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Author Topic: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System  (Read 518 times)

Xotl

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Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« on: 12 August 2018, 10:54:45 »
The process of first rolling to see how many projectiles hit, and then separately assigning each cluster is immensely time-consuming, as I’m sure everyone knows.  Facing a SRM Carrier or a unit with one LB 20-X (or god forbid, two) is a nightmare, and while that’s the extreme, the system really is clunky in general.

The Cluster Table has been often discussed as a good target for revamping, but I think the real time saver would be found in cluster assignment.  So, after a hit with a cluster weapon and determining the number of projectiles that hit, roll 2D6:

2:        Torso.  All clusters strike CT (or appropriate side torso if a side hit).  One possible TAC occurs, with +1 to the crit check for every 10 full points of damage dealt.
3-6:     Right Side*. Alternate clusters between RA, RT, and RL (in that order) until done.
7:        Centre Mass.  Alternate clusters between CT, RT, and LT (in that order) until done.
8-11:   Left Side*. Alternate clusters between LA, LT, and LL (in that order) until done.
12:      First cluster hits the head, the remainder hit the CT (or appropriate side torso if a side hit).

*If damage is striking the left arc or the right arc instead of the front, both 3-6 and 8-11 are the side being struck (no need for separate side tables that way).

Rear hits would work just as they do now (same table, but torso hits are applied to the rear armour).  For quads, side hits would just be Front Leg and Rear Leg on that side, instead of Arm and Leg.

This system works with partial cover and floating crits as normal, which is good.  It also preserves the essential patterns of the standard Hit Location chart (low numbers = right, high numbers = left, 2 = CT TAC, 12 = head, 7 = CT), which would greatly aid in rapid memorization; the two tables would reinforce one another.

The overall effect would be tighter damage focusing, but fewer TACs and head hits (you have the same base chance for one of those—1 in 36—but less chance overall, since you don’t roll for location for each individual cluster).  But the single TAC would be more likely if you're firing a lot of projectiles, due to the check bonus based on damage, which compensates nicely I think.

The main thing is that, with this system, you only roll hit location once: as soon as you do, all clusters are assigned.  It would be automatically faster, and the more clusters, the more time saved.  An LB 20-X would be resolved in a few seconds, instead of several minutes.  People could at last retire their Boxes of Death.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: 13 August 2018, 15:30:08 by Xotl »
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Red Pins

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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #1 on: 12 August 2018, 17:34:43 »
Hmm.  Actually, I think a double-roll might be a bit more realistic.  First, roll the center of the impacting round, using a standard 2d6 roll on the hit chart.  Then, use a 1d6 chart to determine spread.  (ex.  First roll says a LB-5X is centered on the left torso, the second determines spread.  a '2' means it gets divided equally from the 6* to 2 locations up and down the chart, so 4-5-6-7-8 take one damage each.   That '2' means it spreads less from the point of impact, a '6' means it spreads wider from the point of impact.

*OMG, I can't remember if a 6 is Left or Right Torso!

Frankly, I think this could be an acceptable house rule, but nothing official.  Granted you could errata it, but the screams...  the SCREAMS...  If it was up to me, I'd say pre-roll a bunch of rolls (maybe twenty?) for each size LB-X AC and use a d20 or whatever to determine which one it is.  Done.
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Dakkon

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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #2 on: 12 August 2018, 17:36:57 »
I was planning on finding my own means of simplifying the process of allocating cluster hits, but I honestly like your solution of cycling through various hit locations a lot better.

Smart thinking, it's elegant and simple.

Daryk

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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #3 on: 12 August 2018, 20:34:22 »
It is simpler, but I think it nerfs SRM Carriers to the point they wouldn't be built...

Red Pins

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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #4 on: 12 August 2018, 22:23:19 »
I was planning on finding my own means of simplifying the process of allocating cluster hits, but I honestly like your solution of cycling through various hit locations a lot better.

Smart thinking, it's elegant and simple.

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nckestrel

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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #5 on: 12 August 2018, 22:56:14 »
Might want to save it for attacks with 3 or more clusters. Or ultra auto cannons will never hit the legs :).
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Xotl

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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #6 on: 12 August 2018, 23:05:44 »
Hah, good point.

I could add a note stating that the attacker can choose where to start in the sequence when allocating hits.  But ultimately I don't like that fix because it means people will inevitably sit there trying to calculate the optimal starting point for their cluster series so that they can get one extra hit where they want it, and the whole point of this to be fast.  Maybe it's not a big deal?  Hmmm.

I've also added a note to the TAC result that you add +1 to the check for every full 10 points of damage.  More projectiles hitting the weak point = better chance of a crit; this helps preserve more of the crit-seeking aspect of cluster weapons.
« Last Edit: 13 August 2018, 14:23:38 by Xotl »
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NeonKnight

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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #7 on: 13 August 2018, 09:53:59 »
Interesting..... ^-^
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Alsadius

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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #8 on: 13 August 2018, 14:52:53 »
I'd probably make it so there's more options that hit broadly. Maybe 7 cycles through all non-head locations, while 12 cycles through all locations starting at and including the head? That improves your ability to crit-seek, and doesn't make it much more complex.

How about this, based on the standard hit locations? Every one starts with the standard location that a shot would normally hit with that roll, and then cycles between all adjacent areas. (I've used a somewhat loose definition of "adjacent" here, to avoid things getting too nasty on a roll of 12 or the CT getting off scot-free, but it's close enough)
2: CT(TAC)>LT>RT>LL>RL>repeat (If you're using floating TAC rules, instead roll for the location and use that location's cycle as below)
3-4: RA>RT>repeat
5: RL>RT>CT>repeat
6: RT>RA>RL>CT>repeat
7: CT>RT>LT>RL>LL>HD>repeat (with L/R swapped on the repeat)
8: LT>LA>LL>CT>repeat
9: LL>LT>CT>repeat
10-11: LA>LT>repeat
12: HD>CT>LT>RT>repeat

Yes, this means you can hit the head on a target location roll of 7, as long as you have 6+ hits. Given that current rules with cluster weapons make head hits a lot more than 1/36, this seems fair. Even with a SSRM-6, which is optimal for head-targeting under these rules, this means you have an average of 8/36 shots hit the head, versus 6/36 under standard rules, so it's not too cheesy.

This table gives too few TACs(though maybe that's appropriate for cluster weapons?), and hits the side torsos a bit harder than vanilla. I also don't like the right-side bias on the 7 roll. But it's fairly close to the main table, and should be pretty simple to use.

NeonKnight

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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #9 on: 13 August 2018, 15:07:19 »
I'd probably make it so there's more options that hit broadly. Maybe 7 cycles through all non-head locations, while 12 cycles through all locations starting at and including the head? That improves your ability to crit-seek, and doesn't make it much more complex.

How about this, based on the standard hit locations? Every one starts with the standard location that a shot would normally hit with that roll, and then cycles between all adjacent areas. (I've used a somewhat loose definition of "adjacent" here, to avoid things getting too nasty on a roll of 12 or the CT getting off scot-free, but it's close enough)
2: CT(TAC)>LT>RT>LL>RL>repeat (If you're using floating TAC rules, instead roll for the location and use that location's cycle as below)
3-4: RA>RT>repeat
5: RL>RT>CT>repeat
6: RT>RA>RL>CT>repeat
7: CT>RT>LT>RL>LL>HD>repeat (with L/R swapped on the repeat)
8: LT>LA>LL>CT>repeat
9: LL>LT>CT>repeat
10-11: LA>LT>repeat
12: HD>CT>LT>RT>repeat

Yes, this means you can hit the head on a target location roll of 7, as long as you have 6+ hits. Given that current rules with cluster weapons make head hits a lot more than 1/36, this seems fair. Even with a SSRM-6, which is optimal for head-targeting under these rules, this means you have an average of 8/36 shots hit the head, versus 6/36 under standard rules, so it's not too cheesy.

This table gives too few TACs(though maybe that's appropriate for cluster weapons?), and hits the side torsos a bit harder than vanilla. I also don't like the right-side bias on the 7 roll. But it's fairly close to the main table, and should be pretty simple to use.


Ahhhh...no.

Lets see, which of the following the become extra broken with a roll of 7, and more than 6 hits...

LB10 (roll of 5+ on cluster gives 6 or more pellets hitting)
LB20 (lowest cluster roll is 6, Average is 12 or more, so minimum 2 head hits on an average cluster Location)
MRM 20, 30 or 40 - Lots of Potential Head hits there, with a 40 pretty much killing a pilot on a cluster roll of 11-12, and pretty much Guaranteeing a K.O on a roll of 5 or better on a cluster
And let's not forget Clans and their Streak LRM10's, 15's and 20's

So, Low Tech - Less Head Hits, as the tech improves...more carnage.

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Xotl

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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #10 on: 13 August 2018, 15:18:07 »
Yeah, I deliberately avoided cycling back to another TAC or head hit because of the ease by which some weapons could then trigger them over and over.  The bonus to the one TAC based on sheer damage dealt was my compromise in that regard.

My main desire to avoid a more complicated table is that I want it to be easily memorizable.  I think that after a game or two, you could memorize mine with ease if already familiar with the base game, because it follows all the patterns of the standard Hit Allocation chart.  If another chart was to be added to the game, it would have to be a simple one IMO.
« Last Edit: 13 August 2018, 15:24:58 by Xotl »
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Daryk

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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #11 on: 13 August 2018, 18:43:02 »
Given the choice of yet another table or a box 'o doom, I'd take the latter...

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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #12 on: 14 August 2018, 01:53:02 »
Agreed.  Box-o-doom for me too.
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Alsadius

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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #13 on: 14 August 2018, 07:34:25 »
Ahhhh...no.

Lets see, which of the following the become extra broken with a roll of 7, and more than 6 hits...

LB10 (roll of 5+ on cluster gives 6 or more pellets hitting)
LB20 (lowest cluster roll is 6, Average is 12 or more, so minimum 2 head hits on an average cluster Location)
MRM 20, 30 or 40 - Lots of Potential Head hits there, with a 40 pretty much killing a pilot on a cluster roll of 11-12, and pretty much Guaranteeing a K.O on a roll of 5 or better on a cluster
And let's not forget Clans and their Streak LRM10's, 15's and 20's

So, Low Tech - Less Head Hits, as the tech improves...more carnage.

With 6 hits and standard rules, you average 6/36 head hits and 6/36 TACs, since each shot has a 1/36 chance of doing either one and you have 6 uniquely rolled hit locations. With my table, you average 8/36 head hits and 2/36 TACs. I think that's about equally powerful overall. And of course if you have 5 shots land(say, from an SRM-6 or an LB-5X), my table gives you 1/36 TAC and 2/36 head, whereas standard rules give you 5/36 for both.

OP's method seriously nerfs cluster weapons, because under standard rules cluster weapons do a lot more head and TAC hits than you might expect. Unless you compensate for that by adding some of those hits back somehow, you're seriously weakening those weapons.

NeonKnight

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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #14 on: 14 August 2018, 09:01:38 »
With 6 hits and standard rules, you average 6/36 head hits and 6/36 TACs, since each shot has a 1/36 chance of doing either one and you have 6 uniquely rolled hit locations. With my table, you average 8/36 head hits and 2/36 TACs. I think that's about equally powerful overall. And of course if you have 5 shots land(say, from an SRM-6 or an LB-5X), my table gives you 1/36 TAC and 2/36 head, whereas standard rules give you 5/36 for both.

OP's method seriously nerfs cluster weapons, because under standard rules cluster weapons do a lot more head and TAC hits than you might expect. Unless you compensate for that by adding some of those hits back somehow, you're seriously weakening those weapons.

While yes, I get that, I also said your method hugely favors weapons that create more 6 cluster hits, namely LB10/20, MRM and Streak LRMs.

Of course if you want to implement such a rule at your table, don't be surprised if your opponent brings mechs with those kinds of weapons, because I know I would.
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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #15 on: 14 August 2018, 10:11:19 »
That's a fair criticism.

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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #16 on: 14 August 2018, 10:29:56 »
That's a fair criticism.

Thanx.

It's the GM in me and seeing things from a 'long-road' point of view. Having played games lik BT, D&D, Champions, GURPS, etc, etc for over 30 years, I've come to see many things from a slightly different perspective, namely that as a GM. So, for example the proposed cluster chart change proposed by the OP and yerself, I tend to look at as a GM in an ongoing game. Now in my Home Game I am the GM, and the players are a Merc Company. The compnay commander already has a few vehicles and what not firing LBx5's and LBx2's and I think 1 at an LBX 10.

Now he has the tendency to see things in a limited fashion, i.e. from his point of view and based on maybe 1 or 2 mechs in his force. As an example, he want to go with the alternate rule from TAC OPs (page 104) where retractable blades could be sprung while making a punch attack for an automatic possible critical hit. As a GM, I thought all of 2 seconds before saying: "NOPE, not gonna happen...evah!" as I know when one thinks of such a ruling in the context of 1 unit it may seem OK, but could easily see future mechs all having their tonnage modified to make room for the weight to allow all mechs to carry such gear.

The same goes for the proposed Head/TAC change. Players as is their wont to win at all costs will change their proposed load outs to maximize their lethality. It's human nature, and a slippery slope I would rather not go down.
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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #17 on: 14 August 2018, 18:43:35 »
I never did like how LB-X rolls the location for every single pellet that could be sped up by treating it like the LRM cluster rolls.  And SRMs.....guess you could make a table that groups the shots by 2's to speed up SRM carriers.

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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #18 on: 14 August 2018, 20:54:44 »
How about this: if the roll is 4-10, 50% of the damage is dealt to that location, and the other 50% is split between the slot above and the slot below. (Example, if the roll is a 7, 50% is assigned to that slot and the rest is split between 6 and 8, with a dice roll (or player's decision) on which location the leftover point hits, if any.

On a roll of 3 or 11, only one point hits the head or center torso (possible crit), and crit rolls in these cases are made at a +2. (The single point is a glancing-type of blow.)

Just a thought.

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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #19 on: 19 August 2018, 16:15:02 »
I never did like how LB-X rolls the location for every single pellet that could be sped up by treating it like the LRM cluster rolls.  And SRMs.....guess you could make a table that groups the shots by 2's to speed up SRM carriers.

Back when I was first learning the game with the Compendium in the early 90s, that's how I thought LB-Xs worked.  I was only corrected a few years ago.  Honestly, I don't know why the LB-Xs would have such a high spread rate, but LRMs and HAGs don't.
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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #20 on: 20 August 2018, 10:29:12 »
While yes, I get that, I also said your method hugely favors weapons that create more 6 cluster hits, namely LB10/20, MRM and Streak LRMs.

Of course if you want to implement such a rule at your table, don't be surprised if your opponent brings mechs with those kinds of weapons, because I know I would.
The largest streak LRM can only ever generate 4 cluster hits.

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Re: Rapid Cluster Hit Allocation System
« Reply #21 on: 20 August 2018, 10:56:45 »
The largest streak LRM can only ever generate 4 cluster hits.

While yes, a SLRM 20 would only generate 4 hits, it still things like rolling a 12 or a 2 on a mech that is missing a left or right torso getting extra head/CT (TC).

My point of the clans and their SLRM's was not the extra head/CT (TC) hits but merely that changing one aspect of the rules, while looking great in that capacity, can have unforeseen consequences in other aspects.
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