Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bugs! (or not!)

So I'm finishing up helping with TRO3063, got my cost calculator working, and started working on BV.

I used the Tech Manual (and a few rules from Tactical Operations) to do the BV.  I then went to Heavy Metal Pro and Solaris Skunk Works for validation....



I thought I had found a bug with heat/weapon calculation, but it was me not reading the rules quite clear enough.  So basically, everything below is in error, and you can skip it.

Thanks ncKestrel for pointing that out!!!
*************** SNIP! ***************
Both of those applications are not calculating BV correctly according to the Tech Manual (v1.2, based on first printing, PDF).  Granted, this is just the first thing I noticed, but maybe somebody can get an answer on this from the official forums (I searched, and found nothing about it).

Here is the issue.  Page 303, Tech Manual, second to the last bullet on the right side.  It says:

"If this new heat is less than the ‘Mech Heat Efficiency, 
repeat the above steps. Otherwise, add half the BV for 
all remaining weapons to the Base Weapon Battle Rat-
ing, then continue to the next step. The BV for the first 
weapon to equal or exceed the ‘Mech Heat Efficiency is 
counted at its full value, however."

Then, while looking at the TYM-1A Toyama design within the Tech Manual, it didn't calculate this properly.  Funny how both HMP and SSW used the design example as validation, when those are so notoriously full of errors.  Both SSW and HMP do not calculate that first weapon at full BV (EDIT:  MegaMekLab also has the error), which in the TYM-1A's case is only about 25 BV as its only a medium laser, but a *LOT* of units have stuff like 2xERPPCs, and not quite enough heat sinks for them.  In these cases the BV can be off by *hundreds*.  

While some may not think this is that big a deal, it actually can make a few hundred BV difference in many designs.  Its a very large bug IMO.  Perhaps the sentence needs removed from the Tech Manual, but I'm far more apt to believe the Tech Manual than any of the designer software out there.
*************** SNIP! ***************
Sorry for the lack of updates.  Between a new job as Director of IT and cramming to help with TRO3063 I just haven't had time to update the blog or site.  The good news is when I update it I'll be creating much better record sheets, have automatic cost/bv/rule level/tech rating/availability/year calculations, better BF/QS calculations (with an option for 100% canon, or with my optimized values), and many other new features.... and then adding user support so you can have your lists of damaged units and stuff.  I may knock out a little game after that part is done, who knows ;)

I may knock out the ability to add your own custom units too, its actually really easy for me to make you a page with a hundred blanks or so, you fill them in, and can then add the unit to the database if it passes all the validations.  Basically it'll be an online designer.  Still thinking about that part, gotta get the site updated, finish 3063, and get the user code implemented first.

On other news I just purchased a FN SCAR-L (Mk 16) and Kahr PM9 ($3500, OUCH!) to add to my Mossberg 88 shotgun.  Somebody broke into my house recently and while they didn't get anything as I interrupted them, they still got away and "violated" us.  Then a month later, which prompted me to get additional hardware, the guy behind us had all 4 tires stolen off his vehicle.  


  1. DUDE - stay safe out there.


    Thank you - those updates spun pretty cool. Would that custom design thing help when playing one of the campaigns and you upgrade your QS units?

  2. Basically right now I have code that creates a "object" that you could think of as a combination of record sheet + TRO. The new system will allow you to have your own version of that, with squigglies, crossed out circles, damaged slots, etc, and I can compare a pristine version to your version to see damage, ammo, etc. Your version can have every attribute edited as well, and may or may not have validation. You could use your own custom equipment and design rules if desired, as long as it fits my template (which fits every type of unit in BT, so its pretty versatile).

    So I can easily allow you to do repairs, show costs to reload, parts required, allow various field refits, convert to/from QS/BF, etc. I'll also make a hit table thing, so you can "fire" at your own unit with various kinds of damage and it'll take affect. This will allow the site to be an assistant when playing BT on the table.

    Looks like I'll start on our site right after GenCon starts, which TRO3063 should be out in time for and I'll then be free'd up.

  3. Check again. SSW, MML, HMP and Tech Manual are all correct on the Toyama. My guess is that you did the 'Mech Heat Efficiency wrong, but you didn't show your work anywhere in there.

    1. Well the 2xERLL, LB10X, and LRM20 total 32 heat. Add 2 heat for movement and you get 34 heat. The mech has 14(28) heat sinks, adding 6 means those 4 weapons use up all the heat.

      THEN there are the lasers, the *first* laser should be calculated at full BV, not 50%, as it is the *first* weapon in excess of heat. The other lasers are at half BV.

      That is what the Tech Manual says, though the example doesn't mirror that (the examples often have issues unfortunately). I am not sure if that line was added in a later Tech Manual revision or not, which may explain a lot.

      But I am sure that SSW/MML/HMP and the TM example do not match the TM paragraph I highlighted in my blog.

  4. -2 for movement.
    The formula is 6 + heat sinks - mech movement.
    6 + 28 -2 = 32.
    6 LRM20
    18 ERLL
    30 ERLL
    32 LB10X. (first weapon to equal or exceed, therefore is full value).
    All medium lasers are after the first weapon to equal or exceed and are therefore half value.

    1. Oooo, EQUAL or exceed. I probably should have tested this out more :) My bad, I'll update the posting. However, the whole adding 6 heat doesn't make sense either. I presume its because mechs can "run a little hot", but over 5 turns with +6 heat that would be a shutdown mech, so at that point the amount of excess heat vs the number of turns for the battle makes a large impact.

      However doing this whole BV thing really opened my eye to why it'll quickly be deprecated.

      If you have a fast unit, with high powered short range weapons, you may have the same BV as a slower unit with longer range weapons. In an open field they may be fairly equal. However, add terrain or something that affects range, and all the sudden that bigger unit is at a disadvantage. Add something that affects mobility and the smaller unit it.

      An all energy mech vs an all ballistic mech underwater is completely one-sided.

      Basically, BV works ok in a big open battle, as long as ammo holds out, with no environmental conditions. Basically, a perfect environment, which so rarely occurs that one could easily see BV as inaccurate.

      I'm thinking of tinkering with BV values. Produce a BV value for every 10 hexes of range, change BV based on environmental conditions, and change BV based on the size of battles (more turns with more baddies and not enough ammo = less BV). Seriously doubt if I can "fix" it, but I may be able to make it fit a little better more often.

      Regardless, I'll be able to create BV dynamically, so you can see the BV of a unit in varying levels of damage or ammo depletion.

  5. Hey Bad_Syntax
    i think you wrote it somewhere, but i did not find it as quickly as i would have liked: didn't you plan to include a hmp/ssw/mtf (even blk...) importer for the "own unit conversion site"? I have to say i am waiting eagerly for it especially for the mtf import, since i have ton of MWDA units in that format which i would like to have QS-cards for... other that that: Great news (especially [all though i honor your efforts] about the canon QS Cards)

    1. Yeah, its on the list of to-do's, but after screwing with mtf files recently it really shot it down on the priority list. Megamek will take 1 weapon, give it 5 aliases, reference it any number of ways throughout the code, ammo in a different place, multiple files for 1 weapon, etc, etc. Basically, its a *major* pain to use their data to do anything with.

      However, I can probably convert their stuff to my own database format with a much higher rate of success and far less issues. If you had 1000 mtf files, I'd throw them all in excel, line columns up with the excel file I populate my database with, do a hundred or so search/replaces, and I should be able to import them in large groups without too much work.

      And btw, I have every single canon unit ever printed, of every type, already in my database, and can make RS/QS/BF/etc sheets from them in seconds. If you want you can zip up your collection and shoot it to me, and when I get a chance I'll take a look at it. I can't give you a date, but I avoid letting people down so it'll get done eventually ;)

    2. Great! Await incoming in 5.. 4... :D