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Battle Value versus BV2

The History of Battle Value

Battle Value was first published in the book Maximum Tech, for the first time giving a new system, to replace Combat Value, for balancing battles. Battle Value, also called BV, is a far better balancer for this purpose, as CV was based more on cost, than on actual combat worthiness. Later, the BV rules were moved to BattleTech Master Rules book.

Enter BV2

The new series of BattleTech books, the first of which was Total Warfare, published in 2006, was an entirely playing-based book, with no construction rules (and therefore no BV). However, the second book in the series, the BattleTech TechManual, does include these calculations. Not only that, but the Battle Value system has been updated and improved, in an effort to plug some holes in the old system. No system is perfect, but BV2, as the new Battle Value rules are often called, is the best we have.

What BV is used in the HeavyMetal Programs?

At the time of this writing (February of 2008), HeavyMetal Pro and HeavyMetal Vee have been released with the BV2 rules incorporated. Starting in V5.20 R0 of HMPro and V2.20 R0 of HMVee, BV2 is being used. At this time, only HMPro and HMVee are being updated with the new rules; the other programs will continue to use BV(1) for a while.

Why are Both BV and BV2 Available for HMPro and HMVee?

There has been a lot of interest in the new BV2, enough so that I've taken a bit of time away from working on HMPro6 to add BV2 into HMPro. (You probably know that HMPro6 is the completely revamped successor for HMPro, and is currently in the work.) HMVee has been updated for BV2 as well. But as the other programs (HMLite, HMAero and HMBA) are not being updated at this time, we wanted to give users of HMPro and HMVee the option: You can upgrade to a version with BV2, or keep using a version with the original BV, which is probably more closely aligned with the calculated Battle Values for non-BattleMech  and non-vehicle equipment, such as ProtoMechs and vehicles.

Is the New Equipment from Total Warfare / TechManual Included?

No, I'm afraid not. Only the original equipment has been included, along with their BV2 values, where changed. Much of the new equipment has special rules, which is one reason for holding off for HMPro6, which will be able to handle them.

Why can't you add BV2 to HMLite and the other programs now?

Quite simply, because it would take too much time away from HMPro6, which has to stay in my sights as the project on which to spend the vast majority of my time. Since a part of HMPro6 development included the revised Battle Value calculations, it was a relatively simple matter to transfer those changes to HMPro. And HMVee was modified to assist in compilation of BV2 listings. As the same calculations have not been started in the other programs, that isn't practical with them.

Can I Have Both BV and BV2?

Some users have expressed an interest in being able to use HMPro with either BV or BV2. While it is not practical to have a "switch" to go from one to the other, you certainly can  install HMPro twice on the same computer, in different directories, and only update one with the BV2 update. Just make sure you mark the shortcut so you know which you're running.

How About Just Having a Copy of the Changed Files, to Switch?

Even though only three files actually change for BV2 (Hvypro.exe, cl_weap.dat and is_weap.dat), I still do not recommend that you use the same install directory, and in particular, the same data files, with the two versions of the program. This is because you will need to do a full Update of your data files to convert them to BV2, so that the correct BV is shown at the Open, Search and Roster screens. If you last saved a file with BV2 (which is on average higher than BV), then ran HMPro with the original BV, it would read the BV2 values at all the screens, but when loaded, it would convert the BV to the original BV. You'd be getting messed up all the time, so I highly recommend that you keep them separate, if you're using both.

Battle Value Changes Due to Skills

Another thing that changed in BV2 is the Battle Value modifier for skills other than the standard 4 gunnery, 5 piloting. We've already had a couple different tables (the original one from Maximum Tech and then the one from BattleTech Master Rules) and I'm afraid things have gotten even more confusing. The original Skills Modifier, published in the BattleCorps PDF TechManual on page 313, later replaced with an updated table (and revised Battle Value rules and examples) in a new PDF publication. The hardcopy version of the TechManual is now out. However, an errata, not yet made available (again, at the time of this writing) will change it once again. the latest values are included in the program, so that is the reason you will see differences between modified BVs calculated by HMPro V5.20 and later, than you may expect from the publication. Hopefully, we'll get all these changes behind us, and things will clear up. (I'm afraid I have to take a lot of the flak for the confusion and changes, as I initiated the latest round of them. Sorry.)

Download HMPro and HMVee Updates

You can download either, or both, of these HMPro and HMVee updates at the Program Updates page.

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