2006-05-23 : The yellow dice rule

1. If you have communications or surveillance gear on your mech, you can roll a yellow die or yellow dice for spotting. If you don't have such gear, you can't, and you can't apply white dice to spotting either.

2. Spot in addition to everything else your mech does on its turn. Declare a target for spotting in addition to your target for shooting and roll your yellow dice with all the rest. You can spot only at direct fire range; spotting's unaffected by cover. Spotting happens AFTER your shooting attack; occasionally that'll matter.

3. Spotting someone doesn't have any effect on initiative or combat turn sequence. You don't need a defense number for your spotting target, so they don't get to go now.

4. Put a die next to your spotting target: one of your yellow dice or one of your white dice. This becomes your spotting target's spot die. If your spotting target already has a spot die, discard the lower of the two.

5. When you shoot at someone, if they have a spot die, you may choose to use it for your attack roll, instead of using your own red or white dice. It doesn't matter who placed the spot die; a spotted mech is spotted for everyone. If you do choose to use the spot die, discard it after you've resolved the attack. That mech is no longer spotted.

6. At the end of the turn, discard any unused spot dice on the table.

1. On 2006-05-23, Larry Lade said:

I *heart* colored dice rules.


2. On 2006-05-23, Emily said:

And the colors matter! This rule really adds to the strategy of the game.


3. On 2006-05-23, Valamir said:

I'm not sure I grok the purpose of having both rule #3 and the second half of rule #5.

That is I can see why from a game balancing perspective you might want to discard the yellow die after use even though from a simmy angle and a fun blast the hell out of 'em strategy leaving the die out there to be used by any one would be kinda cool (i.e. the target is painted and lit up like a christmas tree thanks to that yellow 6.  everybody unload on him).

But then I don't see why you need rule three to make sure there is only 1 yellow die out there.

Why not just let however many yellow dice there are just remain there?  As they get used they get discarded but this way you could possibly have several spots on the same mech.

To me this would be be balanced by the the fact that of the multiple yellow dice the low ones quite likely aren't going to be useful anyway, so only sometimes would you have several high yellows to get used.  And working out maneuvers with your mechs to be able to effectively take advantage of such an event (or be tempted into doing something foolish in order to take advantage of such an event) seems to be tactically interesting.

A yellow die is basically just a reroll for somebody elses red die (if I understand rule #2 it can't be a reroll for your own red die because it happens after you fire), but its not a red die itself so the advantage of having a tactically flexible yellow die is balanced by the fact that you're not really increasing the maximum damage you can do.


4. On 2006-05-23, Vincent said:

The reason you discard lower yellow dice is: otherwise they clutter up the table.

The reason you discard the yellow die when you use it is: your defense roll already stands for the whole turn (and must). I don't want your defense roll and everybody's attack roll on you BOTH to stand for the whole turn.

That's why!


direct link

This makes...
Val go "Heh, table clutter"*

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5. On 2006-05-23, Ninja Monkey J said:

The pile of yellow dice on one particular turn (a bunch of 2s, 3s, and 4s, if I recall, and I kept getting 4+ attack rolls) was getting really unwieldy. Since they go away next turn anyway, it's pretty valueless to do that ??? there are only so many things you can do in a turn anyway.

Trading up the yellow dice is important because multiple yellow dice would pretty much make defense impossible. Sensors would be overwhelmingly cheap for their effectiveness. It makes fictional sense, but I think they would be the best dice to have, and that's not what the game's about. I prefer it to be something you invest in strategically, rather than an obvious choice.


6. On 2006-05-24, Matt S said:

Okay, I'm missing something. What is the advantage sensors have over weapons? Why roll a bunch of dice to try and get a lock for someone else to shoot, rather than load out the mech with a big gun for the added firepower?

Help me understand.


7. On 2006-05-24, Vincent said:

Matt: you can roll at most two red dice at a time. Yellow dice can give you sort of a third and fourth.

It makes sense if you're planning to concentrate fire. Each of J's four mechs rolled two red and one yellow - instead of 8 red dice all together, they were rolling sort of 12, and effectively 10 or 11.

Naturally you're trading off, though. Does armor or bookin' it make more sense to you? Take blue or green dice instead!


8. On 2006-05-24, Ninja Monkey J said:

Check out these yellow dice!


9. On 2006-05-26, Ben Lehman said:

Does spotting trigger "target acts?"


10. On 2006-05-26, Vincent said:

Rule 3! You don't need a defense number for your spotting target, so they don't get to go now.


11. On 2006-05-26, Ninja Monkey J said:

Another use for Yellows: they have a range but don't prevent you from getting a green d8 for not having ranged weapons. Very excellent for scouts: two green d6s (say) plus a d8, plus yellow dice that allow him to act as an artillery spotter. That means he can still move superfast to do scouty stuff (grabbing vaporators from behind enemy lines, diverting attention, and spotting), and still has (limited) combat options (h2h in a pinch, yellow dice calling down the lightning).

I decided to give my Scout three Big Missiles (which don't count for initiative purposes) and no red dice. It had arms and legs, so it could fight with Whites if it needed to, but the thing was about speed (theoretically; if I recall, I think I gave it too many dice anyway, so initiative got buggered.)

Also, next game, I want to introduce some story elements ?? la Roroga. That means building non-vaporator goals: little trucks, crashed satellites, that kind of thing. Part of the fun of Battletech was, for me, the fiction we made up to go with the fighting. It seems like we can get pretty close to making sleek little bits of fiction for and with this. I think that's why I want campaign rules, by the way.


direct link

This makes...
go "If missiles don't count for initiative..."*
Uriel go " "they have a range""*
NinJ go "Of missiles and radar dishes"*

*click in for more

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