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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 79 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [Mechaton] Giant robot combat, up close and dirty  (Read 13666 times)
lumpley
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« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2006, 06:22:01 AM »

I'll look closely again at the blue dice. My instinct is to power up green and yellow dice, not depower blue dice. Make blue dice appropriately opportunity-costly for their usefulness, not decrease their usefulness.

Here's a disposable rocket rule I can live with: every army gets the same number of disposable rockets. At the beginning of the game, make sure that nobody's side has more one-shot rockets than anybody else's.

Here's the initiative rule that smacked me in the face: if you're rolling more than one initiative die, choose one to keep and discard the rest.

I think I'll change initiative to count up from 1 instead of down from 10, but that's not significant.

Stop arguing about the white dice. The white die text is going to read kind of like this: you can use a white die to a) walk, b) punch, or c) feed one of your attachments.

Turn order:

Mech A's turn. Mech A declares mech B as target. Mech A rolls appropriate dice. Mech A decides whether to move then shoot, or shoot then move.

Before mech A can deal damage to mech B, we need to know mech B's defense. Consequently, mech B declares mech C as target and rolls appropriate dice. None of these dice can be affected retroactively by mech A's attack; they're rolled and they stay on the table.

Mech B assigns dice, but doesn't yet move or shoot or anything. Most significantly: mech B gets a defense number.

Mech A rolls damage dice against mech B and inflicts damage.

NOW mech B moves and shoots and etc. Before mech B can inflict damage on mech C, we need mech C's defense number, and so it goes.

The advantage I see to shooting a mech before it gets to act isn't that you might shoot off its weapon, but because assigning dice under fire is different than assigning dice under maybe-someday-potential fire. Mech B is far more likely to put its high die into defense and a lower die into shooting than mech A is.

Adam, Ahdok, it sounds like your group plays overall a very defensive game, so this effect won't be significant. That's okay. What I'd expect to see, consequently, is lots of games where the person who starts out winning, wins. You've played a few times now - how often has a starting points underdog won?

-Vincent
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2006, 07:24:06 AM »

I'll look closely again at the blue dice. My instinct is to power up green and yellow dice, not depower blue dice. Make blue dice appropriately opportunity-costly for their usefulness, not decrease their usefulness.

I'm all for running simulations.

Quote from: lumpley
Here's a disposable rocket rule I can live with: every army gets the same number of disposable rockets. At the beginning of the game, make sure that nobody's side has more one-shot rockets than anybody else's.

I think that means that you have to agree on them before play. I also heartily endorse this rule with whatever endorsement power I have. The question will become "Where will I put my missiles?"

Quote from: lumpley
[Here's the initiative rule that smacked me in the face: if you're rolling more than one initiative die, choose one to keep and discard the rest.

It smacked you because I kept doing that by accident anyway. What do you do on ties where you both want to go? Roll off?

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I think I'll change initiative to count up from 1 instead of down from 10, but that's not significant.

Yeah, I think that'll make it a little easier to read. What about intentionally delaying your turn?

Like, the mecha we've got read 1, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 6 for initiative.

I have a spotter and an artillerist. The stupid artillerist went and rolled a 1 with his one initiative die where the spotter couldn't do better than a 2. Can the artillery pass so someone else goes, then the spotter goes, then the artillery goes?

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Stop arguing about the white dice. The white die text is going to read kind of like this: you can use a white die to a) walk, b) punch, or c) feed one of your attachments.

That's clear.

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The advantage I see to shooting a mech before it gets to act isn't that you might shoot off its weapon, but because assigning dice under fire is different than assigning dice under maybe-someday-potential fire. Mech B is far more likely to put its high die into defense and a lower die into shooting than mech A is.

Very true.

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Adam, Ahdok, it sounds like your group plays overall a very defensive game...

Yeah, I'm curious, because our games have come out very interestingly asymmetrical. Try mixing it up and report back your results!

Also, I really want to see your pics, but can't. Maybe you could put them on Flikr?
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
lumpley
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« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2006, 08:12:05 AM »

No delaying. If you want more control over when your mech goes, give it more initiative dice and hope for a spread. If you give both your spotter and your artillery 2 initiative dice, then you can probably usually use the spotter's earlier die and the artillery's later die.

Roll ties off, no biggie.

-Vincent
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2006, 08:15:29 AM »

That is the awesome solution. I like the "Take the dice you like" solution so much it makes me squirt milk out of my nose.

PS I was not drinking milk at the time.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Adam Biltcliffe
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« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2006, 09:08:36 AM »

I'll look closely again at the blue dice. My instinct is to power up green and yellow dice, not depower blue dice. Make blue dice appropriately opportunity-costly for their usefulness, not decrease their usefulness.

One idea we had (but haven't tried yet) was having yellow dice work so that instead of taking the yellow dice as your attack, you subtract (say) half the value on the yellow dice rounded down from the target's defense before figuring how many damage dice to roll. Means it's more worthwhile spotting heavily-defended mechs ('cause it's a waste subtracting up to 3 points of defence from a mech that only has 1 or 2 anyway), and also means that even once you've spotted a target it's worth getting a high attack roll when you open fire (so you don't get the thing where people go "well, I'm taking that spot die anyway, guess I'll put this '1' in my attack). Also, as an unexpected side effect, it means you can sensibly use yellow dice to spot for missile attacks and get some benefit out of it. Might turn out to be sickly powerful, though.

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Here's the initiative rule that smacked me in the face: if you're rolling more than one initiative die, choose one to keep and discard the rest.

We had that idea, but my worry was that it could make the initiative rolls go on much longer because a) there's choices to be made, rather than the whole thing being totally mechanical and b) you have to put a fixed order on the initiative rolls, because when you want your mech to go might depend on what the other guys' mechs have rolled on their dice. I guess you could say you pick the order for your own mechs and do all your own dice before you see anyone else's, but it still seems fiddly if you're putting dice out on the map by the mechs to show their initiative.

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The advantage I see to shooting a mech before it gets to act isn't that you might shoot off its weapon, but because assigning dice under fire is different than assigning dice under maybe-someday-potential fire. Mech B is far more likely to put its high die into defense and a lower die into shooting than mech A is.

The way it's been working out for us, you always put damn near as high a die as you can into defence as you can, especially if you're going early, because otherwise, everyone sees that your mech has a low defence and pounds on it mercilessly for the rest of the turn with their artillery and anyone else who's nearby.

Quote
Adam, Ahdok, it sounds like your group plays overall a very defensive game, so this effect won't be significant. That's okay. What I'd expect to see, consequently, is lots of games where the person who starts out winning, wins. You've played a few times now - how often has a starting points underdog won?

Lessee ... first game we played, two players, me and Richard, 5 points per victory each, I start out winning 35-30. Lots of mechs get blown up, game ends tied.

Second game has three players: me, Richard and JJ. Starting scores are I think 36 to JJ, 30 to me, 21 to Richard. I don't really remember what happened; I think Richard won, but JJ didn't really have the rules worked out at the point he built his mechs, whereas Richard and I had played the previous game and built big, defensive mechs which spent the entire game guarding our own flags, whereas JJ lost at least one of his.

Third game, four players: me, Richard, Dave and Chris. Everyone starts with five mechs, starting scores: Chris 28, me 35, Dave 35, Richard 42. Everyone except me leaves big, heavy mechs sitting on their objectives for the entire game, although Chris leaves one of his slightly open and I steal it for a while. Starts out with everyone pounding Richard and blowing up one of his mechs. The area around his objectives gets swamped with mechs, but since he has his big, heavy mechs constantly within range of the flags, he never actually loses control of them.

Chris and Dave both send mechs in and steal my objectives, but I'm the only one who didn't put my objectives in cover, so they don't leave their mechs sitting in the open to keep control, and I manage to take one of them back. At the end of the game, Dave and Chris both have a mech on my other flag, and Dave's mech is totally beat-up, but the objective is (currently) his. The score is 40-36-28-15 to Dave, Richard, Chris then me, so it could go in any of three ways: if Dave's mech lives (unlikely), he wins. If Dave's mech dies, Chris gets the objective, knocking Dave down to 30 points and Chris up to 32, which means Richard wins, unless Chris can also take out Richard's damaged mech, in which case Chris wins 32-30-30-15. Anyway, through some freakish chance, Dave's mech survives and he wins.
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lumpley
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« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2006, 11:41:14 AM »

Initiative: Put all your dice out by your mech. Choose which one to use (discarding the others) as the turn ticks by.

"I go next on 5. Anybody going before that?"
"Well, I have to choose between going on 7 and going on 4... I chose 4!"

-Vincent
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2006, 12:25:39 PM »

I really wish we had those pictures! I wanna see!
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Valamir
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« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2006, 12:50:56 PM »

Initiative: Put all your dice out by your mech. Choose which one to use (discarding the others) as the turn ticks by.

"I go next on 5. Anybody going before that?"
"Well, I have to choose between going on 7 and going on 4... I chose 4!"

-Vincent

Well.  In the interest of "powering up Green and Yellow Dice" and keeping the rules unified.  Why not make the above the rule for all of the dice.

Red:  Obviously will pick the highest die always here, but leaves the door open for some funky new weapon / rule ideas.

Green:  Sometimes you don't want to move your maximum distance and sometimes what you want to do will change.  Having any of the Green dice to choose from makes Movement options more flexible for faster mechs.

Blue:  Currently Blue dice are "weakened" by being at -1 which is different from all other dice.  Why not NOT do the -1 thing and INSTEAD just have each blue die (at full strength) affect a single attack.  That way the dice work exactly the same as all other color dice.  Choose the die you want to use, use it once, then it goes away (just like Green or Red).  That way you don't get to be uber defend guy just because you rolled a single blue or white die as a 6.  It also means that "dump all the hurt on one mech" strategies will eventually burn through the Blue and White dice (shields are falling) and get down to the base defend number of 1/2 green.

Yellow:  For consistancy in making yellow dice work like all the others, see my earlier suggestion for leaving multiple yellow spotting dice out rather than simply upgrade.


To avoid map clutter consider investing in the little 1mm d6s.  They're cheap, and take up little map real estate.  I used them all the time playing Alternate Armies - Ion Age minis rules which had you rolling fistfulls of dice and leaving them on the table.

BTW:  Vincent was that game an influence for you? because it does Initiative very similarly...1 guy goes, and the next guy to go is the guy the first guy shot at...etc.
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Adam Biltcliffe
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« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2006, 12:47:54 AM »

Regarding the photos, I think the links ahdok meant to post were:

http://www.srcf.ucam.org/~dtb26/May26.rar
http://www.srcf.ucam.org/~dtb26/May28.rar
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ffilz
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« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2006, 07:37:30 AM »

Hmm, I wasn't able to get at those pictures. What file format are they? Windows barfed on it, Linux tried to load it as an archive but also barfed.

Frank
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Frank Filz
Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2006, 10:17:31 AM »

Works fine in OS X!

These are great. I particularly like the dude with the really blocky torso. Bad ass.

Will we be seeing you guys at GenCon? So far, it looks like Vincent, Mike Mearls, and I will be there with armies built, and I think we won't be the only ones.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
ffilz
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« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2006, 11:21:53 AM »

Are they image files or archives? If the former, it's unfortunate the extension matches an archive format. Also unfortunate to be introducing a new image format...

Frank
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Frank Filz
Darren Hill
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« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2006, 11:51:30 AM »

They are archive files. You need WinRAR or a compatible program to open them.

(If you're worried about a direct link, here's the download page.)
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Adam Biltcliffe
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« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2006, 01:13:54 AM »

J: It would be totally kickass, but unfortunately I really don't think I can afford to fly across the Atlantic this summer. One day, perhaps ...
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2006, 06:29:44 AM »

It's a sad day, not just for giant robot, but for giant robotkind.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
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