I’ve got a bone to pick with Battlevalue. As I was in the process of doing my research, it came up on the CBT forums recently. Unfortunately it didn’t get the discussion i think it deserves.
The variety of equipment in Battletech was originally balanced by each item’s tonnage and space and for weapons primarily through their range, heat, ammo, and damage. Because of this matches could be roughly balanced by number of units and tonnage, two endogenous values in the game. Of course there was always advanced ‘lost-tech’ which would play a factor, but that’s an atypical case.
As the timeline progressed and the game grew so did its cannon equipment. Distinctions in technology base and era became a factor. About this time (from what I can gather) Battletech saw the introduction of ‘Battle value’. BV seems to function as an attempt to express in numbers the imbalances in the game. Imbalances that increase for every variable (equipment) added without adjusting existing variables (rules and equip). BV as a game design choice is a problematic at best. Here’s more explanation why:
First: Does anyone find it necessary to keep track of all BV destroyed while playing a game to understand what the situation is? Of course not. Destroying equipment is an act that already has in-game value. ie. It effects game play. Point systems that have no other effect than their comparative value are arbitrary methods of evaluating game events compared to what they are supposed to represent.
Second: If I play a ‘mech with a point value of 1000 against a carbon copy of myself running a ‘mech with a point value of 999 on a symmetrical map. Which one will win? No idea? Me either. What about if me ’2′ had a 950 point ‘mech? Any idea now? Maybe? 900 points? 800? Where are the significant figures in this measuring system?
Battletech has always been fussy, but its details give it charm in the way they work within the game.