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Author Topic: Customs vs Stock Variants  (Read 6582 times)

Terminax

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #60 on: 18 January 2015, 14:18:07 »
Just use common sense. Stock when appropriate, custom when appropriate. And don't play with "that guy" if he won't smarten up  O0

rebs

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #61 on: 18 January 2015, 14:35:27 »
I once, long ago, designed a 90 tonner with two AC/20s in the torsos with CASE (and a version with no CASE but more ammo because screw it, lets go for more dakkadakka and boom!), large laser in one arm, hatchet in the other with two MPLs sticking out the backside and as much armor as I could pack (luckily, it was a low heat curve, that helped).  And a standard fusion engine.  That for a free-for-all style game, we loved those, had a large table with lots of maps early on, and handmade styrofoam landscaping lovingly glued together and mounted on cheap press board tiles so that the terrain pieces could be re-arranged and added to easily with tiles of various sizes.  You know, like a lot of folks.

Of course it got kills, it had better get a couple here and there.  But it never stopped it from being eMASCulated by the thirty-five ton MPL laser boat, or the more nimble medium-heavies that could also brush of a couple MPLs to get into the back arc.  All of various designs that were also usually not stock, but you would still see the occasional 3050 design employed.  And then sometimes you just get skunked not far out of the gate. 

But basically, that was the key; more or less everyone was bringing their own designs to the table, so that inherently balanced things out.  MASC nerfing also helped, and TAC being ruled incompatible with pulse lasers seems to have been a good choice as well.
« Last Edit: 18 January 2015, 17:37:21 by rebs »

FedComGirl

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #62 on: 18 January 2015, 17:40:22 »
Sorry Dark ISI but even after I pointed out where a record sheet was but I still got if it wasn't on the MUL it wasn't canon. That makes a lot of units unavailable in canon only games. Even if you were right, and I hope you are, that still leaves a lot of units we can't legally use in our games. Hopefully in time record sheets will be provided but it just feels like the list goes against the spirit of the game.

It used to be you picked out a unit, filled out a record sheet, and played. Pre-printed sheets just let you play faster. Now if it isn't on a list you can't use it, pre-printed record sheet or not.
« Last Edit: 18 January 2015, 17:50:39 by FedComGirl »

cavingjan

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #63 on: 18 January 2015, 18:23:45 »
Sorry Dark ISI but even after I pointed out where a record sheet was but I still got if it wasn't on the MUL it wasn't canon. That makes a lot of units unavailable in canon only games. Even if you were right, and I hope you are, that still leaves a lot of units we can't legally use in our games. Hopefully in time record sheets will be provided but it just feels like the list goes against the spirit of the game.

It used to be you picked out a unit, filled out a record sheet, and played. Pre-printed sheets just let you play faster. Now if it isn't on a list you can't use it, pre-printed record sheet or not.

To out knowledge, everything is currently in except Primitives 4 and that was pending errata. But I'll see about making sure the units themselves are listed when I get a chance this week.

O5P_Ghost

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #64 on: 18 January 2015, 23:00:32 »
Usually with customs it had more to do with my hate on ac5's and srms. Any ac5 unit got replaced with a ppc and heat sinks or armor or a large ladder and armor. Srms got replaced with me lasers. As I've  gotten older I like srms so that a panther with 3 ml and a ppc is less appealing.

The other issue/mod was replacing mg with flamers. I always died to ammo explosions so that was usually a quick mod. After 3050 I would do SPL instead.

I don't mind customs so much if it's for flavor, lpl for snppc, my tenshi mod that removes the 5 lppcs and the RL for a hppc and two lppcs. But when it's just munckinism it cheeses me off. I then go full bore on the munch unit, 8 on 1 fire and all.
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TigerShark

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #65 on: 19 January 2015, 00:09:34 »
Most of this could also be solved by a simple policy by CGL:

If you aren't capable of providing a record sheet release, don't put it into a product.

There are WAY too many units in TROs' or book's Variants section which never receive record sheets, or get them years and years later. There's no reason for this, especially if a Record Sheet release for the product is being sold as "Unabridged." Would be easier just to remove the mention of the variant from the book and wait for a later product, when one can be given.

Option 2? Provide a section in the Errata portion of the site for a "logic standard."

Example:

"If no record sheet for a product is available, players may use the following logic standard to create a record sheet, until one is officially published:

Engine
Non-Moveable Crits (actuators, Null-Signature System, Stealth Armor, etc.)
Heat Sinks
Jump Jets
Weapons
CASE
Construction Materials (Endo Steel/Ferro-Fibrous/Ferro-Lamellor, etc.)"

Now the above is technically how most sheets actually put their stuff, with quite a few exceptions, but it could make a VERY easy solution to people complaining about record sheet releases. At least the unit can be used and evaluated using the official (and unofficial) Mech designer programs. i.e.: BV and Cost estimates
« Last Edit: 19 January 2015, 00:15:57 by TigerShark »
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FedComGirl

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #66 on: 19 January 2015, 05:29:28 »
Thank you cavingjan. Hopefully everything is up but the last time I looked a lot of support units weren't listed. I do admit it has been a while since I looked though. If there's a record sheet in a source book maybe that book could be listed until the sheet is placed into a larger record sheet product? And if there isn't a record sheet maybe it could have NA listed? At least then we could still get fractions eras and intro/extinction dates.

Tigershark I wouldn't go so far as not introducing new units. Since I like new units, not having more would be bad. Your logic standard thing for filling out record sheets I think would be doable.
If everyone knew what items were listed in what order then I would think there'd be less problems because it'd match official sheets better. I think that could even be put on units stats page. Make the record sheets list items the way they are on the stats page.

cavingjan

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #67 on: 19 January 2015, 09:36:09 »
If it doesn't have a record sheet, it won't have a BV number. The MUL filters that. The MUL also lists the source book and also the record sheet collection, if any. If the second is blank, that is another indicator of no record sheet. 

It is the easiest way to keep track of the status of these side mentions. The bulk of the units in the MUL without record sheets are one off mentions in nonTRO sources: People's custom rides, stray mentions in a historical, etc.

For the simple units, if we have the items that you are saying we should mention, we often have the record sheet, excepting the units types that are hand made in an image editor. We won't give any firm details unless it has been properly vetted which again usually is via record sheet.

Akira213

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #68 on: 19 January 2015, 09:44:02 »
we mostly play IntroTech games with stock units. Mostly Mechs. All of the members in that group play BT for at least two decades, and the "build-customs-phase" is long gone ;)
The only customs we more or less regularly use are IntroTech downgrades of mini we own and that don't have a IntroTech version, like Axman, Falconer, Komodo, Berserker or Maelstrom.

We have different ways to decide force strengh and/or numbers. Sometimes I choose both sides and then we roll which player is on each side and which of the two combos is used by who. Sometimes it's based on BV2 (especially in those rare occassions when there is more than IntroTech on the field. Sometimes we simply roll, look at each force and decide together which Mech has to be rolled again to make it somewhat fair. And sometimes we just keep it uneven. Then its not about who wins, but just how costly the victory gets.
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FedComGirl

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #69 on: 19 January 2015, 14:32:56 »
cavingjan, so you're saying that the MUL does list units with a no record sheet note on the page? I can have the MUL list only units without BV?  If so then that would actually be a big improvement. I remember being surprised when the Uni Cargo Mech finally got entered on the list after a couple years even though there was a variant with a record sheet.

cavingjan

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #70 on: 19 January 2015, 15:11:11 »
http://www.masterunitlist.info/Unit/Details/5321/uni-atae-70-cargomech
and
http://www.masterunitlist.info/Unit/Details/6977/uni-atae-70m-cargomech-mod

Looks like we have another version from the RS:VA to enter yet. Looks like we are still pending AS stats but I'll get them entered this week around the newborn's sleep schedule. I already had that record sheet collection opened getting ready to double check that they had made it in.

By default, the MUL does not list units with 0 BV. There is a check box for that. Granted once you fine one, all variants will show on the Other Models list. A lot of work going into it and most of it probably isn't even noticed. Last export I have shows that the MUL has enough 6,000 units.

We have some new things that will hopefully be appearing soon.

mbear

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #71 on: 20 January 2015, 11:23:40 »
I'd like to see a viable "point system " for modifying units .

Something that forces players to work within a previously set limit .
Kind of similar to using Battle Value to maintain balance .

Each side gets X points for mods ,and mods all have a listed price .

" You get  6000 BV 2 and  300 mod points .
Minimum 4 units and maximum of 8 .
Unused mod points can be directly converted to BV . "
That's sort of how the customization rules I mentioned earlier work. And I think system similar to what you propose was used for some of the 'Mech refits in TRO3085 Old is the New New, but I don't have those rules handy to say with any certainty.

FedComGirl

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #72 on: 20 January 2015, 13:43:20 »
cavingjan, it looks as if you've made a lot of improvements to the MUL since I looked at it last. Thank you. I know it was a lot of work and I do appreciate the effort.  O0   I hope you're little one sleeps well so you can sleep too. :)

kaliban

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #73 on: 21 February 2019, 14:33:57 »

Given the choice, I have no qualms using custom mechs, nor with anyone else using them.  Someone brings a bunch of medium pulses with a targeting computer to cheese it out?  Whittle them apart with long range fire and keep them eternally at bay.  Everything has a counter in Battletech, and no matter how much customization someone does to their mechs, there's always something out there that can beat it.

totally agree with you. By the way, when I play with stock variants I have fun but when I play with my own designs I have two times the fun.

If you just play with the stock variants you don't enjoy good part of what Battletech can offer you as a game

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #74 on: 21 February 2019, 14:42:52 »
You do know you're replying to a thread that was last active over four years ago, right?
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kaliban

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #75 on: 22 February 2019, 17:37:17 »
You do know you're replying to a thread that was last active over four years ago, right?

What does not prevent someone to read it, reply and restart a discussion

The_Livewire

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #76 on: 24 February 2019, 11:25:28 »
Jumping on the threadromancy...

Customs, like everything else, is fine in moderation.  I have a sheet for my sinister Wolverine, it's a 3m with all the locations flipped.  Not cheesy, just matches the mech. I mostly play Megamek against the bot, so it's fun to tweak, not rebuild, designs. 

I'm also at the age where I might run one custom in a company on the server, or maybe as many as a lance.  Since there are so many designs circa 3140, the 'need' for customs is lessened.  Still it's fun to see 'how much plasma can this thing put out?' or 'How can I best use the Long Tom Cannon?'  Or for EA fans like myself, "What would the next generation of Royals be?"

I DO think customization should be addressed formally.  With the proliferation of Battletech online (Both the turn based Battletech game, and MWO) customization is *encouraged*  If we are getting some of those players lured in with the new boxed sets, explaining why they can't take their Ciciada, drop the engine rating load it up with medium lasers and "fire ALL THE LAZORS" when they show up at the shop is a good idea.
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Sartris

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #77 on: 24 February 2019, 11:53:11 »
With over 3300 mech and 1000 vehicle variants I would hardly say I’m missing out on a good part of what the game has to offer. Especially not with quirks and SPAs now available. I don’t hate customs or anything I’m just at the point where I don’t really need them unless I’m making a boss mech for a campaign.

Different people get different things out of the game. I get a lot more joy out of playing with a bunch of imperfect pieces and getting good results

Crimson Dawn

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #78 on: 24 February 2019, 14:14:55 »
My wife and I like the idea of having a unit and on mech with a main character that we play.  That one mech gets to be made custom over time the rest we will keep as stock variants.

Now one problem I do end up having is that I often like the look of certain mechs but HATE the load out or the reverse.  Sometimes I get lucky and a variant comes out that fits my favored load outs but other times sadly not.  For instance I am trying to use only mechs with official variants that I have miniatures for which includes the current box sets and the introductory set (with the atlas on the cover).  My mercenary company is going to be all jump capable (its part of the theme) and they will have only 1 assault mech.  I really want to use that new battlemaster mini but sadly as far as I know there are no battlemasters that have jump jets.  Thankfully for my theme I do have the lance pack that came with a victor so I do have an assault mech that fits my requirements but it does not fit my style (I am not a fan of auto cannons but still it is a 20 and it does have a decent amount of ammo).  If an official battlemaster comes out with jump jets I will probably switch to that.

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #79 on: 24 February 2019, 14:27:38 »
  If an official battlemaster comes out with jump jets I will probably switch to that.



From Sarna   ;)


Quote
BLR-4L
This BattleMaster variant first seen in 3081 is unique to the Capellan Confederation. Equipped with Stealth Armor and a Guardian ECM Suite to power it, the traditional weaponry has been replaced with a Light Gauss Rifle and MML-7, supported by a Light PPC and ER Medium Laser in each torso. It also carries three jump jets, allowing it to cover 90 meters at a time. A Light Fusion Engine provides power and increases survivability. BV (2.0) = 1,932[32]


BLR-K4
This version introduced in 3074 is based on the BattleMaster K3. Its top speed is the same as that variant, but it mounts five Improved Jump Jets that allow it to cover 150 meters per jump. A Heavy Duty Gyro allows it to stay in the fight, using its Gauss Rifle, Snub-Nose PPC, Large Pulse Laser and two ER medium lasers to great effect. BV (2.0) = 2,232[46]



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Crimson Dawn

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #80 on: 24 February 2019, 14:33:32 »


From Sarna   ;)

Thanks.  Unfortunately I forgot to add the last part that we are playing introtech so I was not looking at those.  That was my bad!  We are playing at a nebulous time somewhere in the succession wars so we could not use those....yet.  Perhaps in the future I will get to try that second one after we decide to let the clans invade.

Darzoni

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #81 on: 25 February 2019, 10:01:01 »
The answer my brothers and I came up with was: Both.

To explain: We started with stock only for a campaign because we felt stock models were better to learn the game with, as we'd run face-first into the limitations and learn better tactics.  Since it was a campaign, we devised rules that let us capture/salvage enemy 'mechs, including recovering intact equipment.  So we also had to earn our custom designs by figuring out the best way to grab the part we wanted.  The end result is we thought a lot more about what each 'mech we had was most useful for and how to use it.  I think the most we did with our 'mechs was swap a weapon or two; nothing radical like changing engines or adding armor.

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #82 on: 08 March 2019, 23:14:23 »
Since I created this thread our group has suspended the use of custom mechs as we devolved into "gundamtech".  Only recently have we begun experimenting with minimal modifications such as dropping bpods or c3 computers. 

The problems with customs, like I mention in the original post if you wind up making them min maxed.  Minimal negatives and many positives.  You wind up with a monstrosity like a Karhu with 8 improved Jump Jets, pulse lasers, a Targeting Computer, and a Retractable Blade. 

What I have learned since this post is that the imperfection of the stock variants make it both a challenge and fun.  It is so much more satisfying having a mech that is difficult to run between weapons and heat than a non stop sprinting, pew pew pewing, heat efficient gundamech. 

If anyone is just starting out, I say stick with stock variants.  If you do make an modifications, don't do much more than (the Wolverine 9K for example): Pull the C3, both bpods, and the one armor point from the rear CT and give it an SRM6 instead of a 4, and medium pulse in the head.
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StoneRhino

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #83 on: 09 March 2019, 05:00:02 »
One could say that you are also contributing to part of the problem with the game. You are stuffing small stuff into vital areas to fill out crit slots, not because you need a small energy weapon in the head, but you are trying to work the system to reduce the chance that a critical hit to the head will have less of a chance of hitting your pilot. The core of the problem here is that you are treating the game as a game and filling out your designs accordingly.

The question is if this is any different from using nothing but pulse lasers and targeting computers? In a realistic sense, targeting computers and pulse lasers should be rather dominant in most designs. We can throw out the "but targeting computers are expensive/rare/ hard to produce/only X faction has them" since people seem to think that a universe where "Life is cheap, Battlemechs are expensive" suggests that all combat would be conducted using battlemechs instead of rarely. If you see a single mech you should see a company or half of one of vehicles, and at likely 2 or 3 times as many infantry since there are a few types that can easily keep up with an assault mech. Lets not even get started on how often assaults should be seen versus how often they are seen in game!

If the games are being balanced by BV2 then you really shouldn't have a problem with the pulse+TC combo as they are paying for that gear. It might be annoying in game when you can't hit the side of a barn, or even a mountain painted as one. That is likely the issue, not that the pulseboat is invincible. What you should look into is inferno SRMs, plasma cannons, and battle armor with flame throwers. Start roasting their mechs and see how effective they are at sinking additional heat. The good thing about the game is that there is always a counter to something.

Regarding the question, the only time that I really used many customs was when I first got into the game and all that we had were 6 or so designs in the back of the rules book at the time. It was a necessity, but beyond that point in time I have used mostly stock designs. There have been a few modifications, but that is mostly removing a medium laser for a ton of armor, or C3 that someone else used. I don't really count ammunition as a modification, however if one does then that is the vast majority of my mods.

Some of the stock designs have issues, but then again what machine is perfect? The stocks are designed in a way that a company would design one, not how a player in a game would. Some of the compromises are still odd, and I hate the Atlas K variants for their single heatsinks. That is one of those variants that I might use, but might consider modding, but likely mod and then scrap it.

Of the mods in the past 5 years, I have tried to post them on a forum ahead of time so that nobody is surprised if it shows up on the table and needs an excessive amount of time to go over it. It assumes that the players are even familiar with the stock design in the first place, but I would rather it be known since I have been playing more in teaching mode then to win.

RifleMech

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #84 on: 10 March 2019, 00:37:08 »
When I mod its more story driven. I do like stock designs and theyre either new units, have lots of parts available, or a lot of money has been spent keeping it in original condition.

Upgrades are a result of a bonus/salvage, replacements, or testing new things. That or someone spending lots of money on the best gear available.

Then there's the units held together with bubblegum and bailing wire and whatever is available to keep the unit running.

So I could have a clan Mech with TC and pulse and all the positive quick that can be appiled. Only the pilots mortgaged the family holdings so much they're about to put a bounty on his head and sell the Mech. I could also have a FrankenMech that's half industrial with an IC engine, rifle cannons and commercial armor, and gets about on a single track unit because that's all that was available.

As long as we have fun we're good. Ultimately that's what a game is about. Having fun. If its not fun it's not worth it.

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #85 on: 10 March 2019, 13:07:19 »
As long as we have fun we're good. Ultimately that's what a game is about. Having fun. If its not fun it's not worth it.

That's kinda the mic drop right there.
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Sartris

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #86 on: 10 March 2019, 13:09:17 »
I mean you could start and end any rules discussion with that and walk away but then why discuss anything?

RifleMech

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #87 on: 10 March 2019, 23:25:32 »
Could discuss how wild creations got and how well or not they performed.

Mohammed As`Zaman Bey

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #88 on: 11 March 2019, 06:05:48 »
  For pickup games, Stock Mechs. For campaigns, Custom designs win.

  The above being said, some of the best stock designs have been the second line Clan Mechs, such as the Viper/Black Python, which seems to be an optimized non-Omni. In scenarios, I usually dump the MG ammo and go to town. In campaigns, getting my hands on a Viper is usually a primary goal...

  The above being said, as a GM, I make sure players have the time and techs capable of straying from proven stock designs. The funniest scenario was a player who begged for TSM for his Mech and on tabletop, could not manage his Mech's heat even with notes written by another player who did all the figuring for him. We called him a "D&Der" who couldn't accept the fact that stuff didn't fall down after he fired at them...so he'd wind up firing more weapons that messed up his heat, which amused all of us.

Elmoth

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Re: Customs vs Stock Variants
« Reply #89 on: 11 March 2019, 09:22:03 »
For games we tend to go for stock mechs and their official variants. However, we tend to play BT as a RPG, so custom mechs tend to crop up due to damage that *I* cause on their mechs, and the salvage and repair shops they have access too. Never more than small modifications, and in general we tend to keep MGs and stuff like that. One of my players swears by his MGs after they saved his ass twice in a row in a city fight.