Thursday, October 3, 2013

Battletech: Rules interlude....speeding things up (6)

Interestingly in our last game we chatted a bit about how to speed up Battletech. We only played with 7 mechs, yet it probably took us about 2.5 - 3 hours to conclusion. I don't think this is a terribly slow rate of play either. One of the fears moving forward is that many of the missions are calling for 8 mechs.....on a side. Time is going to be a challenge.

Part of the discussion on speeding things up was prompted by talking about Battletech history. Bryan's favoured period is pre-clan invasion (Succession wars). The mechs have a fairly set level of technology, and every design has flaws and are sub optimal. With the arrival of the clan, you started to get mechs that are 'good at everything' as per Bryan. New weaponry and double strength heat sinks result in more deadly fire, faster movement and less decision making about how to manage heat. It therefore makes for a shorter game as the weapons are much more lethal. Perhaps this was one of the drivers for the popularity of the era (and who doesn't like power creep?).

Back to slow speed of play.....We identified that the calculations to hit that often (quite often) result in misses (and general low level of damage delivered per turn) draw the game out. I suggested maybe we should give a global to hit bonus (arbitrarily suggesting +2). Thinking about it, we didn't think that it would likely change tactics that much. It will make light mechs more squishy......but I think everything gets more squishy. We will attempt this next time we play (one on each side) to see the actual effects of the change.

Some other items we need to consider with this campaign are:
1/. Do we kill off pilots in mechs that explode? vs allowing them to be bought back or some other effect (loss for a period of time)
2/. How to handle ammo costs without being too annoying to track shot by shot.

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