Tuesday, 18 December 2012

BattleTech Infantry Paradigm 2

Last time I talked about how I was creating a paradigm for deploying infantry in BattleTech and have them deployed on a one-to-one basis, just like battlemechs and vehicles. This time I want to talk about simple rules that add flavour, but don't slow down the game. These rule suggestions are based on using the models to represent numbers of men attacking, and from that easily calculate their attack value.

Sound too good to be true? No, not really, and here is how to do it.

If you look at the classic BattleTech rules one can see that pretty much a platoon of 30 men does an average of 15 points of damage. Yes, the numbers vary, but if you add them all up and divide by the number of choices it really is an average of about 15 points. Interesting that, and I wrote about this earlier here.

Modern infantry today came generally attack with a wide variety of weapons, bringing considerable firepower to bear on their targets.

So, to calculate the damage the infantry will inflict divide the total number of figures by two and that is your usual damage at the standard ranges for infantry of one, two and three hexes.

Now we can play around and assume that infantry come with anti-vehicle weapons, and to represent that attack divide the total number of men by four and round down to an even number to calculate the number of two point attacks. I'm using the same range bands as SRMs, which are three, six and nine hexes for this .

Finally, to allow for a longer range LMG attacks against other infantry we can use the same divide by four metric and again use the same ranges, but no longer need to round down to an even number.

So for example a 28 man platoon will do 14 points of attack at one, two and three hexes, which now represent a close assault melee. At ranges three, six and nine they can do seven points of attack against infantry representing normal firing. Finally, they can do six points of attack at a vehicle, or mech at ranges three, six and nine, in the standard groups of two.

Okay, this is a lot less detailed than the current CGL expanded infantry rules, but it is a lot simpler and gives the flavour of modern infantry. We shall be play-testing these in the next game.


  1. It seems to me that you're dropping some of the ability to distinguish infantry units. This may of course be deliberate, but it does lose some of the flavour.

    Some of the decision has to be how effective you want infantry to be - in a modern urban fight, a competent infantry squad can fairly reliably take out a solo tank, but that's not the way things are shown to work in the BattleTech universe.

    1. It is deliberate, mostly down to the fact that my players have a problem in distinguishing the difference between the models, other than those are jump, those are armoured, and those aren't.

      Hopefully, we will be able to show that infantry under this metric can be a nuisance to a mech, a hindrance to a vehicle, and hold their own when in cover.