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(House)Rules in effect

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This thread will feature (short) situation updates and summaries as well as a reference for (house) rules that are in effect.

Current Status:

-Waiting for new Lances to be rolled

-Preparing campaign in MekHQ. (GM task)

Index of (House) Rules:



Rolling personnel

Short primer to weapons


Roles & Special Pilot Abilities (SPA)

We will have a start date of 3019, just before the signed Accord between Lyran Commonwealth and the Federated Suns. Reason for this is that we have several people who are new to Battletech and this start date is pretty standard, although not completely default.

We will play a Merc unit with nondescript heritage of personnel. That means we are a melt pot of various cultures and people. This will not only aid those new to the system to avoid advanced rules regarding personnel and interaction, but it also gives us the most room to personalize our forces. It needs to be fun afterall and I'd rather avoid random rolls for baseline stuff that dictates who we are.

We will play a Merc unit that isn't a full regiment (yet); about 1.5 battallion's worth of core units (so about half the picture below)

Our starting world will be Galatea instead of Outreach. Outreach might be the Merc world to some of you, but in our campaign Wolf's Dragoons have not yet declared ownership of the planet, let alone liberated it as a free world. That time might come, if we survive as long.

So what's the galaxy like at this point?
We're in the final years of the era called Third Succession War; as intense war has raged on now for several centuries, many world (and their accompanying factories) lay in ruin. The advanced Tech of the Star League era has either been destroyed, their blueprints lost or VERY hard to come by at this point.
Because of this many forces are now fighting with less than fully equipped and maintained forces and many struggle to keep a resemblance of a fit fighting force. Prices of spare parts are rising exponentially on the free markets and of top of that, it becomes increasingly difficult to find any at all.
This will be the situation roughly until the Helm Data Core will be found in about 8 years from now, so we need to look after our stuff and we should try to get contracts that allow us to salvage the battlefield as much as we can.

In a about a year Archon Katrina Steiner and First Prince Hanse Davion will sign an accord known as the FedCom Accords.
This is basically the start of the Federated Commonwealth as well as the planning phase for the Fourth Succession War.

This will, once again, be a time where lots of money can be made as it will prove to be the biggest of the Succession Wars in hindsight!
We'll need to decide to which power (major or minor) we'll sell our ' services ', or if we're going to try to just scour on the fringes of the known galaxy.

For the Grogheads players each of you will start as a Lieutenant commanding your own Company within the force.
You are free to roll up your character as you like, however, if you are going to use A Time of War to create your character, know that only certain rules are implemented in MegaMek (like Edge), but many others are not.
I will try my best, however, to use AToW as much as we can to govern our forum RP, if that's desired.

If you want help, drop a note here or contact me via PM.
If you want to have a say in the strategic goings on of the force, you should try to get a character with skills in that part in addition to your battlefield skills.
Promotions and Skill development will be part of the campaign, so if you get unlucky at the start, you can always retry during play at given times.

As for your force; as you can see in the table above, you will have command over three Lances.
After rolling you should try to order them into Roles (Recon, Assault, Support, etc).
Once we will go on missions we will try to make 'Formations' (p56 Campaign Ops) in order to try to get Special Pilot and Command abilities in effect.

Post your characters here: Characters Bio and Stats

Post your Company's roll results here: Roll results

One of the most severe problems facing any Mech in combat is internal heat build-up. Though every Mech can dissipate heat through its Heat Sinks or by standing in water, the Mech builds up heat whenever it moves or fires its weapons.
Outside heat sources can also build up a unit's heat levels (hostile environments, fire).

How does Heat work?

Different activities can build up heat.
Walking +1 / turn
Running +2 /turn
Jumping +1 /hex (min 3 / turn)
Attempt to stand +1 / attempt
Weapons fire as per weapons and equipment tables

Heat sinks dissipate heat as follows:
-1 per operational sink
-2 per operational double sink
-1 additional per operational sink under water (max 6 pts)
-2 additional per operational double sink under water (max 6 pts)

Damage alters heat as well.
First engine hit +5 / turn
Second engine hit +10 (total) / turn

As heat rises, movement gets more difficult because of the actuators overheating.
At 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 points of heat substract the number indicated (on sheet) from Mechs Walking Movement Points.
This effect is *not* cumulative with any previous heat-caused loss of movement points.
Jump MP is not affected.

Firing also gets more difficult at 8, 13, 17 and 24 heat. You will need to add the number indicated (on sheet) to the base to hit number of the weapon being fired.

At 14,18,22,26 and 30 heat a Mech attempts to shut down its power plant automatically as a safety feature.
When it shuts down it is considered immobile and unable to move or attack, but it also cannot build up more heat on its own.
Heat sinks will continue to dissipate heat during shutdown.

If heat levels reach 19,23 or 28 points ammunition bins might begin to explode.

MegaMek will track heat automatically and roll for effects of overheating as well.

For any new players who may be confused about some of the weapon terms and concepts, here's a brief overview so that when you see your Mech has "x" you've got an idea what that means.

Mech weapons come down to guns, beams, and missiles. Practically everything else on your Mech supports those, in one or more ways.

GUNS -- come in various flavors, the basic concept being the simple Autocannon which (despite its name) is a semi-automatic weapon. It shoots as fast as you pull the trigger, or if you're holding down the trigger as fast as it can reload. LBX guns are autocannons with special fragmentary shells, basically a long-distance shotgun. (The difference is that it spreads damage around more evenly, whereas other guns are more focused in what gets hurt.) Rotary cannons are the gatling cannons. Gauss Rifles are hard-hitting but non-explosive slugs shot magnetically with rail-guns, as accurate as lasers at long range. There are also machine gun clusters for short range, low-weight fighting; like GRs (I think?) they aren't cannons per se and don't have explosive shells, but they also generate no heat (in game terms) and dump damage very quickly. In some game versions, including this one I think, machine-guns abrade off armor plating. (In more extensive Battletech game systems, machine-guns are also handy anti-personnel policing weapons for smaller mechs which aren't expected to fight other mechs.)


* for their damage output have the highest weight but lowest heat generation of the three weapon types.

* can run out of ammo, and for their damage the ammo is heavier than missiles. (Gauss Rifle ammunition has the advantage that it cannot detonate internally, though, because it has no propellant.)

* cause damage mostly from kinetic strike and also (except GRs, maybe also machine-gun clusters) from explosive warheads. They generate less heat on targets for their damage than other weapon systems (no heat for GRs).

* reduce damage over distance, down to zero, in some game systems (not sure about this one yet), but not as quickly as lasers do.

* are usually rated in caliber, which translates directly to damage-points done. An AC2 for example does 2 damage (maximum, before reductive factos) per shot; an AC20 does 20.

* Larger calibers have lower maximum ranges. For Inner Sphere Mechs (the types we'll be playing), the largest calibers have minimum ranges, too, in some game systems, translating to aiming penalties and (in some game systems, not sure about ours) potential damage to one's own Mech from nearby ordinance explosions.

* Reloading ammo is naturally slower for larger calibers (unless you're using a rotary cannon of course), faster for smaller calibers. An AC2 can shoot four times a second (typically), an AC20 more like once every four seconds. You'll run out of large caliber ammo in fewer shots, too.

* We may be playing too early for any "Ultra AC" tech, but these pack two cannons of the same size into a smaller space. An Ultra AC5 crams two AC5 cannons into a space smaller than two AC5s mounted normally. They use a different ammo pack than their single equivalents, so AC5 ammo won't work in an Ultra AC5. (I'm unsure if this game system tracks such things.) In some game systems the Ultras can pack more than 2 cannons for smaller calibers.

* Unlike the other basic weapon types, some guns can jam if fired too quickly. (Most guns in this version of the game? -- seems like I saw that while scanning by.) Rotary cannons shouldn't. Ultra ACs are particularly apt to jam, which is a game-balancing rule in most game systems. In this game system, if I recall reading the rule correctly, any jams are permanent for the fight!

ENERGY -- are mostly lasers, large, medium, and small. When lasers shoot, they stay lit for a certain amount of time to deliver their whole damage, allowing aim adjustment and walking of damage; pulse lasers are designed to deliver it all immediately, but are heavier and generate more heat for the damage. (I'm not sure this game system distinguishes them really.) Flamers use energy tech as short-range flamethrowers, which do less immediate damage to the enemy but which can quickly overheat your enemy, paralyzing them (or causing them to explode). Particle Projection Cannons (PPCs) cause electrical interference to struck enemies as well as energy (and I think some kinetic) damage; they have longer effective ranges than other energy weapons, too.

Energy weapons:

* are the only weapons that require no ammunition, running off Mechs' internal power (which for battle purposes is effectively unlimited). This also means they have no ammo to potentially detonate when hit.

* naturally generate more heat per shot than other weapon types for the damage. They also naturally inflict more heat per shot on hit enemies.

* don't need to be reloaded, but they do need cooling down between shots, which functions like "reload time". They need more such time than guns of equivalent damage, maybe not as much as missile packs.

* have no minimum ranges usually.

* have the lowest maximum ranges for their damage than other weapons. I don't think we'll run into ER (Extended Range) lasers in this game, but you may see them in gameplay examples.

* lose damage faster over range than guns.

* cannot usually be dodged (PPCs being the exception, and targets might move out from under normal lasers before full damage is dealt depending on the game system).

* are by far the lightest weapon system for equivalent damage (partly due to not needing ammo packs).


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