Thursday, September 9, 2010

How the game turns should work.

  Some of you have not been in a Battletech campaign of mine before.  So here is a brief outline of how a game session will work.

I'll be running all the opposing force, yes this is a lot of work and might slow combat down a bit until I get the rust off.  Biggest game I had before I was running 24 mechs Might take a couple of sessions for me to get back up to be capable of running that many.

First let's go over the turn and how each phase will work.
1) Initiative
2) Movement
3) Declare Fire
4) Shooting
5) Physical Attacks
6) Heat

1) Initative:
We will be using the standard Battletech rules for initiative.  2d6 roll off players against me.  I will declare before initiative is rolled how many active Jag units there are on the board.  High roll gets to move the last mech.  Movement will flip flop I go you go until all the mechs are moved.  If there are an uneven number of units on each side, the extra units are spread evenly across the later movement phases. So say you guys have 10 mechs but I only have 4.  Movement will go like this.

Number of units needed to be moved.
Players  |   Jags
   2     |    1
   2     |    1
   3     |    1
   3     |    1

To help keep track of this, I got a section white board by the table (Home depot scrap bin, $1) with some dry erase markers.  A volunteer or two to help with this and keep it updated would be appreciated.  

2) Movement:
When it is the next units move I will call out "players move" and you guys will decide amongst yourselves which units to move.  On the tabletop rather than terrain, each "hex" of movement is equal to 2".  So if your mech has movement of Walk 6, Run 9, Jump 6.  You could walk 12" in a straight line, Run 18" in a straight line or Jump 12" landing facing any direction.  If you turn hexes while running or walking each hex facing turned cost you 2" of move.  So a 90 degree turn is technically 2 hex faces so would cost you 4" of movement.
After you have moved you will place a die behind your mech.  The color of the die shows HOW you moved, white for walking, red for running, green for jumping.  The number you place shows the movement modifier your opponent will need to hit you.  I have some charts made up and hung about the basement to help you put the correct number behind your mech.

3) Declare Fire:
After the last mech has moved you will declare which target you wish to shoot at.  To make this fast and easier I have made some fire declaration markers out of popsicle sticks.  You will have one stick for each weapon on your mech.  So I'll say, put down your sticks, and everyone will place their sticks by the target they wish to shoot at. 
The lumber piles can really stack up when the big guys come out to play.

4) Shooting: 
All shooting is simultaneous so we just pick up a stack of sticks pointed at a given target.  Then work out the numbers needed to hit and roll some dice.  You put the hit sticks in one pile the miss sticks in another pile.  Then pick up the hit pile and roll for where the damage goes.  I've made up 6 of the "Boxes of Death" to help speed up SRMs.  Put your sticks back together, but not with the sticks you didn't shoot yet, that is later.  Piloting checks are made, if needed, after all the damage has been assigned from sticks pointed at a given mech.

5) Physical attacks:
Physical attacks take place after shooting.  Charging and "Death From Above" attacks have to be declared in the movement phase.  You can do one kick or two punches or a push attack.  Remember if you fired any weapons in a given limb you may not make a physical attack with that limb.  Also there is a -1 for any damaged or missing actuators.  Meaning that Rifleman that doesn't have hand or lower arm actuators would not be a very good mech at punching.

6) Heat phase:
Shooting too much or jumping around too much can impact the performance of your mech.  To calculate your heat.
a) Add your movement heat (1 for walk, 2 for run, 1 for every 2" jumped with a minimum of 3)
b) Take your fire sticks of the weapons you shot and add up the heat from them.  The number is right on the stick. This is your total heat generated. Now you can put your shot sticks back with the ones you didn't shoot.
c) add any extra heat you may have, Engine criticals add 5 heat, someone may have hit you with a flamer adding 2 more, you may be in a burning forest or building which would add more heat as well.
d) Subtract the number of heat sinks on your mech.  This is how much heat your mech can shed each turn.
e) Check for mech shutdown or ammo explosion if needed.
f) Mark the new heat level on your mechsheet.  This will be your heat level for the next turn.

That's all for now.  Looking forward to it!

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