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Author Topic: Battledroids Infantry for 2020  (Read 851 times)

Sartris

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Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« on: 25 February 2020, 17:52:58 »
I've long been intrigued by battledroids infantry - squad-sized units that carried an MG or SRM-2. They received a +2 TH mod when attacked but died in a single hit. You could also stack ten of them in a hex  :))

I've updated these rules for the modern game with a few "improvements" (they may not actually be improvements - I'm not very smart). I've largely replaced the current infantry rules here and force them to use Battle Armor scaled weapons to be a meaningful anti-armor asset. Also to reduce the equipment list.

Disclaimer: This exercise assumes that small arms and infantry support weapons do not damage mechs in meaningful ways apart from total luck. If you have a problem with that premise, I have good news - the official rules support your position. I am here to present an alternate reality.

General Rules
* Infantry units are organized and deployed by squad
* Each squad carries a single weapon from the Battle Armor equipment list (weight limited by unit type)
* All infantry types have a 360 degree firing arc
* Motorized infantry move like vehicles and must pay for facing changes. Motorized infantry does not skid or sideslip
* There are three varieties of infantry -  Foot, Jump, and Motorized (subdivided as Tracked, Wheeled, Hover)
* TW Mechanized infantry doesn't exist - that can be represented by using extant support or combat vehicles.
* A single hit eliminates a squad - the men aren't necessarily killed, but a successful attack destroys the squad weapon capable of doing damage.
* All units are restricted to the terrain inherent to their movement type.
* All units receive a +1 TH mod as with Battle Armor, plus any bonuses received through movement
* Units may select an anti-personnel machine gun with a range of 1/2/3 that provides a -2 TH mod against other infantry units. It will not damage non-infantry.


Foot Infantry
Movement: 1mp
Squad weapon maximum weight: 75kg
Common Options: SRM-1, LRM-1, Light Machine Gun, Light TAG

Jump Infantry
Movement: 3mp
Squad weapon maximum weight: 50kg
Common Options: Firedrake Needler, Light TAG, Mine Dispenser

Motorized (Wheeled)
6/9 movement (cannot fire if using flanking movement)
Squad weapon maximum weight: 250kg
Common Options: LRM-4, SRM-4, Support PPC, Compact NARC, Light TAG

Motorized (Tracked)
5/8 movement (cannot fire if using flanking movement)
Squad weapon maximum weight: 400kg
Common Options: SRM-6, LRM-5, King David, Flamer

Motorized (Hover)
8/12 movement (cannot fire if using flanking movement)
Squad weapon maximum weight: 150kg
Common Options: SRM-2, LRM-2, Compact NARC, Light TAG

1-50kg weapons (Foot, Jump, Hover, Wheeled, Tracked)
Code: [Select]
Firedrake Needler
Light TAG
Mine Dispensor
Rocket Launcher 1
Rocket Launcher 2

51-75kg weapons (Foot, Hover, Wheeled, Tracked)
Code: [Select]
Grenade Launcher (Micro)
Machine Gun (Light)
MRM-1
LRM-1
Rocket Launcher 3
SRM-1

76-150kg weapons (Hover, Wheeled, Tracked)
Code: [Select]
Compact NARC
ECM (Single Hex)
Flamer
Gauss Rifle [David]
Gauss Rifle [Grand Mauler / Tsunami]
Grenade Launcher (Heavy)
LRM-2
Machine Gun
Machine Gun (Heavy)
MRM-2
Rocket Launcher 4
Rocket Launcher 5
SRM-2

151-250kg weapons (Wheeled, Tracked)
Code: [Select]
Active Probe (Light)
Angel ECM
BA C3
Magshot
LRM-3
LRM-4
MRM-3
MRM-4
Recoiless Rifle (Light)
Recoiless Rifle (Medium)
Small Laser
SRM-3
SRM-4
Support PPC

251-400kg weapons (Tracked)
Code: [Select]
ER Small Laser
Small Pulse Laser
Gauss Rifle [King David]
Heavy Flamer
LRM-5
Mortar (Heavy)
MRM-5
Plasma Rifle (Man-Portable)
Recoiless Rifle (Heavy)
SRM-5
SRM-6

dgorsman

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #1 on: 25 February 2020, 19:14:03 »
One point on destruction - although the squad anti-armor weapon is destroyed, they can/will still be carrying weapons useful against other conventional infantry.  And still useful for other things like spotting for artillery and LRM fire.
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Daryk

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #2 on: 25 February 2020, 20:26:17 »
I'd double the movement rates of all the motorized units (6/9 for Wheeled, 4/6 for Tracked, 8/12 for Hover).  That makes them usefully self mobile (like they should be) out of combat.

Sartris

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #3 on: 25 February 2020, 22:53:59 »
One point on destruction - although the squad anti-armor weapon is destroyed, they can/will still be carrying weapons useful against other conventional infantry.  And still useful for other things like spotting for artillery and LRM fire.

had considered that but wanted to eliminate recordkeeping. maybe every time a platoon takes a hit, it is effectively destroyed if it doesn't roll 8 or 9+

I'd double the movement rates of all the motorized units (6/9 for Wheeled, 4/6 for Tracked, 8/12 for Hover).  That makes them usefully self mobile (like they should be) out of combat.

i had also considered something like this. i was concerned that speed would make them more effective than actual low-weight vehicles, which was not the intent


Daryk

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #4 on: 26 February 2020, 04:37:24 »
With your weapon weight restrictions, I don't think that's a problem, really.  Compare to what you can cram onto a 10-ton truck, or the Savannah Master.

worktroll

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #5 on: 28 February 2020, 14:14:36 »
I like these ideas a lot. And support the doubled movement. But one big big concern:

Stacking.

How many squads can you fit in a hex? TW rules say 2 platoons. Let's say 7 man squads. That's 8 squads per hex, unless there's a stacking rule I forget. That's potentially 48 SRMs (8 mechanised squads). A lot cheaper than an SRM carrier, and faster.

Which is IMHO why the devs stick to autocannon field guns. Having SRMs as "field guns" under existing rules leads to similar infantry-of-doom scenarios.

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Sartris

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #6 on: 28 February 2020, 15:47:05 »
With your weapon weight restrictions, I don't think that's a problem, really.  Compare to what you can cram onto a 10-ton truck, or the Savannah Master.

i've come around on this. they're so fragile that they don't provide an alternative to real light vehicles

I like these ideas a lot. And support the doubled movement. But one big big concern:

Stacking.

How many squads can you fit in a hex? TW rules say 2 platoons. Let's say 7 man squads. That's 8 squads per hex, unless there's a stacking rule I forget. That's potentially 48 SRMs (8 mechanised squads). A lot cheaper than an SRM carrier, and faster.

Which is IMHO why the devs stick to autocannon field guns. Having SRMs as "field guns" under existing rules leads to similar infantry-of-doom scenarios.

Thoughts?

i had forgot to address stacking, but i wasn't intending to allow huge numbers. my thought was just to continue following standard stacking rules

Daryk

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #7 on: 28 February 2020, 20:17:26 »
You could probably justify cutting the motorized ones down to a single platoon (4 squads) per hex.  For jump and foot, stack away!

dgorsman

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #8 on: 29 February 2020, 09:38:53 »
How about combining similar anti-armor weapons into a single attack when stacked in the hex?  So instead of 4 attacks of SRM-4, each also rolling on the 4 column, it's one single attack using the 16 column?  Reduces the marching stack o doom effect and simplifies use.
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Sartris

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #9 on: 29 February 2020, 19:36:04 »
Since there is no guarantee the weapon types will match up for that to work I’m more inclined to treat “platoons” (an infantry lance) more like a mixed protomech point than a traditional infantry platoon or battle armor squad

Calimehter

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #10 on: 05 March 2020, 22:11:39 »
Very interesting, thank you for sharing!  :thumbsup:  Great food for thought as my group is needing to lock down how we want to do infantry, and aren't wholly satisfied with the TW rulesset as-is.

One thought on stacking could be to 1/2 the normal 'platoon' stacking (i.e. max 4 squads to a hex) to account for the spread out formation and the +1 to hit modifier vs. the normal platoons. [edit: already suggested]

Another way to discourage abusive stacking would be to allow "traditional" anti-infantry weapons to affect more than one squad *if* they share the same hex.  Maybe have MGs/Flamers/Plasma cannons/flechette ammo/etc. affect (or target) 1d6 squads instead of just 1 if they are all in the same hex?

Any thoughts on BV for these squads?
« Last Edit: 05 March 2020, 22:43:23 by Calimehter »

Sartris

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #11 on: 06 March 2020, 16:54:28 »
i think i'd rather just follow standard stacking rules to keep things from getting out of control (and minimize the new rules you have to remember). traditional anti-personnel weapons could either destroy units outright (as opposed to destroying the support weapon and leaving a "spotter" squad) or potentially knock out multiple units if two are in the same hex. i'll have to think on it.

BV would be fairly low... my plan was to make a support vee and add take the bv of that plus the weapon.

so a wheeled motorized platoon with an SRM-4 would have a base 16 BV (a 5 ton wheeled vehicle with a C-rated engine and structure) with 39 extra for the weapon - 55 for the squad




Daryk

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #12 on: 06 March 2020, 17:51:11 »
If you double the movement of the motorized squads as I suggested, I'd definitely limit it to one platoon in a hex.  Otherwise, sure... the standard stacking rules totally work.


Daryk

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #14 on: 06 March 2020, 18:47:33 »
But then how would you model two single squads maneuvering around the map (at full speed) merging?  ???

Sartris

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #15 on: 06 March 2020, 19:06:41 »
for stacking purposes

normally you get two vehicles per side per hex - so instead of two vehicles you could have four squads

Daryk

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #16 on: 06 March 2020, 19:20:16 »
So... you could stack two squads with some other combat vehicle, but not three?  ???

Sartris

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #17 on: 06 March 2020, 19:40:27 »
it's not that it couldn't be done - i just don't think there should be that many units in a hex

Daryk

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #18 on: 06 March 2020, 20:10:57 »
Well, after merger, you could look at 2-4 motorized squads as 1 platoon, and let that stack with only a single combat vehicle...

Sartris

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #19 on: 07 March 2020, 12:00:52 »
ah, i see.

my intent was to eliminate the platoon as a game element. squads make a platoon under these rules much like mechs or vehicles make up a lance or protomechs make a star - strictly unaffiliated elements tied together by non-game organization (excepting CampOps formation rules)


Daryk

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #20 on: 07 March 2020, 12:58:20 »
Ohh… I missed the "eliminate platoons" thing in all the stacking discussion.  I was thinking the stacking/merging thing was to put them into platoons to simplify book keeping...

Sartris

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #21 on: 07 March 2020, 23:22:18 »
SQUAD DESTRUCTION:
A successful hit on a squad destroys its anti-armor support weapon - some of the squad members may emerge combat-capable to perform spotting or other tasks. For each successful hit on a squad (including the first), roll 2d6. on a 9+ the squad is considered a mission kill and rendered knocked out of combat. Artillery immediately and completely destroys infantry.

Burst-Fire Weapons:
These weapons retain their bonuses against infantry. Rather than rolling Xd6 for casualties, the number of d6s normally rolled acts as a modifier on the squad destruction roll. For example, a flamer's burst fire damage is 4d6. Using a flamer would instead grant a -4 threshold on squad destruction. Rather than 9+, the squad is destroyed on 5+.

STACKING:
Infantry squads count for one half of one vehicle/battle armor squad for stacking purposes. At the end of a turn, a player can have up to four squads in one hex. The possible permutations include:

4 infantry squads
1 vehicle, two infantry squads
1 battle armor squad, two infantry squads
1 mech, two infantry squads

CLAN INFANTRY
Like the IS equivalents, conventional clan infantry deploys by squad with five squads making a Point. Clan infantry types are the same as their IS counterparts, though weapon weights are lower allowing for lighter unit types to bring stronger weapons to bear.

[I haven't made the lists for clan weapons yet but they're more dangerous than the IS squads, especially with missile weapons]

Daryk

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #22 on: 08 March 2020, 01:09:56 »
That could work...

dgorsman

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #23 on: 08 March 2020, 17:17:10 »
I like it.  Only thing I would suggest, is given the burst fire nature of anti-personnel weapons they would be affecting all squads in the hex.  It's not like the pilot is picking them off one at a time; more "hose the whole hex down, if it's still smoking rinse and repeat".
Think about it.  It's what we do.
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Daryk

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #25 on: 08 March 2020, 17:35:08 »
I'd apply at least a -1 penalty to the destruction roll per squad beyond the first.  Flamers are bad enough as is.

Calimehter

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #26 on: 09 March 2020, 10:00:00 »
I feel that you lose a lot of the simplicity of the system (i.e. its primary selling point) if you start worrying about whether or not the squads can survive a hit.  One hit = one kill was most of the elegance of the old Battledroids system in the first place. 

My 2 cents:  Allow anti-infantry weapons to affect multiple units in a hex.  If you want spotters, keep your squads spread out to avoid having artillery or multi-targeting anti-infantry weapons from wiping out all of your squads. :)

Daryk

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #27 on: 09 March 2020, 18:06:18 »
With doubling the movement and the effectiveness of these squads, I think that would work...

Sartris

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #28 on: 12 March 2020, 10:06:57 »
I feel that you lose a lot of the simplicity of the system (i.e. its primary selling point) if you start worrying about whether or not the squads can survive a hit.  One hit = one kill was most of the elegance of the old Battledroids system in the first place. 

yeah i went back and forth on that - and haven't added it to the main post because i'm not sold on it yet myself.

alternative option:
* squads are destroyed on the first hit
* AI weapons can attack as many squads in a hex as it does Xd6 damage on the burst weapon table, minimum of two (don't clump up against flamers or artillery)

Daryk

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Re: Battledroids Infantry for 2020
« Reply #29 on: 12 March 2020, 16:13:20 »
I think both of those are excessive nerf bats for the infantry.  They're really quite fragile as is.