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Proving grounds: the few, the proud


Akela
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Points I'd like to focus (these are the things we're looking for player PoV):

 

1) Within type (as Chrome pointed out) it has been something we've looked at. The grouping we had been looking at here was "Same Move Type" (since that's always on a JoR or later datacard).

 

2) Ratio of Veteran to Elite to Ace (the version prior to web publish was Veteran 2:1 for Elite and Elite 3:1 for Ace, meaning to have an Ace model you'd have enough Elites to field an "ace section" representing your officers or special forces crews), this was a point of discussion at Mil-Net ( http://mil-net.net/commstation/ ) IIRC.

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personally I like the idea, Really prevents folks from just beefing up their sections.

 

Ran another Beta of Soccer yesterday, one team took smaller light CAV's but advanced Gunners, they did some pretty heavy damage to the team that had mid range and higher CAV's but no upgrades.

 

I really like this allot.

 

Patrick "Mad Pat" Haughton

AO 00092

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Yeah, I agree with having gunships, infantry (including APC's?), armour and CAV's having seperate 'pyramids'. It makes sense in a way, and definately prevents people using very cheap units to get bigger units with higher crew ratings.

 

I'd also change this to be a 3 to 1 ratio at each level, as it would give a better spread in my opinion.

 

For example, in a game with 4 sections, you could have three 'section leaders' with veteran crews to make them more distinctive and a single 'force commander' with an elite crew to make that one stand out even more. And this is a more realistic force in my opinion as it simulates Lieutenants and Captains (with more experience as you get promoted).

 

Just my tupence worth :o)

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I like the 2:1 ratio for Elites and 3:1 for Aces.  Using Frank's example of 4 sections you could have:

 

Alpha Section

Dictator - Vet

Dictator - Vet

Dictator - Vet

Gladiator - Elite

 

Beta Section

Specter - Reg

Specter - Reg

Sovereign III - Vet

Regent - Elite

 

Delta Section

Puma - Vet

Puma - Vet

Kahn - Vet

Panther - Elite

 

Epsilon Section

Falcon - Vet

Falcon - Vet

Mastodon - Elite

Ogre - Ace

 

Granted, this is an extreme and would be an expensive unit, but it works.  Even with 3 Sections you could still legally have an Ace, but with the 9 supporting models that you'd have to buy to get the Ace, you wouldn't have a lot of points left.

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The question is, does an equal point force with all regular crews match up well against this, on average?

 

If it does, then the 2:1/3:1 is there, but if this force still destroys the all regular force, then the ratio will need to keep going up.

 

I'm still thinking you should end up with 1 Vet per section, 1 Elite per company, and 1 Ace per battalion, but thats just my .02.

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Erm, yeah that's kinda extreme but basically what I meant Chrome. Although I had envisioned both crewmen being upgraded along these lines:

 

Alpha Section

Dictator - Reg

Dictator - Reg

Dictator - Reg

Gladiator - Vet

 

Beta Section

Specter - Reg

Specter - Reg

Sovereign III - Reg

Regent - Vet

 

Delta Section

Puma - Reg

Puma - Reg

Kahn - Reg

Panther - Vet

 

Epsilon Section

Falcon - Reg

Falcon - Reg

Mastodon - Reg

Ogre - Elite

 

Perhaps having wizzo and pilot upgrades count seperately will help out here as well? And personally, I'd leave the ratio the same for vet, elite and ace. It's easier to remember and 'enforce' that way, and it don't seem like we're picking on one. And it makes Aces even harder :o)

 

And Rebel Yell's right, if it doesn't even things out so the fight somes back to being decided by skill or luck (and not by army selection) then even 3:1 isn't enough.

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The 3:1 Ratio is very elegant.  It keeps on par with the 4 model section paradyme...  3 supporting models and 1 leader model.

 

I really like Leech's army example (except for the fact that the lousy Ogre gets the Elite Crew...  Cheese Ball! ;-)).  The problem I have with Chrome's example is that there's too many Veterans and not enough Regulars.

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Chrome was building his force based off what is listed on "The Proving Grounds", where it states that "A Side may have as many Veteran Crew upgrades as desired."

 

That being the case, with him using the 2:1 for Elites and 3:1 for Aces is accurate.

 

I'm with Frank though on just sticking to a 3:1 ratio across the board, for the sake of simplicity.

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Chrome was building his force based off what is listed on "The Proving Grounds", where it states that "A Side may have as many Veteran Crew upgrades as desired."

Well, I guess...  Now that I think about it.

 

Veterans are not nearly as bad as Elites and Aces.

 

So, if you're willing to pay for it, I guess I don't have a problem with as many Vets as desired.

 

I dunno...  I can go both ways.

On one hand I can see that a high turnover rate within an embattled merc unit will bring up lots of new recuits to fill casualty spaces.

On the other hand, merc units will have lots of battle hardened crews in their ranks...  Just 'cause they've been there and done that.

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Ok I did state this silliness at Milnet, and since this is the way the wind is blowing, sure.

 

Folks if we are going to go here, also include the requirement for OTHER trooops, such as infantry and air asssets.

 

Let me restate.

 

Here is how you build an army.

 

For every three sections of infantry, you get one section of armor or air... for every three sections of armor or air, you get one CAV section.

 

Upgrades,

 

For every three sections of infantry you took, you can take up to one Puma or Panther to support each section replacing one stand... or the APC that goes with the stand if light or two APCs for your heavies. They have to be army choices.

 

Now the ratios between skill levels go as follows:

 

for each three regular units you can take a veteran; for every three veterans you can take an elite and so it goes.

 

So here is an army...

 

24 stands of infantry... hmmm by the rules I replace one stand of infantry for a Panther per section since I do intend to give them chainlock and heavy mortars. (I have not even touched the quality of troops yet)

 

one sertion of Tsusikeis.

One section of Lance

One section of Poltergeist

 

One CAV section

 

Three Dictators one Ogre.

 

Now looking at the requirements you can choose what you are going to upgrade... my choice is to ugrade my Tsusikeis to Elite... that is four, which means I need twelve vets, sure my infantry, twelve stands... and that is still giving me place for the ace, gee, I really want to fully tweak my Panthers, to ACE.... now I still have twelve stands of infantry at regular but wait they are at the correct ratio...

 

Oh folks this will get very complicated very fast... but this is just an extreme example or maybe not, fully borrowed from Warhammer Fantasy.

 

On the plus side, those units that people usually do not like such as armor and infantry, will sell, since I suspect this would become tournament legal. I might add, CAV will no longer look like a Mecha Centric game but a combined arms game... (isn't this what CAV is?)

 

I might add Army Builder handles messes like this very well...

 

Now let me restate what is the problem with this. Yes I know there are  problems with this.

 

One of the beauties of CAV is that I can build my army the way that I choose. Many players have commented that the freedom not to care for unit coherency, a la GW... or forced army lists, is something apealing to them. I will warn against taking this freedom away, since this is one of the great assets and selling points of CAV.

 

Also... and this has been recognized by Andy Chambers in a somewhat recent Journal article, the emphasis on army lists has taken something away from the joy of playing a game. This emphasis on "fairness" or "Point Balance" has taken some creativity away from players. GW, who I might add is the obvious competitor to Reaper, is aware of this problem and slowly but surely White Dwarf is moving away from Battle Reports with armies balanced to the last point and moving towards scenarios that are not that balanced from a point perspective. Also points are an aproximation of the value of a given unit in the field... if you do not know what you are doing, I can kill that uber rhino fairly fast with IDF... Sultans are a wonderful thing, so are Mortar Crews...

 

Now to the walking mountains of cheese, and this is my humble opinion, whether to allow them or not truly belongs in the House Rules Department. Sure there are things that never "made sense to me" when playing BattleTech... there are things that do not make sense to me when playing CAV, there are things that do not make sense to me (or surely will once I figure BFG completely), there are things that do not make sense... you get the picture. This is what house rules are for.

 

Some people need these things spelled out in offiical rules... well again folks not all that people want will make it, or should make it, into the official rules department. I also must say that if Ace \ Ace crews are this broken, no fix that we come up with will fix the problem, at all. And if that is the case, though I know some people will scream, eliminate them. Though I am increasingly getting the feeling that this Ace \ Ace fully tweaked out Rhino debate, that rears it uggly head every so often, is really coming from an inability to come up with strategies to kill it. They are killable, they just require a little more work.

 

Now feel free to tear this apart, as I am sure you will. I just gave you the worst case sceario.

 

Nadin

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I have to agree with Nadin here.  Yeah, running into an Uber-Rhino sux, but coming up with an army list type approach is not the best way to handle this.  Especially as recruiting personnel in the CAV "reality", was described to me once as simple as calling General Drake to send you a replacement Ace crew.

 

I think this is best handled by the host/referee setting parameters for the game.  Like the Warmaster Tourney; 1 section of 4 CAVs, max point cost 1750.  If I'm running a scenario game and just have listed "Bring a 3000 point force", then I should expect to see a couple of all Uber-Rhino forces.  If I now change that to "Bring an all CAV force of two sections (8 models), totaling not more than 3000 points", the Uber-Rhinos go away.  The host/referee is just going to have to keep a banana in his ear.

 

-MCM

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Seems to me the ratio system (upgraded to non-upgraded) is only necessary if the points values for crew upgrades are not balanced.  If they are more effective than their cost would indicate, you need an arbitrary limiter.  If they are less effective for the points...nobody will complain about an inefficient enemy.

 

Rather than add another level to army design, why not just balance the upgrade cost?  Granted, I have not seen the JoR, so I might be missing another factor.  Army Builder tells me it costs 61/60 for each upgrade to a Wyvern/Warlord, though their respective base costs are 304/276.

 

Perhaps someone could enlighten me.  How are the upgrade costs determined?

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Spire I think you pointed out the place that limiting what type of forces you can use has a place.  They have a place in senerio's and that is about it.   Of course you can use whatever type limiting rule you want in a pick me up game that is what house rules of for.   But if you are running a senerio were there were not supose to be many Ace crews on a side that is were a rule like the "Few the Proud the Many" has a place.    

 

In a regular game it doesn't.  You know for a long time I have listened and debated the ACE crew issue.  I finaly figured out the problem thanks to Steward.   The problem people are having in there games is not even with the crews.  Crews will not be the deciding factor because they cost so much.  A ACE ACE Rhino cost so much I can't imagine using one.  

 

Were the real problem is in army selection.   If someone goes in expecting there oponent to use manly soft targets and they don't and suprise you with the Uber Rhino well guess what?  You are going to lose every time if you built your army to beat that soft target unit you were expecting.   That is were balance in a unit is so important.   The importance of a balanced foce has been stated since before the game came out.    But you know what if you use a soft target killer army and he suprises you with nothing but Dictator's he will beat your soft target killer army every time.

 

So the real soultion to the problem is not to limit crew's at all anything other than say a specific senerio.   The real soultion is one to build balanced forces don't guess that your oponnent is going one extreme or the other.    The second part of the solution which is espesialy good for pick up games.(I say pick up games cause I feel that in most tourny events force selection is half the fun) But the solution would to use a rule were X amount of a force has to be a hard target and X amount has to be soft.   Doing this will take care of the real problem people have.

 

And rember when attacking a 1193 point Rhino attack it with 1193 points of forces.  If you choice to attack it with 600 points of forces don't be suprised when you when.   Also don't be suprised if you attack that Rhino with 2000 points worth of Vanquishers you lose.    But you can count on 1193 points of Dictators or any other hard target killing unit to take out the Rhino

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