Today I'm going to rant about Battleforce. After doing a massive amount of calculations, and having a computer now coded to do them for me, I am going to change a few things from canon. I hate doing this, as everything else in my MUL is canon, but the BF values are just so broken in some cases that they are just broken.
Take a light vehicle, put a small laser in the hull, and another in the turret. That vehicle can then do a full 2 points of attack in battleforce each turn! Yeap, 2 full points, even though it should really only have 0.6 (6 points of damage / 10 damage divisor). Basically, the unit is 3x as powerful offensively as it is in battletech. Mechs with turrets suffer the same problems.
Now, lets take a vehicle with hull and turret attacks, with enough SRMs and LRMs in both locations to have 10+ attack. Then add a NARC, TAG, an AC10 to the turret, and a small laser in the hull. This unit would have 2 SRM attacks, 2 LRM attacks, 1 NARC attack, 1 TAG attack, an AC attack, and a regular attack. Yep, that one unit could roll 8 different 2d6 in a turn for attacks. A bit extreme sure, but still a likely design.
Rounding damage UP is another annoyance. A single machine gun, doing 2/10 or 0.2 BF damage, does 1 full damage in the game. This was done so the unit had *some* attack, but it can make some pretty drastic changes in some units capabilities.
And an old example I use. Take a mech with 30 heat sinks, 2xERPPC, and 10xMedium Lasers. Strategic Operations says this unit generates 60 heat, so is 50% heat efficiency. Its attack factor before division would be 35/35/10, or in BF it'd be 4/4/1. However that doesn't feel right does it? Instead, I do heat efficiency in each range band, meaning this unit becomes 5/5/2, which makes the unit feel much more accurate.
So, here are my final proposals to "fix" battleforce values, which I will be using for all my conversions. They aren't quite final yet, so feel free to call me out if I'm screwing something up somehow.
- All values are rounded normally, not up. In the case of attacks that are under 5, simply multiply the attack strength by 6, subtract that value from 6, and then roll that number or better on 1d6 to do a single attack. So, a single machine gun is 0.2 attack, multiplied by 6 is 1.2, rounding normally to 1. 6 - 1 is 5, so that unit must roll (if it hits) a 5+ on 1d6 to get a single damage point.
- Attacks and heat efficiency are calculated per range band, instead of once.
- I ignore PPC capacitors. I may add an ability of PPCC which would give a +1 attack the first attack of any game, but that may be too much tracking (it could just be crossed out once used).
- I do not add 4 heat in heat efficiency calculations. 4 heat in each of 3 battletech turns is 12 heat, meaning canon calculations the unit is always at OV 1, and can't ever shoot over 3 turns without shutting down!
- Rocket launchers no longer do 10% of their damage every single turn with no ill heat effects. Instead, sum ALL the rocket launchers attack just as you would an AC or SRM attack, add in weapons that could be fired with the remaining heat (or multiply the attack by the heat efficiency) and that factor becomes a single RL #/# (the #/# is SR/MR) attack. The values are averaged over 3 battletech turns however, as the rockets can only fire once. As an example lets take a MAD-4H Marauder II. This unit has 21 heat sinks, 2xERPPC, 2xERML, 4xRL20, 6xRL15, and 1xRL10. In 3 battletech turns this unit can dissipate 63 heat, but would generate up to 9 with its movement, reducing that to 54 available heat over 3 battletech turns. All of the rockets, if fire at once, do 47 heat, leaving just enough heat to fire a single ERML once. As for damage the RL20's do 4x12, the RL15s 6x9, and the RL10 1x6, for a total of 108 damage. The RL10's can shoot out to long range, and do 6 damage at that range. The ERML's damage of 5 is added to both short and medium range, meaning this unit can do 113/113/6 damage, in battletech terms. We then divide that by 3, as this is damage spread out over 3 battletech turns, and further divide it by 10 as that is the damage divider. The final is 113/3/10 = 3.7667 damage. Thus, this unit has a rocket attack of "RL 4/4". It'd be stupid to waste the rocket attack at long range, so we'll just drop any RL attacks that end up being LESS than the regular attack at this range. This attack can be used a single time, and as it includes everything possible that can be fired it replaces ALL other damage producing attacks (NARC, TAG, etc are still ok). The canon calculations give this mech a 3/3/2 attack, while I would give it a 2/2/2 with that single 4/4 rocket attack. The good news is I'll do these calculations for you :)
- Nothing has turret attack values, instead, if over 50% of the attack value is from turret mounted weapons, it simply gains a "TUR" ability meaning it can fire 360 degrees. I did this so vehicles didn't end up with lots of attacks per turn, but still makes a turret an important item. It also prevents units from being double strength from rounding. Mechs with turrets are under the same umbrella.
- Most battletech units have 10-15 rounds of ammunition. In battleforce this is 3-5 turns! Ballistic heavy ammo short units tend to be seriously OP in Battleforce, and there is simply no reason not to take them. That isn't the case in the game however, especially if you have ever played a battletech mission, not been allowed repairs or rearming, and then had to play another mission. So, all units will now have 2 attack factors. The standard attack which uses ammunition, and an energy attack which uses no ammunition. The energy attack is an ability, like "ENE 1/2/3", or, if the unit has only energy weapons the ability is just "ENE" as the regular attack represents energy only weapons. Ammunition consuming units now gain a new ability, something like "LA #/%". The # represents the number of battleforce turns this unit can use its ammunition consuming attack. The % represents the number of tons (rounded down) of ammunition required for a resupply. An ARC-4R Archer with 4 tons of LRM20 ammo has, on average, 12 shots per weapon, or 4 ammo in battleforce (12/3 rounded up to 4). The ammunition rating would be LA 4/4, as it would take 4 tons of ammunition to resupply after 4 rounds of sustained combat. The unit also has ENE 1/1, for the 2 forward facing medium lasers. Side effects of this are that the ENE attack can be used for any attacks underwater and replace the normal attack there. Another one is that weapons with <10 shots aren't reduced in firepower, as they have ammo limitations.
- Units gain a rear attack if they have rear facing weapons. These are always considered to be ENE weapons (as they nearly always are) and are a special ability like "REAR 1/1" for 2 medium lasers to the rear. This attack replaces all other attacks. This attack DOES include any weapons on arms that can flip as well, making some units have a very tough rear arc. Rear attacks help fighters a lot.
- Units with C3 equipment may have an additional (+#) value after their PV, this is an additional cost if the unit is part of a C3 network.
- Special ability FP#. This is for "fuel points". Aerospace units get 1 factor of these per 3 fuel points they carry. 1 fuel point is expended per hex moved (minimum of 1 per turn). An average fighter with 5 tons of fuel (400 points) in battletech, has FP133. Its a big number, and rarely used, but required on campaign maps to see the combat radius of the fighter. If the fighter is ferrying between 2 bases and doesn't need to "return", it can double this number for range calculations. External fuel tanks add 13 fuel points each. Dropships, Jumpships, Warships, and Space Stations have a similar factor of "BW#", where BW stands for "Burn Weeks", and the # represents the weeks of fuel, traveling at 1G or station keeping, and is again used for strategic purposes.
- Units with clan XL or inner sphere Light engines are destroyed on engine critical hits. Units with clan XXL or inner sphere XL engines are destroyed on MP critical hits. Units with Inner sphere XXL engines are destroyed on MP OR engine critical hits. These abilities are denoted as "X", "XX", or "XXX". This ability doesn't apply to non-mech units.
- "CE" ability for compact engines (ignore first engine crit), "CG" for compact gyro (ignore first mp crit), "TC" for torso cockpit, allowing the unit to survive (but not fight) head blown off results.
- AMS now has a number after it for the number of AMS systems as well as a slash and number of uses, like AMS1/4 (or just AMS/4 if only 1). The 2 indicates that for the first 2 incoming SRM/LRM/IF attacks, EACH are reduced by 1, not just a single attack. 2 AMS factors cannot be used together to reduce a single incoming attack by 2. The 4 represents the number of times the AMS can be used before the ammo is expended. When resupplying clan AMS ammo weighs 1 ton per 8 shots, inner sphere 1 ton per 4.
- Infantry calculate their armor based on each squad, not the total platoon size, and there is no longer any infantry structure. This tends to make infantry just a little bit tougher.
- I am thinking of breaking range down into 6/12/18/24/30 instead of what it is now, just to make it make more sense and be more granular.
- Reflective/Reactive armor are no longer 75% of normal, instead "REFL" or "REAC" are now abilities. REFL takes half damage from ENE attacks, and REAC takes half damage from ammunition consuming attacks.
- And finally, a HUGE change. It is completely stupid IMO to think that over 3 turns, a single mech can either hit with EVERYTHING, or NOTHING, a single 2d6 roll dictates how that unit performed over 3 entire turns, with all weapons, and it just doesn't end up being very faithful to Battletech. Sooo, my proposal is still rolling a single 2d6 for combat resolution, but instead of an all-or-nothing approach, simply use the cluster hit table to determine the damage done. You do almost all the same things. You total all modifiers but treat them to a negative modifier to the 2d6 roll. However, instead of adding skill to the modifiers, you add it to the 2d6 roll. So the roll becomes 2d6-modifiers+skill. If the number is <2, simply move 1 column left on the cluster column per number below 2. If the modifier roll is >12, move it 1 column to the right per number above 12. This makes it possible for poor units to do very little damage, while the elites with good rolls constantly blow their opponents away.
- If you track tactical skills of any leaders, those should be positive modifiers to the skill ratings of all in the unit.
- I would also recommend a you-go-I-go system, where instead of an entire side moving, the winner selects a single unit and moves/shoots/resolves damage with it, then the lose does that with a unit. If one side is out of units, the other side moves everything left
- I am thinking of dividing armor into 3 areas, and structure 2. The division will just be a small line between circles. For armor it'll be broken down into front/rear/any and structure between front+rear/any. The reasoning is that flank attacks would do damage to the rear, and front attacks to the front, but neither of those attacks would do damage to the opposite side. Once the front or rear armor is gone, the "any" area takes all the damage. The first damage point sustained is always on the front/rear, each other damage point goes to any. I *think* this will make flank attacks make more sense, and be more faithful to the game, but I need to test it out further. It may mean dead units on the battlefield with a few points of armor left.
- Fighters have an STR# special ability, meaning "Strafe". This is their attack value in any strafing attack.
- I haven't really looked at dropship and larger yet. I'm thinking of mixing capital missiles, capital weapons, and sub-capital weapons into a single weapon type. If I don't do that, its possible to have a warship with 8 attacks for capital weapons, 8 attacks for sub-capital weapons, 8 attacks for capital missiles, and 8 attacks for standard attacks. 32 attack types for a single unit, PLUS things like PNT and SCR!!. Insane! Also, combining all their armor seems to make them VERY durable as well, their whole conversion needs analyzed IMO.
Let me know what you think!
Of course, instead of spending time on these conversions, my time would probably be better suited to a real time battletech game that just tracked individual systems instead of abstracting them at all. The only hold-up on this is, well, time, else I would have knocked it out over the last month between TRO3063 updates :)
And because you are still reading, here is a PDF with all 20 of the Warhammer models, with my new PDF format for record sheets. Tell me what you think!
Warhammers.pdf (ignore the fan-made TRO3063 icon, I'll remove it once I finish actively working on TRO3063, which also has a faction logo above that same icon you don't see here).