I think have a natural aptitude for numbers. I can just add and multiply things that others find difficult. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a genius, or a arithmetical savant, I just can hold numbers in my head and using tricks I’ve learnt over the years multiply and divide etc.
I enjoy being able to do this. I think numbers can be fun.
This blog you are reading now is going to have a lot of numbers in it. No need to step away, I will keep it easy and where anything looks difficult, remember you can always skip to the next paragraph.
A long time ago, in a town that is not too far away from where I live now, I had become an avid fan of a game called BattleTech. I was young, full of youthful passion and over here in England BattleTech had yet to catch on, as it was the 1985, and it had only just come out.
At the time I worked in a games shop, and had been introduced to BattleTech when my boss imported Battledroids. We use to play every weekend and played lots of games and RPGs over the years.
Anyway, I produced a small fanzine called MekTek, and one of the articles I wrote for it was called the “Meka of Design”. In this article I outline some of the factors that needed to be taken into consideration when designing your own battlemechs for a game.
D = Damage
R = Range
H = Heat points
A = Ammunition
CV = Combat Value.
Using these terms I created an algorithm, which is a procedure, or formula that allows one to work out an answer to a problem. I wanted to calculate the combat value for each of the weapons available so that I would know how effective each weapon was. Well you can’t go around designing the ultimate battlemech without having some idea of how to get the best value bangs for your buck. The formula I used back then was as follows:
D x R
CV = W+H+A
Back then I calculated the combat value using the full attack value for both the Short and Long Range Missile racks. However, it would have been better to use the average value, and here are the results.
Autocannon 2: CV = 6
Autocannon 5: CV = 9
Autocannon 10: CV = 9/9
Autocannon 20: CV = 8/7
Small laser: CV = 6
Medium laser: CV =11
Large laser: CV = 9
PPC: CV = 11
SRM 2: CV = 5
SRM 4: CV = 6
SRM 6: CV = 9
LRM 5: CV = 13
LRM 10: CV = 13
LRM 15: CV = 15
LRM 20: CV = 15
As can be seen from the rounded out combat value that the medium laser appears to be the same as the PPC, and therefore these two weapons are equal in their combat effectiveness.
The reason I bring this point to your attention, because experience from the many games that I’ve played, my experience is that bang for buck the medium laser is one of the best weapons you can buy for a game of BattleTech set in 3025.
Also it should be noted that the combat value I’ve calculated for the autocannons only allows for one ton of ammo, which is fine for the two smaller models, but not quite enough for the AC10, and the AC20 is poorly served with only five shots.
So I’ve included a combat value with two tons of ammo, which is the figure after the slash. From this one can see that while the autocannon 10 remains the same, the autocannon 20 takes quite a hit in this calculated combat value system.
Now, I’m not saying that the system I’ve illustrated here is what Jordan & Co. used when they were designing BattleTech.
From what little I know, I gather that the process of designing the game was far more intuitive, with ongoing fiddling of the weapon stats to get to something that was enjoyable to play. Though I admit I could be wrong on this conclusion, and would be open to anyone coming along and giving a first hand account of the design process.
Anyway, next post I'm going to show how all of the above assumptions are wrong, when I get my geek on...
Disclaimer: All posts are condensed & abbreviated summaries of complex arguments posted for discussion on the internet, and not meant to be authoritative in any shape, or form on said subject, T&CA, E&OE & YMMV.