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How do you feel about using a lot of LB-X cluster munitions in your games

It's cheap and unsportsmanlike
0 (0%)
Takes up too much game time rolling dice
11 (16.4%)
Hey, all is fair in love and war >:D
56 (83.6%)

Total Members Voted: 67

Author Topic: Mass LB-X flak in games  (Read 3006 times)

grimlock1

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #30 on: 18 February 2018, 23:03:10 »
4. As far as I'm concerned, if someone's only recourse is to nerf/penalize or outright ban equipment/units/game mechanics than that person is a both a bad tactician and a bad sport.

I agree in principle, but would caveat that when spooling up new players.  I'm teaching a friend right now and I'm enforcing a temporary prohibition on stacking equipment that grants a gunnery bonus for custom mechs.  He can have pulse or tar comp or AES, or VDNI, but only one.  Cannon designs are exempt and I'm intentionally avoiding those. 
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #31 on: 18 February 2018, 23:38:58 »
Why are you running with customs when trying to teach a new player the game?

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Colt Ward

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #32 on: 18 February 2018, 23:50:19 »
Sounds like the new player can do customs but the instructor is avoiding mechs that stack . . . or I read it that way.
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #33 on: 19 February 2018, 00:03:14 »
I did too, but I'm wondering why mech customization would come out while someone is still trying to get the basic rules down.

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SCC

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #34 on: 19 February 2018, 03:45:48 »
4. As far as I'm concerned, if someone's only recourse is to nerf/penalize or outright ban equipment/units/game mechanics than that person is a both a bad tactician and a bad sport.
You do realize that some people might find bringing large numbers of LB-X equipped 'Mechs in the same light? And that if the match that I drove two hours to take part in ends quickly because someone gamed the odds by using LB-X spam I'm not likely too be happy?

Getz

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #35 on: 19 February 2018, 09:02:06 »
You do realize that some people might find bringing large numbers of LB-X equipped 'Mechs in the same light? And that if the match that I drove two hours to take part in ends quickly because someone gamed the odds by using LB-X spam I'm not likely too be happy?

I accept that it slows the game down, but LBX spam simply isn't that powerful.  Why do you find it so offensive?

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massey

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #36 on: 19 February 2018, 10:03:01 »
You do realize that some people might find bringing large numbers of LB-X equipped 'Mechs in the same light? And that if the match that I drove two hours to take part in ends quickly because someone gamed the odds by using LB-X spam I'm not likely too be happy?

If the game ends too quickly, play again!

At the end of the day, I'd far prefer an opponent to spam LB-Xs instead of something really good, like Clan PPCs.  One of the nastiest mechs I ever played against, the guy had a mech with like 15 Clan Streak SRM-4s.  You just agreed beforehand whether you'd be bringing custom designs, and you knew if you were, everybody was gonna take stuff like that.

grimlock1

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #37 on: 19 February 2018, 18:08:20 »
I did too, but I'm wondering why mech customization would come out while someone is still trying to get the basic rules down.
You're both reading correctly.  I'm letting him have fun with it.

1. Everyone should had a "Box-o'-Death". Cheap to make and speeds up most dice rolling.
2. And again every moderately experienced player should have those tables already memorized.
Also, there are some easy web or Android based programs that roll clusters and spit out locations, crits too.
« Last Edit: 19 February 2018, 18:10:58 by grimlock1 »
I'm rarely right... Except when I am.  ---  Idle question.  What is the BV2 of dread?
Apollo's Law- if it needs Clan tech to make it useable, It doesn't deserve those resources in the first place.
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

SCC

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #38 on: 20 February 2018, 02:10:32 »
I accept that it slows the game down, but LBX spam simply isn't that powerful.  Why do you find it so offensive?
It's more that LB-X are the worst manifestation of the 'cluster is king' phenomenon in BT's rules, where the number of times you hit your opponent is more important then how hard you hit them.

If the game ends too quickly, play again!

At the end of the day, I'd far prefer an opponent to spam LB-Xs instead of something really good, like Clan PPCs.  One of the nastiest mechs I ever played against, the guy had a mech with like 15 Clan Streak SRM-4s.  You just agreed beforehand whether you'd be bringing custom designs, and you knew if you were, everybody was gonna take stuff like that.
That may not be possible, if the game was supposed to take 3 hours but it's over in 1, but you only have a 3 hour hole, you can't exactly play a 3 hour game. Also that kinda requires who ever brought the LB-X spam to have another list picked out.

As for the other bit, that's why we have BV, which can't account for the random luck factor LB-X brings.

Weirdo

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #39 on: 20 February 2018, 02:12:33 »
...cluster is king...

Oh, this I've GOT to hear...
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
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Colt Ward

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #40 on: 20 February 2018, 02:19:57 »
It's more that LB-X are the worst manifestation of the 'cluster is king' phenomenon in BT's rules, where the number of times you hit your opponent is more important then how hard you hit them.

That is a load- for most games involving some form of combat, the number of times you hit a opponent is usually more important than how 'hard' since it generates an accumulation of damage.  Except as cited the cERPPCs which can take the head off a single mech out to 23 hexes, or gauss rifles at 22, or Arrow IV over the space of mapsheets, or any of those other ranged headcap weapons.

Our game is based of probabilities (like other combat games), so the more you hit the more chances at a desire-able result you get.  Its also why vets instructing rookies will tell them to roll for the location of damage from biggest hit to smallest hit- the chance that your 15/10/8/5 hit will open the insides of a mech/tank/ASF/DS/WS to critical damage.  Hey look, how hard you hit (overall) DOES matter when crit-seeking!
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #41 on: 20 February 2018, 02:54:43 »
I've been in a lot of games where players banked on TACs.

They pretty much all wound up sanding the armor on mechs but rarely did anything significant.  To be successful, you've really got to punch holes in the armor before you start crit-seeking.

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grimlock1

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #42 on: 21 February 2018, 00:27:27 »
I suspect that megamek might inflate the perception of crit seekers.  I've played games where a custom mech packing 7 streak 6's, and bank on seeing at least 1 critical check for every turn where 6 or more Streaks locked on.

I think that some RNG algorithms might make the odds of a double result more likely.
I'm rarely right... Except when I am.  ---  Idle question.  What is the BV2 of dread?
Apollo's Law- if it needs Clan tech to make it useable, It doesn't deserve those resources in the first place.
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

SCC

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #43 on: 21 February 2018, 05:51:33 »
I suspect that megamek might inflate the perception of crit seekers.  I've played games where a custom mech packing 7 streak 6's, and bank on seeing at least 1 critical check for every turn where 6 or more Streaks locked on.

I think that some RNG algorithms might make the odds of a double result more likely.
Most computer based RNG's have this tendency to 'get stuck' for won't of a better term, on certain numbers, MM does have a work around in their card system, but you have to manually select it.

That is a load- for most games involving some form of combat, the number of times you hit a opponent is usually more important than how 'hard' since it generates an accumulation of damage.  Except as cited the cERPPCs which can take the head off a single mech out to 23 hexes, or gauss rifles at 22, or Arrow IV over the space of mapsheets, or any of those other ranged headcap weapons.

Our game is based of probabilities (like other combat games), so the more you hit the more chances at a desire-able result you get.  Its also why vets instructing rookies will tell them to roll for the location of damage from biggest hit to smallest hit- the chance that your 15/10/8/5 hit will open the insides of a mech/tank/ASF/DS/WS to critical damage.  Hey look, how hard you hit (overall) DOES matter when crit-seeking!
Yes, but cluster weapons are, to my limited knowledge, unique to BT

I've been in a lot of games where players banked on TACs.

They pretty much all wound up sanding the armor on mechs but rarely did anything significant.  To be successful, you've really got to punch holes in the armor before you start crit-seeking.
A way to limit this might be to apply a modifier to TAC roll based upon cluster size.

Weirdo

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #44 on: 21 February 2018, 10:45:04 »
Wait. We're talking about players who don't usually accomplish much of note  in a game, and you're trying to make their performance worse?

I'm trying really hard to reconcile your words with the way Battletech actually works....but I just can't do it.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #45 on: 21 February 2018, 16:20:17 »
There is a modifier for TACs . . . after I get that 1 in 11 chance, I then have to roll a 8 or better to see if anything else happens.
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grimlock1

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #46 on: 21 February 2018, 18:18:21 »
There is a modifier for TACs . . . after I get that 1 in 11 chance, I then have to roll a 8 or better to see if anything else happens.

Don't you mean 1/36? 
I'm rarely right... Except when I am.  ---  Idle question.  What is the BV2 of dread?
Apollo's Law- if it needs Clan tech to make it useable, It doesn't deserve those resources in the first place.
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

Colt Ward

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #47 on: 21 February 2018, 18:57:29 »
Don't you mean 1/36?

Yeah, that is the curve, I just meant 1 of 11 results- but putting out that number helps drive home the probability.
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RoundTop

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #48 on: 21 February 2018, 19:47:29 »
Let's do math.

Lb 10x in cluster mode, shooting on a 7 (-1 to hit) for 60% chance if hitting on 2d6.
Then cluster table roll, averaging a 6.

6 locations, each with a 1/36 chance of a crit, and 1/36 chance of a head hit.  So 2/36= 1/18, so 5.5% [drool] chance of head or tac on each pellet. x6 (average pellet) is 6/18, or a 33% chance one hits the head or tac (with 6 hitting).

For eac tac, there is only a 40% chance of doing anything (8+). So we can modify the numbers above with its chances.

So that 2/36 = 1/36 (head) + 1/90 (tac).  That gives us a 7/180 chance of crit or head. Which is 3.8% per pellet.

So 6 pellets gives us 23% that one will crit or head  on a 6 pellet hit.

Now let's look at a gauss rifle. It has better range brackets, but I'll ignore that for now.  Target number of 8 (we gave the lb -1), which is 40% to hit.

And head or tac is the same 3.8% as an lb. The difference is that an lb has to hit the head up to 6 times, but the gauss will kill it immediately. Even if there is no tac, it has a very good chance of punching through armour, which the lb does not.

So yes the lbs have a higher chance, but it isn't as high as to guarantee anything, and the gauss (or any other large weapon, doesn't spread damage around.

In a battle of 4 on 4, with one side having 2 gauss rifles each (or even 2 ppcs each) and the other with dual lbs, firing only cluster,  I would expect the lbs to lose almost every time.

Why? Damage grouping is a huge advantage in battletech. That is why the ac20 and her are feared, but the lrm20 is only respected.

And heck, a streak srm6 has the same odds as an average lb10, and does double the damage, for less tonnage and more ammo!

No-Dachi has a counter-argument. Nothing further? Ok.
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SCC

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #49 on: 21 February 2018, 20:32:27 »
@RoundTop, yes, but the OP wanted to bring 8 LB-10X's and your not accounting for the effects of head hits

EDIT: ADDENDUM: to expand on that, you analysis doesn't seem to take into account that every head hit means that 'Mech suffers the pilot suffers a -1 to all future rolls, if he doesn't pass out. You're also not accounting for the -1 each crit gives.

It's this variablity you've got to watch out for, it takes outcomes away from the players and places it in the hands of the dice.
« Last Edit: 21 February 2018, 23:09:50 by SCC »

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #50 on: 22 February 2018, 02:01:28 »
And how much damage would he be doing if he'd chosen to bring mechs loaded for simply punishment ability?  Say, bringing 4 iHGRs?  Or a mess of PPCs?  He wouldn't be likely to get as many crits, but he'd be shooting limbs clean off a lot faster.

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Skyth

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #51 on: 22 February 2018, 05:59:28 »
EDIT: ADDENDUM: to expand on that, you analysis doesn't seem to take into account that every head hit means that 'Mech suffers the pilot suffers a -1 to all future rolls, if he doesn't pass out. You're also not accounting for the -1 each crit gives.

Ummm...That's not a rule that I'm aware of.

Weirdo

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #52 on: 22 February 2018, 12:59:16 »
Yeah, neither of those is actually a thing. My guess is house rule he's been using so long he forgot it was unofficial.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
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Battleforce Space is too bulky. I vote we start calling it BattleFace.

Alexander Knight

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #53 on: 22 February 2018, 14:11:48 »
Well...he could be thinking that DNI is standard....which is also wrong, but at least it's got rules like that.

RoundTop

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #54 on: 22 February 2018, 15:01:31 »
Head hits only cause a consciousness roll at time of hit, nothing more. no lingering effects beyond the con roll.

You would not believe how many house rules people have without realizing that it is not official rules. I've spent many hours at gencon in rulebooks showing people.

And if he has 8LBx's, then that is likely on 4 or 8 mechs, and I cna think of some pretty good counters to that with big guns.  That -1 to all rolls thing is completely not a rule.
No-Dachi has a counter-argument. Nothing further? Ok.
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SCC

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #55 on: 22 February 2018, 16:12:18 »
Damnit, I thought uit was a bit out, but I thought there was a penalty involved somewhere, maybe it's just for head hits and piloting rolls

Weirdo

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #56 on: 22 February 2018, 16:44:00 »
Head hits do not affect piloting rolls.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
Battleforce Space is too bulky. I vote we start calling it BattleFace.

Col Toda

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #57 on: 02 April 2018, 10:59:36 »
You use slug until the armor has a few holes in it . Then you use thr cluster as a crit seeking weapon . It has the potential of knocking out an enemy unit upwards of 2 turns sooner for taking more time in one or 2 turns. I submit the takes too much time opinion is put out by those who use it wrong or Clan mechs with only 1 ton of ammo ..

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #58 on: 02 April 2018, 12:12:30 »
So I'm building a Mech battalion for a Amaris Civil War game and I was planning on bringing at least two lances of Royal Shadow Hawks. What do you think about the idea? Cheap tactic or awesome?

well...it sounds like you're expecting to fight...ME.  I know, I know, geographically impossible, (or unlikely) but that's the kind of force many of my groups in the past started adopting to counter My...proclivities.  Espl. in BV balanced saturday games, where last saturday we'd get a BV total and told "Build a force to this plus or minus 10%, and no, not telling you what the terrain is."

of course, at the height of it, back in the day, before Total Warfare and the addition of FSM, (which forced everyone to re-do their accountantech at the venue, leading to 'game days' with about two turns and the store closes since we burned up six hours recalculating...) The reason for this was my tendency to run lots of conventional stuff, and those LBX's became a HELL of a lot more useful.  (also: Infernoes).

I honestly don't see a problem with your force layout, It's something I'd advise anyone facing ME in a blind game take (but make sure you have some units with infernoes in there too).

I beats the Urbie to death with my CHARGER!!!

Weirdo

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Re: Mass LB-X flak in games
« Reply #59 on: 02 April 2018, 14:19:13 »
... we'd get a BV total and told "Build a force to this plus or minus 10%, and no, not telling you what the terrain is."

Sounds like 90% of the TW or AS games I've played in the last...over a decade, now, with the addition that you also never knew beforehand the faction, tech level, or even era of your opponent's force. :)

It should be noted that a lot of the weapons that are effective at countering a Cannonshop or Me-style force are also effective at hurting mechs, albeit sometimes in different ways(plasma, for example).

With that in mind, there's not much reason to NOT prepare as if you're going to face a conventional-heavy force.
« Last Edit: 02 April 2018, 14:24:11 by Weirdo »
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
Battleforce Space is too bulky. I vote we start calling it BattleFace.