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.
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
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
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
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.