Behind the Scenes – Saving Time

It’s official, my gaming crew is awesome!

I got an e-mail this morning and one of the players wrote a ‘to-hit’ calculator for me. It’s a cute little program that accepts all of the possible modifiers and adds them up instantly. It’s simple but I’m sure it will help speed up the pace of play.

One of the things that has been slowing down our games is that I, as the GM am responsible for calculating the attacks of anywhere for 4 – 10 units a round. Add into that the fact that I have never been particularly fast at mental math and you have the recipe for a bottle neck. To this end I’m going to be implementing some streamlining features into our next game to see if we can’t speed things along:

Order of Play: After movement when we begin resolving attacks the GM will resolve all of the NPC attacks first, with the help of the player being attacked. Players who are not directly being attacked will calculate their hits, locations and damage on their own. Once the GM is done each palyer will be able to read off Target, damage, location, and then sort out any criticals. I have a really honest group so I can trust them not to lie about hits and misses.

New Markers: I’ll be printing out markers on cardstock that have “+1,” “+2” … “+12” and everyone will get a set. After movement pilots will be responsible for calculating the modifiers they are responsible for: Spaces moved, jumping, if they are standing in woods, etc. They will place the marker on their hex and the attacking character will only be responsible for calculating their own modifiers rather than having to constantly ask questions such as “how far did he move” and “did he jump?”

The Calculator: Like I said before I’m going to give this program a test run to see if I can’t streamline my side of the equation. Here’s a pic of what it looks like.

BattleTech Calc Pic

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4 Responses to Behind the Scenes – Saving Time

  1. y0mbo says:

    You can also use dice behind the ‘Mechs to indicated that ‘Mech’s modifiers, although flat cardstock would make for a cleaner game surface.

    Nice blog, I wish there were blogs when I played a full on campaign. I kept track of everything on paper. That was a lot of work.

    • I actually really like that idea. It would be a lot easier to keep track of one d12 (or 2d6) as opposed to 12 easy to lose cardstock chips. The only real drawback is the sheer number of dice needed for an encounter. Mission one had 4 Mechs on the player side and 10 on the opposition. That’s a lot of dice I don’t have.

      As for playing your own campaign, it’s never to late to start up a new one. πŸ™‚

  2. y0mbo says:

    Try running a battalion of tanks sometime πŸ˜‰

    I do like the app, though, I think it will help a lot.

    • I don’t even want to think about that. It sounds like a logistical nightmare.

      We ended up using coins as markers which was OK but could get a little confusing. One of my group said he has a number of small (quarter scale) d6. So we’re gonna try those in the next game.

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