2009-04-01 : The Source Campaign: battle 3 setup

My turn!

1. Where on the map will this battle take place?
In space outside of C4, where the inbound trade arc crosses into the Galactic Core. My space navy is interdicting Sisterhood-controlled smoke shipments.

2. What's the special objective?
It's a gigantic trade ship. It represents control of the flow of smoke.

3. What's the battle environment?
Space! Vector movement! It's in space with total vector movement.
3a. Each army gets 6 1-shot rockets. (6 is a lot! Don't forget these.)
3b. No special attachments required.
3c. No declared target => +1 thrust (no ranged weapons DOES NOT give you a green d8)
Additional initiative die => additional go (w/ no move)

4. What army limits for Rob and J?
None of your mechs (that is, space ships) can have armor attachments. Only I can have blue dice. Ha!

Let's say that in this universe, space weapon technology has solidly outpaced shielding technology. My vast resources let me afford to give my space ships effective armor; neither of you have that kind of money to burn.

To sum up: 6 1-shot rockets each + no blue dice = carnage.

1. On 2009-04-01, Vincent said:

Vector movement in Mechaton

You'll need a vector marker for each of your mechs. You have to be able to tell which vector marker on the table goes with which mech, so key them somehow. Mine are color coordinated, for instance.

On the table, a mech's vector marker shows its current movement vector.

When you assign a die to movement, that means you're thrusting, which moves your vector marker (NOT your mech directly). Thrust in any direction; as always in Mechaton, facing doesn't matter.

Thrust = half movement, so:
Movement die 1-2 = move your vector marker 1
Movement die 3-4 = move your vector marker 2
Movement die 5-6 = move your vector marker 3
Movement die 7-8 = move your vector marker 4

(We won't be using the green d8, so this last won't happen in this battle.)

After you've thrusted, move your mech:

Put a placeholder on the table. Draw a line from your mech, through its vector marker, to a point on the table again as far.

Examples (m=mech, v=vector marker, p=placeholder):
m—-v becomes m—-v—-p
m———-v becomes m———-v———-p
m-v becomes m-v-p

Now move your mech to its vector marker and its vector marker to the placeholder.

Examples (o=old mech position, m=mech, v=vector marker):
m—-v becomes m—-v—-p becomes


m———-v becomes m———-v———-p becomes


m-v becomes m-v-p becomes



In sum: thrust to move your vector marker, then use your vector marker to move your mech, and use a placeholder to preserve your vector.

Because you thrust only half your movement die, once you get going as fast as 5 or 6 you won't be able to stop or make a tight turn in a single turn. This is what makes vector movement fun! You can easily get your mechs moving faster than they can maneuver. Otherwise we might as well play with normal movement.


If you're rolling any green dice, you can pass through cover, as always.

If you aren't rolling any green dice, when your movement takes you through cover, you crash into it instead. Roll a damage die against yourself for each full 1 in your vector - 6s hit you, 4-5s hit the obstacle - then reduce your vector to 0.

(Sadly, this doesn't let you hit a wall at an angle and slide along it, for instance; it supposes all collisions head-on. Anybody know a clever way to deal with angled collisions without having to do trig in the middle of the game?)

This doesn't apply to other mechs. Pass through other mechs without a collision. However, there are the ramming rules: for hand to hand attacks, measure from vector marker to vector marker, and treat that number as a spot on the target.

Questions welcome, as always.


2. On 2009-04-01, Mantisking said:

I've been wondering when the next battle was going to take place.  This one sounds like it's going to be a doozy.

How long is the campaign going to last, how many battles?


3. On 2009-04-01, Joshua A.C. Newman said:

Re: collision vectors:

You don't slide along. You bounce, minus the number of damage dice rolled. You just trade vector markers and move them back the number of damage dice.

Granted, it's not very interesting to track the vectors of cover, particularly since it just mean that much of it will wind up leaving the board. So it could be that you "bounce off" at the angle of reflection, minus damage dice.

for hand to hand attacks, measure from vector marker to vector marker, and treat that number as a spot on the target.

I don't understand this.

Also, I just thought of something as a color dial: in normal HtH with normal movement, you can add your movement as a "charge", also acting as a Spot. It's another way to make HtH desirable. It doesn't count if you're starting within 1 of an opponent.


4. On 2009-04-01, Vincent said:

Oh! The campaign doomsday clock.

Going into battle 1, it was 11.
At the end of battle 1, J ticked it down extra, so it went to 9.
At the end of battle 2, J and Rob both ticked it down extra, so now it's 6.

So the campaign probably has this battle and 2 more after. Maybe this battle and 1 more, maybe this battle and 3 more, but probably this battle and 2 more.


5. On 2009-04-01, Robert Bohl said:

Are we still using the idea that cover is planets and moons and stuff?

Cause I want to see that.

(I don't understand most of this rules-stuff but I'm sure I'll figure it out on the day.)


6. On 2009-04-01, Vincent said:

About ramming, J: say that my mech and yours are in hand to hand range, and it's your mech's turn. We take the ruler and measure from my vector marker to yours: this tells us how fast we're going relative to one another.

If we're both going 6 in opposite directions, for instance, our vector markers will be 12 apart; if I'm going 3 and you're going 4 and we're at right angles to each other, our vector markers will be 5 apart; if I'm going 6 and you're going 4 in the same direction, our vector markers will be 2 apart.

When you make your attack, that number - 12, 5, 2, or whatever it happens to be - counts as a spot on me.

About collisions: according to my scheme, you smash to a stop, your velocity becoming damage dice 1-for-1, like a car crumpling. I wish that you could slide along your obstacle if you don't hit it head-on, but that's trig; on the other hand, I especially like that you do damage to your obstacle when you hit it.

You'd rather bounce with some of your velocity than convert it all into damage, is what I understand, yeah?


7. On 2009-04-01, Vincent said:

Oh, duh, here's how. Roll damage dice according to my scheme. 6s hit you. 4-5s hit your obstacle. 1-3s become velocity anew: you end your go up against the obstacle, with your vector marker 1 away for each 1-3 you rolled on the damage dice. If you broke the obstacle, your vector is along the same line it was; if you didn't, your vector's along the angle of reflection.



8. On 2009-04-01, SDL said:

i have to say, that all is a really elegant way of doing 2D (non-displacement) vector combat & collisions!


9. On 2009-04-01, Vincent said:

Thanks for saying so! It's good fun in play, too.

Come to think of it, the rule should probably best be this: if either mech is rolling green dice, no collision. If neither mech is, a collision. Collisions between mechs would be a little bit more to deal with than between a mech and an obstacle, but not the end of the world.


10. On 2009-04-02, David Artman said:

So... these vector rules going into the Mechaton Rebuilt publication? ;)


11. On 2009-04-02, Vincent said:



12. On 2009-04-02, David Artman said:



13. On 2009-04-02, Joshua A.C. Newman said:

Yeah, that's all good!


14. On 2009-04-21, Robert Bohl said:

I've built my mechs for this one, and took pictures.


15. On 2009-04-21, Mantisking said:

@Robert: Those look neat!


16. On 2009-06-10, Mantisking said:

So did this battle ever happen?


17. On 2009-06-10, Robert Bohl said:

Yes it did, and it was rather exhausting. Someone has the thing somewhere, but I think I'm no longer in control of anything but Joshua isn't waythefuck far ahead.


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