2006-07-31 : Cover in Mechaton

This, by the way, is why in Mechaton you get cover only if you're right next to it:

It's not entirely a game consideration, it's also just how perspective works.

1. On 2006-07-31, MikeC said:

The picture is kind of misleading. Assuming the red ellipse is the one seeking cover, the difference between right and left is as much to do with the shooter being closer to the cover as with the target being further from it.

Being close to cover is more effective for the target because fire is blocked from a wider angle. It's also more effective for a shooter because you get a wider field of fire when shooting through gaps in the cover. The picture demonstrates the second effect more than the first.

Of course, there's also the pathological case of something like a telegraph pole which is narrower than the target, and thus can only afford protection (against a very narrow arc) if the target exploits perspective by standing waaaaay back from it. But I'm just nitpicking now.


2. On 2006-07-31, Vincent said:

Right. If you can imagine the pictures with your point of view leaning a bit to the left or right, or standing on tiptoes, you can get a sense of the first effect.


3. On 2006-07-31, Vincent said:

Here's a bird's-eye view showing the first effect:

The green guy's just as close to the left-hand wall as the purple guy is to the right-hand wall, but the green guy has to lean all the way over there to get a shot, and the purple guy can just shift his weight to the other leg.

Now, designing a game you pretty much just get to decide how you're going to abstract this kind of thing. "Let's pretend that cover fills the hex solidly, in a perfect hex shape, from ground to sky" is a very common solution to the problem. Mine is the opposite solution: "let's pretend that all cover is full of holes and you can stand on tiptoe or lean around a lot to get a good shot."

Mine's not a better solution in principle - I think it suits Mechaton better is all - but it's not pure game. It's an abstraction of a real thing.

I meant to post this, argumentatively, almost a month ago, when it was relevant to current discussions, but stuff interfered. Now I'm posting it and everybody's going "jeez, what's up Vincent's butt? Who's he arguing with?"

The answer is, nobody! I'm just arguing. Don't mind me.


4. On 2006-08-01, NinJ said:

I'm all for this rule, by the way. It's easy to understand and doesn't require all sort of measury.


5. On 2006-08-01, Tris said:

It's a good rule.  It makes play funner.

Is it a good simulation?



6. On 2006-08-01, Nathan P. said:


Nah, not really. Awesome.

I also like how standing in the rubble of your destroyed comrades gives you cover.


7. On 2006-08-01, Vincent said:

I like how standing in the rubble of your vanquished enemies gives you cover from THEIR comrades!


8. On 2006-08-01, Matt Wilson said:

I kinda like the thought that I can stand in the rubble of my vanquished allies to get cover.

I mean, I can sorta imagine a team game where I'm like, dude, your guy is almost wasted, and like I really need cover, so, uh, sorry.

But maybe I'm just from a wicked age.

Can we play this at Gen Con? I wonder if I can get parts in time to build and bring a mech.


9. On 2006-08-01, Nathan P. said:

Haha! Success. One of my friends in my Burning Wheel game totally has legos in his attic at home.

Am I going out right now to get a special set of Mechaton Dice?



10. On 2006-08-01, NinJ said:

Dude, Mechaton will be rockin' the block at GenCon. Mike Mearls has said that he'll come play if he can, I'm sure Vincent will, I'm bringin' my little dudes, and there will be lots of new players there.

The challenge will be in playing few enough games that I'll be able to play RPGs, too.


11. On 2006-08-01, James said:


If you want to run Mechaton on my Brick Battles table in the minis hall, I'll let you know the slot schedule. The table is staying up all weekend, and not always running.  On the other hand, it might be too many trees for Mechaton.

Either way, I'd love to catch some Mechaton and I'm sure Larry P and the rest of the GameLUG crew would as well.



12. On 2006-08-01, Sydney Freedberg said:

Yeah, this rule makes a lot of sense. It's both more playable and more realistic than trying to figure out geometrically perfect lines of sight around solid hex-filling walls of perfect cover.

You ever see photos of our draftees in Vietnam, or of Third World militia types today, holding their guns over a wall without even looking and just blazing away? How about an M2 Bradley using its 25mm chaingun for a "reconaissance by fire," i.e. "Lieutenant, I think maybe somebody's behind that wall—(whirr) BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM {whirr}.... Well, maybe not anymore."

So lines of sight aren't so tidy in practice.


13. On 2006-08-01, Thomas Robertson said:

I'm totally going to have my lego mecha with me at the Games-on-Demand table.  I don't know if we'll play any, but it'll be there.



14. On 2006-08-02, misuba said:

Speaking of cover, what's the cover of the game book gonna look like?


15. On 2006-08-03, Vincent said:


We'll see! Very soon! Very, very soon...



16. On 2007-08-02, dmq said:

well,as far as cover goes, i 'ave 3 kindsa cover: blocking cover, which blocks shots (i.e. a bilding between attacker and defender,)

semi-blocking cover(i.e. sandbags, which only go up to targets waist) which gives little defensive bonus

and elevated-ness(i.e. on top o' bilding) which gives same defense bonus
-dMQ (demilitarized q)


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