Idea Guild > Cosmic Pluralism

Battletech ideas and Ramblings


Battletech Ramblings and Ideas
Here recently, I have been in a flury of battletech mecha ideas. I blame most of this on discovering I found decades or more have passed in the game since I picked up my last game book (somewhere around a decade in RL). There is some codswollop about a Word of Blake Armageddon, and the Clans and Inner Sphere getting along smashingly, and then a technological dark age where instead of tanks people were mounting particle cannons on fork lifts and machine guns on farm tractors. Rubbish, absolute rubbish. Then there is some bruhaha about this Ezekiel Crow who sounds more like the bad guy from Children of the Corn 11, or a hired gun from a supernatural western.

Ramble One:
Vehicles (wheeled, and hover) have suspension ratings, which reduce the power plant requirements, Only mechs and tracked vehicles get the weinee and no suspension rating. Having watched too much military channel, it is immediately obvious that modern tanks have much better suspension than they are given credit for. Of course the standard settings are very realistic by pre-WWI standards. The real rambling is that the battlemech deserves a suspension rating. What is the point of having a traditional knee forward design, is there a point to having a reversed bird-type knee assembly?

The reverse knee joint could provide a suspension bonus, but either have a reduced amount of armor it can carry, or have the knee joints and other etc take up the free space slots in the legs. The standard leg could either be more spacious for adding weapons or heat sinks, or carry more armor plating. I can also see the reverse knee being more agile at the cost of being less stable overall.

Ramble Two
I really really really hate the idea of the neuro-helmet. Lets strap into a seat and look at an airplane cockpit while wearing a helmet that covers my head down to the top of my hips. Having watched a good deal of mecha anime, the notion i found the most pleasing was the system from Gundam SEED. The mecha had *gasp* an OS. Points were made about the original Operating Systems being sub-standard. Once the main character reprogrammed it the machine performing smashingly. In a similar vein, a mech could have a similar driving operations system. You push the go stick forward, and the mech walks forward. Instead of translating neural signals through hair and cranium, you have Walk-By-Wire controls, like a fighter plane. I do not feel I am communicating this idea well.

Ramble Three

The new rules bring out Light and Heavy versions of the PPC. I love this idea, but the notion that one superpower would suddenly develope this technology after centuries and centuries of PPC use seems artificial and silly. I would have liked to have seen the light and heavy PPCs retroactively added to the basic level of technology. After discussions with friends, I am in the minority as they have argued interchangeable parts and such.  The lack of presence of these weapons can be written out well.

The Light PPC was not widely used because it doesnt do a large amount of damage, because the name of the game is big chunks of damage.

The Heavy PPC is not widely used because with 15 heat and standard heatsinks, the weapon is painfully impractical. With one shot it could overheat some mechs, and even mechs that are designed for hot heavy weapons will have a hard time using it.

I'll add my own rant, but not having checked out the site yet.

I'm not sure how useful it is to poke at Battletech rules - there are so many apparent issues with them to me that it is best to leave them to their own reality :)

For example, in our world, a single missile will usually hit a 60-ton tank and destroy it.  The missile is built to deliver the equivalent  of a head-shot critical every time it is used.  In the BT world, the best we have is a streak missile.

AC20s have shorter ranges then smaller AC's.

It is a game where to me, the game rules have impinged significantly upon reality to render comparisons moot.

But then again, do you want a game full of one-shot one-kill situations?

Sure, that's why we play CoC! :D

The rules are thick with gamer's footprint, and a lack of understanding of heavy industry and warfare. It is ridiculous that the bigger the autocannon the shorter the range, and someone calculated muzzle velocity of Btech artillery based by flight time, giving those shells the same speed as a baseball, or a Wal-mart grade paintball gun.

But I love my Battletechs.

I would be fine with the one shot one kill scenario. In the ongoing arms race, it could argued that composite mech armor is resistant to our modern anti-armor rounds. A shoulder mounted missile can knock out a tank, but it is using roll hardened armor. I havent seen someone shoot one of our tanks with the chobham composite armor, so idk what it would do.

Bringing in 1 shot 1 kill would increase the importance of support units like infantry, and make it a full on war game and not a mech combat game. a few advantages would have to given to mechs to keep them in the game because without some advantages, my army is largely going to be railgun equipped tanks, pulse laser equipped VTOL gunships, and battle armor infantry and such.


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