Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Battletech 2.5: Manifesto Tight & Fast

Since I started discussing on this blog the problems that I have with some of the game mechanisms of BattleTech, my favourite wargame in the whole wide world ever, I have become more focused on how to address my need to tinker?  Realistically, there is no way that CGL would rewrite the core BattleTech rules to satisfy me.  I'm under no illusion about this. 

I also think that any house rules that I write will always been seen as something that stays in any group I play or communicate with.  At best one might get a general consensus that some idea is worth adding to a game, but not everyone is going to agree.  Especially those that prefer to play the rules as written on the tablets brought down from CGL on high.  

So where does that leave me?  What I want is a true quick play version of BattleTech.

Well, I've decided that instead of trying to rewrite the
BattleTech rules, hubris and arrogance beyond belief really for one person to attempt.  I would instead try and write an introductory quick play version of the rules instead. 

The reason for this choice is that I think that the current quick play rules for BattleTech that come in the starter set cut too much out, and that the Quick Strike variant rules for BattleForce are conceptually not BattleTech, but a higher level game. that creates its own niché within the CGL product line; an alternative game to play, rather than a rewrite of the core rules.  So now I need to set the agenda for this project, my six point manifesto is as follows:

1. These rules will not be a top down rewrite, but a bottom up process, so as not to conflict with the BattleTech's overall approach.

2. Must look like BattleTech e.g: record sheets must be similar even if simplified.

3. Must feel like BattleTech i.e: initiative, target to hit and location rolls, even if the charts are changed.

4. Must be compatible with all pre-generated units designs that exists now, or may be introduced later by following the current construction rules in full.

5. The rules must allow two players to be able to control six units each, and play four turns an hour minimum, and ideally up to twelve units each.

6. Speed of play scales consistently up to six players and six units each indicated by no less than three turns per hour i.e: BattleTech tends to slow logarithmically as the number of players and units increase, while these rules will be designed to slow proportionally as game friction increases.

Of course now I've got to go and write this, but how hard can it be? 

Oh I've just noticed that I've hit the 10,000 views.  Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog.


  1. I think this become a matter of what things you will get rid of. Movement could be simplified, as could hit locations, facing, and heat tracking. Multiple weapons could be consolidated into a single roll.

    Would you add anything?

  2. Pretty much what I'm thinking. Have you been looking over my shoulder?

  3. Heh this is where I plug my 'BattleCommand' or whatever you want to call it. Pink, I basically figured the exact same thing as you... Btech does not scale well and quickstrike is too stripped down. Thus, with hubris and arrogance in hand I developed a patch to place on top of Battletech to have it run faster.

    (cue time delay as I make a forum post)
    I am reply 60 or so, with an attached prelim card sized simplified record sheet to illustrate with.

  4. I saw that, and the hostility in the thread is palpable. You've been looking over my shoulder too, or have I been looking over yours?

  5. >Of course now I've got to go and write this, but how hard can it be?<

    You'll find out... ;)

    @ Bradley: Honestly? Starting a forum thread with a Godwin will never work out.

  6. I've been working on something similar, but for Heavy Gear. http://www.ruleslawyer.bellguard.com/?p=876 Maybe it'll give you some ideas.