Torso cockpits and Patchwork armour rules

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07/09/10 08:48 PM

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Having recently discovered MegaMek I've been in a bit of a design frenzy, able to test more than a decade's worth of ideas properly. This made me want to discuss ideas for a few areas of the rules, and I love game design so... a little caveat- this isn't my game, I have no power over this game and I don't think I know 'better' than the designers, I just have my own ideas. Please don't get offended by discussion of the rules.

One area of the rules that seems a bit muddled is the rules for Torso Cockpits. By paying attention to what kills mechs over a lot of games I ended up trying these out but two aspects of the rules don't feel right. Surely the aim of a torso cockpit is to provide the option (and no, it shouldn't be overpowered) to improve your mech's resistance to the randomness of headshots. My main issue is that the rules don't do this as two sensors remain in the head. Getting head capped is still essentially crippling when that's what you're trying to avoid by getting the cockpit in the first place. These sensors should, perhaps optionally, be placeable in the left and right torsos (plenty of mech art has those going as high or higher than the head), the mech would be able to see. If this seems too good are there, or perhaps should there be, some rules allowing for the addition of extra sensors to mechs? Something like 0.5 or 0.25 tons 1 crit per extra sensor, no bonuses but it'd take additional sensor criticals to give penalties.

The second thing is the placement of a 3rd Sensor in the centre torso. One of the reasons for the torso cockpit is to enable a head turret but as the rules stand this requires a compact gyro. It feels as if they didn't fully consider the rules fitting together. The third sensor should either not be required or placeable in the left or right torso, combined with moving the other sensors this would allow decent use of the head to mount weapons bigger than energy weapons.

I know you can use patchwork armour to achieve some of the same effect, those rules have oddnesses of their own that I think should be addressed. Ideally patchwork armour should work more like endo and ferro criticals do, representing general bulk rather than being very limitingly tied to location. A better rule would be to divide the mech up into its body parts, multiply the standard critical slot requirement for each armour type by its coverage, add all of them up and round up. Then place them in the same way as Ferro and Endo crits- freely. There are two advantages to this- consistency in rules is just easier, and more fun- this works much better with campaign games and repairs (you could repair a mech's limb with normal armour and not have the torso FerroFibrous armour suddenly not fit). It works naturally so you can apply patchwork armour in the field while still following the main construction rules. Under the present rules you will often be unable to preserve the original armour of parts in a Franken mech. The inconsistency of the patchwork rules is also shown by using the rules to cover a mech with only one type of armour that requires criticals. The result is very different to the normal rules when it should be the same. Additionally most advanced armour types that require criticals cannot be placed on the head.

The final rule/s I wanted to know what others thought about are items that grow in critical slot count based on mech size. This actually makes little sense given larger mechs are already suffering for criticals while smaller ones aren't and does against the common sense view of larger mechs maybe being a bit roomier. It also creates some moderate and frankly extremely sillinesses- mechs weighing 60 tons or more cannot even mount AES in their legs, even though this would be extremely useful and appropriate. Worse, as you might attempt to make some kind of pseudo-engineering point about fine control and mass for the former, is that you cannot put a mace on a 100 ton mech as I understand it. That's just silly. Items should have constant critical size, the weight can scale with mech size, they're supposed to be two separate systems of limitation, this seems to be confusing the two.

Edited by ix (07/10/10 12:06 AM)
07/26/10 06:05 AM

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Well, if you're noticing these things, I say create some home brew rules and create your own Battletech environment. Pointing out issues with the canon rules is commendable, and I wholeheartedly applaud your passion, but it will be really hard to convince the CBT writers to change what they have written to fix these issues.

I agree with your statements though, especially about variable critical slot items. One idea I have is to treat MASC and AES in the legs like mech jump boosters - they take up all the space available in all legs (so no mounting stealth armor or void sig systems) while the weight for the whole system changes based on standard calculations for such equipment. Same rules for critical hits with jump boosters apply.

For AES in the arms, have it take up 2 slots no matter the mech weight while calculating tonnage normally. Unlike AES in the legs, AES in the arms is compatible with stealth armor or void sig systems. Critical hits are treated normally.

For TC's limit their critical slots to 4, putting the space requirement on par with AES for roughly the same benefit, and again alter the tonnage based on standard calculations.

I'm having a hard time thinking of anything else that would fit this category, but I agree with the mace quirk and anything along those lines.

I also like your ideas on patchwork armor. If I read you right, the patchwork system would be the base unto which all other armors with criticals would build upon. Thus if I chose to have 100% coverage of an armor that needs critical slots their slots would be the same, but if I chose to have the entire head covered with hardened armor instead, that percentage of the total slots for the other armors would be removed, and the weight would be calculated based on standard patchwork rules. This would be true for all armors except stealth armor which has fixed crits.

For torso mounted cockpits, I think having two sensors is fine, just make it mandatory that the sensors be placed in the side torsos with the life support, giving the whole system the same vulnerability as a clan XL engine - it can lose a side but it will be severely debilitated. This drawback would come with the ability to add a turret if desired and mount two PPCs in the head without needing the compact gyro. I can see this making a lot of sense for quads (though they still might need the compact gyro) and allowing for some interesting standard mech designs.

Edited by CYBRN4CR (07/26/10 09:42 AM)
07/26/10 07:37 AM

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Uhmm it is not hard to get them to change the rules of the game, if there are issues or problems all some needs to do is go to CBT, post the issue (with in reason) in the correct FORUM, and ask their questions and a bit of explaining the issue might help as well. Then one of the folks like Herb or Randal can answer the questions or they will see that a certain rule or rule set needs to be looked at and possible re-written to explain it better saying the won't change something or even consider it, which is what you implied, is incorrect. FASA and WizKids/FANPRO and now CGL have all been helpful in explaining the rules and making sure folks understand them. IF the rules were so clear and understood 100% by all then we not need 5 plus core rule books to cover things now would we? And telling someone oh well hey if you don't like make your own rules and universe for you to play BT is not an answer, they may not want to do that or they like the current setting of the game and just want things explained better so it makes sense to them.

As for the rest Variable Crits are fine for FLUFF or for the GM to handle, I personally don't see the need of them. But each person plays the game differently.

Patchwork armor can be handled in many different ways, I have seen older products talk about a mech having an arm from a Warhammer on a T-bolt. So the armor on that arm may be more or less than before when the T-bolt had all original parts.

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
04/10/12 05:21 PM

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Salut à tous !
Je cherche à pratiquer une activite artistique comme le dessin ou la peinture..
vous me conseillerai quoi pour debuter ?
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