Introduction - Mercnet Rules

Only Stock Mechs can be used for combat. Stock Mechs include all mechs that come with the game, house and clan.

tHe kILLINg zONe has different 'zones' which make up the mega-league. There are two zones, the Player Zone and the Tournament Zone, that encompass the entire mega-league and then a seperate zone(league) for each game that has Killing Zone automation. It should be noted that the TKZ Codes of Conduct take precedence over ALL individual League Rules. If you cannot find what you are looking for here, in the FAQ , or in the CODES, then contact your group leader and have THEM(your group leader) contact the Mercnet Council.

Within this Rules section you may choose any of the following topics of interest to get a thorough overview of what's what in tHe kILLINg zONe:


Rules For The Mercnet Zone:

Mercnet Zone

Before you can get started in the Mercnet Zone, you need to join one of the existing groups or start your own if there are available spaces. Go to the Team pages and select the Clan, Mercenary or Inner Sphere(House) unit of your choice. Use the e-mail link to mail their leader or check out their web site.

You can talk to as many group leaders as you want, but you can only join one group at a time. Many groups are also in other leagues, at the same time, so be sure to mention TKZ when you are signing up, so they know which league you are interested in. Also mention which game you play since tHe kILLINg zONe supports other games.

Forming your own team is somewhat more difficult. When there are openings you can start a group and have a one month grace period to come up with the necessary number of players. To start a mercanery group, you only need 4 players, but to start with a clan or inner sphere unit, you need 10 players. All the players must have kali working to be considers valid players. Contact the Mercnet Zone Council to apply for a new group.

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The Waiting List

When there are no spaces left, groups will be put on a waiting list. If a group leaves or gives up, a waiting list group takes their place and becomes a 'registered' unit. At regular intervals (about every 6 months), the council will hold an auction to find groups that are willing to sell back enough planets to find a place for the groups on the waiting list, so the longest a waiting list unit would have to wait would be 6 months.

With the pace of this league, even that is an eternity, so one of the best things to do is 'merge' into a registered unit until it is your turn to become a registered unit yourself. What a merger means for a waiting list unit is that you work as part of that unit. You have to negotiate the terms of the agreement with the unit you merge with. Usually this means you won't have a say in the leadership, but you get to fight on their behalf. This type of merger is reversible, so you can always leave the unit and merge with another unit.

Note: A merger is irreversible for registered groups.

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Definitions

Alliance

An alliance is one or more groups that are coordinated for either defense or offense.

Count

The count is the number of players that an alliance has including mercs and freebooters if used.

Battle

A simple attack. Each movement message or coordinated attack is considered to be a single battle.

Clan Tons

This is the number of tons it would cost for a clan mech. Clan mechs cost all groups the same, but inner sphere groups get a cost break for Inner Sphere mechs. For this reason clan tons are used in most examples. IS tons would also be a valid term, but since the cost depends on the group, it is not consistent and therefor not used in the examples. 9900 points would be 990 clan tons. However for IS groups it would also be 1000 IS tons or 990 IS tons for a clan. If this is confusing, see the section on Mechs. This is a result of the different exchange rates for mech costs.

Freebooters

There comes a time when you are outnumbered and it seems hopeless. You forgot to send in the merc check and they canceled your service. There isn't enough time to get help, but you've got the mechs. What do you do hot shot? You start grabbing the best you can find off the streets, which is highly unpredictable. These people are known collectively as freebooters, whether they're smugglers, gun-runners, aspiring mercaneries, outlaws from another world or just mechjocks who spend too much time at the space bar. That's a major reason why groups should always treat everyone with respect. Otherwise, you may have to grab that grandma with the itchy trigger finger instead of the famous ace on vacation to your world.

A major problem with large scale combat is that when small groups fight large groups, there can be a lot of waiting involved. The freebooter rule is designed to fix that problem and allow people who would normally be enemies to fight on the same side so that they can make friends with their opponents more easily. Never call someone a traitor for being a freebooter for the opposite side, since the league depends on freebooters. TKZ asks that people always be open-minded, polite, follow the rules and do their absolute best when they are a freebooter.

Ever wonder where mercaneries come from? It ain't the stork! Some of these people want to start their own merc group someday, but that takes money. So they hang out in danger zones just waiting for an opportunity to get paid to kick butt. They aren't very dependable and you never know how good they are. In game terms, each freebooter comes with an additional cost of 50 clan tons equavilent per player (or 500 points) for each battle. This additional cost includes any money that disappears with the freebooter and mechs that never make it to the battlefield.

Freebooters can only be used by the alliance that is outnumbered. Enough freebooters can be used to even the count on both sides, but never more than that. Freebooters can never be used to get an advantage.

Anyone who is not on the TKZ banned list can be a freebooter. They can come from any TKZ group or even those who have not joined a group or from another league. To be a freebooter, hang out on on the main server for your game (AV Mercnet for Mercaneries) and change your ID and replace your normal uniform with TKZ. So HT>Panic would become TKZ>Panic. When a group comes looking for freebooters, they don't have much time, so you need to move very quickly. That is why you should be in proper uniform and on the proper server. Also starting a kali room called freebooter will aid them finding you. In the upcoming scheduling system, battle times will be announced so you will know when to make yourself available to be a freebooter. Freebooters that continue to be a problem will be put on the banned list. Any group using a player on the banned list will be fined 5000 points per battle.


Merc Rule

Everyone has always looked down on mercaneries in the past. It is only recently that people have begun to realize just how resourceful and crafty they really are. Ever wonder why it was cool to be a mercanery? Wonder no longer! Who else can get his beer buddy on the other side of a galaxy out of bed in the middle of the night to get on an emergency intercept transport to fight just in the nick of time? Mercaneries are the Temps of the Battletech Universe.

When they are on a planet in force, they fight just like everyone else, without special costs. If they don't have mechs that they have moved there physically, they have to use their special power. That fact is the major reason mercs are hired so often. Mercaneries can work for as many groups as they can bargain with. The only restriction is they can't work for both attacking and defending alliances in the same battle. They could switch between battles right afterwards. So treat your mercs right or you never know which side of the laser cannon you'll be on! Mercaneries have the special power of maintaining a network of contacts wether through friendship or blackmail to extend their help beyond their physical location. The good mercaneries will do whatever it takes to fulfill a contract. So for the equivalent cost of an additional 10 clan tons per player per battle piloted (100 points), mercs can be used on far off planets they wouldn't normally be able to reach. So when you need the extra numbers, go merc! Remeber that mercs can be used to get a numbers advantage, unlike freebooters.

The additional cost goes to nothing (other than things like the guy getting the pilot out of bed, the messengers to these pilots, the occasional bribe, etc.) and is above the salary of the mercs themselves. Mercaneries can post their current rates to the mercanery employment board.

The information on the mercanery board supplied by the mercaneries does not have to be factual.

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Monetary System

All Zones use points as their monetary system. It is used for all transactions like buying mechs and paying for jumpships to move your troops to distant planets. Each group has their unassigned assets in a central bank. From this central bank, groups can invest in either industry or place resources on a planet. Once placed on a planet, those resources can either be used as mechs or be invested to industry. The points can not be placed directly back in the bank.

To place resources, a group simply has to own a planet. For any investment of industry it will take 3 points investment to create one point of production on that planet. Each planet can have up to 100,000 points of industrial production. This production can also be liquidated in times of great need, but the group doing so will only get the face value of that industrial production. So even though they paid 3 points, they would only get one point back. This sort of 'scorched earth' approach is therefore only recommended in the direst of circumstances.

Besides the industrial production, each planet also has an intrinsic value of 2,000 points each. At the beginning of each month the point value of the group's industrial production plus the intrinsic value for all their planets is added to their central bank. So in the long run, production becomes a very important part of the game. The addition of this production is known as an EoM, which stands for end of the month. So it is usually done right after the end of the month on the 1st.

When resources are used to purchase mechs, the cost depends both on the type of group buying the mech and the type of mechs being purchased. To give the houses a reason to use IS mechs, they are slightly cheaper for IS units. This prevents everyone from choosing clan mechs. A house or mercanery unit can buy clan mechs at 10 points per ton and IS mechs at 9 points per ton. Clans buy both clan and house mechs at 10 points per ton. For everyone an elemental costs 50 points. So for instance, a 80 ton clan mech would be 800 points for anyone, but a 80 ton IS mech would be 720 points for a merc or house and 800 points for a clan.

Each time mechs are moved, they are moved in points form for simplicity. The cost of moving the mechs to their destination is 1% of the value of mechs moved. This is calculated and subtracted automatically by the automated system. On the day of the battle, a group decides how to convert these points into mechs and redeems the points for the appropriate distribution of mechs. For those familiar with the Registry's system, this works like garrisons. Only group leaders and those with a groups password can fill out movement orders.

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Mergers

No merging can take place in the first month a zone is online. After that initial month groups can merge with other groups for a mutual increase of strength. For reasons listed on the Rankings Page, the top 5 ranked groups in all three categories for each unit type are prohibited from merging with other groups unless they hold terra.

For a more detailed explanation see the rankings page. A merger is a complete combination of all assets and troops under one name. This is sort of like a marriage, so be sure you can trust the unit you are merging with. For two registered units merging, there is no turning back.

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Planet Conditions

Each planet has it's own conditions which are publicly posted with their current owner on the planet conditions page. This is the quickest way to find the latest information on ownership of a planet, which is listed along with the conditions for a planet. You can also use the Maps to check out the information in various formats.

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Movements

When group leaders move their troops, they must move a minimum of 1000 points, with elementals counted as 50 points. It makes it more costly to do such tactics as flagging planets. Attacker and Defenders can continue to field mechs as long as there are enough mechs. Sometimes a group will have so many backlogged attacks that they will combine them into a campaign. This is known as the Multiplier Effect:

Multiplier Effect

Using the system properly it is possible to have QUITE a number of outstanding battles to do. This is in effect ONLY with the cooperation and agreement from BOTH sides. If two sides agree, they can lump a bunch of battles, whether on one planet or on several into a single battle and use a multiplier that they agree on before the fight. The battles are lumped into a single 'campaign', but the results for each planet have to be listed seperately at the final time. Example: Clan Jade Falcon attacks Clan Wolf on 12 seperate planets where a total of 400 warhammers defend against a total attacking force of 200 warhammers. So the two sides choose a multiplier of 10, so the defender has 40 mechs and the attacker has 20 mechs. They play with these values of mechs and multiply the losses for both sides by 10. After the battle Jade Falcon loses all 20 mechs and Clan Wolf loses 15 mechs, so after the multiplier Jade Falcon loses 200 warhammers and Wolf loses 150 warhammers, and has obviously won the battle.

The important factors in negotiations over a campaign are 1) what planets, attacks and forces are covered 2) what is the multiplier 3) will losses be removed proportionately or in order of a list of planets 4) If the multiplier will be fought to the death or a specified number of rounds.

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Placing Points

Resources are allocated from the central bank for defending a planet. If that planet is attacked then these points are converted into mechs. If there is a battle on a planet, mechs in point form can be moved to defend a planet, but mechs cannot be placed directly on that planet or leave a planet where a battle flag has been set. Once a battle has been resolved, the battle flag is removed and these restrictions are lifted.

Once placed on a planet, mechs in point form can be moved to attack other worlds as well. Mechs are mechs. Movements are done by group leaders using the automated movement forms. A leader can check the complete state of progress on their group by filling out the instantEoM form at any time.

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Standard Jumps

Expecting to wait for your jump to finish? NOT! Each jump happens instantly. A group leader fills out a form to do a movement and immediately e-mails are sent to both sides, if there is to be a battle. 10 days are given to actually schedule and do the actual attack. The movement message will list all the forces there for that engagement.

The automation will tell you how many 'jump' units the jump was after very jump. You will quickly get an idea how far it is or use the Starmap Imagemap to see what planets are in range of the planet your are jumping from!.

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Mechs

Only Stock Mechs can be used for combat. Stock Mechs include all mechs that come with the game, house and clan.

To greatly simplify and streamline the game system, mechs are always moved in point form. Then, when a battle occurs, those points are used to buy the mechs. So if you have 20,000 points usable for a battle follow the chart below to figure:

Type of Group Clan Mechs IS Mechs
Clan 10/ton 10/ton
Mercanery 10/ton 9/ton
House 10/ton 9/ton

After a battle, all mechs are converted back into point form and movable once again if there is not a battle flag.

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Rules of Engagement

The easiest way to make battles go quick and painlessly is to standardize on how battles are managed. So by becoming more rigid in how battles are done, the end results are definitely positive, since everyone knows what to expect.

A battle really begins with the leader's automated system. One group fills out the movement form to make an attack. It notifies everyone on the planet by mail that there has been an attack. All attacks are done in chronological order for a specific planet, although it is not neccessary to do all planets in order. If there is any disagreement, then the two groups alternative deciding what planet to do a battle on. So while most of the system is real-time, picking which planet to do the oldest attack for gives a turn-based element to selecting combats. So team A might decide to do the oldest filed attack on the planet Kufenstein and then their opponent might pick the oldest filed attack on Idlewind.

However if the attack messages from multiple groups all refer to each other in the comments section of the form and are timestamped within 4 hours, those attacks are considered as one coordinated attack. Multiple defending groups on a planet also act as a coordinated attack. This however is done by the groups just peacefully coexisting. So as you can imagine, it is somewhat more difficult to coordinate, but very effective to become allied with other groups. Here is an example of a comment for a coordinated attack:

Coordinated attack with Clan Mongoose and Clan Wolverine; Tango Bravo

Note the mentioning of the other teams and also a code phrase to identify that attack. The code phrase is important to distinguish one attack from another since multiple coordinated attacks could be done. A coordinated attack counts for attack order as the earliest for that grouping. Note that the 4 hour timestamp limit starts with the first attack's timestamp.

After an attack has been sent and all groups fighting are notified then the groups must decide on a time and server for the battle to take place. In addition the times must be agreed on for both arrival and when to take a count. Always be sure to list the time zone for the battle. It is usually helpful to add the timezones for the majority of players (PST and EST).

For example the groups may decide to meet on AV Mercnet server at 7:15pm PST and take a count at 7:30pm PST. The arrival time and count time could be the same, but 15 minutes apart is recommended. If the group does not show within 30 minutes of the agreed on time, the person not showing up will forfeit the battle, unless an airtight reason is given. Real-life concerns of one person is not sufficient cause.

That is why every group should have multiple trusted leaders. Remember to confirm with your opponent that your group will be fighting on a certain day. Never assume that they will unless they send you a confirmation. This is why leaders need to be attentive to their email. Try and give each other as much notice as possible. Setting up normal times and fighting each other on a regular basis is one good approach.

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The Day of the Battle:

  1. As soon as groups are on the server, they must pick a results coordinator, the results coordinator from both sides is to IMMEDIATELY create a kali room called results.
  2. Once in the results room, the results coordinator are to do a count of total players for each alliance and number of freebooters included in those counts.
  3. As soon as this initial count is done, the minimum player rule comes into play. The minimum players per ALLIANCE is 8. Meeting the minimum number of players determines if there is a forced retreat(overrun) and if the tonnage disadvantage is in affect. Below is this chart for illustration. Mercenaries can be used by either side to reach this minimum. Freebooters can be used by the group with the smaller count. Play ahead with your freebooters. There is no longer time provided to find freebooters as it was often used as an exuse to stall for more men. Have them READY at count time.

    Neither side meets the minimumTonnage Disadvantage is not in effect. Both sides can use any mech.
    One side meets the minimum, the other side does notThe side not meeting the minimum is forced to retreat at standard 25% penalties, losing the combat. At the discretion of the larger force, the battle can be fought if both sides agree. If there is a fight, Tonnage Disadvantage applies.
    Both sides meet the minimum playersTonnage Disadvantages are in effect using the table below to establish the tonnage limit for the alliance with less players.

    Less PlayersTonnage Maximum
    for smaller group
    1 90
    2 85
    3 80
    4 75
    5-6 70
    7-8 65
    9-10 60
    11+55

  4. The results processors for each side start a running total of losses for all groups by including freebooter costs. If there is to be a retreat, this is announced and the players are sent home. The allowable tonnage for each side is announced if there is to be a battle and both alliances are notified to begin sending people to drops. There will be no further counts.

    Groups are expected to use ALL players involved in the counts and to rotate all of them equally regardless of skill.

  5. Now Leader can either just tell all their men to start drop rooms or can start sending their men, 2 at a time to drop rooms. Drop rooms should be named D1, D2 and so on. Both alliances should be sending their players as quickly as possible to the drop rooms. No excuses. No Delays!!
  6. Once players get to their drop rooms they are to note who they are fighting and it is up to each PLAYER to CHOOSE what mech they are going to use, taking into account tonnage limits for the battle. (If group leaders want input they should state their suggestions in email BEFORE the battle. Leaders should also mail out what the tonnage limits are for the battle.) Then the players drop on whatever battle server and do the fight. Remaining players from the larger group should wait all together in a single large room called 'drops' and hang out there and waiting for those returning from previous drops after sending in results. All drops are 2 players versus 2 players with each player getting 1 regen(2 total mechs).
  7. The current results coordinator must stay in the results room at all times. If a results coordinator must leave for any reason or wish to play, it is imperative that they find someone to take their place. Anyone in the league can be picked to be the results coordinator, even someone who is not in the battle, if that group trusts them. All that is required for a battle to continue is results processors for both alliances.
  8. Whenever drops finish, the players go to the results room and state their results with both sides confirming them. If there are any problems, they are resolved immediately. For the drop, the players state what group they were from or fighting for and their losses. These losses are removed from the appropriate group. Please use the following format so that it is consistent and results can be processed more quickly. Remember to post LOSSES, NOT KILLS:

    Team 1 Player1/Player2/mech ton#1/mech ton#2/#losses1/#losses2 Team2 Player1/Player2/mech ton#1/mech ton#2/#losses1/#losses2

    For example
    CWV MavD/EagleOwl/75/80/2/2 HE Astrid/Luxor/80/80/2/1

    Then one member from each time confirmes that and then the pilots proceed to the 'drops' room to find another match.

    If the group they represent runs out of points, their losses are removed from another group in that alliance. It is the results processors choice for that alliance which of the groups in that alliance they are removed from. At regular intervals the results processors must state their running totals to make sure that they both have the same totals losses for ALL group involved. Results processors must track both sides so that if there is an error, they can find the missing results.

  9. As soon as results are taken and the results processors state they are free to leave, players should go ahead and do another drop. Players from the smaller group go ahead and join the 'drops' rooms and drop with the two people that have been waiting the longest. There is a 30 minute time limit. If the match hits 30 minutes then the drop is over and any kills should be reported in results. If there were no kills on either side, go directly to the 'drops' room for matching with the next drop.
  10. The players continue to cycle through drops until one alliance runs out of points or the battle is declared to be over, like if the leaders from one alliance state they will retreat or if there is a decision to continue the battle on a later date. At that point the results coordinators verify that fact and take note of the time. All results are accepted and input for the next TEN MINUTES ONLY. Any results after that are NOT COUNTED. At this time, those in the 'drops' room should be notified that the battle is over.

    After the ten minutes, the results coordinators confirm totals one last time and then fill out the prorater if one side has higher losses than actually there. Then these final losses are announced to the leaders and everyone who asks. Reminder: a link to the prorater is on the leader results form.

    Everyone can go home the battle is over or if both sides agree, they can do another battle.

Coordinated Attacks

There are some specific things that are done when there is a coordinated attack to minimize the complexity. All the groups in each alliance must pick a single overall leader. Unless all the leaders can agree on an overall leader within 5 minutes, than the leader of the group committing the most points to the attack with take that position.

Drops are done as if all the groups in an alliance are a single group. Whenever possible, the pairs in a drop should be from the same team of that alliance, although it is possible to mix them. The only main difference between single groups is that when results are mentioned, you have to be sure to be clear on which group you belong to. As above, if a group has run out of points the results coordinator for their alliance chooses which group to charge the points to. Then they continue to drop as above, until an end is announced.

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Example:

House Marik has 12 players and they are fighting House Davion with 6 players. House Davion has 4 mercenaries from The Black Cats and 1 freebooter. As a penalty, House Davion and their allies have a 90 ton mech limit for having 1 less player.

House Marik has 6 players and Comstar is alone with 10 players. Since Marik does not have enough players to reach the minimum, Marik must retreat and lose the battle unless both sides agrees to fight anyway. If they fought anyway, Marik would be relegated to 75 ton mechs for having 4 less players.

Comstar has 10 players and is allies with House Davion with 12 players, The Black Cats Mercenaries with 4 players. They face House Marik with 14 players, House Steiner with 10 players and Wolf's Dragoons with 6 players. The count is 26 versus 30, so the alliance with Comstar, House Davion and Black Cats will have a maximum tonnage of 75 tons and the leaders for each alliance or chosen and drops begin.

Planetary Attack

First you must move in friendly territory until you are within jump distance of your target. Then you need to jump into the attack. As with the other types of movements such as industry attack, etc. Only leaders can fill out movements. Normally each time a planetary attack is filled out, it is considered a seperate battle. However, to coordinate an attack with other attacks into a single battle, see above for details in the Rules of Engagement section of the rules. Note that the system imposes a limit on the total number of attacks a group can have outstanding to maintain the tactical aspect of the game. A group can have 7 attacks plus one per every 10 planets rounded down. The automation will prevent further attacks until the group is brought below this maximum.

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Industry Attack

In an industry attack you are using sabotage to slow down the production facilities of your opponent. Instead of just fighting a normal battle, for each group that is successful with fulfulling the mission objective, the production on the planet being attacked is reduced by 25%. Any mechs that are lost by either side are also removed. The defender achieves nothing by accomplishing the mission objective, but needs to make sure that their opponent is not successful. The conditions for an industry attack are determined by the automated system and will be given with the attack message. The production losses are permanent. After the first round, the attacker can decide to make a normal attack or to retreat without penalties. In either case, completing the mission in further rounds will not result in reducing industry.

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Scavenge

The objective of scavenging is to take supplies from the defending group. This type of attack is also mission based, like the industry attacks. The automated system will give the conditions for the attack. The ratios are calculated like a normal battle. For each set of attackers that accomplishes the mission,the attackers get to make an unauthorized withdrawal of 500 points from the defending group's central bank. The sole purpose of the defenders is to stop the attackers from being successful. All mechs lost from both sides are counted. After the first round, the scavenging group can either retreat with no penalty or continue the battle as a normal fight. In either case they will no longer be able to make the, ahem, withdrawals.

The defending group can quickly tell when it is being hacked and closes the access. The continuation is fought on the same scenario, although the mission completion will no longer have an impact.

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Retreating

A group can retreat at any time. In either case, the side retreating will take 25% unanswered casualties in the process of retreating. If there are mechs that were unusuable due to the number of people to run them or Real Life concerns (like it getting late at night),then they retreat with normal penalties. Note that in some types of attacks, such as industry attack, there may be a juncture where retreat can be done without losses. Mechs retreating are returned to the main bank.

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