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Author Topic: My love letter to the Beginner Box - A simple rules expansion  (Read 2359 times)

Fear Factory

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I love the Beginner Box set. Yes, A Game of Armored Combat is also a good box, but the Beginner Box is just something fresh, and it's pretty good bang for your buck. The Quick Start rules work, but they're really not detailed enough... I sort of feel like it's hiding how detailed the next game is. I see some potential here.

So you know what? Let's expand on the Quick Start rules. These rules are a mix of what's offered in the two boxes, almost like a merge of Alpha Strike abstraction with a touch of grit from A Game of Armored combat. It also pulls some rules out of the Quick Start rules in the previous box sets if you want to go beyond BattleMechs. What you get here is a new system that advertises game mechanics used in BattleTech products and works as a stepping stone.

Using the NEW Beginner Box (or quick start rules) as a base, I offer this:

1) Add in the ability to Torso Twist during the Weapon Attack Phase.
2) Expand on the rules for Leg Destruction.
3) Add in MechWarrior Consciousness to put a bit more focus on the pilot
4) Add in a simplified heat scale.
5) Add in a simplified critical hit system.
6) Expand on terrain (Leveled Terrain, Rough, and Water hexes) and Line of Sight (Partial Cover).
7) Add in basic physical attacks as part of the weapon attack phase.

Also, the rules were pulled and modified from the older Quick Start rules:

1) Add in quad BattleMechs.
2) Add in conventional units (Tanks, VTOL's, Infantry).

The document comes with hyperlinks to both sets of Quick Start rules, an updated cheat sheet with tables, and blank record sheets. Armor bubbles are removed so it's easier to write in custom units... just write in the armor value and use tick marks.

Is it perfect? No. Is it an answer to those like me who loves Alpha Strike and wants some grit? It could be. But it's fun, and it should be easier to get new players into the game.

Give it a shot and tell me how it is.   :)

BattleTech Beginner Box Rules Expansion
« Last Edit: 02 March 2019, 03:48:35 by Fear Factory »

AlphaMirage

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Re: My love letter to the Beginner Box - A simple rules expansion
« Reply #1 on: 18 February 2019, 10:52:55 »
I like it.

Fear Factory

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Re: My love letter to the Beginner Box - A simple rules expansion
« Reply #2 on: 18 February 2019, 16:34:56 »
I like it.

Thanks... care to elaborate?  ;D

Fear Factory

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Re: My love letter to the Beginner Box - A simple rules expansion
« Reply #3 on: 18 February 2019, 20:11:57 »
Also, here are other record sheets I made for this (carried over from BattleStrike) that I might write stuff up for. Vehicles and Infantry have their extra tables on their sheets. It's inspired by the quick start rules in the previous sets, still up for download too:
« Last Edit: 18 February 2019, 20:13:50 by Fear Factory »

AlphaMirage

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Re: My love letter to the Beginner Box - A simple rules expansion
« Reply #4 on: 19 February 2019, 09:33:19 »
Thanks... care to elaborate?  ;D

In particular I like the Heat level chart.  Its very annoying to track the heat with the regular amount of granularity (not hard but annoying) and I feel that if the movement and targeting penalties were applied at the same level then there would be greater strategic depth (rather than stopping at 8 like normal game). 

Combine that with a standard chart for critical (like the Vehicles) hits mentioned in the Rules discussion thread and I think that would be definitely eliminate some irritation.  The only thing I might like to add to that sort of chart is if the pilot is hit that it not only causes consciousness damage but some other effect decided at random that lasts one turn like losing initiative, or a movement or targeting penalty.  That would make head hits hurt more than just a single roll.

I think the simplified terrain rules are good as well.  I might add environmental effects as well to a max of +/- 2 on heat (Hot Desert or Space/Freezing Glacier) with the to-hit penalties canceling out (unlike regular BT).  There are too many terrain or environmental types that have only minor differing effects but require a page of text to explain.

Fear Factory

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Re: My love letter to the Beginner Box - A simple rules expansion
« Reply #5 on: 19 February 2019, 12:22:50 »
Yeah, I'll see about adding in a consciousness table for vehicles. Probably not as lenghty as 'mechs (3 or 4 hits).

I am also going to make leg destruction less lethal too.

1st leg destroyed lowers MP by 1/2.
Then, both legs destroyed disables movement.

Fear Factory

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Re: My love letter to the Beginner Box - A simple rules expansion
« Reply #6 on: 19 February 2019, 21:38:15 »
This might work. I know conventional units are squishy, but at this scale, that's kind of the point. It's just an introduction/preparation for the real thing without being overly complicated:


Fear Factory

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Re: My love letter to the Beginner Box - A simple rules expansion
« Reply #8 on: 21 February 2019, 02:39:52 »
i really like what you did with vehicle crits. nice work

Thanks. It's from an old idea I had when TW made them super complicated. The BattleTech 2.0 thread revived it, and well, it ended up here in a more abstract form. Vehicles are something else... why even have stabilizer hits in multiple arcs? Why is it the only unit in the game that can suffer from a "disabled weapon"? There are just way too many things to track for a unit in a game about BATTLEMECHS.

This should be much easier to track and understand, put the focus back on 'Mechs, and also accomplish about the same thing with far less details.

Fear Factory

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Re: My love letter to the Beginner Box - A simple rules expansion
« Reply #9 on: 02 March 2019, 22:22:32 »
I was thinking of giving this a shot... For vehicles I made the damage spread wider, decreased the amount of MP hits they take, and made them a little more vulnerable to crits. Let me know what you think. I think this works a lot better considering the rules I pulled this from didn't really consider critical hits.

Notsonoble

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Re: My love letter to the Beginner Box - A simple rules expansion
« Reply #10 on: 13 August 2019, 13:30:30 »
I think I'd drop the fire control. I realize this is trying to simplify the different hits the head could take that weren't cockpit kills, but it's something that'd only exist here. The idea of an "in between system" is one that grows closer to full rules. If a group used this as a middle ground for bringing someone up to speed (say, a few QS games, then this, then a full ruleset game) this would be a little jaring, as its something that "goes away" as they advance.
Quote
Self:  Meltrans are already culture shocked, except their response is to squeal like high school girls at a boy band concert and discharge energy weapons in random directions.
Weirdo: Sounds like the proper reaction to a Macross Cannon to me.
Quote from: Weirdo
And of course if even a single Constitution had shown up onscreen for even a single second, you would have been able to hear the mass squeeing from orbit.

Fear Factory

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Re: My love letter to the Beginner Box - A simple rules expansion
« Reply #11 on: 13 August 2019, 14:51:19 »
I think I'd drop the fire control. I realize this is trying to simplify the different hits the head could take that weren't cockpit kills, but it's something that'd only exist here. The idea of an "in between system" is one that grows closer to full rules. If a group used this as a middle ground for bringing someone up to speed (say, a few QS games, then this, then a full ruleset game) this would be a little jaring, as its something that "goes away" as they advance.

This is an oversimplification of the rules so they represent actual hits to the sensors and arm critical hits (like lower arm, upper arm, and shoulder). It just makes it a flat modifier.

Notsonoble

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Re: My love letter to the Beginner Box - A simple rules expansion
« Reply #12 on: 13 August 2019, 16:41:54 »
That I understood, and the motive bit is as well. I'm just wondering if I'd keep them. I guess it depends on if you want a middle step towards full play, or something more than QS but not the whole thing.

If you want something to "train up" then moving on to the next step (full Introductory Ruleset) is jarring. "Where did this go?" is a question a player might ask.

If you don't, and just want some "more detail than QS but still faster" ruleset then this is probably okay.
Quote
Self:  Meltrans are already culture shocked, except their response is to squeal like high school girls at a boy band concert and discharge energy weapons in random directions.
Weirdo: Sounds like the proper reaction to a Macross Cannon to me.
Quote from: Weirdo
And of course if even a single Constitution had shown up onscreen for even a single second, you would have been able to hear the mass squeeing from orbit.

Fear Factory

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Re: My love letter to the Beginner Box - A simple rules expansion
« Reply #13 on: 13 August 2019, 17:57:14 »
The effects are halfway between Alpha Strike and BattleTech so you'll at least recognize them depending on what system you choose. If you don't like them then don't use them would be my advice.  :)

 

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