2006-11-30 : Mechaton FAQ

Michael Miller sent me some questions:

* Is there a range for spotting? Can you spot anything in the world, or just
things you have line of sight on?

You can spot anybody in direct fire range. Cover doesn't matter to spotting.

* Can you spot with white dice if you have no spotting attachment? (I assume
YES, since you can move w/o a move attachment)


* If you lose all your red dice, you can only attack (using white dice, of
course) in HtH range, right?


* Here's my understanding of a few things—are they correct? Points Per is
set at the beginning of the battle and remains constant throughout. Victory
points go up and down everytime a mech is destroyed and a station captured.
A mech that starts with artillery and/or direct fire attachments and then
loses them DOES gain the green d8 for movement. Intiative dice are equal to
1 + (4 - # of attachments) so every time you lose an attachment, you gain an
intiative die.

Correct, correct, correct, incorrect. Initiative dice, like points per, are set at the beginning of the game. As your mech loses its attachments, it does not gain initiative dice.

If you have questions, please ask!

1. On 2006-11-30, Dave said:

Here's something that came up in our game last night: How do you handle line of sight? Like if you're in direct fire range, and your target isn't within 1 of some intervening cover, but you can't see the mech if you crouch down for a model's-eye view? Or can only see X% of it? (We're wargamers, what can I say?)

We played so direct fire weapons can't shoot through buildings, but artillery weapons can shoot over them, and it worked fine, but I'd be interested in knowing what y'all are doing.


2. On 2006-11-30, Vincent said:

Totally ignore all cover and all barriers, unless it's within 1 of the target. The rules don't care about line of sight at all.

Now, the way you played lines up exactly with how the rules used to be, back when they distinguished between hard cover and soft cover. So if you care about line of sight, yeah, that's the way I'd do it too.

But I recommend that you ditch line of sight as a consideration altogether, if you can stand to.


3. On 2006-11-30, Michael S. Miller said:

Wow. Talk about service with a smile! Thanks for posting these. But the above point raises another bit of confusion: You're saying it doesn't matter which side of cover you're on? Just that you're near it?

For example, let's imagine the text below is a diagram. "a" is my guy. "x" and "y" are your guys. The capital "I" is cover (wall, dead mech, whatever).


Does this mean that whether a (or anyone else, for that matter) shoots at x or at y, they both have benefit of cover?


4. On 2006-11-30, Michael S. Miller said:

I knew I had forgotten some questions last night! Here are two more:

1) Brady and I are barely within direct fire range of each other. He's got the initiative and shoots at me. This triggers me, so I declare him my target, roll, and split up my dice. He hits and does one point of damage which comes up a 6! My only remaining attachment is my direct-fire range gun. It gets blown off. Does this mean that when I finish my go, I can no longer hit him, even though I've allocated a die to it?

2) Same scenario, but Brady's damage die comes to naught. He opted to shoot and then move. He uses his move to get out of direct fire range. Does this mean that I can't hit him unless I opt to move and then shoot (provided I've allocated a large enough movment die to catch him)?


5. On 2006-11-30, Vincent said:


a is shooting. y gets the benefit of cover I, x does not.


Nobody gets the benefit of cover H.

1) Damage comes after you've rolled your dice. Your dice stay on the table. You get a last hurrah with that gun, as you've already rolled it. Make it count!

2) It does mean, yes, that you'll have to move back into range with him or else forego your attack.


6. On 2006-11-30, Valamir said:

Regarding the Yellow dice ruling.

I suggest reconsidering that rule for the following reasons.

1) Consistancy:  you can spot to direct fire range...that means the yellow die should work similarly to red dice that can shoot to direct fire range.  If you have no red direct fire attachments you can't attack at direct fire range.  Ergo if you have no yellow attachments you shouldn't be able to spot at direct fire range either.

You can use white dice to attack at hand to hand because the white dice are just the mech (i.e. hands and feet and chassis).  You can attack at hand to hand with your hands, you can move with your feet, and you can take a beating with your chassis.  But you can't do any special stuff like shoot at direct or artillery range or function well in space or under water without a special attachment.  Spotting...being that its a non-hand/feet/chassis function that occurs at direct fire range bears more in common with these special attachements.

2) Building strategy.  Allowing white dice to spot without a yellow attachment really lessens the value of the yellow attachment.  Red ranged attachments are special because they allow you to do things that you can't otherwise do...attack at range.  Green attachments are special because they allow you to do things that you can't otherwise do...cross obstacles.  Blue attachments are special because even though they don't do anything a white die doesn't they keep you alive, and that's inherently special.  Yellow dice however, with the above ruling are no longer special.  They allow absolutely nothing that can't be done with a white.

Further, they aren't useful nearly as frequently as Red and Blue dice will be.  Given that they are -1 like a Blue die, and that they require you to hit making 1s useless, any roll of 1-2 is pointless.  Given that other attackers may roll well enough on their own from time to time that they don't need the yellow they will often go unused.  Given that they expire at the end of the round if you get stuck at the bottom of initiative order you may spot too late in the round to matter.

But sometimes they are killer crucial tide turning awesome...but often they are pfft.  There are other dice (like blue and red) that are much more reliably awesome.  Therefor, if I'm allowed to spot without a yellow attachment there is no motivation to ever take a yellow attachment.  I'll grab an extra red or blue and use the white's for the occassional spot.  It won't be quite as good as having both the white's and a yellow for the occassional spot, but the opportunity cost is just too high to futz with a yellow that only occasionally will matter.

UNLESS the yellow is the ONLY ding dang dong way of spotting.  Then the massive death and destruction that is possible through spotting makes yellow attachments necessary to pursue the variety of strategies that rely on spotting.  But if I can just spot any ole time I want with white dice it becomes much more valuable to grab something else and accept slightly less effective spotting.

In other words "I can't spot at all" is way way worse than "I can still spot but just not quite as good" and therefor the value of the Yellow attachment is only on par with Red and Blue if you need it to spot at all.

3) its just faster.  Knowing you can only spot if you have a yellow means you don't have to sit and think about whether to spot and who to spot if you don't have any yellow attachments (true of most mechs on the board, especially after some damage).  If you allow white to spot by themselves than most EVERY mech on the board most EVERY turn is going to be laying down yellow spot dice and the game is going to slow while players go through the "who should I spot" or "should I use this white die for defense or spotting" loops.  And the "who should I spot" loop has way more handling time than the "who should I shoot" or "where should I move" loops, so you want to keep this loop called on only in special situations (i.e. when you have a yellow attachment) rather than make it universal all the time.

Any way.  That's my analysis on why I think spotting should only be possible when you have an actual yellow attachment.


7. On 2006-12-01, NinJ said:

I'm with Ralph. The "You can spot without Yellows" rule really messes with the value of those dice of which I'm so proud.


8. On 2006-12-01, Vincent said:

Oh foof, it does no such thing.

It's a ruling that has implications, yes, but they're interesting whichever way they fall and they're clearly within the game's tolerances. They don't make or break spotting, mech design, or the game. That you (for any given "you") prefer one way to another is cool and awesome - the only advantage and I mean the ONLY advantage that this ruling has over any other, the only reason I'm coming down this way instead of that, is that the text supports it.

Let me say more: this ruling about spotting without yellow dice exists at a place of tension between the ideal game in my head and the solutions I came up with to the immediate problem of writing the book. While the book's written the way it is, this is the ruling; it may last only to revision 1, it may last forever. We'll see. My own ideal ruling is even further from the text than yours, Ralph! I'll tell you it maybe tomorrow.


9. On 2006-12-01, Rich Stokes said:

We played a brief game last night.  It was fun, but it seemed very slow.  There was a lot of "I hit you, I roll 4 dice, no damage, next!" going on.

Initiative seemed to be reasonably important, except it also wasn't.  In that, most of the time mechs went in Combat order, rather than Initiative order.  So my force of 4 mechs with 3 attachments each would have been better off with a couple of extra attachments since it didn't really feel like the extra initiative dice helped much.

There seems to be a great temptation to have armoured artillery units hanging about at the edges of the board and not really getting into the action. That is, create a mech with one or two artillery weapons and one or two defence attachments and then leave it in the corner of the battlefield.

Moving early in the turn and rolling badly for defence seems pretty bad.  That is, one of Dave's mechs was sat in the corner and ended it's turn with a 2 in defence about halfway through the second turn.  Everybody who had an artillery piece on the field wailed on him, because they knew they would hit!  After that, I don't think anyone left a mech with less than 4 defence for he rest of the game.

With 3 players and a total of 12 mechs, it felt very much like there were a lot of clashed for initiative.  I wonder if maybe using d20s for initiative might help, or just a deck of playing cards (Savage Worlds style).  Cards would take up more space next to the mechs on the field though...

Cover, hmmm.  The was cover works is very... interesting.  As far as I can tell, what you do is draw an imaginary semicircle around the target mech with a radius of 1 and the middle line pointing towards the attacker.

(dotted line points to attacker, target mech at the bottom where the dotted line crosses the baseline, r = 1)

If there's anything in that semicircle, you have cover.

Is that right?

One of the best ways to hit highly defended mechs seemed to be to shoot at mechs behind them.  That is, if I take a similar example to Mr Miller:


I am at A.  I want to hurt mech x, but mech x has armour and an ECM and rolled well this turn, so it has a 5 defence.  Mech y, on the other hand, is a bit rubbish, and has only got a 2 defence this turn.  A rolled a 5 for it's attack.

I can't damage x directly, because I have 5 attack vs 5 defence.  But if I fire at y I get 3 damage and any that come up 5 hit and damage y's cover, which happens to be x.

Am I interpreting that correctly?


10. On 2006-12-01, Vincent said:

Hey Rich!

About cover: that's great with the semicircle. Slick.

What really matters is that you can look at an arrangement of attacker-cover-defender on the table, and everyone knows and agrees what the attacker would have to do to get a cover-free shot. Your semicircle is very cool for that.

About damaging mechs as cover: you're interpreting it correctly. Another way to say it would be, use your opponents' mechs for cover, not your own.

About initiative dice: we use d12s for initiative, just because all my d10s are in my Dogs kit. D20s would work great.

About initiative in general: rolled initiative matters most - almost but not quite exclusively - at the opening of the turn. It sets the stage for the turn, it like lays the geography on which the turn's emergent combat order will build. In other words, yeah, it's reasonably important and also not, and yeah, a mech taken in isolation is almost always better off with an attachment instead. Organize your initiative dice as part of your overall army strategy, don't expect them to balance mech by mech.

There seems to be a great temptation to have armoured artillery units hanging about at the edges of the board and not really getting into the action...

Moving early in the turn and rolling badly for defence seems pretty bad. That is, one of Dave's mechs was sat in the corner and ended it's turn with a 2 in defence about halfway through the second turn. Everybody who had an artillery piece on the field wailed on him, because they knew they would hit! After that, I don't think anyone left a mech with less than 4 defence for he rest of the game.

Taken together, these usually indicate that someone isn't playing to win, or doesn't buy into the victory points. Those are both the obvious correct strategy in free-for-all battles, but they will absolutely screw the attackers if you're playing for victory points. The attackers have to overcome their free-for-all instincts.

You say a brief game. How brief? I find that the game really builds momentum, with the first couple of turns taking the longest and being the least decisive (but, of course, essential to the way the game finally plays out). The overall sensation is roller-coastery, like whoa - whoa - waah - waaaaaah!


11. On 2006-12-01, Rich Stokes said:

The game lasted 3 turns and on a fairly big table.  That took about 90 minutes.  So there wasn't all that much time for anyone to reach any stations.  One was captured on the last turn, by Dave's "Nutter Ninja" mech with 6 katanas. It was a 3 player kick-about, with everyone just trying to get the hang of the game's flow, so we weren't really playing to win as much as playing to learn to win (if that makes sense?).

About parking Artillery: It was about an hour into the game when we all suddenly realised about the same time that we all had a mech in the corner which had at least one artillery attachment and at least one armour attachment and was simply wailing on anyone who was looking vulnerable.  Since the game consisted entirely of the opening moves, it guess it was just probing and trying to make opponents mechs ineffective and thus protecting our stations and mechs.  It seemed to us that a mech with (say) one Artillery weapon and one Defence attachment would be able to sit in the corner in reasonable safety while dropping shots onto key opponents while your other mechs seized stations.  Such a mech would be rolling 3 dice for initiative and therefore has a pretty good chance of going early in a turn.  So also it could be used to "trigger" oposing mechs and force them to act before their owners really want them to act.  Also, perhaps force them to use a good white roll for defence rather than attack, and thus help the rest of the team get to the stations etc etc.  We were talking about one of your four mechs being like that (we had 4 mechs each, that seemed about right)

Because everyone had such a mech in play, and nobody had time for any real attempts to steal stations, any time anyone left a mech with poor defence all the other players wailed on it with these artillery pieces.


12. On 2006-12-01, Dave said:

Re: Artillery mechs

We had a similar mech in our game the other night - the attacker had a guy with a double-barreled howitzer who basically sat on one of his own stations and wailed on me at range the whole game.

It seemed cool at first blush, but here's the thing: The game ended in a tie, and I think that mech is part of the reason why. Sure, it was rolling a goodly number of attack dice against whatever it wanted every turn, but when you compare it to the points his speedy little station-capturing mechs were grabbing or threatening? Not so effective, really. It could, over a couple of turns, with good dice rolling, cut my victory points down, but there was nothing it could do to get more points for him.

The attacker really has to go all-out for stations if he wants to win, and the defender is going to be doing most of his fighting at direct fire range anyway.


13. On 2006-12-01, NinJ said:

Uh, look: you win by taking objectives. If you've got guys who aren't moving, they're not taking objectives. Also, if they're all hopped up on artillery, they're not all hopped up at Direct or HtH range.

Rich, not playing to win will make for a stagnant game, yeah. That's like moving the pieces around a chess board just to see what happens. I realize that you're just getting a handle on the game, but the most important thing you can get a handle on is, every time you move, you have to figure out how to move toward winning.


14. On 2006-12-01, Vincent said:

Rich: Because everyone had such a mech in play, and nobody had time for any real attempts to steal stations, any time anyone left a mech with poor defence all the other players wailed on it with these artillery pieces.

Makes sense! All I'd say is that in the full game, those artillery mechs are an important strategic consideration. Not every strategy calls for them, but the ones that do, sure do.

90 minutes for the first 3 turns is about right, for first-time play. Our last game was 17 mechs on the table and it took about that long for the first 3 turns too.

Things to look for that speed up the game, starting right around turn 3:

1. Everybody learns what dice to roll for which mech, without counting up fresh every time.

2. Everybody learns the turn sequence and rhythm, learns to read the dice on the table, and learns to predict when they're going to be called upon to do what.

3. Everybody has committed to what their mechs are doing. Now you're making very local, very tactical decisions, instead of "which station should I go after, or should I hang back, or what?"

4. Everybody's rolling fewer dice overall - and then, everybody's rolling dice for fewer mechs too. Sad though that is.

5. The decisions about how to assign the dice you roll are getting simpler, per #3. "Of COURSE I assign this high die to spotting, that's what this mech is DOING."

6. Everybody learns how to read the evolving situation for opportunities, instead of having to review all available options all the time.

These were probably already obvious! They were fun to write out anyway.


15. On 2006-12-01, Vincent said:

On Rich's behalf: jeez guys. He wasn't playing a whole game, so it didn't work like a whole game. No big.


16. On 2006-12-01, Tom said:

An all-artillery squad that perches on the edges won't work out, but don't discount a good artillery mech.

Load him up with 1-2 artillery, and a Direct Fire and CC weapon and park him on one of your edge-ward stations.  His job is to protect your station and rain down hell on everyone else.

Now your more aggressive runners can get out there and go for objectives.  And as they encounter enemies, they can spot them (cause you've got a yellow die for that, right?) to help your big shooty clobber them.

Because Artillery isn't any deadlier than a direct fire weapon, you're not going to blunt a charge or take out guys with one shot (despite what happened to Vincent at JiffyCon).  What arty really does is provide you with flexibility.  The arty mech can be almost anywhere on the battlefield where you need some extra guns and you can shift him instantly from place to place.

Mechaton works well, in part, because you need a mix of mech types and weapons to succeed.  There's no "one-trick" army that can consistently win against all comers.  So Artillery (and artillery mechs) are an important, but not overriding, factor when building an army.

[From the Only-Played-Once Mechaton Commander Academy Handbook]


17. On 2006-12-01, Vincent said:

> despite what happened to Vincent at JiffyCon

That was the worst ever. Jeff's like, I dunno, I'll take an opportunity shot at Vincent's 1 defense guy there, oh look a 6, that's 5 damage dice, oh look two 5s and two 6s. How about that.

I'm like, buh. Then with the weeping.


18. On 2006-12-04, Uriel said:

OK, so here's my question.

This came up during our last play. I shoot with my big gun of enormous hurt and I'd like to back it up with my little gun of hurt which has the same range. This second gun is however splitted 1 dir/1HtH. Do I get an additonal 1D8 for this little gun? I said, intuitively, no: you only get a an extra D6 for firing with an additional splitted weapon since it's so puny and not so hurty. But I'd like to hear your answer instead Vincent. What do you think?

And on the whole sensor debate: I've played with both variations, that you need sensor to spot and that you don't, and I've noticed that people, and me included, tend to skip sensors when you don't need them to spot in favor of shields or another weapon. But if you have to have a sensor to spot they have a given place in most armies. I haven't really decided which way I prefer yet. The funny thing is that even in games where you don't need sensors to spot, as soon as the sensors get blown away people forget to spot altogether.  And if I remind them they just spot me, the bastards. I think I would be better at learning people the game if I didn't play it to win every time. Maybe at the Con.


19. On 2006-12-04, Seth Ben-Ezra said:

Got a couple of semi-pedantic questions:

1)  When you're measuring, where on the mech do you measure from?  Center of the mech?  Edge of the mech?  With bigger mechs, it can actually matter.

2)  If I shoot at another mech, who needs to be activated to get a defense die, but I blow him up with my shot, does he get to shoot back (with the dice that he rolled) or not?


20. On 2006-12-04, Vincent said:

Uriel: The mech has, let's say, a honkin' big back-cannon (2 red at artillery) and a sniper rifle (1 red at artillery, 1 red at direct). What dice does it get at artillery, that's the question? The answer is, 2d6. It doesn't even get 3d6 at artillery. Right now that mech is wasting the sniper rifle's artillery potential. It should make the sniper rifle all artillery (to get the d8) or all direct fire. That's implicit in the written rules, but not explicit, so good question.

I never did say my ideal sensor rules, did I? Here they are:
1. You can spot even if you aren't rolling yellow dice.
2. You don't declare your spotting target until after you've rolled.
3. If you're rolling yellow dice, you can spot with any number (over 2, as spotting with a 1 or 2 is pointless). If you aren't, though, you can spot only with a 5 or 6.

That way, if you're rolling no yellow dice, and you're like, "huh, here's this pretty white 6, but my red, blue and green dice all came up 6s too, what shall I do with it?" then you can be like, "oh! I'll spot with it! I'll spot ... that guy! Yeah!" But if you're like, "what a load of crap roll," then you aren't allowed to consider who to spot at all.

That solves the handling time issue, makes spotting more common, and it still doesn't devalue yellow attachments at mech design time, no matter what you all think. If you want a mech to be good at spotting, you give it yellow dice, same as always - that's how the math works! "Mechs with no yellow dice make crappy spotters" doesn't imply " don't bother giving mechs yellow dice."

Me and my army of walkie talkie-toting chuckers will kick your ass.

Seth: 1) Pick a point and stick with it.

2) Huh, I can see this going either way. It hasn't come up in our games recently (that I've noticed), so I don't know. I guess my vote is to stick with the general rule ("those dice are already rolled") and say that the mech gets its one last shot off before it kacks.


21. On 2006-12-04, Seth Ben-Ezra said:

Cool.  That's what we did (on both), so we had a really nifty double-kill.  Sadly, it cost me the game, but that's okay.


22. On 2006-12-04, NinJ said:

I'm cool with these rules. It's important to me that Yellows not be devalued, and this doesn't devalue them.



23. On 2006-12-07, Valamir said:

I don't dislike those rules...but that seems to be an awful lot of fiddly to get to essentially the same place as just not allowing spotting with no yellow.

I mean, how often are you going to roll a white 5 or 6 that you don't want to use for shooting, defense, or moving...

It'll happen from time to time, but not that often.

So the question is:  is the sometimes when it does work out that way worth having a rule that takes 3 sentences to explain plus introduces a completely unique rule (only on 5s or 6s) vs. giving up those sometimes and having a simple one sentence rule that requires no unique rules.

My vote would be for latter but this ain't a democracy.


24. On 2006-12-07, Vincent said:

Oh no I totally agree - that rule will never be in any rulebook. I don't imagine I'll ever play by it.

What that leaves is, "you can spot without spotting attachments, using your white dice, same as how you can move, defend and punch without attachments for those" vs "you can spot only if you have spotting attachments, same as how you can attack at artillery or direct range only with attachments for those." Right now the rules say the former, which is a reversal from the original draft, and someday I may reverse again, who knows? Both possibilities are within the game's tolerances, in terms of spotting, mech design and overall play. Neither of them mess up the game.

Oh, and "name your spotting target after you roll, same as how you name your movement destination after you roll" might actually go into the rules, someday. It doesn't mess up the game either.


25. On 2006-12-12, Octo said:

I have a few questions regarding the green d8 rule:

1) You're allowed the green d8 when all ranged weapons are shot off, correct? Not just when starting without ranged weapons?

2) If you get the d8 when the ranged attachments are lost, do you keep it when you're reduced to white dice only? If so, do you keep it when you're down to one white die?


26. On 2006-12-12, Vincent said:

1) yes; 2) yes and yes.

Although I have to admit, I always forget to play that way. I play it 1) yes; 2) no and no. My bad.

I'm positive that if you played it 1) no; 2) no and no, the game would still work fine. In fact I can see compelling reasons to do it that way.

This is a case of "make sure everybody knows which way you're playing and don't sweat it otherwise."


27. On 2006-12-13, NinJ said:

Well, fortunately, it's the kind of rule that you can remember and forget without it blowing up the game.


28. On 2006-12-21, Nathan said:

1.  how big can a mecha be?  does height matter?  what about stilty legs?

2.  is there any difference between having a crew or being independant(robot brain)?  does it matter?  what about having two crew compartments



29. On 2006-12-21, NinJ said:

Interestingly, extreme size is a disadvantage; you wind up in range of lots of guys at once, but can only shoot one of them at a time while they can all shoot you.

Stilts sound to me like a Green. They wouldn't effect the rest of the game. We've played where flying (or stilting) guys can shoot over cover if they're behind the same cover as their target.

What we've done is settle on the basic size of a mecha and everyone's meeples are about that size.


30. On 2006-12-22, Vincent said:

Nate, you can count a second crew guy as an attachment. You could call him a comms attachment for a yellow die; that's the most obvious. But check this, you could say "this honkin' machine gun gets 2 dice at direct fire, this second crew guy is the gunner and by the 2nd optional rule he gets a red d8 at direct fire."

Or I suppose you could make him a navigator for a green die. Can anybody think what he'd be to give a blue die?


31. On 2006-12-22, NinJ said:

A guy with clenched teeth and hunched shoulders, looking around like a nervous ferret and yelling "Look out!"

I really like the idea of having a big, huge artillery mecha with giant guns, who gets a red d8 at Artillery range because there's a little guy at his feet with binoculars.


32. On 2006-12-22, Nathan said:

so height really isn't a factor?  i was thinking of stilty "war of the worlds" mechs.  gotta make a cool roundish one too, with discs attached to a kind of jack-like(six spoked)hub.
what about giving a second crew compartment another white die?  no?
the secondary crew's role couldn't flux?  it'd be set at creation?
have a nice holiday, by the way.


33. On 2006-12-22, Vincent said:

Very much no on the second crew compartment being a white die or flexible. If you do that, a second crew compartment will be cut-and-dried superior to any other attachment. "Do I want a gun, a jet pack, or a second crew compartment? Well, a second crew compartment counts as a gun AND a jet pack..."

Height isn't a factor unless you make it one, by declaring "my height" to be one of your attachments. I do things like that all the time. "This mech has an armor attachment for a blue die. The attachment is, it looks all chunky like it can take a lot of punishment."


34. On 2006-12-22, NinJ said:

Your secondary crew could be your second White. Your regular crew dude would be the first White.


35. On 2006-12-22, Sydney Freedberg said:

> Can anybody think what he'd be to give a blue die?

Force-shield operator, electronic countermeasures operator, civilian strapped to your frontal armor if your opponents are basically nice guys.


36. On 2006-12-22, Vincent said:

I wish MY opponents were basically nice guys.


37. On 2006-12-22, Ben Lehman said:

Hey, even if they aren't, a human body makes for cheap, available armor plating when you need to improvise.


38. On 2006-12-23, NinJ said:

Your opponents do what they have to do to defeat their oppressors, meatflap!


39. On 2006-12-24, Ludanto said:

A blue die crew guy could be one of those guys (or girls) slapping away at a track-ball ala the SDF-1's pinpoint defense system :)


40. On 2007-07-29, Michael S. Miller said:

In the interest of keeping all these things in one place, here are some questions that came up while running Mechaton at DexCon last weekend. I've added the rulings I made at the table, as well:

1) Can you transfer an attachment from one mech to another in the middle of combat?

One player's mech got all four attachments blown off in the first round, so he asked about this. I had him forfeit any attack the next round and walk next to his other mech. He transferred over a coms pack and started spotting people. Helped blow my guy away—there's gratitude for you!

2) If Mike's guy puts a spot on Thor's guy, can only Mike's other guys use the spot, or can any other players use it?

I think it should be anyone, particularly in the short game where all players have only 2 mechs. It's fun to make someone else a big juicy target.

3) Do defense dice "bottom out" at 1, or is putting a "1" into defense just the same as putting in no die at all?

This is probably obvious to all, I just feel that a die should always be worth something, particularly when your down to just your whites. But maybe that's because I roll so many 1s ...


41. On 2007-07-30, Vincent said:

1) Not by the existing rules, but if you could, it'd work like you did it.

My concern about transfering attachments is that it means not doing anything in order to share hit points, which means making the game more boring in order to make it last longer. As a one-off kind of thing in occasional games, cool, but it could be a drag if you built your army with attachment transfering as a defensive strategy.

2) Everybody can! Exactly.

3) We always play that putting a 1 in defense gives you a defense of 0, same as no die. We're biased toward blowing things up.


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

about artillery:

"There seems to be a great temptation to have armoured artillery units hanging about at the edges of the board and not really getting into the action..."

i play a mechaton-esque game i made myself and i have "artillery range" be around 14 inches so that you cant do the above edge-sitting

also: i rarely have all-artillery mechs, but more like 1/3 to 1/2 artillery weapons per arty mech so that the artillery mechs can defend themselves at HtH and direct fire ranges with claws and machine guns, etc.

p.s. i understand that direct fire range is middle range?
p.p.s how many inches is a hex?


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

i roll 1's alot too, so i made the rule that, once per turn, you may re-roll one (one) so as to attempt to roll better


RSS feed: new comments to this thread