# MechaStellar: Unit Points Cost We discussed in previous posts that Frame is the biggest driver in a units cost to field, and in our last post we talked about how Pilot skill has a variable cost depending on whether you are piloting the average grunt or an extreme prototype.  In this post we’ll go over the math on calculating a units cost.  Worry not!  The unit excel sheet autocalculates points based off of your inputted Frame, Performance and Pilot level so you don’t need to do anything by hand.

We’ll start with Frame Level.  The cost is Frame Level squared times 5,  or 5x (Frame LVL)^2 .

Level 1 Frame = 1 x 1 x 5 = 5 points

Level 2 Frame = 2 x 2 x 5 = 20 points

Level 3 Frame = 3 x 3 x 5 = 45 points

Level 4 Frame = 4 x 4 x 5 = 80 points

Level 5 Frame = 5 x 5 x 5 = 125 points

We decided early on Frame Level would be a big points cost and decided on an exponential growth function.  Since Frame controls HP, AP, and Armor Saves, each one is considerably good and by the time you reach Frame 4 and 5 you are very, very sturdy compared to your peers and the cost reflects that.

For Performance and Pilot Skill we initially started with something very simple.  Performance was 2 points per level and Pilot Skill was 3 points per Level.  Now as mentioned at the end of last post, pilot skill lets grunt suits keep up with top of the line suits, now if you put an ace pilot in a powerful machine pilot skill becomes even better.

Likewise for Performance, a Frame 5 Performance 0 Machine may have all the firepower but terrible targeting.  But a Frame 5 Performance 10 machine will be unstoppable.  As a result we decided the formula we need to change at higher Frame Levels.  We made the cutoff at Frame Level 3, since Frame 1 & 2 are where we keep all the grunt suits, and 3 is the transition between grunt and unstoppable prototype.

Here is the formula for Performance.  2.5 points per level for Frames 1 & 2.  5 points per level for Frame 3, 4 & 5.

Pilot skill is similar.  2.5 points per level for Frames 1 & 2.  5 points per level for Frames 3, 4 & 5.  After summing points between pilot and skill, round down, so cost of 22.5 becomes 22.

Additionally, if you cross the threshold into Ace Pilot (6+) there is a 10 point premium to pay.  The premium is there to help with the Pilot skill ability to auto-hit against a lower level pilot.  Putting the premium in there means not every unit fielded will be an ace, and those that are will be nearly immune to the effect.

You may be wondering why we didn’t use a linear formula, making performance or skill cost more at each Frame level? i.e. Frame 5 has a higher performance cost than Frame 4.

There are two reasons for that.  One is simplicity, you don’t want to have too complicated a formula, especially if you are going by hand.  Two, while a Frame 5 is more powerful than Frame 4 and 3, in playtesting we found that there isn’t enough to justify a bigger points cost for Performance.  They already have a high base due to the Frame cost (45, 80 and 125 respectively) that adding on scaling performance made it more egregious and people less likely to field high frame suits.  Since many iconic suits are Frame 4, we wanted to avoid that outcome. Lastly there is an EQ Slot option for low production cost.  This is to represent some mass-produced models that were pretty barebones.  It’s also great to take when you know the model should be a high Frame LVL but you don’t want to justify the cost to field such a slow moving behemoth.  This EQ slot is only available at Frame 2+, and it may not exceed your Frame level.  E.g. Frame 3 can have LVL 2 Low Production cost.  At Frame 2 it reduces points by 5, at 3+ it reduces points by 10.

Now time for some examples.

Early GM Mass Produced – Frame 1, Performance 0, Pilot 0 = 5 + 0 + 0 = 5 points

GM Ground Type – Frame 1, Performance 1, Pilot 1 = 5 + 2 + 3 = 10 points

Zaku II Veteran – Frame 1, Performance 2, Pilot 2 = 5 + 4 + 6 = 15 points

Dom – Frame 2, Performance 3, Pilot 2 = 20 + 9 + 6 = 35 points

Gouf Custom – Frame 2, Performance 5, Pilot 10 = 20 + 10 + 30 + 10 Ace Premium = 70 points

Zeong (Char) – Frame 4, Performance 4, Pilot 8 = 80 + 20 + 40 + 10 Ace Premium = 150 points

Gundam (Magnetic Coating) – Frame 4, Performance 4, Pilot 8 = 80 + 20 + 40 + 10 Ace Premium = 150 points

Gundam (No Magnetic Coating, early show Amuro) – Frame 4, Performance 2, Pilot 2 = 80 + 10 + 10 = 100 points

Zeta Gundam (Kamille) – Frame 4, Performance 8, Pilot 10 = 80 + 40 + 50 + 10 Ace Premium = 180 points

Zock – Frame 4, Performance 0, Pilot 0, Low Production Cost 1 = 80 + 0 + 0 -10 = 70 points

Barzam – Frame 2, Performance 5, Pilot 0, Low Production Cost 1 = 20 + 10 + 0 -5 = 25 points

Guncannon – Frame 3, Performance 0, Pilot 0, Low Production Cost 2 = 45 + 0 + 0 – 20 = 25 points