(MS) Design Goals – Rewarding Boldness

MechaStellar is a game about dynamic Mechs. Each turn a Mech can move and/or make a melee attack independent of how many actions it is. Furthermore, we didn’t want to limit movement so any Mech can move, then shoot, then move again.

With these rules you can easily run into a style of gameplay that consists almost entirely of playing keep away. Taking your shot then retreating as far as you can. Always playing keep away with the enemy.

While this style of play is fine, and encouraged for high speed units like a Dom or GM Light Armor, we also want to encourage a style of gameplay that involves pushing forward while laying down suppressive fire and of course glorious melee combat. Especially in a system where a Melee only unit is possible.

To that end we have two primary incentives to move closer to the enemy that we touched upon in previous posts. Rapid Fire & Fortune Favors the Bold (Melee).

Rapid Fire gives a weapon a tantalize increase in its number of shots when it moves within 1/2 the weapon’s maximum range. For instance if a Machine Gun is range 16″, at range 8″ or less it gets a rapid fire bonus going from 5 shots to 10 shots. A standard beam rifle goes from 3 Shots to 5 shots, and each one of those shots posses the ability to penetrate and instantly destroy a Mech.

Weapon range have been intentionally a bit shorter than other wargames. While you might be used to 24″ most of the iconic weapons you see on a MS like a beam rifle, bazooka or machine gun are between 16-20″. Cannons, Missiles, etc. have longer ranges.

Long Shot is the inverse of Rapid Fire. This lets you fire outside max range (up to double) but at a Shot penalty. So a Beam Rifle goes from 3 shots to 2 Shots. Which isn’t bad, and certainly allows a high speed unit to stay as far away as they want. But you need to consier if an enemy has a Shield and is already blocking one of those shots it lowers the likelihood of causing any damage.

Long Shot is best attempted against units without shields to block ranged attacks or by spending 1 Momentum on the “Take the Shot” pilot skill that lets you ignore penalties for Long Shot or to fire a weapon directly into Melee like a pair of twin-linked shoulder mounted cannons.

For Melee combat we have the short simple rule “Fortune Favors the Bold”. This means that Attacker who begins the Melee Clash gets a free reroll on any dice. In Melee both sides roll dice and count successses, whoever has the most is the victor.

Fortune Favors the Bold means that on average the Attacker will be generating more attacks than the defender. Even if the defender has a bigger dice pool, for instance an attacker with 4 dice rerolling is likely to have more successes than a Defender with 5 dice. Short, simple and fun this was our first addition to the melee system going as far back as VER 1.

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