odd questions

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ghostrider
06/19/23 10:16 PM
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Has anyone done anything like forcing a piloting roll when a player walks on the side of a level change?
I have known a few people that wanted to move thru an area, but didn't want to change levels in that hex. So we said fine.
But recently, while playing one of the video games, it came to my attention that the slope would definitely force a piloting roll, as some slopes are mild to very steep. It would also force a unit to slow down as well, as their footing would slip and slide as the slope gave way.

As maps tend to have the slope lines drawn halfway thru the hex, the group didn't force the level change.

Input here would be nice, as well as other odd question like this, maybe house rules/discussions on things like it.
Karagin
06/19/23 11:26 PM
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If they don't change levels, there is no need to force a role. The maps make it clear, though, if the hex says level 1 or level 2, then it's that for the board game.

If the group agrees that they are good with not forcing it until the player moves to the next level, then that's how they are playing it. I would ask, are they giving partial cover for the terrain in the rest of the hex?

Now if this is in the RPG side of the house, that is up to the GM to figure out.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
ghostrider
06/20/23 02:33 AM
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Partial cover is given, but only if the firing unit is on the same level or below. So a unit on level 2, using the sloped area staying on level 2, but moving to a new location would get the cover for a level one attacker, but not a level 3. Hope that makes sense.

Been hoping to get a thread going that deals with the odd things that come up. As always, a GM has the last word in the game, and any questions come after the session is over. But this is more for personal information, not something to use as a club against the GM.
Hell, getting a decent GM is hard enough without arguing things with them.

As I said, playing mercenaries 5, you can walk on the side of a slope and it doesn't affect you. Granted, I have not seen any unit actually fail a piloting roll, but suspect they don't bother with that aspect.
This also affects vehicles doing the same thing. Would there be a chance to slide, or change facing due to loose material causing a 'kick out' or jackknife of the vehicle? Any suggestions on how to deal with this? Use the side slip tables?
Karagin
06/20/23 09:20 AM
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I normally ignore anything found in the video games because they make hash out of the tabletop game rules to the point that the video games are their own thing and not really Battltetech games, but more akin to FPS games.

A lot of what you are describing would be the details for the RPG side, with a good GM handling things down to that level of detail and knowing how to keep folks on their toes. If these guys are treating the terrain as three-dimensional then adding in anything sounds like you are trying to penalize them for going against the rules by using home rules to start with.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
ghostrider
06/20/23 11:58 AM
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We have been playing with an idea of having a random role to see if the partial cover is there or not.
Yeah, it is getting a little more real, but slopes are not always smooth sides. You might gain the coverage with a small outcropping, or it might do nothing. It came up this could well be used to determine if a forest would provide cover, especially if the unit had just walked thru the area.
And yes, the idea of a landslide has been brought forward as a joke.

Yes, the GM has the power to decide it, but they were asking if they should consider things outside of the normal flow of the game.

And I do agree that the video games are a category unto itself. Different games have different 'rules' to them. It doesn't mean they can't contribute to the board or even table top (which hasn't been done in the group). The concept of the Argo is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about a while ago, about having a dropship that another dropship can dock with, to save space on a jumpship. Granted, I was thinking more of a larger aerodyne so the ships could be stacked even further, making the Scout jumpship more valuable, if not for just regular cargo runs.

We are still looking into how much speed walking on the side of a slope should be affected. We are also looking into how steep the slope can be, before it prevents a unit from being able to do so. 1 level difference, shouldn't be much, while 3+ might be too much, or require a very harsh penalty.
As with reality, going diagonal up a slope allows you to 'climb' steep slopes that would need special gear if you tried to go straight up it, within limits. A full cliff would not allow the diagonal movement without gear.
aurora43
06/24/23 09:46 AM
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Generally, I tend to avoid hexes split or sharing a contour line. I'm new at this and still feeling my way around the board. Presently, when crossing a hex split by a contour line, been applying the extra movement points for level change and let it go at that.

Reading this thread helps me in resolving my dilemma by sending me to review and learn about 'Piloting Skill Rolls.'

For purposes of my home rules, referring to the 'Piloting Skill Roll Table / Battlemech's Situation / Special Case', states:
'Mech/Warrior trying to avoid damage when his BattleMech is falling' resulting in a piloting skill Modifier of +1/level fallen.

When I progress to using Piloting Skill Rolls, I'll use special case (above) to cross hexes split by a contour line. For example, when my Mech is at Level 1 crossing a Level 1 sharing with a Level 0 hex.

Ref. is BT Master Rules, FASA 1707, Movement Sec., Piloting Skill Rolls.


Edited by aurora43 (06/24/23 11:55 AM)
ghostrider
06/24/23 02:41 PM
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This is more of a home rules concept thread. It is NOT official.
So if you like the idea, use them. If not, stick with the original rules.

The split level concept came up while using units having to move thru a pass, that didn't have a road, but had different levels in both hexes, side by side. Given the official rules, you would not be able to move vehicles thru the area, which really thru the mission off.
Had to get vehicles into a base, to raid it, yet the only way in was the split level area. The rest was high mountains.
At the time, no one had, including the GM, had thought about this, nor did we think there should be an underground tunnel.
Another scenario came up where we were trying to sneak in closer to an enemy before being discovered, and LOS was the key.

The idea of walking on the side of a cliff, requiring a piloting roll came about recently because of the way a unit moves. There should be some difference on how a mech steps to deal with the slope, much like rough terrain does. Vehicles would be even more of a problem. They require their motive systems, IE tracks or wheels, to remain solid with the ground.

This is if you travel with the terrain, not across it. Hopefully, that was not needed to be said, but there are some that would try and gain some sort of advantage.
aurora43
06/24/23 11:21 PM
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Heat too extreme here in Houston for any outside activity. Focus is on BT for a while, my 'indoor' hobby.

With time on my hands began perusing BattleTech Tactical Handbook, FASA 8630. I'll probably never play at Level Three (BT gaming, not elevation), but have the book so decided to peruse it.

Anyway, back to piloting skill rolls. Level Three Rules section has a sub-section titled 'Selecting Terrain Elevation' consisting of three paragraphs. Basically saying it is possible to move through hexes having more than one indicated level without additional MP cost. Player has to declare in advance the intent to move through the hexes without changing levels.

No mention is made of a piloting skill roll. Sort of sidestepping, if you will, any need for concern regarding slope, etc. Kind of giving the player a freebie pass through?

So, yeah, here will stick with my home rules concept of using additional MP for Level changes just because I like doing it. Deal with the piloting roll as I gain more experience.
ghostrider
06/25/23 11:26 AM
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That's great. I don't have any rules beyond BMR. So a lot of the newer changes I only find out thru the site, or by others telling me them.

The funny thing with sidestepping is the speed at which units can do so. The only land touching unit that I know of, that can do it without too much effort is the quad mechs. Hovers may or may not be considered ground touching, as when they do, it is normally during a crash...

The one issue we did have is one of the players was a scammer, and kept saying they paid the cost in the last round, but never did.. He was the one that played all his d&d characters as a multiclass thief, but never included it into his character sheet. It was after he played a paladin and started his thief moves that we finally had to put an end to that entirely.

If you have some house rules that you might want to share, that is why I made this thread. It is interesting how some come about, and how some change (fix) something missing in the game.

One such thing is the vehicles not being able to move thru woods. I understand some reasons, such as hover craft having issues, but tracked units shouldn't be much of a problem. Speed would be the main factor.
aurora43
06/25/23 12:12 PM
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Been looking closer at the map sheets I am using and now better understanding why you might be challenging the need for a piloting skill roll.

My older map sheets have a well-defined contour line on them separating out Levels. Newer map sheets not so much so. Levels sort of blend together with a shading difference present to represent the areas between Level changes. With contour lines absent, Level change is not well defined and leaves an overlap area calling into question which Level a Mech is actually at as it traverses the ground.

With my "newer" Classic BT and Catalyst map sheets, I can see where a piloting skill roll might be of value when dealing with Level change during movement.

[Edit:] Having said that, I could say that my house rules may eventually include "Piloting Skill Roll for traversing hexes with multiple Levels.

For now, will continue to charge MP for traversing a hex split by Levels. Example: Level 1 / Level 2 hex. Player (usually only me) declares if there is a Level change or not. If changing Level, player pays the extra MP to change. If not changing Level, player pays MP to change to the lower or upper Level and back again to continue on. Yes, it will cost more MP for the Mech to stay at its current level. Consider it the cost of traversing dissected terrain. For me, keeps it more realistic in reading what the map is really telling me regarding the terrain. [:End Edit]

My house rules are still in DRAFT form as they change as I get more experience and fold in more accepted playing norms and discard techniques that don't work. A work-in-progress as it were.


Edited by aurora43 (06/25/23 12:53 PM)
ghostrider
06/26/23 08:29 PM
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An idea has popped up which I could use some input on.

The idea of the slopes of terrain contour lines has give me a thought of making a house rule that allows units to purposefully fire on items enemy units are 'standing' on such as the slope, that would possibly force the unit to make a piloting roll to avoid sliding down, on up to actual fall damage from an entire slope going into a rockslide.

This could well be used to allow targeted shots on buildings, to prevent full damage, and only target a spot where a unit is stationed at, which might well include infantry.

The down side is this would allow targets to hurt a mech, they might not be able to hurt otherwise, such as a high to hit number, vs the stationary target of the hillside.

This could well cause artillery to be more dangerous as landslides would well cover/hurt mechs below.
It could also be used for things like taking down walls/towers to allow easier access to a base, that would be near impossible to breach otherwise. Sapping could well be done here as well. This would not be that useful to a single mission, as it would slow down play, but allow campaigns to progress outside of the standard hit the main gate with everything, while the enemy just has to defend the main gate.

This could also allow causing a cave in for buildings/bases underground or in a large cave. Or maybe another rule set might be needed for this. It would allow someone to succeed in a mission to take out underground facilities, without actually having to go underground, or force the players to reinforce their own bases.
ghostrider
06/26/23 10:35 PM
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Had another scenario pop up since posting.

How much damage does a roof take before it gives, when it is an underground garage or factory? You could well have your players find an unknown factory or storage facility that few, if any, knew about before attacking a base. Or collapse of a cliff? I know most would say it is up to a GM, which would be true, but as a GM, do you just hand your players access or have them work for it? This could well be something that happens in their own base. No one knew of the storage area, as it was 'outside' of the main base. Might simply have been a hiking path nearby.

If you are nice, then they find the area without others finding out about it, or real nasty and have several factions start landing troops. And by factions, it doesn't have to be the main houses. It could well be some small noble houses looking to expand their forces quickly and cheaply. Even Comstar/WOB could be involved, depending on the time frame, and how mean a GM wants to be.

Even an orbital bombardment might open up an unknown depot.

As a different question, would you allow any sort of aircraft or space craft the ability to crash a damaged ship into ground units?
If so, would it be a normal piloting roll, with modifiers depending on how damaged?
Mechwarrior 5 keeps dropping VTOLS on my units, and figured it would make a decent addition, if someone wants a little more realism in their game.
ghostrider
07/09/23 11:12 PM
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Another question came up in discussion, that is nothing more then a realism concept for the game.

The idea is that when starting up a mech's gyro, if it isn't the person driving the unit, there might be a 'glitch' that could pop up.
Things such as the normal pilot of the mech, may well take his neural helmet with him, causing a tech to have to start it up with a different helm, which may well be a completely different style of helmet. So this will cause the system to have been set to one that sets further to the front or back of the head instead of where the pilot's helm sits. Even a size difference between the two could well cause issues.
A shorter tech might have to lean forward in order to start up the unit, or a taller one might sit back further.
Even a tech not normally assigned to the mech might have to fill in for an emergency.

A prone mech may not be in a position to start up comfortably, where the pilot might strain his neck in order to sit properly, or the weight of the helm itself, might cause a 'misfire' in start up.

This came about as some campaign scenario using random enemy units rolled a mismatch, and the GM tried to give the scenario a little boost to make it even.
A lance of medium/heavy units were ambushed by a light/medium lance. Let's just say an advanced probe spoiled the ambush, and the range was under 300 meters (10) hexes to start. So medium to short range. The Hunchback leading the patrol lance was medium to short range as the ambush was found. A single volley of the ac20 removed one of the ambushers without an issue, and the second round was about to do the same thing. The rear unit didn't get to fire, and it seemed it would not fire the entire combat, so we shut it down, to figure out something different.
The ambushers were going to just keep hidden as they realized they would not survive the ambush, but the probe roll removed that option.
Yes, odd things like this happen, but the group agreed it was not going to be fun for all, and not 'smart' on the enemy's part. The enemy 'knew' the lance they were going to ambush, but a lack of real time on the GM caused the random lance roll. The AC 20 was not supposed to hit anything, but at the range and everything else, a 12 was a solid hit. Most mechs under 30 tons do not do well with being hit by one. The second shot was a 10, which was enough to hit, as the forest slowed the lights down that didn't have jets to put distance between the two mechs.

And the group uses the unit's mechs in campaigns, so no trying to set up the 'perfect' combat each time. The unit had switched out the lance due to the original one having been mauled the last game session, and was still in for repairs.
A few decent, but failed die rolls from the enemy pilots showed the entire ambush would be a blow out against them. It would have been a victory easily for the group, but a 'cheap' one at that.

If not for the swap of the units lance, due to the repairs, it would have been a good scenario.

The glitch was a suggestion to help deal with something like this in the future. Hard to have a campaign set up, when something goes wrong from lucky dice rolls, both for and against the unit.
ghostrider
07/23/23 02:47 AM
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Has anyone come across a map that needed some sort of special rules dealing with vehicles? There is one canon map published that has only one position on it, that ground vehicles, other then tracked, can get by. One hex that isn't tree covered, though I may have to relook at the map to see if hovers can get over some water.

A few times, we allowed the other vehicles to pass thru a single hex of light woods, but it would cost all of the units movement, suggesting there is a way, but it would take some careful driving to do so. There is still a risk of hovers getting crap in their lift fans, so they were less likely to even try.

I know we could have put a trail or road thru it, but didn't realize it until we played on the map. Using mechs, it doesn't register in our minds, but ground vehicles were an issue in a different scenario on the map. Basically a raid that had the mechs distract the defenders, and the vehicles were to do the actual stealing... I mean raid the base of what ever they could grab.

There was no stipulation that vehicles could not move thru the area, so we had to make up a house rule on the spot.
rickapp
08/30/23 03:49 AM
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Yes, I've come across maps that require special vehicle rules. For example, in one map I played, most of the terrain was covered with dense forest, which made it difficult for ground vehicles to move. In this case, we used the rule that vehicles can only travel on paths laid out in the forest. The trails were marked on the map with special symbols, and they could only allow certain types of vehicles to pass.
ghostrider
09/29/23 08:50 PM
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As this instance came up before they introduced things like bulldozer blades, we did not equip vehicles with anything like it.
As I could not find any information in the wiki, does the bulldozer blade allow removal of woods?
I know weapons fire can do so, but when you are trying to sneak up to a facility in vehicles, knocking down trees is much quieter then using weapons to do so. So I was wondering if a path can be cleared for vehicles to get thru woods. I would suspect this is limited to non hovers if so.
Karagin
10/02/23 12:26 AM
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I would say that if you have the bulldozer blade and take the time say turn of sitting in the hex or two turns then yeah you could reduce a heavy woods to a light woods or light to clear. That makes sense. Pretty somewhere in one of the five rule books (yeah again who every thought that was a great needs to be beaten with all five books) it's there.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
ghostrider
10/03/23 09:29 PM
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Would the engineering vehicle suffice to clear a path out?
Hadn't really thought about it until I was logging in this time.
Granted, the dozer blade would be more likely to have with a unit then the engineering vehicle. The blade would also be better for fording a river as well, so that could reduce a defensive line that uses a river to block ground vehicles. It could also allow a path/road to be built in the side of a hill to allow vehicles to get up an otherwise illegal grade.

Guess the next question is some sort of rules to deal with this.
Karagin
10/04/23 01:37 AM
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Engineering vehicles is a catch-all term when you think about it really. A dozer clears an area, yet so are backhoes and graters.

Many of Battletech's "engineering vehicles" are really recovery vehicles, aka tank recovery or mech recovery. So we really need that part cleared up (no pun) first.

Also putting a dozer blade on a vehicle doesn't mean it's going to be clearing the ground, it could be used for mine clearing or obstacle clearing instead. I truly believe that the authors didn't put a lot of thought or really talk to folks who knew what they were talking about when it came to how they worded a lot of things in the rules for this stuff and here are in 2023 and they have made no effort to fix these issues.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
ghostrider
10/05/23 11:15 AM
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Questions came to mind this morning.
Is a blade a stationary item or does it have some hydraulics to it? I would assume it would have at least some up and down movement, otherwise it would slow down the unit from dragging. And to be useful, it would have to be able to scrape in front of the unit. A snowplow comes to mind here.
Other questions include, does it tilt forward and backward? Can you angle it to either side of the unit? Much like the Blade heavy equipment.
Do they have different styles, where the cheapest, lightest one doesn't move, while heavier, more costly ones have full movement?

Would it allow an extra point of damage when ramming? Like 1 point per 10 tons, or maybe 20 tons?

Most of these questions don't really affect the combat game, so isn't that important, but it does flesh out their usage some.
Karagin
10/05/23 10:28 PM
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Some blades are fixed; it depends on whether the blade is a plow or an actual dozer blade with the hydraulics to lift it. Again, Battletech lumps both kinds together.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
ghostrider
10/11/23 04:05 PM
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Did they ever add in an official mobile repair vehicle or gantry?
Stupid thought came up as to how that would work without having the gantry/repair area collapsible. Even the smallest mech at 12 meters tall would require a pretty long vehicle if it didn't. I know there are units in the real world that are longer then that, but this is talking about a military unit that is moved inside a dropship.
The space to store such a vehicle would be questionable for most military commanders because of this.
The unit would only need to shorten up, but unlikely need to have it widen/shrink horizontally. But then, you could probably have it do the same thing.

For a house rule, would it be worth adding in extra weight for the mechanisms to do so? And if so, how much would it weight?
FrabbyModerator
10/12/23 07:19 AM
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Fairly sure that mobile maintenance/repair gantries are described somewhere - MechWarrior 2nd Ed. iirc.
Karagin
10/12/23 10:50 AM
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Or have three vehicles that link up to do the same thing, that would be the Military Industrial Complex's answer to the issue: more items sold, more money made. Or they would build bigger dropships.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
Karagin
10/12/23 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Fairly sure that mobile maintenance/repair gantries are described somewhere - MechWarrior 2nd Ed. iirc.



Got a page or link?
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
ghostrider
10/12/23 08:40 PM
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Mobile Field Bases are similar to a DropShip's 'Mech or vehicle cubicle, providing a repair platform equipped with the same gear minus launch mechanisms and amenities.[1] They provide technical servicing, maintenance, and battlefield repairs.[2] They were first put into use by the Federated Suns and Lyran Alliance in 3059 and Clan Coyote in 3060.

Didn't check the wiki, though this time frame in the game is beyond the last tro I bought.
The wiki implies it is more of a building then a vehicle. 20 tons but no mention of chasis, movement, or the like
Rules Index: The following rulebooks have references to the Mobile Field Base:

Alpha Strike Companion: pp. 37, 119, 127, 172, 175
Interstellar Operations: pp. 45, 209, 215, 333, 336
Strategic Operations: pp. 35, 150, 171, 186, 191, 344, 351 (Errata v. 2.1: pp. 8, 9)
Tactical Operations: pp. 132, 250, 264, 330, 408, 409 (Errata v. 3.6: p. 44)

As stated, I do not own any of these books.

But it does bring up the question on what is the dimensions of a mech bay?
I was wondering about a vehicle bay as well, but that is dependent on the amount of units it holds.
ghostrider
10/29/23 10:06 PM
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So I will take it that they have NOT created a vehicle mobile repair bay yet given no responses otherwise.

Another question comes up with this line of thought. Has anyone besides Comstar/WOB and the clans built a yardship?
As I do not see the information on this, nor do I see anything saying the clans have any in the IS, I have to ask if this assumption is correct?
Given the Ghost Bear move as well as the Snow Ravens planned out their move before doing so, it would be logical they brought at least one, or built one.
RainDoak
11/23/23 05:44 AM
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As for yardships, Comstar and the Clans are known to possess these massive vessels capable of transporting and servicing BattleMechs and other vehicles. Cool games here While there's no explicit indication of other factions owning yardships, the advanced technological capabilities of some Inner Sphere powers, such as the Federated Suns and the Lyran Alliance, suggest they might have developed their own yardship designs.


Edited by RainDoak (11/23/23 01:22 PM)
ghostrider
11/23/23 12:57 PM
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That is a problem with BT.
They don't tell you everything, yet if they don't tell you, assuming something tends to bite you.
As the issue with tech comes up, the IS, besides Comstar/WOB, wasn't able to make the engines for warships at first. With time, it seemed to change.
With a yardship, it would seem you could possibly make a jumpship construction yard in secret. Simply 'record' a jumpship 'rescue' and start making the necessary framework for the shipyard. This would provide great cover for the need for the yardship in a system.


Mobile HPG units were a thing in the SL era. I see no reason why they were not put back into construction and use, making it very possible that houses, or at least some organizations, to bypass Comstar/WOB. It does show you do not need an stadium sized antenna to send or receive messages, and even suggests you can do so underground.

Along with this, the blackbox house Katrina Stiener found before the FC merger was 'forgotten' during the clan invasion, and leads to the question of why it was discontinued shortly after the large HPG was developed.
Spec ops would have used them no matter what. This would also be developed by the houses to avoid Comstar/WOB from using the HPG network to find out where house spies were at. It was slow, compared to the instantaneous messages of the large ones, but would still have been a great way to make sure word got out when the clans invaded. But plot armor made sure of this.

One other bit of 'tech' that was in an adventure pack, but was not used outside of it, as sensor baffling materials used in construction. The MAC pack had bunkers made of the stuff, and yet the only other time we see of stealth materials is with the CC making stealth armor.
ghostrider
11/23/23 01:02 PM
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Another question has come up. How it is, that it take so long to build a mech from the ground up, yet repair techs seem to be able to build one faster then a factory?
Or that the repair techs even know how to build one completely?
The repair techs seem to know more then the factories, as they constantly have to modify parts to keep a unit working.
We know this from all the merc units that build their own mechs, as well as normal repair facilities that start making new mechs.
It may just be the video games that allow the quick rebuild, but even in the novels, a few 'destroyed' mechs were rebuilt to better then normal from scratch.
 
Yes, I know the mantra. Logic and Battle Tech do not mix.
Karagin
11/23/23 02:49 PM
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The field techs are working with things already made and tested, while the factory tech has to test everything from the ground up and get approval to do things.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
ghostrider
11/23/23 09:35 PM
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Wouldn't that be true about field techs making a unit from the ground up as well? Research is supposed to be slow, yet within a decade or less, most of the fluff for some units are built and being produced.
Also, a field tech would have to test everything that they worked on, to make sure it works. I understand that this is not always something that can be done, as conditions in the field change, such as a raid on the base would require activation of partially repaired units.

Granted. A field unit would have more premade parts, and just assembling them, more then having to make them from molten metal and molding plastics, but the field techs still know more about the full unit then the factory workers. Most fix almost anything on a unit, not just put the parts into a unit. Specialization does happen in field techs, but over all, most have to be able to repair engine damage, as well as reprogram the computers, on top of welding the internal structure.

As I stated before, it may just be the video games slanting my view of this.
Karagin
11/24/23 01:05 AM
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I would forget all the video lore since it doesn't tie to the actual game very well.

Field techs know that the components work; they work with items from the factory. Again, the techs back at the R&D site are trying to get a mech built to spec, which means ALL has to be tested repeatedly. Field techs just need to get it to work.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
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