Help Understanding Vehicle Combat Rules (2e)

King Cairo

Mongoose
Hello! I'm going to be starting my first MGT2 game in a little while and I've been reviewing the rules in preparation, and for some reason the vehicle combat rules aren't clicking for me.

The main thing I can't seem to figure out is, broadly, how to determine relative distance between two vehicles. I get that speed is abstracted with Speed Bands, but I can find no rules for determining specific relative distance, and how that can change (ie. by speeding up/slowing down). This confuses me, considering vehicle weapon ranges are, per the rules, listed in kilometers and not range bands, and the rules supposedly use the same rules as personal combat which include discrete distances and rules that rely on said discrete distances (scopes, range, etc.).

Scenario: A vehicle is equipped with a scoped Laser Cannon and so has a 2.5km range. It is in pursuit of another vehicle. The pursuer has a higher top-speed so it will eventually close the distance needed to be within range of the target, but the target is already at max speed (Speed Band 5), while the pursuer starts out Stopped (Speed Band 0). It intends to close to 2.5km and then remain at that relative distance, adjusting as necessary, until the target is destroyed.

How is this handled, mechanically? There are a number of things I can't figure out from reading the rules.
  • How many rounds does it take for the pursuer to get within range? My understanding is it would take 5-rounds to get to Speed Band 5, however rules state you can attack at targets of different Speed Bands (DM-1 for each band difference), so it wouldn't necessarily take 5 rounds to get within range.
  • How do you determine the range, in km, between the pursuer and the target? Since vehicle weapon ranges are listed in km and not speed bands, and follow the same rules as personal ranged combat (saving for 1km = extreme without scope instead of 100m), one (presumably) would need to know the exact distance between two vehicles when in combat, yet I find no mechanics to determine what that distance is.
Am I missing something, or is there a disconnect between the rules for Vehicles, and the rules for Vehicle Combat?
 

nats

Banded Mongoose
The simple fact is that the vehicle rules are not well designed and don't even work properly. I actually went through the speed table and worked out what km/hr was in m/round. But you still will have to keep track of distances and directions of vehicles in some way which is micromanagement hell. I dont think with the present rules Vehicle Combat is ever going to be very workable mechanic. They should introduce what Cepheus Deluxe have done and just assign positive or negative DMs to hit based on vehicle positioning
 

King Cairo

Mongoose
That's unfortunate, but also what I've been coming to realize from poking around on the web and asking on different sites.

How compatible is Cepheus Deluxe with MGT2? Would it be much work transplanting their Vehicle + Chase rules?
 

Vormaerin

Mongoose
Depends on what you mean by compatible. Classic Traveller, Cepheus, and Mongoose Traveller all use pretty much identical basic mechanics. The specifics of various subsystems vary, with Classic Traveller generally being the most tactical/detailed and Cepheus the most abstracted and Mongoose in the middle.
 

King Cairo

Mongoose
Depends on what you mean by compatible. Classic Traveller, Cepheus, and Mongoose Traveller all use pretty much identical basic mechanics. The specifics of various subsystems vary, with Classic Traveller generally being the most tactical/detailed and Cepheus the most abstracted and Mongoose in the middle.
Gotcha. Sounds like I should check out Cepheus' vehicle rules. I'll obviously check out the rest of the system too but, aside from the confusion with Vehicles, MGT2 sounds like the sweet spot for my group.
 

kronovan

Mongoose
IMO the rules in MgT2E for vehicles and vehicle combat are more than decent as far as TTRPGs go. It's why I keep building my heavily Walker focused campaign for it. I play a lot of Battletech tabletop miniatures, and sometimes borrow things from Battletech Total Warfare and Alpha Strike for my Traveller vehicle combat.
How is this handled, mechanically? There are a number of things I can't figure out from reading the rules.
  • How many rounds does it take for the pursuer to get within range? My understanding is it would take 5-rounds to get to Speed Band 5, however rules state you can attack at targets of different Speed Bands (DM-1 for each band difference), so it wouldn't necessarily take 5 rounds to get within range.
  • How do you determine the range, in km, between the pursuer and the target? Since vehicle weapon ranges are listed in km and not speed bands, and follow the same rules as personal ranged combat (saving for 1km = extreme without scope instead of 100m), one (presumably) would need to know the exact distance between two vehicles when in combat, yet I find no mechanics to determine what that distance is.
Am I missing something, or is there a disconnect between the rules for Vehicles, and the rules for Vehicle Combat?
I don't think there's so much of a disconnect, but what your need to bare in mind is some of the time and motion stats for vehicles.
Like rate of acceleration which is abstracted to +1 speed band per combat round (6 seconds) at Fast speed band or lower, the starting distance between 2 vehicles (could be km or meters), the ranges for any vehicle-mounted weapons, the max speed achievable in a speed band in km/round (6 seconds).
If you divide a speed band's max speed in kph by 600 (60 minutes per hour * 10 rounds per minute) you get the max km/round. With that stat you can see that only a vehicle traveling at max speed in the Very Fast (#6) speed band or faster, can travel more than 1 km in a round on ideal conditions.

A vehicle in the High speed band (#5) can only travel 0.5 km/round at max speed in ideal conditions. So while the target vehicle goes whizzing by an idle vehicle about to pursue it at .5 km/ round , it's still going to take 2 rounds before the targets gone 1 km beyond that point. So a vehicle starting from idle which will be in the Slow speed band (#3) in 2 rounds and which has a scoped or fire control aiming weapon, will be able to effectively fire with minimal penalties. Once you get a handle on the km/round, it gets easy estimate a lot of this. And there's the Dogfight rules to abstract it and make it even easier.

If I'm going to have vehicle combat on maps (only really do this for the slower Walkers or Tracked), I use Catalyst Game Lab's standard Battletech maps which are are roughly 1-1/4" per hex, with each hex representing 30 meters (roughly 100 ft) across. When using those I don't use km/round as my base rate measurement, but instead meters/round. With that rate it's easy to determine the number or hexes a vehicle moving in a speed band can travel in ideal conditions. So on those a vehicle at Idle can move 1 hex/round, Very slow 3/rnd, Slow 6/rnd, Medium 11/rnd, Fast 28/rnd. I rarely bother with speed band higher than Fast as I rarely have ground vehicles capable speed beyond it. Those maps make it easy for targeting , because it's easy to see the 34 hexes that represent firing 1 km distance. I can just use the rules in the MgT2E crb for vehicle combat with those maps - no need to snip anything from any other ruleset. But of course I always have a homebrewed version of BT's Death From Above rule for the Walkers.;)
 

Vormaerin

Mongoose
MgT's vehicle combat rules try to split the difference between an actual miniatures wargame and handwaving it. As mentioned in the too many rules thread, Traveller has a long history of "look, just make a judgement call and roll 2d6+bonuses to resolve it unless you really really need the extra granularity. If you do, then there's these rules." Classic Traveller essentially had entirely self contained wargames for if you needed to get really granular, while Cepheus is generally says "going granular isn't worth it, just make a judgement call and roll". MgT is trying to give some more granularity than the default action (MC judgement) without actually being an entire miniatures ruleset. Whether it succeeds or not depends on what your desired style is as a group of players.
 

nats

Banded Mongoose
MgT is trying to give some more granularity than the default action (MC judgement) without actually being an entire miniatures ruleset. Whether it succeeds or not depends on what your desired style is as a group of players.
I think they raise more questions than they answer. Whenever I try to play MgT according to their rule mechanics I often get frustrated. They put me off playing the game and I just go and play a computer game or watch a film that doesnt require so much brain power!

Some of Classic Traveller might have also been micromanagement hell for a table top rpg, but their vector based ship combat was amazing fun and very straight forward to play. CT never detailed vehicle combat though.

Striker covered vehicles but I cant remember what those rules said - I think it was based on wargaming rules and required a massive play area and covered slower vehicles only like tanks and cars moving across rough combat terrain, not fast chases along roads etc.

Like someone mentioned above probably best just making up your own house rules to cover the particular vehicle combat you have in mind based on Cepheus and Mongoose abstract rules for fast chases, or using squares/hexes for slower vehicles.
 
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