In my last post, I introduced the idea of the ’Mech Brawl 3030 format. In this one, I’m going to dig into the force building rules. These rules govern how players build their force when they want to play a ’Mech Brawl 3030 game.
Force Building Rules
For ’Mech Brawl 3030, player forces must obey the following set of rules:
- Battle Value: The force’s Battle Value must be 5,000 or less. This value includes any adjustment for MechWarrior skills.
- Units: The force can only include canon BattleMech units.
- Force Size: The force must consist of between 2 and 6 ’Mechs.
- Faction: A player must pick a faction for their force. All units that they choose must be on the availability list for their chosen faction. The available faction choices are:
- Capellan Confederation
- Circinus Federation
- Draconis Combine
- Federated Suns
- Free Worlds League
- Kell Hounds
- Lyran Commonwealth
- Magistracy of Canopus
- Marian Hegemony
- Outworlds Alliance
- St. Ives Compact
- Taurian Concordat
- Wolf’s Dragoons
- MechWarriors: MechWarrior skill ratings may range from 0 to 7, but the difference between Gunnery and Piloting can be at most 2. For example, a 3/5 MechWarrior is allowed, but a player cannot use a 2/5 MechWarrior.
- Special Munitions: No special munitions are available to the force.
- Unique ’Mechs: At most 1 unit in a player’s force can be marked as unique on their availability list.
- Commander: A player must designate one unit in their force as its commander.
The faction availability lists for ’Mech Brawl 3030 are derived from the availability information on the Master Unit List. In order to reflect a particular year, I ended up needing to make some adjustments though compared to the raw LosTech era information. I excluded any BattleMech that was introduced after 3030 and also pruned out older Star League era designs that re-entered use as a result of ComStar’s deal with the Draconis Combine leading up to the War of 3039.
I also think a stable list is a bit easier for players to use than having to rely on a specific MUL query, so I’m happy to have the format feature its own tailored availability lists.
You can download a pdf with the availability tables here: ’Mech Brawl 3030 Faction Availability Lists.
I think BattleTech shines as a game at roughly a lance of ’Mechs per side, so I wanted to focus the format on that size of game. After some list building, I settled on 5,000 BV as a good limit. It allowed for players to include heavier designs, but it was low enough that you couldn’t fit a whole assault lance. It also benefits from being a nice round number. Pairing the unit count restrictions was then important to prevent spamming a dozen light ’Mechs. The minimum force size of 2 on the other hand allows for scenarios that require splitting a player’s force.
Because the format is meant to be more narrative, I wanted faction choice to matter. Using availability lists was the easiest way to accomplish that. If a player wants to use certain variants, then they’ll need to choose the appropriate faction.
For MechWarrior skills, I wanted to allow players to customize their forces to be more elite or less experienced than default. I also wanted to stick to standard battle value calculations rather than giving out free upgrades to 3/4 pilots like some other formats. I think the maximum difference of 2 between the skills is a reasonable middle ground that allows for customization while avoiding the potential min-maxing that could happen.
While the chosen commander isn’t used in the first batch of scenarios I’ve written, I included that choice because I have a few scenario ideas for the future that will have special rules related to force commanders.
Here are some examples of ’Mech Brawl 3030 forces that I can put together using my own miniatures.
For House Steiner’s Lyran Commonwealth, I built a fairly balanced lance. Its heavy hitters are a Warhammer and the Steiner variant of the Archer that reduces its LRM count to add some SRM launchers. A mobile Griffin is able to act as either a sniper or a skirmisher as needed. Then a Wolfhound fills out the lance as another skirmisher.
|Archer ARC-2S||4/5, commander||1,393|
Federated Commonwealth Brigade
As an example of fielding heavier ’Mechs, this force for House Davion’s Federated Suns focuses on its two assault ’Mechs. The AS7-RS variant of the Atlas is a durable, mid-range brawler that can move towards and contest any objectives, even if it can’t necessarily get their quickly. An Awesome then backs it up as a powerful sniper. With those two choices eating up a lot of battle value, the only other unit in the force is an Enforcer that can use its relatively good maneuverability to assist one or the other of its teammates.
|Atlas AS7-RS||3/5, commander||2,219|
This lance for House Marik’s Free Worlds League is meant to offer a balanced set of options. An Awesome serves as its anchor with its durability and firepower. The Wolverine and Trebuchet are then able to move about the battlefield to play for objectives or skirmish with enemies. The Stinger fills out the lance with a fast unit that can try to use its speed to fulfill whatever need the force needs in a pinch.
|Wolverine WVR-6M||4/4, commander||1,420|
McCarron’s Armored Cavalry
This force for House Liao’s Capellan Confederation pushes up to the maximum number of units for the format. A Cataphract and Vindicator form its battleline. Then a Phoenix Hawk, Raven, Locust, and Wasp can move more quickly around the battlefield to play towards the scenario objectives.
|Phoenix Hawk PXH-1||4/5, commander||1,041|
This force for House Kurita’s Draconis Combine shows off a more skilled option. It has a relatively light and mobile lance, and then uses its battle value budget to improve their skill levels. The Spider and Jenner make excellent harassers thanks to their speed and firepower. The Panther is the slowest member of the force, buts its PPC makes it a valuable sniper. Then the Dragon is a fast heavy that can skirmish at range.
|Dragon DRG-1N||2/4, commander||1,733|