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As mentioned in last week’s blog post, I’m working on rules for generating an over-all value for each force that’ll impact morale, fatigue and so on. Forum posters at www.classicbattletech.com rightly pointed out that I shouldn’t be changing terminology between books and suggested and excellent new term: Combat Effectiveness Rating.

As mentioned, while I’m working on a more comprehensive set of rules, I also want to include a set of rules of relatively quick die rolls for those that don’t want the details of a resource allocation system. However, as I got into Force Loyalty, I had a difficult time simply creating a single table you roll on. There’s so much flavor in the BattleTech universe and all of it creates the various force loyalties that exist.

As such, I decided to try and create a very short and simple “life path” that would bring some of that flavor into the dice rolls. It’s ultimately almost as random as a single table, but it helps, IMO, to convey various aspects of the universe a little better.

With that in mind, here’s the first draft of the rules (note this has not been playtested at all, so some of the modifiers may need tweaking):

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2. Determining Force Loyalty

While this factor doesn’t have as great an impact on the fighting capability of a force as the other three, in a universe where almost all governments are feudal in nature and each empire’s military across centuries has adapted to that political reality, it still has an impact.

As described on page 39 of Strategic Operations, Force Loyalty is one of the most nebulous aspects of this process. While it would be easy to simply roll the dice once and assign a value, that would miss too much of the flavor of the BattleTech universe.

With that in mind, a few dice rolls generating a micro “life path” for the force helps to showcase the process by which a force may become fanatical, reliable or questionable.

Starting with Step A on the Force Loyalty Table, follow the instructions to determine Force Loyalty.

FORCE LOYALTY TABLE

A. Location
This refers to a region within any faction (whether it’s a Lyran Theater, a Federated Suns OE or a Combine Prefecture). It also refers to where the force has consistently been stationed.

Roll 1D6 to determine the force’s location.

Roll Die Roll
1D6 Location Modifier
1 Backwater Region –1
2-3 Minor Region +0
4-5 Major Region +1
6 Critical Region +2

B. Leader

The very nature of feudal governments and the long-distances of interstellar travel means local leaders can vary all over the political landscape. In this instance, the leader refers to the person in charge of all the military forces (often political as well) with the region above.

Roll 2D6 and apply the modifier from Step A to the die roll result.

Roll Die Roll
2D6 Leader Modifier
2-4 Questionable –1
5-9 Reliable +0
10-12 Fanatical +2

C. Training
This refers to the type of schooling receiving by the majority of personal within a force. General speaking, the more prestigious, the more its loyalty is assured (due to funding, political pressure, and so on).

Secondary Academy represents lesser prestigious training, but still superior to militias, such as the Kilbourne Academy in the Federated Suns.

Primary Academy is the premier institutes of training around the Inner Sphere, such as the Lloyd Marik-Stanely Aerospace School in the Free Worlds League.

Advanced represents exceptional training beyond a premier academy, such as the Kensai Kami in the Draconis Combine.

Roll 2D6 and apply the modifier from Step B to the die roll result.

Roll Die Roll
2D6 Training Modifier
2-4 Militia –1
5-7 Secondary Academy +1
8-12 Primary Academy +2
11-12 Advanced +3

D. Roll For Force Loyalty
Roll 2D6 and apply the modifier from Step C, as well as the Force Quality modifiers below, to the die roll result. This is the final Force Loyalty.

Roll
2D6 Force Loyalty
2-5 Questionable
6-9 Reliable
10-12 Fanatical
Force Quality Modifier
Heroic/Legendary +2
Veteran/Elite +1
Green/Regular +0
Wet Behind The Ear/Really Green –1

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There ya go…hopefully this is a nice balance between flavor and speed of generating Force Loyalty, with the more detailed rules for those that feel even this is far too random. Absolutely interested in your feedback on this attempt to fuse speed with flavor.

See ya next time.

Randall

 

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