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.

Key points:
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.

So now!

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.

1. On 2006-10-30, Ben Lehman said:

We each have an agenda for each of those three, a policy, written in words.

So is this a role-playing game now?


2. On 2006-10-31, Sempiternity said:

This is *all* kinds of awesome!

Now you just have to make those rules - the resulting policies - matter (strategicly, tacticly, or somehow) for the *next* campaign...


3. On 2006-10-31, luke said:

Wow, you just recreated Burning Empires! ;)


4. On 2006-10-31, Matt Wilson said:

So is this a role-playing game now?

You can achieve your agenda, but only if your mech's arm gets blown off.

Also, this sounds way fun. Hold on while I move to Western Mass. Just give me like ... 8 months.


5. On 2006-10-31, Ben Lehman said:

Also, this sounds way fun. Hold on while I move to Western Mass. Just give me like ... 8 months.

You shouldn't tease us like that, Matt.


6. On 2006-10-31, Meguey said:

Ben, I didn't know Massachusetts had annexed China :)


7. On 2006-10-31, Ben Lehman said:

Oh, Meg, you haven't heard the news?

I really should call one of these days.



8. On 2006-10-31, NinJ said:

I'm very excited about this. I've got my mecha all built and everything (except one guy who's unarmed, but that'll take me 10 minutes to give the dude a standard assault rifle).

I'm playing the Insurgency, which was also the insurgency against the previous totalitarian government. When the Occupying Power invaded, we thought we had an ally. What we found ourselves with was an invading army that wanted what they all want: to take the land, treasure, and herds of the Mukun tribesmen. A thousand years ago, we fought them on horseback and with swords and bows. Today, we fight them with pitmans and rockets.

We won the last time, too.

The Mukun Insurgency, which calls itself "Paktali" ("Fearsome" in Mukun), is using the mecha version of the AK-47, the Kogorov AIn-11 second generation pitman. The AIn 11 is cheap, easily modified and repaired, and uses standard manipulators and hard points that make it intercompatible with a wide variety of attachments. Its humanoid form means that a few hours training yields a competent Pakta capable of stalking and destroying enemy armor. A year's experience yields a Pakta who can fly, coordinate with his brothers, and destroy the advanced pitmans of the Occupying Forces and their lapdogs, the Provisional Government.

More to follow.


9. On 2006-10-31, NinJ said:

If I win:

Society & Conscience: a planetwide Paktali movement is started from our glowing example.

Economy & Jobs: The contested nation becomes a proud but peaceful people, comfortable in our wealth and independence.

Security & Law Enforcement: Forced to make an actual justice system, we'll start a hierarchical system of Policemen, Magistrates, and governmental bureaucrats. Too much is left to the whim of local officials.


10. On 2006-10-31, NinJ said:

Oh, here's an important question:

Can I have something with one Red and one other, nonred die?

I think a shovel should give me one blue for digging in and one red for hit you with it.


11. On 2006-11-01, Larry Lade said:

Man, there are already like a dozen tabletop mecha games out there. Do we really need another one? Is Vincent really going to get my jaded ass interested in a mecha game?


12. On 2006-11-01, Larry Lade said:

(What do you mean you disabled marginalia?!!!!)

Answers: Yes, and yes.


13. On 2006-11-01, NinJ said:

Larry, this is the only tabletop mecha game I like. I've been proud to have an instigator role in the development of Mechaton past its basic mechanics and that means that it concentrates on all the parts of tabletop mecha games that I wish were better represented (building your own guys, fighting for objectives rather than just smashy smashy, 2-3 hour gameplay, and asymmetrical objectives.

Better get yourself some Lego.


14. On 2006-11-01, Darksyntax said:

Dev #2:
Ooo! I wanna be red.

My first move will be to reinstate the former dictator fo this troubled land. This will pull 1/2 the forces from green and 1/2 the forces from blue. The newly created force (I shall call it teal) will be twice as strong as either the remaining blue or green forces. Then I quit the game and wait for teal to restore Society/Conscience, Security/Law Enforcement & Economy/Jobs to preconflict levels returning this little corner of the world to the preconlict utopia it was.

Teal for the win!


Dev #1:
On a serious note Vincent, I'm counting the hours til Monday when you you post up the new rules.


15. On 2006-11-01, NinJ said:

See, if I were playing the Occupying Power, here's my incalculably awesome plan:

1: Invade, destroying the infrastructure of the totalitarian regime that built it.
2: Inform the people that it's for their own good. That was totalitarian electricity they were using. They want freedom electricity.
3: Squander any goodwill I may have gotten during phase 2 by not rebuilding the infrastructure.
4: Torture, torture, torture your way to liberation!

The reason this works is that I have secret information that will make it work. You may not have it.

My strategy as the Insurgency is to gain peoples' trust by blowing up their wedding parties.


16. On 2006-11-01, JamesNostack said:

J, I could easily beat your insurgent behind with my unstoppable Provisional Government strategy.  I don't want to give anything away, but it involves a mixture of standing down and standing up, and timetables to mark benches.


17. On 2006-11-01, Vincent said:

Emily chose the occupation, so I'm the provisional government.

The provisional government is the legal and legitimate wartime government of the Republic of Tarkut, as established by executive order in the first moments of the invasion. It operates more or less below the occupation's radar, on an infrastructure of families, clans, districts and neighborhoods in the city - preexisting social controls too subtle for the hamfisted occupation to grasp.

If I win society & conscience, it'll be a return to our native progressive but cautious modernism, meaning both a rejection of the permissiveness and individualism of the West, and an end to this ridiculous, shortsighted "Paktalism." The people will be decent moral sheep!

If I win economy & jobs, it'll be a new era of prosperity and reenergized productivity ... for the state. The people will (still) have very little economic choice or opportunity, especially the traditionally disenfranchised (like the Mukun, the Pracis, and, y'know, women).

If I win security & law enforcement, it'll be disappearings, death squads, personal vendettas carried out by the police, tribalism disguised as law, and no public oversight whatsoever.

If J's fighting with the AK-47 of the mech world, I'm fighting with jeeps left over from the Korean War. They're crud-ugly, bulky, inflexible, standardized in a bad way not a good way, and fuel inefficient. They have bad suspension. They're called chuckers, which used to be spelled CUKR and used to mean something, but doesn't anymore. The saying goes, "there's no such thing as a good chucker pilot." They're what we have after the occupation smashed and decommissioned our modern mech fleet, and pity us if we have any battles underwater or in space.


18. On 2006-11-01, NinJ said:

Are you using your open air design?


19. On 2006-11-01, Vincent said:

Yep. I made five of 'em and stood 'em in a line and they look like CRAP. I'm using pieces a mix of the new light bluish gray and the old light gray, and they're just different enough colors that the mechs look old and unevenly faded. They're awesome. I need to arm them though, right now they're all naked.

I'm going to add some tan ones and maybe some dark gray ones too.

Oh and I made a batch of civilians and a death squad. I like this thing where people are two bricks tall A LOT.


20. On 2006-11-01, NinJ said:

Hey, you can field unarmed mecha if you want. I wholeheartedly encourage that decison.

I haven't made any people yet. I want to make women with grenade launchers.


21. On 2006-11-01, Meguey said:

Just picked up the proof at Collective Copies - it looks dandy, except you may want to tweak the cover. Cut/bind was no trouble.


22. On 2006-11-01, Vincent said:

Sweet! I can't wait to see it.


23. On 2006-11-01, Vincent said:

Here's a map with a grid, for purposes of saying where:


24. On 2006-11-01, NinJ said:

Maybe letters vs. numbers is better?


25. On 2006-11-02, Matt Wilson said:

I like this thing where people are two bricks tall A LOT.

OMG1 There's people rules? And can you send regular crappy non-mech vehicles in? Like are your jeeps literally jeeps?

So awesome. How can I play over Skype? Can I just listen over speakerphone? Can you do a mech webcam?


26. On 2006-11-02, Vincent said:

Yes! I mean, no, my jeeps are mech jeeps, but yes, the rules work for people and cars and stuff. If you squint.

We intend to photodocument well, which'll have to do for all you vicariousites like Matt out there.


27. On 2006-11-02, NinJ said:

You know, we've never really settled on non-mecha rules. We'd talked about other stuff having two dice: a tank might have a Red at Artillery range and a green, for instance.

They're worse per dude than a mecha, though. They'd get lots of initiative dice, which is I guess good, but they'd decrease your points per.

People rules are just like mecha rules. You have a stand with a bunch of guys on it. One guy gets a grenade launcher (2R at Direct range), one guy gets a walkie-talkie, and that's a Yellow. I think the catch is that they can't fight with only Whites: they don't have big, smashy hands and feet to fight with. It's gonna be hard to knee-groin a mecha standing nine feet tall.

Until we have time to take some pics, here's an approximation of my guys.

Vincent's guys:

We haven't seen Emily's yet! Em, I propose something along the lines of Dougram (though smaller, of course), or Patlabor. Both seem to me to be the kind of high-tech, top of the line mecha that the Occupying Power would have. I'd call them, like, fifth generation ptimans. (Mine are "second generation".)

Vincent's Chuckers are first generation pitmans. They're controlled with levers and pedals and are pretty much like armed forklifts. They even have big diesel mufflers on the back.

My AIn 11s are second generation pitmans. They mimic the body movements of the wearer. They're like Shirow's Landmates. They give full field of vision through a now-common full-surround video screen. There's a computer that speaks, though we can't get it to speak in Mukun, so we've had to learn to understand its feedback from Turkanian, the language of the nation of their manufacture.

Emily's I propose are fifth generation. They intercept the nervous impulses of the pilot and translate them into motion. Likewise, feedback is through the five senses: tasting poisonous gasses, feeling an itch on the back of your head when someone's behind you, seeing the trajectory of a target for fire-leading purposes. All sensory data is very buffered: nothing hurts that much, for instance, though you feel hits. It's all very fancy. They probably get clogged with sand and dirt and require support crew in vehicles, which could totally be the objectives you're defending.


28. On 2006-11-02, NinJ said:

Oo! Emily! Maybe yours actually have muscles!


29. On 2006-11-03, Uriel said:

Shiny! I like where this is going. Adding an emotional contect to what the battles are all about is genious. Maybe with this I can get some people interested in starting a campaign with me.
Oh, and I got three factions too. Black squad, with the skull emblems and standardized frames, feels right for the provisional goverment. Tan squad with the desert theme and big walkers, obviously the occupying power. And the rest of the mechas are a jumbled assortment of blue, grey and red mechas, built of the left over bits.

One question though: This feels very 3 player oriented, at least the map. What, if anything, in the setup will have to be changed to accomodate fewer or more players?

Please post some pictures of your mechas, I need inspiration!


30. On 2006-11-06, Emily said:

Sweet. I love your 5th gen idea for mine, Joshua.  They might look like this:

And for some old school shit kickers they've got around:


31. On 2006-11-06, Emily said:

The Occupying Power—ahem, that is, the Liberating Force is the Payin Division of the 4th Armor Corps of Cintar Province, part of the constitutional monarchy, the Rasil Royal Empire.  The Rasil Empire invaded to free the common people of Turkut from the excesses of the former Turkut dictatorship, and to end depredations of that regime against the Empire.

Royal Ptiman (5th gen) pilots are hereditary positions.  Pilots are part of a blooded aristocracy whose lineage is tightly controlled by the reigning Monarch of Rasil. It is a pilot's duty to have a squalling brood of brats to make the next generation, and when a pilot falls one of their siblings takes up the mantle of their family's ptiman. Ptiman Sylphs (the organic control components) are derived from the genetic material of their pilot line. It's all in the family.

Lesser ptiman (3rd gen and below) are piloted by trained members of the military class.  4th generation were developed as unpiloted drones. They have mostly been discontinued due to costly malfunctions, except for specialized drones used for spotting and blitz maneuvers.

The Royal Rasil Empire offers freedom from the oppressive yolk of the Tarkut Empire and the feudal so-called Republic that has come to replace it. The Paktali are murderous scum that will be wiped out under the Pax Rasili.  When the people of Tarkut embrace the democratic values of the Free Royal Empire.

If I win:

Society & Conscience: The people of Turkut will embrace the modernizing culture of the Rasil empire and abandon their backward and supersitious ways.

Economy & Jobs: The people of Turkut will be absorved into the class structure of the Rasil Empire and a steady flow of goods and workers will begin streaming toward the center of empire.  Only a small percentage of the population will be enslaved (say 25%), leaving the others to profit from the influx of new technologies and entrepreneurial experience.  Within 3 generations there will be a new strata of Turkut people who attain petty-aristocracy level wealth.

Security & Law Enforcement: The Paktali Butchers will be obliterated and martial law will be enforced until peace is achieved. Once the Turkut people have adopted Rasili ways, the enlightened strata will gain suffrage.


32. On 2006-11-06, Emily said:

Tarkut, Tarkut...

It's going to be interesting if we only win certain objectives. A mix-and-match world.

And, boy, the Tarkut people better hope the Insurgency wins!


33. On 2006-11-06, Uriel said:

Maybe this is just me, but I think that Mechaton works poorly with only 2 players, especially when both have similarly strengthed armies. OK, partly this is just me venting my bitterness for getting my ass kicked this afternoon but anyway let me explain what happened... btw this is going by old rules posted here.
So I asked a friend to try a game with me and we both choose 4 mechas with 4 attachments each, the biggest and the best, and each with 1 rocket. Our armies are also very similar in build. So we're tied. We roll off, he wins and remove 1 attachment and 1 rocket (my houserule). I bump down one and he bumps up one.
So I start with (4+3)*4=28 victory points per unit
He starts with (4+3)*6=42 vppu
14 point difference to his advantage. Tough for me.
As the defender he gets to setup. 2 mechas in the middle. I space out my mechas with 2 in the middle to match his, and 2 at my stations. He finishes by placing 1 artillery guy at his stations and 1 guy right on top of one of my stations (with 2 blue dice, a hardnut to crack).

Is there anyway I could win this scenario? I got whipped. We both managed to kill off 1 mecha, with several mechas down to just whites, so he won with 36 points against 24. By being able to place his last mechas where ever he wanted he pretty much got to direct where the battle would be fought, in this case far away from his stations.

Given that our armies just differ with one dice I find that the vppu calculation gives some very odd results. For a 3 player scenario this, in my experience, is not so much of a problem since two of the players often naturally gang up on the defender in the beginning so smack him down a notch or two. With 2 players with as equal armies as you can get one player will always get a huge starting advantage.

OK, so I'm bad loser.


34. On 2006-11-06, NinJ said:

I love how my typo "Ptiman" (for "pitman") has been picked up here. The Pitman Project is a US Army project for power-suited infantry. It's a real thing.

"Ptiman" is like "Ptolemy" I imagine; the "P" is unpronounced. I think the accent goes on the last syllable. I love having a new name for these guys.

Rasil Empire, eh?

I love the hereditary thing. Are there going to be coats of arms? I have a flag making technique I want to try. We're going to have scripture written on command banners for yellow dice on occasion. (This is a rule I'm shaky on: command flags should really go to a given friendly within Direct range, not a given target. I think they work like Yellows: if that friendly hits, he can opt to use the command die for damage instead of his own roll.)

I also love the sexual link to the mecha in the Royal line. Nasty. "This is my weapon, this is my gun..."

Uriel, if you're matching your opponent's mecha, you're not playing offense. What you described is a defensive setup that will keep him from moving forward, perhaps, but won't gain you the points to win. Let your defensive mecha fight the two guys. Get your two offensive dudes ganging up on one of his defenders. Oh: you shouldn't be removing rockets from one side. Every player gets the same number of rockets. I doubt that had any serious effects on play, though; that's a statistical +1 on one attack roll.


35. On 2006-11-06, Emily said:

Ha! Ptiman was a typo? And thus it goes... "Pti" means Mountain in some Ur civilization's tongue on this world.

Oh, and the Provisional Goverment is welcome to become part of the Rasil Empire as soon as they recognize the Royal line, centralize their operations and give up their foolish religious/tribal allegiances.


36. On 2006-11-06, Vincent said:

> Oh, and the Provisional Goverment is welcome to become
> part of the Rasil Empire ...

Yeah, I bet we are.

Uriel, you're right, the current tiebreaker rule absolutely hoses the loser of the roll in 2-player games. Better if the rule was "as winner of the roll you get to choose: add a mech to your side or drop a mech from your side."

Oh and a new clause to the setup rule: "defender, when you place the rest of your mechs, don't put 'em in direct fire range of any enemy stations."

Since I haven't put the PDF up yet, come to think of it, I believe I'll go change those. Thanks! And sorry about you losing the game so bad.


37. On 2006-11-06, NinJ said:

Ha! Ptiman was a typo? And thus it goes... "Pti" means Mountain in some Ur civilization's tongue on this world.

Excellent. "Ptiman" means "Man Mountain".

Oh, and the Provisional Goverment is welcome to become part of the Rasil Empire as soon as they recognize the Royal line, centralize their operations and give up their foolish religious/tribal allegiances.

You may find that certain Pakta are surprisingly inexpensive. After all, someone's been supplying us with our Ptimanya (Look! I made up a plural! Paktaya, Ptimanya, Turkutiya, Mukunya, Rasiliya).


38. On 2006-11-06, Vincent said:

Tarkut with an A, please! The Ptiman typo is good, but the Turkut typo is an affront to civilization.


39. On 2006-11-06, NinJ said:

Hey, Emily, for your shitckickers.


40. On 2006-11-06, NinJ said:

Ah, and also, what I wrote was "Tarkuts". What it should say, at least in Muknli, is "Tarkutliya", for "people of Tarkut".


41. On 2006-11-06, Emily said:

Hey, Emily, for your shitckickers.
Big guns, very nice. The Emperor approves of ample armaments.

Tarkut with an A, please! The Ptiman typo is good, but the Turkut typo is an affront to civilization.
A, U, all your vowels sound the same to us, so guttural.


42. On 2006-11-06, NinJ said:

You effete, inbred sisterfuckers will taste Paktali steel as did the armies of the iniquitous Red Circle a thousand years ago!


43. On 2006-11-06, NinJ said:

Emily, your color reminds me of Five Star Stories:

Swords and shields! Heraldry! High heels!


44. On 2006-11-07, Vincent said:

Em, I've put together (my take on) your 5th generation Ptimanya, and I'm just bursting with how gorgeous, horrifying, and high-heeled they are. I can't wait to show them to you.


45. On 2006-11-07, Uriel said:

"Better if the rule was "as winner of the roll you get to choose: add a mech to your side or drop a mech from your side.""
That's a much better rule Vincent! So in effect the winner gets to decide wether to be the attacker or the defender.

But I can still think of a situation where even this rule has to be amended to be fair. One example would be the game last week, which if you dropped one player, would look like this.

Side A has 4 mechas with a total of 16 attachments (big guys!).
Side B has 8 mechas with a total of 12 attachments (puny guys!).
They are tied for 5 vppu each. So they roll off.

Lets say B wins. Removing a mecha doesn't remove the tie, B still has more mechas and fewer attachments. Adding a mecha doesn't either, but if it's a maxed out mecha they will be tied for attachments instead (which might require another roll to remove one of those).

Lets say A wins the roll. Adding a mecha doesn't break the tie. Removing a mecha does, but the starting points for A would then be (3+3)x6= 36 and for B (3+8)x4=44. It doesn't give A anything but a worse situation and IMHO A would get crushed.

Lets say people come to the table with these armies, how would you do to make it a fair fight?

Yes, I know I'm pestering you with silly scenorios like this, but it is only because I love Mechaton and I want it to become the best possible when it's final.


46. On 2006-11-07, Vincent said:

It's not pestering, it's cool.

But you don't resolve ties for points per, you resolve ties for starting points total. In your scenario, A starts the game with 35 points (5 points per 4 mechs + 3 stations) and B starts the game with 55 points (5 points per 8 mechs + 3 stations). B is the defender, 55 to 35, no tie to resolve.

I recall the other tool available for tiebreaking: don't worry about the tie, but put an unclaimed station out in the middle of the field. Flip a coin and alternate placing your mechs, all outside of direct fire range of the unclaimed station. (Maybe place your own stations before your mechs, maybe after - before, I think, but whatever.)

I wouldn't use this for cases where two players are tied and the third isn't, but when both or all the players are tied it's good.


47. On 2006-11-07, Uriel said:

"But you don't resolve ties for points per, you resolve ties for starting points total"

ah... of course you do, I forgot that. Me feel stupid now, especially since I know it is that way. Well, that's what you get for posting when you have a fever.

55 to 35?! Is that even winable? I don??t know, I haven??t played enough 2 player games with that big a difference. Hmm.. A would have 24 potential dice to roll every turn and would be able to attack 4 times, B has 28 potential dice to roll and could possibly attack 8 times per turn. Given that B can easily lose 2-3 mechas with no worries he can assign dice more aggressively to attack whilst A has to keep his shield resonably high not to lose a mecha. To me it seems that B has all the advantages, barring such fuckups as being out of range too often. I gotta try this tomorrow a few times since I'll be home from work it seems.

An unclaimed station in the middle could work great. But it would be more of a "get there fast and hang on to it" kinda game, akin to the short game.

As a tangent this is very cool mecha, but it gives me a headache trying to figure out how it is built.


48. On 2006-11-07, NinJ said:

If it would just stop turning!


49. On 2006-11-07, Vincent said:



50. On 2006-11-07, Vincent said:

Player A would have to seize two stations without losing anything, to tie the game. Or blow up two of B's mechs and seize one station. It's not a fight I'd choose, I think, but B's mechs have only 3-4 hit points apiece; maybe it's winnable.

Fight hard, A!


51. On 2006-11-07, Valamir said:

Wow...look at the feet on that mech...I mean the whole thing is totally bad ass (the gun arms are tight) but the feet!  You've gotta have a serious lego engineering brain to even conceive of building feet out of those parts...and yet...they're so perfect.


52. On 2006-11-08, Uriel said:

It is winable Vincent, I smashed my friend Anders ass real good. And I did it thanks to a range advantage and godly luck. We built one army each with the restrictions above. I got army A, four mechas built as follows: 2w,2b,2rart,2rdir,1 rocket ; 2w,2b,2rdir,(1rd+1rc), 1 rocket; 2w,1b,1s,2rd,2ra; 2w,2g,2rc,1gd8,1b, 2 rockets. The last one being the station grabber. Heavy hopes one that one.
Anders built his army with 8 mechas as follows: 3x 2w,2rd; 2w, 2rd, 2 rockets; 2w,2s,1gd8; 2w,1s,2rc,1gd8, 2 rockets; 2w,2ra,2r; 2w,(1rd+1ra),(1rd+1ra).

Anders made several mistakes at setup. First he placed his perimeter mechas quite close to each other, allowing me to place my stationgrabber 10 hexes away from them to the side but still being no further away than 13-14 hexes from his stations. He then placed his 2 artillery mechas at his stations and the remaining 4 within 10 hexes from my stations where I had placed my 3 remaining mechas earlier. A mistake he made here was placing his close combat and sensor dudes first, they were nearly 14 hexes away from me and had a long way to walk before being off any use.

During the first turn he shot with 2 mechas from his main force at my station grabber. It took some hits from this and from artillery but dealt out an even amount using rockets on one of his artillery. I took down the other one to a single white with two attacks from my own artillery whilst backing away from my station to get out of direct range.
Round two my station grabber took two hits, blows a up an artillery mecha, moves to within spitting range of a station and grabs it. Now he has only a 1w guard for his stations and rushes back to his station with the 2 mechas from the main force to take back the station. One of those gets blown up, whilst my main force goes back to my stations and only gets 1 hit. 2 blue dice mechas are hard to hit. One of his close combat mechas dies with a rocket still unfired.
By round three it was clear he wasn???t going to win this in time. My station grabber get shot down to 1 white but I pulp another two from his main force. Anders withheld that if he lost no mechas next round and took back his station he could win.
Round four, doomsdayclock down to 2, I start mercy killing all single white mechas of his. 2 goes down, but one of them was behind my station grabber; I roll a 5 and it dies too. No biggy. I win with 35 points to his 25.

Now clearly I won because I rolled like a god and his setupand tactics was a bit sloppy. I shouldn???t have been able to grab his station if they placed closer together. Also he was out of range too often so his dice advantage was squandered. This was his second game and my thirtyeth something.

But I guess this proves this setup is winable with a little luck and good tactics. We???ll have a rematch tonight, I think Anders is going for a lot more artillery.

Question: How many stations can you take per turn? All that are in range and have no enemy mecha within 2 hexes or only one?


53. On 2006-11-08, NinJ said:

Stations can't be closer than Direct Range from each other.

Thirty games! Holy crap!


54. On 2006-11-08, Uriel said:

They can't? *flip*flip* My version doesn't mention this at all. Vincent must have forgotten. Ah well, that is good because it means my next multiplayer game (whenever that will be) will be much more dynamic (and chaotic).

We had a rematch, and Anders handed me my ass. He changed almost all his direct fire cannons into artillery and just chewed me up. My station grabber made good progress and managed to slip under artillery range quite fast, but the other poor mechas got pulverized. There were just too many of them! I lost with 30 to 55.
We'll have another rematch tomorrow maybe and then I get to change my army. I'm thinking of getting more fast station grabbers who'll advance fast and eat that artillery. But what ever I leave behind to guard my rear will get eaten I fear and then he'll take my stations.

Well, thirty something. Of those at least half were short game lasting roughly an hour, and about half of the other half were never finished properly due to lack of sleep, losts dice, time shortage, you know. I spend way much more time builing mechas. And waiting for some complete rules. Hey J- you're nearest: go kick Vincent some so he'll finish it soon! :)


55. On 2006-11-08, NinJ said:

It sounds like you're having a good time.

I'm gonna see Emily and Vincent tonight. But I don't think I'll do any kicking; V's plenty busy, and we've got a game of Sorcerer to play.


56. On 2006-11-08, Emily said:

Emily, your color reminds me of Five Star Stories

Yup, way. One of my faves.

And Vincent, they are ridiculously gorgeous in their high-heelocity.  So many, many green dice!


57. On 2006-11-08, NinJ said:

Ha ha! You lose a Green because you broke a heel!

That's great!


58. On 2007-08-05, dmq said:

but the thing with the campaign is:
if gov't "wins", there'll always be more terrorists to kill

if occupying force wins, the gov't will wanna take shit back, as well as there'll b more terrorists to kill

if terrorists win, there'll be a buttload of p.o'd people who'll militia-ify themselves and blow shits up

if it were a scenario of a couple armies with set numbers and rules, it'd be different. terrorism really never really stops.
terrorsits dont really care about whether or not peeps die, they dont retreat unless absolutely pwned


59. On 2007-08-05, NinJ said:

Well, the campaign ends at a static situation; at the beginning, none of the factions are in control of any of the features. At the end, we're all too exhausted to fight more, for at least a while. The issue is not whether or not the Paktaliya are crushed forever; the issue is what they control. If they control nothing, they are extinct; they don't even own Society and Conscience by the end, they're forgotten or remembered only as a nuisance, for instance. But if they control Society and Conscience, they'll be remembered (as the stakes set dictate).

if it were a scenario of a couple armies with set numbers and rules, it'd be different. terrorism really never really stops.

Nah, the stakes settle that issue. Like, if the Emily's Rasiliya win S&C,

The people of Turkut will embrace the modernizing culture of the Rasil empire and abandon their backward and supersitious ways.

... whereas, if I win that dimension,

a planetwide Paktali movement is started from our glowing example.

(though this was written when I thought everything was taking place on one planet; since it's not, the Pakta movement spreads across the galaxy or solar system or whatever we've got at the largest scale)

These issues will be settled by the end.


60. On 2007-08-13, dmq said:

well, lalalalalaaa...

i made a game that's mechaton-y and im playing a campaign against my imaginary friend (1 v. 1) and this is pretty good.
each team has 4 mechs, one medic, and two really tiny fuchikoma(-esque?) mechs that go aroung blowing things up

but in this game, victory points (resources) dont go up, but its more of a competition of which half (left or right) of me can slow the loss of points for repair costs, and maybe even gain resources from losing less vpp than their post-game resource income

example:    Team 1(left)
150 resources- 32 for repair costs+ 20 income: 138
Team 2(right)
150 resources- 36 repair cost+ 18 income: 132

im a lefty, so team 1 tends to win (j/k)

im also a bit schizophrenic, so its easy to play against myself

and i have terrible memory so i can make plans behind my back


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