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Author Topic: New player questions  (Read 857 times)

Mursusquad

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New player questions
« on: 14 February 2019, 18:44:47 »
Hello all,

I recently picked up the two new boxed sets and played the Griffin vs Wolverine starter match with a friend of mine (using the beginner box rules of course). The game was fun and I am now going to go over to a local miniature gaming club and see if anyone would be interested in playing there. But before I do, there are some things that popped up about the miniatures and the game itself.

So first off, does anyone know if the mech record sheets that come with the Game of Armored Combat box are available as a pdf file somewhere? The booklet format of them makes it difficult to laminate for dry erase markers and I am really hesitant on just cutting the pages off it.

Next up is the mech lances. I'd like to have two ready made lances to take to the club but I have absolutely no idea how to make balanced groups from these. The idea is to have maybe 2-3 hours or so for game length with people who haven't played Battletech before. So if anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Then the box set pilot cards. How are these supposed to be used? I mean they are all from different units and have cost values. Have I just missed some part when reading the rule booklet from the boxed set?

Coming up is rules questions and more specifically where to ask them. So questions about rules are bound to pop up so if playing just the basic game with boxed set stuff, where should I ask the questions? The rules questions forum has several subsections in the rules questions so which one should I use?

Also gridless combat. Is there any place/book to read on that?

Miniatures. Going from bottom up first subject is the bases. Having looked around the boxed set minis seem to be on new type of bases that are not available anywhere yet. And being a guy who likes uniform design in basing I ended up wondering how it is going to work if I buy new mechs. Does anyone know if these same kind of bases are available somewhere for sale or should I just rebase the boxed set minis for something I can buy later on?  The bases also feel a little cramped for some of the mechs but I imagine that is because of the hex maps.

Modifying miniatures also seems something that I might get into as I like wysiwyg models and the record sheet booklet has a catapult variant with PPCs instead of LRMs. So are there places that sell conversion pieces or do those need to be scratchbuilt? Just in case I end up buying a second boxed set later down the line.

That's all for now. I am certain I forgot something so I may add to this.

Much appreciation and gratitude is given for any and all answers :)

RoundTop

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #1 on: 14 February 2019, 19:57:43 »
Hello all,

I recently picked up the two new boxed sets and played the Griffin vs Wolverine starter match with a friend of mine (using the beginner box rules of course). The game was fun and I am now going to go over to a local miniature gaming club and see if anyone would be interested in playing there. But before I do, there are some things that popped up about the miniatures and the game itself.

Welcome.

So first off, does anyone know if the mech record sheets that come with the Game of Armored Combat box are available as a pdf file somewhere? The booklet format of them makes it difficult to laminate for dry erase markers and I am really hesitant on just cutting the pages off it.

I'm sure one of the other denizens will pull this up for somewhere. The previous box set the sheets were released as a PDF. I just don't know where the new set one is yet.

Next up is the mech lances. I'd like to have two ready made lances to take to the club but I have absolutely no idea how to make balanced groups from these. The idea is to have maybe 2-3 hours or so for game length with people who haven't played Battletech before. So if anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

You want to look at what is called Battle Value (or BV or BV2 for short). http://masterunitlist.info (official site) has this listed for all designs. It is best when you are using similar era (eg: succession wars, clan invasion), and similar numbers on each side (eg: 4 v 4). It does work with differing eras, but you will end up with a numerical difference.

Then the box set pilot cards. How are these supposed to be used? I mean they are all from different units and have cost values. Have I just missed some part when reading the rule booklet from the boxed set?

They are optional, but the idea is each side would get the same "cost" of cards. So if one side gets a cost 5, the other side would get a cost 5. This is a fairly new way of presenting this, so there isn't a ton of information about using them.

Coming up is rules questions and more specifically where to ask them. So questions about rules are bound to pop up so if playing just the basic game with boxed set stuff, where should I ask the questions? The rules questions forum has several subsections in the rules questions so which one should I use?

This forum. Rules questions is good for esoteric stuff, but you can post general questions about how to learn here in GD or in Combat.

Also gridless combat. Is there any place/book to read on that?

BattleMech Manual is the easiest one, but Total Warfare has a section that covers this, as does Alpha Strike (This is a different system which has no hexes, and simplifies combat).  But I recommend the BattleMech Manual. Great book and gives you all the mech-related stuff for lots of advanced tech.

Miniatures. Going from bottom up first subject is the bases. Having looked around the boxed set minis seem to be on new type of bases that are not available anywhere yet. And being a guy who likes uniform design in basing I ended up wondering how it is going to work if I buy new mechs. Does anyone know if these same kind of bases are available somewhere for sale or should I just rebase the boxed set minis for something I can buy later on?  The bases also feel a little cramped for some of the mechs but I imagine that is because of the hex maps.

Iron Wind Metals sells hex bases which are the same size, and fit all the metal battletech minis that have built in baseplates (normally these are shallow and small), and work great for non-based minis if you add some putty to them to fill them in.

Modifying miniatures also seems something that I might get into as I like wysiwyg models and the record sheet booklet has a catapult variant with PPCs instead of LRMs. So are there places that sell conversion pieces or do those need to be scratchbuilt? Just in case I end up buying a second boxed set later down the line.

There are not conversion kits. That said, Iron Wind Metals does sell some omnimech pod pieces, and they have a wide variety of mech designs, including the Catapult K2 (in several variations). However this is not in the new sculpt design yet (which just came out in the box set).

That's all for now. I am certain I forgot something so I may add to this.

Much appreciation and gratitude is given for any and all answers :)

Feel free to also post where you are located, as if there are any Demo Team agents around you, we can direct you to places where you can get further assistance in person.  Also, the big conventions for Catalyst where there are tons of Battletech Demo Agents are Origins, Gen-Con, and Mech-Con, so if you are at one of those, come by.
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carlisimo

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #2 on: 14 February 2019, 20:51:48 »
On the miniature side of things --

I’ve seen generic 30mm hex bases on eBay that look similar enough to the ones that come with the box set mechs.  IronWind Metals sells metal hex bases of the same size - but they’re metal, and they’re heavily recessed in order to fit the small bases that some mechs come with.  Great for metal mechs (the weight helps against tipping over) but imo they’re overkill for plastic mechs.

The conversion situation is a little frustrating.  A word of warning about the Catapult, the new plastic mini is larger than the old metal one.  They’re finally taking scale seriously, which means some older minis will look out of place.  I think that includes the old PPC Catapult.

OpacusVenatori

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #3 on: 14 February 2019, 21:39:55 »
About the record sheets of the Game of Armored Combat, remember that you can photocopy them. In the lower part is the text that gives you permission to do so.
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Sartris

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #4 on: 15 February 2019, 02:38:47 »
I'm sure one of the other denizens will pull this up for somewhere. The previous box set the sheets were released as a PDF. I just don't know where the new set one is yet.

https://bg.battletech.com/download/CAT3500A_BoxSet_RecordSheets_with_Counters.pdf?x64300

it contains some of the minis - Awesome, Catapult, Commando. It also has paper cutouts for what's included

Quote
BattleMech Manual is the easiest one, but Total Warfare has a section that covers this, as does Alpha Strike (This is a different system which has no hexes, and simplifies combat).  But I recommend the BattleMech Manual. Great book and gives you all the mech-related stuff for lots of advanced tech.

Neither of those has the miniature rules. They're in Strategic Operations. They're also free here https://store.catalystgamelabs.com/products/battletech-classic-battletech-miniatures-rules-pdf

Quote
Iron Wind Metals sells hex bases which are the same size, and fit all the metal battletech minis that have built in baseplates (normally these are shallow and small), and work great for non-based minis if you add some putty to them to fill them in.

Proxie Models sells cheap 30mm bases on amazon. they have a slight lip

I think that includes the old PPC Catapult.

it does not. The K4 special edition is a pretty big boy. The Catapult C4 mini from IWM is of similar size to the new sculpt. The catapult sculpt that's really out of place is the one included in the previous three boxes and the Alpha Strike lance pack. That one is more Raven-sized.

The minis that look most out of place are the heavy and assault sculpts that have been in use since the 80s (lights and mediums are much more consistent). Frankly that's good.

guardiandashi

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #5 on: 15 February 2019, 03:47:53 »
Hello all,

I recently picked up the two new boxed sets and played the Griffin vs Wolverine starter match with a friend of mine (using the beginner box rules of course). The game was fun and I am now going to go over to a local miniature gaming club and see if anyone would be interested in playing there. But before I do, there are some things that popped up about the miniatures and the game itself.

So first off, does anyone know if the mech record sheets that come with the Game of Armored Combat box are available as a pdf file somewhere? The booklet format of them makes it difficult to laminate for dry erase markers and I am really hesitant on just cutting the pages off it.

Next up is the mech lances. I'd like to have two ready made lances to take to the club but I have absolutely no idea how to make balanced groups from these. The idea is to have maybe 2-3 hours or so for game length with people who haven't played Battletech before. So if anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Then the box set pilot cards. How are these supposed to be used? I mean they are all from different units and have cost values. Have I just missed some part when reading the rule booklet from the boxed set?

Coming up is rules questions and more specifically where to ask them. So questions about rules are bound to pop up so if playing just the basic game with boxed set stuff, where should I ask the questions? The rules questions forum has several subsections in the rules questions so which one should I use?

Also gridless combat. Is there any place/book to read on that?

Miniatures. Going from bottom up first subject is the bases. Having looked around the boxed set minis seem to be on new type of bases that are not available anywhere yet. And being a guy who likes uniform design in basing I ended up wondering how it is going to work if I buy new mechs. Does anyone know if these same kind of bases are available somewhere for sale or should I just rebase the boxed set minis for something I can buy later on?  The bases also feel a little cramped for some of the mechs but I imagine that is because of the hex maps.

Modifying miniatures also seems something that I might get into as I like wysiwyg models and the record sheet booklet has a catapult variant with PPCs instead of LRMs. So are there places that sell conversion pieces or do those need to be scratchbuilt? Just in case I end up buying a second boxed set later down the line.

That's all for now. I am certain I forgot something so I may add to this.

Much appreciation and gratitude is given for any and all answers :)
the blank record sheets are available in pdf format I believe from this site under downloads
but also from various other sources.

as far as other units prefilled record sheets are available from the TRO record sheets pdf's such as the TRO3039 TRO3050U and other examples
you can also use applications such as the very outdated Heavy Metal series of applications, megameklab and similar.

the profile cards are for alphastrike I believe

NeonKnight

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #6 on: 15 February 2019, 11:08:23 »
Welcome!

While I cannot speak to a full lance vs lance, if you have a 1v1 player situation, you can run the following versus each other, and they are balance within 1 BV point of each other:

BEGINNER BOX:

Griffin GRF-1S & Wolverine WVR-6R

GAME OF ARMORED COMBAT BOX:

Wolverine WVR-6M & Shadow Hawk SHD-2H

While not a full lance, is a good step up from single mech versus single mech.
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Mursusquad

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #7 on: 15 February 2019, 14:18:29 »
Thanks everyone for the answers and suggestions.

I think I will take up NeonKnight's suggestion for those pairings. I think it will be more fun than the Griffin vs Wolverine from the beginner box as the 1v1 mech battle ended up hinging mostly on who wins initiative and gets the better positioning. Also as there were no heat rules in the beginner box game, the mechs were able to just blast each other with all weapons without care.

Also I downloaded the miniature rules linked by Sartris so I'll be reading those over after I've managed to play a game or two on the gridmaps.

Living in South-eastern Finland makes it a bit hard to attend all those fun cons held all the way over in the US :) But hopefully I'll manage to get a couple of guys to invest in lances of their own!

My dearest hope is to manage a campaign game at some point as I am an absolute sucker for all things campaignish. Including totaling the cost of mercenary outfit's expenses. Altho I have this feeling I will be picking up the new book about Aurigan Coalition once it comes out and hoist their banner on my mechs first :)

But yeah, I am rather excited about BattleTech and I hope there'll be many games of it in the future. And more shiny new plastic mechs.

guardiandashi

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #8 on: 15 February 2019, 16:21:01 »
Thanks everyone for the answers and suggestions.

I think I will take up NeonKnight's suggestion for those pairings. I think it will be more fun than the Griffin vs Wolverine from the beginner box as the 1v1 mech battle ended up hinging mostly on who wins initiative and gets the better positioning. Also as there were no heat rules in the beginner box game, the mechs were able to just blast each other with all weapons without care.

Also I downloaded the miniature rules linked by Sartris so I'll be reading those over after I've managed to play a game or two on the gridmaps.

Living in South-eastern Finland makes it a bit hard to attend all those fun cons held all the way over in the US :) But hopefully I'll manage to get a couple of guys to invest in lances of their own!

My dearest hope is to manage a campaign game at some point as I am an absolute sucker for all things campaignish. Including totaling the cost of mercenary outfit's expenses. Altho I have this feeling I will be picking up the new book about Aurigan Coalition once it comes out and hoist their banner on my mechs first :)

But yeah, I am rather excited about BattleTech and I hope there'll be many games of it in the future. And more shiny new plastic mechs.
for RPG, the current books are AToW and ATow Companion.
for campaign type gameplay there are some options, although some of them are out of print
Personally I like the old Mercenaries Handbook 3055 which gives some rules for building and running a Mercenary unit, the main issue with a lot of the mercenary unit running is that the unit compensation is usually so tight (limited) that if anything goes wrong you will end up loosing money.

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #9 on: 15 February 2019, 16:25:55 »
Split the box set 'Mechs into these teams:

Lance A 4545 BV

LCT-1S Locust
WVR-6R Wolverine
CPLT-C1 Catapult
AWS-8Q Awesome

Lance B 4542 BV

COM-2B Commando
SHD-2H Shadow Hawk
TDR-5S Thunderbolt
BLR-1G Battlemaster
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Weirdo

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #10 on: 15 February 2019, 16:38:08 »
I'm fairly certain you're not the only forum member from Finland on these boards. If you want to find more players, you might try looking down in the Challenges and Gatherings section of the forum. Look for a thread advertising players in your chunk of the universe, or start a new one of you don't find any, you might find someone!
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Mursusquad

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #11 on: 16 February 2019, 17:01:41 »
Alright, managed to play a single game at the club using the Griffin GRF-1S & Wolverine WVR-6R vs Wolverine WVR-6M & Shadow Hawk SHD-2H. I had the Wolverine/Shadow Hawk group and a friend of mine took over the other lance. The pairings were pretty good (thanks NeonKnight for the suggestion!) even tho it did end up snowballing for me pretty quickly due to lucky rolls. I didn't end up getting any internal damage on my mechs (Wolverine was nearly pristine but Shadow Hawk had several locations with 5 to 15 damage). We called the game done when my Wolverine obliterated the opposing Wolverine with repeated laser hits to the head and the Griffin ended up backed in a corner.

We misplayed several rules (didn't take turns moving and shooting) but it turned out alright in the end. Heat and damage keeping is a pain if you don't have laminated mech sheets at hand. We ended up forming dice piles in rough resemblance of the mech damage locations as neither of us had brought any regular paper. We ignored ammunition mostly for the same reason. My friend picked up the basics pretty quick and he said that the game feels a bit old and clunky, but could be fun if we got proper ways to keep the records. So chances are he just might get a mech lance of his own down the line.

One thing that came up during the game was physical attacks. Since we misplayed the movement orders we were left wondering how would the guy who lost initiative ever catch a mech in close combat but that got cleared later when I got home and re-read the rules. Also the "through the armor critical hit" seems strange to me as if I read that right it can only happen in the torso area. Just wondering why arms can't be punched through like that. Didn't happen during the match itself but it was something I noticed when checking how criticals worked.

Speaking of criticals, we had a moment where a Wolverine got a hit to the right torso internals that resulted a critical hit. Then we rolled to see what broke, we ended up in the lower torso where all the results were labeled "roll again". We thought it just means that since the lower torso doesn't have anything, the critical hit does not actually hit anything critical. But re-reading the rules would this mean it would always destroy the single heat sink in the upper right torso?

But yeah, game went well even with the mistakes and there was some interest at the club to try out some sweet mech combat. I am also thinking of getting the Battlemech Manual book since it's fairly cheap at the drivethrurpg site. Also bought the Succession War technical readout, which may have been a bit of an error as it wasn't what I was looking for. I thought it might have the record sheets so I could print them out, but it's not so bad. Succession Wars is the era I'd like to start with and it's always nice to read the additional info on the mechs.

All that said, I had fun with the game today and will definitely keep playing whenever the opportunity rises. Next step is to trim the flash off the miniatures and start thinking on colour schemes. Hope the House Arano book isn't too far off an contains some paint scheme examples!

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #12 on: 16 February 2019, 17:09:17 »
Solaris Skunk Werks is an older mech design program, but it does print out nice sheets (for free).

Your take on the "roll again" piece is correct (the heat sink in the upper portion of that table would be hit; if you'd rolled more than one critical hit, the extras would transfer to the Center Torso).

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #13 on: 16 February 2019, 17:30:28 »
Solaris Skunk Werks is an older mech design program, but it does print out nice sheets (for free).
 if you'd rolled more than one critical hit, the extras would transfer to the Center Torso).

Are you sure about that?   

I'm away from my rules but I thought wasted crits (rolling2+ when only 1 is there) didn't transfer.

To transfer to the CT you had to START the turn with No Crits left in a location.

So after you destroyed the ST SHS if they rolled another crit on a later turn then that 1+ crits would instead go to CT.
« Last Edit: 16 February 2019, 17:51:33 by Hellraiser »
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Mursusquad

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #14 on: 16 February 2019, 17:33:49 »
It always helps when you actually focus on reading the rulebook! But I had again skimmed over the transfering part and read that critical hits never transfer but that part was talking about head and center torso only. But I think Daryk is right since the first thing said is that if a critical hit cannot be applied it might transfer. Then latter section just says that it could be because of all the critical hit slots have been damaged previously or for another reason, see above.

And I just now happened by the downloads page and the Game of Armored Combat box record sheets have been published there. Definitely printing them out as soon as possible and get them laminated!

Daryk

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #15 on: 16 February 2019, 17:51:11 »
Total Warfare, page 125:
Quote
Transferring Criticals: If all the possible slots in the damaged location took critical hits in previous phases, or if no items in the location can be affected by critical hits, the critical hit transfers to the next location per the Damage Transfer Diagram (this diagram also appears on every 'Mech record sheet).  Critical hits to the center torso and head do not transfer.  However, if all the possible slots in the damaged location were not hit in a previous phase, any excess critical hits do not transfer and are lost.

So it depends on which phase the single critical in the that torso was destroyed.  As Hellraiser mentioned, if you'd rolled two crits in a single phase, but there was only one in the location, the second one wouldn't transfer.

AdmiralObvious

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #16 on: 16 February 2019, 18:50:46 »
Yeah, if there's anything in the crited location, those items take the hit. If there's only one thing there and nothing else, then the one item is destroyed and it does not transfer. If there's nothing TO destroy, then you transfer the crits.

In the case of roll again crits, where other items can take the hit, the other items almost always take a hit, unless there's some sort of other special circumstances. In your case, you only had the heat sink which could take the hit, and it would be the only thing destroyed as a result of that crit.

RoundTop

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #17 on: 16 February 2019, 18:56:55 »
Solaris Skunk Werks is an older mech design program, but it does print out nice sheets (for free).

Your take on the "roll again" piece is correct (the heat sink in the upper portion of that table would be hit; if you'd rolled more than one critical hit, the extras would transfer to the Center Torso).

Just to be extra extra clear, If you have less than 6 crits, then you would only roll 1d6 rather than 2 (no need for the 2nd one). But if you have at least 1 item in the 2nd set, you MUST re-roll both (upper/lower, then lower). This is part of the rules that really gets some people, as they will avoid ammo in slot 7, since they think it will be hit more often, this is not the case. It is the same odds as everything else.

That said, the fastest way is if you are a d&d player and have a bunch of polyhedral dice handy.  The odds of hitting a given location are the same no  matter where it is (even though it doesn't seem that way, but I've done the math).  So if there are 8 items that can be hit, roll a d8.  It speeds it up a lot, and there is no difference in the odds of hitting a given slot.


For the math hounds out there, each slot can be hit 1/12 times.  1/2 * 1/6 = 1/12.
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Sartris

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #18 on: 16 February 2019, 19:05:40 »
this is not the case. It is the same odds as everything else.

yup. think of it like drawing numbers out of a hat. you pull 8. 8 instructs you to roll again. throw the slip back in and draw again.

guardiandashi

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #19 on: 16 February 2019, 22:39:42 »
Alright, managed to play a single game at the club using the Griffin GRF-1S & Wolverine WVR-6R vs Wolverine WVR-6M & Shadow Hawk SHD-2H. I had the Wolverine/Shadow Hawk group and a friend of mine took over the other lance. The pairings were pretty good (thanks NeonKnight for the suggestion!) even tho it did end up snowballing for me pretty quickly due to lucky rolls. I didn't end up getting any internal damage on my mechs (Wolverine was nearly pristine but Shadow Hawk had several locations with 5 to 15 damage). We called the game done when my Wolverine obliterated the opposing Wolverine with repeated laser hits to the head and the Griffin ended up backed in a corner.

We misplayed several rules (didn't take turns moving and shooting) but it turned out alright in the end. Heat and damage keeping is a pain if you don't have laminated mech sheets at hand. We ended up forming dice piles in rough resemblance of the mech damage locations as neither of us had brought any regular paper. We ignored ammunition mostly for the same reason. My friend picked up the basics pretty quick and he said that the game feels a bit old and clunky, but could be fun if we got proper ways to keep the records. So chances are he just might get a mech lance of his own down the line.

One thing that came up during the game was physical attacks. Since we misplayed the movement orders we were left wondering how would the guy who lost initiative ever catch a mech in close combat but that got cleared later when I got home and re-read the rules. Also the "through the armor critical hit" seems strange to me as if I read that right it can only happen in the torso area. Just wondering why arms can't be punched through like that. Didn't happen during the match itself but it was something I noticed when checking how criticals worked.

Speaking of criticals, we had a moment where a Wolverine got a hit to the right torso internals that resulted a critical hit. Then we rolled to see what broke, we ended up in the lower torso where all the results were labeled "roll again". We thought it just means that since the lower torso doesn't have anything, the critical hit does not actually hit anything critical. But re-reading the rules would this mean it would always destroy the single heat sink in the upper right torso?

But yeah, game went well even with the mistakes and there was some interest at the club to try out some sweet mech combat. I am also thinking of getting the Battlemech Manual book since it's fairly cheap at the drivethrurpg site. Also bought the Succession War technical readout, which may have been a bit of an error as it wasn't what I was looking for. I thought it might have the record sheets so I could print them out, but it's not so bad. Succession Wars is the era I'd like to start with and it's always nice to read the additional info on the mechs.

All that said, I had fun with the game today and will definitely keep playing whenever the opportunity rises. Next step is to trim the flash off the miniatures and start thinking on colour schemes. Hope the House Arano book isn't too far off an contains some paint scheme examples!
if you want to save time filling out the armor/internal dots, you could also just use numerical summaries
for example an atlas may have 34 armor on the arms and 17 internal structure, if you put the 34 armor by the arm, and got hit for 10 then you could just put a 24 near the arm and move on...

physical attacks are their own phase, after the weapons fire phase.

regarding transferring criticals lets say you punched through and caused a crit, then in the example you used, the first crit would damage the heat sink, any additional crits that phase are wasted. if you then did a physical attack and caused criticals to the same location, then they would transfer, as there was noting to crit at the start of the phase.

as far as critical hits from the hit table, you are correct it is only the 2 location that takes the possible crit without stripping the armor, and damaging the internals. There is an advanced (optional) rule called floating crits. if you use it, basically if you get the critical hit special effect, then instead of using the default location, you reroll the location and use that as the "real hit location"

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #20 on: 20 February 2019, 09:01:17 »
Hello all,

I recently picked up the two new boxed sets and played the Griffin vs Wolverine starter match with a friend of mine (using the beginner box rules of course). The game was fun and I am now going to go over to a local miniature gaming club and see if anyone would be interested in playing there. But before I do, there are some things that popped up about the miniatures and the game itself.

So first off, does anyone know if the mech record sheets that come with the Game of Armored Combat box are available as a pdf file somewhere? The booklet format of them makes it difficult to laminate for dry erase markers and I am really hesitant on just cutting the pages off it.

Good news! The GoAC record sheets are available from the download page!


Also gridless combat. Is there any place/book to read on that?

Alpha Strike. The quick start rules (also available from the Download page I linked to above) are available for free.

But a quick summary: Each BattleTech MP == 2" of movement on hexless terrain. So a 5/8/5 'Mech has a movement of 10"/16"/10" on a hexless board. (Or you could go even simpler and say 1 MP == 1" of movement.)

Alpha Strike uses fixed weapon ranges though, so if you're looking to play "hexless BattleTech" you'd have to convert the weapon ranges on your record sheets as well. I'd suggest you keep consistent with your movement decision to make your life less difficult. That is, if you decide 1MP == 2" movement, 1 hex of range should be == 2" of terrain board. A Small Laser's ranges would be:
short: 0-2"
medium: 2.1"-4"
long: 4.1-6"

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #21 on: 21 February 2019, 09:43:57 »
Picked up my printed and laminated record sheets from that pdf today. Pretty happy about Catalyst releasing those!

I will have to look at those Alpha Strike rules as well. Not all that keen on Alpha Strike itself as it does seem a little too simplified for me.

Anyway, got a new game set up for saturday where we'll be playing a full lance vs lance combat scenario. So in preparation for that I have some pre-emptive rules questions again!

First off is ammo bins and the number of ammunition in them. There is a chart at the back of the GoAC booklet where it mentions the ammo numbers but I am left a little confused. It refers to the amount of times you can fire the weapon and not how many bullets/missiles are in it right?

Second is ammo bin explosion as a result of a critical hit. I checked the examples and having a machine gun ammo bin explode seems like a surefire way for the mech to essentially get destroyed completely. The example in the booklet is given that unused machine gun ammo bin explodes at 2x2x200 (400) damage. That sounds to me that the mech will simply explode if it takes a single crit to an ammo bin. Seems really excessive in regards of the machine gun (in the eyes of a total newbie) doesn't even seem all that useful. I mean why take a gun of such little importance and risk a chance of total mech annihilation? Also does this damage transfer normally? I mean I'd get it if it just blows up the section where it is stored and not much else. And looking the (shiny and new :) ) record sheets the LCT-1V has an ammo bin in center torso. The only place where (according to regular rules) the through-the-armor crit can happen. If anyone can shed any light on this, it'd help!

Next up is the Battlemech Manual. I bought the PDF version and skimmed over it briefly. There was a section of variant and optional rules in it. Any of these that are especially worthwhile to use for new players? Like floating crits that has been mentioned earlier?

Fairly certain that more rules questions will rise when the game actually happens so I'll be back with them later.

On non-rules related things, I don't suppose there is any information released yet from the House Arano book? I looked around the interwebs for paint schemes and frequently used mechs (in an effort to prepare for lore-friendly lance construction) but came up with just some recolored Mechwarrior Online pictures. So anyone else had better success with finding things about House Arano?

Also, has there ever been any plans for a new player/beginner section for the forums? Just feels it'd be nice to compile all the newbie stuff in one place.

Anyway, that's all for now! More questions to come later I am sure!

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #22 on: 21 February 2019, 10:00:36 »
First off is ammo bins and the number of ammunition in them. There is a chart at the back of the GoAC booklet where it mentions the ammo numbers but I am left a little confused. It refers to the amount of times you can fire the weapon and not how many bullets/missiles are in it right?

correct. a ton of LRM-15 ammo (as you find on the Catapult) can be fired 8 times - 120 missiles, 15 at a time.

Quote
Second is ammo bin explosion as a result of a critical hit. I checked the examples and having a machine gun ammo bin explode seems like a surefire way for the mech to essentially get destroyed completely. The example in the booklet is given that unused machine gun ammo bin explodes at 2x2x200 (400) damage. That sounds to me that the mech will simply explode if it takes a single crit to an ammo bin. Seems really excessive in regards of the machine gun (in the eyes of a total newbie) doesn't even seem all that useful. I mean why take a gun of such little importance and risk a chance of total mech annihilation?

if a mech doesn't have CASE, the majority of ammo explosions tend to be fatal anyway. a full ton of autocannon ammo cooks off for 100 damage (90 for AC/2), which is plenty to gut even the Atlas. fun fact: an exploding ton of MG ammo is one of the most destructive forces in battletech. you have to go up to naval weapons and WMDs to surpass the raw power... maybe 200 shots wasn't a great idea...

Quote
Also does this damage transfer normally? I mean I'd get it if it just blows up the section where it is stored and not much else. And looking the (shiny and new :) ) record sheets the LCT-1V has an ammo bin in center torso. The only place where (according to regular rules) the through-the-armor crit can happen. If anyone can shed any light on this, it'd help!

ammo explosion damage does transfer, but skips armor. so an explosion in the right torso destroys all of the internal structure there before moving directly to the internal structure of the center torso. and yes, the locust's mg ammo placement is unfortunate. not all design decisions were good decisions ;)

Quote
Next up is the Battlemech Manual. I bought the PDF version and skimmed over it briefly. There was a section of variant and optional rules in it. Any of these that are especially worthwhile to use for new players? Like floating crits that has been mentioned earlier?

floating crits is perhaps one of the most common optional rules used by players. you should try it out as it isn't a drag on the game. i'd also look at the flamer rule where it does heat and damage rather than just one or the other. i forget what other optional rules are in the BMM as they all kind of blend together with tacops for me

edit: i took a look and i think you should check out the following - they're mostly logical extension of the rules where under the normal rules you're like "wait I can't do what?":

Backward level changes (15)
Partially-Occupied hexes (16)
One-Armed prone fire (30)
Floating Crits (45)
Enhanced Flamers (99)
Rapid Fire machine guns (101)



Quote
On non-rules related things, I don't suppose there is any information released yet from the House Arano book? I looked around the interwebs for paint schemes and frequently used mechs (in an effort to prepare for lore-friendly lance construction) but came up with just some recolored Mechwarrior Online pictures. So anyone else had better success with finding things about House Arano?

all we know is that it's coming soon (as early as March 1) and that the cover is rocking that sexy 1987-88 house book look. everything inside will be an equal surprise to everyone not involved in development.
« Last Edit: 21 February 2019, 10:19:46 by Sartris »

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #23 on: 21 February 2019, 11:55:45 »
Yeah, ammo explosions are pretty much always lethal unless the bin has been heavily depleted. It's just something you have to look out for. It's also why it's a common tactic for faster mechs to try and maneuver to hit larger mechs from the rear or side, in hopes of breaching a location that carries ammo.

Also, there's no rule prohibiting you from firing weapons on impossible shots, such as when you have no LOS to your enemy, or they are out of range. If it's not going to screw with your heat, that can be a good way to slowly empty a very deep ammo bin. (I forget if ammo dumping is in the AGoAC rulebook.)
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Re: New player questions
« Reply #24 on: 21 February 2019, 12:15:14 »
Yeah, ammo explosions are pretty much always lethal unless the bin has been heavily depleted. It's just something you have to look out for. It's also why it's a common tactic for faster mechs to try and maneuver to hit larger mechs from the rear or side, in hopes of breaching a location that carries ammo.

Also, there's no rule prohibiting you from firing weapons on impossible shots, such as when you have no LOS to your enemy, or they are out of range. If it's not going to screw with your heat, that can be a good way to slowly empty a very deep ammo bin. (I forget if ammo dumping is in the AGoAC rulebook.)

And you can only dump ammo in full slots. So you can't dump 100 out of 200 rounds of MG ammo, you can dump whatever is in that slot (eg: the full ton of ammo).

And shooting at the ground is a great way to heat up for TSM (See BMM for this equipment) which runs better when hot.
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Re: New player questions
« Reply #25 on: 21 February 2019, 12:39:54 »
(I forget if ammo dumping is in the AGoAC rulebook.)

Nope, normally done in the END PHASE
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Re: New player questions
« Reply #26 on: 21 February 2019, 13:40:48 »
AGoAC rules don't have an end phase? Huh.
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Re: New player questions
« Reply #27 on: 21 February 2019, 14:08:34 »
AGoAC rules don't have an end phase? Huh.

they Do (page 7):

Only covers the following:

- Consciousness rolls
- Torso Twist return to normal
- Reversed arms return to normal
- Pilots of Submerged mechs with Life Support damage take 1 Pilot Hit
- Mechs can be voluntarily Shut Down or restarted if voluntarily shut down the previous phase

So no 'advanced rules' as covered page 12 of the Battlemech manual

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #28 on: 21 February 2019, 18:42:10 »
RoundTop: If you're willing to have two crits worth of MG ammo, you could dump 100 out of 200 shots (2, 0.5 ton bins)...

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #29 on: 21 February 2019, 19:43:35 »
RoundTop: If you're willing to have two crits worth of MG ammo, you could dump 100 out of 200 shots (2, 0.5 ton bins)...

And this is why our rulebooks are so big. All the rules lawyers.  :). Yeah, that is true, I should have said 25 of 45 ac2 rounds,  but I stayed with mgs since they were reffed earlier. The only weapon with a 1/2t ammo load

Honestly it should be 25/50 to bring it inline with most weapons (or 50/100).

Ac/20 bin is 5*20=100 dmg
Ac2 is 45*2 = 90
Ac5 is 20*5 = 100
Ac10 is 10*10=100
Lrm20 is 20*6=120
Lrm15 is 15*8=120

So most ammo in the game is around 100dmg/ton. Except machine guns at 400dmg/ton.  Now rapid fire machine guns works a lot better at reducing it.
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Re: New player questions
« Reply #30 on: 21 February 2019, 22:21:09 »
to be honest, if I was going to "adjust" ammo supplies,
I would go with autocannons 100 damage/ton meaning the ac2 would go to 50/25 rounds /ton
LRMS would be 120 damage/ton
and srms would be 200 damage/ton (100 missiles) with total ammo limit adjusted by payloads, IE an srm 6 launcher would carry 96 missiles onboard if 1 tom of total ammo, but at 2 tons it would be 198

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #31 on: 22 February 2019, 01:44:45 »
I'd love for every ammo type in the game to be set at 120 dmg/ton.

Its a lovely # that currently matches Gauss Rifles but is dividable by 1,2,3,4,5,6,8,10,12,15,20,30,40, or nearly every weapon in the game.

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #32 on: 22 February 2019, 10:20:44 »
I'd love for every ammo type in the game to be set at 120 dmg/ton.

Its a lovely # that currently matches Gauss Rifles but is dividable by 1,2,3,4,5,6,8,10,12,15,20,30,40, or nearly every weapon in the game.

No THATS a logical rule change I could get behind!
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Re: New player questions
« Reply #33 on: 22 February 2019, 10:31:32 »
No THATS a logical rule change I could get behind!

And it makes specially ac ammo better for the 20 and 2, so they get 3 shots/30 shots rather than 2/22
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Re: New player questions
« Reply #34 on: 22 February 2019, 10:43:17 »
would that leave anything else delinquent besides MML 7 and MML9/(i)ATM9?

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #35 on: 22 February 2019, 10:55:42 »
would that leave anything else delinquent besides MML 7 and MML9/(i)ATM9?

I don't know, probably just them

make the MML9/ATM9 a total of 12 shots (12 x 9 = 108)

and the MML a total of 18 shots (7 x 18 = 126)

Yes, the totals are off from the rest, but, something visually appealy about even numbers or 'round' numbers (15 or any other number fights nice in the mathematical sense as counting by 5's is an early math skill).

I.E. 120 / 9 = is 13.33333, So giving the ATM9 13 shots per ton, looks...to me at least...off. Like a typo, or something. Next up is going to 14 looks off again, like it should be 15. 12 oddly looks OK as a number of shots.

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #36 on: 22 February 2019, 19:26:56 »
So, first game using full lances is done (both my friend and I had the day off so we decided to play today instead of tomorrow).

We took about 6 hours and ended up calling the game done when we both had two mechs still alive and kicking. We added very light narrative of fighting for land control, where I ended up ceding the area as my mechs were worse off and in return of being allowed to retrieve my fallen mechs before the opposing force comes to claim the area.

The game was exciting through the entirety of the 6 hours. The forces we used were these:

LCT-1V, GRF-1N, TDR-5S and AWS8Q
vs
COM-2D, WVR-6R, CPLT-C1 and BLR-1G

I used the latter lance. The game was a bit uneven at the beginning. I was left fending 3 against 4 after the first hit on the Battlemaster got a through-the-armor critical hit and using floating crits it ended up in right torso and... in the Machine Gun ammo bin. This was on round 3 or so. In comparison the Awesome ended up getting all the front torso (left, right and center) and most of the arm (right completely and left halfway) armor destroyed. We counted that it took a total of 244 points of damage before finally getting it's center torso destroyed. It was... a very cinematic moment. Battlemaster rolling forwards to challenge the Awesome and the first time Awesome shoots at the Battlemaster, it gets put down hard.

It was a small miracle I managed to fight to a standstill during the next 5 hours, but the absloute MVP was the Catapult and the Commando who did a lot of spotting for the LRMs.

But not to stray too far from the topic, questions.

How exactly does activation of mechs work when there is uneven number? We looked over the table in the AGOC booklet but we really couldn't understand it.

Second is thoughts on tinkering with the record sheet mechs. Like if you wanted to remove Machine Guns and it's ammo from a Battlemaster :) Is this generally a cool thing to do? Or are such modifications frowned on by players or storywise in the Battletech universe?

Additional question about crits. Say you get hit in the arm and it destroys all the internal points and the additional points are transferred to the adjacent torso which also goes internal. Do you roll a crit chance for both the arm and the torso in this case? Or just one? Does the arm crit transfer if there are no locations to destroy in the arm?

Then a couple of line of sight dilemmas. A mech is in depth 1 water does it have a line of sight to a mech that is behind a level 1 hill? Then if a mech is standing on a level 2 hill with a level 3 hill between that and a mech that is out in the open some 6 hexes away on level 0 with at least 1 hex away from any hills, do both mechs get partial cover against each other? What happens if there are two level 3 hills between them, does it change anything? A mech stands on a level 1 hill, there are two light forests between it and another mech (all on level 0) does the light forests do anything as they cover only half of the mech?

And that concludes the questions. Slowly learning but so far each game has been pretty fun! I didn't even realise the passing of the time for the first 4 hours this time! :)

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #37 on: 22 February 2019, 19:40:23 »
sounds like you had fun

But not to stray too far from the topic, questions.

How exactly does activation of mechs work when there is uneven number? We looked over the table in the AGOC booklet but we really couldn't understand it.

you're working toward an even ratio - 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, etc and keep moving one unit each until you've reached that ratio. so if for example you have 5 units and your opponent has 3, you each move one and that gives you 4 left vs 2 left. now you have a 2:1 ratio so the person with 4 units moves two at a time vs the person with 2 that moves one.

Quote
Second is thoughts on tinkering with the record sheet mechs. Like if you wanted to remove Machine Guns and it's ammo from a Battlemaster :) Is this generally a cool thing to do? Or are such modifications frowned on by players or storywise in the Battletech universe?

there is a full set of customization rules for in-universe tinkering as what you describe. for your purposes, you can just edit the mechs. due to a large volume of munchkins back in the day (like 1991), a lot of players are twitchy about allowing customs for fear of getting a bunch of optimized min/max machines (emotional scars heal very slowly). but if you want to try it out, go for it!

Quote
Additional question about crits. Say you get hit in the arm and it destroys all the internal points and the additional points are transferred to the adjacent torso which also goes internal. Do you roll a crit chance for both the arm and the torso in this case? Or just one? Does the arm crit transfer if there are no locations to destroy in the arm?

you roll for a crit in both locations, though if there are no explosive components in the arm, you can just skip it because you're losing the arm anyway. If the arm's actuators have all been previously blown out, then yes, the potential crit will transfer to the torso.

Quote
Then a couple of line of sight dilemmas. A mech is in depth 1 water does it have a line of sight to a mech that is behind a level 1 hill?

yes

Quote
Then if a mech is standing on a level 2 hill with a level 3 hill between that and a mech that is out in the open some 6 hexes away on level 0 with at least 1 hex away from any hills, do both mechs get partial cover against each other?

the mech on the level 2 gets partial cover. mechs never get partial cover when like Anakin Skywalker, occupy the low ground.

Quote
What happens if there are two level 3 hills between them, does it change anything?

nope. only a level 4 hill or taller blocks LoS in this case or if the low-ground mech is adjacent to a lv2+ hill

Quote
A mech stands on a level 1 hill, there are two light forests between it and another mech (all on level 0) does the light forests do anything as they cover only half of the mech?

no benefit as the mech is considered at level 3 and the forest at level 2. as forests do not provide partial cover, there is no defensive bonus. there might be something in the optional advanced rules about leg hits potentially hitting the forest but i don't know those.
« Last Edit: 22 February 2019, 19:56:00 by Sartris »

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #38 on: 22 February 2019, 19:55:21 »
Further:

Customization is covered in techmanual (get the pdf, the dead tree version is out of print right now) and a bit in the game of armoured combat box rules.

To make it easy, grab megamekLab and do it on computer, then print out the sheet.

Some big notes and caveats here:

A lot of players use stock only due to previous munchkins. Any game at a convention will likely be stock designs. That said, battle value is a decent measure of worth, so pay attention to that if you are customizing (megamekLab does the work for you to figure it out).  The lances that were suggested before may need to change based on customizations you make, which can make things lopsided.

Megamek is not officially licensed, and is free (it is the tool used to help make the official record sheets).

Be very careful mixing eras of technology, as you can see with battle value, a single clan timber wolf (mad cat) has almost as much as your two heaviest mechs combined. (2737 for the mad cat. 1500 for your battlemaster, 1399 for your catapult).

No-Dachi has a counter-argument. Nothing further? Ok.
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Re: New player questions
« Reply #39 on: 22 February 2019, 20:23:38 »
There is a reason the Awesome is highly prized.   8)

Another vote of caution for customizing.  You may not always be playing with optimized designs or designs of your own choosing (e.g. official events), and even then an uberMech may get taken out early in a game.

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #40 on: 22 February 2019, 20:52:00 »
I can't recommend TechManual highly enough, and TacOps adds even more gear.  StratOps and Interstellar Operations add a bit more each as well.  The pdf route is definitely the way to go, at least at first.

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Re: New player questions
« Reply #41 on: 23 February 2019, 12:26:50 »
Second is thoughts on tinkering with the record sheet mechs. Like if you wanted to remove Machine Guns and it's ammo from a Battlemaster :) Is this generally a cool thing to do? Or are such modifications frowned on by players or storywise in the Battletech universe?
As has been said, you'll need Tech Manual for information about unit construction and how much components weigh. Or if new Introductory Rulebook has enough information, you can just swap out the equipment. Strategic Operations has further rules for custom jobs. At easiest and most restrictive level, it is turning medium lasers at rear arc to front ("Intensify forward firepower!") or swapping out Large Laser for Extended Range Large Laser.
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