MechaStellar – Shooting & Skill Wagering


We went through a few tests trying out Skill Wagering using a +5 Modifier.  If you recall from the last post we were considering having shooting and evade follow similar principles as skill wagering for melee.

In Melee the attacker wagers Skill, let’s say 3 points, giving him a +3 to his or her d6 roll on top of their usual melee bonus.  The attacker rolls to attack then the defender seeing the full weight of deadly melee might being thrown against them gets to consider how much skill to wager.

The smart strategist will decide if they have enough skill to wager that will allow them to defeat the attacker and prevail.  They may also decide to cut their losses, take the hit on their formidable suit and save the skill for another time.  Of course, you can’t choose this option with weaker low HP grunt suits.

Gundam and TriStars

We tested out shooting using a similar principle sticking with d20s and each point of skill wagered gave a +5 modifier.  We tested it out with suits from Zeta and 0083 which gave us a wide range of skill for our suits.

Overall, the system worked, but from a gameplay perspective it was a bit of a bear.  A lot of mental math was going on in each of our turns, deciding how many +5s to add to our Evade roll to give us the best chance to avoid a shot.  Likewise for the attacker when deciding to make their shooting even more accurate.

It worked, but it wasn’t fast and fluid like other parts of the game are.  It works for us, but the mental math took a bit of fun out of the game.  So we started brainstorming on solutions to make it more simple and fun to use.  Here’s what we came up with.

We wanted to keep the wagering system or something similar since it was fun and adds a bit of depth for the players on when to use skill and how much to use.

The +5 Shooting and Evade bonus ended up being too much mental math.  So we need to adjust shooting and evade to not require math.  Here’s our solution.


The Attacker declares their attacks.  E.g. A Marasai fires 4 shots at the Nemo.  The Nemo rolls his Evades.  The Nemo evades 2 of the shots.  Total of 2 hits and 2 evades.

Now for the wagering.  The Marasai puts up 2 skill points stating those two Evades are transformed back into Hits.  The Nemo now gets to decide if he wants to make 4 Armor Saves after those 4 hits, or if he wants to spend skill to transform those Hits into Evades.

The system is similar to melee but a wee bit different.  It’s actually quite a bit faster.  We represent it by grouping dice together after rolling.  In the above example the Marasai shot 4 times and the Nemo evaded 2 shots so we put 2 d20s one on side to represent hits and 2 d20s to represent evades.

After the Marasai chose to spend skill we put all 4 dice back into 4 hits.  In the games we played typically the Nemo would blow its only 2 skill points to finish with 2 hits and 2 evades since the Nemo has a half-decent armor save.

Gelgoog d

We’ve also found Skill wagering to be fairly useful when grunts are fighting Ace pilots.  In tests with ace pilots in GM Customs, it was helping having the enemy grunts transform misses into hits trying to lower the GM Customs skill in a battle of attrition.  It also satisfied our goal of letting Aces blow through grunts without getting bested in the first round.

Overall the system has been a considerable success and we look forward to trying it out some more setting up some new terrain and trying some OYW models next test.

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