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Author Topic: BattleTech 2.0: New rules for modifiers  (Read 5511 times)

abou

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BattleTech 2.0: New rules for modifiers
« on: 10 May 2018, 00:08:00 »
A number of conversations have gotten me thinking about how to improve the game. It seems to keep coming down to the math involved: both in calculating and the high to-hit numbers. These are stumbling blocks to the speed. However, I personally want to preserve the stats and the meta of the game.

BattleTech works very differently than a lot of other mecha. In anime, you tend to have the main characters in their 'mechs, but the enemy are in fragile machines that collapse easily and blow up. BattleTech is the gradual reduction in combat capabilities of units: either through loss of limbs and weapons or through soaking up so much damage that a critical event happens which causes the destruction of the unit. Keeping in mind tactical movement, positioning, and advantage of the terrain, what I propose is basically a left shift in terms of numbers.

Some of these ideas come from what we see in Alpha Strike and to an extent the new PC game.

I have attached a PDF to this post to allow ease of printing. So far this includes just the core mechanics with regards to combat, buffed AC stats, and introtech play. An expanded document with quirks for weapons will be added later.
« Last Edit: 30 December 2018, 14:15:16 by abou »

Fear Factory

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #1 on: 15 May 2018, 23:35:31 »
Just an FYI, I'm part of this journey, and the first game we played showed a lot of promise.  We also added a boost to Autocannons:

*** See first post for stats ***
« Last Edit: 03 June 2018, 19:21:57 by Fear Factory »

abou

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #2 on: 16 May 2018, 00:39:30 »
So yeah, as Dan said, we just played a game with these rules. There were already some tweaks as we went, but it certainly sped things up. Tomorrow I'll edit my first post with what was changed or added.

We played using the first scenario in the Lakes & Rivers mapset. The autocannon buff made a noticeable difference, but wasn't overpowering. It helped the AC/5s of the Banshee and Clint to punch through armor a bit better. And quite quickly we noticed how much the game sped up when you use the semi-Alpha Strike TMM rules and the simplified ranges. The reduced math of the game meant you weren't number-crunching as much; however, the game still kept that feel of the reduced effectiveness of the units as damage mounted. There were several tense moments where that one punch or stray shot could cripple your 'mech.

So for us, it was a lance of lights and low-end mediums versus two assaults that took about and hour and a half. Not bad. We're going to keep working on this.

I totally understand that there are a lot of other threads about speeding up the game, and this is just one more idea. But I actually want to put this concept through its paces to see what works.

abou

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #3 on: 17 May 2018, 13:05:53 »
Updated the initial post with new rules for clubbing, altered ranges, changes to partial cover, jumping, and extreme range.

Fear Factory

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #4 on: 17 May 2018, 14:34:13 »
I also want to post some of my weapon ideas here because I think it would actually make them feel unique, opposed to the current vanilla feel they all have (NOTE:  Introductory Tech, for now):

Lasers

These are basically fine on their own.  We're working on a system for PSR's for taking 20+ damage.  So far, we're thinking lasers can still force a PSR but they won't have a stacking bonus.  This quirk gives more of an incentive to utilize a mix of weapons or unit types.

Quirks:
No PSR bonus on their own.  EDIT:  Their high heat for decent damage and lack of ammo is enough.  Lasers are fine.

Code: [Select]
Type          Heat  DMG   Range   Tons  Crits  Ammo
Small Laser   1     3     3       0.5   1      -
Medium Laser  3     5     9       1.0   1      -
Large Laser   8     8     15      5.0   2      -

Particle Projector Cannon

By itself, the PPC is a really powerful weapon.  In order to balance it, and keep it competitive with other weapons, giving the same bonus AC's get for forcing PSR's should work.

Quirks:
+1 bonus for forcing PSR's, stacks per unit  EDIT: The bonus crit mechanic is just too much.  PPC's are fine on their own.
Minimum Range 3

Code: [Select]
Type          Heat  DMG   Range   Tons  Crits  Ammo
PPC           10    10    18      7.0   3      -

Autocannons

The damage boost is really needed.  Ammunition explosions and damage always comes up when comparing to energy weapons, especially with smaller AC's.  Boosting their damage, and giving them a bonus for PSR's, gives them the extra umph they need.  Now you can actually compare the AC/5 with the Large Laser AND PPC as a worthy replacement.  The AC/2 still keeps its niche role, but it can now at least do more damage than a Machine Gun.  Autocannons, with the damage buff, now have a good balance between damage and heat AND this also justifies the risk for carrying ammunition.

Quirks:
(Class 2 and 5) -1 bonus for targeting airborne units
(Class 10 and 20) +1 bonus for forcing PSR's, stacks per unit  EDIT: The bonus crit mechanic is just too much.  The boost in damage is actually enough to achieve this.

Autocannon 2 Minimum Range 4
Autocannon 5 Minimum Range 3

Code: [Select]
Type          Heat  DMG   Range   Tons  Crits  Ammo
Autocannon 2  1     3     24(4)   6.0   1      50
Autocannon 5  2     7     18(3)   8.0   4      20
Autocannon 10 4     12    15      12.0  7      10
Autocannon 20 7     24    9       14.0  10     5

Missile Launchers

These guys are already somewhat fine on their own.  However, the SRM-2 always got shafted.  Without having to change the missile hit chart, I figured giving them a bonus in their specific range bracket would help.

Quirks (LRM's):
+1 on missile hit chart (long range)
-1 on missile hit chart (short range)
EDIT: With the new way we handle woods it seems like too much.  They're fine on their own.
Minimum Range 6

Code: [Select]
Type          Heat  DMG   Range   Tons  Crits  Ammo
LRM-5         2     1/m   21(6)   2.0   1      24
LRM-10        4     1/m   21(6)   5.0   2      12
LRM-15        5     1/m   21(6)   7.0   3      8
LRM-20        6     1/m   21(6)   10.0  5      6

Quirks (SRM's):
+1 on missile hit chart (short range)
-1 on missile hit chart (medium range)
EDIT: With the new way we handle woods it seems like too much.  They're fine on their own.

Code: [Select]
Type          Heat  DMG   Range   Tons  Crits  Ammo
SRM-2         2     2/m   9       1.0   1      50
SRM-4         3     2/m   9       2.0   1      25
SRM-6         4     2/m   9       3.0   2      15

Point Defense

They are really only useful for fighting off infantry, but this is a game about BATTLEMECHS.  Why not make them better against 'Mechs?  Let the Flamer do heat and damage to the target instead of picking one or the other (I always thought having to choose was stupid).  Give the machine gun a bonus for critical hits since it's firing a cluster of bullets.

Quirks (Flamers):
2d6 damage against infantry
Causes both heat and damage to the target

Code: [Select]
Type          Heat  DMG   Range   Tons  Crits  Ammo
Flamer        3     2/3ht 3       1.0   1      -
Flamer (Veh)  0     2/3ht 3       0.5   1      20

Quirks (Machine Guns)
2d6 damage against infantry
+1 bonus for critical hit checks

Code: [Select]
Type          Heat  DMG   Range   Tons  Crits  Ammo
Machine Gun   0     2     3       0.5   1      200

I have not play tested any of this, but it was an idea that I tossed up that we may or may not try.  I want to make the game faster, but I also want to see some actual differences between weapons instead of it just being numbers.
« Last Edit: 03 June 2018, 19:08:35 by Fear Factory »

Papabees

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #5 on: 25 May 2018, 21:41:10 »
I'm watching this thread with much interest. Can you clarify #6 about the hex side facing changes? Are 2 and 3 hexside facing changes both 1MP? Also, +1 bonus for forcing PSRs does what exactly? And is it stackable?

Also is the -1 for SRMs supposed to be for Long Range not Medium?

I like what I'm seeing here. Keep it up. I'd really like to come up with a rule to simplifying missile and cluster hits. Maybe have the number of missile hits be based on the to-hit roll? FREX, an LRM might look like this:

ToHit: 8                   20                       15                        10                    5
Roll              number of missiles
6                             4                         3                          2                      1
7                             8                         6                          4                      2
8                             12                       9                          6                      3
9                             16                       12                        8                      4
10+                         20                       15                        10                    5

If I need an 11 or 12... it's a tough shot so unlikely all the missiles would hit anyway.
 

Fear Factory

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #6 on: 25 May 2018, 21:48:02 »
Also, +1 bonus for forcing PSRs does what exactly? And is it stackable?

Also is the -1 for SRMs supposed to be for Long Range not Medium?

SRM's would get a bonus at short range, but a decrease at medium.  This is because of the new range brackets.  They don't have a long range.

I like what I'm seeing here. Keep it up. I'd really like to come up with a rule to simplifying missile and cluster hits. Maybe have the number of missile hits be based on the to-hit roll? FREX, an LRM might look like this:

ToHit: 8                   20                       15                        10                    5
Roll              number of missiles
6                             4                         3                          2                      1
7                             8                         6                          4                      2
8                             12                       9                          6                      3
9                             16                       12                        8                      4
10+                         20                       15                        10                    5

If I need an 11 or 12... it's a tough shot so unlikely all the missiles would hit anyway.
 

Hmmmmm... maybe.

ColBosch

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #7 on: 26 May 2018, 00:32:20 »
I am very interested to see how this shakes out.
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abou

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #8 on: 26 May 2018, 16:09:29 »
I'm watching this thread with much interest. Can you clarify #6 about the hex side facing changes? Are 2 and 3 hexside facing changes both 1MP?

For right now, I am leaning toward a cost of only 1 MP for hexside changes of 2 to 3 sides.

abou

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #9 on: 26 May 2018, 16:39:27 »
So I am kind of struggling with water. I don't think anyone is particularly happy right now with how it works.

I'm tempted to actually flip how PSRs work: increasing the difficulty for standing, but removing the PSR for entering a water hex. Perhaps ignore running restrictions as those units cannot fire their weapons anyway. Modify TMM by -1 for moving units.

For 'mechs in Level 1 water, the question is what else is changed. The BattleMech Manual uses the standard partial cover rules which is +1 and leg hits cause no damage. What I have in the first post is a +2 modifier with leg hits re-rolled. I am inclined to do something similar for water.

But maybe the +2 partial cover modifier is too much?


Fear Factory

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #10 on: 26 May 2018, 17:07:44 »
Water is hard.......

- Prohibit running, cannot run into a water hex.
- PSR required only for jumping into a water hex, jump jets submerged in water cannot work.
- Unit only gets Partial Cover (+2) and can only generate 1/2 of its TMM (round down, min. of 1?)
- Leg hits are re-rolled
- Unit dissipates extra heat (heat sinks in legs rule)

OR, you could even make it where you just don't get a TMM for using water, but you get a HUGE boost for heat dissipation.  Maybe heat sinks operate at +50% efficiency?  It would be more in line with the novels, IMO.

Probably worth noting how we're thinking of handling woods too.  We're juggling having them provide some kind of bonus cover for weapons that use the cluster hit chart (like a -2 modifier on the chart).  Woods would basically be nice for avoiding missiles/indirect fire or cluster weapons.
« Last Edit: 26 May 2018, 17:10:26 by Fear Factory »

Papabees

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #11 on: 27 May 2018, 09:10:50 »
I'd be careful with those woods rules. That suddenly feels like more rules rather than less.

Fear Factory

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #12 on: 27 May 2018, 12:29:13 »
I'd be careful with those woods rules. That suddenly feels like more rules rather than less.

I'm going to go off on a tangent here to explain my train of thought.

The main focus is time, which is why Abou and I are trying to build a system around using movement inspired by Alpha Strike and range brackets used in AeroTech.  We did play test this and it took a lot off of the time to play.

I feel BattleTech in itself is a complex game with simple ways to resolve things.  I do like the grit of the game, but I also like how fast Alpha Strike is in some aspects.  IMO doing things like giving woods an ability to take some clusters off of a shot, giving water better heat dissipating ability for a TMM trade off, isn't really going to bog the game down.  I feel it is a subtle enhancement that could make terrain hexes unique.  The goal is to enhance the need to use terrain hexes outside of stacking modifiers and blocking LOS.  This is kind of required if you think about how some of these hexes work in Alpha Strike.  Think about it, would a fast moving 'Mech really want to scoot in water (like in Alpha Strike) if a huge chunk of its TMM is sacrificed?

A lot of time was cut off by using a different movement and range system.  If we take off an hour of game play, and then add 15 minutes total because of some subtle changes that improve on things, I think it is worth it.

abou

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #13 on: 28 May 2018, 09:09:53 »
Saturday we ended up brainstorming other changes -- shifting the meta of the game and making things more important. A couple of the things we were thinking could be divided into base game changes and then weapon quirks. I will update the post above at some point when I get the chance.

For woods, we were thinking about missile weapons as getting a kind of berf, to borrow fighting game lingo. The idea is that LOS and to-hit modifiers stay the same, but missile weapons behave something different. For missile weapons in woods, rather than taking a to-hit modifier, that modifier instead alters the cluster hits table. This would also have huge implications for Artemis- and NARC-equipped units.

For example: a unit attacking a 'mech behind two lights woods may need an 8+ to hit with direct fire weapons now only needs 6+ for missiles, but take a -2 on the cluster table.

Water: For L1 water: 1/2 TMM for moving unit. +2 to hit and reroll per leg hit. Heat dissipation is vastly improved. In addition to number of submerged heat sinks to a maximum of 6 extra points of sinking ability, each leg generates an additional -2 sinking ability. This was reasoned that a 'mech being made mostly of metals, which are excellent conductors, would likely be able to dissipate more heat than the rules allow.

This means a 'mech like the RFL-3N would now sink a total of 5 heat for being in L1 water. -2 for each leg and an additional -1 for the single heat sink in the left leg. Quad 'mechs such as the Scorpion would tremendously benefit with a total leg bonus of -8 for sinking ability, but would also suffer because of leg re-roll rule, which means any successful attack will only hit the torsos or head.

Punching: restrict to 1 arm only

Rough terrain: +1 for PSR fall check

Side hit locations: Allow for rear torso shots for the corresponding side. So for hits to the left side and right side, change die result 9 from the opposite torso to the corresponding rear torso. For punch location, change die roll 1 to the corresponding rear torso.

Additional AC weapons characteristics: this gets into a gray area where this may or may not complicate the game further, which is what we want to avoid.

AC/2s and AC/5s get a -1 to-hit bonus against flying units: eg VTOLs and fighters. That is probably easy enough. Gauss rifles, AC/10s, and AC/20s generate a +1 penalty that does not stack for forcing a PSR if a unit takes more than 20 points of damage in a round. So if you take more than 20 points of damage in a round and a large caliber autocannon or gauss rifle hits you, your PSR to avoid falling is now a +2 instead of just a +1.
« Last Edit: 28 May 2018, 09:19:09 by abou »

Fear Factory

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #14 on: 28 May 2018, 11:55:36 »
For those who need a visual, this is our hit location chart (idea is influenced by Scotty and iamfanboy):

Code: [Select]
BattleMech

Roll     Left Side          Front/Back           Right Side
2        Left Torso (Crit)  Center Torso (Crit)  Right Torso (Crit)
3        Left Leg           Right Arm            Right Leg
4        Left Arm           Right Arm            Right Arm
5        Left Arm           Right Leg            Right Arm
6        Left Leg           Right Torso          Right Leg
7        Left Torso         Center Torso         Right Torso
8        Center Torso       Left Torso           Center Torso
9        Left Torso (Rear)  Left Leg             Right Torso (Rear)
10       Right Arm          Left Arm             Left Arm
11       Right Leg          Left Arm             Left Leg
12       Head               Head                 Head

Code: [Select]
BattleMech Punch Location

Roll     Left Side          Front/Back           Right Side
1        Left Torso (Rear)  Left Arm             Right Torso (Rear)
2        Left Torso         Left Torso           Right Torso
3        Center Torso       Center Torso         Center Torso
4        Left Arm           Right Torso          Right Arm
5        Left Arm           Right Arm            Right Arm
6        Head               Head                 Head

Code: [Select]
Quad BattleMech

Roll     Left Side          Front/Back           Right Side
2        Left Torso (Crit)  Center Torso (Crit)  Right Torso (Crit)
3        Left Leg (R)       Right Leg (F)        Right Leg (R)
4        Left Leg (F)       Right Leg (F)        Right Leg (F)
5        Left Leg (F)       Right Leg (R)        Right Leg (F)
6        Left Leg (R)       Right Torso          Right Leg (R)
7        Left Torso         Center Torso         Right Torso
8        Center Torso       Left Torso           Center Torso
9        Left Torso (Rear)  Left Leg (R)         Right Torso (Rear)
10       Right Leg (F)      Left Leg (F)         Left Leg (F)
11       Right Leg (R)      Left Leg (F)         Left Leg (R)
12       Head               Head                 Head

Code: [Select]
Quad BattleMech Punch Location

Roll     Left Side          Front/Back           Right Side
1        Left Torso (Rear)  Left Leg (F)         Right Torso (Rear)
2        Left Torso         Left Torso           Right Torso
3        Center Torso       Center Torso         Center Torso
4        Left Leg (F)       Right Torso          Right Leg (F)
5        Left Leg (R)       Right Leg (F)        Right Leg (R)
6        Head               Head                 Head

Vehicles already have charts like this, which is also where some of the influence comes from.

There are a few reasons for doing this:

1 - Arcs are now more concentrated.  The damage spread is going to stay on the side you're in, with maybe a few strays.
2 - More damage = less time to play.
3 - New tactics.  Flanking maneuvers are now way more effective and you can shield your bad arcs.

I have also been working on weapons up to the helm memory core.

Pulse Lasers

They are a hybrid of laser/machine gun.  I think the -2 modifier needs to go for game balance purposes, but I am also thinking about extending their range...  it's been a complaint for a while on the boards.

Quirks:
-1 to hit
+1 bonus for critical hit checks
(Small) 2d6 damage against infantry (point defense)

Code: [Select]
Type          Heat  DMG   Range  New Range   Tons  Crits  Ammo
Small Pulse   2     3     3      3           1.0   1      -
Medium Pulse  4     6     6      8           2.0   1      -
Large Pulse   10    9     10     13          7.0   2      -

ER PPC

Quirks:
Same as PPC, no minimum range

Code: [Select]
Type          Heat  DMG   Range   Tons  Crits  Ammo
ER PPC        15    10    23      7.0   3      -

ER lasers

The ER Large Laser is another weapon that I feel might need a boost in range.  Not much though, 20 should be enough.

Quirks:
Same as Lasers

Code: [Select]
Type          Heat  DMG   Range  New Range   Tons  Crits  Ammo
ER Large      12    8     19     20          5.0   2      -

Ultra Autocannons

The blown circuitry rule is just such BS.  We found a way to keep it, though...  so it is still in line with fluff.  So if you double-tap and roll a 2 the weapon jams.  When you roll a check to unjam it (Pilot skill +3 is the mod, I think?), if you roll a 2, the circuitry is blown.  Our logic here is that the jam is just so bad it kills the circuitry and it needs to be repaired after battle.

EDIT:  We are considering having a roll for each shot on a double tap.  The 2nd shot gets a +1 modifier.

Quirks:
Same as Autocannons
Jam on 2 (can be unjammed on PSR +2, unjam result of 2 blows
the circutry)
Class 5 minimum range 2

Code: [Select]
Type          Heat  DMG   Range   Tons  Crits  Ammo
Ultra AC/5    1     7     20(2)   9.0   5      20

LB-X Autocannons

Quirks:
Same as Autocannons (standard ammo)
Cluster Rounds use number rating (Example:  LB-10 cluster does 10 damage, uses 10 on missile hit chart)

Code: [Select]
Type          Heat  DMG   Range   Tons  Crits  Ammo
LB 10-X AC    2     12    18      11.0  6      10

Gauss Rifles

Abou already explained this a post up.

Quirks:
+1 bonus for PSR checks  EDIT:  The bonus PSR was too much.
Minimum range 2
Ammo does not explode, weapon does.

Code: [Select]
Type          Heat  DMG   Range   Tons  Crits  Ammo
Gauss Rifle   1     15    22(2)   15.0  7      8

Streak SRM's

The trick here is how woods might be handled.  They are going to be a shield from missiles, so it would force you to use the missile hit chart for streak SRM's.  Woods would help out a lot if you're being chased around by a Streak SRM boat.

Quirks:
All missiles hit if the target is in clear/open terrain.

Code: [Select]
Type          Heat  DMG   Range   Tons  Crits  Ammo
Streak SRM-2  2     2/m   9       1.5   1      50

And this is just a rough draft.  We are already brainstorming how to make some changes to things like Active Probes and AMS...  things that really are not used or feel under powered.

For AMS, you would basically only use 1 shot of ammo and roll a number of d6 to find out how many missiles are shot down.  This would be per launcher.  So larger missile weapons are going to fare a lot better against those who choose to spam multiple SRM-4's or LRM-5's (which is a common thing in this game).  Smaller missile weapons are going to work terribly against AMS, but they will drain it's ammunition at a much higher rate.  If the ammo gets hit, it's treated like machine gun ammunition.  We are also considering giving AMS a "range bubble" like ECM or Active Probe, so they can shoot down missiles that cross their path.  This would make mechs that carry multiple AMS systems way more useful and appealing.

Eventually, we are going to mess with Clan weapons.  There are a lot of things that need to change...  like LRM minimum range.
« Last Edit: 03 June 2018, 19:12:45 by Fear Factory »

Papabees

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #15 on: 28 May 2018, 14:37:30 »
If you are using absolute ranges, why when I look at your charts above is their a S/M/L range listed for weapons like ER Lg Lasers? Am I missing something?

Fear Factory

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #16 on: 28 May 2018, 15:27:41 »
If you are using absolute ranges, why when I look at your charts above is their a S/M/L range listed for weapons like ER Lg Lasers? Am I missing something?

Just as a visual reference.

EDIT:  Yeah, I just fixed all of it.
« Last Edit: 28 May 2018, 23:01:47 by Fear Factory »

abou

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #17 on: 31 May 2018, 09:55:08 »
Attached is a PDF with the current rules for modifiers and AC buffs. A more comprehensive guide with the weapons quirks will be added later.

Fear Factory

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #18 on: 31 May 2018, 13:20:48 »
If any of you guys playtest this PLEASE tell us what you think.  We plan on getting some games in very soon.

I feel like we're on the right path of compromise without drastically changing the game.

abou

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #19 on: 03 June 2018, 19:33:33 »
We played again today using the above rules. Minus bathroom breaks, the game took just over two hours. At no point did either of us feel bored or wondering when the game would end. The forces were as follows:

Abou:
Rifleman (veteran)
Dragon (regular)
Hatchetman (regular)
Locust (regular)

Fear Factory:
Jagermech (veteran)
Ostsol (regular)
Cicada (regular)
Commando (regular)

Start time 2:23 pm; end time 4:37 pm

Observations:
1. The buffed autocannons make them particularly lethal. Although I was only able to hit with my Hatchetman's AC/10 once before he went down, the Jagermech, Dragon, and Rifleman pumped out a lot of damage. Even with just a buff of two extra points of damage, the AC/5s were noticeable more capable weapons. We both think they are in a good spot. Still bummed about that Hatchetman... never seen so many threes, fours, and fives before.

2. The quirks of woods helped quite a bit with missiles. It made them certainly more unique. It is an interesting mechanic to play with.

3. Water heat dissipation buffs were a major boon to the Rifleman.

4. The change to movement and ranges sped the game up considerably. The game's movement becomes more tactical rather than the knife fight a lot of matches gravitate towards. Considering how just the medium laser sees a decrease in the needed to-hit by 3 to 4 on average, it gave the game a much snappier feel.

5. The lovely nature of the crit table helped the character game immensely, which we have been missing from Alpha Strike. Two particularly great moments stand out from this:

5a. The Cicada falling down after having a forced PSR. When attempting to stand, a failed PSR destroyed what remained of the left leg with damage transferring to an already exposed left torso that took a medium laser crit. When check for potential crits, FF rolled a 12 and all three crits transferred to the center torso taking out the gyro. God, that was great to watch.

5b. The Ostsol pulled a Charlie Brown when going for a kick against the Rifleman and fell on its face.

To conclude: this is looking good.

Fear Factory

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #20 on: 03 June 2018, 20:32:04 »
I'm still feeling it...  rolling a 12 for your own crit is so demoralizing.  Whiffing the kick didn't help either, but man...  the crit.   xp  I guess it was karma for my Assassin kicking the head off your Cyclops in our last game.

I want chime in:

1) Having hatchets (or clubbing attacks) force a PSR created some well needed tension.

2) The new woods mechanic feels good.  LRM's/SRM's connect a lot more for a trade off in damage.  I really think they will be useful for pinning down those high TMM's.

3) Yes, Autocannons feel good.  I purposely put my veteran pilot in the JagerMech to see if I could break it.  I had some bad dice rolls, and even being on the receiving end of that Rifleman, they felt right.  I don't think the boost is overpowered.  It was just enough to make you fear the AC/5.

4) Water makes a HUGE difference.  That Rifleman parked and was slinging damage like no tomorrow.  I tried my best to knock him over but failed miserably.  Breaching is the key balancing factor.

5) Re-rolling leg hits for partial cover feels a lot better.  It is a sweet spot between the old BMR rule (+3, punch location) and latest (+1, leg hits do no damage).

***

I think the real winners here are Autocannons and the changes for Movement/Range.  I tend to play designs with big engines that generate high TMM's and that score better on physicals (Ostsol and Cicada).  However, these changes pushed me to maneuver a lot more than normal.  We spent a lot of time pushing the bell curve around at medium range, utilizing terrain, then moving in for the kill.  You would think this would make the game drag like it normally does, but it didn't.  Two hours is pretty fast.

Woods and Water also felt pretty unique and I feel is a welcome change.  Woods worked for shielding against the ballistics and lasers.  Water, we were debating over possibly changing the partial cover modifier and even lowering the amount of heat dissipation to -1 per leg.  Giving the Rifleman that boost though...  it was needed.  Only time will tell.

Also, these changes to terrain and damage actually made each weapon feel unique.  Boosting AC's gives them better damage penetration that deviates from LRM's and SRM's (or 2's and 5's).  LRM's and SRM's can zone in on fast movers but lack the solid punch of other weapons.  Lasers are...  well...  lasers.  The medium laser is still great.

abou

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #21 on: 06 June 2018, 17:18:41 »
A few other ideas we were thinking about:

1. Bring back the hit location and motive hits system from the BattleTech Compendium/pre-Maximum Tech. We may possibly use the simplified 1D6 crit table.

2. Trying to figure out how to utilize remote sensors deposited by vehicles to allow for indirect fire. This was tech that never got a satisfying use. My current idea was something along the lines of two remote sensors at a certain distance would allow you to triangulate an enemy position for direct fire without needing a spotter. Just can't quite make it come together.

Fear Factory

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #22 on: 09 June 2018, 13:19:38 »
I've been tossing this around too:

Buildings

Proposal:  Make damage reduction a flat rate per building class (it's a 10% reduction in TW), also give ballistics and infantry an advantage.

Code: [Select]
Type        Max CF  Damage Reduction        MP Cost  Piloting Mod
Light        20     2/Hit, 0 for ballistics 2        +0
Medium       40     4/Hit, 2 for ballistics 3        +1
Heavy        90     8/Hit, 4 for ballistics 4        +2
Hardened    150    12/Hit, 8 for ballistics *Only Infantry can enter

The idea is that terrain will offer different protections from weapons.  This would make designs that carry a variety of weapons make more sense.  So with the current rules we have come up with, cluster weapons have an advantage when firing at targets that use woods for cover.  They're super accurate because they ignore the modifiers for the to-hit calculation, but take that modifier on the cluster chart for a slight damage reduction.  This would also apply to streak launchers.  They would basically be forced to use the cluster hit chart because all missiles wouldn't hit.

The idea with Buildings is damage reduction to all weapons, but Ballistics penetrate better.  Hardened buildings would also be restrictive terrain to all units except infantry.  Because of how much cover buildings offer per weapon, 1/2 TMM might also be a thing (like water hexes).

Also:

Pulse Lasers

Proposed Quirks:
-1 to hit
+1 bonus for critical hit checks (rapid fire, like Machine Guns)
Pulse Lasers ignore the partial cover modifier (does not stack with their -1 to hit)
(Small) 2d6 damage against infantry (point defense)

Inner Sphere
Code: [Select]
Type          Heat  DMG   Range  New Range   Tons  Crits  Ammo
Small Pulse   2     3     3      3           1.0   1      -
Medium Pulse  4     6     6      7           2.0   1      -
Large Pulse   10    9     10     13          7.0   2      -

Clan
Code: [Select]
Type          Heat  DMG   Range  New Range   Tons  Crits  Ammo
Small Pulse   2     3     6      5           1.0   1      -
Medium Pulse  4     7     12     10          2.0   1      -
Large Pulse   10    10    20     18          6.0   2      -

One of the biggest complaints I see is how powerful Clan pulse lasers are.  I do love playing Clan, bias aside, I really think this is because of the -2 modifier.  It is really is way too much.  Another complaint is just how underwhelming IS pulse lasers are.  The idea here is that pulse lasers keep their ability as super accurate rapid fire weapons.  With the way range is handled now, a -1 modifier should be enough.  Also, giving them an ability to ignore partial cover modifiers (and still re-roll leg hits) and get a bonus for critical hits (like machine guns) makes them unique from other weapons.  I 100% stand by increasing the range of IS pulse lasers.  It needs to happen.  Clan weapons?  Not sure.

I think the only change we would make for sure is giving Clan LRM's the same minimum range as IS LRM's.

Still a rough draft.

Fear Factory

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #23 on: 16 June 2018, 15:03:34 »
Abou is going to give a bat rep for a battle we did between 1 lance of 'mechs and a company of vehicles.  We busted out the old compendium rules to get a better feel of what we are working with, using TW locations with compendium critical hits...  yeah, they're still too squishy.

The main appeal with the old system is that 'Mechs are definitely the apex predator and that the tables are much easier to look at.  One thing we agreed on is that this system is also unfair.  It seemed like unlucky shots are far too prevalent.  We want vehicles to be squishy, but not so much that if you're playing them it's not fun.  We're working toward that balance.

So, today I took a shot at rebuilding the old tables for Vehicles/VTOL's:

Code: [Select]
Ground Vehicle Hit Location Table

Roll (2d6)   Front/Rear    Right/Left Side
2            Front(Crit)   Side(Crit)
3            Front1        Side1
4            Front2        Side2
5            Front3        Side3
6            Right Side    Front
7            Front         Side
8            Left Side     Front
9            Front         Rear
10           Turret        Turret
11           Turret4       Turret4
12           Turret(Crit)  Turret(Crit)

NOTE:  If the unit has no turret, transfer damage to the main arc's location

Code: [Select]
Hit Location Damage Effect
1 - Motive system destroyed (Immobile)
2 - Motive system damaged (-1 base MP)
3 - (HOVER) Motive system damaged (-1 base MP)
4 - Turret locked in position

Code: [Select]
VTOL Hit Location Table

Roll (2d6)   Front/Rear    Right/Left Side
2            Rotor1        Rotor1
3            Front(Crit)   Side(Crit)
4            Front         Side
5            Front         Side
6            Right Side    Front
7            Front         Side
8            Left Side     Front
9            Front         Rear
10           Rotor         Rotor
11           Rotor1        Rotor1
12           Rotor2        Rotor2

NOTE:  Damage to rotor = Total damage taken / 10 (Round up)

Code: [Select]
Hit Location Damage Effect
1 - Rotor system damaged (-1 base MP)
2 - Rotor system destroyed (Immobile)

Code: [Select]
Critical Hit Effects (1d6)
1 - No effect
2 - No effect
3 - No effect
4 - Ammo destroyed (no effect if no ammo)
5 - Engine/Fuel destroyed (unit destroyed)
6 - Crew Killed (unit destroyed)

Mind you, I just came up with these tables this morning so they are just an idea/rough draft.

There are some things I removed like the "crew stunned" and "weapon jammed" effects because I always forgot to track this stuff in my old games.  They feel out of place, IMO.  The result is something that takes up almost no space on paper and it is very easy to understand.  I also kept some things from Total Warfare and threw in rear locations for the flanking arcs (right and left).

Abou had these ideas that I really liked (regarding movement):

Cruising speed is basically like standard Alpha Strike movement.  If you move in this mode, you suffer no modifier to fire weapons.  Flanking speed we're both stuck on, but the idea is that vehicles will have an advantage of pushing high TMM's and firing weapons because of multiple people behind the wheel (crews).  We played the game having it like cruising speed (no modifier to the attack roll), but it ended up making hovercraft terrible to fight against.  So, we might have this mode be like "jumping."  Units that flank will add a +1 or +2 modifier to their gunnery but get the full TMM for that mode.  OH, I thought of this as typing, might be a good idea to have it where you have to move at least 2 hexes to achieve flanking movement AND restrict movement into difficult terrain.

EDIT:  I fixed a mistake I made on the VTOL hit location table.  I used an old version I came up with on accident...
« Last Edit: 17 June 2018, 01:07:52 by Fear Factory »

Fear Factory

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #24 on: 22 June 2018, 13:43:09 »
Ideas for current weapon systems (up to helm memory core/3039 tech).  The goal is to make the weapons much more unique and improve the actual meta of the game without bogging it down.  Maneuvering and terrain is key, not something like a -2 modifier on pulse lasers that really unbalances the game.

Some of the proposed ideas:

- Range boosted on ER Large Laser (IS) up to 21
- Range boosted on IS pulse lasers
- Flamers cause both heat and damage to targets
- Machine guns get a bonus on critical hit checks
- Pulse lasers get a -1 to hit bonus for targeting units in clear terrain, also ignore the partial cover modifier (does not stack with -1)
- Standard missile launchers apply the woods modifier to the missile hit chart, not to hit, and get a bonus on the chart for their primary range.
- Clan LRM's finally get a minimum range...
- Streak launchers retain their lock ability when firing into woods but have to roll on the missile hit chart like standard SRM's.
- All autocannons get a boost in damage.  Class 2 and 5 get a -1 to hit bonus against airborne units.
- LB-X cluster rounds do damage equal to the AC rating.
- Ultra Autocannons jam on 2, can unjam with a PSR, and if that result is 2 it blows the circutry
- Physical attack weapons force a PSR on a hit
- Active Probes provide a -1 to hit bonus for targeting infantry/battle armor and targeting units in cover terrain (within hex range).
- AMS shoots down 1d6 missiles within short range (so missiles that cross through can be shot down), uses 1 ammo, and ammo explosions are treated like machine gun ammo.

NeonKnight

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #25 on: 24 June 2018, 13:19:11 »
A number of conversations have gotten me thinking about how to improve the game. It seems to keep coming down to the math involved: both in calculating and the high to-hit numbers. These are stumbling blocks to the speed. However, I personally want to preserve the stats and the meta of the game.

BattleTech works very differently than a lot of other mecha. In anime, you tend to have the main characters in their 'mechs, but the enemy are in fragile machines that collapse easily and blow up. BattleTech is the gradual reduction in combat capabilities of units: either through loss of limbs and weapons or through soaking up so much damage that a critical event happens which causes the destruction of the unit. Keeping in mind tactical movement, positioning, and advantage of the terrain, what I propose is basically a left shift in terms of numbers.

Some of these ideas come from what we see in Alpha Strike and to an extent the new PC game.

1. walking is now a +0 modifier for the attacker


If I may, I am assuming by Walking being a +0, that Jumping is reduced by 1 (so instead of +3 it is now +2), and Standing Still is -1 instead of the normal +0?

Also, I've found in my home games, that limiting running to the +1 to TMM but also attackers get the -1 to hit them, works well, but further running units cannot spot for Indirect fire. This allows is one is using it the Gun It special Command Ability (Combat Manual: Mercenaries, page 91, which normally allows a combat force to use the Run Movement mode, but still make attacks at a +1 but for 1 heat. In my home games we allow in Regular Battletech but at +1 to Hit and +10 Heat on the heat Scale.

Again, just some rules to try and keep the two rule sets as similar as possible.
AGENT #575, Vancouver Canada

Fear Factory

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #26 on: 24 June 2018, 17:32:18 »
If I may, I am assuming by Walking being a +0, that Jumping is reduced by 1 (so instead of +3 it is now +2), and Standing Still is -1 instead of the normal +0?

Also, I've found in my home games, that limiting running to the +1 to TMM but also attackers get the -1 to hit them, works well, but further running units cannot spot for Indirect fire. This allows is one is using it the Gun It special Command Ability (Combat Manual: Mercenaries, page 91, which normally allows a combat force to use the Run Movement mode, but still make attacks at a +1 but for 1 heat. In my home games we allow in Regular Battletech but at +1 to Hit and +10 Heat on the heat Scale.

Again, just some rules to try and keep the two rule sets as similar as possible.

You're correct.  We've basically brought in the movement rules from Alpha Strike and built on it:

All units:  Facing changes more than 1 hexside costs 1 MP, must move 1 hex to generate a TMM.  This gives more incentive to move backwards and reduces situations where you can stand still and constantly rotate like a turret.

BattleMechs

Stand Still, -1 modifier, no TMM
Walking is standard movement, +0 modifier
Running is sprinting, you can only move, +1 modifier on TMM
Jumping is lowered to +2 but you generate full heat no matter how far you jump (Full TMM means full jumping power, so full heat).  It will change as the jets are destroyed or submerged in water.

Vehicles:

Cruising is standard movement, +0 modifier
Flanking speed, +2 modifier, vehicles can flank and shoot

abou

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #27 on: 26 June 2018, 13:22:59 »
About a week and a half ago FF and I played a match of vehicles against 'mechs. I wanted to do this recap earlier, but life kept me away. For this, we used the original vehicle rules as published in the Compendium.

I ran a company of vehicles:
Demoliser - veteran
3 x Vedettes - regular
Lance of Condors - regular
Lance of Strikers - regular

FF ran a lance of 'mechs:
Catapult - veteran
Dragon - regular
Jenner - regular
Vindicator - regular


Overall, FF won the match, but it was relatively close. This game took us about 2:45 hours, but was called for how late in the evening it was and I had to be up early. I was left with my lance of Strikers, but two were immobile from damage. Of the 'mechs, there was a badly damaged Jenner and a Catapult low on ammo.

Observations:
1. Buffed autocannons still seem to be in a good spot -- significant striking power without being overpowered. The fast speed of the Condors especially is a good combination (In the PC game, ACs do more damage, but they also have a recoil effect that offsets this).

2. The modified side-location table with that rear torso hit is a powerful change to the meta. It makes side hits more viable options. FF almost lost his Dragon early in the match due to his rear left torso being penetrated. Had I landed a crit, he would have been out of a 'mech within the first exchange of fire.

2a. Damage transfer for side hits should probably be an arm or leg strike goes to the corresponding front location, but a rear torso hit transfers to the rear center.

3. The original vehicle rules make them way, way too fragile. This was known, but I wanted to see how badly it was. Losing a fresh Demolisher to a medium laser hit on the front resulting in a crew killed critical... that sucks. FF came up with his own charts, but my proposal would be to take the location hits from the Compendium (including the motive hits as is), but take the 2D6 crit table from Total Warfare. This way you aren't adding extra die rolls, but still increase the durability. Essentially a compromise between the two.

Wildonion

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #28 on: 27 June 2018, 11:36:34 »
Have you given much time over toward melee attacks for 'Mechs? I am less certain on the existing balance for things like charges and shoves, but I have grown to dislike that kicking almost always feels like a better option than punching when it comes to built-in melee options.

Fear Factory

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Re: New rules for modifiers
« Reply #29 on: 27 June 2018, 13:35:08 »
Have you given much time over toward melee attacks for 'Mechs? I am less certain on the existing balance for things like charges and shoves, but I have grown to dislike that kicking almost always feels like a better option than punching when it comes to built-in melee options.

Physical attack weapons now force a PSR.  We ran a Hatchetman and it was a little scary knowing that it could make a 'Mech fall.  Outside of that, no, but I'm open to ideas.

I think kicks, DFA, and charges are fine.  Punches are tricky because you can punch with both hands with a 1 in 6 chance to whack the cockpit.  That is pretty powerful, but I can understand why people think they're underwhelming.  Maybe we can flip the modifiers so punches are easier than kicks?

Kick -1
Punch -2


 

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