Mech warfare supplements?

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Mech warfare supplements?

Postby Dr. Dynamo » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:20 pm

Recently I was lamenting the fact that tabletop war games, while awesome and nerdy at the same time, are incredibly expensive. Far too expensive for me to afford even when I was gainfully employed. Now that I'm going back to school I'm even more poor and I was looking for alternatives; that's how I found this wonderful place.

After looking at the core rules and browsing the supplements I was disappointed to learn that there are no rules for big ol' mechs. Now, I've been a fan of BattleTech since I played MechWarrior2 when I was a wee lad and it has kind of translated over to my lego building; my collection revolves almost entirely around big robots with guns.

Do any of you share my interest for giant machinery and if so, how would I go about finding/adapting the rules for BattleTech style battles?
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Re: Mech warfare supplements?

Postby IVhorseman » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:50 pm

I don't know what aspects of Battletech you'd like to highlight, and I've never played so I can't really help there, but the rules definitely allow for large mech-style MOCs.

Sixth off, are you using 2010 or 2005 rules? The 2010 rules work almost exactly like 05's, except with greater weapon variety and more diversified movement types (wheels vs. treads vs. legs etc.) This would be my first stop in figuring out how to classify everything. Your giant robots would get a size bonus for being hit, so large weapons will be very effective. You'll be able to negate some of it with your move speed, but at -1 for every 6" of movespeed, you'll be maxing out at -2 unless your mechs go faster than fighter jets. Also, ENERGY SHIELDS.

Seventh, if you decide you need more weapon or equipment variety, keep in mind that using a jetpack, ECM jamming device, grappling hook, or other device on a mech takes up the unit's action for the turn. A couple actions, like aiming weapons or diverting all power, require the entire vehicle to be standing still. Using a large back weapon for example, might require a mech to kneel before firing, ala armored core. I've also been working on different weapon types which I've detailed in my homebrew supplement Plastik Armory, which lets you play around with Plasma weapons, Electric weapons, scopes for increased range, and more.

Eighth, If you have any other ideas from battletech you'd like to see incorporated, I'd love to work on some of em with you! What abilities do your vehicles have?
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Re: Mech warfare supplements?

Postby Keldoclock » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:04 pm

Wargames are quite expensive, but tabletop RPGs are considerably less so when it comes to money. There are lots of cost-saving measures to aid you with anything, really, from using paper miniatures to doing away with grids entirely. My personal strategy for playing games with no income is using Paizo's most excellent Paper Miniatures line ( for $20 worth of paper and $20 worth of .pdf files you can have all the miniatures for an entire campaign, and enough cardstock for paper minis n other shit requiring it for the rest of your life), and copious amounts of rulebook piracy(EX: as of yesterday i have every battletech product ever made).
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Re: Mech warfare supplements?

Postby IVhorseman » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:17 pm

OH. okay yeah I just did a google search and I've definitely played battletech before.

Maybe something like heatsinks for Plasma weapons? Spending an action to cool down an overcharged plasma weapon could prevent it's explosion, and I guess getting the weapon wet would also prevent it from exploding.
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Re: Mech warfare supplements?

Postby Dr. Dynamo » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:21 pm

I've never actually played the tabletop BattleTech game, just the MechWarrior series (Excluding the most recent console ones. Those aren't BattleTech in my opinion.) so I'm sure there's a lot I'm missing out on, but the key features I like the most that aren't basic principles of warfare would be heat-management, electronic warfare and weapons that require some degree of coordination (i.e. tagging an enemy with a laser for your artillery to easily blow it to bits.)

After studying the vehicles section in the 2010 rulebook and figuring out that they're significantly more simple than I thought they were something occurred to me; very few of my robots could actually be classified as "vehicles" since vehicles require controls and pilots. Where should I look for rules concerning AI robots/vehicles or do they not exist?
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Re: Mech warfare supplements?

Postby Whiteagle » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:37 pm

Dr. Dynamo wrote:I've never actually played the tabletop BattleTech game, just the MechWarrior series (Excluding the most recent console ones. Those aren't BattleTech in my opinion.) so I'm sure there's a lot I'm missing out on, but the key features I like the most that aren't basic principles of warfare would be heat-management, electronic warfare and weapons that require some degree of coordination (i.e. tagging an enemy with a laser for your artillery to easily blow it to bits.)

After studying the vehicles section in the 2010 rulebook and figuring out that they're significantly more simple than I thought they were something occurred to me; very few of my robots could actually be classified as "vehicles" since vehicles require controls and pilots. Where should I look for rules concerning AI robots/vehicles or do they not exist?

That would be under MOC Combat in the 2010 edition or Special Creations in the 2005 one, where you can stat things other then minifigures.
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Re: Mech warfare supplements?

Postby Dr. Dynamo » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:14 pm

Where, exactly, under MOC Combat would they be? That's where the rules for vehicles are, and they don't seem to apply to AI robots. Would they be under creatures? I can't tell because I get a 404 error when trying to view them.

P.S. everything past the creatures sections also results in a 404.
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Re: Mech warfare supplements?

Postby Whiteagle » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:50 pm

Dr. Dynamo wrote:Where, exactly, under MOC Combat would they be? That's where the rules for vehicles are, and they don't seem to apply to AI robots. Would they be under creatures? I can't tell because I get a 404 error when trying to view them.

P.S. everything past the creatures sections also results in a 404.

Basically, if your mechs are Autonomous, you'd give them a skill die to roll to see if they can use their weapons.
If not, then you'd probably treat them like a vehicle.

...And yeah, the 2010 edition isn't exactly done yet.
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Re: Mech warfare supplements?

Postby IVhorseman » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:55 am

You can give any creation a mind, which makes it a creature. If a creature is a robot, it is simply a mechanical creature, but it behaves more or less the same. For example, since they don't feel pain, they can be lit on fire and not have to run around screaming. You can even give your mech abilities on top of having a skill, and any of the abilities on the minifig stat cards are fair game. Laser-guided weaponry could be allowed to use the scout's targeting ability on a specific weapon, for example.

As for heat management, you could make it so that a mech can fire weapons past it's size limit, but takes a d4 of fire damage for each inch past it. Or, critically failing with a weapon could cause it to overheat, and you could have a device like a radiator or something that allows the mech to cool itself as an action. Feel free to make stuff up as you go, and do what's fun!

I too have considered something about electronic warfare like EMP jammers and ECMs, and the best trick to handling something like this is to just toss a d6 and use the number as appropriate. For example, an ECM jammer could make weapons that can lock on have to deal with a 1d6 penalty to use, or EMP could detract 1d6 from both speed and skill.
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Re: Mech warfare supplements?

Postby BFenix » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:14 pm

It's perfectly possible to develop a Mech Warfare supplement if you want to take it to the BattleTech side. The rules are pretty flexible in that matter. Basically any aspect you get inspired from BattleTech can be used. It's always fun to come up with new weapon types or adapt, which I believe it is the case here.

Also, check the wiki out, you might find and learn some more stuff there. Some sections work like TRO's.
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Re: Mech warfare supplements?

Postby Brownie creeper » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:00 am

Are we talking about figs in the mechs or robotic mechs?
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Re: Mech warfare supplements?

Postby IVhorseman » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:16 pm

Why not both?

The rules for Magik fit here pretty well
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Re: Mech warfare supplements?

Postby IX_Legion » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:56 pm

Never played BattleTech, but I've got an idea for heatsinks:
Every weapon discharges a number of "heat points" equal to its size whenever it fires (can be more or less, depending on weapon type, that's up to you).
Each mech has a heatsink with capacity of X heat points (obviously, should be 2-3 times heat of one turn's shooting, again depending on taste), and radiators that can dissipate Y heat points per turn. Radiators can be shot off, and can't be armored. Unless you're in space, you should get 1-2 heat points of dissipation free, basically using the atmosphere as a huge heat sink.
What happens when you shoot, but your heatsink is full? This too depends on taste, but it should be BAD. Like your mech starts to frickin' melt. Not sure exactly how this should be handled in Brikwars, exactly. Perhaps the thing just explodes, that would be Brikwars-y. :twisted:
This should be in the Rulebook somewhere:

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