How would you change game mechanics?
Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:46 PM
I'll kick it off with the one that makes no sense: Pulse Lasers.
From the way Pulse Lasers are described, they really should work in one of two ways: Like an LBX Autocannon, spreading damage around a 'mech as the shots pepper it - or like an Ultra autocannon, firing two distinct shots. Instead, they're handled as a laser that's easier to hit and runs hotter, which really doesn't match what they do at all.
Next up, the idea of cockpit rock is big in the games, but is only represented from taking a large amount of damage with special rules on TT. I'd like to see it become a factor on certain weapons that supposedly fire streams of shells, while increasing their usefulness. Thus, I think the AC/2 and AC/5 could be repaired as effective weapons by making every gun that impacts a target adding a +1 to their to-hit for both weapons; if you get hit with two AC/2s and an AC/5, you suddenly have a +3 to-hit on returning fire - no small penalty. This alone would turn the Jaggermech into a terror and Ultra AC/2 boats into a seriously brutal force without having to radically shift their weight or damage at all.
So that said, what would others like to see?
Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:23 PM
The pulse laser makes perfect sense. Well, almost. I make these assumptions based on how more or less realistic laser weapons would work (yes, a real pulse laser would be fast, so fast we'd doubt it'd be a "pulse laser"). All numbers pure guesses for these examples.
Normal laser is a second-long (or so) beam delivering X megajoules to the target over the time.
The pulse laser is the same X megajoules of energy spread over, say, a hundred pulses, each lasting 5 milliseconds (so, half a second total), in bursts of 10 (50 milliseconds) with a small break (10-25 millisecond) beetween bursts. This allows the targeting computer to adjust aim, keeping the weapon aimed at the same precise location better than the normal laser can do.
We assume the damage is based on the average energy amount that "hits" the target, no laser does 100% damage, but enough. With normal laser, we assume this means at least half a second of the beam hits the target, pretty hard task considering servo limits, moving targets, gas forming from the vaporised armor absorbing some of the energy, etc. Hitting with over 50 pulses (and very likely more) of the pulse is easier though, which means more energy "hitting" the target on average, and since there is just enough time for some of the vaporised armor gas to, uh, vanish, the pulse laser deals a bit more damage. Laser weapons are accurate enough that these hits don't spread over multiple hit locations, which is why they don't work like cluster rounds.
As for the increased heat... use 5 megajoules of energy over a second vs 5 megajoules over half a second. With the former, heatsinks have more time to work, as does the laser weapon material etc to transfer heat. I admit this is a weak point though, the time is short enough i doubt there should be much difference in heat generated.
BattleTech lasers are pretty realistic, very, very realistic compared to most games. The normal lasers is a heat-ray. The pulse lasers is a "laser-drill". Maybe heavy lasers are "blasters", ie the 5 megajoules of energy delivered in a single, very short burst?
As for what i'd change, i'd make some radical changes. Let's start by halving the mech's size... this would bring density to more reasonable levels (Mechs mass way too little compared to their size). Now this wouldn't have much practical effect, unless you count that the mechs have less space for ammo and other stuff... but we can simply say: it is future, the stuff is more minituriazed. I doubt this would have much effect in the tabletop game though.
I'm not sure about the current rules but can mechs without practical arms (like the Catapult) pick up trees and stuff? This would have to be changed of course, a Catapult cannot pick up trees in any realistic manner...
I really cannot think much what needs to be changed, haven't really played the board game other than a try or two (and even those were with early rules (second edition, finnish translation, still have those somewhere). Follow other aspect BT more closely.
Edited by Chiros, 04 May 2012 - 05:24 PM.
Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:35 PM
Edited by FACEman Peck, 04 May 2012 - 06:35 PM.
Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:27 PM
I don't like this idea at all. With the system you suggest, small AC weapons would be completely overpowered, because they would still do respectable damage and also make your own mech basically invulnerable. If I load up my mech with as many AC/2's as I can fit into it, all I need to do is hit you with a fraction of my weapons, and your mech suddenly becomes completely unable to fight back. It'd turn AC's into god weapons that give you the best offense and defense, while laser based weapons would be unused. (or would require massive damage buffs to compensate) The AC 5 and the AC 2 are already fine weapons. I don't understand why you think they need to be "repaired as effective weapons."
Also, it doesn't account for size of weapon at all. Why would an AC 2 give the same to hit penalty as an AC 5? Also, why would you make AC weapons cause shake and not Missiles?
The only big change I'd personally like the make for TT, is to remove Coolant Pods from existance.
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