Wednesday, June 27, 2012

That was NOT easy!

I'm a blabbing blogging fool this week!

Ok, it took me longer than it should have, but eventually I got code to combine a list of weapons into every possible unique combination.

Then, the easier part, I updated the code and the new optimized factors to go through 3 BattleTech turns, and determine how effective that unit will be over those turns.  It is possible over those 3 turns to see some heat, but after those 3 turns it'll balance out to 0 or less.  So, the optimized ballistic and energy attacks factors are *extremely* accurate.  The overburn factors as well are extremely accurate.  I am only listing the highest overburn that gives a bonus however, its possible that overburning 1-2 when a 3 is listed could increase attacks as well (I simply had no room to print it).

There is 1 issue I can see though.  Rotary/Ultra Autocannons.  As these weapons can fire more than 1 time, its possible for a RAC to fire 1, 2, 4, or 6 times in a turn.  Technically that would be 4 different weapon types.  My weapon code has it as one with 6 ROF though.  It'll be a lot of pain for me to break the data down to account for higher ROF weapons firing less than their maximum ROF.  That also borks up ammo calculations.  Perhaps nobody minds, as it seems accepted for fighters and such.

There is one other "issue".  If the unit has over 10 weapons, I don't calculate those values.  Basically to determine the unique weapon firing combinations requires 2^WeaponCount loops.  For each optimized attack I do 5 loops, for a total of 10.  So even 10 weapons is over 10,000 loops.  I'm trying to avoid killing my web server.  I looked at one mech with 15 weapons, which was over 320,000 loops, and I ran outta memory on the web server.  Hopefully ya'll don't kill it much, if you do I can just cache the data (I will do that when I'm happy its all error free... someday).

So all the optimized values have been updated, and IMO should be used instead of any other values to avoid lopsided units.

Thoughts on scaling Battleforce:

Another thought.  Thinking about Battleforce, *NOT* Quickstrike.  Currently BF is based on the 1 element = 1 BT unit, and 1 maneuver element (ME) is 4-6 elements.  However, this limits your ME's to lance sized, meaning a battalion would be about 9-10 ME's and probably big enough to play in an afternoon.

DISCLAIMER:  Just brainstorming here, some numbers and stuff may need to be tweaked, but this is how I'm envisioning scaling a game so you could fight the battle for Tikonov in 3028 (8 full Crucis Lancers RCTs vs around 80 regiments of defenders on 1 planet)

I recommend the following rules not be used in battleforce:

  • Everything heat/overburn related
  • Critical Hits (Optional, but perhaps each structure hit gives a roll of 1d6, 4+ to kill unit outright)
  • Advanced Movement (p270)
  • Custom Configurations (surely one of the 2000 designs out there is good enough)
  • Alternate Munitions (p308, except for artillery/bombs)
  • AC, SRM, LRM, TOR, MML, ATM, HT (IF/NARCs/FLK still ok)
  • The following can also be ignored as they are redundant:  CAP, MSL, SCAP, SDS, RAIL, MAG, SPC, TELE, ATMO, KF, UMU.

Now, lets say you wanted to do a regimental battle.  My proposal is to make each element = 1 lance/platoon/star/etc.  Then, each ME can be 3-6 of those.  Basically, allowing you to have 3 or so times as many "units" on the battlefield, but play the same.  To get the factors for each element, simply total the armor/structure/attacks/etc, and divide by 5.  Skills are averaged for the 3-6 BT units, and quality PV multipliers use the new average.

The following rules changed at this level:

  • Range bands changed so they are short/medium, and long/extreme, and ranges divided by 4.  Basically, short/medium are averaged into an attack that can be used in the same/adjacent hexes.  long/extreme averaged into attacks that can be used 2 hexes out.  Artillery ranges are also divided by 4 at this scale.
  • All movement is halved, round down.
  • AEP/ECM/All C3/WAT/PRB/LPRB/AECM/BH/ES/EE/FC/LECM/CASE/TAG/LTAG all have no effect at this scale
  • AMS is averaged for all units that form an element, rounding down.
  • Other systems are cumulative added up, or shown if even a single unit is equipped.
Now, for the scale where each element is a company/trinary/etc.  Much is the same as the previous scale, but each ME has 2-3 elements, each composed of 4-6 units.  Skills averaged the same way, just with more units.  Armor/structure/attacks are summed up, and divided by 15

The following rules changed at this level:
  • Range bands change again.  Now average medium/long into a same hex attack, and extreme gets you an adjacent attack.  Divide artillery ranges by 12.
  • All other rules as the previous scale.
  • Movement is 1/3rd, round down.
And now, for an element that is a battalion or cluster, again copy the previous scale.  Divided armor/structure/attacks by 45.  Medium/long/extreme ranges averaged into a same hex attack.  Ranges divided by 36.   Quarter movement, round down.  Everything else about the same.

Essentially, each tier you go up (Platoon->Company->Battalion->Regiment->Brigade) divides ranges by 3, damage by 3 (except the first tier, which is 5), and each destroyed element becomes a lower tier.  

So, a Regiment has a single counter on the map.  You have a single piece of paper to track that regiment with 3 different elements on it, one per battalion.  Each battalion has perhaps 5 armor and 3 structure, and does perhaps 4-4-1 damage.  If you destroy a one of these units, you lost a battalion.  If you attack a company level unit, multiply damage inflicted by 3, if you attack a brigade divided it by 3.

Do the reverse math if you want your battalion counter to become 3 company counters, each with 3 maneuver elements that are lances.

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