Author Topic: Anyone used HBS Initiative?  (Read 1193 times)

Colt Ward

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Anyone used HBS Initiative?
« on: 07 January 2024, 20:28:07 »
As the subject says, I was wondering if anyone had used a HBS-style initiative for games?  Mech only or combined arms too?
Colt Ward
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DevianID

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Re: Anyone used HBS Initiative?
« Reply #1 on: 07 January 2024, 20:42:23 »
If I do a mech duel, I use HBS style init so there isnt much chance for a tie as there is no simul damage.  Also, the RPGs do HBS style init where you move+shoot/resolve damage, then the enemy move+shoots/resolves damage.

Finally, for those who are familiar with the campaign ops stuff, there is 'combat intuition' and a unit specialization that lets you move+shoot before the enemy does anything, like how HBS does it, but usually there is a condition to it, such as winning init by x on the roll or taking pilot hits to move fast.

For regular games though, I dont use it.  Activating and shooting/resolving damage 1 unit at a time works OK for RPG or campaign things with small numbers of units, but it gets pretty deadly in open games, as causing a knockdown on something before it has a chance to move really alters the turn structure.  Since we dont balance with tonnage, giving such a big advantage to light mechs isnt necessary with BV balancing I have found.

Colt Ward

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Re: Anyone used HBS Initiative?
« Reply #2 on: 07 January 2024, 22:41:39 »
I am just wondering if it makes lights and even some meds better- how it would affect tactics with that sort of options.
Colt Ward
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Kerfuffin(925)

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Re: Anyone used HBS Initiative?
« Reply #3 on: 07 January 2024, 22:43:26 »
The DFA guys use a modified version of it in their Destiny/Alpha Strike hybrid game mode they call Overdrive.
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Charistoph

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Re: Anyone used HBS Initiative?
« Reply #4 on: 07 January 2024, 23:41:44 »
It's not just Initiative that's different.  Movement, Shooting, and Physical are all handled in the activation of a unit.  Without having that, the HBS Initiative system isn't worth it and punishes faster units simply for being fast.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Anyone used HBS Initiative?
« Reply #5 on: 08 January 2024, 00:43:25 »
I think it would give lights a larger advantage than they currently have in TW rules- especially the light sniper.  The idea that they can wait 4-5 "rounds" in the initiative for just the right moment to engage would be terrifying.

Now that I think about, it would be for backstabbers to . . . delay their movement to the final round of the turn, zip across the map, get the first round the next turn . . . The 8/12 backstabbers could have 24 MPs to move something like 20 hexes to get behind something.  This means their attack runs could start against a target from outside the range of most of the target's weapons.  Most of the target's escort ranges, with the rule of course to make a coordinated attack so that light is not left on a island after it unloads.
Colt Ward
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Anyone used HBS Initiative?
« Reply #6 on: 08 January 2024, 02:03:02 »
Honestly, the sheer amount of extra complexity that HBS init would add to the tabletop insures that I'd never want to use it outside of the computer.
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Calimehter

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Re: Anyone used HBS Initiative?
« Reply #7 on: 08 January 2024, 17:23:43 »
Its very similar to the RPG way of doing it (or at least it was back for 3rd edition, which was the last one I ran anything for).  It worked OK for the smaller fights and duels, though getting to fire before your enemy can even move sometimes made the initiative roll very critical.

Never tried it for larger scale fights, though.

Charistoph

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Re: Anyone used HBS Initiative?
« Reply #8 on: 08 January 2024, 18:08:31 »
I think it would give lights a larger advantage than they currently have in TW rules- especially the light sniper.  The idea that they can wait 4-5 "rounds" in the initiative for just the right moment to engage would be terrifying.

Now that I think about, it would be for backstabbers to . . . delay their movement to the final round of the turn, zip across the map, get the first round the next turn . . . The 8/12 backstabbers could have 24 MPs to move something like 20 hexes to get behind something.  This means their attack runs could start against a target from outside the range of most of the target's weapons.  Most of the target's escort ranges, with the rule of course to make a coordinated attack so that light is not left on a island after it unloads.

And what's to stop the one they would backstab from doing the same?

Without a full activation, there just isn't the point unless it is to punish Fast movers, in my opinion.
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DevianID

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Re: Anyone used HBS Initiative?
« Reply #9 on: 11 January 2024, 00:41:37 »
Yeah I assume HBS init means you move and shoot all at once as an activation.

If its not a full activation, its not really HBS init.

Now, maybe you meant that init goes in 4 steps, assaults/heavies/mediums/lights?  So all the assaults move, then all the heavies, ect, but you still have simul shooting.  This isnt good, it just means lights always win init versus mediums... but pointedly that isnt how HBS init works.  in HBS, If lights in HBS delay to the end, the AI also starts to delay, and you alternate at the end, with the person with more units moving all theirs last.  This is not good a good tabletop rule at all, as it doesnt benefit lights without the rest of the HBS system.

Charistoph

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Re: Anyone used HBS Initiative?
« Reply #10 on: 11 January 2024, 12:10:06 »
It's not by weight class, but by MP capacity.  A Panther will be in the same Initiative Step as a Grasshopper, while a Linebacker will move (and Attack) before the Panther.
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Anyone used HBS Initiative?
« Reply #11 on: 11 January 2024, 17:06:24 »
It's not by weight class, but by MP capacity.  A Panther will be in the same Initiative Step as a Grasshopper, while a Linebacker will move (and Attack) before the Panther.

HBS Battletech did initiative strictly by weight category, not movement speed.
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Charistoph

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Re: Anyone used HBS Initiative?
« Reply #12 on: 11 January 2024, 19:04:44 »
HBS Battletech did initiative strictly by weight category, not movement speed.

Then how do you explain 2 'Mechs of the same weight category moving at different Initiatives, with the Faster ones always going first, and 2 Mechs of the same Movement Speed, but different weight classes, going in the same Initiative?
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Anyone used HBS Initiative?
« Reply #13 on: 11 January 2024, 20:01:10 »
There's a pilot ability that lets a mech activate as if it's one weight category lighter.  The computer usually puts it on faster mechs.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Anyone used HBS Initiative?
« Reply #14 on: 12 January 2024, 23:44:06 »
There's a pilot ability that lets a mech activate as if it's one weight category lighter.  The computer usually puts it on faster mechs.

It is, but I was bypassing that as there is no SPA for that I could think of . . . unit ability, maybe, but no individual.
Colt Ward
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Anyone used HBS Initiative?
« Reply #15 on: 13 January 2024, 03:01:28 »
Well, there wouldn't be an SPA in the tabletop game that's based on a rule from a computer game.
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DevianID

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Re: Anyone used HBS Initiative?
« Reply #16 on: 13 January 2024, 05:57:39 »
I did mention the SPA combat intuition, along with the unit specialization for seizing the initiative with a small number of units.  Both allow you to move before the enemy, and critically also shoot and punch.  You get your whole turn.  This is the initiative system HBS uses, where moving first also means shooting and melee first.  And its a system that only makes sense in an RPG type campaign game like HBS, where your 4 unit face off versus a dozen enemy mechs.

willydstyle

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Re: Anyone used HBS Initiative?
« Reply #17 on: 20 February 2024, 15:49:25 »
IMO Battletech's initiative system is one of the best tabletop initiative systems ever devised, and I just don't really want to mess with it.

I do sometimes combine weapons declaration with weapons resolution to speed up the game, but I also acknowledge how that *greatly* impacts the tactics a player uses and also unit balance so I clarify ahead of time if it's a shortcut my opponent wants to use.