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Author Topic: Tracking TMMs in Battleforce?  (Read 1491 times)

Weirdo

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Tracking TMMs in Battleforce?
« on: 10 March 2022, 11:22:22 »
How do folks keep track of TMMs in Battleforce? It seems like movement dice aren't practical, and constantly asking the other player for all the TMMs in a given Unit sounds incredibly annoying. Is the solution to prepare a list of the Elements and TMMs in each of your Units, and hand it to your opponent at the beginning of the game(or as Units get detected)?
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
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theagent

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Re: Tracking TMMs in Battleforce?
« Reply #1 on: 11 March 2022, 14:59:12 »
How do folks keep track of TMMs in Battleforce? It seems like movement dice aren't practical, and constantly asking the other player for all the TMMs in a given Unit sounds incredibly annoying. Is the solution to prepare a list of the Elements and TMMs in each of your Units, and hand it to your opponent at the beginning of the game(or as Units get detected)?

StratOps, p. 216:

Quote
As in Classic BattleTech, Units in BattleForce change their position on the map by moving from one hex to another using Movement Points (MP). Each Element of each Unit has a base MP allowance listed on its record sheet. A Unit’s MP always equals the lowest MP of any of its surviving Elements. Unlike Classic BattleTech, Units in BattleForce do not have the choice of expending Walking or Running MP, they simply move. All Elements in a Unit move at the same time and to the same hex.

So, you have a lance of 4 'Mechs:  1 can move at 6/9/6, two can move at 5/8/5, & one is limited to 4/6/0.  You have a single miniature on the board representing the entire lance (since the BF hex is 90m across, & essentially represents an area slightly bigger than a standard CBT hex with its surrounding 6 hexes).  For movement purposes, BF movement points (MP) are based on each element's Walk/Cruise MP from CBT.  So, 1 element has a base MV 6j, two have a base MV 5j, & the last one has a base MV 4.  The entire lance moves as a single unit, so at most it has 4 MP for movement (based on its slowest element).  If that slower element had the ability to also jump (4/6/4), it would be marked as MV 4j.  As another example, if that slower unit was able to move 4/6/6 (improved JJ), then the element would be marked MV 4/6j, so the entire unit would have MV 4/5j (based on the slowest ground & slowest jumping modes).

Weirdo

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Re: Tracking TMMs in Battleforce?
« Reply #2 on: 11 March 2022, 16:48:14 »
Yes, but that doesn't address the fact that the faster units retain their own TMMs.

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/strategic-operations/(answered)-(bf)-tmms-by-unit-or-by-element/msg477728/#msg477728
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer
"We are the tribal elders. Weirdo is the mushroom specialist." - Worktroll

Calimehter

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Re: Tracking TMMs in Battleforce?
« Reply #3 on: 13 March 2022, 17:02:09 »
Our group hybridizes between BF2 and the newer rules, so this may not be the most current approach . . . but what we do is just identify the "make" of every element in a unit but not the "model" (i.e. "this units has two Phoenix Hawks, a Wasp, and a Vulcan") unless they are in close visual range or the target of probes or the like (at which point the exact make/model of each element will be provided).  From that info, the attacker will allocate his attacks, and the defender will then provide the TMM to the attacker for each targeted unit. 

We usually don't even bother with lists, just IDing the elements per above in a given unit when asked.  We have found in practice that the extra question or two in each firing phase really doesn't take much more time than scanning a pre-printed list would be.  We admittedly only usually have about 6-8 units a side (so 20-40 elements or so), we might have to be a bit more formalized with premade lists if we start to consistently go larger than that.

It helps that it is pretty common in BF to want to group units of similar speeds and movement modes together, so there is (usually!) not that much variation between TMMs in a given unit, making it easier to remember and plan ahead for any given unit.

theagent

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Re: Tracking TMMs in Battleforce?
« Reply #4 on: 15 March 2022, 10:32:09 »
Yes, but that doesn't address the fact that the faster units retain their own TMMs.

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/strategic-operations/(answered)-(bf)-tmms-by-unit-or-by-element/msg477728/#msg477728

I didn't catch that at first.  In that case, you use the chart on p. 227 of StratOps, & the target's TMM is based on its available MP (as listed in the MV box on the Unit Record Sheet), modified by the Target Type Modifier (i.e. "j" means Jump-capable, so an additional +1 to the TMM).  If you need to, I would make up a little chart or something that can be kept out on the table.  My brother-in-law made up credit card-sized laminated pages for us to use at Origins -- 1 side has the CBT Hit Location Charts, the other side has the Cluster Hits Table on it -- but you could do something similar.  If you need more space, you could even put it on an index card.

Weirdo

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Re: Tracking TMMs in Battleforce?
« Reply #5 on: 15 March 2022, 13:21:29 »
So your suggestion is to ask your opponent every time you need one of their TMMs?
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer
"We are the tribal elders. Weirdo is the mushroom specialist." - Worktroll

theagent

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Re: Tracking TMMs in Battleforce?
« Reply #6 on: 15 March 2022, 16:38:53 »
So your suggestion is to ask your opponent every time you need one of their TMMs?

Well, you have a couple of choices:
  • You could handle it like CBT, where you can always look at your opponent's record sheets (& they can look at yours).
  • If you're playing true double-blind rules, there is supposed to be a GM or other referee acting as the go-between, so the GM/referee should be able to provide you with the applicable TMM of each target.
  • If your opponent is being that big of a d-bag, & refusing to let you see their unit record sheet, then insist that they provide you with a basic Unit Stat card for each Unit, providing the TMM (as well as any other modifiers that would apply) for each element in the unit...& if they refuse, then say, "Fine, I'm assuming then that every element in that unit is a Large Support Unit (-1 to TMM) with a base TMM 0"...& if he tries to dispute it, point out that since you can't see it, you can't verify his claims.  And to especially rub it in, make sure you have the data for your elements all ready for him to read.

Considering that you have to declare which element in a unit each of your elements is targeting during each turn, I strongly suspect that the expectation is that option #1 is supposed to be followed during a game session, closely followed by option #2.  I don't think the other players will want to go with option #3 for very long...

Weirdo

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Re: Tracking TMMs in Battleforce?
« Reply #7 on: 16 March 2022, 10:24:19 »
Why are you assuming that the players hate each other?

I think I'm leaning towards option #3, at least without all the hostility and punitive penalties, and operating on the assumption that the two players actually respect each other.

It's not about refusing to let the other person see your sheets, it's about the fact that doing so constantly is a pain in the ass, especially when you're trying to plan out your own attacks. If it's not a blind game, then a simple list showing the base chassis and TMM of each Element isn't hard to do.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer
"We are the tribal elders. Weirdo is the mushroom specialist." - Worktroll

theagent

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Re: Tracking TMMs in Battleforce?
« Reply #8 on: 16 March 2022, 13:57:27 »
Since LOS & range are determined based on the units, & not the individual elements that comprise the unit, the easiest thing that all players should be doing is doing focus fire.  Pick 1 element in your opponent's unit, based on whatever criteria you want (least amount of armor, lowest/highest TMM, highest damage it inflicts, etc.), & each turn you focus-fire on that element in the enemy unit until a) your unit is toast or b) you turn the target into charcoal.

BF makes it simpler.  Instead of having to count every single hex the target moved to get its TMM, the TMM is fixed.  Take a look at the enemy Unit Record Sheets before gameplay starts, & either have some blank index cards or Post-It notes available, & jot down the quick information you need (MV, S/M/L/E damage, Armor/Structure), & then you don't have to keep looking at the sheet.  That works if you only have 2 players.  If you have multiple players (with each player controlling an entire Unit), you're probably going to have to keep looking at the sheet each turn, just to see what other fire effects may have occurred, but that's no different than what happens in CBT.  And if it starts getting too long, you can always implement "one-minute" or "two-minute" rules for declaring attacks.  But I would definitely lean more towards the "do a little extra prep work before the game", as it will save a lot more time during the actual game.  Heck, you could even make a house rule that everyone has to make two copies of their Unit Record Sheets:  one that they use to track, & one that they give to the other side's player(s) as a reference point (whether they want to also track it is up to them, but then they at least can quickly look and see what TMM your units have, & vice versa), without having to always hand your sheet over).

nckestrel

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Re: Tracking TMMs in Battleforce?
« Reply #9 on: 16 March 2022, 14:16:10 »
I'd mark the units (lance) the same as a unit in BT with movement dice and put the lowest TMM in the unit.
The majority of the time, that's the element that's going to be attacked.  And then the opponent can quickly scan the units in range for which have a good (low) TMM.

a tiny cheat card next to the unit mgiht be nice, but i'm not going through that much work.
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Calimehter

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Re: Tracking TMMs in Battleforce?
« Reply #10 on: 18 March 2022, 08:37:17 »
BF makes it simpler.  Instead of having to count every single hex the target moved to get its TMM, the TMM is fixed.  Take a look at the enemy Unit Record Sheets before gameplay starts, & either have some blank index cards or Post-It notes available, & jot down the quick information you need (MV, S/M/L/E damage, Armor/Structure), & then you don't have to keep looking at the sheet.

Pretty much this.  "Asking every time" is not the chore in BF as it is for standard Battletech because the TMMs do not depend on past action/movement, they are fixed. 

YMMV but it is also pretty common in practice to have similar movement profiles between elements in a given unit, making it even easier.

There is nothing wrong with making extra effort to making reference cards or markers or the like.  I'm sure it does make it easier than asking, but asking isn't really all that bad in BF and shouldn't impact the game all that much.  It has worked for us, anyway.

Failure16

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Re: Tracking TMMs in Battleforce?
« Reply #11 on: 20 March 2022, 00:34:31 »
From a game design perspective, the more elegant way would have been to assign each Unit a TMM at the start of the game and follow it through the game, using one die as required. And the Element being engaged in a particular engagement should be randomized (say, as an example based on a lance-structured Unit, 1D6 is rolled and 1-4 indicates the position on the recordsheet which is attacked, with a 5 being Defender choice, and a 6 being Attacker choice; scale up to Base-6 Units as required).

The reason for this is based on the level of command. Let's assume that the game is focused on battalion-level engagements: the player, as a battalion commander, is focused on moving and fighting a battalion. The battalion commander does not really care that the Warhammer in the third slot of Charlie Company's Second Lance is taking fire, but he or she should care that that lance is being engaged, and should really care that Charlie Company--as the battalion main effort--is faltering because their support-by-fire unit has been flanked.

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