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Power Source For Combat Mechs
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Hiram McDaniels
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Joined: 15 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

mlangsdorf wrote:

DP9's Heavy Gear system is fast and swingy. Calculate attacker's margin of success against the defender, multiply MoS by weapon damage, compare result to 3 armor thresholds: if less than the lowest, no effect, less than the middle, light damage, less than the highest, heavy damage, and more than the highest, vehicle destroyed. Damage reduces thresholds against future attacks and also rolls on a random damage table: fire control/weapons, engines/maneuverability, crew, sensors/other. Light damage generally reduces fire control or speed while heavy damage cripples the system and in some cases destroys the vehicle (ammo/fuel explosion or pilot incapacitation, etc). Vehicle weapons generally achieve heavy damage with a better than average roll and instant kills with a good roll and favorable tactical positioning (ie, back shot on a damaged vehicle).

Again, I don't think you should use DP9's Heavy Gear system but I'd certainly look at it for inspiration. They also do Jovian Chronicles as an expy of Gundam (but same system mechanically) and Lightning Strike as a stripped down version of Heavy Gear/Jovian Chronicles for fast fleet engagements.

Classic Battletech, while a fun game, is much more ponderous and slow: roll to hit, roll hit location, reduce ablative armor, consider critical effects. It's also much more dependent on tactical position. It would be hard to play Heavy Gear without a tactical map but it would be impossible to play CBT without one. I'd most use CBT for information on what not to do.


That does not sound fast or swingy. If I'm parsing this correctly, you compare pre-calculated values which change every round according to damage? And then hit location rolls are wedged in somewhere? I get how these mechanics make sense from a mechanics standpoint, but definitely not the direction I want to go in.

Attack resolution in my game will look more like traditional rpg's with attack rolls and damage rolls. I'm still puzzling out how these will look, but for damage I plan on plain old attrition with FATE-like consequences thrown in.

I'll still be looking at established mecha games for outputs and the like, but I don't think I'll be using any of those mechanics.
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mlangsdorf
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Less simplified, each vehicle has an armor rating. An attack that does less damage than the armor rating has no effect, more than the armor rating is light damage (and -1 to armor rating), 2x the armor rating is heavy damage (and -2 to armor rating), 3x the armor rating is overkill.

I've played hundreds of games of Heavy Gear and ran dozens of demos, and everyone picked up the mechanic within minutes. Since the stock vehicles have armor ratings of 10 to 17 (typically 15) and fire guns that do a base of 8 to 12 damage, it only took MoS 4 to inflict heavy damage and MoS 6 to inflict an overkill, and either value is possible with a lucky roll and some good positioning, even on the first shot of the battle.

Compared to Battletech or Palladium (not that I'd recommend Palladium, but the Robotech RPG was the first mecha game I was exposed to), Heavy Gear played fast and furious and very swingy: a vehicle could dodge or bounce three or four attacks and then suddenly blow up when a lucky shot got a heavy damage fire control hit and blew up the ammo racks.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Just to drive the point home:
I just finished a 4 mechs versus 4 mechs on a city map game.
16:00-24:00. With Pizza-Break.
Had we played as the intended double-blind(players only see mechs when they are actually in line of sight, otherwise the models get removed from the board), this could easily have taken 12 hours or more . .
In the first round of live fire, my machine took several crippling hits. But in the next round of fire, managed to kill the machine that had dealt these hits while getting killed by the dealer of said hits. Double-KO.

It is INCREDIBLY swingy. Very hit and miss. Quite literally too in this case.
Critical Hits through Armor are a thing that exists. Also exploding Ammo and certain weapons. And You have very fragile things under your armor. Like a Pilot for example.
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Last edited by Stahlseele on Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:17 am; edited 2 times in total
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Hiram McDaniels
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Okay Setting...

The setting comprises a galaxy, wherein the various star systems are connected by a network of gates that fold space between one point and another, which is how people get around from star to star. As you can no doubt tell, I played through the Mass Effect Trilogy last year.

The Galaxy is roughly crescent shaped, just because I want a giant swath of darkspace between the two super-powers. Various factions were at war up until an armistice was signed about 20 years ago. Now there is an uneasy peace and an escalating cold war.

There are alien races, but playing them probably won't give you any sort of mechanical advantage when piloting a mech.

Threats:

The Union - Democratically ruled confederation of planets, with parliament being puppets controlled by moneyed interests. They'll send standard military resources against you if you get on their nerves.

The Empire - Ruled by ancient noble houses, who are predominantly occupied with maintaining their power over the lower castes and also masked orgies. They are also a standard military threat.

The Free Stars - DMZ between the Union and Empire. A loose confederation of independent city states, ruled by workers groups, bandit chieftains, churches and eccentric country mayors. It's essentially the wild west. The two major superpowers fought a protracted war of attrition to control it because this is where all the natural resources come from. This is assumed to be where the players are from.

The Space Mafia - they are deeply entrenched in the free stars, controlling the black market. Openly at war with privateers and merchant marines. They have their own private army and stolen tech.

The Cult of Hastur - Secret society of tentacle enthusiasts. They want to resurrect their long dormant space god whom they is hibernating in dark space. They have mazinger Z style super robots, because I love Aldnoah Zero so much I want it inside me.

The Singularity - rogue AI. Wants to overthrow organic life and rebuild society in it's image. Infects machines with nanites and adds them to the collective. Zombie machines.

Kaiju - Apex predators indigenous to uninhabited planets. They are giant and monsters. Fight!

Zerg - Because you can't have space adventures without swarms of murder bugs. Race of insectoid aliens that have recently woken up from a long hibernation. They have an army of bio-engineered weapons like mechs, but with more goo. And they want to put their eggs in your mom.

The Ancients - Long dead, but they have ruins scattered all over the various star systems and planets. Who knows what it was all for? Guess you'll have to explore that floating space wreckage and fight off prehistoric defense drones to find out.

Note - these names are just placeholders until I think of something better.
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Last edited by Hiram McDaniels on Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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Neurosis
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:16 am    Post subject: Re: Power Source For Combat Mechs Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Based on what little just I heard, Heavy Gear sounds a fair bit like my own Singularity System, which has mechs a popping. Since Hiram McD is looking to make his own mecha game as his stated intention in the OP, I won't recommend Singularity as such but I thought I would mention it because giant fighting robots.

***

I feel like almost literally any name for "The Space Mafia" is better than calling it "The Space Mafia".

Hiram McDaniels wrote:
PhoneLobster wrote:
Hiram McDaniels wrote:
However, my first big roadblock is the actual world building part; specifically the logistical details.

Fluff?

Fluff was your first "big" roadblock?

Not even like "well If I go with this option it will nicely describe one set of mechanical options, while if I go with this other option it would nicely describe this different way for the game mechanics for mecha to work..." but instead just "My thingabobs will be powered with fairly bland and abstract whatsits and I just can't decide on what to call the (game mechanically indistinguishable) fuel that goes into the whatsits".

Just make a fucking decision and move onto something that actually matters.


Okay. Mechs are powered by your mom's pussy farts. Now to figure out if combat happens in turns or phases...


Please, please, please people the preferred term is "queefing"....
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Last edited by Neurosis on Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:32 am; edited 2 times in total
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Hiram McDaniels
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Joined: 15 Sep 2014
Posts: 298

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:38 am    Post subject: Re: Power Source For Combat Mechs Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Neurosis wrote:

I feel like almost literally any name for "The Space Mafia" is better than calling it "The Space Mafia".


La Cosmo Nostra?
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