Drones and Battletech

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Karagin
01/09/22 04:00 PM
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the defense post

So recalling that this was an 80s designed game, and while drones were in their infancy back in the 80s, one has to wonder if the above-mentioned type of drones would work in the game?

Did anyone ever use the drones that came with the Original (and far better) TRO3025 and TRO3026?

I personally don't like or use the "drone" mechs, sorry but to me that is not what is needed in the game, same for shields and swords and all that other specialty, novelty Solaris Seven stuff.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
ghostrider
01/10/22 07:33 PM
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The groups I played with, didn't really use drones much. We talked about it and came up with ways and instances that we might use them, but in the end, kept it to what the rules had. We didn't bother with the Hi-Scout, as we really didn't have anything set up initially about detecting the enemy. All games outside of heavy city combat was kept to you see all. ECM didn't stop that, just made losing a target when LOS was broken, and dealing with Streak and C3.
The problem was basically ignored when the Pegasus Scout tank was 'loaded' with extra sensors. As we did not have access to the publications and such as this was before the internet took off, we didn't have much to even go on.

I do think remote controlled mechs is basically a huge step away from what the game is. Having hordes of remote craft, like the SDS, really destroys the concept of putting ones own life on the line. If we wanted high tech robots, we used Robotech.

Too many questions came up when using the drones. Countering them, such as hacking them, or blocking their command input came up, but we really didn't want to get that deep into it, as it destroys the flow of the game. Any sort of ECM system should negate direct control while in the area, and most don't say weither they are AI guided or remote controlled.

I realized after I posted this, that the use of AI leads to having a full faction of AI units. This will in turn cause a fully robotic outbreak, which is yet another reason to not go down that road.


Edited by ghostrider (01/10/22 07:34 PM)
Karagin
01/11/22 12:25 PM
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My group gave the drones from the 3025/26 TROs a try a couple of times, but given how we have gone from those to now drone mechs...yeah I agree it's too much like Robotech.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
CrayModerator
01/11/22 08:11 PM
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Drones and robots are covered by Interstellar Operations.
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.
iron_sirocco
01/13/22 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Drones and robots are covered by Interstellar Operations.


I was looking for additional resources for robots. The only place I ever saw robots was in my Mechwarrior 1st edition book. The robots were more of the industrial helper kind; however, I always thought it would be cool to build something like a T800.

I do not have a copy of interstellar Operations, so it looks like you gave me another book to add to my list.

thx
Karagin
01/13/22 10:22 PM
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Really wish they would go back to a single rule book vs this let's copy D&D crap... the worse thing FanPro/CGL did.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
ghostrider
01/14/22 03:23 AM
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Robots, done right, should be a lot harder to get by when doing spec ops. They should have scanners and access to everything in the security system for the place they are in. Hiding in the shadows shouldn't be possible, as they should have infrared sensors as well as motion and normal light. They should also include built in weapons, not some gun in hand that can be taken by the enemy.
On top of that, they should be able to access doors and close/open them without any sort of gesture. Even internal/external weapons should be accessible to them.
Having even a limited AI in them would be a problem. As remote controlled items are something that was left out of the game, trying to use them, and get them into other people's games comes up. It would be nice to have something that would allow more flexibility into moving between games.

As for D&D, I do support a separate players handbook and DM guide. As for having multiple monster books, that is a bit much.
I haven't seen the newer rules for Battletech, so don't know if you have to consult multiple books to get all the rules, so I can't compare. It was frustrating when you needed three books to get the information about one unit.
Sadly, I would think it would be a money grab, if they produced a large book that had all the units in them. I know today's society uses the internet, so PDF style books are easier, but I do like the actual pages to look over, as I have seen to many issues with things like hard drive bearings dieing and not letting you copy anything off the drive.
Akalabeth
01/14/22 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Really wish they would go back to a single rule book vs this let's copy D&D crap... the worse thing FanPro/CGL did.



They didn't copy D&D because D&D is ONE GAME. Whereas the so-called "core" Battletech books are 6-7 different games, the majority of which would never sell on their own anymore. It's really the worst sort of customer experience, packaging something that players want (ground combat rules) with something they don't want (battleforce, strategic battleforce, inner sphere at war). The whole lot is then taken and marketed as a set, driving people to collect it for the sake of collecting.

It's only successful because core players buy every product without considering whether it's actually value for money.
Karagin
01/14/22 05:55 PM
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You have a series of rules spread out over several different books versus ONE single book that covers HOW TO PLAY THE GAME as a whole.

Having the secondary games as you listed would be their own ruleset, having the ability to know how certain things like aerospace and dropship work with the ground combat SHOULD BE in the main rule book. A book combining Battlefroce/Alpha Strike and the other spin-offs should have their own ruleset. Which was my point. We NEVER needed a volume series of rule books, and it shows that here we are in 2022 and people are still asking where to find simple things because of the poorly constructed rule books.

Short of the MaxTech book with the "advanced/experimental tech" a master rulebook should cover everything a player needs to sit down and play. Having a book with the higher-tech stuff as a secondary rulebook works better than having volumes that become nothing more than collector items and thus lose their main purpose.

Drones in this case should be in the advanced tech rulebook, thus when the units using them or are them, one would know they need that book, not flipping or scrolling through the master rules and finding next to nothing.

Frankly, I had more fun when the rules were in one book, it was a lot less to drag with me, I could easily read through and I didn't need to spend money on things that are rarely used.

However, the powers that be don't seem to care what we the fans really wanted at the time, hoping that a change in think comes about though.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
Karagin
01/14/22 09:47 PM
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Okay, so we all agree the rulebooks need a revamping into at the most TWO books, not a set of them that or nor do we need something akin to Star Fleet Battles.

Back to drones and drone mechs. Does anyone use them or are they novelty items that should have stayed as NPC (author/TPTB) ran units that had a one-shot run?
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
Akalabeth
01/15/22 12:28 AM
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If they just released a companion to the Battlemech Manual with the missing unit types and equipment you'd have your two book rules set.


Never used a drone mech myself. Nor the drone tanks. Did enjoy a comic long ago about an AI-controlled melee mech.


Edited by Akalabeth (01/15/22 02:27 AM)
ghostrider
01/15/22 12:12 PM
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With the release of a real ECM suite, any sort of remote control that isn't wired seems to be at a great risk of being jammed.
Given the stakes of a match on Solaris, I would think they would have all sorts of jamming devices in place to avoid outside influence on the battles.

The drones in the original books didn't seem to have enough rule basis to really allow the players to use properly. It is rather stupid to think that the future would have just abandon use of remote machines, especially when doing mundane tasks, like building things on an assembly line, or even farming combines. But giving when those rules came out, the remote or programmed units were not well established.
If, and that is a big if, the developers can finally come up with a solid, complete set of rules for drones, they could be a very nice compliment to the game. Granted, it would be extremely easy for them to take over as the main weapon of war.
If they can get it so they are not used for war, but for things like building or just scouting, would allow them to be useful without becoming the main focus.
Using the Solaris example, remote cameras on mobile platforms would be a good example of a drone.
Even using drones to make supply drops for units surrounded would be very helpful if they are your forces, or annoying as heck, if the enemy. Thing is, the drones could not have to head right out, so you would be able to slip them by anything guarding the area by sending them out an hour or several days after they went in. Intel can be loaded up into them as well, making it harder to prevent secrets from being received by the owner of the drone. Even just parking one near a point the enemy, or you, are using could give intel on who and how many units are moving.
You could even make it more futuristic by making them little spider type units that look like toys mechs or tanks.


Edited by ghostrider (01/15/22 12:12 PM)
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