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Author Topic: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?  (Read 1572 times)

Crimson Dawn

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Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« on: 25 February 2020, 21:40:53 »
Talking with some friends about how we felt that weapons like the hatchet are not really worth the weight and crit spaces possibly even with TSM since kicks can be seen as better and are free and if you have TSM and punch and you are 60 tons or higher the punch that hits has a 1/6 chance of instantly killing any mech outside of niche designs (such as having hardened armor or the like).

So in trying to think of some qualities to improve a weapon like the hatchet I started off thinking of things like using the punch table but I thought back on Alpha Strike and how having a melee weapon gives a nice boost where it gives you extra range and I thought that would be an interesting idea for the classic game.

So how would you think of the hatchet giving a mech a two hex melee range?  That would make it very interesting and would allow you to actually use that weapon more often and give you a solid reason to have such a weapon even with the option for the strong kick.

Retry

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #1 on: 25 February 2020, 23:15:07 »
A battletech hex is 30 meters across, so that'd be, what, a 60 meter long hatchet?

Crimson Dawn

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #2 on: 25 February 2020, 23:43:34 »
A battletech hex is 30 meters across, so that'd be, what, a 60 meter long hatchet?

Sadly I had not known that specifically so that does give it some hilarity though granted the weapon would not have to be 60 meters long though it would need to be longer or something to make it work for versimilitude.

But if pretending we had a way to make it sound plausible in its insanity in terms of game play and balnce would the idea have merit?

Needs some ridiculous extending arms, rocket firing axes, or nifty giant chain craziness.

dgorsman

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #3 on: 26 February 2020, 00:47:19 »
Hatchet has one big advantage over kicking: no stagger check if you miss.
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Crimson Dawn

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #4 on: 26 February 2020, 00:56:02 »
Hatchet has one big advantage over kicking: no stagger check if you miss.

Yes that is an advantage but you spend a fair bit of weight and crits to get this weapon so it should give you something but even so consider the kick is more accurate and is free.  Also the kick is easier to concentrate attacks because you can force the attack to hit a certain location if you can get to a side and even if attacked from the front you have a 50% chance of hitting the spot you want (left or right leg) compared to the hatchet which hits using the normal table.  Concentrating your attacks on the legs are very nasty because a legged mech is in serious trouble and many of the components in the legs if critted give an additional pilot check and also hand out penalties to those checks.

Lastly the kick also forces a PSR if you hit and with its enhanced accuracy I feel that makes it superior even with the potential for a flub. 

Considering the weight and crit costs the hatchet just feels like it is not worth it.  In addition you can get the club bonus by picking something up if you can afford to not use both arms for ranged weapon fire for the same bonus with no weight and crit cost.

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #5 on: 26 February 2020, 01:03:35 »
A kick will hit in the leg,  so probably the 2nd most heavily armored location on a mech.

A hatchet can hit anywhere, specifically, the rear torso, and while a punch might not go internal, a hatchet most likely will.

I'm not saying a hatchet is a great idea.

I'm just saying its got points going for it, and, you know, the "OMFG that Mech has an AXE" factor from fiction that doesn't translate to the table top well.
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garhkal

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #6 on: 26 February 2020, 01:58:46 »
I can see where the OP is coming from.  As it stands, a hatchet has drawbacks, punches and kicks don't, such as the Cost factor, the if it is criticaled, its useless, AND the fact it makes folks target you.  And you get what for it??  Scaryness??  Does kind of seem not worth it..
Maybe if they made it as easy to pull off AS a kick attack, i could see it being usable.
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Crimson Dawn

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #7 on: 26 February 2020, 01:59:48 »
A kick will hit in the leg,  so probably the 2nd most heavily armored location on a mech.

A hatchet can hit anywhere, specifically, the rear torso, and while a punch might not go internal, a hatchet most likely will.

I'm not saying a hatchet is a great idea.

I'm just saying its got points going for it, and, you know, the "OMFG that Mech has an AXE" factor from fiction that doesn't translate to the table top well.

The leg is heavily armored for sure and that is a negative but I do feel that is counteracted quite a bit by how good of a location it is to crit and to destroy. 

I also kind of feel the punch is underrated due to hitting on the punch table and if you consider that any mech that is using a hatchet really should have TSM if that mech punches and is 60 tons or more it will remove a head 1/6 times he hits with a punch and could have 2 chances.

I want the hatchet to be as good as it sounds like it should be.

Perhaps allowing you to punch with the other arm if you use a hatchet?  Then it would be clearly better in potential than kicking or punching alone and may make it worth the cost but would that be too much?  Even to take advantage of that you would need to not use any weapons in both arms which is sometimes tricky.  That is another general boost to kicking which is that you very rarely use weapons in the legs but weapons in the arms are very common and if you are punching or using a hatchet you may have the issue of choosing between melee or missing out on ranged weapons (hatchetman mechs have this problem often sadly). 

Hellraiser

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #8 on: 26 February 2020, 02:34:48 »
I think the real problem here isn't the Hatchet.

Its the Kick.

Its broken compared to EVERY other Physical attack option.

Its basically free since short of the Crusader no one has real firepower in the legs.

Its also a PULSE physical with its -2.

The reality is, the Hatchet should be the PULSE weapon getting a -2.

The Kick should be the 0, not the Punches.

Try kicking someone while wearing armor, good luck.

A punch should be a -1 so its easier then a kick.

As it stands, the only reason NOT to kick is if the target # is so high (9+) than your likely to miss & force a PSR.

And yes, as suggested, if you can SHOOT with the off hand while giving someone the AXE, you should be able to punch as well.  (Its called a combo, left/right, hehe)

At that point the Axe is on equal footing & the Punch is probably preferred but since you more likely have weapons in the arms the punch is still a trade off.

Finally Axe w/o the -2 allows for called shots to use the Upper/Lower table if the player wants.

Sword does Axe Damage -1, instead of Punch+1.   But is the same to hit mods as the Axe.
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Crimson Dawn

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #9 on: 26 February 2020, 02:38:39 »
Now that I can agree with to an extent.  Certainly kicks are so ubiquitous due to those reasons and more and I do wonder if they really intended for that to happen or did they not realize what they had done.

That free kick is so good so it makes it hard to beat when designing melee weapons and hatchets I think are considered one of the better ones but yet it is difficult to justify its weight and crit cost when the kick is so good.

monbvol

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #10 on: 26 February 2020, 04:26:37 »
Yeah if it were up to me I'd completely redo the physical combat weapons wholesale.  Only a few are really worth using at all.  Claws and Talons in particular are really nasty.

I've had two ideas.

The first is making the combat and construction rules more generic but make it so you can scale up the physical combat weapons.

One ton one critical 3 damage that you can stack up/combine into one massive physical combat weapon.  The only thing that makes it an axe is that it is stylized as an axe.  Or if you want it to be a sword it's a sword instead.  If less than 10% of the mechs mass -1 to hit.  10%-15% no modifier.  +1 to hit for every 5% or fraction thereof beyond that.

So you could have a Commando with a giant K-bar that does 24 damage when it hits, weights 8 tons, takes up 8 critical slots, and would be +4 to hit because it is so massively over-sized for the mech.

Dial it back down to a more reasonable 1 ton 3 damage affair for said Commando and it'd be -1 to hit.  Heck you could take it up to 2 tons 2 critical slots and 6 damage and keep that -1 on said Commando.

Trade off would be ditching all those other special effects like generating critical chances and I'd definately strip the -2 from kicks and probably cut punch and kick damage in half rounding down on top of that.

My other idea was you'd reserve movement points for physical combat.  Needing one to engage and you can also reserve them to avoid physical combat.  Dedicated physical combat weapons essentially give a free movement point to represent the added reach.  In cases of ties in reserved movement points opposed pilot skill rolls where if one mech has a physical combat weapon but the other doesn't the one that does gets a bonus to their roll.

Intermittent_Coherence

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #11 on: 26 February 2020, 07:36:11 »
Hatchet attacks should have the same hit locations as DFA.

dgorsman

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #12 on: 26 February 2020, 13:16:09 »
My other idea was you'd reserve movement points for physical combat.  Needing one to engage and you can also reserve them to avoid physical combat.  Dedicated physical combat weapons essentially give a free movement point to represent the added reach.  In cases of ties in reserved movement points opposed pilot skill rolls where if one mech has a physical combat weapon but the other doesn't the one that does gets a bonus to their roll.

Like that idea, at least for ground movement.  Not sure it works well with jumping though.  Thoughts?
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monbvol

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #13 on: 26 February 2020, 14:05:41 »
Death From Above would be easy enough to keep within those rules but landing so you can punch/kick/physical combat weapon them does seem to be a bit tricky to keep from being too complicated.  Best Idea I have for that is the inbuilt free MP of physical combat weapons and maybe count jumping as walking for the purposes of how many MPs you can reserve for physical combat.

garhkal

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #14 on: 26 February 2020, 16:28:29 »
Perhaps allowing you to punch with the other arm if you use a hatchet?  Then it would be clearly better in potential than kicking or punching alone and may make it worth the cost but would that be too much? 

A while back for a home game, i was part of a group which had 7 other players (met once every other weekend).  WE often paired up to play, and rotated who we'd play against.  We all agreed to do that, for a HR..  Even then, there were few of us, who bothered taking mechs with hatchets... 
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PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #15 on: 16 March 2020, 10:25:38 »
Still only a kick with activated TSM can remove almost all armor on the leg of a mech with same tonnage and top end armor. Also it always aims for the leg(unless elevation matters), which means you are guaranteed to dismantle enemy leg and can neutralize quite easily with some kicks. With ridiculous slots and weight hatchet requires, you can have some more guns to do something even before the melee begins. Else, some punches are even better than hatchet, for it have very high change to hit the enemy head and destroy it outright, if you have activated TSM. Hatchet can't mimic this.

Anyway it is not possible to increase the range of hatchet - as noted above, a hex is defined as 30m. You will need at least a weapon with 30m long.
« Last Edit: 16 March 2020, 10:27:12 by PuppyLikesLaserPointers »

garhkal

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #16 on: 16 March 2020, 16:43:08 »
True, the size of the hatchet wouldn't give it better range, but imo either Increase the TN for kicks, to make up for it being so much better than every other physical, OR let hatchets hit on the same chart punches do...
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Fear Factory

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #17 on: 16 March 2020, 17:11:19 »
1 - Successful hits from a physical attack weapon forces a PSR
2 - Physical attack weapons are resolved during the weapon attack phase, and still counts as a physical attack for the round.

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #18 on: 16 March 2020, 23:59:20 »
1 - Successful hits from a physical attack weapon forces a PSR
2 - Physical attack weapons are resolved during the weapon attack phase, and still counts as a physical attack for the round.

Brilliant! I never thought that. It would represent 'better range' without change the rules much.

Crimson Dawn

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #19 on: 17 March 2020, 00:21:51 »
Hmm and allow you to punch in the actual physical phase as well as discussed previously?  Certainly would make it feel much more worth it.  Or perhaps that would be added to the sword?

Fear Factory

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #20 on: 17 March 2020, 09:23:34 »
Hmm and allow you to punch in the actual physical phase as well as discussed previously?  Certainly would make it feel much more worth it.  Or perhaps that would be added to the sword?

No. Only one physical attack per round (not phase).

The idea is you can force a PSR with a hatchet attack before the opponent can react with a kick or punch.

garhkal

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #21 on: 17 March 2020, 17:23:34 »
1 - Successful hits from a physical attack weapon forces a PSR
2 - Physical attack weapons are resolved during the weapon attack phase, and still counts as a physical attack for the round.

That's a pair of good rules..  Would that include punches though, for #1??
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Fear Factory

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #22 on: 17 March 2020, 17:25:59 »
That's a pair of good rules..  Would that include punches though, for #1??

No. Only for physical attack weapons (including clubbing attacks).

Fear Factory

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #23 on: 17 March 2020, 17:31:43 »
All of the other physical attacks are fine. They don't change.

Physical attack weapons always come up in discussion because they are often compared with a kick or punch(es). If you allow physical attack weapons use in the weapon phase, and allow them to force a PSR, it gives them an edge against normal physical attacks. You can essentially ruin someone's plan for any physical attack. You pay for the tonnage, make it worth it.

Daryk

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #24 on: 17 March 2020, 17:48:01 »
That's not a bad idea at all...

garhkal

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #25 on: 18 March 2020, 01:45:16 »
No it's not..  If we the fans could vote a rule change into play, that would get MY vote.
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PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #26 on: 18 March 2020, 05:18:45 »
Punch and kick are the only viable melee option right now, so we don't have to make it better as well. The problem is melee weapons are sucks, NOT the physical attack. The melee weapons are sucks just because basic melee options - punch and kick - are simply superior to the weapons, while weapons also requires slots and tonnage to wield but punch and kick just requires functional actuators.

The only exception is Talons which makes kick to insta-kill button against most similar to lighter mechs on sight(with TSM, only one kick can melt all the armor and barely leave the internal leg structure against fully armored mech with same tonnage, so if it was somewhat damaged it is sure that the leg would be gone to history by only one kick attack), but hey, that's clans exclusive option. Although it is silly that it is clans only - can't we just make a bigger claws and put it on the foot?

Honestly, what if a mech with functional hand actuator can wield a melee weapon for free, as if a handheld weapon but no needs to spend two hands and do not interfere weapons on torso, arms(still you can't shoot and physical with the same arm on the same turn, though) and head. Sword needs more love to be functional though. But perhaps it would be somewhat out of topic.
« Last Edit: 18 March 2020, 05:25:13 by PuppyLikesLaserPointers »

Fear Factory

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #27 on: 18 March 2020, 09:42:44 »
No it's not..  If we the fans could vote a rule change into play, that would get MY vote.

Good luck convincing anyone. Total Warfare is gospel.

Calimehter

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #28 on: 25 March 2020, 09:27:47 »
When I saw the thread title, I was *really, really* hoping for a discussion of hatchet-throwing rules for Mechs.   ;D

How about this:  An Hatchet-equipped Mech can throw (or "launch" it if the art doesn't support it as hand-held) its Hatchet as a weapon attack.  Does the same damage as a regular hatchet attack, call it 1 heat and range brackets of 2/4/6.  The hatchet is then laying on the field in the same hex as the target (hit or miss) and can be picked up again just like a club and used later in the combat as a club by Mech with functioning hand actuators . . . with the original Mech being allowed to 'reattach' it (and even relaunch it later!) after picking it up instead of being forced to use the club rules since it still has the "hard point" for attaching it.  The hatchet can always be used normally if the player does not desire to launch it.

Barring that sort of insanity, I also like Fear Factory's rule suggestion.

[Edit to fix spelling issue]



« Last Edit: 25 March 2020, 09:31:43 by Calimehter »

Daryk

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Re: Should a weapon like a hatchet have better range?
« Reply #29 on: 25 March 2020, 16:16:38 »
Well, there ARE throwing rules (TacOps pages 92-99)…  :D