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Playing Battletech when I get the chance (rarely), I really enjoy the ponderous naval -style navigation of the mechs, the torso twists and other cumbersome stuff the pilots have to deal with. I looked for Battletech into Hero stats but I found nothing written up.

 

I was hoping to play a mixed "Battletech 2020" game where mechs are part of the modern/near-future weaponry with all the tech stuff they have (Autocannons, lasers, LRMs etc.) but giving them more realistic ranges and throwing in some Abrams tanks with infantry in Strykers and LAV-25s zipping around the battlefield.

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  • 1 month later...

I did some work on bringing Battletech to Hero System statistics.

 

Basically, I'm working on a modded version of Hero combat for miniatures, I squeezed the stats down into smaller numbers (Hits = Body/4, Shock = Hits x 2,25, Morale = Basic roll of 11-) and worked on the mech weapons like autocannons and lasers and stuff.

 

Converting specific mecha to Hero, by eyeballing the stats like armor and chassis points and giving the a Hero equivalent. This is work in progress currently.

 

I could go with guidelines like giving assault mechs 5 Hits for limbs, 10 for the torso, 4 for the head etc. The same goes for armor.

 

The ranged combat still works with OCV - DCV +11 formula, but causing hits on a target goes by distance to target (3+ rolls at close range, 4+ at effective, 6+ at extreme ranges).

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I worked out an example mech using my damage/armor calculations.

Battlemaster BLR-1G

Body: 15 (Hero) -> 4 Hits

Hits multiplied for hit locations as follows:
Head (-1 Hit) – 4 Hits
Center Torso – 8 Hits
Left/Right Torso – 6 Hits
Legs/Arms – 5 Hits

Armor values as follows (1.5x multiplier):
Head – 6
Center Torso – 12
Left/Right Torso – 9
Legs/Arms – 8

I also ruled that each 6 scored on a damage die reduces location armor by 1.

You can also use the Hero System to create different types of ammo for ballistic weapons, for example the armor piercing advantage in Hero can halve a locations armor value before causing hits to that location.

Mechs can take punishment, but given the armor degradation plus possible special ammo use we get to acceptable results. Take into account that the Battlemaster is an assault mech in Battletech canon.

edit: Rear armor values:
Center Torso – 4
Left/Right Torso – 3

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A long time ago a group I was in did a number of Battletech Hero games.  We used Danger International for them because Robot Warriors wasn't out yet, if that gives you an idea of how long ago.  

 

I believe that every 2 points of a weapon's damage did 1d6; armor had 6 DEF and 1.5 times its armor value in BODY, and internal structure had 1.5 times its value in BODY.  (MGs and flamers weren't able to get damage through armor, by design.)  Each heat sink had 10 BODY IIRC.  Weapon damage against characters was multiplied IIRC.  Any X+ on 2d6 was converted to a Y- on 3d6.  

 

Combat was OCV vs. DCV as normal Hero.  Mechs and vehicles moved on their pilot's DEX and SPD.  I'm pretty sure mechs could walk or run and attack.  

 

At one time I could locate a writeup from those days, but three removes equals one fire.  I still have some of the mech sheets with our converted stats, which was how I was able to reconstruct this much.  

 

Edit:  What I've got is here on my Google Drive for those who are interested.

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I'm playing around with some Battletech to Robot Warriors conversions.  Might need some tweaking; the Locust comes in at a total of 85 Mass Units so far (8.5 tons).  

 

I've been rounding Battletech weapon mass down to the closest RW weapon mass, so that for instance the Small Laser and Machine Gun (.5 ton each) come out at 4 Mass Units (400 kg) each.  Which is partly why the Locust is 85 MU.  

 

The energy weapons so far have Side Effects: Generates Heat, at a 1, 2, or 3 line Limitation, for 1, 3, and 8-10 heat respectively.  The MG has Side Effects: Volatile Ammo, for 1 line.  I'm not quite sure yet how either of those Side Effects are going to work in RW, or if they're even worth the values I've assigned.  

 

More later.

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One Battletech turn is 10 seconds; one Battletech hex is 30 meters.  These are close enough to 12 seconds and 32 meters that I'm handwaving the difference. 

 

I'm assuming that the Locust is DEX 20 and SPD 4.  It's also Size Class 3, but movement is bought at Ground Scale 4 hexes (16m) by default.  If I double the Locust's walk and run values to account for the hex size conversion, I get 16 and 24 hexes per Hero System combat turn.  If I sort of vaguely assume a run is a full move, with SPD 4 the Locust has 6 hexes per Phase of ground movement.  

 

Interesting bit: all of our Battletech runs assumed movement and combat was at the pilot's DEX and SPD.  And we weren't immune to SPD = fun, so we ended up with DEX and SPD inflation, with everyone pretty much at 20 and 4.  It does seem kind of funny for a 100 ton Atlas to be moving at DEX 20 SPD 4 though.  

 

More later.

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1 hour ago, Chris Goodwin said:

The energy weapons so far have Side Effects: Generates Heat, at a 1, 2, or 3 line Limitation, for 1, 3, and 8-10 heat respectively.  The MG has Side Effects: Volatile Ammo, for 1 line.  I'm not quite sure yet how either of those Side Effects are going to work in RW, or if they're even worth the values I've assigned.  

 

More later.

 

 

First:  nice work!

 

And frankly, one of the most worthwhile conversion projects of all time.  :D

 

Suggestion for "Volatile Ammo:"

 

Blend in the value for Burnout.

 

If it's based on getting hit in the general area of the ammo-- well, you have to note the location of the ammo, obviously, but you'd roll either (your choice) whenever that location is hit or whenever that location takes BODY (or component) damage.

 

You could decide that Volatile armor isn't going to get jarred into ignition, but perhaps gets heated into it.

 

Then you have two options:

 

if you are using heat sink rules, when heat gets to point X, you roll for ammo cook off.  Roll every Phase that heat is X or higher.  The lower the cook-off point, the greater the value of the limitation (to a point).

 

Option B:  Sustained fire  (firing the same weapon for X or more consecutive Phases requires you to check for cook-off.  Each Phase that you continue to fire that weapon adds one to the target number.

 

Either way:

 

When the roll is failed:

 

You can either declare that X amount of ammo "cooks off" (essentially exploding in place).

 

You can declare that the margin of failure of the roll determines how many rounds cook off (possibly modified by the number of Phases of sustained fire, if you're using heat)

 

Roll an exploding die (or two) to determine how many rounds cook off.

 

 

You can go deeper and deeper, if you want:

 

explode all at once?  Treat them as individual explosions?  Apply defenses or not?

 

Things like that.

 

 

I'm not saying "this is how it should work."   I am offering some things that might help get the juices flowing.  ;)

 

 

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I'm going to port the heat mechanic in, mostly.  I'm usually an advocate of not doing that, but I think it works in this case.  In practice I'm calling it a Side Effect combined with a Susceptibility.  At the end of the Turn, during the post-12 period, if there's any net heat buildup, roll 3d6 plus whatever heat there is, and treat it as a Penetration Table hit.  Whatever is hit is overheating and down.  If further heat causes a second hit on the same table entry, the equipment is destroyed but can be repaired normally.  (Heat will vent every one of the mech's Phases at the bottom of the segment.)

 

If the equipment is a weapon with the Volatile Ammo Limitation, that second Penetration Table entry causes it to cook off, if there's at least one shot remaining.  Roll the weapon's damage once; the mech takes it with no defense.  Roll another Penetration Table roll, 3d6 plus the damage.  I think any more than one shot worth may as well destroy the whole mech... 

 

Also, an energy attack or explosive attack that rolls a Penetration Table hit against a weapon with Volatile Ammo causes it to cook off.  Same as above.  And Volatile Ammo can trigger off another weapon with Volatile Ammo...

 

Volatile Ammo going off destroys the weapon beyond the possibility of repair, but it can be replaced. 

 

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9 hours ago, bpmasher said:

I got the Robot Warriors pdf plus the guide for later editions.

 

Will it be easy to convert Battletech mechs to this version of Hero? I want to create a campaign around the mechs I have collected so far (AGOAC box), and make it FUN!

 

It should be.  It's a little more work if you want to add incidental stuff like heat buildup, but not that much more.  Easier to design mechs with similar feel and run it with the Battletech background.  

 

1 hour ago, zslane said:

Big thumbs up to the work Chris is doing converting BT to RW/Hero. A very worthy effort!

 

Thank you!  :) 

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Just now, Chris Goodwin said:

I went to see what else I could spend mass on.  I was thinking sensors and comms.  Started looking at some of the Battletech fluff... and got a little overwhelmed.  

 

There's a... lot... of Battletech since 1986. 

Yup and if you want to (I don’t have it myself) they have rules for Primitive Mechs. Mechs to represent the very beginning and others that are more downgraded than Classic BT! Also they came out in one game product where all the old quirks listed in Fluff actually have game rules-optional of course.

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1 hour ago, Chris Goodwin said:

There's a... lot... of Battletech since 1986.

 

Some might say too much.  I remember playing it when it was new.  I still think FASA going with Battletech instead of Centurion was a mistake.  But we lost interest when the game shifted and added the clans.  But back to BT.  I was never able to get back into it because of the way the material is organized (or not organized).

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4 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

I went to see what else I could spend mass on.  I was thinking sensors and comms.  Started looking at some of the Battletech fluff... and got a little overwhelmed.  

 

There's a... lot... of Battletech since 1986. 

 

I only played Battletech once, at a tiny con in about 86 or 87. The people running the game gave us like a 10-20 minute orientation then threw 40 mostly inexperienced players and their mechs to protect a convoy against...Godzilla.

 

It was a real blast.

 

I've been reluctant to buy the Battletech online game because I'm afraid I'd get addicted and disappear down a rabbit hole for the next 10 months.

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I'm sort of low on time to complete and post the Locust conversion I'm working on, and I'm thinking that the best way to convert is to do it the way you'd convert anything else to Hero.  Convert the spirit of the original.  The converted Locust should be a small, fast, lightly armed and armored mech with no hands that only crazy people pilot more than once.

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1 hour ago, Chris Goodwin said:

Since I haven't played Battletech in many years, and don't have any books with me at the moment:  under what circumstances does a Battletech pilot need to make a Piloting roll?

Off hand iirc, taking more than 20 points in damage in one turn. If Hip actuators are damaged. Landing from jumps when they are hit. Entering and exiting water hexes. If you miss a charge or get hit in a charge and skidding to. 

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