Flechs Sheets

on 31.01.2021

User Rating: 5 / 5

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A Megamek-type bookeeping supplement to the FtF tabletop game. Great concept. Good execution. Still growing. Room to get better.

 

Flechs Sheets is an on-line game aid for Battletech. It's Web-based, so it can run in any browser (I don't consider Internet Explorer to be a browser), on a desktop/laptop or tablet. A phone (even a phablet) would be too small. it is an attempt (good, bordering on great) to move the record sheets to online. It is meant to supplement the face-to-face tabletop experience.

You can set up multiple tabs for different units, then link to other players. Multiple players can exist on the same server, so you can have 2v2 (or bigger) games. You set up a server by both entering "three random words" (case sensitive) and you can see each others forces. To actually shoot each other, you must create an account.

The flow of the game is very regulated, i.e., you must move (or declare not moving) before you can shoot. It can get frustrating if you've played the game for a while before, just not with it.

The shooter selects the weapons to fire, the target (including "paper" if the other player isn't also using this), intervening terrain and the range (the movement of each is already included) and the target's aspect (front, side, rear). All you have to do is hit the FIRE button and this rolls to-hit and where, then it's transferred to the target. The target accepts the data and it's displayed. Critical hit chances are rolled by you, not the machine. It debits ammunition expended and heat generated also.

If you want, you can also print these to paper, and in a (IMO) genius move you also get things like the necessary cluster tables with the regular to-hit location, PLUS punch/kick locations, AND (be still my quivering heart!) the to-hit and damage numbers for physical attacks, with ineligable stuff greyed out (in the browser, not the paper) if you've done weapons attacks with those arms this turn. My minor complaint is that you can't put a unit symbol on the sheet, which I understand because the spot where unit colors normally goes is being used by critical tables. I have four different Mercenary units and a House unit spread out among eight battalions. Knowing which command is kindaa important to me.

That's the "Great concept. Good execution" part of my header. I see two problems with this. This is the "Room to get better" part.

First, think of doctor's visits before the "Electronic Health Records" became a thing. The Doctor/Nurse would come in, greet you, shake your hand and listen to you about what brought you in, then look at your record. Today, they walk in with their laptop, greet you, turn their back on you as they read the medical file and update it, clicking in 75 different checkboxes, radio buttons and text fields, then over their shoulder ask how you're doing. So this utility, while very useful, has the potential to diminish the human-to-human aspect of gaming, which I consider to be the most important part. If one person can't/doesn't want to use this utility, they will likely get frustrated if you do.

The second complaint is it's only 'Mechs. No battle armor, no vehicles, no aircraft. If you like to run combined arms like I do, this will not help you at all. I understand it's because non-'Mechs use different to-hit tables, plus handle damage and crits differently. I hope they are working on these capabilities.

A third complaint is on the laptop side, it is difficult to zoom in (and remain zoomed in) to like the weapons or armor diagram.

Conclusion:This is the future of record sheets. On-line, interactive with other player's lists to inflict damage back and forth. I will have to wait until my opponents catch up to this technology and all unit types are supported. Just remember, this is a supplement to the physical board game, not a replacement.

Here's a 30-second demo of what it does. I like the jazz they played with it. ;-) :

 

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