We’ finally completed the construction of a Battletech military unit using the campaign operation rules set. Today we’re going to look at some of the other optional rules that are available to use with the force construction system, and take a look at getting started with the force operations system. We’ve got some ideas for where to go next, but we’d like a little input from you guys, so if you have the time, go ahead and answer the little poll over on the right hand side of the blog.
Looking ahead at Battletech, we’re definitely going to give a review of each of the core rule books in the franchise, working our way backwards (Interstellar Operations is up next).
The Enraged Wookie is also allegedly working on putting together a write up of his unit for House Davion.
We’re going to be putting together a clan invasion era unit using the construction rules to a.) see if we can do it. b.) see if it still feels right for the game universe.
We’ll roll this series forward into a breakdown of how the Force Operations rules work.
Hopefully we’ll finish painting the Tombstones and get more better pictures of them up for you.
Now that we’ve covered old business, let’s move on to some new ideas and options for Force Construction.
The first optional rule we’ve got for Force Construction is the Alternate Flexible Force Construction option. Basically this boils down to a simplification of the existing rules set. You make a big list of all the units and pilots you want and hand it off to either the other players you’re playing with, or to the GM if its a game that has one. They can either approve or deny your unit. If you’re denied, you can go back to the drawing board and start over (after the crying and recriminations are done). This option also has a potential drawback of starting your force in debt, which can rapidly erode your reputation if you aren’t careful.
I would use this option if i were building a very specific force, and i knew what units i was planning on fielding and didn’t want to risk not having them available. This is also a decent option for a player who has a limited pool of mechs and tanks to draw from. If you’ve got a full compliment of mech units available, and don’t mind the random distress that can come with dozens of die rolls, we suggest using the standard method.
The second option is for folks who are familiar with the A Time of War RPG (and we mean intimate, it’s getting an article of its own just for character creation). Using the Character Creation system for A Time of War, you can create a force commander for your unit. This seems like one of the areas where you could end up with widely skewed forces because of the stackable modifiers to your budget. If you’re creating a very thematic game (and all of the other players are using it) you might use this system. Optionally, if you’re playing a game where all of the PCs are members of one mercenary unit, you could operate with this system, but you’d probably be money and time ahead to make all of the characters using the A Time of War rules
The Third option is for Dependents. It would make sense that a combat command would be comprised of more than just the rank and file soldiers and the administrative and support people around them. For those of you that are interested, you have a method to randomly generate dependents for your units, and it can be found on page 30ish.
In case you were looking for some randomization to your force’s background without having to go through the stages of creating an A Time of War character, the random background table on page 31 can give you some excellent background details with some game effects.
Finally, if you and all other players are willing to allow it, you can use the optional rules for taking on debt at creation. You can take a total amount equal to your starting budget in debt, unless you’re pirates. The downsides are twofold. First, it applies a negative modifier to your reputation score, and secondly, it increases your peacetime operating costs by a factor of the debt.
And those are all of the options you have for modifying the unit construction process. This week’s going to be a bit of a short week because we’re gearing up for our review of Interstellar Operations and putting down ideas for other projects in this particular rules set. We’d like to put together a couple of campaign ideas up and see if they test out, plus a unit briefing for the Tombstones (potentially with Record Sheets and Alpha Strike Cards).
Next week we’ll start to tinker with the Force Operation rules and show you they work.
Game on, Game Fans