Combating Munchkinism

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Venom
06/30/06 09:53 PM
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Okay, recently a couple of my 'mechs were deemed munchy. That is cool with me, at least nobody kicked my cat. I have a pretty liberal veiw of munchy considering where and how I started playing. I cut my teeth in the Junior High commons, before and after school duking it out against 'mechs that define munch.

Like a 100 tonner that had 4 Gauss, a targeting computer with a 0/0 pilot that had EI and Gauss weapon specialist. That thing was MEAN. If you made it to medium range, you were lucky, but dead the next turn. We would just put whatever we had for a counter on the map, either have teams or every man for himself. This thing never lost. After a week of having my 'mech get its butt kicked all over the place, i came up with a solution. TC warheads. They were in the Tactical Handbook and the answer to my prayers. They did one point of damage to the armor and one point to the internal structure. When you take internal damage on an EI pilot, you risk pilot damage. So I loaded up a Javelin with TC SRMs, striped the JJets and increased the speed. Everything was LVL1 except my ammo.

Using cover, I was able to avoid destruction. I hid for a couple of turns waiting for the initiative. When I got it, I ran in behind him and let go with both SRMS. He could only bring 2 GRs to bear. His roll was a 7 against my CT. He missed with one and hit with another, darn near killing the 'mech with 2 engine hits. I hit with 8 of 12 SRMs. One was a head shot, so automaticaly, I was on my way to winning. When the roll for pilot damage came around I had 8 chances, but only needed 5 succeses. I got 4. Needless to say, he took a little nap. In the Physical attack phase I used the Javelins mighty punching ability and took him in the head. He was livid that a 'mech a third his size, using tech that was mostly outdated before Kerensky was born had taken him down.

Another bad one was a "cicada". By this time, I realy had nothing to prove, so I wnt with a simpler, more likely to succede strategy. But, any way, someone took The Drawing Board and went nuts. It was clan, weighed at least twice as much as the origional and had more Med and Small Pulse Lasers hooked to a targeting computer than is prudent. He had been playing less than I had, yet he sported a 0/0 pilot(mine was like a 3/1 by this time). The thing could literaly cook your center torso armor in a turn and possibly start on you IS. But it lacked range and ran hot. I mounted an Arrow IV system with inferno rounds plus a Gauss, ERPPC and a couple of ER LRGs, IIRC. The Inferno worked as advertised. Just before I got in range, i laid down fire so that he would have to walk through it to get to me. By the time I was in range, he was a hurtin'. When he finaly fired the first time, he was missing half the lasers due to a blown off arm and the TC was out due to a critical on the oposite torso. He was slow due to heat and easily eliminated when he got within physical range.

The same tactic worked again against a 100 ton clan Med Pulse+TargComp boat. I think it had 13 an could fire almost all, if not all. If he got close, you got liquified. Annother newer player, he also had a 0/0, but by then I had a 1/0.

I don't mean to bore you all with old war stories, but mearly pointing out that some of us started playing a little differently than others, so we appreciate 'mechs(homegrown and canon) that take every advantage without exploiting the rules. My family motto is after all, At All Costs, Victory.
CrayModerator
07/01/06 07:44 AM
70.118.43.50

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Munchkinism.

When I first started playing and acquired Tales of the Black Widow company, I misread the "freezers" and thought they were 1-crit, triple-strength heat sinks. The rules also weren't explicit on how often weapons could be fired per turn, so we figured "as often as you had ammo and heat." (This was pre-UAC.) So, setting up games was like strategic arms limitations talks: you could only have X triple heat sinks per mech; you couldn't have any AC/5s (or, if you did, no more than 3 tons of ammo); MGs were usually banned; etc.

And then there was the LAM incident. No THS, but to see my biggest, most munchkin 'mech (something like a Thunderhawk) brought low by this bouncy little thing with weak pulse lasers...

Very few L1 designs even lightly stimulate my munchkin sensors.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.
sdog
07/01/06 09:46 AM
139.174.165.124

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munchkin lvl1 mechs:
stock:
WHM-6D, IMP

modified:
a player made mech in neveron:
ON1-LW 75t
14.5t armour (ON1-K distribution)
4/6/4
16 HS
PPC RT
LRM 15 LT
ML LA
ML RA
Toontje
07/01/06 09:53 AM
84.24.165.226

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lvl 1?

AWS, hbk-p

Basicly anything that does not overheat, with mainly energy armamaent.
Rather to blow up, then.
sdog
07/01/06 10:04 AM
139.174.165.124

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i back you there toontje,
but i'd not consider MAD-3D as munchkin as it has extremely bad armour distribution.

Wolverine 6M and WHM-6K neither, both waste 4 tons for a next to useless weapon. you got to drop the srm ammo anyway after the first hit on the torso location where the ammo is. the weapon got a pretty bad damage/weight ratio anyways.

(2ML and 2HS weight the same, do 10 damage, produce same heat excess. average damage for the srm is below 10 i think. while the srms spread, and increase chance for headshots, the pair of ML has double floater chance.)
Venom
07/01/06 12:00 PM
63.241.182.3

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This will still run into heat problems. It builds 2 if it fires the MLs and PPC and runs. It builds 1 if it runs and fires the PPC and LRM. How is this in the same class as any of the 'mechs I described?
sdog
07/01/06 02:09 PM
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in close comat 2ML + PPC 16 heat. if you jump 20 heat, you just have to ignore the lasers every second turn. of course it would be nice not to overheat at all. but that's just not possible.

at mid range ppc + lrm 15 heat, here it keeps full backward mobility moving 4 hexes (two for two back). without geting any heat. it could sustain this unti it runs out of ammo. You don't want to run anyway i you fire lrm as ammo is such a precious resource (only 16 rounds).

CT can take 3 ppc hits, RT/LT 2 ppc hits, legs, 3 hits, back 1 hit.

this mech is as optimized for a frontline mech as a mech could be. you just can't make it any better (well, except puting the RA ML into the head)

before you had only the ON1-K almost perfectly armoured. but very crappy weapon loadout (including AC 10 and SRM). and of course lacking mobility. overall it is a very flawed mech with very limited use, as almost all 3025 mechs are.

I employed one of those myself in a lance with a GLT-4 and a TDR-5SE, plus a GRF-1N. with the same gunnery skill of -2* it killed twice as many BV as the two other heavies. (only the griff got more, cause of it's speed, i used it to kill the crippled vehicles left behind)


* nevs skills need to be slightly better, because of the 100*100 maps with often heavy terrain


Edited by sdog (07/01/06 02:13 PM)
Venom
07/01/06 02:16 PM
63.241.182.3

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Optimized, yes, munchy, no. It realy does not sport as much fire power as I would like at close range. That is why I liked the origional Orion. Of course, I replace all AC/10s with PPCs in LVL 1. Why have one thing if another out performs it?
Toontje
07/01/06 02:48 PM
84.24.165.226

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Hmm. That is the definition of munch, drop the useless..

AC/10's do have a marked advantages over PPC's tho, named no min range.

Obviously, lrms combined with a ppc, and ML's for when the range gets too close is even more so.. Especially when figuring in special ammo loads.
Rather to blow up, then.
LordChaos
07/01/06 03:02 PM
66.188.192.19

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I've never dumped SRM6 ammo from a WVR-6M, and never had the ammo get hit. I'll admit, on the WHM it's rather lightly protected for it's duty, but on the WVR, it's quite usefull and has won me more then one game by their increased chances of getting a TAC, head shot, or regular crit.
Real mechwariors pilot IS mechs.
Venom
07/01/06 04:00 PM
63.241.182.3

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The only time I play Lvl. 1 is an old merc command. We used to be awesome, but a good run of bad luck realy hit us hard a few years ago. On several scenarios that should have been qucik and easy became protracted firefights, with alot of the heavy hitters running out of ammo. So we sold off the AC/10s and bought PPCs, along with a few other common swaps.

Munch is not dropping the useless, it is over exploiting the rules of the strong. Just becasue I never use AC/2s, MGs or OS LRM-5s is not munch.
Karagin
07/05/06 01:28 PM
214.13.130.100

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Munchy is in the eye of the person who looks at the mech...if they find it munchy then it's munchy. And vise versa.

We all have our own take on what's munchy and what's not.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
Greyslayer
07/06/06 04:28 AM
216.14.198.49

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Quote:

That is why I liked the origional Orion. Of course, I replace all AC/10s with PPCs in LVL 1. Why have one thing if another out performs it?




Except that Marik produced, what, 40 (yes 4 - 0 ) PPCs a year back in 3025. for all their existing PPC mechs and the new ones they produced. So they had no opportunity to mess with the design of the Orion in that way because it was logistically unsound to do so. Munch do not understand that though.
Greyslayer
07/06/06 04:31 AM
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Read again, he was saying Kuritan variation not Marik.
Greyslayer
07/06/06 04:34 AM
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SRMs are handy. especially if you come accross the very nasty vehicle and realise your precious mediums are fairly useless against the tank compared to the 'multi-ball' effect SRMs.

and lets not forget how handy ammo weapons like SRMs and ACs are on vehicles.
Venom
07/06/06 01:37 PM
63.241.182.3

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Where is that in the canon? I never got my hands on the house books as they were out of print when I started playing. Could it be that it is not the intention of munch, but simply not having the knowledge of those things? Besides, mercs often cannot afford new weapons, so all of ours are replaced with PPCs from salvaged 'mechs.
Toontje
07/06/06 02:34 PM
84.24.165.226

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The text versions are availlable from www.classicbattletech.com . Well, used to be anyway.
Rather to blow up, then.
Karagin
07/07/06 12:35 AM
214.13.130.100

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They still have them up.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
CrayModerator
07/07/06 05:36 AM
147.160.136.10

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Quote:

Where is that in the canon? I never got my hands on the house books as they were out of print when I started playing.




Probably in the Marik SB.

You can get the House SBs free, on-line in pdf form from the official BT site:

http://www.classicbattletech.com/index.php?action=downloads

Look in the left column. You should see the House Sourcebooks.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.
Greyslayer
07/09/06 04:22 PM
216.14.198.49

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Quote:

Where is that in the canon? I never got my hands on the house books as they were out of print when I started playing.




As mentioned by others it is pointed to in Marik Sourcebook but also the early mercenary handbook has a availability table for equipment and their relevant prices in that house for equipment. I think you will find that PPCs in Marik space during 3025 were.... a little expensive

Quote:

Could it be that it is not the intention of munch, but simply not having the knowledge of those things? Besides, mercs often cannot afford new weapons, so all of ours are replaced with PPCs from salvaged 'mechs.




While munch use certain rules to balance the game in their favour they often ignore most of the other rules when it does not favour them. Salvaged PPCs, used as refit equipment is a highly suspect practice. Did your techs properly quantify that the PPC was fully functional (a good gm would do things to the player's detriment if they do not check, look in the MaxTech for results of weapons firing that have been damaged). Did you have a refit kit to give you the power couplings that an Orion does not have for a powerful energy weapon of that type? Afterall the Orion is mostly a ammunition mech so why have the specialised power couplings for a PPC (which would probably be far different from a coupling for a Large Laser), for that you would probably require the full build power couplings. This doesn't mean salvaged couplings unless no locations were destroyed the couplings would travel too (and it also doesn't mean a coupling salvaged from the torso of one mech could reach the arm of another).

Then there are unbalancing mech issues. The more tons and criticals outside of the original design you make the mech the harder it is to customise. So while you might be aiming for a AC10 --> PPC swap the critical/tonnage in location and other locations will no longer be where the tonnage in the design were to be allocated. Refit kits in themselves for specific conversions give the gyrso settings and substructure support to do such recognised conversions. Player or munch conversions have no such coverage.

MaxTech also has some of the rules on the tonnage/criticals bit as well. Even after that it usually takes weeks if not months of testing to make sure a refit is properly tested to reduce chances of breakdown during combat.

It is also even more critical because of the haphazzard nature of the refit to swap like for like. If your PPC you salvaged was a certain model produced by a certain company then obviously in such a situation if you needed to replace that then replaced with a similar one would be best bet to make sure it doesn't fail on you. Some PPCs may not even accept the same couplings.

These are just some of the things the munch players refuse to recognise while trying to unbalance the game in their favour. Customised mechs are fairly rare for good reasons in this game. Availability of quality parts, difficulty in creating a stable design and the actual technical know-how to do such changes (while many techs could do small insignificant changes to a design a major structural rework of that skill and the tech would probably be good enough and get paid more to work at a mech factory or something rather than a fairly unforgiving environment of being a mercenary technician).
Venom
07/09/06 04:53 PM
64.12.116.134

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Never realy thought of it that way. I always used the rules in BMR for salvage and refit. Checking out the salvaged weapon is always worth the extra time unless on the battlefeild. Techs can do about anything when you figure in extra time, which merc units have on garrison duty or just traveling aboard jumpships.

I do take issue with the coment about customized 'mechs. Numerous accounts are given in TRO:3025 of variants being as or more common than the standard configuration. Also 'mercs often pull from 'mech families who take very good care of their 'mechs. It is not unreasonable that they would take the time and money to modify their most important possesion.

In short I follow the rules, in the books I have. I also belive in commonsense when refitting. I don't "modify" a design to have EndoSteel. That is an unreasonable modifycation as it would require removal of the entire support structure. Also, it says in the rules that I can use a Dire Wolf leg as a replacement for an Atlas. Or an Atlas head on a Stone Rhino. Can you imagine? I can't so I don't.

Remember, BT is many things to many people. I was FIVE when the House books were printed. They were collectors items when I started playing.

P.S.
The Lyrans must have been doing better in the PPC-making biz. TRO:3025 states a Commonwealth-wide modification of the Zues to replace the AC with a PPC.
Greyslayer
07/09/06 05:41 PM
216.14.198.49

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Most of the modifications they talk of, whether it be those mechs in 3025 where variants are more common (i.e. Vulcan in Davion space) are from canon design refitted to canon design via a refit kit. Not a frankenmech.

On the 100-ton bit I deal with the components on that. I would not allow the swap of say the leg actuators from a Vulture for a Ostsol (the actuators are not involved in the endosteel bit) because of the mode of operation of the legs (bird leg vs humanoid leg). A complete swap of those legs would be highly irrational though, but not unlikely. But the swap down of the sensors from the head of a Dire Wolf to an Atlas is highly possible. the swap up though I am dubious of as explained (I think in MaxTech) many IS mechs operate on 1 or two sensor types working at all while the clans use all of them. Cockpits could be a straight swap but a swap of heads again would unlikely to be effective.

MaxTech (and I think some later rulebooks) deals with salvaging destroyed components (10+ on 2d6 means the component can be repaired and thus salvaged including locations, engines what have you) but expendible stuff like armour cannot be salvaged.

In an early book, I believe it was the 3055 Mercenary Handbook, it dealt with Engine repair kits. Due to the nature of the shielding and the engines themselves you could not just repair the engine with a bandaid and hope it holds together. you used a kit which contained extra shielding etc that cost about 10,000 c-bills per pop and was used up in a single attempt (successful or otherwise) at repairing a damaged engine. Otherwise the engine could not be repaired at all. We brought in a house rule on a similar practice for gyros but no supporting canon source for such info, we also brought in that XL Engines required a more expensive (50,000 c-bills) repair kit due to the differing nature of the shielding on those engines, it was again something fasa didn't think much into at the time (i.e. the major differences in shield types wouldn't be covered by one type or repair kit)
Venom
07/09/06 08:43 PM
205.188.117.11

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BMR contains all the salvage and repair rules. I use them. I never saw anything in FM:Mercs about repair kits, but that is the kind of thing that I wish the rules delved deeper into. Hopefully the new rulebook will have rules like that because BMR never dealt with cost of repairs.
Greyslayer
07/10/06 03:50 PM
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Quote:

BMR contains all the salvage and repair rules. I use them.




Which is fine when you are not roleplaying, but when roleplaying a mercenary unit you need that extra 'depth'. Maximum Tech does have some very interesting and good stuff in it along with the usual brain explosion in there as well.

Quote:

I never saw anything in FM:Mercs about repair kits, but that is the kind of thing that I wish the rules delved deeper into. Hopefully the new rulebook will have rules like that because BMR never dealt with cost of repairs.




The older books dealt with cost of repairs and maintaining units far more extensively than the new books. If you have books old enough to have Combat Values you could even use a proper expenditure system on running day-to-day stuff for the units though I would use the times given for repairs when in a conflict of sorts.

you will not gain much of anything useful from the FM: Mercs (unless there was a serious improvement in the re-write), it is a 'fluff' book and as such has no real 'body' to it. You are best off having a look at 3055: Mercenaries Handbook and even the original Mercenaries Handbook (as that would show the equipment you can get in which house etc in it while the 3055 one doesn't).

Under the older systems you could order a regular supply of A, B or C deliveries to your location. This would be depending on the type of mission and probably how close to a regular shipping lane the GM would consider your unit to be etc (there are programs out there that can help you find out whether you are btw).
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