As mentioned in a previous post, the online server for playing people online via MegaMek called MegaMekNet had instituted a new set of changes to shake things up. The longest running server online, MMNet has decided to place the decisions for the latest cycle into the hands of the players. Each faction elects a person to represent them on the stage, and then they suggest and vote on various rules changes that are fully player-suggested and supported.
At first, a few small changes were created. However, on October 5th, a few major changes to the nature of operations that caused issues for years were introduced and have been played with ever since.
In order to launch an attack on someone, you need to go active, and then either attack someone who is active or hit someone as they go active. The attacker chooses the planet to attack, and there are some potential places to fight. For example, if you are fighting on Kittery, you might wind up fighting in a Drought Rift, which generates a random map based on those specifications. The various attacks you can launch are called operations.
Because the attacker has a strong control over the battlefield, they can bring an army designed to fight on that planet, which gives them an advantage that would not exist in real life (or in the fluff). In order to balance it and restore some degree of power to defenders, they get several advantages. Some operations launched to attack a world, as an example, will give the defender some mines or artillery.
Another fluff-based change was to require a ‘Mech-only unit to be the one to initially attack a world. Only if they win and have at least 20% of the world can their team follow with using combat vehicles or infantry. This also gives defenders more salvage, and more money. You can see the full slate of new operations and why the changed were enacted in great detail.
Now that I’ve gotten a chance to play with the new operations, I’ve enjoyed the chance to do counter-piracy raids against the Periphery or doing a Drop against a planet. The balance of power has shifted, and defenders are now strengthened. It’s been a positive set of changes. Over the next few weeks, these changes are likely to be tweaked. So swing on by, play a few games with the new operations, and then let them know what you think!