Savage Battletech! (#1)

Game Master Atlas2112

Exactly what it says on the tin.


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Well, this looks like where I am right now.

They changed my classification so I'm just about guaranteed to work at least 12 hrs a night, so the only posting time Imma have is now, late on a Sunday.

The good news is that a plan is -definitely- in the works to make this situation temporary. The bad news is that the hammer doesn't drop until the start of summer. =/

Hence, what do ya wanna do? Going slow will give us all a chance to learn the rules at a leisurely pace, but for some just posting once a week just isn't plausible.

(Also! IF we keep going, I -really- wanna try out the Mass Combat rules. I think I've got a very neat take on it, and I don't think it'll be hard at all. Meh. Whateves. Just wanted to make sure to write it down so I didn't forget. =)


Human

Posting once a week is better than not at all, in my opinion. And I can take up the slack for you when someone forgets to roll a Wild die, or re-roll an Ace, etc.

I would personally like to put off the Mass Combat rules until we all have a better handle on the basic combat rules.


No, I'm not getting it. I have no idea why missiles are faster but worse than lasers, or why that last mech just fell over if we didn't breach its armor. The pace of play is the biggest hill to climb with a combat system that has so many variables - it's hard for any newb to pick up and then set it aside for a week and expect to remember every element. If there's a campaign with roleplaying that's one thing; players could carry on while GM does his thing, setting the stage for roleplaying each week, but I don't see this working as a tabletop pbp, given opposed rolls and the overall density of the combat rules, on a once a week cadence.

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@Roger. Okay, thank you. Follow up: How do -you- think about adding in Mass Combat. I prefer to handle things case-by-case, so I'd like to know if you yourself might be ready, or if you're using other people to cover for your own feelings.

@Max. Thank you. That is fine. I knew this wouldn't work out for everyone when I started, and then workload just kinda backstabbed with a two-handed maul. No hard feelings.

I'll wait until we hear Darwin weigh in. If he also thinks this is some monkey-butt, I'll probably chalk it all up to a learning experience and wait until things settle on my end. If he wants to tally ho (y'know, like a REAL man ;) then I'll just find a replacement (I've got 2 on the short list and 5 on the long list) and we'll try to muddle forth as we can.

Also, as I examine my thoughts, I realize I've been saying it wrong. Missiles are -slow-. They also have guidance. The guidance (however primitive) allows them to correct their targeting, making the speed of the mech irrelevant. (Also, their rules RAW is butt, so we gotta buff them somehow. ^_^)


Str d4 | Agi d10 | Int d6 | Spirit d4 | Vigor d6 // d10 Piloting d10 Shooting d8 Knowledge(EW) d6 Repair

Meh, I don't mind hanging around at that kind of speed. It's not like I have that much time on my hands for PbP anyway. I will agree that it's going to be harder to grasp the custom ruleset with posts so few and far between, and only ask that our GM is patient in answering questions that may have already been answered before :)


Human

Atlas - I'm still getting the hang of dealing with mechs in normal combat (never used that sub-set of the SW rules before), so it's me I'm thinking about, not the other players.

In the interim, I might try to create a document that explains :
Shooting a missile
Shooting a laser (or particle cannon)
Dealing with the damage's aftereffects

I'll post it here for you to review to make sure that it's correct.


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Human

Ok, well, that didn't take long...

Shooting a laser or particle cannon :
1. Roll your Shooting die along with a d6 Wild die. Choose the larger of the two.
2. If, because of the environment or something the target is doing (such as moving, -1 per 1 square moved) creates a penalty to your roll, apply the appropriate penalties.
Calculate the range penalty (-2 for Medium, -4 for Long).
Example : the range listing on a Quad linked medium laser is 150/300/600 (Short/Medium/Long), which in squares is 15/30/60. If your target is within 15 squares of you, no penalty. Between 16 and 30 squares, -2 for Medium range. Between 31 and 60 squares, -4 for Long range.
3. Lower the total penalty by 2 points due to your built-in Targeting. If there is no penalty, Targeting has no effect.
Example : Roger shoots at the Red Baron, who last round moved 3 squares (30” or yards), and so has a -3 to be hit this round, and is currently 20 squares from Roger for a total of -5. Roger’s Targeting reduces that to a -3 to his roll.
4. If the roll is 4 or better, you hit and roll damage. If the roll is 8 or better, add another d6 to the damage roll.
Notes : a “dual linked” weapon still fires only one shot at a time, but has +1 to hit and +2 damage. A “quad linked” weapon also only fires one shot at a time, but has +2 to hit and +4 damage.

Shooting missiles :
1. Roll your Knowledge(Electronic Warfare) [“K(EW)”] die for as many times as the number of missiles you are firing plus a d6 for your Wild Die (which you can use to replace any ONE of your smaller K(EW) rolls).
2. There are no modifiers for the speed or size of the target, but do include range penalties. Targeting does not reduce missile range penalties.
3. If the roll is equal to or greater than the target’s Missile Defense Target Number (“MDTN”, which is K(EW)/2, rounded up), you may have hit, so roll damage. If the roll is 4 or more greater than the target’s MDTN, add another d6 to the damage roll.
4. The target then gets to evade the missiles by making a K(EW) roll (with a Wild die) at -4, but AMCM reduces this to -2. If the roll is 4 or better, the potential hit actually missed.

Damage aftermath :
FROM SWADE : If damage exceeds the target’s Toughness (whether they take a Wound or not), the driver must make a Piloting roll or go Out of Control (2d6 roll on a table).
FROM SCI-FI : Any time his walker suffers a Wound, the pilot must make a Piloting roll. If the roll is failed, the walker falls. Walkers suffer Xd6 damage when they fall, where X is their Size.
FROM SWADE : Each Raise on a vehicular damage roll also causes a Wound and one roll (not one roll per Wound) on the Vehicle Critical Hits Table (2d6 roll on a table) . Each Wound reduces a vehicle’s Handling by 1 (to a maximum of −4).

Atlas – the damage aftermath seems a bit mashed-up, and excessive. If a mech is even Shaken, the driver must make a Piloting roll or go Out of Control (which you have to narrate the results of). And because you’ve been using the “falling” rules from the Sci-Fi Companion, but also want to use Critical Hits from SWADE, if a mech takes a Wound, then the pilot must roll Piloting to see if he falls down (taking even MORE damage), and automatically takes a Critical Hit (which you have to narrate the results of). Do you really want ALL that to happen on every Wound?

Also, please proofread everything above carefully to make sure I got it correct, or left anything out.

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Nice doc, Roger!

To address the last point, I've conceded that SWADE seems the best path here, and you need to get a raise in order to get a critical hit.

(I keep trying to think of more to say, but that seems to put it succinctly. I guess, with that said, I don't know what you're referring to as being excessive?)

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Also, it seems like there was some confusion about why the Hussar fell in the last round of combat. IT was because the shot was equal to or greater than his toughness which force an out-of-control piloting roll.

I'm not sure why it didn't make it to the post, but if we need dice, here:

Piloting! 2 wounds!: 1d8 - 2 ⇒ (1) - 2 = -1

Yep. Less than 4, so fall, with damage.


Human

The "excessive" part is that the way is it right now, Wounds could cause an Out-of-Control roll, and always cause a Critical Hit roll, *AND* a chance to fall down, which can lead to even more damage being inflicted. That's a LOT of stuff that can happen every time a mech takes damage.

From a PbP mechanics POV, that's up to 5 dice rolls (Piloting, 2d6 O-of-C, 2d6 Crit Hit, Piloting, falling damage) *every* time a mech gets damaged!

Regarding your last fall in the game, if the mech was only Shaken and made an Out-of-Control piloting roll (after the fact), what was the result of the Out-of-Control roll (which we didn't see) that made him fall down? The only result that I can see that sounds reasonable is Distracted, but it doesn't explicitly say the vehicle falls down, just that something happens to the vehicle to make the *passengers* Distracted. It sounds like you're equating "Out-of-Control" to "falls down", but they're 2 different mechanics. Sorry to be so nit-picky, I'm just trying to understand the rules.

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GM_Atlas2112 wrote:

Nice doc, Roger!

To address the last point, I've conceded that SWADE seems the best path here, and you need to get a raise in order to get a critical hit.

1) All of this is SW Sci-Fi RAW. Except for the one concession to SWADE where, as above, I already said that we can do it where you need a raise (2 wounds) for a critical Hit roll.

2) I stated this at the beginning, that we are mostly using the SW Sci-Fi Companion.

On page 59 it states:"a pilot must make a Piloting skill roll any time his walkers suffers a wound. If the roll is failed, the walker falls."
He took a wound, failed his roll, and fell down, taking another wound.


Human
Atlas wrote:

I was going over the NEW SW rules (the SWADE) to see how their tables figured, and I see they made a few changes to the rules.

WE ARE NOW USING THE NEW VEHICULAR RULES.
Atlas wrote:
It was because the shot was equal to or greater than his toughness which force an out-of-control piloting roll.

Sorry, the above quotes must have confused me. So, we are *not* using the Out-of-Control SWADE vehicular rules? Did you mean to say "falling check Piloting roll" in the second quote? Please note, that to check for falling damage the mech must take a Wound, not just be Shaken. Your last mech to take damage was only Shaken, so no falling check needed.

Atlas wrote:
...where you need a raise (2 wounds) for a critical Hit roll.

1 Raise on the Damage roll is one Wound, not two (a Success is just Shaken), so critical hits happen on even one Wound.

So, are these the correct damage aftermath rules :
FROM SCI-FI : Any time his walker suffers a Wound, the pilot must make a Piloting roll. If the roll is failed, the walker falls. Walkers suffer Xd6 damage when they fall, where X is their Size.
FROM SWADE : Each Raise on a vehicular damage roll also causes a Wound and one roll (not one roll per Wound) on the Vehicle Critical Hits Table (2d6 roll on a table).
FROM ATLAS : Each Wound reduces a mech's pilot's Piloting roll by 1.

At least that brings down the number of rolls the target must make when Wounded to 2 or 3.

Again, sorry to be so nit-picky, I just want to know what the rules are.

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Roger "RocketJock" Smithson wrote:


Sorry, the above quotes must have confused me. So, we are *not* using the Out-of-Control SWADE vehicular rules? Did you mean to say "falling check Piloting roll" in the second quote? Please note, that to check for falling damage the mech must take a Wound, not just be Shaken. Your last mech to take damage was only Shaken, so no falling check needed.

Wait wait wait...why do you think this?

Page 117, SWADE: "Vehicles cannot be Shaken, but if damage equals or exceeds their Toughness (whether they take a Wound or not), the driver must make a maneuvering roll or go Out of Control"

Page 84, RIFTS: "If a suit of robot armor suffers a wound, the operator must make a roll or the vehicle falls; this replaces the Out of Control rules"

Ooooooo...since it doesn't say that explicitly in the SCI-FI book, were you wondering why that applies when it's Shaken? I guess that sort of makes sense. I could-a swore I stated that, though, otherwise, having a mech Shaken wouldn't have any effect at all.

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Also, per SWADE (and SWD): "Each Wound reduces a vehicle’s Handling by 1 (to a maximum of −4). " This translates into a -1 to Piloting.

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Huh, so it does seem to say that every wound is a crit. That still seems like too many dice to me, but now that we have a cleaner crit table to go by (the SWADE one) I'm willing to give it a go. Okay, I concede the point, every wound is a crit.

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Would a flow chart help?

1------------Did you take damage?

2------------Does Damage exceed Toughness? If so, make a Piloting roll or fall.

3------------Does Damage exceed Toughness by 4 or more? Take a wound for each 4, and roll for 1 crit per wound.

...aaaand, that's it. Huh. The way you've been talking, it seemed like there would be more.

I guess the trade off between mech combat in SW and normal combat is that you won't be facing 37 opponents. A lot of time it's 4 mechs vs 4 mechs, or some other single-digit variant of that.


Human
Atlas wrote:
2------------Does Damage exceed Toughness? If so, make a Piloting roll or fall.

No, by the SWADE Chase rules, if Damage exceeds Toughness, make a Piloting roll or go Out-of-Control.

Atlas wrote:
3------------Does Damage exceed Toughness by 4 or more? Take a wound for each 4, and roll for 1 crit per wound.

No, by the SWADE Chase rules, you roll 1 critical hit no matter how many Wounds you take. I said above "so critical hits happen on even one Wound", perhaps I should have added "or more"?

And from the Sci-Fi Companion, you also must make a Piloting roll, or fall, for case #3.

So we're back to my original Damage Aftermath (which you quoted correctly in your immediately previous posts) :
FROM SWADE : If damage exceeds the target’s Toughness (whether they take a Wound or not), the driver must make a Piloting roll or go Out of Control (2d6 roll on a table).
FROM SCI-FI : Any time his walker suffers a Wound, the pilot must make a Piloting roll. If the roll is failed, the walker falls. Walkers suffer Xd6 damage when they fall, where X is their Size.
FROM SWADE : Each Raise on a vehicular damage roll also causes a Wound and one roll (not one roll per Wound) on the Vehicle Critical Hits Table (2d6 roll on a table).

But I like your idea of a flowchart, so anytime you take Damage :

1 - Does Damage exceed Toughness? If so, make a Piloting roll or go Out-of-Control (2d6 roll on a table)
2 - Does Damage exceed Toughness by 4 or more? If so :
........Take a Wound for each 4
........Make a Piloting roll or fall down (roll for damage)
........Take one Critical Hit (2d6 roll on a table)

Piloting rolls are modified by the number of Wounds the mech *currently* has (not is about to have).

...and we're back to any time a Mech takes Wounds the pilot must make up to 5 rolls.

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Stop using the phrase "Out of Control". How precisely would a mech roll over? Or spin? (While those have technical answers, the visual image of a battlemech executing a perfect pirouette is to horrifying to contemplate.)
I've long ago said that we're doing the SCIFI OOC = Fall rules. Does that clarify things?

Also, there is only one piloting roll whether shaken or wounded. Which is why my flow chart only mentions it once.

That '1 crit per' rule seems better.

That makes it a MAXIMUM of four rolls. (Piloting, crit from enemy fire, falling damage, crit from falling damage) and, in a system where it's considered no large thing to need to make -seven- rolls just to attack. (Making an attack at full auto with an ROF of 3? That's 3 to-hit rolls, plus a wild die, plus 3 damage rolls) I don't see that as out of line with the game system.
And since most damage instances will be a Shaken result and just need a piloting roll (in line with making a Spirit check in normal combat) it's not really something that slows the game down.

Also, it still accomplishes my main goal of being VASTLY easier than Battletech's original system (that we're not keeping track of heat is one my great joys in life) which is the main goal.


Human

NOW I understand the source of our confusion. Whenever you say "Out-of-Control", like here :

Atlas, Discussion, Tue Oct 22, 2019, 12:37 pm wrote:
It was because the shot was equal to or greater than his toughness which force an out-of-control piloting roll.

you are in your head thinking "Fall down".

I will stop using the phrase "Out-of-Control" if you will. ;)

Just one final thing : in my Sci-Fi Companion, walkers only roll to fall if they suffer 1 or more Wounds, but you've been saying that they roll to fall even if they are just Shaken. Why is that? There is no mention of "Out-of-Control = Fall" in the Sci-Fi Companion.

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