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Author Topic: Battletech Rules Modification Discussion  (Read 5611 times)

Bigkahuna

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Battletech Rules Modification Discussion
« on: 09 February 2019, 07:54:00 »
They already tried this with Mechwarrior about 15 years ago and it was a disaster. The only games for me that take 6+ hours are those that get up to company vs company. Lance vs Lance we usually average 2 to 3 hours. We have two new Battletech players in our group both in mid 20's age range and they love the rules. They are both 40k players who think the battletech rules are a breath of fresh air in comparison. I guess it just depends on the player...

15 years ago is 15 years.   Besides I’m not talking about some fundamental change to the core of the game, I’m talking about bringing the game to the 21st century.  It’s a great game and I’m sure it will continue to serv this very niche community but with the current business model and antiquated rule set there is zero hope of it expanding to a wider audience.  I mean a base aspect of th game is using whiteboard markers and clear plastic sheets to track game effects.  That alone is enough to turn off modern gamers.   When I say second edition I’m mostly talking about quality of life stuff here.    To call this game mechanic “a breath fresh“ compared to 40k, that I get.  40k is not a good example of modern design, pretty much every miniature game mechanic in the last two decades is faaaaaaar superior to 40k, it’s total crap,  basically Yatzee with Miiniatures.  So if that is heir comparative game, I can see why they would see Battletech in that light.
« Last Edit: 10 February 2019, 11:35:46 by Bedwyr »

Daryk

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #1 on: 09 February 2019, 08:00:26 »
40K rules may be "total crap", but GW is successful enough to have been written up in The Economist, so I don't think they're "turning off modern gamers".

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #2 on: 09 February 2019, 08:21:07 »
40K rules may be "total crap", but GW is successful enough to have been written up in The Economist, so I don't think they're "turning off modern gamers".

And Yahtzee’s tens of millions of copies sold aren’t a bad idea to copy either.  Yahtzee’s sales with the cost of mini sets? Sign me up.
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Psycho

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #3 on: 09 February 2019, 09:12:19 »
15 years ago is 15 years.   Besides I’m not talking about some fundamental change to the core of the game, I’m talking about bringing the game to the 21st century. 

Do you have specific examples of what you're thinking?

The challenge here is modernization without looking like a copycat. Copying someone else's elements is a good way of both showing poorly to new players ("hey, they just ripped off X") and alienating your current players. It's a fine line to make work.

Bigkahuna

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #4 on: 09 February 2019, 09:25:03 »
40K rules may be "total crap", but GW is successful enough to have been written up in The Economist, so I don't think they're "turning off modern gamers".

It was the very subtle point I was trying to make.  Gamesworshop had half a dozen layoffs and was on the brink of bankruptcy.  Kicking out their antiquated games and specifically revising and modernizing 40k saved the company and returned it to the number one highest grossing miniatures game in the world in short order.

Daryk

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #5 on: 09 February 2019, 09:47:21 »
GW has "modernized" their rules what, 12 times now?  A lot of those revisions are what pushed them to the brink of bankruptcy in the first place.

Bigkahuna

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #6 on: 09 February 2019, 11:12:47 »
GW has "modernized" their rules what, 12 times now?  A lot of those revisions are what pushed them to the brink of bankruptcy in the first place.

I suppose it's a question of what you consider "modernization" and how you approach the existing community.  The trick, one not everyone can pull off, is to create a version of the game that brings in gamers accustomed to modern streamlined rulesets, while not alienating your existing fan base.  I will grant you that is not an easy trick to pull off, filled with hazards that could destroy a franchise and even if done successfully may not work simply for market/economic reasons. 

That said, business is about taking risks, as the case is with Battletech, in 35 years not much has changed in the game and while that probably appeals to fans (even I find it rather quaint and comfortable in a way), it does not, nor will ever lead to any growth for the game.  Growth, in business in general, but very specifically in the table top gaming business comes exclusively from reinvention, from new directions and expansion.  You can't expect to put out yet another box set with the same rules you have had for 35 years and expect a sudden influx of new players.  As was already pointed out, the vast majority of box set was sucked up by existing fans hungry for miniatures for a game they already love.

In any case someone asked the question which I found rather interesting about how one might go about adjusting the existing rule set.  My friend and I briefly talked about this after our 6 hour session with the game and there was one immediate red flag for both of us as far as the game mechanics were concerned.  Attrition.

I think the attrition in the game was really the thing that caught our attention as a core factor that extends the game beyond reason and the inability to affect it in any way tactically.  These mechs are really sturdy and even if they are just one hex away from each other standing still, it takes many rounds before someone goes down, even if all shots hit.  I mean at the end of round 10 in our game we had two mechs basically at melee range shooting at each other and it took another 5 rounds of shooting before someone went down and there was ZERO one could do to affect that except to get lucky with a location hit in the head or the legs.

The game also suffers from bookkeeping problems.  With four mechs on each side your managing 8 mechs and it was really hard to keep straight for example the shooting declaration phase.  I mean you had to track which weapons were fired by which mechs at which opposing mech for an entire phase.  Almost every round of shooting we couldn't remember which mech targeted which opponent with which weapons.  Its a really terrible way to handle that phase.

In general though we found it really difficult to remember all of the modifiers that affected any given action in the game, especially once the mechs suffered critical damage. 

I would definitely address the general attrition of the game and the bookkeeping of the games modifiers, and in particular the declaration phase (I would rework that entirely).  In fact in our game about halfway through we realized that, if you just declare and shoot at the same time, the game was 90% faster and easier to manage and their was virtually nothing lost tactically.

Those are just some of our early observation, I think a lot more could be said about how the phases and bookkeeping is managed, but those were like the main things that really dragged what really should be a 1-2 hour game at absolute maximum into a 4-6 hour game.








Bigkahuna

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #7 on: 09 February 2019, 11:22:23 »


The challenge here is modernization without looking like a copycat. Copying someone else's elements is a good way of both showing poorly to new players ("hey, they just ripped off X") and alienating your current players. It's a fine line to make work.

I couldn't disagree more with that statement.  Copying mechanics from successful designs is the staple and heart of modern game design (and modern game design education), it's literally what has driven success in game publishing today. 


In fact, take a game design course anywhere in the world and one of the first things they will teach you is that there is no such thing as stealing in the game design & publishing business.




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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #8 on: 09 February 2019, 11:26:06 »
Bookkeeping-wise, I recommend looking at Solaris Skunk Werks.  The sheets it generates include a block for keeping track of various data, and I find them quite useful.

As for attrition, I think it's actually one of the attractive things about the game.  Those single lucky shots that remove a unit are much rarer, especially when compared to games where most units are "one shot, one kill".

Sartris

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #9 on: 09 February 2019, 12:03:41 »
Weapons get much deadlier once you move out of the succession wars. Lights and low end mediums especially that wander out into the open without a ton of speed fight very bravely and die very quickly. I had a nightstar that took something like fourteen gauss hits before going down once but that’s super rare.

My biggest complaint about the rules as they are except cluster hits. If you could cut the parts where the entire game stops to figure out where those 23 missiles hit, it would improve flow significantly (and spare me on the box of death. I have two. You shouldn’t have to construct contraptions like that)

Empyrus

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #10 on: 09 February 2019, 12:05:49 »
If BattleTech has too much bookkeeping, look at Alpha Strike rules. Simplifies and speed ups things considerably.
If you don't mind losing most of things that make many 'Mechs unique, and remove nearly all detail...

Figure copying concepts from other games is fine, as long as the resulting game doesn't feel like a pile of ripped-off rules. Not everything works together well.

I don't think there's anything modern with detail level similar to BattleTech though, is there?
Individual differences between 'Mechs and detailed damage infliction (you know, hit locations, equipment locations, etc. and lucky shots not necessarily being game ending) is a thing that appeals to me in BattleTech, anything that removes it is of no interest to me.

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #11 on: 09 February 2019, 12:19:48 »
They already tried this with Mechwarrior about 15 years ago and it was a disaster. The only games for me that take 6+ hours are those that get up to company vs company. Lance vs Lance we usually average 2 to 3 hours. We have two new Battletech players in our group both in mid 20's age range and they love the rules. They are both 40k players who think the battletech rules are a breath of fresh air in comparison. I guess it just depends on the player...

I didn't like the MechWarrior mini game.  That said it is hard to call a game that made the amount of money it made a disaster.  Collectable mini games as a whole just died.   Still they made a ton of money

Bigkahuna

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #12 on: 09 February 2019, 12:21:40 »
If BattleTech has too much bookkeeping, look at Alpha Strike rules. Simplifies and speed ups things considerably.
If you don't mind losing most of things that make many 'Mechs unique, and remove nearly all detail...

Figure copying concepts from other games is fine, as long as the resulting game doesn't feel like a pile of ripped-off rules. Not everything works together well.

I don't think there's anything modern with detail level similar to BattleTech though, is there?
Individual differences between 'Mechs and detailed damage infliction (you know, hit locations, equipment locations, etc. and lucky shots not necessarily being game ending) is a thing that appeals to me in BattleTech, anything that removes it is of no interest to me.

I totally agree with you, I mean the RPG (this is my character) element of Mechs is the charm of this game and definitly shouldn’t be touched.  I definitly think any revisement needs to be handled carefuly to preserve the core games purpose.  Someone mentioned Alpha Strike and I have to agree, so much is lost in those rules that make Battletech what it is.

To me though their are a few things that aren’t really core to the game that could be altered.  The Declaration part of the shooting phase for example is largely an unescessary complication that asks for far more than you get out of it.  I mean I get that you want to commit players to their targets so that they can’t adapt after seeing the results of their shots, but the amount of complexity it adds to the game is quite severe for what you get out of it.

Also some components to track things could go a long way.  For example, critical damage.  If you had a set of cards, with basic rules for different types of damage that you could place next to your mech, would cut down on the back tracking when ou forget stuff and make clearer the rules as they apply to your current game.

The hard one to tackle is the attrition.  I get that in a way this is core to the game (Mechs are tough, hard to take down, but you can get a lucky shot) but Battletech on is really not a deeply tactical game.  There is a tremendous amount of luck in the game, far more than any miniature game I have ever played.  You can shoot at a mech 10 times and not take him down because hit location is distributed, or you can kill him outright on a single roll.  This means that the attrition is only broken up by pure luck, which noteably you have ZERO ways to affect.  I mean you can affect your chances of ”hitting”, but where you hit is just purely random which really drives the attrition but also the spontanous/occasional .. oh its round 3 and this game is now for the most part over.

Its sort of like .. the game can take 30 minutes to resolve if you score some headshots or it can stretch for 6 hours if the shots get spread and players are cautious.  I know people often say ”oh my group finishes games in 2-3 hours” but that is not of your doing, that is just the dice doing it.

I personally have played the same scenario twice, using the exact same mechs, in the exact same siuation and the same exact two players and the result was a whopping 2 hour difference.  One game took 2.5 hours, the other took 4.5 hours.  It was all up to chance and I find as we play more, and we get better at it the games take more time, not less.

Darzoni

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #13 on: 09 February 2019, 12:36:24 »

To me though their are a few things that aren’t really core to the game that could be altered.  The Declaration part of the shooting phase for example is largely an unescessary complication that asks for far more than you get out of it.  I mean I get that you want to commit players to their targets so that they can’t adapt after seeing the results of their shots, but the amount of complexity it adds to the game is quite severe for what you get out of it.

I do not think substantially altering BattleTech's rules is something that is feasible for the license-holders because so much of their market for the game is the established fan-base.  I seem to recall an extreme amount of backlash when a line developer merely suggested that this should happen in the future.

Empyrus

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #14 on: 09 February 2019, 12:43:56 »
The hard one to tackle is the attrition.  I get that in a way this is core to the game (Mechs are tough, hard to take down, but you can get a lucky shot) but Battletech on is really not a deeply tactical game.  There is a tremendous amount of luck in the game, far more than any miniature game I have ever played.  You can shoot at a mech 10 times and not take him down because hit location is distributed, or you can kill him outright on a single roll.  This means that the attrition is only broken up by pure luck, which noteably you have ZERO ways to affect.  I mean you can affect your chances of ”hitting”, but where you hit is just purely random which really drives the attrition but also the spontanous/occasional .. oh its round 3 and this game is now for the most part over.

I see what you mean. And i can't say i disagree, i remember when my friend blasted my 'Mech a couple of times with Ultra/20 and hit two pristine heavily armored locations, effectively a complete non-issue for me but not taking down my 'Mech was a problem for him.

Figure this one might be tweaked by making players able to influence odds of hitting or increase damage potential with proper tactics, such as directional damage.

Nominally this is possible, of course, move behind an enemy and you'll be chewing through enemy rear armor (odds for a single hit is that it hits torso location), but few 'Mechs have sufficiently mobility for that (or firepower once they're in location), and merely making this easier as it is would reduce the game to "who backstabs first".

Modifying hitting rules might do the trick, such as making side arcs more distinct and more easily damaged, making relative positions very significant effect. Though this could be a large overhaul and might require adding actual side armor for 'Mechs, requiring modification of construction rules (and if you touch those, you might as well overhaul all tech to be more balanced while at it, and then you'd need to redo all 'Mechs). A cascade effect... though if the overall result would be an improvement, then that'd be good.

Highly complex issue all in all, and may be one reason it has never been done or attempted.

EDIT HBS BattleTech game did something similar actually, making 'Mechs have four equal hit arcs (technically tabletop BattleTech does have four arcs but they're not equivalent in size, and much harder to exploit). This did make chewing through certain hit locations easier. But since construction rules were mostly identical, it didn't really make the game more tactical in my opinion (changes to initiative and other things affect things as well), and computer doing all the heavy lifting has largest impact on session length.
« Last Edit: 09 February 2019, 12:50:34 by Empyrus »

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #15 on: 09 February 2019, 12:45:40 »
I would definitely address the general attrition of the game and the bookkeeping of the games modifiers, and in particular the declaration phase (I would rework that entirely).  In fact in our game about halfway through we realized that, if you just declare and shoot at the same time, the game was 90% faster and easier to manage and their was virtually nothing lost tactically.

But that would flip the idea of winning initiative. One side would get the advantage of positioning, while the other side would get the advantage of shooting first. I think that could be interesting, but the old grogs I play live with hate the idea of shifting around the initiative system. It isn't really a representative sample of course, but a lot of people have a very specific vision of what Battletech is, with the initiative system being core to that.

And wasn't initiative also an issue with protomechs?

Sartris

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #16 on: 09 February 2019, 12:56:47 »
Fire is still simultaneous, you just dispense with the entire declaration phase. Every unit on the board still gets to fire with what it had at the beginning of the phase

It does change the targeting calculus but not so much that the time saved isn’t worth more to me.

Attrition in the succession wars era is why I don’t play it any more unless I’m teaching the game or I have to. Also playing with some objectives instead of fight to the death improves things substantially. I’ve run tons of objective-laden games with 15k bv per side in about three hours

CVB

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #17 on: 09 February 2019, 13:20:44 »
But fire isn't really simultaneous anymore once you dispense with fire declaration.
Now you (generic you  :) ) see the effect of your first shot before deciding on the target for the second and shift targets according to the result.

In my experience, a lot of the time saved by skipping the declaration phase is used up later for
  • continuously (mentally) updating your target assignments during the fire phase
  • not skipping shots declared against a target killed unexpectedly by an early shot

Where time will really be saved is by thinning the herd more quickly by avoiding overkills as well as not having a target survive to the next round that one additional hit could have put down this round.

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #18 on: 09 February 2019, 13:22:32 »
EDIT HBS BattleTech game did something similar actually, making 'Mechs have four equal hit arcs (technically tabletop BattleTech does have four arcs but they're not equivalent in size, and much harder to exploit). This did make chewing through certain hit locations easier. But since construction rules were mostly identical, it didn't really make the game more tactical in my opinion (changes to initiative and other things affect things as well), and computer doing all the heavy lifting has largest impact on session length.

One of the rules that we messed up in the 80's was that of the incoming fire arcs.
We just used the outgoing fire arcs as the incoming fire arcs.
It was simpler, you never had a "on the edge line" issue, and it made the Side & Rear arcs a bit larger which made sense since it has always boggled me that some shot from almost completely to the right can be on the "Front" table or a shot from what is clearly behind you, is on the "Side" table and hits the opposite side Front torso.

I wish there was a make to make "called shots/targeted shots" easier than the ridiculous penalties they have now.
I'd probably do something where you trade a +1 to hit, for a +/- 1 change on the location chart allowing you to shift 1 location on the table. 
Just enough to hit ST instead of CT or Leg.      Or Leg instead of ST / Arm.   Etc Etc.
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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #19 on: 09 February 2019, 13:26:31 »
But fire isn't really simultaneous anymore once you dispense with fire declaration.
Now you (generic you  :) ) see the effect of your first shot before deciding on the target for the second and shift targets according to the result.

In my experience, a lot of the time saved by skipping the declaration phase is used up later for
  • continuously (mentally) updating your target assignments during the fire phase
  • not skipping shots declared against a target killed unexpectedly by an early shot

Where time will really be saved is by thinning the herd more quickly by avoiding overkills as well as not having a target survive to the next round that one additional hit could have put down this round.


My GM actually plays with this version.
Everyone writes down their fire on their sheet & that is there fire.

Which means sometimes you completely loose your fire if the first person in initiative order suddenly gets luck w/ an AC20 to the head.

It also means you don't get to change your own fire if you suddenly were nuked by Inferno/Plasma & will now overheat because you don't have the option of turning off that ERPPC you were going to fire.

Frankly, I like it that way, its faster.  You don't have people changing fire at the last minute.
On the other hand, we take far too long in the declarations phase by comparing with our teammates on what we are shooting at.

So maybe doing it by the book would be better.   IDK.

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Sartris

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #20 on: 09 February 2019, 13:39:00 »
But fire isn't really simultaneous anymore once you dispense with fire declaration.
Now you (generic you  :) )

Correct and I don’t care (I already acknowledged it changes the fundamental nature of targeting). I like it better. I’ll take a hard pass on anything involving more recordkeeping
« Last Edit: 09 February 2019, 13:42:20 by Sartris »

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #21 on: 09 February 2019, 13:46:03 »
The hard one to tackle is the attrition.  I get that in a way this is core to the game (Mechs are tough, hard to take down, but you can get a lucky shot) but Battletech on is really not a deeply tactical game.  There is a tremendous amount of luck in the game, far more than any miniature game I have ever played.  You can shoot at a mech 10 times and not take him down because hit location is distributed, or you can kill him outright on a single roll.  This means that the attrition is only broken up by pure luck, which noteably you have ZERO ways to affect.  I mean you can affect your chances of ”hitting”, but where you hit is just purely random which really drives the attrition but also the spontanous/occasional .. oh its round 3 and this game is now for the most part over.

Its sort of like .. the game can take 30 minutes to resolve if you score some headshots or it can stretch for 6 hours if the shots get spread and players are cautious.  I know people often say ”oh my group finishes games in 2-3 hours” but that is not of your doing, that is just the dice doing it.

I personally have played the same scenario twice, using the exact same mechs, in the exact same siuation and the same exact two players and the result was a whopping 2 hour difference.  One game took 2.5 hours, the other took 4.5 hours.  It was all up to chance and I find as we play more, and we get better at it the games take more time, not less.

I honestly really love this aspect of BTech combat simply for one reason: It relatively fairly accurately replicates how real world combat can happen. In the real world, some people can be shot and stabbed dozens of times and not die, or even be taken out of combat (for a short period anyways), while for others, it's one shot, one death...it all depends on luck, tactics/strategy, or some rule 4 aspect we should avoid getting into...

I haven't found this to be all that well replicated in many other games...

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #22 on: 09 February 2019, 13:50:34 »
I think for me personally I may take a crack at reimaging of the game, a sort of  house ruled revision of the rules that may allow this game to hit the table again for my gaming group.  The standard rules I can see are simply not going to make the cut, there is little hope for this game to make the table again anytime soon.  Pretty much everyone said the same thing.  Interesting, fun, but just too much bookeeping and way too long for what you get out of it.

My hope was to grow the game into a campaign, but as it stands, I’m already struggling to generate interest in the game.  The fact that the core set went out of print so quickly didnt help... I think I might have had a chance if I got a couple of the guys to buy into it, but with me being the only one who was able to secure the core set, its made it that much tougher. 

It was a fun albeit short run, but at least I got them to try it so I suppose was at least something positive.

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #23 on: 09 February 2019, 13:56:05 »
I'd be interested to see what you come up with down in the Fan Rules section...

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #24 on: 09 February 2019, 14:02:08 »
One out there thing I’ve toyed with is halving all armor values (except the head) and dropping the crit threshold by two to 6+. It increases lethality without having to dig too deep into the rules. Yeah obviously it has large implications for clantech and post helm IS designs but sometimes it’s fun to see what the possibilities are

Ultimately any major rule changes are somewhere between academic exercises and wishful thinking. CGL has doubled down on the current rule set by committing to reprints of the extant rules and not making any modifications in the new box. Any changes would be years off, if ever. If the rules are the biggest hitch for you at this point, you either need to houserule or play alpha strike

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #25 on: 09 February 2019, 14:20:32 »
I think for me personally I may take a crack at reimaging of the game, a sort of  house ruled revision of the rules that may allow this game to hit the table again for my gaming group.  The standard rules I can see are simply not going to make the cut, there is little hope for this game to make the table again anytime soon.  Pretty much everyone said the same thing.  Interesting, fun, but just too much bookeeping and way too long for what you get out of it.

My hope was to grow the game into a campaign, but as it stands, I’m already struggling to generate interest in the game.  The fact that the core set went out of print so quickly didnt help... I think I might have had a chance if I got a couple of the guys to buy into it, but with me being the only one who was able to secure the core set, its made it that much tougher. 

It was a fun albeit short run, but at least I got them to try it so I suppose was at least something positive.

My LGS has told me more sets are coming in a few weeks. I hope that's true because the guys in my group got the beginner boxed set and now they want the larger set. As to your point about the declaration phase I agree you have a point with that, especially in larger battles we tend to lose track of who was attacking who etc... we use an honor system most of the time and when a new mech comes up we ask who did you intend to attack. I know its not perfect but it works just for casual games anyway. 
"Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death."
-Sun Tzu

guardiandashi

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #26 on: 09 February 2019, 16:56:16 »
there may be a few ways the game could be streamlined a bit without loosing its fundamental values, but I get really tired of people who say that ablation makes units too tough, or that there is nothing that you can do to reduce the effects of luck.

the reality is that there are a lot of things you can do.  Also if you have 2 units standing close to each other you shouldn't be missing any (or many) shots.

things we have done that sped things up.
1 preplan your general moves WHILE your opponent is taking his move.

2 your move doesn't have to be the best move possible, it just has to be good enough.

3 modified fire declaration IE you say that I am firing these weapons at x target(s) if you have trouble remembering then notes, and or fire declaration might help.

3b with the modified declaration resolve shooting and results as declaration occurs, however effects on the target don't kick in until end of phase.

4 its a game first rule is don't be a dick

5 you don't HAVE to use things like plastic binder pages, laminated sheets, dry erase markers, or grease pens, but under some cases they can keep sheets from wearing out as fast.

6 there is actually a rule allowing you to target fire without a targeting computer but the penalty to hit is 1 4 point penalty if I remember right, it allows you to aim: high, low, left, or right thus forcing things onto the relevant table. aimed high = punch table, low = kick table, (or shots from above/below if you prefer) left or right rotates 1 location table so if you would be using the front /back chart you use the side charts instead if you would be on the side, you can rotate it to front/rear.

as you become more familiar with the rules as long as you don't overthink and go for the perfect move, things usually play a lot faster.

order of fire resolution can make a HUGE difference, it is usually better to resolve the heavy (large hits) damage first before moving on to the weaker weapons, the only time I would do it in reverse is if an objective is to minimize damage to the targets.

Sartris

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #27 on: 09 February 2019, 17:13:29 »
#6 you’re thinking of called shots. It’s +3. The low table isn’t  exactly the same as the kick table (the torsos are in there iirc)

As was mentioned earlier, it would be cool if it had a lesser penalty

Bigkahuna

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #28 on: 09 February 2019, 17:22:07 »
there may be a few ways the game could be streamlined a bit without loosing its fundamental values, but I get really tired of people who say that ablation makes units too tough, or that there is nothing that you can do to reduce the effects of luck.

the reality is that there are a lot of things you can do. 

Not to be a jerk, but you began your post with their is lots that you can do to reduce the effects of luck, but you listed none.

Now I understand you can avoid getting hit... but Im genuinly curious, how do you avoid the luck factor of where you hit and lower the attrition in Battletech?

I’m a pretty clever guy but I have not found a way thus far... at least not with the core set.

I have played this game solo, in a Lance vs. Lance game where Im the only player and I make 1 second decesions and I could not get the game under 3 hours.  So when people say ”2 hours”, I truly don’t see how its possible.  The issue is definitly not people taking too long or not using expedition methods... its just straight attrition that keeps the game in the 3+ hour category and 6+ hours if you play with someone actively trying to win.

Sartris

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Re: Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #29 on: 09 February 2019, 17:40:52 »
Over the course of the game, someone who routinely gets lower to hit numbers is going to win far more often than not. The fewer units you play with, the more susceptible you are to flukey crits or losing initiative 12 turns in a row, but in the balance you win more than you lose if you have the best numbers. There are a lot of ways to gain those advantages - exploiting range bands is the easiest one to use - is there a spot in the range bands where my weapons are at short but my opponent is at medium? (PPC vs Large laser at six hexes or LRMs vs PPC at 7).

BattleTech is a game of slow knowledge. It takes time to extract the lessons. There isn’t a best way or foolproof way to win because every player presents a new puzzle of doctrine, philosophy, force building, and execution.

 

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