2006-11-26 : Mechaton campaign: battle 2

Okay Em, you're the setup person for battle 2. Here's what we need from you:

1) Who or what is the special station?

2) Which of the three objectives (society & conscience, economy & jobs, security & law enforcement) does he she or it represent?

3) Where on the map will the battle take place?

4) What constraints, if any, apply to the mechs we field?

That's it!

Here's where we stand now:

Em: 24 points; society & conscience x1=24, economy & jobs x2=48, security & law enforcement x2=48.

J: 28; society & conscience x3=84, economy & jobs x1=28, security & law enforcement x1=28.

Me: 28; society & conscience x3=84, economy & jobs x1=28, security & law enforcement x2=56.

Here's the current map:

Here are the rules for what constraints you can impose:

a) Keep to the minimum and maximum army sizes: 3 to 6 mechs, 2 stations.

b) For a maximum number of attachments, don't go below 3 attachments per mech.

c) You can impose a maximum number of x attachment, but not below 2. "Vincent, give your army a maximum of 2 green dice" is legit; "give your army only 1 green die" isn't.

d) Any minimums for x attachment have to keep within the normal rules, is all. "Vincent, all of your mechs have to have two green dice" is legit; "at least one of your mechs has to have 3 green dice" isn't.

e) If you say that the battle's all in space, all underwater, between space and your space station, or between the river and the island, that's awesome, and I'll lay out the rules for that then.

Sound good? I'm excited for whatever you throw at us.

1. On 2006-11-26, Vincent said:

Oops! We forgot something important at the end of battle 1.

The doomsday calendar ticks down from 11 to 10.

I have the first option. I tick it down from 10 to 9.

J, you have the next option. Would you like to tick it down from 9 to 8?


2. On 2006-11-26, Tom said:

Crush them all, Em!  Show those noose-necked zealots the mech-breaking power of Law and Order (TM)!


3. On 2006-11-27, NinJ said:

Uh, no, I need to play some catchup. I'm leaving it.

We didn't forget this. We did it at the end of the game.

How come everyone's cheering on Emily? She's the oppressor and in second place!


4. On 2006-11-27, Emily said:

Who wants to root for the underdog? It's so last millenium.

So, here's my thought for the next objective: a massive orbital media satellite station.

The goal would be hearts & minds again (ie society and conscience) and the winner would get to control the freewaves of the planet and be Tokyo Rose for the next go around.

That would put the battle in space, and on my home-ish turf.  How would this work, Vincent?


5. On 2006-11-27, Vincent said:

Sweet and double sweet.

There are two ways it could go.

Way 1: the massive orbital is the special station - "massive" just means "roughly mech-sized" - and all of the table is space. Cover would be other satellites and asteroids and space stations and stuff. Or (yikes!) maybe there'd be little to no cover. We'd use vector movement everywhere.

Way 2: the massive orbital takes up a significant chunk of the table, close to half of it, and the special station is some key piece of the orbital. The master control keypad, maybe, where you program the orbital what to listen to and rebroadcast. Anyhow, cover on the space half of the table would be as above; cover on the orbital half would be the parts of the orbital you can hide behind - radar dishes, struts, control rooms, whatever. We'd use vector movement only on the space half of the table.

So which way? You choose!

Either way, when you're in space, you get only one white die, unless you have an in-space attachment. An in-space attachment doesn't give you any benefit on land, but it gives you back your second white die when you're in space.

If the whole table is space, it's easy, we'll probably all take our in-space attachments and there we go. If only half the table is space, though, we'll get to make decisions about which mechs to outfit for space and which to not. I'll say my strategic thoughts about this if you choose way 2.

We'll need to make vector markers distinctive to each of our mechs, so we can tell who's going where.

I made a batch of kickin-ass astronaut civilians the other day, by the way. They'll look good with our mechs using them for cover.

Oh and also, beyond the in-space attachments, do you have any restrictions for J's and my armies?


6. On 2006-11-27, Jabonko said:

I'm really digging your campaign notes thus-far.  Just bought the mechaton pdf.  looking forward to photos and combat debriefs!


7. On 2006-11-27, Jabonko said:

forgot to ask this one:

what have the special objectives been thus far?  How have they played out?


8. On 2006-11-27, Vincent said:

In the first battle, the special objective was the Prime Minister's limo, representing society & conscience. I seized it, although the cost in patriotic, virtuous life was pretty high. Have you read my full report? It's here.


9. On 2006-11-28, NinJ said:

I'm not sure which I like more: the voluminous, half-inside map or the all-space option.

Vector stuff is a lot of fun, though. I think more is probably better.


10. On 2006-11-28, Tom said:

Y'know, I sure hope the Tarkut pilots can hold their breath.  Those open-topped Ptimanya are great when you're cruising the strip, but really suck in outer space.


11. On 2006-11-28, James_Nostack said:

Do they have to be mechs?  Because it would be cool to have little pod things with grappler arms, and surface-to-ground shuttles loaded up with explosives for ramming...

I cast my meaningless vote for all-space.


12. On 2006-11-28, NinJ said:

Our mysterious benefactor might come up with 2001 pods or some such, yeah.

Maybe Veritech fighter kind of things. It depends on how much time I have to build dudes.

Tom, space suits, man!


13. On 2006-11-28, Emily said:

I get to choose another constraint! I thought the spacey thing was one. Say more about the options.

And I vote for half space, half station. I dig the idea of swooshing through space sometime and clambering about on the space station other wise.  When we're in null g, I totally want to get the Ender's Game defensive bonus for a target tiny profile, by having my mechs float head or toe first toward enemy mechs. heh.

Full on space (with no obstacles, anyway) would be dead boring. The terrain adds a lot to the tactical fun of this game. IMO. Space with junk in it would be fine, but I'm liking it more varied.


14. On 2006-11-28, Emily said:

Plus, what are your collision rules!?!


15. On 2006-11-28, JamesNostack said:

will you guys use stacked duplo bricks to represent elevation, to get a 3D movement thing going?


16. On 2006-11-28, Jabonko said:

Stacked duplo would be sweet terrain elevation!

As for space, I'm not playing, so my opinions don't matter, but...

could you damage the station to create debris and thus create more cover?  (getting too fiddly/crunchy perhaps, but could be a fun twist... a lego station to remove bits from)


17. On 2006-11-28, Vincent said:

> will you guys use stacked duplo bricks to represent
> elevation, to get a 3D movement thing going?


In other words, good lord almighty no. INSANE. I've seen what it takes to make that game work. And Attack Vector is brilliant but good lord almighty no.

Em: Okay! Half space half orbital it is. Here are the implications:

1. The special station has to be removable from the orbital, like maybe it's a security chip or something. This is because the defender starts with the special station, and also sets up first, and may not choose to set up on the orbital half of the table.

2. If you (by "you" I mean any of us) think you can do all your fighting on the orbital half of the table, it's safe to field mecha without the in-space attachment. If you think that there's any risk that a) you won't get to set up on the orbital half of the table, or b) you'll get drawn into fighting on the space half of the table, then I recommend giving your mechs the in-space attachment.

I intend to give all my mechs the in-space attachment.

3. You, Emily, can use army constraints to decide who gets to be the defender. That'd look like this: "J, Vincent, you each have to field at least 5 mechs, and they should average at least 3.5 attachments each." Then if you field 4 mechs, you're the defender. If you then resolve to yourself that, as defender, you're going to set up on the orbital, it's safe-ish for you to field non-space mechs. The only risk to you will be if we somehow manage to draw you out into space fighting.

This would be a nice, strong home-field advantage, if you want to play it that way.

> Plus, what are your collision rules!?!

If cover intersects your trajectory:

a) If you rolled any green dice, you pass through it, no collision.

b) If you didn't, you stop at the cover with 0 velocity. Your former speed becomes an attack against you: compare it to your defense and roll damage dice, same as always. So if I'm going 5 and I crash into a satellite, we compare the 5 with my defense number. Say my defense number's 3. I roll 5-3=2 damage dice against myself. Say my defense number's 6. I roll no damage dice against myself. (Yes, this makes no sense if my defense is based on ECM, for instance. Whatever.)

When your path and the path of another moving mech intersect, that doesn't count as a collision. Let's just say you both dodge. A stationary mech counts as cover, though.

If we were being a little more scrupulous, we'd give the cover you crash into a trajectory of its own. We'd compare mass and everything. Maybe someday we'll have that kind of time and energy, but for now, pff.

Landing on the orbital: the edge of the orbital counts as cover. Best to land on it a) when you've rolled a green die, or b) at low speed.

> Y'know, I sure hope the Tarkut pilots can hold their
> breath. Those open-topped Ptimanya are great when you're
> cruising the strip, but really suck in outer space.

Last night I made a couple TOTALLY CRAP space chuckers. They look TERRIBLE. They rule.


18. On 2006-11-28, NinJ said:

I will be very disappointed* if we can't use our velocity as a weapon. I fully intend to be crashing into mecha all the time. I think the last to occupy a point gets to add the collision to the attack dice. Like, I can declare your dude to be my target, and if I wind up in HtH range at the end of my turn, I add my velocity to my attack.

That makes HtH the most powerful weapon in the game. I like that. In space, all it takes is a little hole.

*"very" means "mildly" in this case.


19. On 2006-11-28, Vincent said:

Does it have to be the last to occupy a point?

I think that having a velocity should give you more red dice at hand to hand, instead of straight adding. I'll think about what I want the rule to really be, though.

Hm, interesting. I'm used to simultaneous movement vector movement games, where ramming is pretty difficult. In this game, though, ramming will be pretty easy if you go later in initiative. Cool. All the more reason for your velocity to not straight-up add to your attack, though.

If you're going 3 or under, no extra red die.
If you're going 4-6, an extra red d6.
If you're going 7+, an extra red d8.

How about that? Going fast is the same as overloading hand to hand.

For purposes of bonus red dice, set your direction to clockface noon and compare it to your opponent's.
- If you're going the same direction as your opponent (clockface 11:00-1:00), subtract her velocity from yours.
- If you're going perpendicular to your opponent (clockface 2:00-4:00 or 8:00-10:00), ignore her velocity.
- If you and your opponent are going toward each other (clockface 5:00-7:00), add your velocities.

This is super interesting wrt "the last to occupy a point," too. Ramming someone when your turn's before theirs is way different from ramming someone who's already gone. The former gets to attack you right back with the same bonus die, if she wants. The latter doesn't.


20. On 2006-11-28, Ben Lehman said:

Of course, you take damage for your own ramming, right?



21. On 2006-11-29, Vincent said:

Nah. You're ramming WITH YOUR FIST!


22. On 2006-11-29, Ben Lehman said:

Man.  Fielding a group of ROCKET SPACE NINJAS with two swords, a rocket pack, and space equipment would be awesome.



23. On 2006-11-29, Emily said:

Sweet! J gets to be very (mildly) happy instead of mildly disappointed.

And Vincent, I like those options you outlined. Let's go for it.


24. On 2006-11-29, Vincent said:

Very cool. Let me sum up:

1. The special station is some kind of critical access component of a massive broadcasting orbital.

2. It represents society & conscience.

3. The battlefield is half space, half platform, in orbit above the city.

4. J, you and I have to field at least 5 mechs each, with at least 3.5 attachments per. Em can field whatever she wants.

That's it, right Em?

Let's schedule this bad monkey. I'll see you both tonight?


25. On 2006-11-29, Emily said:

That's right. See you tonight!

I wonder if someone shot the station enough, if it would fall on the city.... would be in genre anyway. : )


26. On 2006-11-29, NinJ said:

I'm OK with those rules. The reason it's the last person is that the last person to move to a point in space is obviously the attacker.

I think the thresholds are probably great. What's showing here are some differences in design philosophy between you and me. I feel like things should be a quick formula: x=y; where you don't mind little lookup tables. I also like to reduce the amount of randomness while you like to maintain it.

You know, it could be that a movement of 4-6 gives you an extra d6 for every space of movement, and 7+ gives you an extra d8 for every point of movement, so a movement of, say, 10 (really haulin') gives you three red d6s and four red d8s.

See, here's the thing: I think this is the awesomest part of vector combat and I want to encourage it. I also really love the image of a guy punching through another guy in a last-ditch effort, hence my first idea each point adding a damage die.

I mean, your object is to get going as fast as you can to hit a guy. What are the chances you're going to get your dude back in control once you've destroyed the dude?


27. On 2006-11-29, Vincent said:

Oh, duh. I've got it.

Relative velocity works like spotting. If you hit someone hand to hand, you have the choice to a) roll your regular damage dice, or b) roll a number of damage dice equal to your relative velocity instead.


28. On 2006-11-29, Ben Lehman said:

but... rocket ninjas?



29. On 2006-11-29, Vincent said:

I do believe that even with velocity=spotting, the only thing awesomer than rocket ninjas would be rocket ninjas ARMED WITH SHOVELS!

Tomorrow, I post pictures of my space chuckers. They are much, much, much less awesome than rocket ninjas.


30. On 2006-11-30, NinJ said:

I am totally happy about that.


31. On 2006-11-30, Jabonko said:

I want see Rocket Ninjas!!  Floaty fighty rocket vector-whore ninjas!  OF DOOM!

Also, can't wait to see battle photos.


32. On 2006-12-01, CarlR said:

Velocity=spotting is much nicer than adding dice, since with the latter you wouldn't know what your velocity is until after you've rolled your dice and adjusted your vector based on mobility die, so it would have led to having to roll some of your dice, then maybe some more red dice, ick.

In the interests of sanity I assume you're not going to seperately track vector movement for each attachment blown off?  After all, they should all still be whizzing around up there!

Rocket Ninjas are the natural foe of Space Pirates!


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

about ranges: as some of you may know, i play a warped version of mechaton, seeing as i been picking up bits and pieces from these what-ever-these-are-called's
i dont let my dudes do HTH combat w/o a hth weapons, only ranges because of weapons



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