Discussion: Weight Classes.

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Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby Ced23Ric » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:26 pm

This comes from BattleTech. For those who are not familiar with that system, basically, it's 'Mecha Warfare, with four weight classes: Light, Medium, Heavy, Assault. Each 'Mech has a tonnage from 20 to 100 tons, and the brackets determine some basic rules. I won't get too deep into that, though.

I would like to see a rules background that supports both lighter and heavier 'Frames, for diversity and tactical planning. A rough-cut of what I am thinking off (deffo needs thought about balancing, though):

First of all, instead of saying "4 'Frames", converting a unitsize into Drop Limits would be highly beneficial for versatility's sake. Say, we have 16 Drop Points. A Light costs 3 point, a Medium 4, a Heavy 6 points. A game with 3 'Frames would have 12 Drop Points, a game with 8 'Frames would have 32 Drop Points.

  • Light
    Adds 1w4/2" G, +1 bonus on Defense rolls due to size, 3 systems max, 1 structure point.
    This 'Frame can carry less, but it can go much faster than the other 'Frames.
  • Medium
    Basic 'Frame, 4 systems max, 2 structure points.
    This is your usual frame, rounded out and versatile. You know the one.
  • Heavy
    Loses 1w4/2" G, -1 penalty on Defense rolls due to size, 5 systems max, 3 structure points.
    This 'Frame can carry a lot more than others, but it is also slower.
This would allow us to field, for example, one Heavy, two Light and a Medium, for a total of 7 structure points (1 less), 16 systems (same), but the Heavy is a more durable platform, where the Lights are faster, for advanced pincer movements or objective grabbing. It's obviously a trade-off. I tried to keep things balanced, but as you can see, it's not that easy. :D

If you spend all your points on Lights, you get 4 Lights + 1 Medium out of 16 Drop Points. That's a total of 6 structure points with a total of 16 systems. They have 5 'Frames, out of which 4 add 1w4/2" G and +1 to their Defense rolls. A heavy lance gets 2 Heavies and Medium, at 8 structure points and 16 systems. While they are more durable, they do lose speed, and they have two 'Frames less. The difference in structure points is made up by the fact that the smaller 'Frames are harder to hit - and the bigger ones easier. A Lance of 4 Mediums has 8 Structure points, no bonus or malus and 16 systems, just the same. So it would be balanced, but open up the game for more tactical Lance building.

/discuss
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby Forged » Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:15 pm

I would run it slightly differently,
Light = 1W, max 3 Systems, gets bonus Green d8 if there are no artillery
Medium = 2W, max 4 systems gets bonus Green d8 if there are no artillery or Direct fire
Heavy = 3W, max 5 Systems, gets bonus Green d8 if there are no weapons.

I don't like the idea of changing the base defence. And heavy mechs seem scary. The big problem is establishing a value for light and medium frames, as the current game treats all frames equally and smaller and larger frames are definitely not equal to the medium frame.
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby Ced23Ric » Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:11 pm

That's a good idea. I like that alot. I would try and find a pointbase to which all frame types are likened, and BattleTech had the always nice "drop limit" that determined how much tonnage you could bring to bear. What do you think about that part?
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby Ken » Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:32 pm

I think this may mess with points/per in the set up and victory conditions.

If you alter the points per calculation to be based on white dice and attachments, then forged's idea could work well and still balance out about the same.
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby Forged » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:24 pm

Finding out the balance of different sized mechs will probably require the rules to come out. I would love to work on this and play test a module for over and undersized frames. The way the game seems to be running is that you bring whatever you want (within loose limits) then all your items get a VP value. It's currently set so frames and capture points are equal in value. This would need to change, but we don't know where the numbers are anyway so it would be impossible to know what/how to tweak it.

TLDR: Lets keep coming up with ideas! We can bash the ideas on the rocks of testing later!
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby timonkey » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:48 pm

I don't really like the idea of difference rules for different sizes. Also, what about this to deal with the point per issue:

Light/Small/Scout Frame:
-Only 1 White die
-Max 2 systems
-For the purposes of counting your points per asset, this counts as 0.5 frames

Heavy/Large/Assault Frame:
-3 White dice
-Max 6 systems
-For the purposes of counting your points per asset, this counts as 1.5 frames
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby Ced23Ric » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:04 pm

timonkey wrote:I don't really like the idea of difference rules for different sizes. Also, what about this to deal with the point per issue:

Light/Small/Scout Frame:
-Only 1 White die
-Max 2 systems
-For the purposes of counting your points per asset, this counts as 0.5 frames

This is not the same as 0.5 'Frames.
timonkey wrote:Heavy/Large/As
sault Frame:
-3 White dice
-Max 6 systems
-For the purposes of counting your points per asset, this counts as 1.5 frames

This is not the same as 1.5 'Frames.

It's easy to see where your confusion comes from, but let me explain.

Multiplying a given value by x does not mean that it's not actual value is the same as it's numerical value. For example, the reason a Heavy Mech in BattleTech has a higher value than a Medium Mech is not just it's equipment and armor - it is also the fact that it can take on Medium Mechs with more ease, because it has a higher CAT (Combat Abrasion Treshold) - if you pit a Heavy Mech against a Medium Mech, it has higher odds of finishing the Medium Mech than the other way around. Once it is done with the Medium Mech, chances are that the Heavy can still take on a Medium Mech. The treshold where the Heavy breaks down and becomes inoperable is further away, and aslong as the Heavy picks his fights 1 vs 1, he has a good chance of emerging victorious repeatedly.

Especially with d6W more than the normal 'Frame, he basically has d6B more than that other 'Frame, making him more impervious to damage, while still sporting 6 whooping systems of mass destruction. Nopers. Deffo not the value of 1.5 'Frames. The same goes, invertedly, for the Light 'Frame. It's just not able to withstand the fight, and thusly, dies quickly. That's the reason I opted for inherent bonusses, to make up for the difference in BV (Battle Value), to augment the Light 'Frame and dampen the Heavy 'Frame.
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby timonkey » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:30 pm

I see where you're coming from. I guess I really don't like the idea of special rules for different size frames once they're on the field. Especially in the case where a heavy frame gets beat down to just one white die, but he's someone still different than a medium frame that's blown down to the same size and effectiveness.

Also, I like the idea of using the points per asset to inherently balance the different sizes. Yeah, they are not the same thing as 0.5 or 1.5 frames, but they may be worth about the same for determining points per. Of course, there will be some weird interactions that I'll need to think through.

But consider 1 normal frame vs 2 small frames. They count the same in determining your points per and you now have two frames with the same number of systems as 1 normal frame, but they can be in two different places. That's all good, now the bad: you still have more assets, which gives you more points, and your frames aren't as good and are easier to destroy. I don't think there's a dominant strategy there.

But whatever your weight class rules are, I think you could use my points per asset idea with it.
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby Ced23Ric » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:41 pm

That is the next thing, the addition of two small 'Frames means more dice for the small ones, meaning a flatter statistical approach to damage, and thusly, a higher Combat Efficiency. In a 2 vs. 1 environment, the CAT of two small 'Frames is higher than the one of one medium 'Frame. ;)

It's very situational and assymetric.
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby benlehman » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:08 pm

Generally speaking, I've used "small" or "large" as explanations for d6B and d6G and sometimes d6Rh.

That's a very nice way of doing weight classes.
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby randolph » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:14 pm

benlehman wrote:Generally speaking, I've used "small" or "large" as explanations for d6B and d6G and sometimes d6Rh.

That's a very nice way of doing weight classes.

I think the idea is that some of us want mechanics to go along with "superheavy" and "superlight," as opposed to fluff justification that such things already exist within the rules.
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby schoon » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:18 am

Forged wrote:Light = 1W, max 3 Systems, gets bonus Green d8 if there are no artillery
Medium = 2W, max 4 systems gets bonus Green d8 if there are no artillery or Direct fire
Heavy = 3W, max 5 Systems, gets bonus Green d8 if there are no weapons.

I love this as the basic idea, but agree with others that the fewer rules exceptions, the better. I'd consider pitching the exceptions to the standard Green d8 rules.

Counting systems (System Points) including the White dice seems a much better way to go than trying to count as half-a-frame or more-than-a-frame.

So essentially you have Light (1W + 3), Medium (2W + 4), and Heavy (3W + 5).

What are other ideas to make up for a 4-system frame's fragility and a 8-system frame's durability?
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby Ced23Ric » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:09 am

schoon wrote:Counting systems (System Points) including the White dice seems a much better way to go than trying to count as half-a-frame or more-than-a-frame.

Hence, in the OP:
Ced23Ric wrote:First of all, instead of saying "4 'Frames", converting a unitsize into Drop Limits would be highly beneficial for versatility's sake. Say, we have 16 Drop Points. A Light costs 3 point, a Medium 4, a Heavy 6 points. A game with 3 'Frames would have 12 Drop Points, a game with 8 'Frames would have 32 Drop Points.
A dissection to appropriate "Battle Value". Considering CAT, this is still "off", though. d6W are pretty valueable. Not adding them makes for poor structure feel, though. :/
schoon wrote:So essentially you have Light (1W + 3), Medium (2W + 4), and Heavy (3W + 5).
What are other ideas to make up for a 4-system frame's fragility and a 8-system frame's durability?

Roll modifiers weren't the way to go. Flat modifiers are hard(er) to remember, and canceling entire dice is too much of a penalty.

The d8G idea, I like, because it puts 'Frames into brackets. But see what it feels like: Light is fire support, medium is melee, heavy is support systems.

The roles are completely inverted.
d6Rd d6Rd d6B d6Y d8G d6W It essentially means that light DF 'Frames would be the way to go - you get lower in assets, rising in initiative, and you have a cheap & efficient 'Frame. Ballin'. Bit slow though.
d6Rh d6Rh d8Rh d6B d6Y d8G d6W d6W Then there is my medium 'Frame. Sweet, I guess. Confined to melee, but okay. Decent speed, and all system available.
d6B d6B d6Y d6Y d6G d8G d6W d6W d6W And my heavy. I have no idea what to use this for, but it's fast and supports all my other 'Frames. Maybe some d8Rr s? D:
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby Forged » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:47 pm

Ced23Ric wrote:d6B d6B d6Y d6Y d6G d8G d6W d6W d6W And my heavy. I have no idea what to use this for, but it's fast and supports all my other 'Frames. Maybe some d8Rr s? D:



That frame would probably also rock the melee.
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby Ced23Ric » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:56 pm

Accidentially, yeah. :D
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby zeekhotep » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:14 pm

The topic of multiple sizes of Mechaton mech frames is almost as old as Mechaton itself. That and a point system to make them work is the topic of this post on my blog.
http://nobsjustabs.wordpress.com/2011/05/30/campaign-games-part-three/
Uriel Johan first posted about this on 3-25-08.
http://uriel-johan.livejournal.com/5562.html
Tony on Attacks of opportunity discussed it before that on 2-12-07.
http://attacksofopportunity.blogspot.com/2007/02/mechaton-rules-bitz-4-alternate-chassis.html
I also mentioned doing this in the very first post of my blog.
http://nobsjustabs.wordpress.com/2009/03/01/hello-world/
If you read my post on the Crimson Commandos, then you know I have a vested interest in creating a set of rules on this topic.
http://nobsjustabs.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/crimson-commandos-part-one/
I think we can come up with a set of rules that will be a good foundation for a Mechwarrior style setting.
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby Axhead » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:03 am

Generally I think using different types of dice (d4 to d10 or d12) to generate the desired affects would require the least modification and still give you the diversity. Then the only thing you need to change is the VP and the entire game plays as written.

For example:
Light: use d8 for green and d4 for Blue
Medium: d6's across the board
Heavy: d4 for green, d8 for Red
Assault: d4 for green, d8 for Red and Blue
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby Axhead » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:13 am

Ced23Ric wrote:That is the next thing, the addition of two small 'Frames means more dice for the small ones, meaning a flatter statistical approach to damage, and thusly, a higher Combat Efficiency. In a 2 vs. 1 environment, the CAT of two small 'Frames is higher than the one of one medium 'Frame. ;)

It's very situational and assymetric.

Once you limit the number of attachments, you also tend to force specialization. In order to get Blue, Red and Yellow "upgrades" you need to use two attachments. If you try to go more generalized you limit the upper limits of your rolling to 6 instead of 8 which I think is huge.

If this is the way you want to go I would limit lights to only doubling up on green (and give that a bonus d8) and allow heavies to triple up on Reds and Blues letting them roll say a bonus d8 for blues and say either 2d8 Red or 2d6+1d10 Red. If you want to minimize heavy movement don't allow them any green dice.

I would also recommend caution when it comes to playing with white dice, they have a lot of subtle effects. For example in addition to added durability (more dice to loose) the also add speed, as you are more likely to get something good for movement when you want it. Essentially white make you better at everything. Perhaps one way to control this is to limit what whites could be used for based on weight class.
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby zeekhotep » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:16 am

I really like the idea of allowing a green d8 for "light mechs" doubling up on green. Of course they then only have one open system left, which is a good limiting factor. The biggest factor in getting this system of weight classes working right is going to be game balance, and finding a way to work it into the VP system.
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Re: Discussion: Weight Classes.

Postby Axhead » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:16 pm

zeekhotep wrote:I really like the idea of allowing a green d8 for "light mechs" doubling up on green. Of course they then only have one open system left, which is a good limiting factor. The biggest factor in getting this system of weight classes working right is going to be game balance, and finding a way to work it into the VP system.

The easiest way to put in game balance may be to eliminate the use of VPs and the Doomsday clock and move to scenario based gaming (this is going to be my approach for the solitary campaign I am going to play eventually). If you want to keep the game competitive, then yes it will get complicated and of course: highly rule dependant.
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