base 4 long range 3 arm with a grenade aint bad.  Roll 8, scatter 15 meters, but in a direction no enemy is in.

Round 3 init is gonna be deadly, lots of troops on both sides in the open blasting away at close range.
11 9x 11 6x 10 10x 8 12.  Everyone wants to seize to shoot first.  The SMG8 gets first crack, running to put shots on the enemy SMG team.  4 +2 run -2 smg -1 target stationary.  Needs 3 rolls 8, 14 damage to 2,6, HEAD!.  With build5x2 for threshold of 10, this KO's (but the coma save is passed) the enemy SMG, taking it off the field (it takes at least 1 min to wake up in MW2e).  The enemy Rfl1 and Gre3 get to act next in init, and decide to go after my riflemen to stop shots.  They are in short range, so the RFL1 needs 4 -1 (target didnt move).  Rolls a 5, hits, rolls 10 damage to the arm.  With 10 damage the KO check is a 3, so passes.  The gre3 does the same, rolling a 4 to hit and 15 damage to 2,2, which is a CRIT sadly that does 30 damage instead of 15.  This puts all 4 of the first damage tracks filled in, and disables the legs.  With a KO check needed 10, a 2 is rolled and the rifleman6 is down.  On init 10, my rifleman5 goes, targeting rfl2 who hasnt shot yet.  Staying in cover, its 4+2 range, -1 for target stationary.  So 5s needed, rolled a 6, 13 damage to 6,1 arm, with a 5+ KO check of 7.  Rfl2 on init9 fires on my last troop that hasnt shot, the grenadier, walking into short range.  4+1 walked+2 heavy woods-1 target stationary=6s, rolls 4.  In return, my wounded grenadier needs 4+3 wounded+0 target walked, and a roll a hit with 12 damage to location 3,2, an arm.  This is 25 total damage, so a 7+ to stay in the fight, rolls a 6 and is KO.

Round 4 the enemy rfl1 and gre3 are up against rfl5, wounded gre7, and smg8.  Init is 5 7 6 5x 9.  The SMG8 gets to go first, aiming at GRE3 next in init.  SMG8 runs to point blank of GRE3, so 4+2 run -2 SMG -1 target stationary.  Rolls 5, hit, 3 damage (blech) to location 5,4.  KO roll of 3+ rolled a 12, what a meh SMG run.  GRE3 decides to try and get my init6 rifle5 gone with a grenade, as the splash might take out the GRE7 on a scatter.  4 +2 run +2 medium range, needs 8s rolls 4 so scatters 20 meters nowhere intersting.  My rfl5 fires on rfl1 now, to try and take the init5 off the board.  Medium range puts the shot at 5s, I roll an 8 for a hit and 9 damage, location 1,3.  This is 12 total damage, so KO on a 5+, but rolled an 11.  Rfl1 won the roll off on init 5 versus my init 5 gre7, so Rfl1 shoots the last thing that hasnt shot, my grenadier.  4+1 walk+2 heavy woods-1 target hasnt moved=6, rolls 6 for 6 damage to 2,6.  29 total damage taken on this Grenadier, so another 7+ KO check, rolls a 6 so Gre7 is out.

Round 5 init is 6 6 8 5, so the enemy rfl1 and gre3 will act before my SMG8.  Rfl5 puts another shot into rlf1 to stop return fire, no movement so 3s to hit, rolls a 9, 7 damage to 5,4, so 19 total damage and only a 5+ KO roll.  Rolls a 3, so despite bad damage rolls the 3rd times the charm.  This leaves only enemy GRE3.  With my SMG still to act the target is obvious, so 3s to hit my SMG.  Rolls a 4, 10 damage to 2,6... which is head and exactly equal to the threshold, which I now realize you need to roll over the threshold to incapacitate the location.  So oops, the arm wouldnt have been hurt on Gre7.  Still, its a KO check of 3+ for 10 damage, roll 10 so my SMG is free to shoot back... and at this range they cant miss.  Gre3 takes 6 SMG damage to location 2,4, and needs a KO check on 3+ which passes.

Round 6 init is 6 5 8, so the SMG goes again with the highest init.  Still cant miss, so Gre3 takes 7 damage to 1,2, and needs a 5+ KO check with 13 total damage.  Roll of 7 passes.  Gre shoots rfl5 to stop return fire, rolls a 3 to hit.  4 base -1 target stationary +1 light woods, the poor gre3 misses.  Rfl5 cleans up the turn, hitting with a 7 and dealing 12 damage to 6,2 for 25 total damage and a 7+ KO roll.  Gre3 stays in the fight though rolling a 7.
Final turn, init 3 8 5 so the lone grenadier gets shot 2x before moving.  4 damage and 11 damage to 5,4 and 6,5, but this is a 29 damage KO roll and 40 damage KO roll.  The first roll needing a 7 fails with a 6, for victory to the south forces.

So, MW2e was a lot more complicated then battletroops, this time cause of initiative sequencing.  I liked how fast battle troops went since you move one whole side at once, and while I disliked micromanaging cones in battle troops, in MW2e close range firefights were a certainty with how much faster relative to range mw2e characters are.  Also, one MG cant hold down an entire infantry regiment in MW2e, which I take as a positive—you can certainly seize to shoot the infantry before they get their evasion bonus, but infantry can make evasive moves with a +3 penalty to shoot at them, or a sprint for a +2 penalty to shoot at them, letting them close the gap way better.  The rifles arnt so horribly outclassed either, as the Mgun has a range of 42 and the rifles have that range of 30, so with one good sprint you can close into a rifles long range while still being in the 21-42 long range of the machine gun, letting riflemen at least try and engage an Mgun nest—though the Mgun is accurate thanks to bursts so you need a few riflemen.  Contrasting this to battletroops, with 8 MP you need to move from 110 to 75 to be able to return fire, which is 35 shots from the HMG onto each soldier.  So you cant ever overwhelm an HMG in battletroops, while you can as long as you have a few spare troops in MW2e.

As for the damage tracking, rolling 3d6 and then rolling location and then rolling KO checks was a bit much.  I enjoyed Battletroops system of rolling just 2d6 to see where the hit went.  As an abstract hit location, it did a great job of simulating low damage roll hits to unimportant areas (location rolls 9+), or high damage/critical hits (location roll 2-4).  While not used for generic goon soldiers, the armor system of both doesnt really stop powerful shots that roll the right location, but the MW2e armor has math and book keeping in excess of the simple circle system of battletroops.

The MW2E ratio of movement to rifle range was 8 to 15, or 1.875.  This is even lower then TW with 1 MP versus 3 range.  Thus, troops in MW2E were flying across the map when they sprinted, and we got the most SMG action.  I can see melee being possible in this system, if Melee matters to you.  It was 6 turns to wipe a side out, like battle troops, but with initiative working the way it does, each turn was very complicated/layered.  Also, unlike total warfare, the shooting is not simultaneous.  Picking on troops with a lower initiative was a mandatory tactic, and the example in the book is to use seize the initiative to shoot someone who is sprinting on their turn before they move, explicitly so they don't get a sprint/evasion bonus.  Also, tracking damage was the most complicated.  Roll xd6 for damage, roll 2x1d6 for location (with double damage on certain rolls), check if the damage threshold was beat (mostly only mattered for headshots), divide by a fraction with armor, fill in the record sheet, and then roll for KO.  It was a lot of rolling.  Like, too much rolling for a side game, and too deadly/unpredictable for a dungeons and dragons style game (11 damage to the head from a little pistol and you are out of the game).

DevianID

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Re: Simple test games for different infantry systems
« Reply #4 on: 28 November 2023, 02:12:41 »
****A time of war****

Moving onto the main event.  Here we have the current RPG system, though I havent tried destiny yet. 

SMG 3/3, 5/16/35/80 burst 10/-1
Rifle 4/4 30/75/170/415 burst 15/-1
Compact Grenade launcher 15/40/90/150, fires 4/6 or 2/8 damage

With 5 meter hexes this is 1/3/7/16 for SMG, 6/15/34/83 for rifle, and 3/8/18/30 for cgl.  This is too far for my mapsheet, so we will use 10 meter hexes.  This is 1 /2/4/8 for SMG, 3/8/17/42 for Rifle, 2/4/9/15 for cgl.  This fits much better on a 17 hex tall map.

In AtoW for the first time characters at starting levels can buy armor without needing traits.  With 1000 cbills of D/B/B, you can easily get flak suits and Bolt Action 4/4 Rifles.  Since our sample scenario though is troops, we will have to give them the equipped rules to allow them the very illegal grenades and such, so Flak armor is bypassed at this point with AP ammo if it were to matter, so we will leave the armor and AP ammo at home.  Functional flak armor and universal access to armor does make SMGs even worse though.

Walk STR+RFL (5s for this case so its a nice round number)=10
Run 10+walk=20
Sprint Runx2=40

With 8 total characters we still use individual init, like MW2e, but there are good options for grouping up to scale up.

We still have rfl1 rfl2 gre3 smg4 rfl5 rfl6 gre7 smg8 for our 2 teams.

Round 1 init 9 11 8 8, 10 10 5 5.  Since holding init is a thing, like a reverse MW2E, the 5s have to go first to move on the board so the enemy team on 8-11 can shoot them.  So GRE7 and SMG8 Sprint into the south light woods, and the enemy team moves on to shoot GRE7.  At 13 hexes for GRE3 and 14 for RFL1 and 2, its extreme and long range shots.  The shots have a +4 cover penalty from 2 light and 1 heavy woods (+4 is the max cover, but you can shoot through cover of low BAR), so the RFL needs
4+4 Long+2 ran+4 Cover+1 Target moved 1-4 hexes (10-40 meters).  So the Rifles have no shot, but the Grenade has 4+6 extreme+2 ran-2 Grenade.  Blind indirect and immobile cancel.  So the HE grenade needs a 10.  Rolls an 8, for a scatter of 2 meters, so thats 2/4 damage to the grenadier7.  Gre7 needs a KO roll and Bleeding roll.  For KO, the base of 12-5 bod-4 will for 3+, +2 for being 26-50% injured.  Roll 11 is fine.  Since 4 damage is greater then half Bod rounded up (5/2=3), Gre7 needs a Bod roll to avoid bleeding on a 7+.  Roll is 10, leaving Gre7 stunned. 

For the attacks back, Rfl5 and 6 move onto the board.  With a Run they can get Gre3 into medium rifle range, so 4 +2 ran +2 range +1 target moved a hex.  The First rifle fires, gets a miss on 5, the second rifle also misses on a 6.

Round 2 init is 6 5 11 8 7 8 7 7.  The Gre3 wins init, walks 1 hex and spends 1 action loading the grenade launcher and 1 action firing it.  4 + 6 range +1 walked -6 immobile AE on the rifleman6 next in init.  Rolls a 7, so 6 HE damage to rfl6.  This puts him into the 51-75% category, needing a 6+ KO roll.  That rolled and 8, but the bleeding check was a 5 instead of the 7 needed, so unless someone spends actions stopping the bleeding rlf6 will bleed out in 4 turns.  Rfl6 on init 8 clears the stun, walks forward and puts a long range shot into rfl1, hoping for a stun.  4 + 4 long range +1 walk +2 damage.  Roll of 5, no hit.  On init 8 smg4 just sprints closer.  Init 7, the wounded gre7 fires back at gre3 after clearing their stun.  4 +6 range +2 damage -2 AE=10, roll 7 so gre3 takes a 1/3 blast.  Gre3 is stunned and makes their KO roll, and has +2 wound penalties for being 26%-50% damaged.  Stays awake.  Rfl5 takes this opportunity to shoot the stunned gre3 on the same init of 7, 4+4 range+1 target moved-2 target stunned.  7+, no burst fire, rolls 11 so MoS of 4 adds 1 damage.  With 5 damage to gre3, thats a new wound roll at 76%+ damage, so +4, rolls 3 so KO, also rolls 2 so bleeding.  With only 2 body left, the KO gre3 would bleed out in 2 turns.  Rfl5 then spends their action shooting a second time, this time at rfl1.  Rolls a 9, needs 4 +4 range +1 secondary, hits.  Rfl1 takes 4 damage, stays awake but rolls a 6 for bleeding, so is bleeding and stunned.  Finally on init 7, smg8 goes, sprinting up and also putting them in the way of rfl 5 and 6 for some human shield cover.  Rfl1 clears stun, and both rfl 1 and 2 walk to see rfl6 without smg8 in the way.  Rfl1 fire and rolls a 7, misses, and rfl2 rolls a 9, misses thanks to rfl6 having moved 10 meters with their walk.

End of round, rfl1 bleeds to 5 health left, gre3 bleeds to 1 health left, Rfl6 to 3 health left.  Gre7 has 6/10 health.

Round 3 init.  8 8 x6 x3 3 4 7 7

Rfl1 and 2 both get to shoot first, and decide to stay still and put down the wounded rfl6.  Rfl1 is also wounded, so 4+4 range+2 wound is 10 to hit, rolls 6 and misses.  Rfl2 needs only an 8, rolls a 5 and misses.  Gre7 and SMG8 are up next.  Gre7 shoots indirect again with a reload and fire pair of actions, at SMG4 who hasnt acted yet.  Needs a 10 with damage, rolls a 6, so with a 4 meter scatter SMG4 takes 2 damage but passes the KO roll.  This does stun them however.  This lets SMG8, at the same init, pounce by running closer to within 30 meters of smg4.  With 4 base +2 run +4 long range-2 stun, SMG4 decides to fire a burst for extra damage potential.  Needing a 9, a roll of 5 dashes the SMG8's hope of being useful.  Rfl6 moves next, also taking aim at the stunned SMG4.  At 80 meters, Rfl6 needs 4 +3 injured+2 range-2 stunned.  With 2 actions, the first is a miss on 6 but the second is a hit on 10.  SMG4 takes 4 rifle damage, but is not bleeding or KO, with 4 health left.  Finally at init 3 the SMG4 and Rfl5 roll off, and Rfl5 wins, so Rfl5 also tries to finish off SMG4.  With no damage, Rfl5 needs 4 +2 medium range, first shot is a 6, which kills SMG4.  The second shot is at secondary target penalty over to wounded Rfl1.  With a roll of 3 the Rifle shot goes wide.

At the end of the turn Gre3 would wake up with the KO roll of 7, but bleeds out.  Rfl1 bleeds to 4 health, rfl6 to 2 health.

Round 4 init:10x 12 11 8 6 9

Rfl2 on 12 init shoots at the enemy Rfl5 with the 11 init.  4 +4 long range, both attack actions are 7s so no hits.  Rfl5 retaliats back at Rfl1 with only 4 health left thanks to bleeding.  First shot is a 3, second is a 10, so rfl1 is dead.  This leaves rfl6, Gre7 and SMG8 left to shoot.  Gre7 starts with a grenade on 7, so 3 damage to Rfl2 and stunned.  SMG8 is at 80 meters extreme range, so fires 2 times with a small burst, 4+6 range+1 burst-2 stunned, needing 9s.  With a roll of 11 and 9, the SMG does something!  The 11 has a MOS of 2, so that does 5 damage, and the 9 just hits, for 3 damage.  With 8 damage from the SMG and 3 from the Grenadier, all enemies are defeated!

So after playing A Time of War in that scenario, the movement ranges felt good on a map, the weapon ranges felt high though.  4 MP to 42 Rifle hexes is the longest range to movement ratio at 10.5, higher then battle troops with 9.25. 
With 1-4 10 meter hexes moved with a trooper, this was pretty similar to Battletroops with a similar scale—42 hex rifle range in ATOW versus 37 in Battletroops.  MW2E scale of movement versus range was about 2x more movement (8 hexes instead of 4 with a sprint) with half to 1/3rd the range (15 max range on the MW2E rifle versus 42).  One note about that though is that there is not 'extreme' range in MW2e, so the long range in ATOW rifles of 17, and 9 on the under slung grenade launcher, is closer to the MW2E numbers of 15/6, but I hit a lot (lots) of shots in ATOW at extreme range so that bracket does a LOT of work in firefights.  It takes 11 rounds to sprint from the rifles extreme range to 1 hex away... that's more or less too long to expect to live if you are a 'melee' build.  Like the grenade launcher was dealing damage the second it was in its extreme range at 15, so it feels really hard to balance the longer range guns with the listed movement.  Its not as bad as the infinite attack with 1 attack per square of a battletroops MG at least, but with the RPG basic book having access to such long range guns, you  kinda have to go out of your way to get closer, as LOS blocking terrain is not gonna save you and you dont have all the cool cone stuff for zone of control like in battle troops.  With the scale I did for up to 4 hexes moved in a turn, with a 42 hex engagement range on the basic starter gun with 4 hex movement scale, I dont know what size map to use.  If I used 2 map sheets, then the game will be over before the 'not rifle' weapons ever get into range, as you need 4 turns of sprinting to cross one mapsheet just to still be 15+ away from the enemy.  If I use 1 map sheet like I did here, then we are tossing most of the longer range guns away, and the infantry are somehow closing into shorter range without being spotted every single engagement on 1 map.

When we look at weapons, AtoW has a longer range on rifles and grenade launchers, and a shorter range on SMGs.  SMGs are completely terrible, but that seems to be by choice.  The SMG rounds are all weaker and shorter ranged then pistol rounds, meaning they nerfed SMGs from prior books by design... there is no 2 damage pistol round but half the SMG rounds are 2 damage.  Very different from the other systems, where burst gave an accuracy bonus or a boatload of attacks.  Shotguns seem to operate like SMGs in MW2E, with the accuracy bonus.  Grenades made the best showing by a landslide in ATOW.  They get +2 to hit base, and unlike the other games ATOW has an immobile target bonus, so they also get that, and have a longer range.  With all the accuracy you counter the indirect fire penalty with no LOS super easy.  Further, the weapon also still deals damage on a miss of 2-3... AP grenades versus flak armor with a good X3 rating, will take 1 damage from a miss of 4.  And thats with the weakest class of grenade.

The final bit in ATOW is the stun system.  All the games have a KO system, but ATOW also has a stun system where you lose an action and are easier to hit when you take damage.  This... is major.  The turns played in ATOW to wipe a side was 4, unlike the 6 in both battle troops and MW2E.  4 was the smallest number of turns played, though total warfare would likewise be short if both forces started in rifle range.
The game quickly turned very deadly, as once you stun someone, the rest of the team is further incentivized to shoot them too for the extra accuracy.  I hit a target with a grenade and then killed them with follow up shots a few times.  On top of that, you lose an action clearing the stun, and in ATOW you can shoot twice with 2 simple actions.  Thus, in a shoot off, the first to get hit has a big loss in action economy.  Action economy was greatest in AtoW.  In MW2E you also had 2 actions, but you were limited to a single movement and a single shooting action.  No so in ATOW.  As an extra, the ATOW burst rules and regular rules for all non-blast weapons get extra damage with each point of MOS, so being stunned is like +2 damage from a burst weapon or .5 damage from a regular weapon.  It adds up super fast, as ATOW is also the only system to have MOS damage bonuses.  Then you include bleeding checks and KO rolls to take more time but also kill wounded troops faster.  Like I KO'd and made the enemy grenadier bleed, so at the end of the turn that was one damage, and next turn when they would wake up thats another damage and a dead trooper.  Its like 2 free damage minimum, as even if you do have a med kit, its an action to pull it out as you wernt holding it, and a complex/2 actions to use it, so if you dont ace the roll on the first try thats 2 damage to someone who already got pretty hurt, so its 1 + 2 actions healing and a minimum of 1 missed action for the bleeder... its pretty much not worth the 3 actions required to have a small chance at healing someone who, as a wounded person, isnt using their actions well anymore anyway.

Armor in ATOW is much more available then other editions.  Its also easier to defeat with the AP system.  Rifles with AP ammo being ap6 is just a thing that exists as a baseline easy to access upgrade.  AP 6 cuts through every armor I could find, so not sure where to go.  Also, scopes plus laser sights make for a lot more accuracy for free, being super accessible items.  More or less, armor is good until you use any of the accessories, which are all OP haha.  But, assuming we limit the accessory bloat, flak armor versus rifles would at least balance out the extra MOS damage done.  This is kinda moot though, as the other systems also have armor that equally extend a soldiers life by a bit, so armor just makes all troops in Battletroops V MW2E V ATOW harder to kill, without changing the ratio of 6 turns against 4.


DevianID

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Re: Simple test games for different infantry systems
« Reply #5 on: 28 November 2023, 02:23:29 »
Some mid testing tl;dr numbers.

Basic Rifle Range Versus movement rankings--low numbers favor melee high numbers favor sniping/shooting galleries
1.875 = Mechwarrior 2nd Edition
3 = Total Warfare
9.25 = Battle Troops
10.5 = A Time of War

Turns to play a 4v4 single troop game on 1 map sheet
4 = A Time of War
4.xx = Total Warfare (if we count turn 1 as when the sides were first able to move into range and fire)
6 = Tie with Battletroops and MW2E
10 = Total Warfare (when troops had to maneuver to contact)

Length of text needed to explain the game states (a brutish method to approximate overall game complexity from start of turn 1 to finish of turn 6)
Least Words = Total Warfare
2nd = Battletroops
3rd = A Time of War
4th = MW2E

DevianID

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Re: Simple test games for different infantry systems
« Reply #6 on: 28 November 2023, 02:53:59 »
Other systems:

40k.  So while it may be taboo, 40k does have a simple single troop adaptable infantry.  The Goon in this example will be a relatively unarmored unit with a 6+ armor.  The rifle is a standard, s3 rng24 rapid fire, with a s4 rng12 SMG stand in for close assault, and a rng24 s6 ap-1 grenade launcher.  The troops move 6, and can run an additional d6.  Each hex is treated as 1 inch for simplicity, and light woods will be -1 to hit while heavy woods will be LOS blocking if behind them and cover if in them.

The enemy goes first.  They advance up behind the LOS blocking heavy woods on my left, with the Pistol enemy going right to get behind the other woods.  My team advances at an angle to get LOS on something on my turn 1.  My pistol moves to try and charge the enemy pistol. I rapid fire the closest enemy with one of my rifles, hit 1 time with a 6, wound, fail save.  1 Rifle down.  Trooper2 is out of rapid fire, takes a long range shot, hits with a 6, wounds, no save.  My grenade launcher has no one else in sight as my rifles got lucky.  Assault distance is 5 which is enough to make the assault with the enemy pistol.  I make my 2 attacks, miss, the attacks back miss, turns over.

Turn 2.  The enemy has their grenade left, plus the pistol.  The grenade moves into the ruins, takes a shot and misses.  The pistol misses.  I get to swing first, no wounds, they swing, also no wounds.

My turn 2, the grenade misses by my rifles rapid fire the enemy grenadier in cover, with 2 total wounds.  They fail the save, only the pistol is left.  The pistol swings first and kills my pistol.
Turn 3 the pistol misses, and charges the grenader.  Hits 1 time, wounds, failed save, Grenadier dead.  Consolidates into rifleman to avoid 4 shots by taking 1 melee attack.  Rifleman counterattack hits, wounds, pistol dies.

So the 40k movement to range is crazy.  9.5 average sprint movement range to 24 rifle range puts the ratio at 2.52.

With 3 turns played, this was the most lethal/fast system yet.  Also, in terms of text size, it was super low.  CC is emphasized with the charge distance obviously, and melee being as good as a rifle rapid fire, combined with the low range to movement ratio, and this is a good system for a battletech player character to act out their ninja fantasy.  Still, with how deadly this system was, its even more rocket tag then total warfare.  Not really interested in house rules to fix any of these issues, the 40k 4v4 infantry test here was mostly to cover all the bases, and see how the battle tech/troops and RPG stuff played in comparison to another known quantity in terms of time and complexity.

Lance Leader

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Re: Simple test games for different infantry systems
« Reply #7 on: 03 December 2023, 02:01:39 »
  A fun read, not sure if any system works perfectly.  I like how it looks like Mechwarrior 2nd Edition favored closer range and the potential for more melee focused fighting but it from the sound of it it's way too clunky for smooth gameplay.  40k looks like an fun candidate as a proven game system but I like the other systems ability to integrate more or less seamlessly with mech scale combat.

  I once experimented with the infantry rules using a slightly modified version of the ATOW for a couple of games against myself.  I remember mortar teams were a little too good and basically just auto-killed anyone they targeted so I put some penalties in to balance area effect weapons.  It was a fun system to play with but I feel like it was trying to hard to mimic modern warfare and could have be made a little a more Sci-Fi.

  As we know Battletech armored warfare is very different than modern armored combat, mechs and tanks volley each other with massive batteries of weapons and repel these volleys with extremely durable ablative super armor and I think that it would be cool if the infantry warfare reflected this.  It stands to reason the infantry would have the same super materials for armor the mechs and tanks have so infantry with very resilient personal armor might make for an interesting kind of combat with a mix of high damage and high rate of fire weapons as well as opportunities to use hand to hand weapons like vibro-blades.  So something reminiscent of modern combat but with its own distinct Battletech feel.

DevianID

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Re: Simple test games for different infantry systems
« Reply #8 on: 04 December 2023, 03:29:35 »
Lance Leader, for sure.  Im happy someone got a kick out of my testing and comparing.  I plan on doing a few more tests still, once I get destiny.  I think a rifle to movement range between total warfare (3) and battle troops (9) would be ideal.  Battletech doesnt have a 'rifle' equal, but the PPC and AC10 are pretty famous 'trooper' mech weapons, so 15 hexes or 18 hexes, with 4/6 movement, so thats about 3 to 1 for trooper movement to trooper 'rifle' range.  I think that works in the mech scale of things, but id like a little more emphasis on range versus melee for what I envision to be an infantry clash.  Vibroswords are fun, but not something I think should be emphasized when looking for a fireteam versus fireteam subgame for primarily mech players.  Im also trying to avoid houserules for now other then modifying scale to fit on a single mapsheet.

Something in the 4-5 range would be a nice compromise between the very short rifle/move range of Mechwarrior 2nd ed, and the very long rifle/move ranges of battle troops/A time of war.  I know DND, with bows/crossbows in the 480+ range and 60 movement on most infantry, is already gonna be really long (8+ on the ranged combat range versus movement range) so I feel the DND/open game license ranges will be like A Time of War range issues with MW2e complexity issues.  And 40k felt super short ranged, as advancing/charging really add a huge amount to movement, far too fast for a fireteam engagement.

Kibutsu

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Re: Simple test games for different infantry systems
« Reply #9 on: 14 December 2023, 10:10:29 »
This is a very interesting read. Our group has done this type of thing by adapting Alpha Strike and it works very well. We're actually finding AS adapts pretty well to just about anything, and have used a hybrid of it for aerospace games and larger, grand tactical scenarios as well. We ran Xenos Rampant a few weeks ago and the group seemed to enjoy it. We have another session coming up next week which will be my first time trying out that rules set.

DevianID

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Re: Simple test games for different infantry systems
« Reply #10 on: 20 December 2023, 04:51:03 »
Kibutsu thanks for the advice!  Did you use 1 soldier units, or just the existing units?

With the damage of 1 troop being less then 5, a 1 strong troop would have 1 structure and *damage.  This is a 2 inch move for 6 inch range, which is a 3-1 ratio but playable on 1 mapsheet better then classic's 1 mp for 3 hex range, where 8 turns were spent just walking forward.  It would take roughly 2 shots to kill an enemy but would be 4+ dependent, which makes it less rocket-taggy then classic.  The alpha strike scale would make the SMG, Rifle, and Grenade launcher all identical which is a negative as alpha strike abstracts so much.  It would make range 2+ weapons like the laser rifle hit at medium range as well, for the same damage of *.  Really the only difference between all weapons on the alpha strike scale is range it seems, single infantry dont otherwise get any specials.

It seems like alpha strike is very feature-lite, which is good when running lots of combined arms, but perhaps bad for 4 soldiers versus 4 soldiers as a side event as the only thing that matters at that scale is weapon range.  Its definitely an upgrade from 1 strong infantry units in total warfare scale though!  At least in alpha strike the SMG would still deal * damage, instead of 0 like in total warfare.

Kibutsu

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Re: Simple test games for different infantry systems
« Reply #11 on: 28 December 2023, 14:05:38 »
I'm honestly not sure, as I didn't design the forces. I know we used one-to-one, with a record for each individual figure. I will say we had a mix of militia, PBI grunts, Elementals and vehicles in our games, and all the units felt and played very distinctly.

As for Xenos Rampant, after my first game I would definitely NOT use it to represent BattleTech infantry combat. My impression comes from only a single game, so admittedly small sample size, but I wasn't taken with it. It was way too vanilla for my taste and the only thing that seemed to matter was dice luck. I prefer a system that rewards decent tactics, and XR just didn't seem to even make an attempt. It might be okay for mass melees, and maybe that's what it is designed for, but not tactical, modern mano-a-mano.

DevianID

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Re: Simple test games for different infantry systems
« Reply #12 on: 30 December 2023, 07:36:00 »
I definitely want tactical, not a mass melee haha.  Just something small on the side as a little scout action before a battletech game kind of thing.  2 squads of soldiers on patrol bump into each other, a firefight ensues, and the winner gets some kind of Intel advantage in the battletech game.

Or the side that won the field sends a squad into an objective building to "actually" take the objective.  So not luck based, more tactical based.  Like in HBS when DR murad and a team of soldiers went into the crashed argo, and you "hear" an interesting firefight happen in the background.  I want a simple side infantry game to play that quick skirmish instead of just glossing over it.

Daryk

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Re: Simple test games for different infantry systems
« Reply #13 on: 02 January 2024, 13:51:57 »
Sorry I'm late to this party... Ballistic Plate armor has 6 BAR against ballistic attacks, and the vest is non-encumbering.  So do the Marian jacket, and Plasteel Boots, and neither of those are encumbering either.  Further, the Marian, Canopian, Lyran, ComStar, and clanner helmets are all also 6 against ballistics, as well as the clanner armor suit (which even covers the arms and legs without being encumbering).  Also the Marik suit and PAB-27 kit from the FedSuns, though both are encumbering.

The short of it is that 6 BAR against ballistics isn't uncommon.  It's at least more common than 5 BAR against energy (necessary to cope with the laser weapons from Shrapnel).

DevianID

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Re: Simple test games for different infantry systems
« Reply #14 on: 05 January 2024, 22:33:15 »
Daryk I did see a few Bar6 options, but then i saw AP ammo with scope and laser sight.  So any character with the well-equipped stats to mount ballistic plate would expect AP6 autorifles right?   The plate was useful for stopping small grenades that scatter though, but not enough to prevent a frag nade from stunning them.

Daryk

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Re: Simple test games for different infantry systems
« Reply #15 on: 06 January 2024, 05:31:21 »
I suppose it depends on what era and area you play in.  AP Ammo has C/C-E-D/D availability, while Ballistic Plate has D/C-C-C/D.  The Marian jacket and Marik suit are both B/B-B-B/D.