2006-10-30 : Mechaton developments
Mechaton development 1: I finished laying out the new Mechaton book last night, pending a proof. I’ll start printing it this week. Look for the PDFs for sale here by next Monday, the books a little bit past that. (I’ll put the plain text up here sometime in there too.)
Mechaton development 2: Here’s a proposal for a Mechaton campaign game; I sent it out to J and Emily this afternoon. Comments and questions welcome.
Let’s see how this works.
We’re fighting over a city. We’re each a faction. The factions are the insurgency, the provisional government, and the occupying foreign power. There’s a map of the city:
At the end of the campaign, we’ll each have three final scores. A score in Society & Conscience, a score in Security & Law Enforcement, and a score in Economy & Jobs.
We each have an agenda for each of those three, a policy, written in words. “If I win security & law enforcement? Martial law, total crackdown, show me your papers citizen.” “If I win economy & jobs? I get all your native oilsubstitutium resources and all your children work in my corporations’ sweatshops.” Like that. They don’t all have to be bad like those though. “If I win society & conscience? Impoverished people get to vote freely and poor children get to go to school.”
Battle to battle we track two things: 1) our running victory point total, and 2) our multiplier for each of the three categories. So after a couple battles I might say “my win total is 41 and I’m S&C x3, S&LE x1, and E&J x2,” and you might say “my win total’s 44 and I’m S&C x2, S&LE x2, and E&J x2.” At the end of the game we multiply to find out who wins which category - so I’d win S&C 123 to 88, you’d win S&LE 88 to 41, and you’d win E&J 88 to 82.
We’ll take turns setting up battles. When you set up a battle, you name a special objective, link it to one of the three categories, and then describe the battlefield, pointing at the map. So when it’s my turn I might say “the special objective is a political prisoner, she’s linked to society & conscience, and you’re transporting her from here to here. Let’s have the battle right here on this bridge.” Whoever turns out to be the defender (by the normal starting point rules) starts the battle with control of the special objective (replacing a normal station). We can make up a little backstory, like, “huh, I’VE got her? I guess we liberated her from you just a few minutes ago and this is your push to recapture her.”
So then at the end of the battle, everybody scores their victory points as normal, and plus whoever holds the special objective scores +1 to that multiplier.
We take turns naming special objectives;
The defender starts out with the special objective;
We track who wins the battle and who holds the special objective separately;
Winning battles and holding special objectives contribute equally to winning the game.
So while it’s optimal to win battles AND hold special objectives (duh), the overall winner might be a player who came in second in every single battle, but seized special objectives just that much more often. Or vice versa.
Oh and I say overall winner, but what seems most likely to me is that one of us will win two of the three, one of us will win the third, and one of us will win zip. Maybe we’ll each win one, though, and maybe one of us will dominate.
For ending the game, let’s have a doomsday clock - a doomsday calendar! Set to 11 to start; after each battle, it ticks down one, and we each have the choice to tick it down an additional. We’ll end up playing 4, 5, 6, maybe 7 battles.
Here are the starting multipliers, per faction:
- Insurgency: society & conscience x3, jobs & economy x1, security & law enforcement x1.
- Provisional Gov’t: society & conscience x2, jobs & economy x1, security & law enforcement x2.
- Occupying Power: society & conscience x1, jobs & economy x2, security & law enforcement x2.
Let’s each choose one and write our three policies.
Joshua, you’re on the dealer’s left, so you go first. Which do you want, insurgency, provisional gov’t, or occupiers?
P.S. The person whose turn it is gets to declare any mech design constraints they want, during battle prep. So when it’s my turn I might be like, “the next battle’s taking place at night, so every mech needs at least one comms attachment” or “the next battle’s in orbit! Zero-G mechs!” Any constraints are legit, as long as they don’t break the maximums and minimums for armies in the basic rules.
Oh, and but let’s say that you can’t impose a maximum for attachments below 2.5 per mech. So “we create a diversion elsewhere and attack your mech maintenance facilities, and only your broken mechs are there. Your mechs can’t average over 2.5 attachments each” is legit; “...and only your broken mechs are there. Your mechs can’t average over 2 attachments each” isn’t. Imposing a maximum of 2 would be hosery.
J’s chosen to be the insurgency.
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