BattleTech - The Board Game of Armored Combat

BattleTech Game Systems => General BattleTech Discussion => Topic started by: Sartris on 03 August 2019, 01:39:58

Title: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 03 August 2019, 01:39:58
So we know now that TacOps is getting split in half to Advanced Units and Equipment and Advanced Rules

I went ahead and crunched the possible numbers (I don't have normal hobbies). I left out the intro, index, and record sheets so the actual counts are probably +~20pg. the fiction was left in the page counts.

Advanced Rules
Advanced Ground Movement (55 pg)
Advanced Combat (39 pg)
Advanced Buildings (33 pg)
General Rules (51 pg)
Charts and Tables (6 pg)

Total - 184 pages

Advanced Units and Equipment
Advanced Support Vehicles (29 pg)
Advanced Support Vehicle Construction (43 pg)
Advanced Weapons and Equipment (108 pg)
Advanced Battle Values (7 pg)
Charts and Tables (15 pg)

Total - 202 pages


we know that
A 400 page supplemental game book is not viable, on many levels.

which has portents for SO and IO reprints

I've got SO getting split into Advanced Aerospace (aka battlespace 2)... plus the customization rules that are there and Battleforce, both at around 200 pages each. that leaves the miniature rules orphaned but it always felt weird stuffed into IO. At 27 pages, it would slide into TW rather nicely in place of the painting and mods guide?

IO gets split into Alternate eras at around 230 and what i'm calling "Big Combat" (SBF, ASC, ISaW) at around 150-160.

wild times we live in
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: pheonixstorm on 03 August 2019, 05:38:44
As long as they split the price too.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Two Guns Blazing on 03 August 2019, 06:20:05
Having so many rule books would seem to fall out-of-line with the desire to make the game more accessible (i.e. less confusing) for newer players...combining TRO's, yet splitting rule books.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Phobos101 on 03 August 2019, 07:16:41
There are things I find myself flipping between different rulebooks for things that are very closely related, for example Campaign Ops often needs support from IO and SO if you're running a merc company. hopefully if the changes continue, there will be some rationalization of which topics are in the same book and which ones aren't.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Wrangler on 03 August 2019, 07:38:20
As long as they split the price too.
You realize that the two books may add up more than the original right?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: ActionButler on 03 August 2019, 07:43:50
Having so many rule books would seem to fall out-of-line with the desire to make the game more accessible (i.e. less confusing) for newer players...combining TRO's, yet splitting rule books.

I don’t disagree, but I wonder how many people actually use the Advanced rules.  Attracting new blood to the game by combining everything from the Invasion Era is a bit different than dividing up the rules for super duper heavy aircraft carriers and skidding on pavement when you’re running downhill in the rain on a Thursday.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 03 August 2019, 07:56:39
Splitting alone does seem odd.  Reorganizing would make more sense for new print runs of this scale.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 03 August 2019, 08:08:05
You realize that the two books may add up more than the original right?


Unfortunately and I doubt it'd stop there.  >:( There's also SO, IO, and CO after it. But didn't they just release a new edition of TO a year ago?  ???

I don't have a problem with new rule books coming out. But why start in the middle of the set? If TPTB are going to reorganize things, why not start at the beginning?

And if a 400 page book is too big why make it so big in the first place?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 03 August 2019, 09:45:13
Having so many rule books would seem to fall out-of-line with the desire to make the game more accessible (i.e. less confusing) for newer players...combining TRO's, yet splitting rule books.

I don’t disagree, but I wonder how many people actually use the Advanced rules.  Attracting new blood to the game by combining everything from the Invasion Era is a bit different than dividing up the rules for super duper heavy aircraft carriers and skidding on pavement when you’re running downhill in the rain on a Thursday.

I know I used adobe and split off the rules I actually use in TO into separate PDFs, but not how they split it (advanced gear; mines and artillery). Haven’t brought TO to a game more than a couple times and I’ve played a few hundred games since it came out. It hasn’t been reprinted since 2012, not unlike SO and AToW so I don’t know if people are breaking down their doors to acquire them in massive numbers.

There’s a package of rules I call “standard plus” that I’d just add to TW that I use when I gm - single arm flip, one arm prop while prone, back down hills with psr, basic fire and smoke (as part of scenario rules),etc. I’d also put artillery and mines back in the main book like they were in bmr. Weather, expanded crits, anything with an MoS, spreading fires and smoke - I just let alone.

As long as they split the price too.

Oh sweet summer child...

I’m guessing $39.99 each

There's also SO, IO, and CO after it.

SO will definitely split, IO is years out from getting a turn, and CO is under 200 pages so they won’t touch that. The TO release was pdf errata corrections so it’s not like they sent it to the printer and spent that money. All of the changes were being made anyway.

Quote
I don't have a problem with new rule books coming out. But why start in the middle of the set? If TPTB are going to reorganize things, why not start at the beginning?

A good question though my gut instinct is time crunch and money. My initial speculation was that they’d pull post-2008 advanced gear from sourcebooks and IO plus stuff like LAMs and tripods. It would also give them a chance to reset the in universe perspective from 3067 to 3150 to match the BMM. But that takes time from other stuff that people really want. The KS is all consuming

Quote
And if a 400 page book is too big why make it so big in the first place?

Do you make the same financial decisions you did in 2007?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Adrian Gideon on 03 August 2019, 10:16:05
There’s no reorganization here. It’s split. Chop in half like King Solomon and the baby. It’s not *worth* it to CGL to produce for this new set as a 400+page book.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: dgorsman on 03 August 2019, 10:40:01
Unfortunately and I doubt it'd stop there.  >:( There's also SO, IO, and CO after it. But didn't they just release a new edition of TO a year ago?  ???

I don't have a problem with new rule books coming out. But why start in the middle of the set? If TPTB are going to reorganize things, why not start at the beginning?

And if a 400 page book is too big why make it so big in the first place?

Already started: BMM.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 03 August 2019, 10:55:34
Will errata going forward provide dual page citations so those of us with older books can find the changes?  Or do we need to buy the "new edition"?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 03 August 2019, 11:16:53
Already started: BMM.

Interestingly enough, game of armored combat + the clan invasion box rules recreates a good portion of the 1994 Compendium.

I dunno if bmm constitutes so much a restart/reorganization of the rules as a fork. The imminent TO reprint alongside the other core rules doesn’t give me the impression they’re going away anytime soon.

Will errata going forward provide dual page citations so those of us with older books can find the changes?  Or do we need to buy the "new edition"?

I’m guessing no on the errata but since it’s a straight reprint, you can still turn to the relevant section fairly easily. Still unknown whether if you bought the pdf you get the new split volume for free. Not ideal, but I’m more a find the best solution in a situation I can’t change kind of guy


Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Adrian Gideon on 03 August 2019, 11:27:26
Will errata going forward provide dual page citations so those of us with older books can find the changes?
Unfortunately, no.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 03 August 2019, 11:52:05
Ok... new edition it is, then.  I'll shelve my older books as the new ones come out.  At least they'll have that nice spine art to keep them company...
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Cache on 03 August 2019, 12:15:02
Ok... new edition it is, then.  I'll shelve my older books as the new ones come out.  At least they'll have that nice spine art to keep them company...
Or, if the book is truly split somewhere in the middle, we figure out a simple formula for references. i.e. Book 1 = (possibly) same reference page number. Book 2 = 200 + reference page number.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: idea weenie on 03 August 2019, 12:32:34
Will errata going forward provide dual page citations so those of us with older books can find the changes?  Or do we need to buy the "new edition"?

Now we know the reason for Starfleet Battles using rules references rather than page references

I.e. Strategic Operations C06.T05 means look in (or correct) Strategic Operations, chapter 6, table #5, no matter what page it is actually on.

I am adding the zeroes because (for example) I often get confused looking for 7.12, and not finding it between 7.1 and 7.2
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 03 August 2019, 12:36:56
Or, if the book is truly split somewhere in the middle, we figure out a simple formula for references. i.e. Book 1 = (possibly) same reference page number. Book 2 = 200 + reference page number.

Unlikely as for whatever reason the General Rules section (artillery, mines, double blind, etc) was placed after advanced support vehicle rules. There’s also a question of which half advanced buildings fall (since you build them like units and they have record sheets)
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 03 August 2019, 12:38:59
So there is a (minimal) amount of reorganization.  Too bad it wasn't farmed out as a crowd sourced/fan project.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Wrangler on 03 August 2019, 12:50:20
So there is a (minimal) amount of reorganization.  Too bad it wasn't farmed out as a crowd sourced/fan project.
You would think they would have reorganized it, given the effort done with the Battlemech manual.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 03 August 2019, 13:26:19
Rewritten, reformatted, and revised if you want it to be like BMM. It’s a new book which increases development time, cost, and sucks up product bandwidth. In terms of opportunity cost, the Kickstarter seems like a better investment of company resources
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: kinwolf on 03 August 2019, 13:34:35
What is the difference, production wise,  btw 2x200 pages books versus 1x400 pages book? 
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 03 August 2019, 13:39:54
Reprint flexibility for one. I have a feeling the equipment one will sell much better. It’s much cheaper to go back and order another set of the one that sells.

Psychology is a factor too. If I’m trying to decide what I want to buy, cheaper options let me play the rules I’m more interested in and then go back and get the other volume if I like the outcome
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Cache on 03 August 2019, 14:07:28
Unlikely as for whatever reason the General Rules section (artillery, mines, double blind, etc) was placed after advanced support vehicle rules.
This confuses me, because of AG's previous statement...
There’s no reorganization here. It’s split. Chop in half like King Solomon and the baby.

Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 03 August 2019, 14:33:25
I mean that’s just my take and I’m less reliable than a Magic eight ball. From the base-level amateur editing I’ve done it’s not hard to move sections around unless the even-odd sequence gets broken.

If they do decided to just cut the thing in half, it won’t comport as well to the implied contents of the titles

addendum: looking at TO, i can see how a "Solomon Chop" would work (PLEASE make this a canon physical attack).

Option 1: Right Down the Middle (well, as right down the middle as it can be between chapters)

Advanced Rules
Advanced Ground Movement (55 pg)
Advanced Combat (39 pg)
Advanced Support Vehicles (29 pg)
Advanced Buildings (33 pg)
General Rules (51 pg)

Advanced Units and Equipment
Advanced Support Vehicle Construction (43 pg)
Advanced Weapons and Equipment (108 pg)
Advanced Battle Values (7 pg)

pros: same size
cons: stuff in the general rules section for artillery and mines especially are in a different book than the artillery and mines equipment rules

Option 2: Slide to the Left
Advanced Rules
Advanced Ground Movement (55 pg)
Advanced Combat (39 pg)
Advanced Support Vehicles (29 pg)
Advanced Buildings (33 pg)

Advanced Units and Equipment
General Rules (51 pg)
Advanced Support Vehicle Construction (43 pg)
Advanced Weapons and Equipment (108 pg)
Advanced Battle Values (7 pg)

pros: mines and artillery united once again
cons: some definite rules stuff in the mix that belongs in the other book


my particular bias doesn't want to have to consult two books for artillery and mines, which means i can largely keep the first half on the shelf. The down the middle split creates a more TW-TM dichotomy with gameplay stuff on one side and construction/non-gameplay rules on the other - though the advanced equipment is too intertwined to separate and too large to not anchor its own half.

barring a radical reorganization, i'd rather just have one book, but we're a bit far down the path for that now
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: SCC on 03 August 2019, 21:36:34
Now we know the reason for Starfleet Battles using rules references rather than page references

I.e. Strategic Operations C06.T05 means look in (or correct) Strategic Operations, chapter 6, table #5, no matter what page it is actually on.

I am adding the zeroes because (for example) I often get confused looking for 7.12, and not finding it between 7.1 and 7.2
I don't know about SFB, but I've got the current Starfire rules and both games where originally put out by the same people and the current setup for Starfire is each chapter gets a letter, even if the entire chapter is optional, and each chapter will be divided up into a maximum of 9 sections (a signle digit), then you have a period, then up to 99 sub-sections (2 digits), with further sub-divisions being a period and then a single additional digit. An example is L4.02.2.4.1 What can go in the Government Pool? Tables use the rule number of the rules their attached to, like so: Table L4.02 CFN Capacity Pools.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Kitsune413 on 03 August 2019, 21:47:43
I don’t disagree, but I wonder how many people actually use the Advanced rules.  Attracting new blood to the game by combining everything from the Invasion Era is a bit different than dividing up the rules for super duper heavy aircraft carriers and skidding on pavement when you’re running downhill in the rain on a Thursday.

It's the fact that it's a Thursday that really matters in that equation.

So close to the end of the five day MechWarrior work week people get careless....
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 04 August 2019, 22:44:54
SO will definitely split, IO is years out from getting a turn, and CO is under 200 pages so they won’t touch that. The TO release was pdf errata corrections so it’s not like they sent it to the printer and spent that money. All of the changes were being made anyway.

A good question though my gut instinct is time crunch and money. My initial speculation was that they’d pull post-2008 advanced gear from sourcebooks and IO plus stuff like LAMs and tripods. It would also give them a chance to reset the in universe perspective from 3067 to 3150 to match the BMM. But that takes time from other stuff that people really want. The KS is all consuming

Do you make the same financial decisions you did in 2007?


Problem is with more and more becoming tournament legal more is going to have to be put in Total Warfare or its new equivalent.

Wasn't some of the errata missing from the last release of TO?

If resetting the in universe perspective means gathering all tournament items together, that is something that needs to be done. The BMM doesn't really work for that. Its sort of its own thing. Frankly I'm not sure why it is. Although the new quirks are cool.


Since I've been waiting this long to buy an updated edition I'm willing to pay for it. Although I had been hoping they redo the books so all the rules for an item were together. Its frustrating having to not only flip thru multiple pages but multiple books to find out what something does.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Charlie Tango on 05 August 2019, 16:29:59

I dunno if bmm constitutes so much a restart/reorganization of the rules as a fork. The imminent TO reprint alongside the other core rules doesn’t give me the impression they’re going away anytime soon.


BMM was intended as a "median step", something in between the starter rules and TW,  that was focused on being useful for the (large) majority of games played which are only using 'Mechs.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 05 August 2019, 16:38:31
i'm not a huge fan of off-board artillery so the abstract support system was a welcome addition. with the inclusion of most 3145-standard and common advanced gear i only need TO if i'm up to something awful.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Wrangler on 05 August 2019, 16:43:02
BMM was intended as a "median step", something in between the starter rules and TW,  that was focused on being useful for the (large) majority of games played which are only using 'Mechs.
Unfortunately that's true, possibly making it into a boring game.  With TROs coming out without vehicles and other units, new players won't know about the combat vehicles unless they stumble across them in older products.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 05 August 2019, 16:47:48
iwm has all but stopped producing vehicles outside of cons and fan funding so it doesn't appear that the people who know about them care that much either
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: sadlerbw on 05 August 2019, 17:31:42
In my opinion, Alpha Strike has pretty much replaced Battle Force. I don’t really see the value in continuing to re-print and manage Battle Force rules anymore. That’s just me though.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Colt Ward on 05 August 2019, 17:37:42
It's the fact that it's a Thursday that really matters in that equation.

So close to the end of the five day MechWarrior work week people get careless....

Well, its for all the troops who swore they were going to stop drinking . . . and by Wednesday night, decided they would get that New Year's goal done right next week!

Re- Vehicles
Well, we are also pretty much done on the 'main' 3085 & 3145 vehicles/BA IIRC?  It could also be that they were clued in to the franchise's shift back to mechs for all the Dark Ages combined arms talk.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 05 August 2019, 17:43:17
It strikes me nothing has done more to kill combined arms for the majority of fans than the clicky-tech embrace of them...
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 05 August 2019, 17:51:11
In my opinion, Alpha Strike has pretty much replaced Battle Force. I don’t really see the value in continuing to re-print and manage Battle Force rules anymore. That’s just me though.

That’s a fair assessment. I included BF in the splits because I seem to remember official whispers that it was getting a rework for the new printing. My guess is it’s being turned into Voltron AS where it combines units into lances under something closer to AS rules

IMO they need to make it its own thing with different rules because there is little incentive to play it instead of straight alpha strike. Unless I missed something in the BF rules that makes it stand out on its own

Re- Vehicles
Well, we are also pretty much done on the 'main' 3085 & 3145 vehicles/BA IIRC?  It could also be that they were clued in to the franchise's shift back to mechs for all the Dark Ages combined arms talk.

Done as in we have minis for them? Not even close. I dunno what you consider “main”. BA is better off (also powered by fan funding) but vees are maybe 33% done. Even 3075 and 85 are only just over half released and 85 is almost a decade old.

It strikes me nothing has done more to kill combined arms for the majority of fans than the clicky-tech embrace of them...

I think it was the part of clixtech that made mechs at best an equal partner that turned people off the most (at least in the combined arms aspect).

Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 05 August 2019, 17:54:21
When you decide to make Fraken-Industrial-'Mechs viable, it's hard NOT to make vehicles and BA equal to them.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: dgorsman on 05 August 2019, 18:07:23
Not sure you can (reasonably) do regiment on regiment with Alpha Strike.  But there isn't much call for that mid-level game, I think.  It's either individual units with TW or AS, or campaign level with ISAW.

Battleforce: Voltron edition.  Now more Alpha Strike-ier than ever!
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 05 August 2019, 18:13:31
Not sure you can (reasonably) do regiment on regiment with Alpha Strike.  But there isn't much call for that mid-level game, I think.  It's either individual units with TW or AS, or campaign level with ISAW.

Battleforce: Voltron edition.  Now more Alpha Strike-ier than ever!

is there anyone who plays strategic battleforce on the regular?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Ursus Maior on 05 August 2019, 18:35:22
In my opinion, Alpha Strike has pretty much replaced Battle Force. I don’t really see the value in continuing to re-print and manage Battle Force rules anymore. That’s just me though.
Seriously, I would not be sorry - in fact happy - for all Battle Force rules to be stricken from BT products. Then integrate Battle Force rules from SO, CO, IO and whatnot into one Battle Force Compendium and make it a PDF of even a POD. But right now, that stuff is just cluttering BT core books and making them more expansive to print, buy and write errata for.

Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: General308 on 05 August 2019, 21:33:46
I don’t disagree, but I wonder how many people actually use the Advanced rules.  Attracting new blood to the game by combining everything from the Invasion Era is a bit different than dividing up the rules for super duper heavy aircraft carriers and skidding on pavement when you’re running downhill in the rain on a Thursday.

I use the advanced rules.  But besides that some of the advanced equipment to use you need the rest of the book.  Seems odd but I am not going to pretend to undesrstand the logistics of it.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 05 August 2019, 21:53:23
I think the logistics are simple enough - they want to do it as cheaply as possible. The Solomon Chop (I’m never letting this go) let’s them get the book out the door with a minimum of fuss. They’ve weighed the development cost vs benefit and decided this is the way to go.

Which makes sense, in light of this

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=66374.0

If that’s the strategy, it doesn’t make sense to pour too much into books that, while you still want to keep in print, are moving toward a different paradigm. I’d rather see a complete remodel that moves different pieces around so they fit better together but they rightly never consulted my dumb ass so here we are
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Robroy on 06 August 2019, 05:46:55
Sarcasm/
Makes you wonder how we played the game with the BMR at only 161 pages with rules for mechs, vess, PBI, arty, and areo.
Sarcasm/

I think if TPTB want to lighten the books, take out what does not further a TT game.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 06 August 2019, 06:25:14
And maxtech and AeroTech 2 and Battleforce 2 and the evolution of Operation Stiletto and Flashpoint and the succession wars box. Aero wasn’t in bmr

BMR’s only relevance here is that it had artillery
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Robroy on 06 August 2019, 06:49:32
Don't have it in front of me, but okay I was thinking strafing/ bombing.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 06 August 2019, 07:31:10
BMM was intended as a "median step", something in between the starter rules and TW,  that was focused on being useful for the (large) majority of games played which are only using 'Mechs.

Yet it doesn't include quads.


I think the logistics are simple enough - they want to do it as cheaply as possible. The Solomon Chop (I’m never letting this go) let’s them get the book out the door with a minimum of fuss. They’ve weighed the development cost vs benefit and decided this is the way to go.

Which makes sense, in light of this

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=66374.0

If that’s the strategy, it doesn’t make sense to pour too much into books that, while you still want to keep in print, are moving toward a different paradigm. I’d rather see a complete remodel that moves different pieces around so they fit better together but they rightly never consulted my dumb ass so here we are

I really hope that isn't the strategy. One of the best things about Battletech is that it has all these other units. If the strategy really to abandon everything but mechs it makes me fear for the future of Battletech.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: nckestrel on 06 August 2019, 08:08:19
Yet it doesn't include quads.
BattleMech Manual does have quads.
P15 has the lateral shift movement for quads
P19 has standing up for quads
P25 no torso twist for quads...
Etc
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Colt Ward on 06 August 2019, 10:26:10
The answer on that is JUST TRO Era re-organization & reprint, latest SB we got- House Arano- had 1 mech, 2 vehs and a DS . . . I am about as combined arms as you can get, but BTU is about mechs and its the initial draw.  So having one of the first game aid books after the starter boxes filled with mechs is a good thing.  Anyone wanting to find vehicles is going to find them pretty readily.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 06 August 2019, 11:04:13
this has been coming for a while now

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=60405.msg1389013#msg1389013

it makes me fear for the future of Battletech.

the future hasn't been this bright in twenty-five years

(http://puu.sh/E1X8L/089a384f52.png)

vehicles are still there. it's not like they're hiding them in a new mexico warehouse that people can't get at.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Ursus Maior on 06 August 2019, 13:58:07
I really hope that isn't the strategy. One of the best things about Battletech is that it has all these other units. If the strategy really to abandon everything but mechs it makes me fear for the future of Battletech.
Abandonment isn't an issue here. One can still buy TO, SO, CO and IO as well as all the TROs and record sheets as PDFs. What CGL seems not interested to do, is to burn money in feeding the older fans the same old rules, fluff and sheets once more.

What they are interested in, how I read it, is giving new players easy access to the core game and its more advance rules in the foreseeable future. And, being honest, I don't see any newbie finding out about and enjoying vees, aero and infantry all by themselves. The material is not at all easily accessible right now. But if a new player gets a grip on the 'Mech rules and then gets into contact with us older players, we are certainly capable to point them into the right direction.



EDIT: grammar, we fight constantly, sorry you had to see the mess.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Insaniac99 on 06 August 2019, 14:09:06
Abandonment isn't an issue here. One can still buy TO, SO, CO and IO as well as all the TROs and record sheets as PDFs. What CGL seems not interested to do, is burn money in feeding the older fans the same old rules, fluff and sheets once more.

What they are interested in, how I read it, is giving new players easy access to the core game and its more advance rules in the foreseeable future. And, being honest, I don't see any newbie finding out about and enjoying vees, aero and infantry all by themselves. The material is not at all easily accessible right now. But if a new player gets a grip on the 'Mech rules and then gets into contact with us older players, we are certainly capable to point them into the right direction.

I would like a "Ground Vehicle Manual" or similar book that is a thin add-on book to the BMM because I don't think relying on Grogs to teach advanced stuff is good.  But I don't see it being profitable to do so until there's more newer players.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Adrian Gideon on 06 August 2019, 14:17:46
I would like a "Ground Vehicle Manual" or similar book that is a thin add-on book to the BMM because I don't think relying on Grogs to teach advanced stuff is good.  But I don't see it being profitable to do so until there's more newer players.
TW is in print. This is a thread about reprinting TO. The idea of a vehicle/infantry/etc “BMM” is one we’ve had since day one, but why does anyone feel like any of that has been abandoned if we still have all the information still available?

Ursus Major is 100% right.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Insaniac99 on 06 August 2019, 14:45:07
TW is in print. This is a thread about reprinting TO. The idea of a vehicle/infantry/etc “BMM” is one we’ve had since day one, but why does anyone feel like any of that has been abandoned if we still have all the information still available?

Ursus Major is 100% right.

I don't think there is a case for abandonment, but lack of ease of entry for combined arms for new people.  Mechs get the new combined TROs, the BMM, all the easy (and cheaper) plastic minis, and the box-sets in general.

  Compared to that, combined arms feel relegated to the position of "oh, well if you really want them, I guess you can find rules in this older and much more complex book" that makes them feel.... unloved is how I would phrase that.

Now to counterpoint my own thoughts, I did like seeing that the Arano book had vehicles as a prominent part.  I think future releases with them sprinkled in (Like the Elementals in the clan box) is proof that they aren't unloved and I'm personally looking forward to the rules in the Clan box possibly being the prototype of the dreams of the simplified combined arms manual.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Firesprocket on 06 August 2019, 16:34:59
I think the logistics are simple enough - they want to do it as cheaply as possible. The Solomon Chop (I’m never letting this go) let’s them get the book out the door with a minimum of fuss. They’ve weighed the development cost vs benefit and decided this is the way to go.

Which makes sense, in light of this

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=66374.0
I'm glad I came across this.  The one thing I currently lack an abundance of is the TROs in PDF form.  I had plans to buy the PDFs of Succession Wars, Clan Invasion, and future volumes as the cost made more sense than going back to buy 3039, 3050, etc.  However if they have no other material other than mechs in them that nixes is that idea.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 06 August 2019, 16:40:43
Something I forgot to ask the first time I posted in this thread... is fiction still included in the split volumes?  Because if it is, page count being an issue and fiction sticking around is going to cause some cognitive dissonance for me...
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Adrian Gideon on 06 August 2019, 16:45:52
Yes, the fiction will remain just as it does in the rest of the core book series. How would that cause cognitive dissonance?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 06 August 2019, 17:01:19
TO has 34 pages of fiction. cutting it drops the page count to 392, which i assume is still too big for the purposes of this exercise
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 06 August 2019, 17:07:05
Adding fiction in place of rules in a RULE book causes cognitive dissonance for me.  YMMV.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 06 August 2019, 17:15:06
you said the page count and split vis a vis the fiction was causing cognitive dissonance. that's a different issue than whether it belongs in the first place. i'm indifferent to its presence and it getting cut wouldn't solve the split volume issue so /shrug
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 06 August 2019, 17:16:20
Citing page count as an issue, then including non-rules is what does it for me.  Why would you add something that doesn't belong in the first place?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Adrian Gideon on 06 August 2019, 17:17:29
It’s already there. Nothing is being cut. Nothing is being added.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Ogra_Chief on 06 August 2019, 17:20:28
Come on dude, you know why... it adds to the IP/universe. A bunch of rules which by now BT has an overabundance of (looking at you max/experimental tech) is not 'enough' to sell a product, it needs value. A short story is quick and relatively cheap way to do so as well as stirring the imagination of a new convert. Even better if the story relates to some recently explained boring overly worded ruleset.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 06 August 2019, 17:22:30
Citing page count as an issue, then including non-rules is what does it for me.  Why would you add something that doesn't belong in the first place?

if it were a significant quantity as to alter decision-making (ie cutting the fiction would keep it as one volume), i could see the issue. since the split would likely be occurring anyway, it's separate from whether it belongs or not.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 06 August 2019, 17:25:02
"Dude", if I knew why, I wouldn't be kvetching about it.  I still haven't read any of the fiction in any of the rule books I own (which is to say all of the current ones, less the split TacOps just announced).  It's simply not why I buy rule books.  I'm not the oldest school guy around, but I really have NO interest in clan stuff.  As I said, YMMV.

Sartris has a stronger point, and one I'm willing to concede, BUT keeping the fiction in there when page count is driving a split still doesn't seem right.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 06 August 2019, 17:36:58
i can see where you're coming from in the case of total warfare - 48 pages of fiction (technically 56,  but the first two items aren't so much short stories as maps and the two-page thing on military structures of the various factions) - add to that the 20 page painting guide at the end, and that's a significant chunk of real estate that could be repurposed to either slim the volume by 22% or bring in some stuff cut from BMR.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: dgorsman on 06 August 2019, 17:40:24
There may be mechanical restrictions i.e. there cannot be an arbitrary number of pages.  In which cases adding fiction provides enough padding.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Firesprocket on 06 August 2019, 17:44:08
A short story is quick and relatively cheap way to do so as well as stirring the imagination of a new convert.
I am, perhaps, in the minority here, but I'm willing to bet most players, regardless of whether they are new to this game or any game really care much about whether there is fiction tied into the their rule book.  If you want a single story about tech in a class room setting in a tech book, sure I get that.  A story about fluff about myomer bundles, I get it.  Stories about Maskirkova, check points, and guerillas in a rule book?  Yeah, I just don't care in those circumstances.

No offense to the authors of those pieces, in that setting, a rule book, is intended.  They are just pages to be eliminated.  These pieces, conversely aren't large, and it costs more money, I guess, to simply eliminate them on their own.  Honestly I'm in favor of simply not re-printing content that likely to seldom, if ever, be used.

Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Ogra_Chief on 06 August 2019, 17:53:18
i can see where you're coming from in the case of total warfare - 48 pages of fiction (technically 56,  but the first two items aren't so much short stories as maps and the two-page thing on military structures of the various factions) - add to that the 20 page painting guide at the end, and that's a significant chunk of real estate that could be repurposed to either slim the volume by 22% or bring in some stuff cut from BMR.

If you wanted to cut the painting guide, then their is the item that has no business in a rulebook, but that likely wouldn't be fair to the hobbyist.

What I wouldn't like to see is a straight wall of text, with little life or context. Even if it is a stripped down bare bones essential ruleset made for the experienced player. However, a PDF only product might be different. I'm not saying anyone is wrong, just arguing some feel differently.

Also, I never purchased a BT rulebook without some type of lore or story attached. One could argue photos and pictures are unnecessary add-ins. Yet, I could not imagine, not having them.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 06 August 2019, 17:56:25
Firesprocket, I'm with you.  Fiction is a one and done thing, whereas the rules are a) the thing you're buying the book for, and b) the thing you're going to read (AND look up) again and again.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 06 August 2019, 17:58:54
There may be mechanical restrictions i.e. there cannot be an arbitrary number of pages.  In which cases adding fiction provides enough padding.

if that's the case, and i had to choose between the fiction and bringing ~70 pages of rules in from TO/SO, i'd take the rules. i know TW is supposed to be "TL rules only" but I managed to avoid accidentally using the Special Case Rules in BMR in Level 2 play. now you have a cascading effect - that's 100 pages (ported rules + fiction) out of TO, which now can exist as a single volume.

that's obviously not the intent here. cost, development time, and opportunity cost (and strategic vision) means they're not going in that direction. i think they have other plans for the core rules line and the current printings are just gap-fillers until those plans can be enacted in the medium term.

If you wanted to cut the painting guide, then their is the item that has no business in a rulebook, but that likely wouldn't be fair to the hobbyist.

What I wouldn't like to see is a straight wall of text, with little life or context. Even if it is a stripped down bare bones essential ruleset made for the experienced player. However, a PDF only product might be different. I'm not saying anyone is wrong, just arguing some feel differently.

Also, I never purchased a BT rulebook without some type of lore or story attached. One could argue photos and pictures are unnecessary add-ins. Yet, I could not imagine, not having them.


like i said, i'm generally indifferent about this (at least insofar as if it's fiction or nothing i'd vote to keep the fiction). currently it's clear the fiction isn't going anywhere. i'm just looking at realties and potentialities
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: VensersRevenge on 06 August 2019, 18:19:00
I completely disagree. The majority of the rules in Total Warfare simply do not come up. I don't play aerospace so all those rules are completely meaningless to me. But the fiction is interesting. I would never buy a book about a Marik militia (not Militia) signalman during the Jihad, but getting that look in a minor part of the setting in the rules shows how expansive the universe really is. Also Total Warfare fiction includes the only fictional appearance of the Linebacker I am aware of, and it is my favourite 'Mech.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Firesprocket on 06 August 2019, 18:38:35
I personally wouldn't mind the elimination of aerospace/battlespace stuff from TW.  But that presents more problems than solutions.  90% of what I use Tac Ops for atm is reminders of tech based stuff.  The next most used items are almost exclusively artillery rules.  I think, if I used LAMS, I'd have it for reference for turn modes.  Other than that very little of it is items I can think I use with any frequency outside of floating TAC rules.  There are items that I think should be in the main rule setting such as the option probe rules and ECCM.  But the later especially get be argued over whether it really speeds up or slows the game down.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: kinwolf on 06 August 2019, 19:53:09
Maybe CGL should start putting rules in fiction books instead... O:-)
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 06 August 2019, 19:59:10
Scenario packs
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Ogra_Chief on 06 August 2019, 20:21:26
One-off rules on the back of Lance Packs.  8)
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 07 August 2019, 07:08:54
BattleMech Manual does have quads.
P15 has the lateral shift movement for quads
P19 has standing up for quads
P25 no torso twist for quads...
Etc

Huh. Can't imagine how I missed them. Thanks. :)


this has been coming for a while now

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=60405.msg1389013#msg1389013

Thing is we've had many different flavors  of ice cream along with all the toppings for more than 30 years. Why the sudden need to drop all the toppings?


Quote
the future hasn't been this bright in twenty-five years

(http://puu.sh/E1X8L/089a384f52.png)

vehicles are still there. it's not like they're hiding them in a new mexico warehouse that people can't get at.

I hope it is but if so, why the need for kickstarters? Why split the rule book? Why abandon other units? Why start splitting up rule books saying they're too big to publish?

Sure for those that know where to look but will new players know?


Abandonment isn't an issue here. One can still buy TO, SO, CO and IO as well as all the TROs and record sheets as PDFs. What CGL seems not interested to do, is burn money in feeding the older fans the same old rules, fluff and sheets once more.

What they are interested in, how I read it, is giving new players easy access to the core game and its more advance rules in the foreseeable future. And, being honest, I don't see any newbie finding out about and enjoying vees, aero and infantry all by themselves. The material is not at all easily accessible right now. But if a new player gets a grip on the 'Mech rules and then gets into contact with us older players, we are certainly capable to point them into the right direction.

Then why aren't they including the other units in TROs? And where can one buy the core rule books? The store I go to has been reduced their battletech selection drastically. And you don't keep publishing the same edition of the rule books. Not unless there's a great demand for it. You print newer editions with rule changes, updates, and errata in them. This not only gives older players the ability to buy updated rule books but it keeps the rule books in print so that new players can buy them.

Splitting the rule books up just make playing even more difficult since you'd need to find and buy another book. 

As for new players not finding out about and enjoying other units on their own, how can they if they're not included?  Other units have been a part of the game for more than 30 years and have appeared in nearly every TRO since TRO:3025. Why are they suddenly an obstruction to players being interested, playing, and enjoying the game?

TW is in print. This is a thread about reprinting TO. The idea of a vehicle/infantry/etc “BMM” is one we’ve had since day one, but why does anyone feel like any of that has been abandoned if we still have all the information still available?

Ursus Major is 100% right.

Because TROs are switching to Mech only and the only place one can find vehicles is in Record sheets. 


It’s already there. Nothing is being cut. Nothing is being added.

I would hope all the updates and errata would be added.

Ultimately I hope  Battletech is doing well and that splitting TO is just a temporary measure to keep things in print while all the Core Rule Books are revised to make them more user friendly and to lay out what the new Tournament Legal is.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 07 August 2019, 08:10:16
Quote
I hope it is but if so, why the need for kickstarters?

yes, what business would want a million dollar cash infusion? i can't think of a single one.

the rest of it... well, the times are a changin. "we've always done it this way" is objectively one of the worst reasons to keep doing something
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Adrian Gideon on 07 August 2019, 08:14:29
I’d hire you if I could.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 07 August 2019, 08:24:02
Your follow up Kickstarter can be for my salary. I’m sure it’ll be huge. Dozens of dollars!
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Two Guns Blazing on 07 August 2019, 08:36:21
yes, what business would want a million dollar cash infusion? i can't think of a single one.

...going to be a two million dollar infusion, I reckon...

In regards to combat vehicles...I like having the option of vehicles in my games, but for me, they definitely take a back seat and to be perfectly honest, I'd be perfectly happy with their being only two vehicles in the entire game that generically represent the same type of vehicle for each different faction.

1 - A Tank that had a single "Heavy" weapon hard point and a single "Light" weapon hard point, both of which had maybe 2-3 choices of weapons that could be slotted in. Tracked, slow speed with moderate armour, and

2 - An APC/IFV that could carry troops around and had a single "Light" weapon hard point that could accept 2-3 choices of weapons. Tracked, moderate speed with light armour. 
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Wrangler on 07 August 2019, 08:39:01
...going to be a two million dollar infusion, I reckon...

In regards to combat vehicles...I like having the option of vehicles in my games, but for me, they definitely take a back seat and to be perfectly honest, I'd be perfectly happy with their being only two vehicles in the entire game that generically represent the same type of vehicle for each different faction.

1 - A Tank that had a single "Heavy" weapon hard point and a single "Light" weapon hard point, both of which had maybe 2-3 choices of weapons that could be slotted in. Tracked, slow speed with moderate armour, and

2 - An APC/IFV that could carry troops around and had a single "Light" weapon hard point that could accept 2-3 choices of weapons. Tracked, moderate speed with light armour.
So far from, new TROs. There aren't any combat vehicles and other units being listed.  I'm curious how new players will find out and wonder why they were dropped from the TROs.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Adrian Gideon on 07 August 2019, 09:39:05
Combat Vehicles (etc.) aren’t in the box sets or the BMM. We are thinking of new players.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Colt Ward on 07 August 2019, 12:36:24
So far from, new TROs. There aren't any combat vehicles and other units being listed.  I'm curious how new players will find out and wonder why they were dropped from the TROs.

From the Firestarter entry-
"For additional anti-personnel work, the Firestarter has two Deprus RF Machine Guns mounted in either side of its torso which, combined with the flamers, can make short work of infantry units. The Firestarter carries one Magna Mk II Medium Laser in either arm for when it is forced to engage hard targets like vehicles and other BattleMechs."

So a mech is referenced as being good at killing infantry and deal with vehicles.

From the Gargoyle Prime entry-
"The Primary Gargoyle configuration is capable of engaging enemies at a variety of ranges. For long range encounters, the Gargoyle has two LB 5-X Autocannon that are capable of firing both solid rounds and cluster ammunition, making the 'Mech effective against aircraft and vehicles."

Mech config designed to deal with vehicles and aircraft.

So in various mech entries it tells the new player that we have infantry, vehicles and aircraft in the setting and a mech defeats them all.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 07 August 2019, 16:18:31
i think the easiest thing to do would be to have a clear pointer in the back of some of the books

"psst. hey, kid. yeah you. you like tanks?"
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: winters_night on 08 August 2019, 03:04:26
I am, perhaps, in the minority here, but I'm willing to bet most players, regardless of whether they are new to this game or any game really care much about whether there is fiction tied into the their rule book.  If you want a single story about tech in a class room setting in a tech book, sure I get that.  A story about fluff about myomer bundles, I get it.  Stories about Maskirkova, check points, and guerillas in a rule book?  Yeah, I just don't care in those circumstances.

No offense to the authors of those pieces, in that setting, a rule book, is intended.  They are just pages to be eliminated.  These pieces, conversely aren't large, and it costs more money, I guess, to simply eliminate them on their own.  Honestly I'm in favor of simply not re-printing content that likely to seldom, if ever, be used.

It would be unwise to cut the fluff, the fluff is what attaches people to the game and makes them identify with it and seek out more.  The last Total Warfare was pretty good with it, having fluff pieces at the start of each chapter. That way the fluff did not interfere with the rules.

Perhaps as an older player you don't really care because your already attached but I seriously doubt your playing Battletech just to push faceless mechs around with no attachment to the backstory of the game.  But flipping through a codex or rulebook like Total warfare it'd be the fluff I read first than I'd start to look at the rules if the setting interests me.

I didn't play 40k to throw buckets of dice on the table, I played to use the legions of the Emperors Soldiers fighting against the teeming hordes seeking to bring down the empire.
I didn't play Warmachines because I thought focus was a neat mechanic, I played it because mages marching around steam driven robots in a magic meets steampunk universe sounded awesome.
I didn't play Infinity because links are neat, I played it because the Nomads broker information and have a weird religious, body mutation Bakunin subfaction in it.

etc etc.  Rulebook fluff is generally going to be the first exposure some people have to the fluff at all.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: mbear on 08 August 2019, 08:02:41
Your follow up Kickstarter can be for my salary. I’m sure it’ll be huge. Dozens of dollars cents!

Fixed that for you. ;)

But on the subject of splitting the rulebook, I seem to remember that printed books need to be organized in signatures of 4 or 16 pages. If your page counts aren't divisible by those numbers, you may want to revisit them.

And hopefully the forthcoming split version of Tactical Operations explains why my new PDF copy (product number E-CAT35003V) doesn't have the nice PDF bookmarks of the older version in it. (Chapter level bookmarks makes mbear sad.  :'()

It would be unwise to cut the fluff, the fluff is what attaches people to the game and makes them identify with it and seek out more.  The last Total Warfare was pretty good with it, having fluff pieces at the start of each chapter. That way the fluff did not interfere with the rules.

I particularly liked how the fluff related to the relevant section. The chapter on infantry was an epistolary from a trainee undergoing boot camp, for example, which really tied the fluff into the theme of the following rules.

Perhaps as an older player you don't really care because your already attached but I seriously doubt your playing Battletech just to push faceless mechs around with no attachment to the backstory of the game.  But flipping through a codex or rulebook like Total warfare it'd be the fluff I read first than I'd start to look at the rules if the setting interests me.

That is a very good point that I had overlooked. Thanks for pointing it out.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 08 August 2019, 08:10:57
My mom would throw in $50

If it’s a four page divisor, it’s nothing a page or two of ads in the back cant fix
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: mbear on 08 August 2019, 08:15:57
In my opinion, Alpha Strike has pretty much replaced Battle Force. I don’t really see the value in continuing to re-print and manage Battle Force rules anymore. That’s just me though.
That’s a fair assessment. I included BF in the splits because I seem to remember official whispers that it was getting a rework for the new printing. My guess is it’s being turned into Voltron AS where it combines units into lances under something closer to AS rules

IMO they need to make it its own thing with different rules because there is little incentive to play it instead of straight alpha strike. Unless I missed something in the BF rules that makes it stand out on its own

This should probably be in a different thread, but aren't Alpha Strike's stats derived from BattleForce's stats? If so BattleForce 3 could use formation cards instead of unit cards and be as simple as "Add all the values on these four Alpha Strike cards, then divide by 4 to get your BattleForce Heavy Lance's values."
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 08 August 2019, 08:19:51
I had thought about that too. It would actually be similar to BF1, ironically
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 09 August 2019, 08:13:12
yes, what business would want a million dollar cash infusion? i can't think of a single one.

the rest of it... well, the times are a changin. "we've always done it this way" is objectively one of the worst reasons to keep doing something

I can't either but with Kickstarters you have to provide that product. That doesn't always happen. I think it'd be better to produce a product and get money than get money and hope I can make a product.

As for the rest, changing things for the sake of changing things isn't always a good idea. You also shouldn't fix what isn't broken.


Combat Vehicles (etc.) aren’t in the box sets or the BMM. We are thinking of new players.

Were combat vehicles included in the older box sets?  ??? CityTechs had some cardboard counters but did any of the others? And did any ever have minis?

Also box sets aren't the only way into the game.


snip

So in various mech entries it tells the new player that we have infantry, vehicles and aircraft in the setting and a mech defeats them all.

Doesn't mean much if there's no infantry, vehicles and aircraft to shoot at.

Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Colt Ward on 09 August 2019, 12:42:03
You also shouldn't fix what isn't broken.

I missed the stack of 5th reprint of TRO3050u when last I was in my FLGS if you saw it in yours.

How many grognards did not buy TO b/c it had 'equipment I will never use, I do not want to support any of that *insert adjective of choice*" when it came out?  Its a well proven theory, complete with graphs and other fun facts, that the buying decision is a curve- you can get X buyers at this price point, and if you raise it another $5 you will get X-Y buyers.  Splitting the book, even if the price is not completely split- say instead of the $40 for old TO we get $25 or $30, you are going to get more buyers for the rules or equipment than you would have people buying original TO with both.  Which will include the grogs who refused to buy advanced rules that they might have used b/c they were compatible with their ideal 3025 game they would not have bought with equipment.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 09 August 2019, 13:40:37
I can't either but with Kickstarters you have to provide that product. That doesn't always happen. I think it'd be better to produce a product and get money than get money and hope I can make a product.

As for the rest, changing things for the sake of changing things isn't always a good idea. You also shouldn't fix what isn't broken.

Trouble is the writing has been on the wall I'd say for at least a decade that the way Battletech was being marketed was broken but it just hasn't been noticed by as many people as it is now because of some rather herculean efforts on the part of CGL and admitadly the grognards.

For the kickstarter it seems very clear that CGL went into this being reasonably sure they would be able to deliver the base product.

Quote
Were combat vehicles included in the older box sets?  ??? CityTechs had some cardboard counters but did any of the others? And did any ever have minis?

Also box sets aren't the only way into the game.


Doesn't mean much if there's no infantry, vehicles and aircraft to shoot at.

The truth is it is a pretty safe bet that most games involve nothing but mechs and that most people who play Battletech will never actually use anything but mechs.

With what I know from various marketing research most players are not going to care about the fluff or try to dig deeper no matter how easy we make it for them and let's be honest it isn't easy in the current state of Battletech.  At least not in a commercially sustainable fashion to support.

Ultimately it is becoming harder to deny that the old ways are no longer sustainable and that the evidence is mounting that things do need to change or we may not have Battletech at all.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 09 August 2019, 18:10:00
Monbvol: I find it highly amusing that we're talking about the long tail of a community that itself is the long tail of the gaming community...  ;D
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 09 August 2019, 18:27:58
Which is kind of the scary thing really.

Battletech and by extension CGL has a very narrow margin for what mistakes they can make and still make Battletech for it.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 10 August 2019, 03:11:50
I missed the stack of 5th reprint of TRO3050u when last I was in my FLGS if you saw it in yours.

How many grognards did not buy TO b/c it had 'equipment I will never use, I do not want to support any of that *insert adjective of choice*" when it came out?  Its a well proven theory, complete with graphs and other fun facts, that the buying decision is a curve- you can get X buyers at this price point, and if you raise it another $5 you will get X-Y buyers.  Splitting the book, even if the price is not completely split- say instead of the $40 for old TO we get $25 or $30, you are going to get more buyers for the rules or equipment than you would have people buying original TO with both.  Which will include the grogs who refused to buy advanced rules that they might have used b/c they were compatible with their ideal 3025 game they would not have bought with equipment.

I didn't see it either. In fact I saw very little for Battletech. I think that's in part because things don't stay in print.

How many grognards did buy TO because it contained new equipment? How many grognards were irritated though having to buy TW because TM didn't contain game rules for the new equipment? That really irked me. Having to wait for months for TechManual to come out only to find that I had to go but Total Warfare to use new equipment. I also wonder how many stores will stock both TO books when every time I'd go into the one store that carries Battletech there's less and less. I also wonder if the books will be released together or one after another. If its the latter I really worry the construction/equipment section won't get printed. After all books have been canceled before.



Trouble is the writing has been on the wall I'd say for at least a decade that the way Battletech was being marketed was broken but it just hasn't been noticed by as many people as it is now because of some rather herculean efforts on the part of CGL and admitadly the grognards.

For the kickstarter it seems very clear that CGL went into this being reasonably sure they would be able to deliver the base product.

The truth is it is a pretty safe bet that most games involve nothing but mechs and that most people who play Battletech will never actually use anything but mechs.

With what I know from various marketing research most players are not going to care about the fluff or try to dig deeper no matter how easy we make it for them and let's be honest it isn't easy in the current state of Battletech.  At least not in a commercially sustainable fashion to support.

Ultimately it is becoming harder to deny that the old ways are no longer sustainable and that the evidence is mounting that things do need to change or we may not have Battletech at all.

It didn't help that needed books weren't in print.

I hope that they will be able to deliver.

A lot of players do use the other units. I've even hear of some only playing the other units. Abandoning those units abandons players. The players I've known enjoyed Battletech because it wasn't just robots. They all loved the robots but they enjoyed using other forces too.

Will Battletech still be Battletech without all the other units or will Battletech become just another anime robot game? How many of them have there been? How many lasted 35+ years? Battletech has survived because it isn't just a robot game. It's a huge gaming universe where one can play anything.

Look at TRO: Clan Invasion. There's no Battle Armor yet it Elementals were one of the key units in the Clan Invasion. They were a terror to mechs. They made the IS wonder if aliens were invading. Can you picture the Clan Invasion with Battle Armor retconned out of existence? Now the Invasion is obviously the SLDF. No one else had the tech. Battles also change because mechs aren't being lost to Battle Armor. Other mechs are also going to disappear or be retconned because they were created to deal with Battle Armor. Things like Turtle Bay never happen as there's no Warships. Of course there's no Dropships or Jumpships either so Transportation will just be hand waved. How troops travel between planets isn't important.

Honestly, I really don't see how diminishing a universe improves it.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 10 August 2019, 09:02:31
Because the universe is a 430 pound shut it. It needs to shed 50% of its weight and buy a new wardrobe. Those snacks that made it fat need to go
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 10 August 2019, 09:52:36
Because the universe is a 430 pound shut it. It needs to shed 50% of its weight and buy a new wardrobe. Those snacks that made it fat need to go

I would have to disagree. You remove those things and the universe is diminished. What the universe needs is to be spread out. While I believe TROs should just be a slice of what's available that doesn't mean every unit from from 1945 and on need to be included. Let units die off or be retired. Let the past be for things in the past, the present for the present, and the future for the future. If a unit manages to survive the past, and present and into the future, great! Let that unit appear in multiple TROs and let the dead and retired rest.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 10 August 2019, 10:16:04
Where’s the money coming from? You can’t service everything and expect new people or older players that sold their collections to rebuy everything

Some stuff gets left out.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 10 August 2019, 14:34:18
It didn't help that needed books weren't in print.

I hope that they will be able to deliver.

A lot of players do use the other units. I've even hear of some only playing the other units. Abandoning those units abandons players. The players I've known enjoyed Battletech because it wasn't just robots. They all loved the robots but they enjoyed using other forces too.

Will Battletech still be Battletech without all the other units or will Battletech become just another anime robot game? How many of them have there been? How many lasted 35+ years? Battletech has survived because it isn't just a robot game. It's a huge gaming universe where one can play anything.

Look at TRO: Clan Invasion. There's no Battle Armor yet it Elementals were one of the key units in the Clan Invasion. They were a terror to mechs. They made the IS wonder if aliens were invading. Can you picture the Clan Invasion with Battle Armor retconned out of existence? Now the Invasion is obviously the SLDF. No one else had the tech. Battles also change because mechs aren't being lost to Battle Armor. Other mechs are also going to disappear or be retconned because they were created to deal with Battle Armor. Things like Turtle Bay never happen as there's no Warships. Of course there's no Dropships or Jumpships either so Transportation will just be hand waved. How troops travel between planets isn't important.

Honestly, I really don't see how diminishing a universe improves it.

Even at the height of books being in print/widely available I'd be willing to wager that most players never used non-mechs.

As much as there may be "many" players that play more than mechs it is still quite clear that they are the minority of Battletech.  CGL is a business and the people running it aren't stupid.  So if there was a significant demand for non-mechs we'd see more non-mech support.  It really is that simple.

As for TRO Clan Invasion I don't think there is a need to include Elementals in that product.  While the specifics of how they will be covered are not known for certain the kickstarter at the very least implies they are going to be handled in a different manner.

As for the rest?  All that doesn't matter.  As I've said it seems quite clear that most people don't care about the fluff.  Hell the fluff already has as much transport as demanded by the plot and thus already handwaves a lot of what you bring up.

Also I don't think anyone besides you has suggested that non-mechs be retconned out of existence.  At most that future support for them isn't a priority and there isn't enough return on investment to make them a priority any time soon.

Where’s the money coming from? You can’t service everything and expect new people or older players that sold their collections to rebuy everything

Some stuff gets left out.

*nod*

Add in that it is also important how quickly things sell and it isn't hard to see that non-mechs are increasingly non-viable to support right now.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 10 August 2019, 15:58:19
I'm seeing quite a few posts asking about more Elementals from the Kickstarter, so I'm not sure about the "increasingly non-viable" angle...
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: nckestrel on 10 August 2019, 16:03:28
I'm seeing quite a few posts asking about more Elementals from the Kickstarter, so I'm not sure about the "increasingly non-viable" angle...

“Give me stuff for free” isn’t a good way to judge viability.  They have the option to buy as many elemental packs as they want.

(I know the arguments about what to doe you “only” two, but the point the first point still stands)
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 10 August 2019, 16:03:45
Forums and kickstarters do not represent the majority of a consumer base no matter how impressive the results may seem.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 10 August 2019, 16:10:10
i think elementals probably stand as the most iconic non-mech units and so resist the neglect heaped on others as they were integral to the early clan fiction as well as being a key piece of clan military structure and the warrior society - you're not getting cries for undine or gnome stands and very few for IS BA.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 10 August 2019, 16:29:02
Good points all, but I hold to my uncertainty, and I bet the TPTB do too...
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 10 August 2019, 16:37:18
iwm has basically stopped making vehicles outside of special occasions and fan funding. i wouldn't doubt if that had some influence... plus their own internal market research

there's never been anything close to "we're getting rid of them" but all signs point to other mech-sized fish being fried before they come back
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 10 August 2019, 16:46:01
I can totally agree to that.  The absolutist "'mechs only" line is what I object to...
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 10 August 2019, 16:52:16
I will grant that I hope this step away from non-mechs and supporting that play style is only temporary but even if it goes on longer than any of us hope I doubt there will be any retcons to get rid of non-mechs entirely.

Still with what I know of TPTB I feel confident they have a plan, it might be a bit risky, but going about things like they don't need to change clearly unsustainable.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 10 August 2019, 16:56:19
As long as support for non-'mechs doesn't disappear completely, I'll live.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 10 August 2019, 17:10:23
my vehicle and battle armor collection agree
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 11 August 2019, 10:26:45
Where’s the money coming from? You can’t service everything and expect new people or older players that sold their collections to rebuy everything

Some stuff gets left out.

From players buying the products. Everything should be serviced. I don't know why older players would have sold their collections but if they're coming back wouldn't they want to replace them? Other players may have lost their collections some how and would like to get replacements.

Yes some things could be left out. TRO:3025 and TRO:3026 could be left out in favor of TRO:3039. Providing of course that no units get left behind. If they're not in TRO:3039 include them in a new edition or better yet a new TRO for the same time period.







Even at the height of books being in print/widely available I'd be willing to wager that most players never used non-mechs.

As much as there may be "many" players that play more than mechs it is still quite clear that they are the minority of Battletech.  CGL is a business and the people running it aren't stupid.  So if there was a significant demand for non-mechs we'd see more non-mech support.  It really is that simple.

As for TRO Clan Invasion I don't think there is a need to include Elementals in that product.  While the specifics of how they will be covered are not known for certain the kickstarter at the very least implies they are going to be handled in a different manner.

As for the rest?  All that doesn't matter.  As I've said it seems quite clear that most people don't care about the fluff.  Hell the fluff already has as much transport as demanded by the plot and thus already handwaves a lot of what you bring up.

Also I don't think anyone besides you has suggested that non-mechs be retconned out of existence.  At most that future support for them isn't a priority and there isn't enough return on investment to make them a priority any time soon.

*nod*

Add in that it is also important how quickly things sell and it isn't hard to see that non-mechs are increasingly non-viable to support right now.

Which would explain why there's exceedingly few non Mech TROs and non that have been produced lately. However, there is still a large portion of the fan base that do use other units.

How do you not include one of the most game and universe changing unit types? I also don't that it's clear that most people don't care about the fluff when I keep seeing a demand for novels.

I hope that all the other unit types will continue to exist but when you stop supporting things and then don't include them in the next rule book they've been retconned out and are no longer legal. A quick example would be the Snowmobile mod for Combat Vehicles from MaxTech. Legal under that rule set. Under TotalWarfare it ceased to be. Another would be LAMs. They've come and gone and comeback. They're legal to use again but for a long time they weren't.

So what happens in a few years when a new rule book is published? Will we get Book 1: Standard BattleMechs,  Book2: Other Mech Types, Book 3-4 Support units, Books 5+: various alternative ways to play Battletech?  And would new players even be interested in playing those other units if there's no other units to have gotten their interest?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 11 August 2019, 10:30:33
From players buying the products. Everything should be serviced.

They weren’t buying them and no they shouldn’t
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 11 August 2019, 10:47:40
From players buying the products. Everything should be serviced. I don't know why older players would have sold their collections but if they're coming back wouldn't they want to replace them? Other players may have lost their collections some how and would like to get replacements.

Yes some things could be left out. TRO:3025 and TRO:3026 could be left out in favor of TRO:3039. Providing of course that no units get left behind. If they're not in TRO:3039 include them in a new edition or better yet a new TRO for the same time period.







Which would explain why there's exceedingly few non Mech TROs and non that have been produced lately. However, there is still a large portion of the fan base that do use other units.

How do you not include one of the most game and universe changing unit types? I also don't that it's clear that most people don't care about the fluff when I keep seeing a demand for novels.

I hope that all the other unit types will continue to exist but when you stop supporting things and then don't include them in the next rule book they've been retconned out and are no longer legal. A quick example would be the Snowmobile mod for Combat Vehicles from MaxTech. Legal under that rule set. Under TotalWarfare it ceased to be. Another would be LAMs. They've come and gone and comeback. They're legal to use again but for a long time they weren't.

So what happens in a few years when a new rule book is published? Will we get Book 1: Standard BattleMechs,  Book2: Other Mech Types, Book 3-4 Support units, Books 5+: various alternative ways to play Battletech?  And would new players even be interested in playing those other units if there's no other units to have gotten their interest?

If the portion of people who use non-mechs and will use non-mechs in the future if they haven't yet were as large as you seem to think it is we would be seeing more support for non-mechs.

Also while yes there is enough demand for novels to be viable right now I am unconvinced that is a good indicator for how much of the actual player base actually cares about fluff.  At least when it comes time to put minins on mapsheets.  Again I feel it pretty safe to say if as many players cared about fluff the way you seem to think we'd be seeing a lot more support for certain product types that we aren't seeing right now.

Not including certain unit types in future TROs is not effectively retconning them out of existence.  Until players use certain unit types at all without house rules they still exist.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: SCC on 12 August 2019, 02:33:37
From players buying the products. Everything should be serviced. I don't know why older players would have sold their collections but if they're coming back wouldn't they want to replace them? Other players may have lost their collections some how and would like to get replacements.
I think one thing that the grognards like you aren't thinking about is that new players aren't going to be all that interested in 3025 as they're going to want the newest stuff.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 12 August 2019, 04:30:40
Again, I point to HBS's success, the House Arano book, the Beginner Box, and the AGoAC Box.  "New" to new players can totally mean 3025, and HAS for the last year.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Greatclub on 12 August 2019, 04:47:33
I bought TO because I was dealing with min-maxers who got their information off sarna. One guy nearly pitched a fit when I showed him the rules for his beloved mech rifles; he had previously been unaware of them.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 12 August 2019, 04:48:51
'Mech rifles?  Like hand-held weapons, or Rifle Cannons?  ???
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Greatclub on 12 August 2019, 04:51:46
'Mech rifles?  Like hand-held weapons, or Rifle Cannons?  ???

These things: https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Heavy_Rifle

Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: SCC on 12 August 2019, 04:56:58
Again, I point to HBS's success, the House Arano book, the Beginner Box, and the AGoAC Box.  "New" to new players can totally mean 3025, and HAS for the last year.
Which will last right up until they face off against someone using units and tech from later on, and then they'll want the new stuff.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Robroy on 12 August 2019, 07:30:25
Which is fine, because they have an idea how things work with out being overwhelmed by all the tech available in later eras.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 12 August 2019, 10:29:55
Unfortunately I get the sense that HBS's game could have been even more successful if it wasn't set in the era and area it was and achieved a lot of it's success by a sheer lack of other options for a portion of the fan base that doesn't always overlap with the tabletop crowd.

The Arano book is tougher to judge because of that.  Obviously TPTB felt there was enough return on investment to put it out but at the same time 3025 is clearly considered no longer economically viable.  At least not for anything but the briefest of stays.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Colt Ward on 12 August 2019, 10:54:55
Again, I point to HBS's success, the House Arano book, the Beginner Box, and the AGoAC Box.  "New" to new players can totally mean 3025, and HAS for the last year.

And the comments about HBS BT that I have read is about finding those rare +++ systems, getting the Star League tech mechs, and other stuff that sets you apart from the run of the mill opponent you will see in BT.  We joked that the game replayed the old 3025 cliche, finding & defending a Star League cache of advanced designs.  While I wanted some of the story fluff about the AC, I know I was also looking for the stats on the Atlas II.

The best indicator, IMO, would be to see how many GoAC boxes sold retail in the first month and compare that to how many Clan Invasion boxes are sold as part of the KS- though you also have a bit of wiggle b/c someone could have gotten the GoAC box and went straight into using L2 designs having been familiar with those mechs from something like MWO.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daemion on 12 August 2019, 11:25:47
Ok... new edition it is, then.  I'll shelve my older books as the new ones come out.  At least they'll have that nice spine art to keep them company...

That's the only reason my friend bought the other rule books at all.  We don't really use the rest of them.  It's more often referencing TW and BMR plus whatever we've added to a specific AU campaign.

Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: kinwolf on 12 August 2019, 11:32:22
Unfortunately I get the sense that HBS's game could have been even more successful if it wasn't set in the era and area it was and achieved a lot of it's success by a sheer lack of other options for a portion of the fan base that doesn't always overlap with the tabletop crowd.

The Arano book is tougher to judge because of that.  Obviously TPTB felt there was enough return on investment to put it out but at the same time 3025 is clearly considered no longer economically viable.  At least not for anything but the briefest of stays.

Pretty sure I read in an interview that they only got a licence allowing to create the game pre-clan invasion. 
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 12 August 2019, 12:04:03
Pretty sure I read in an interview that they only got a licence allowing to create the game pre-clan invasion. 

First I've heard of that.

Not sure I'd buy it but does make a certain amount of sense when looking at when PGI introduced Clan mechs/tech.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daemion on 12 August 2019, 12:10:20
Sarcasm/
Makes you wonder how we played the game with the BMR at only 161 pages with rules for mechs, vess, PBI, arty, and areo.
Sarcasm/

I think if TPTB want to lighten the books, take out what does not further a TT game.

Like the fiction snippets?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Robroy on 12 August 2019, 12:18:14
Like the fiction snippets?

I did not mind them at the beginning of the books, but every chapter is getting a bit much.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 12 August 2019, 12:21:47
Whether or not the fiction “belongs” isn’t germane to the decision to split TacOps. Even with it removed, it doesn’t make it small enough to stay as one volume.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daemion on 12 August 2019, 12:28:19
TW is in print. This is a thread about reprinting TO. The idea of a vehicle/infantry/etc “BMM” is one we’ve had since day one, but why does anyone feel like any of that has been abandoned if we still have all the information still available?

Ursus Major is 100% right.

Well, the idea of a reprint would be about easy accessibility, would it not? Arguments can, and are, being made that one shouldn't have to haul around a couple hundred pounds of books to have every rule on hand for the select few units I'm running in a particular game.  Equipment is one thing, but different unit types are another.  Taking the vehicles, aero, and infantry rules segments out of Total Warfare, as you've done with the BMM and giving them their own addendum book just seems logical.  After all, I don't know if a new player would be all that keen on having to repurchase the rules he already has in the boxed set or the BMM (core rules section of TW) just to get the new shiny tank toys, infantry toys, or aero toys.

I understand the reasoning behind keeping them lumped - that being that certain ones will sell less well than others - but, in the age of PDF and PoD products, is that really a detriment?

Aside: If updating equipment as new stuff comes out is an issue, might I suggest start double-siding the sheets in a Record Sheet PDF with the appropriate equipment rules for the design in question? A lot of games have such rules built into their units already on their cards, sheets, or what-have-you.  That's why Click-games were so revolutionary from the start, a quick color reference gave you all you needed to know about a certain stat ability.  I personally didn't like that it was physically attached to the miniature on an open table-top game where placement is very important, but the idea about tracking stats was sound.

This might get repeated in a new thread.


Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 12 August 2019, 12:34:03
the idea of the reprint is cost. the nature of the reprints (ie no updates apart from errata, especially changes between 3067 and 3145) to me indicates the decision to keep the current rules in print for those that still want them while they work on something else in the medium term (aka BMM starts a family)

Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Colt Ward on 12 August 2019, 12:46:47
Which is why I suggested taking the BA rules that I think should be in the Clan Invasion Box available as a PDF.  You can do the same with vehicles and infantry, maybe offer it as a pamphlet POD like the fiction in Beginner & GoAC.

With accessibility and ease of use being the current paradigm than all-inclusive omnibus volumes, it makes sense to provide some of the current material as a la cart.  Do they expect people who bought the BMM to buy TW to play BA, vehicles, etc if they wish to use those units?  IMO it would create a significant barrier to people playing how they want if they feel they are 'wasting' money on over half the book repeating what they already have in the BMM.

I expect BMM outsells TW for the simple reason its only mechs.  With new players I would expect TO:AR would outsell TO:AE but it would be interesting to hear how it turns out.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daemion on 12 August 2019, 12:49:24
If it's not apparent, Johnny-come-lately, here. I'm catching up from the start of the thread.

Combat Vehicles (etc.) aren’t in the box sets or the BMM. We are thinking of new players.

Hmmm.  Speculation: Would you, by chance, be looking at revising how they play in future game rules updates?  Like, coming up with a solidified aesthetic that is reflected in the rules?  Intriguing notion.  One I can get behind.   :thumbsup:


I did not mind them at the beginning of the books, but every chapter is getting a bit much.

Well, the short stories are a bit overdone.  I, for one, would prefer clearer section breaks.  The BMR, for example, had its own section dedicated to equipment, but TW has it all under the combat section.  Hard to reference without knowing that, and even when I know it.

Personally, Total Warfare lacks the one thing we get in every starter box, a universe breakdown and overview.  I'd personally rather the fiction had been more sourcebook oriented, than story.  Something I could reference over and over, like blurbs about how certain factions use each unit type, and what might be common, stuff you find in ye-olde field manual at the start of the units section. Doesn't have to be as verbose or complete, but something I can come back to when designing scenarios.

Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 12 August 2019, 13:15:51
fwiw the BMM drifted back toward BMR formatting - namely a removal of fiction, separate sections for weapons and equipment, special case rules, and booting aero. with similar formatting in the new boxes, i think that it's the standard we can look forward to going forward. To me BMM is a response to much of the criticism levied against TW. for that reason as i mentioned before, i think the old rulebooks are reaching the end phase of service life, even as some of them are split into (largely unaltered) pieces
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daemion on 12 August 2019, 14:51:22
I'm almost hoping so.  One of the things that TW did, in my opinion, is port over a lot of the things wrong with the expanded BattleTech (or rather City- and AeroTech), and reworked them in the wrong way.  Tac Ops only exacerbated the problem.

I've expressed my views on the failings in many ways over the ages, so I have no reason to rehash them here.

But, one thing I wonder about printing 'advanced rules' separately to begin with is why go only one direction? They're optional rules that can be used or ignored at a whim, right? Well, why not a range of options.  Why not allow for some of the old, discarded or clarified rules to have a place as an option? The  old BMR clearing woods rules, or the even older version?  How about the accidental clearing versus accidental fires?  How about the fan favorite of ignoring skidding rules almost entirely, or with a simple PSR with no real modifier? How about stuff to make Mechs feel stronger against tanks and vehicles, like when the BattleMech first appeared? Or, how about bringing in a modified version of the BattleDroids infantry, or treat platoons like a BA squad, with each squad getting its own line? (IE a little extra detail.)  Or maybe relegating infantry to the same BMR clearing attempts with a tweak? (IE much less detail.) Or applying structural integrity to vehicles? Or the older motive and location hit tables to Vehicles?  Or, applying aero movement to AirMech mode while the LAM is on the ground map?  I could go on, but I hope you get the idea.

These are all optional rules, too, right?

Instead of just splitting up the current 'advanced rules', why not go whole hog and look at giving players different options to dial up or down the perceived strengths and/or weaknesses of different units? 

It makes me think that if the current rulebooks are on their last legs before a new reprint and compartmentalization structure, then why bother at all? Is the cost worth the potential benefit for something that is only temporary?

Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Maingunnery on 12 August 2019, 14:57:15
It makes me think that if the current rulebooks are on their last legs before a new reprint and compartmentalization structure, then why bother at all? Is the cost worth the potential benefit for something that is only temporary?
Something like this:

Standard Rules (BMM): Always in Print
Expanded Rules (Aero, Vehicles, etc): Print-on-demand
Optional Rules: Print-on-demand
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 12 August 2019, 14:58:28
then why bother at all? Is the cost worth the potential benefit for something that is only temporary?

i'm guessing money? if the books are still in demand (they are), you can sell them and put the profit into other things
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Xiwo Xerase on 12 August 2019, 15:57:20
It makes me think that if the current rulebooks are on their last legs before a new reprint and compartmentalization structure, then why bother at all? Is the cost worth the potential benefit for something that is only temporary?
There is a demand for print rulebooks.  If you can meet that demand "now", that's revenue you get more-or-less "now".

Let's assume CGL is in the process of reformatting and refactoring the core rulebooks to something in the style of BMM.  (To the best of my knowledge, we haven't heard anything about this so treat this as pure speculation.)  The refactoring of the rulebooks will require x amount of time.  That x is significantly higher than the time cost of reprinting the existing core rulebooks.  Even with the split for TO, rewriting/replacing TO will require much more time than editing/splitting TO.

So now there are two choices: 1. Do they spend the effort to edit/split/update TO and bring it to market as is?  Or 2. Do they not put out TO and instead spend all of our effort on refactoring the rulebooks?

If they choose #1, yes, they put forth effort that might be wasted while they pursue the refactoring for #2 which will happen anyway.  However, they have a product they can release "now."

If they choose #2, they conserve that effort but they lose the income because TO's replacement won't be on the market for however long.  If it were three months, it might not be that bad, but it's probably projected to be closer to two years.  So that's two years in which they don't have a product to release, meaning no revenue for that product.

As long as the effort cost in #1 is less than the projected profit of #1, #1 is clearly the better choice, even if it postpones the refactoring in #2.  It's almost always better to have a product for sale and having a product available gives them more time to get it right.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 12 August 2019, 16:05:21
especially when the product you put out to sell has development costs relatively low in money and time. if your replacement product is years out, why not continue to sell the rules in force if people buy them?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Colt Ward on 12 August 2019, 16:10:03
Daemion- because if I say TacOps vehicle survival rules everyone knows what I am talking about- or BMR vehicle rules.  In addition, some of those 'advanced' rules become 'standard' depending on the era- for example, Artillery Cannons and mixed tech designs are standard for 3100s.

One of the common complaints from a sector is rules/equipment bloat, particularly in scaring off new players.  You want to make the optional rules more complicated & bloated by adding in chunks from past rulesets that were superseded?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 12 August 2019, 16:24:09
Of course in a perfect world “can we please also add...?” Would always be answered “yes”

Everyone wants official recognition and validation of the way they play the game. Not everyone can have that. House rules exist, and are indeed encouraged, for that reason

If the goal is streamlining and reducing page counts (desirable to both most players and cgl), adding niche rules that increase both the size and development costs of products is not a desirable course
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Ursus Maior on 12 August 2019, 16:26:55
Something like this:

Standard Rules (BMM): Always in Print
Expanded Rules (Aero, Vehicles, etc): Print-on-demand
Optional Rules: Print-on-demand
I'm very much in favor for more POD products. Especially if they'd be available in a EU friendly form, e. g. from DriveThruRPG etc.

What I would find neat, is a "Combined Arms Manual" (CAM) that works similar to the old CityTech, i. e. containing all standard rules for conventional vehicles and all types support vehicles, conventional infantry and battle armor. Basically, this would be the BMM of non-mech ground forces, including construction rules.

A lighter version of this could be part of a CityTech Kickstarter in 18-24 months. This KS would deliver a CityTech box, much like AGoAC and Clan Invasion that delivers "Combined Arms Manual" rules without support vehicles, but including construction rules.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Ursus Maior on 12 August 2019, 16:31:18
Follow-on:

All optional rules, every campaign rules set and especially all the integrations into other BTU products (AToW, BatteForce, Alpha Strike, Inner Sphere at War etc.) could and should go into separate products. They could be POD, but honestly, they could also just go into PDFs specific for a certain rules system and get regular errata. I doubt they sell very good anyway.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Maingunnery on 12 August 2019, 16:35:07
I'm very much in favor for more POD products. Especially if they'd be available in a EU friendly form, e. g. from DriveThruRPG etc.

What I would find neat, is a "Combined Arms Manual" (CAM) that works similar to the old CityTech, i. e. containing all standard rules for conventional vehicles and all types support vehicles, conventional infantry and battle armor. Basically, this would be the BMM of non-mech ground forces, including construction rules.

A lighter version of this could be part of a CityTech Kickstarter in 18-24 months. This KS would deliver a CityTech box, much like AGoAC and Clan Invasion that delivers "Combined Arms Manual" rules without support vehicles, but including construction rules.
Well the generic Vehicles could use a redesign, so I would like a vehicle kickstarter (just not as large as the current one).
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Greatclub on 12 August 2019, 16:38:41
Well the generic Vehicles could use a redesign, so I would like a vehicle kickstarter (just not as large as the current one).

Extremely unlikely to happen. Too many generic sci-fi and moderns that work perfectly as proxies. CAV bones minis in particular have already filled that niche for me.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 12 August 2019, 16:43:05
I would anticipate another mech Kickstarter before vehicles

Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 12 August 2019, 17:17:27
These things: https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Heavy_Rifle
Right... Rifle Cannons... thanks!  :thumbsup:

Ursus Major: Since I bought BMM, I'd be more than happy to shell out for a Combined Arms Manual...  :)

And yes, I will begrudgingly buy the split TO volumes so I can keep up with the errata.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: sadlerbw on 12 August 2019, 17:53:20
I'm way, way, way late to the party here (at least in Internet-years), but at this point I'm OK with them splitting up TacOps to get it back in print with little or no changes beyond including errata. I'm a PDF-first kind of guy. I only really buy the books as a backup and to help show which products I really like.

In general, though, I think the rules are about ready for a change. The BattleTech game rules have been around long enough that they have become like the tax code: They get tweaked, and patched, and added on to until they become too big to manage. Then every few years, after things have grown to the point of getting out of hand, they get overhauled to simplify and clean things up. Whole sections get thrown out or replaced, and we start the cycle all over. It seems to happen with most of these long-running games like D&D or Warhammer. Total Warfare has been around for quite a number or years now. At this point I'm thinking Total Warfare has gone on about as long as its going to, and I'm expecting a new rules release coinciding with a time jump after IlClan gets wrapped up. I may be reading too much into things, but it would make some sense to do a rules re-write and time jump at the same time.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 12 August 2019, 18:06:02
If BattleTech goes the way of D&D or Warhammer,  I think it'll lose a number of fans...
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Firesprocket on 12 August 2019, 18:17:04
If BattleTech goes the way of D&D or Warhammer,  I think it'll lose a number of fans...

In what way? Not trolling, honest curiosity.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Doom on 12 August 2019, 18:46:53
If BattleTech goes the way of D&D or Warhammer,  I think it'll lose a number of fans...

Anything they do will cost them a number of fans. Taking a time jump, not taking a time jump; supporting 3025, not supporting 3025; supporting the Clan Invasion Era, not supporting the Clan Invasion Era; supporting the Dark Age, not supporting the Dark Age...

I imagine they're as tired as I am of vague threats like these, that anything new they try will cost them fans. They need new fans no matter what happens, because eventually the few thousand "loyal" fans they struggle not to offend will die off and leave them with no customers whatsoever. And frankly, they need customers a lot more than they need fans anyway.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 12 August 2019, 18:59:35
In what way? Not trolling, honest curiosity.
New editions every couple of years that invalidate what players had before.  That seems to have been the 40K model for a while.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Colt Ward on 12 August 2019, 21:05:20
Yeah, one of the differences is if you played it before you can come back to nearly the same play.  You still have that Marauder from the 80s?  It can be plopped down on the table and you are going to mostly know how it operates.  As one of the louder players who objected to AS replacing TW as the focus/meta of the SBs and prefers the crunchy aspects or TW, I am not a fan of a total rules recreation.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Firesprocket on 13 August 2019, 00:09:38
New editions every couple of years that invalidate what players had before.  That seems to have been the 40K model for a while.

New editions every couple of years that invalidate what players had before.  That seems to have been the 40K model for a while.
I'm not certain I see the same issues with D&D or 40k.  In D&D's case it has actually been around longer than BT and it was quite surprising that it in its first 25 years there were only 2 rules sets.  Mind you D&D has a long run through different setting and fiction, but outside of combat it had a very static rules set that level progression mattered very little outside of combat.  3rd ed did a decent enough job in consolidating advanced rule books of 2nd ed.  3rd had an 8 year run (counting 3.5) and 4th ran product for 6 years.  Both piled on a ton of resource books simply due to the expanse of various realms.  Neither of those runs seem excessively short.  I've skimmed the rules for 4th ed and 5th ed, but found them to simple for my tastes.  3.5 is far from dead though.  Folks that continue to want that line seem to still play the system or float over to Pathfinder.

40k I can't say much one way or the other.  It looks like they are every 3 to 4 years since 4th ed. which could be a long or short run depending on ones feelings about the product.  My issue with GW, going back to when I quit at the start of 3rd ed, was when a new edition would come out the power curve started with the first new army book out and the armies last out before the new ed simply wouldn't have a good long term experience.

On the whole though both systems streamlined after a time and BT needs to look at doing the same.  I'm fairly confident that the rules can be updated or consolidated.  I'm not certain that cutting books in half is the right course of action if any major revision were to occur to the game it would just be taking resources and tossing them away instead of using the funds more prudently.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: sadlerbw on 13 August 2019, 00:42:16
New editions every couple of years that invalidate what players had before.  That seems to have been the 40K model for a while.

I doubt that will happen. There is some core stuff that doesn’t ever really change much in BattleTech between the different editions. I imagine we will still have hexes, walk/run/jump will still be +1/+2/+3 to-hit, kicking will still be easy, etc. will infantry and vehicle rules stay the same? Will all the tech as of 3150 still be included? Will walking into water still carry the potential for a PSR that could result in a fall, breach, and instant kill? Those might be more iffy.

Also, most of the revisions haven’t invalidated recordsheets either, which is always helpful. At least, they have remained close enough to be playable. The layout and details on recordsheets have changed a bit over the years as tech was added and construction rules changed, but not so much as to invalidate them completely, generally speaking. I doubt any rules refresh after a time jump would invalidate all the existing recordsheets...but I guess they could.

Anyway, I’m just guessing about all this. I could be way off base and Total Warfare could be around for another decade or more. It just seems that, time-wise we are at least due for a “Total Warfare: Revised” if not a whole a whole new base rulebook, and the end of the Dark Age would be a convenient time to do something like that. I’m just reading tea leaves over here, so don’t worry too much about anything I’m saying just yet!
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 13 August 2019, 01:13:06
Well I for one know no matter what I'll have the books I want on hand barring acts of god so CGL can do whatever they feel they must to make money and it won't bother me none.

Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 13 August 2019, 02:09:37
They weren’t buying them and no they shouldn’t


You can't buy what's not available.

If the portion of people who use non-mechs and will use non-mechs in the future if they haven't yet were as large as you seem to think it is we would be seeing more support for non-mechs.

Also while yes there is enough demand for novels to be viable right now I am unconvinced that is a good indicator for how much of the actual player base actually cares about fluff.  At least when it comes time to put minins on mapsheets.  Again I feel it pretty safe to say if as many players cared about fluff the way you seem to think we'd be seeing a lot more support for certain product types that we aren't seeing right now.

Not including certain unit types in future TROs is not effectively retconning them out of existence.  Until players use certain unit types at all without house rules they still exist.

I grant there's always been more interest in mechs. That's why there's only a couple non mech TROs and those were done a long time ago. Those since have been mechs with other units.

Fluff makes the universe. Without the fluff we might as well be playing chess.

Their not being in a TRO doesn't make them retconned out of existance. Their being not included in the next rule book retcons them out of existance. Being in a TRO didn't make the Snowmobile Combat Mod Legal. Being in a rule book made it legal. It being absent from the next book retconned it out of existence. That's what makes me worry about the future. If TPTB are abandoning, not just unit types but key units for an era, like the Elemental for Clan Invasion, will those other units be in the next rule book?

I think one thing that the grognards like you aren't thinking about is that new players aren't going to be all that interested in 3025 as they're going to want the newest stuff.

As a new player I was interested in the universe as a whole. I wanted the newest stuff as soon as it came out but I also wanted to know what happened in the past. The more that was published the richer the universe became. As a grognard I would like that to continue. I understand that some will only want the newest but there are some who will want to explore the entire universe. Only they can't do that if the older books aren't available. It's like getting someone started on Star Wars Episode VIII and telling them that they can't see the previous seven episodes.



I doubt that will happen. There is some core stuff that doesn’t ever really change much in BattleTech between the different editions. I imagine we will still have hexes, walk/run/jump will still be +1/+2/+3 to-hit, kicking will still be easy, etc. will infantry and vehicle rules stay the same? Will all the tech as of 3150 still be included? Will walking into water still carry the potential for a PSR that could result in a fall, breach, and instant kill? Those might be more iffy.

Also, most of the revisions haven’t invalidated recordsheets either, which is always helpful. At least, they have remained close enough to be playable. The layout and details on recordsheets have changed a bit over the years as tech was added and construction rules changed, but not so much as to invalidate them completely, generally speaking. I doubt any rules refresh after a time jump would invalidate all the existing recordsheets...but I guess they could.

Anyway, I’m just guessing about all this. I could be way off base and Total Warfare could be around for another decade or more. It just seems that, time-wise we are at least due for a “Total Warfare: Revised” if not a whole a whole new base rulebook, and the end of the Dark Age would be a convenient time to do something like that. I’m just reading tea leaves over here, so don’t worry too much about anything I’m saying just yet!


It does feel like a new rule book should have come out a while ago. I hope that the layout is done better though. All the page flipping and being in multiple books gets annoying. I also hope that all the currant units are included.

As for the "bloat"  I can see the setting having a more unified tech level, with the currant level of tech being "retro". Nothing is removed. Nothing invalidated. Just rendered obsolete in the way Primitive Tech gave way to Standard. Like in the Third League PDF. The older equipment/units (Currant tech/units) still work. They're just not as good.  That's what I hope for any way.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Ursus Maior on 13 August 2019, 07:45:57
New editions every couple of years that invalidate what players had before.  That seems to have been the 40K model for a while.
That is certainly not foreseeable for the future of BT. The rules hardly changed at all since 1984. Yes, some details and vehicle rules a lot, but if you'd picked up Battledroids in '84 and returned to the game with AGoAC, you'd still be able to recognize today's rules from the advanced rules of BD.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 13 August 2019, 08:15:02

You can't buy what's not available

Why weren’t they available? Poor sales velocity meant no money for reprints. The small print run fed the next small print run. It was a business death spiral. Or do you think they just arbitrarily decided not to reprint books they knew would sell? Your vision of the line is financial suicide.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 13 August 2019, 08:30:00
Why weren’t they available? Poor sales velocity meant no money for reprints. The small print run fed the next small print run. It was a business death spiral. Or do you think they just arbitrarily decided not to reprint books they knew would sell? Your vision of the line is financial suicide.

Is it a death spiral to keep the rule book in the stores?

Is it financial suicide to correct, revise and reprint an existing book or spend countless hours rewriting the information to produce another book covering the same information/units?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 13 August 2019, 08:45:47
Is it a death spiral to keep the rule book in the stores?


To keep the book in stores means reprinting. That costs money that didn’t exist. Or do you think printers are like “sure pay us in two years when the money comes in!”

Quote
Is it financial suicide to correct, revise and reprint an existing book or spend countless hours rewriting the information to produce another book covering the same information/units?

Are you implying BMM was a bad idea? Because it did well enough to warrant a reprint - and one faster than almost any other book in the line.

You want things to be a certain way. They’re not going to be that way any more and we all are better off because of it. The Kickstarter is going to hit around $2m. They’ve made the game easier to get into than it’s been in twenty years. We’re better off.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Maingunnery on 13 August 2019, 09:32:13
Is it a death spiral to keep the rule book in the stores?

Is it financial suicide to correct, revise and reprint an existing book or spend countless hours rewriting the information to produce another book covering the same information/units?
Businesses must meet demand as efficiently as possible to be profitable. The vast majority of players are only interested in 'Mechs, a rulebook at meets their requirements with the least amount of excessive pages is cheaper to print (thus reach more customers per equal investment) and will be more accessible.

Also the poor sales velocity of the old rulebooks meant that stores don't want them in their stores.
They invest space and money and they want a return on investment as soon as possible.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 13 August 2019, 10:23:58
I grant there's always been more interest in mechs. That's why there's only a couple non mech TROs and those were done a long time ago. Those since have been mechs with other units.

Fluff makes the universe. Without the fluff we might as well be playing chess.

Their not being in a TRO doesn't make them retconned out of existance. Their being not included in the next rule book retcons them out of existance. Being in a TRO didn't make the Snowmobile Combat Mod Legal. Being in a rule book made it legal. It being absent from the next book retconned it out of existence. That's what makes me worry about the future. If TPTB are abandoning, not just unit types but key units for an era, like the Elemental for Clan Invasion, will those other units be in the next rule book?

Fluff may make the universe but it does not make the game.

Sure there is overlap and it does annoy me that it is in this strange middle ground it currently is where you can't recreate feats from the lore on the tabletop but many rules outside the RPG only work if you go with the official setting.  I'd love it if the rules would shift toward one extreme or the other, at least a bit more.  But that isn't really important to this discussion.

Ultimately based off what products we're getting and have gotten for a while it is just clear that the majority of fans who are actually spending money only care about mechs, will only ever care about mechs, and don't care about fluff.

Businesses must meet demand as efficiently as possible to be profitable. The vast majority of players are only interested in 'Mechs, a rulebook at meets their requirements with the least amount of excessive pages is cheaper to print (thus reach more customers per equal investment) and will be more accessible.

Also the poor sales velocity of the old rulebooks meant that stores don't want them in their stores.
They invest space and money and they want a return on investment as soon as possible.

Which is another important aspect to this discussion.  It is important how fast product sells, not just how many units.

And yes that is still an important aspect to PDF and PoD products too.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Colt Ward on 13 August 2019, 11:40:03
Fluff may make the universe but it does not make the game.

Sure there is overlap and it does annoy me that it is in this strange middle ground it currently is where you can't recreate feats from the lore on the tabletop but many rules outside the RPG only work if you go with the official setting.  I'd love it if the rules would shift toward one extreme or the other, at least a bit more.  But that isn't really important to this discussion.

Ultimately based off what products we're getting and have gotten for a while it is just clear that the majority of fans who are actually spending money only care about mechs, will only ever care about mechs, and don't care about fluff.

I think part of the reason fluff products are hurting is b/c they are better to supplement novels and while we have gotten a few bits over the last two years, the closest we had to 'spine' books were the two novellas regarding Julian Davion & Roderick Steiner.  Both of those, to me, where a bit jarring for the setting b/c Julian was presented differently than he had been during the previous MWDA novels- and he was a POV character in 4 or 5 books so he was pretty established.  For the Lyran book, The Anvil, a key relationship & character changes and we get some off details.

But outside of Bonfire of Worlds, we have not had a novel drive the story along . . . and IMO its better for the novels to drive the story than SB fluff.  The SB fluff is there to expand on details that do not fit into the narrative.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 13 August 2019, 12:07:55
the spine novel plot-driving of yore pushed out ~3-5 books per year between '91-'02. a concerted effort now could probably get two out per year, which would be ok for our purposes. 
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 13 August 2019, 12:35:39
I think part of the reason fluff products are hurting is b/c they are better to supplement novels and while we have gotten a few bits over the last two years, the closest we had to 'spine' books were the two novellas regarding Julian Davion & Roderick Steiner.  Both of those, to me, where a bit jarring for the setting b/c Julian was presented differently than he had been during the previous MWDA novels- and he was a POV character in 4 or 5 books so he was pretty established.  For the Lyran book, The Anvil, a key relationship & character changes and we get some off details.

But outside of Bonfire of Worlds, we have not had a novel drive the story along . . . and IMO its better for the novels to drive the story than SB fluff.  The SB fluff is there to expand on details that do not fit into the narrative.

I always got more of a sense that it was a golden age that allowed fluff heavy products flourish not that novels were around.  If anything that we didn't have novels for a good chunk of time but Battletech the game survived some pretty dark times just shows how small the overlap of those who read the novels and play the game actually is.

Also I've read enough of the old novels to know inconsistent portrayal of characters and relationships isn't exclusive to the Dark Age novels cited.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Colt Ward on 13 August 2019, 13:33:11
True, the DA novels had a huge problem with a single character as is well talked about . . . BUT . . . aside from that one section (best ignored IMO), and the recovery efforts the characters are pretty consistently written.  To be honest Cynthy's plot change is more of a problem than Julian's behavior since we do not really get much of a POV for him since Bonfire in . . . 42?  Lots of miles on his journey since we had that last meeting.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 13 August 2019, 14:35:34
you can tell there was plotbook fatigue in the late 2000s. sourcebooks started jumping around - 3067 as a setting didn't get fully set up before going to the jihad and then we got that whole star league side story. and the 3145 stalled before barely getting going. all this time the old tros are getting redone, though you can see they had tired of the Upgrades approach and just went with straight reprints of 3060 and 67. a steady feed of novels in the FASA days at least stabilized and standardized plot advancement.

we discovered the limits of both catching people up to the overstretched timeline and trying to keep things in print. it didn't help that the imposition of the dark age made anything after 3067 deeply unpopular. or at least the perception was that - and in an age where someone with a mild interest poking around can get scared off by a handful of negative posts and reviews, perception is reality.

 i've got 3039 as the only tro with a second run - which means no, there was not clamoring among the masses for old tros and zero incentive to keep them in print. that those print runs were tiny, with those books being far more rare than their 90s predecessors - 3050U cost me more on the secondary market than 3050, 3050 rev, 3058, and the fanpro 3058 upgrade combined. hunting for physical copies to fill out my collection is what clued me into how dire things were getting. i used to think that things were ok because the output was similar to what it had been in years past, but its pretty clear that the physical volume of that output was greatly diminished. mid-decade a good portion of the IP was PDF only. they couldn't afford to reprint the intro box nor were the books selling enough/fast enough to justify reprints.

so they shut down the line and refocused. is that giving everyone everything that they want? no. and frankly, tough luck. maybe they'll come back around to the missing stuff and maybe they won't - but i'm pleased that there's at least a plan in place built from the ground up to create a clear pathway in an attractive package for new players. the old guard had their chance to carry the line and didn't. i'm itching for new sourcebooks but the house needs a new foundation and some of the rooms aren't going to be occupied for a few years. maybe that wing they added ten years ago isn't salvageable and just gets torn down. at this point, i'm much more content with business decisions that keep the lights on sustainably more than making sure every single aspect of my feelgood is serviced for my benefit.

stop printing books that don't make money. split the rulebooks. retire them. recast as many mechs as possible in new art. if you haven't noticed, people like the new minis.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 13 August 2019, 18:58:52
*nod*

I can't deny even in this ever increasingly electronic society we live in that we didn't have print runs of the core book going more consistently has impacted things but that should be a bit telling about how razor thin the margin for error has been for CGL when it comes to Battletech.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 13 August 2019, 19:22:03
I think PoD can help. But it’s neither and instant fix nor a cure all. Cubby related that getting house Arano up on drivethru was a three month ordeal. It would be nice to get the “base core” out there - TW, TM, TO1&2, and BMM. Additionally ER 3052 and maybd 62 to support the clan box (assuming they sold well enough to justify it). More novels and any future sourcebook releases would also be good. Something to create a readily available base.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: nckestrel on 13 August 2019, 20:07:27
I believe the hope is that much of that 3 month ordeal isn’t every PoD, but that there was an initial learning curve and possibly new processes need to be in place.
Hopefully?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 13 August 2019, 20:12:04
That’s good to hear. I also don’t know about up front costs. If drivethru or amazon only take a cut out of the sale and not charge substantial startup fees it could be more broadly applicable
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Colt Ward on 13 August 2019, 22:46:35
Well . . . nearly 7000 people got a free PDF of ER 3052, so I am not sure that is going to be a seller . . . lol.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 13 August 2019, 22:59:20
yeah there is that...

Maybe there are enough curmudgeons who like the book but want it in dtf (I have no idea what constitutes enough)
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Ursus Maior on 16 August 2019, 07:17:32
Well . . . nearly 7000 people got a free PDF of ER 3052, so I am not sure that is going to be a seller . . . lol.
I like my carbon copies.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: beachhead1985 on 16 August 2019, 09:16:58
I'd suggest that a worthwhile endevour would be to amputate and collect all the construction rules in one document and make that a PDF-only.

I am morally certain we have some fans out there still working out their customs and mods on scratch pads, so this isn't perfect as-is. Printing all that off wouldn't be much cheaper.

But this would save page count that is *normally* already only used with the aid of a computer anyways.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Euphonium on 16 August 2019, 16:22:46
The split-volume Tac Ops has been added to the Kickstarter addons options at $40 per volume. How does that compare to the cost of the old single volume? I only bought the pdf
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 16 August 2019, 16:27:04
If the partition is indeed the  clean Solomon Chop™️ Ray indicated, the rules book is going to be pretty slim - about 110-115 pages. The advanced units and equipment section will be around 285-300 (slightly smaller than TW)

The set is more. I want to say TO was $50. But unless you really like the full weather and advanced movement rules, or some of the weapon options like rapid fire ACs, the rules volume is probably skippable. Some of those are in BMM now
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Greatclub on 16 August 2019, 16:57:47
That's kinda a painful price at the same cost as TW or BMM.

I know that they sell less units than either of those, but still a bit eye-raising.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 16 August 2019, 17:02:13
The second volume I see at $40. It’s the same size as TW. The other one? Not thrilled about the $40 tag
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daemion on 16 August 2019, 17:32:48
Honestly, if there were to be a reformat, the biggest thing happens to always be new equipment.  I wonder if equipment guides, by era, wouldn't work as the format for rules expansions.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 16 August 2019, 17:35:59
All in one place with dates. No one wants to have to remember whether the iHGR is sorted by intro or common date
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daemion on 16 August 2019, 17:54:29
Until the next batch of new stuff requires a new book.  xp

Idea!  How about equipment card packs with that info available to individual items.  Didn't someone start that as a fan project already?

Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Maingunnery on 16 August 2019, 17:59:55
Idea!  How about equipment card packs with that info available to individual items.  Didn't someone start that as a fan project already?
Well that would be one easy way to keep inventory.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 16 August 2019, 18:02:06
Cards vice rule books?  Ugh...  xp
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 16 August 2019, 18:53:50
Until the next batch of new stuff requires a new book.  xp


Considering there hasn’t been any significant additions since intops, I think we’re ok with a new book every half decade. The revised main rulebook used to come around every 3-4 years

Quote
Idea!  How about equipment card packs with that info available to individual items.  Didn't someone start that as a fan project already?

Yeah it was me. They’re meant to be a gameplay reference not a replacement for the books
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: kinwolf on 17 August 2019, 11:42:57
Hmm, on the KS, both TO books are listed at 40$ each.  So that's 80$ to get the complete ruleset... ouch  :-[
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 17 August 2019, 11:44:53
That's why I'm going pdf only for those two.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: General308 on 17 August 2019, 11:58:01
That's why I'm going pdf only for those two.

You know for rules it is weird.  To learn rules I like a physical book.  But for looking up things I prefer a PDF.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 17 August 2019, 12:04:29
Not weird at all... I think that's how most people's brains work.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: BirdofPrey on 17 August 2019, 17:42:24
Regarding lessened focus on mech stuff, I think a lot of the reason people don't play with those forces is because they aren't even perceived as that important, or useful.
Battletech was invented as a game of big stompy robots, and that's been the continual focus.  Infantry and tanks were added as options, but whenever the question comes up why vehicles are so easy to disable the answer from TPTB is because they specifically want mechs to be the kings of the battlefield, so even the best vehicle has to have a downside by sole virtue of not being a mech.  The art also shows this focus, non-mech units get very little representation.
That means, if you REALLY want other unit types to get a fair shake, you'd have to convince CGL to make BT into a game of future armored combat where we have giant robots instead of just big stompy robots: the game.  That means less squishy conventional arms, and that means more prominent depictions of stuff like mechs getting swarmed to death by a squad of infantry while a demolisher shoots it in the face, and the quintessential mech leading the charge with a bunch of toads hanging off.

This extends to the games as well.  A LOT of people come here because of the various video games, and non-mech forces have even worse representation there.  People get into the tabletop game because the video game was fun, and vehicles rarely factor in to that fun while infantry and aerospace pretty much never do.

Honestly, if there were to be a reformat, the biggest thing happens to always be new equipment.  I wonder if equipment guides, by era, wouldn't work as the format for rules expansions.
Having stuff solely sorted by era would be really confusing when you have units sporting equipment that debuted in three different eras.  You shouldn't have to figure out what era something is from before being able to find rules for its use.


Personally, if we are discussing a reorganization of rule books, I definitely think everything should be split between gameplay rules and construction rules, so that means splitting SO and IO as well. 
For an actual redo of the line, though, my preference would be to add a Battlemech construction guide to supplement the BMM with rules and equipment for building just mechs. 
Then add a Combined Arms Manual and Combined Arms Construction books covering the gameplay and construction of vehicles and infantry, and any equipment they use that mechs don't have.
Add an Aerospace Manual and a Construction book covering ASFs, Dropships, and anything else in space along with the space combat rules plus rules for aersospace units on ground maps and ground units in space at the back.  It's probably best for any equipment aerospace units use that's not in the mech books get rules even if they are duplicated in the combined arms books, just to reduce the confusion of having to flip through your entire library to cross reference every single book (basically, the mech books are the core rulebooks everyone needs, and additional unit types only need their book and the core mech book).
The last book should be the campaign book combining the high level maintenance, support and logistics stuff from SO and IO.

Battleforce I see as being more or less superseded by Alpha Strike unless they wanted to fix up strategic Battleforce a bit.

On a side note, equipment cards would be a nice supplement.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Firesprocket on 17 August 2019, 23:28:33
Cards vice rule books?  Ugh...  xp
I'll be honest if the costs were reasonable and they can make them fit into a standard playingcard/CCG card page sleeve I'd buy the product.  Lugging around multiple rule books for different sets of gear is tedious.  Having it there and alphabetized without having to scan though a couple 100 pages would be awesome. 
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: BirdofPrey on 17 August 2019, 23:47:12
I'll be honest if the costs were reasonable and they can make them fit into a standard playingcard/CCG card page sleeve I'd buy the product.  Lugging around multiple rule books for different sets of gear is tedious.  Having it there and alphabetized without having to scan though a couple 100 pages would be awesome. 
This is why I almost exclusively buy PDF products.  Dead tree is a nice read once or twice to get familiar with the rules, but when it comes to game time a tablet is vastly superior because I can bring EVERYTHING with me without having to worry about weight, and I can use bookmarks or do searches.

The only thing that would be better is some sort of official wiki or app that is professionally maintained.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: SCC on 18 August 2019, 00:15:33
Favoring hardback increases weight, as does adding in all the pictures and fiction. Worse in the case of TacOps is that the well of fiction about the universe had pretty much run dry by the time it came around, making them far less valuable.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Greatclub on 09 October 2019, 05:06:11
The more I think about this, the more I think that a complete re-organization of the post-techmanual books is in order.

1 - Techbook - all the advanced, experamental and niche stuff that's scattered all over the place. Includes LAMs and quadvees.

2 - Advanced Rulebook. All the stuff in tacops, the advanced terrain in IO, other stuff and and CampOps on top.

3 - Alternate games - battlespace, battleforce, and stars at war, strategic aerospace. watever they're called.

I know that these would be huge (Expensive, limited run) books that still would be hard to justify, but I think it would work better than just splitting each into two parts. That I can't see ending well.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 09 October 2019, 07:56:27
Hmm, on the KS, both TO books are listed at 40$ each.  So that's 80$ to get the complete ruleset... ouch  :-[

That's what scares me, and why I think splitting the book is a bad idea. The price goes up and the likely hood of finding half the book goes down. Trying to find a volume 2 of anything is a pain in the ass and now its happening with the rule books. It's bad enough they're not kept in print. First players can't find the books and now they'll only be able to get half a book.


Regarding lessened focus on mech stuff, I think a lot of the reason people don't play with those forces is because they aren't even perceived as that important, or useful.

snip

I never understood that. I mean I know Battlemechs are always the kings of the battlefield but we've had the other stuff since 1988 or so? The very first TRO includes vehicles and aerospace units. How do people not see them as important?


The more I think about this, the more I think that a complete re-organization of the post-techmanual books is in order.

They've needed a compete reorganization since they printed TechManual. It's a pain to have to go from TechManual to Total Warfare or Tactical Operations for find out what tech does under normal rules. Splitting up TacOps is going to make a bad situation even worse. Now when TM says to see TO page xyz there won't be a page xyz.

I really don't see how anyone sees splitting the book is a good idea. You're increasing the cost of the book and decreasing its usefulness and availability.


Quote
1 - Techbook - all the advanced, experamental and niche stuff that's scattered all over the place. Includes LAMs and quadvees.

2 - Advanced Rulebook. All the stuff in tacops, the advanced terrain in IO, other stuff and and CampOps on top.

3 - Alternate games - battlespace, battleforce, and stars at war, strategic aerospace. watever they're called.


I'd go with two TechManuals. One for "Tournament Legal" and one for "Advanced Tech." And most definitely include every single piece of tech. IO missed some.


Quote
I know that these would be huge (Expensive, limited run) books that still would be hard to justify, but I think it would work better than just splitting each into two parts. That I can't see ending well.

I would hope they wouldn't be that limited, or if they were it's only to print newer editions with errata included faster. You want the books in the stores for existing players and potential new players to see. You can't sell the game if it isn't visible and players can't find it.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 09 October 2019, 09:08:17
The more I think about this, the more I think that a complete re-organization of the post-techmanual books is in order.

1 - Techbook - all the advanced, experamental and niche stuff that's scattered all over the place. Includes LAMs and quadvees.

2 - Advanced Rulebook. All the stuff in tacops, the advanced terrain in IO, other stuff and and CampOps on top.

3 - Alternate games - battlespace, battleforce, and stars at war, strategic aerospace. watever they're called.

I know that these would be huge (Expensive, limited run) books that still would be hard to justify, but I think it would work better than just splitting each into two parts. That I can't see ending well.

at this point it seems the TW/TM/TO/SO part of the line is on maintenance only until they decide to do something else. an IO reprint is probably so far off that it won't be required. i wouldn't want to see any major restructuring that didn't include a ground-up revision of TW as well. anything else is wasted effort.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Adrian Gideon on 09 October 2019, 18:56:37
Yup.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 09 October 2019, 20:25:46
TO is being split, so I'm not sure how that counts as "maintenance"... the only way to keep up with the errata is to buy both volumes of the split book.  They're not going to provide older page references.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 09 October 2019, 20:40:34
They didn’t want to reprint a 400+ page rulebook so the split was necessary under that criterion. A one, two, or seven part split doesn’t change the fact that the biggest alteration in this paradigm was new page numbers
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 09 October 2019, 20:58:38
My point is the new page numbers break the errata continuity.  If you want to keep up with the errata, you MUST buy the new books.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Greatclub on 09 October 2019, 21:26:50
If it's a short term thing while a new edition comes out, that makes some sense.

Still do not think it a good idea, but since I don't have their numbers I'll just take it on faith.

Helps that I'm really unlikely to buy them in any form.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 09 October 2019, 22:01:01
My point is the new page numbers break the errata continuity.  If you want to keep up with the errata, you MUST buy the new books.

Clearly outside of the production concerns. Sometimes a portion of the customer base must be inconvenienced
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 10 October 2019, 03:06:50
They didn’t want to reprint a 400+ page rulebook so the split was necessary under that criterion. A one, two, or seven part split doesn’t change the fact that the biggest alteration in this paradigm was new page numbers

It isn't just the page numbers for TO that will change. Other books will need to be erratad to include the not just new page numbers but what book the information is in. For example Total Warfare mentions TacOps 13 times. All 13 references are going to need to be changed to match the new book.


If I counted right removing the fiction and cutaway art pages brings TacOps in under 400 pages.


Clearly outside of the production concerns. Sometimes a portion of the customer base must be inconvenienced

If a lot of currant players are being inconvenienced imagine a new or returning player will feel having to look for a yet another book to find out what something does. We've done this already.
It was a pain having to wait for TechManual because the construction rule were split into a second book. Then we had to wait for TacOps because TM didn't tell us everything. Then we had to wait for StratOps because TO didn't tell us everything and so on. Now we're going to have to go through that again?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 10 October 2019, 04:57:48
It isn't just the page numbers for TO that will change. Other books will need to be erratad to include the not just new page numbers but what book the information is in. For example Total Warfare mentions TacOps 13 times. All 13 references are going to need to be changed to match the new bookS.
*snip*
FTFY
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 10 October 2019, 07:08:03
I’m not arguing it’s not an inconvenience for some but obviously it was not considered a big enough drawback when compared with the benefits they found from splitting.

I’m guessing they looked at the download numbers for the errata files and realized not that many people even keep track. It’s not something even they hyperfocused people here even talk about much. You could buy a nice bottle of scotch if you had dollar for every time a regular forum participant was reminded of years-old errata about artillery, C3, or RE lasers

You might try to convince CGL to run two sets of errata with page numbers for both versions. Litigation over the wisdom of the split, however, is quite pointless
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Cache on 10 October 2019, 07:39:15
Differing reference page numbers can be addressed without changing the other books.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 10 October 2019, 17:14:19
What benifits?

How would you not change the other books?  If a book say see TO page 345 and there is no page 345, there's a problem. A correction needs to be issued and not every player is going to know there is errata or where to find it.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 10 October 2019, 17:15:05
*snip*
You might try to convince CGL to run two sets of errata with page numbers for both versions.
*snip*[/quote]
I did... it didn't work.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 10 October 2019, 17:37:05
What benifits?

How would you not change the other books?  If a book say see TO page 345 and there is no page 345, there's a problem. A correction needs to be issued and not every player is going to know there is errata or where to find it.

I can think of one benefit right off the bat. That the book will be in print at all.  CGL is a business and has to ensure that they are getting return on investment.  If there were enough return on investment to keep the book in print in it's current form we wouldn't have this thread.

It has been pretty plainly laid out by CGL staff that TacOps in it's current form is not receiving enough return on investment to keep printing it.

In a choice between split it or not have it at all I know which I'd choose.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Insaniac99 on 10 October 2019, 17:37:56
What benifits?

How would you not change the other books?  If a book say see TO page 345 and there is no page 345, there's a problem. A correction needs to be issued and not every player is going to know there is errata or where to find it.

well, let's say we split TacOps, but don't restart numbering from Page 0?

There can be A01 thru AXX for the new appendixes and TOCs and so forth, but the pages of rules between the split and non-split editions will be the same so new books don't have wrong references.

Not a good solution, or one I think likely to be done, but it is a solution.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Colt Ward on 10 October 2019, 17:47:48
lol, I can see the post . . .

"Hey, I just bought this new rule book and it starts on page 236 after the table of contents.  Did I get a misprinted book?"
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 10 October 2019, 17:51:19
I did... it didn't work.

https://youtu.be/jv9sDn_2XkI

What benifits?

You’ve proven allergic to anything resembling good business sense so I doubt explaining would help
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 10 October 2019, 17:58:49
Nice Stones reference...  ^-^
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 10 October 2019, 18:03:01
Thinking about it, not changing the page numbers would in fact be the easiest resolution. It would create the least work and disruption
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 10 October 2019, 18:07:19
Well, if you can talk TPTB into it, you get my vote... :)
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: nckestrel on 10 October 2019, 18:13:25
*snip*
You might try to convince CGL to run two sets of errata with page numbers for both versions.
*snip*
I did... it didn't work.

Page references are nice. Sanity is nicer.  So I’ve heard.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 10 October 2019, 18:36:41
Well, if you can talk TPTB into it, you get my vote... :)

my zone of influence is about the same as BA ECM
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 10 October 2019, 18:42:55
Which is 30m more than mine...  ::)
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Greatclub on 10 October 2019, 18:52:53
What benifits?

Publishing costs have gone through the roof
Brick an mortar stores are becoming rarer and rarer.
Distributors are cutting themselves to the bone.
Kickstarted products are taking a huge chunk of the market.

Stuff that weren't big issues even a few years ago, when they tried battletech 2, AKA Alpha Strike. CGLs overwhelming priority at this point is getting battletech in distribution warehouses and from there back in B&M. If a few corners have to get cut to achieve that, so be it. Perfect is (sometimes) the enemy of good
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: kinwolf on 10 October 2019, 18:59:25
I have to say I have never, ever, looked at an errata sheet for any RPG I ever owned and played, so it's a no-impact for me, but I can see how it could bother those who follow that religiously.  Maybe start a fan-project to translate the new erratas to the old book page number?  (But honestly, after so many reprints of the same stuff, there shouldn't be any more erratas, right?  ::) )

I was looking at Sartris description of TacOps in the "https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=44730.0 (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=44730.0)" thread and I will probably pass on the new reprint in 2 volumes because of cost vs value.   It becomes quite expensive for the probable limited I would extract out of them as a gamer with limited time.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 11 October 2019, 02:15:20
I can think of one benefit right off the bat. That the book will be in print at all.  CGL is a business and has to ensure that they are getting return on investment.  If there were enough return on investment to keep the book in print in it's current form we wouldn't have this thread.

It has been pretty plainly laid out by CGL staff that TacOps in it's current form is not receiving enough return on investment to keep printing it.

In a choice between split it or not have it at all I know which I'd choose.


Then why are the rule books printed so big in the first place and why pad the page count with stories?

well, let's say we split TacOps, but don't restart numbering from Page 0?

There can be A01 thru AXX for the new appendixes and TOCs and so forth, but the pages of rules between the split and non-split editions will be the same so new books don't have wrong references.

Not a good solution, or one I think likely to be done, but it is a solution.

Keeping the page numbers would help but you'd still have to say what book to look in.

Publishing costs have gone through the roof
Brick an mortar stores are becoming rarer and rarer.
Distributors are cutting themselves to the bone.
Kickstarted products are taking a huge chunk of the market.

Stuff that weren't big issues even a few years ago, when they tried battletech 2, AKA Alpha Strike. CGLs overwhelming priority at this point is getting battletech in distribution warehouses and from there back in B&M. If a few corners have to get cut to achieve that, so be it. Perfect is (sometimes) the enemy of good

I get all that but how does producing two books instead of one help? You're adding pages and you have twice the covers and binding.

Why spend time on yet another rules set when TO could have been edited to bring it under 400 pages?


Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Greatclub on 11 October 2019, 02:32:33
They were printed that big because times were different. The current problem isn't the arbetrary limit of 400 pages, but that it is the size of a paizo corebook with a fraction the runsize.

Taking out a few pages of fiction wouldn't help enough, and helps some people get into the universe.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 11 October 2019, 02:33:35

Then why are the rule books printed so big in the first place and why pad the page count with stories?

I get all that but how does producing two books instead of one help? You're adding pages and you have twice the covers and binding.

Why spend time on yet another rules set when TO could have been edited to bring it under 400 pages?

Because at one point in the past there was enough return on investment to warrant such decisions.  That has obviously changed.

The people with more access to sales figures, more time running a gaming company, and market trend research than you or I have come to the conclusion that there was no way to cut enough pages to keep everything in one book and have sufficient return on investment.

I feel like I've pointed this all out to you more than once in this thread.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Ursus Maior on 11 October 2019, 05:05:04
lol, I can see the post . . .

"Hey, I just bought this new rule book and it starts on page 236 after the table of contents.  Did I get a misprinted book?"
It's pretty common in certain text based sciences though. Conference volumes in two or even three tomes.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Ursus Maior on 11 October 2019, 05:07:23
Maybe start a fan-project to translate the new erratas to the old book page number?
Sounds like a webiste over at Sarna.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 11 October 2019, 06:26:57
Because at one point in the past there was enough return on investment to warrant such decisions.  That has obviously changed.

The people with more access to sales figures, more time running a gaming company, and market trend research than you or I have come to the conclusion that there was no way to cut enough pages to keep everything in one book and have sufficient return on investment.

I feel like I've pointed this all out to you more than once in this thread.

They were printed that big because times were different. The current problem isn't the arbetrary limit of 400 pages, but that it is the size of a paizo corebook with a fraction the runsize.

Taking out a few pages of fiction wouldn't help enough, and helps some people get into the universe.


I'm sorry but I'm failing to see how having more intro and credits pages, table of contents pages, and index pages along with twice the hard covers and binding helps with cost. Maybe there's some discount or something I've missed but right now, I'm sorry. I don't get it.

Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: nckestrel on 11 October 2019, 07:57:33
Perhaps because you don’t have the information to make that decision, aren’t going to get that information, and have to just acknowledge that the people with that information and making that decision are doing so because of that information and not because they are... what exactly are you proposing they are doing?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Moonsword on 11 October 2019, 09:12:34
+++MOD NOTICE+++

Folks, personal observations about other forum posters can verge on Rule 1.  Tread lightly; preferably don't go there at all.  This is about the debate, not the people.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Apocal on 11 October 2019, 09:46:57

I'm sorry but I'm failing to see how having more intro and credits pages, table of contents pages, and index pages along with twice the hard covers and binding helps with cost. Maybe there's some discount or something I've missed but right now, I'm sorry. I don't get it.

Because intro and credits, table of contents, index pages, etc. presumably don't add up to a hundred and some odd pages.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: mbear on 11 October 2019, 10:51:50

I'm sorry but I'm failing to see how having more intro and credits pages, table of contents pages, and index pages along with twice the hard covers and binding helps with cost. Maybe there's some discount or something I've missed but right now, I'm sorry. I don't get it.

This is all speculation but...

-A 400 page book means 400 pages of possible errors so there's probably some cost adjustment for dealing with that annoyance.
-A 400 page book is going to take longer to print simply because there are more pages. And if the printer's life is anything like mine the print jobs will finish at the most inconvenient time, like at hour 7.5 of an 8 hour shift so you can't start the binding process on the same day as the print run. That in turn leads to more labor costs.
-A 400 page book will probably require more setup in the printer than a 200 page book, just because it's longer. If I'm not mistaken* the printers aren't like the ones you and I have access to in our homes or even a print shop. They're more like newspaper presses where you have to build the job just so or it's a total writeoff. (See this Imposition article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imposition) for more info.)
-A 400 page book may well require special handling or tools for sewing the signatures together because it's thicker than a 200 page book. That can be another cost passed on to the customer (CGL) by the publisher, especially if the 400 page books are a tiny part of their publishing business.

Conversely, the 200 page books may avoid all those issues, so there's a lower cost to the publisher. That in turn means a lower cost to CGL, which (hopefully) means a lower cost to us.




As a different metaphor consider what a pain in the neck it can be to store documents printed on Legal sized paper (8.5" by 14") when everything in your office is sized to only handle Letter sized paper (8.5" by 11"). It's just different enough to be annoying. Apparently the 400 page books are Legal sized papers in a Letter sized publishing house.

*And I have been before, even as recently as two weeks ago.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 11 October 2019, 10:59:19
- a 400 page book x thousands of copies is objectively heavier. the boat from china does not bring them for free
- the set is $80 instead of $50.
- the second volume (units and gear) will undoubtedly sell more quickly. initial runs and reprints can be more responsive to demand.

the more appropriately priced box has already proven better-suited to stay in print. why should they stick to the old model where we waited years between reprints again?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Maingunnery on 11 October 2019, 11:05:01
There is also another issue of 'value to customer'.
Many people aren't completists (wanting to have everything), they instead determine if the content in which they are interested in is available at a reasonable price.
That 400 page book is expensive, which means that for many players that it is too expensive in relation to the sub-section that they are actually interested in.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Colt Ward on 11 October 2019, 11:09:28
I'm sorry but I'm failing to see how having more intro and credits pages, table of contents pages, and index pages along with twice the hard covers and binding helps with cost. Maybe there's some discount or something I've missed but right now, I'm sorry. I don't get it.

Well . . . from pg 5 or 6-

How many grognards did not buy TO b/c it had 'equipment I will never use, I do not want to support any of that *insert adjective of choice*" when it came out?  Its a well proven theory, complete with graphs and other fun facts, that the buying decision is a curve- you can get X buyers at this price point, and if you raise it another $5 you will get X-Y buyers.  Splitting the book, even if the price is not completely split- say instead of the $40 for old TO we get $25 or $30, you are going to get more buyers for the rules or equipment than you would have people buying original TO with both.  Which will include the grogs who refused to buy advanced rules that they might have used b/c they were compatible with their ideal 3025 game they would not have bought with equipment.

And as Sartis keeps pointing out, its not the 1 time buy they are really looking at but being a bit more flexible to market place demand.  I will predict this . . . with the Kickstarter sending everyone their first mechs in March 2020, I am willing to bet the Advanced Rules TO portion will need to be reprinted before the Advanced Equipment TO portion.  Because the people who bought in just to get the IS mechs (like that thread we had) and are returning might want to dabble with some of the advanced rules- I know I prefer being able to turn off the Guass Rifle's capacitors so it does not damage the whole machine or hurt the pilot.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: kinwolf on 11 October 2019, 13:14:47
So we have one bet that the second volume will sell faster and one bet that the first will.  Where is the bookmaker? ;D
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Colt Ward on 11 October 2019, 13:20:11
Huh?  so far as I know no one else is saying either will sell better.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: kinwolf on 11 October 2019, 13:41:50
Sartis mentionned that he thinks the second volume(equipment) will sell more quickly.(the message above yours)
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Colt Ward on 11 October 2019, 14:42:35
Well, if it does, great . . . it means people are exploring into the current (MWDA) timeline.  I would happily be wrong about which one sells.  Normally I would say equipment sells, I just figure rules might with people getting KS minis and people getting back into the game.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 11 October 2019, 14:47:56
I have zero doubt that one volume will sell more and spend less time on the shelves than the other.

Which one it will be is unclear to me as yet for I can make cases for either.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: pixelgeek on 11 October 2019, 15:15:16
-A 400 page book is going to take longer to print simply because there are more pages.

Most large presses are all digital and the number of pages is more a collation and binding problem than one for the press
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 11 October 2019, 18:12:50
I can at least answer the "index" aspect of duplicated sections in two books.  Unless I'm greatly mistaken, neither volume will have an index.  Campaign Operations didn't, and my question as to it receiving one went unanswered...

*snip*
(like that thread we had)
*snip*
You're welcome!  :)
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 11 October 2019, 19:12:55
I have zero doubt that one volume will sell more and spend less time on the shelves than the other.

Which one it will be is unclear to me as yet for I can make cases for either.

My assumption is the equipment half will because playing in later eras requires it unless you do mechs only with the BMM
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 11 October 2019, 19:40:34
My assumption is the equipment half will because playing in later eras requires it unless you do mechs only with the BMM

Not that I actually completely disagree but in a way that's what makes me think the opposite has just as good of a chance of being the dominant volume, the advanced rules will offer more to people who already have the BMM than the equipment section.

Either way I expect the sales to be to show a clearly dominant volume in terms of both total volume and how little time it sits on shelves.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 11 October 2019, 19:52:19
My personal buy will be pdf only... I have the (single) hard copy, and download all the errata as it becomes available.  I acknowledge this only drives TPTB to further harden their decision to not include indices, but it still rubs me wrong...
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 11 October 2019, 20:18:08
Not that I actually completely disagree but in a way that's what makes me think the opposite has just as good of a chance of being the dominant volume, the advanced rules will offer more to people who already have the BMM than the equipment section.

Either way I expect the sales to be to show a clearly dominant volume in terms of both total volume and how little time it sits on shelves.

Equally valid logic. I barely understand me much less other people
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 12 October 2019, 14:36:10






Thank you for the answers but there's still a couple things I don't get.

If the set is $80.00 and a single book is $50 dollars, isn't the single book less expensive to buy? And is $10.00 more really too much for a book twice the book? Even if the price was $60.00 wouldn't it still be more affordable than $80.00?

Even if the page count doesn't change, there's still 400 pages that could need errata at some point. Only now its in two different books. That split would effect previous and later books that reference this TO, or at least the second half. Wouldn't it?

Again, presuming page count doesn't change, wouldn't the extra binding and covers actually increase the weight and size of the "set" making them more expensive and more of a pain to lug around? Is this why we're going to pay $80 instead of $50?

The PDFs are going to increase in price too won't they?

Will both books be available in equal numbers? It's been my experience that later volumes are harder to get because fewer of them are printed.

And finally, don't you need the rule book part to use the equipment part and visa versa? For example the rules for Artillery and Mines are in the first half but their equipment is in the second half. You need both to use them.


I know you're all cursing me but I'm hoping you're all right and that things will work out. I don't see how but miracles do happen.







Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 12 October 2019, 15:33:35
They are only more expensive versus the established cost.  TPTB have determined that with the rising costs of putting physical books on shelves the most cost effective measure for the short term is to split the book.  The book simply cannot stay in one volume and be priced to provide sufficient return on investment and would almost certainly sit on store shelves longer than it already is if the price were increased.

Going to two volumes won't change the errata process hardly at all.  As far as other books referencing TacOps there is no way around some measure of pain for that but I suspect doing it now will minimize any such pain.

It'd be a very minor amount of extra binding and covers.  As far as having to lug both around?  Well that again would be a fairly minimal amount of extra weight and volume but most players will probably only have the rules section.

Nothing has been stated about the PDF versions as yet in terms of pricing.

Both volumes probably will be available in equal numbers initially but once the numbers are in for which one is more popular I would expect that to change the balance going forward.  Might take a few print runs though before enough data is available though.

No you don't need the rules part to use the equipment part.  Everything you need to know about any piece of equipment when minis are on the mapsheet is entirely in the rules section.  The equipment section is only useful for when designing units.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 12 October 2019, 15:59:03
They are only more expensive versus the established cost.  TPTB have determined that with the rising costs of putting physical books on shelves the most cost effective measure for the short term is to split the book.  The book simply cannot stay in one volume and be priced to provide sufficient return on investment and would almost certainly sit on store shelves longer than it already is if the price were increased.

Going to two volumes won't change the errata process hardly at all.  As far as other books referencing TacOps there is no way around some measure of pain for that but I suspect doing it now will minimize any such pain.

It'd be a very minor amount of extra binding and covers.  As far as having to lug both around?  Well that again would be a fairly minimal amount of extra weight and volume but most players will probably only have the rules section.

Nothing has been stated about the PDF versions as yet in terms of pricing.

Both volumes probably will be available in equal numbers initially but once the numbers are in for which one is more popular I would expect that to change the balance going forward.  Might take a few print runs though before enough data is available though.


Hope so to most and hope the price stays the same.

Quote
No you don't need the rules part to use the equipment part.  Everything you need to know about any piece of equipment when minis are on the mapsheet is entirely in the rules section.  The equipment section is only useful for when designing units.

Not so. Rules for how equipment gives and takes damage are in the equipment section. For example you have a mini with Reflective Armor, the rules section won't help you. You need the equipment section to know how it takes damage.




I hope you all will forgive me for asking another really stupid question about a new version of TO, split or not, and if answered already forgive me for missing it.   Will the new version of TO take into account how some items have changed rule levels?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 12 October 2019, 16:27:45
Not so. Rules for how equipment gives and takes damage are in the equipment section. For example you have a mini with Reflective Armor, the rules section won't help you. You need the equipment section to know how it takes damage.

Right. you don't need volume 1 for reflective armor. the rules are fully contained on pg 281
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 12 October 2019, 16:51:11

Hope so to most and hope the price stays the same.

Not so. Rules for how equipment gives and takes damage are in the equipment section. For example you have a mini with Reflective Armor, the rules section won't help you. You need the equipment section to know how it takes damage.




I hope you all will forgive me for asking another really stupid question about a new version of TO, split or not, and if answered already forgive me for missing it.   Will the new version of TO take into account how some items have changed rule levels?

I question why someone wouldn't already know such things before minis are on the mapsheet between what is already on the record sheet and due diligence.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 12 October 2019, 17:22:02
I question why someone wouldn't already know such things before minis are on the mapsheet between what is already on the record sheet and due diligence.

How would a new player, returning player or any player, who doesn't have TRO:Prototypes know that some items change rule levels? Does knowing that mean players should memorize the changes? Or be forced to carry around both books? Have the RS been errata'ed to indicate which units changed levels? How would players know the RS had been errata'ed?  Not all players visit the forums and not all those that do check the errata threads. So how would they know or remember? That's why I asked if TO was going to be errata'ed with those rule changes.


Right. you don't need volume 1 for reflective armor. the rules are fully contained on pg 281

Exactly. You can't just plunk a unit down with the rules section and play. You have to have the equipment part to know how to use the equipment. You have to have Vol2 in order to use reflective armor. Its like that for many things.








Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Colt Ward on 12 October 2019, 17:32:16
Our table has a pretty simple rule . . . any equipment or ammo you bring, you need to have the rule page for it and be able to explain it.  For some of the MWDA mechs, I have put the TO or FM3145 page number on the RS and before I put PDFs on the kindle I had a doc with a single page set of quotes from the rules for things like Radical HS, Supercharger, Blue Shield and VSPLs.

If you bring it, its up to you to have the rules handy- not who you are playing against.

Riflemech-  what he is saying is that everything pertaining to Reflec Armor will be in Vol2 as part of the equipment section.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 12 October 2019, 17:55:56
How would a new player, returning player or any player, who doesn't have TRO:Prototypes know that some items change rule levels? Does knowing that mean players should memorize the changes? Or be forced to carry around both books? Have the RS been errata'ed to indicate which units changed levels? How would players know the RS had been errata'ed?  Not all players visit the forums and not all those that do check the errata threads. So how would they know or remember? That's why I asked if TO was going to be errata'ed with those rule changes.


Exactly. You can't just plunk a unit down with the rules section and play. You have to have the equipment part to know how to use the equipment. You have to have Vol2 in order to use reflective armor. Its like that for many things.

Irrelevant for two reasons.

1. It is actually technically only the availability of equipment that has changed.  Though I'll admit how CGL handled this was a bit of a mess.

2. Unless someone is being a jerk all of this should be discussed/handled before record sheets are printed and minis meet mapsheet.

So no you don't need to memorize, you just need to use some due diligence and talk with your group.

Our table has a pretty simple rule . . . any equipment or ammo you bring, you need to have the rule page for it and be able to explain it.  For some of the MWDA mechs, I have put the TO or FM3145 page number on the RS and before I put PDFs on the kindle I had a doc with a single page set of quotes from the rules for things like Radical HS, Supercharger, Blue Shield and VSPLs.

If you bring it, its up to you to have the rules handy- not who you are playing against.

Riflemech-  what he is saying is that everything pertaining to Reflec Armor will be in Vol2 as part of the equipment section.

My group is pretty good about having PDFs handy and physical books if need be so we mostly just have to talk about what kind of game we want to play and not be that demanding.

So what I'm saying is if you don't know how something works maybe research it before hand and maybe have a page reference if you really need one or choose another mech that you are more familiar with the equipment on.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Colt Ward on 12 October 2019, 18:43:29
Yeah, usually we have books . . . 2 or so TWs, a BMM, TO & TM . . . but sometimes its four or more separate fights going too.  Plus, someone might leave one of the books on accident, so the simple rule is if you are bringing something post FCCW that is new, have the rules.  Heck, the FLGS has wi-fi so sometimes we cheat and look on Sarna for the page number if someone forgot.

But it comes down to the person bringing whatever to be sure its implemented right.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Maingunnery on 12 October 2019, 19:07:37

My experience in recent years was one rulebook (such as BattleMech Manual) and the rest as PDFs (relevant pages already noted).

Actual Physical advanced rulebooks have become a bit rare, becoming mostly a collectors item.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 13 October 2019, 06:58:54
(snip)

Riflemech-  what he is saying is that everything pertaining to Reflec Armor will be in Vol2 as part of the equipment section.

What I was replying to was not needing the "Construction" part of the book to use the mini on the table. You need to have the book in order to use equipment. You can't print out the requisite page without the book.



Irrelevant for two reasons.

1. It is actually technically only the availability of equipment that has changed.  Though I'll admit how CGL handled this was a bit of a mess.

2. Unless someone is being a jerk all of this should be discussed/handled before record sheets are printed and minis meet mapsheet.

So no you don't need to memorize, you just need to use some due diligence and talk with your group.

My group is pretty good about having PDFs handy and physical books if need be so we mostly just have to talk about what kind of game we want to play and not be that demanding.

So what I'm saying is if you don't know how something works maybe research it before hand and maybe have a page reference if you really need one or choose another mech that you are more familiar with the equipment on.

Sorry but that's incorrect.

1. I don't know if availability changed or not. I do  know that rule levels for many of the items in TacOps have changed levels. There's a big list of equipment in TRO:Prototypes that includes old levels and new levels. Some items went from Experimental to advanced and even Tournament Legal.  (I do agree the handling was a mess and there should have been an errata for TacOps a long time ago.)

2. I agree but someone's got to have the book in order to use those items. TO isn't laid out the same way TW and TM are. They still have problems but you can get away with just having TW.  Its not the same for TO. Splitting TO would be like removing the Other Combat Weapons and Equipment sections (pages 129-143) and the tables from Total Warfare.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 13 October 2019, 11:36:11
My guess is they will not change. The rules level is variable across eras (and within as well, especially the late jihad and early republic). TO like TW is set in the late 3060s so the rules levels will be consistent with that time period.

A system that is supposed to by era agnostic but still adheres to the chronology of the forward plot arc like the 90s is one of the main issues I have with the long-term residency of the TW line.



Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 13 October 2019, 18:19:40
Thing is rule levels can be used independent of dates. If equipment is going to be changing levels, one would think that would be mentioned in the rule book some where.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Greatclub on 13 October 2019, 18:34:51
things might go on a graph plus a few special branches, like the Society equipment.

Clan invasion standard          Civil War Standard         Jihad Standard         Dark Age Standard
Clan invasion Advanced         Civil War Advanced        Jihad Advanced         Dark Age Advanced         
Clan invasion Experimental    Civil War Experimental    Jihad Experimental    Dark Age Experimental   
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 13 October 2019, 18:50:24
You forgot 3025 era...  ::)
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Greatclub on 13 October 2019, 19:13:19
You forgot 3025 era...  ::)

I forgot the 3039 era. 3025 is introtech, pretty much period.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 13 October 2019, 19:30:48
There are advanced and experimental items available in 3025.  The Blazer Cannon, Artillery Cannons, Recon Cameras and Remote Sensor Dispensers among them...
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 13 October 2019, 19:45:24
There’s also a superheavy tank

Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 13 October 2019, 19:49:54
Thing is rule levels can be used independent of dates. If equipment is going to be changing levels, one would think that would be mentioned in the rule book some where.

A lot of this is handled in various other products, many of which a player will already have if they are playing that type of game.

So I don't see the need for such information to be included in the rules.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 13 October 2019, 23:36:41
A lot of this is handled in various other products, many of which a player will already have if they are playing that type of game.

So I don't see the need for such information to be included in the rules.


Not all players, especially new and returning players, may have those products. Many long term players might not have those products. There are some players who stick to certain time periods so they'd see TO of use but not a TRO for an era 100 years later.

Rule books should contain the rules. I know things change and new tech comes out but those things should be gathered an put into the rules eventually. Players shouldn't have to hunt for them. There's also the big question of, if it isn't in a new rule book is it still valid?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 14 October 2019, 00:15:21
it's an issue that's not going to be potentially fixed until the next iteration of the corebooks is released (if they even decide to do it that way)

in the meantime, use the tables in IO.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: victor_shaw on 14 October 2019, 00:26:06
Not up for reading the entire thread, but wondering what is new here.
The battletech line has had split rules since its inception.
Mech/Infantry+vehicles/aerospace/warship.
The only change in the last run was to split it along the play levels.
Basic/standard/advanced

Now the splitting of the new books is probably a cost issues.
Page count cost have really gone up in the last few years, so I can understand them wanting to lower the cost by splitting the larger 400+ page books into smaller 200+ page books as long as the prices match-up with the split.
Now if they split them an still try to charge $60 for them we will have a problem, but if they come in at under $40 I don't see the issue. 
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 14 October 2019, 00:51:18
it's an issue that's not going to be potentially fixed until the next iteration of the corebooks is released (if they even decide to do it that way)

in the meantime, use the tables in IO.

Maybe I'm looking too hard but I'm not seeing what items changed rule levels in IO.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 14 October 2019, 01:04:11
it tells you when equipment shifts from prototype to production to common. the key at the beginning of the table explains how that correlates to I/TL/A/E rules levels
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 14 October 2019, 02:27:27
Not all players, especially new and returning players, may have those products. Many long term players might not have those products. There are some players who stick to certain time periods so they'd see TO of use but not a TRO for an era 100 years later.

Rule books should contain the rules. I know things change and new tech comes out but those things should be gathered an put into the rules eventually. Players shouldn't have to hunt for them. There's also the big question of, if it isn't in a new rule book is it still valid?

If they don't have the relevant product then it isn't an issue then is it?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Greatclub on 14 October 2019, 03:15:49
It's an issue, has been an issue for a long time given how many books stuff is spread over. One they're moving to fix. In the meantime stuff is available PDF.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: SCC on 14 October 2019, 05:16:15
lol, I can see the post . . .

"Hey, I just bought this new rule book and it starts on page 236 after the table of contents.  Did I get a misprinted book?"
Given that GURPS Basic Set (Hardcopy) books are numbered in exactly this fashion, I doubt it's going to be a problem.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Liam's Ghost on 14 October 2019, 05:25:01
it tells you when equipment shifts from prototype to production to common. the key at the beginning of the table explains how that correlates to I/TL/A/E rules levels

*sigh* once upon the time most of these tech levels were purely defined by rules complexity, with experimental being the only one that actually depended on in universe information.

I can't for the life of me imagine why they thought making most of them era dependent was a good idea.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: idea weenie on 14 October 2019, 05:26:04
Given that GURPS Basic Set (Hardcopy) books are numbered in exactly this fashion, I doubt it's going to be a problem.

Or we might have to go the Starfleet Battles style, where you have numbered paragraphs/chapters and edits based on those numbers.

So if you update rules for jumping for Battlearmor, you would have to list it under either:
Battlearmor.Jumping.01
Jumping.Battlearmor.01

The arranging would be based on how we want to order the rules to make it easier to use.

Similarly, for construction, you would list tables by the name of the chapter, rather than the number of the chapter (or the page number).
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 14 October 2019, 06:22:26
it tells you when equipment shifts from prototype to production to common. the key at the beginning of the table explains how that correlates to I/TL/A/E rules levels

Okay. Found it. Thank you. And what a pain. Unlike the tables in TO that would tell players what the rule level was now players have to figure it out for themselves.



If they don't have the relevant product then it isn't an issue then is it?

If is if they can't get the relevant product. If they can't get the product, will they continue to invest in the game? 


It's an issue, has been an issue for a long time given how many books stuff is spread over. One they're moving to fix. In the meantime stuff is available PDF.

But they haven't fixed it. Things keep getting left out and new items get created. And PDFs are useful but its still a pain to have to hunt for the rules. I know some of it is to get players to buy new books. No problem with that. But after a certain point they should be put into the core rule books. Why make things more difficult for players than it needs to be?

At the bare minimum why not at a note explaining TO's in universe date, that things change in the future and to please see the table in IO for the changes?

And why leave things out of the sourcebooks, when making the core rule books? If they're not included are they still legal?


Given that GURPS Basic Set (Hardcopy) books are numbered in exactly this fashion, I doubt it's going to be a problem.

Battletech isn't GURPS.



Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Sartris on 14 October 2019, 07:42:30
*sigh* once upon the time most of these tech levels were purely defined by rules complexity, with experimental being the only one that actually depended on in universe information.

I can't for the life of me imagine why they thought making most of them era dependent was a good idea.

A simpler time to be sure. The system broke down once they started releasing canon designs into the mainstream with TacOps gear. At this point fretting over rules complexity has become a bit anachronistic anyway as so many units post 3067 run that equipment.

Tournament Legal was supposed to be a game complexity designation - either something is held back because it’s not suitable (artillery) or it’s allowed. The advanced / experimental split seems more and more irrelevant, especially in the forward arc as so little experiments gear exists. We’ve been at the point where TO has been a required purchase for a decade.

Perhaps it’s time to go back to a level 2/3 split where you have an era-agnostic list of forbidden gear. Any other unit is allowed in a game after its intro date in any MUL-listed factions. The IO list is there for the ultras who demand that kind of crunchiness.

Ultimately all of this a rather bland argument shaded by personal preferences. Nothing is going to happen for the next several years until TW2: Totaler War retires the current core rulebooks. The reprint of TacOps was never intended to take on this particular problem
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 14 October 2019, 09:00:21
Okay. Found it. Thank you. And what a pain. Unlike the tables in TO that would tell players what the rule level was now players have to figure it out for themselves.
*snip*
TO has always had the best equipment table format of all the books.  When IO came out, I asked if there was any chance of getting the complete tables that way (TO format), and the answer was "no".
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 14 October 2019, 10:56:49
It's an issue, has been an issue for a long time given how many books stuff is spread over. One they're moving to fix. In the meantime stuff is available PDF.

If is if they can't get the relevant product. If they can't get the product, will they continue to invest in the game? 

None of this really proves the case that this is information that needs to be in a core rule book.

This is setting specific information that only impact certain eras.

As previously stated some players don't play certain eras.

As far as further investment?  No matter what CGL does the vast majority of customers are going to stop at the two currently available box sets and never further invest anyway.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: SCC on 15 October 2019, 01:38:39
About TO page references and the splitting: I'm not 100%, but haven't all the errata additions to-date already mucked that up?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 15 October 2019, 01:48:12
Not sure.

I doubt it is very substantial if any have though.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Greatclub on 15 October 2019, 02:23:16
None of this really proves the case that this is information that needs to be in a core rule book.

This is setting specific information that only impact certain eras.
and some people will pick up a mini/Record sheets XXX and be pissed they don't have the rules for them.
Quote

As previously stated some players don't play certain eras.
Yeah, and? Their opponents might. You can't dictate what your table plays all the time, and it's nice to be able to have a change of pace occasionally. 
Quote
As far as further investment?  No matter what CGL does the vast majority of customers are going to stop at the two currently available box sets and never further invest anyway.
Don't kid yourself, they'll pick up the clan box too. Half will skip the beginner box if they realize it's the cut-down kiddie version.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: SCC on 15 October 2019, 03:41:53
Not sure.

I doubt it is very substantial if any have though.
The revision of ECCM rules and the few things that have been added make it likely, if only by a page or two.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 15 October 2019, 04:36:52
and some people will pick up a mini/Record sheets XXX and be pissed they don't have the rules for them.

Until all the rules and equipment are in one book that is always going to be a possibility.  One that can be mitigated by the buyer doing a little due diligence*.  I know that won't always happen and it is clearly impossible to have everything in one book at a reasonable price for Battletech and have sufficient return on investment.

*All of the products where this is an issue do pretty clearly say you do need TacOps in them too.

Quote
Yeah, and? Their opponents might. You can't dictate what your table plays all the time, and it's nice to be able to have a change of pace occasionally.

This is still a setting specific issue.  Something that ideally should be decided before minis hit map sheets and thus can just as easily be handled in a supplemental book.

Plus there are players who were using that equipment just fine before the products changed availibility ratings by trying to change rules levels.

Quote
Don't kid yourself, they'll pick up the clan box too. Half will skip the beginner box if they realize it's the cut-down kiddie version.

Fair enough that'd probably be another fairly introductory purchase.

But that's kind of the thing, most customers will never be impacted by not having availability changes of equipment information in the core rule books.

It's basic economics, no matter how good the product is the percentage of the consumer base that will make purchases beyond introductory products gets smaller at each step.  Often very steeply.

Ultimately all I'm saying is in the grand scheme of things with how thin we've seen the margin for error is when it comes to Battletech there are hard choices to be made about what is in a core rule book and honestly I've heard nothing so far that makes even the slightest case that this issue cannot be resolved by a supplemental product instead.  Fat needs trimmed from the core books where possible.  Like the BMM.  Just have what is absolutely neccessary to play the game in the rule books.

Which is quite fitting as it is only created by and effects people who bought certain supplemental products.

Funnily enough that's pretty much the current state of affairs we have now too.

But to be absolutely crystal clear I'm not saying there shouldn't be rules for the equipment as available as economically possible, I'm just saying any information about how common these weapons are in certain eras isn't strictly needed in the core books and thus can be relegated to supplemental books.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 15 October 2019, 04:38:50
Current errata still references the "current" printing, so the page references are all still good.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: RifleMech on 15 October 2019, 05:07:11
TO has always had the best equipment table format of all the books.  When IO came out, I asked if there was any chance of getting the complete tables that way (TO format), and the answer was "no".

It does and I was hoping IO would follow it and TM would be errata'd to match.  :'( Instead the tables are even harder to find.  I don't know why TPTB would want to make things more difficult for the players.



None of this really proves the case that this is information that needs to be in a core rule book.

This is setting specific information that only impact certain eras.

As previously stated some players don't play certain eras.

As far as further investment?  No matter what CGL does the vast majority of customers are going to stop at the two currently available box sets and never further invest anyway.

Not everyone plays according to era. Many play according to rule levels.

As for the box sets. I thought the vast majority of the boxed sets were snapped up by existing fans to add to their mini collection or by online sellers planning to jack the prices up once the sets go out of production. Which is almost immediately. It's a good thing players don't need a boxed set to play.

As for due diligence it's rather difficult to do when the core rule books reference wrong page numbers or books not in existence. Right now they're okay but they weren't always. And it looks like they won't be again.  :(

Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Asgo on 15 October 2019, 05:45:25
...

As for due diligence it's rather difficult to do when the core rule books reference wrong page numbers or books not in existence. Right now they're okay but they weren't always. And it looks like they won't be again.  :(
independent of the "to split or not to split" question, as long as updates and changes happen to any referenced  book there is the chance that all page numbers are invalidated across the board - just adding enough text early enough that a page change happens will do that.
basically it will happen anyway at some point, which doesn't make it a reason to stop any work/updates on existing books.

if it is just page references, if you own the printed version it is easily enough manually updated to correct numbers and the pdf version might get an update anyway.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Precentor Scorpio on 15 October 2019, 06:53:37
I would rather have a core rule book for battletech; and then pamphlets (Sandhurst War College courses) for the following:  This way you only buy what you want/need
Battlearmor/Infantry
Armor
Air support
Artillery
Blue Water Operations
Urban environment
Warship and Aerospace combat
Logistics - Campaign rules
Armory - Listing of weapons (In addition to the various weapon systems, you can add the various types of munitions, swarm LRMs, infernos, and stuff like mine fields.)

Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 15 October 2019, 11:32:50
Not everyone plays according to era. Many play according to rule levels.

The only way this statement makes sense is if it is in agreement with me that the information about changing rules levels is information that does not need to be included in the core rule books.

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As for the box sets. I thought the vast majority of the boxed sets were snapped up by existing fans to add to their mini collection or by online sellers planning to jack the prices up once the sets go out of production. Which is almost immediately. It's a good thing players don't need a boxed set to play.

Good thing that unlike the previous box set the current ones are priced to be self sustaining and thus much easier to order a new run of.  Sure it might have a bit of delay between runs but that is a huge improvement.

But none of that changes buying habits.  Most customers only buy the basics and never make the jump to more advanced products.

Neither does it change the likely paths of how new players are going to get into the game.

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As for due diligence it's rather difficult to do when the core rule books reference wrong page numbers or books not in existence. Right now they're okay but they weren't always. And it looks like they won't be again.  :(

The best way to keep that from being an issue in the future is to reference a book title and maybe a section header but not give exact page references.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Insaniac99 on 15 October 2019, 13:32:48
Not everyone plays according to era. Many play according to rule levels.

Ever since Interstellar Operations, these are now tied together.

Tech that was Advanced or Experimental can become Tournament level or Advanced in the Dark Age.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Greatclub on 15 October 2019, 14:32:58
Ever since Interstellar Operations, these are now tied together.

They were tied together before then, IO just made it explicit (In a rather irritatingly formatted way)
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Xotl on 15 October 2019, 16:03:26
I should note that the effect of splitting the books on errata (i.e. not supporting the older books with errata releases) is solely a decision on my part: this isn't CGL determining to drive sales of the new book by purposefully ending errata support for the old version of TO.  I'm just too busy to keep up errata support for anything other than the latest works (and I'm barely handling that).  It's the same reason that TW and such used to have separate errata docs for both the 1st and the latest printings, and now only has support for the 1st, or why ASCE is supported while the old AS support has now stopped.  It's possible that this could change at some point in the future, however, when I have more time available.

About TO page references and the splitting: I'm not 100%, but haven't all the errata additions to-date already mucked that up?

Once in a while, but this is relatively rare, since page refs almost always reference the start of the section, so it's only when a section header is bumped to another page that it matters.
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Daryk on 15 October 2019, 17:50:05
Dang it, how do we clone you?  ::)
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: Wrangler on 18 October 2019, 16:12:25
So the books were split, to cut down on errants for the old books?
Title: Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
Post by: monbvol on 18 October 2019, 16:28:31
No.

The books were split due to business/economic considerations.

The unified pre-split book is not going to receive any further errata due to xotl's decision.  Only the post split new books.