[MS] Design Goals – Abstraction & Kinetic Weapon Profiles

Illustration by Kenki Fujioka

Coming off the heels of the Grenades post I thought it would be a good time to talk more about weapon profiles, this post will be covering Kinetic weapons like machine guns, cannons and bazookas.

One of the core Design Pillars of MechaStellar is to offer a rules set you can use with Mecha from many different series. While having many different versions of a weapon can be fun we wanted to avoid having a weapon list spanning 50+ entries to cover every possible weapon from every Mech series. In summary we leaned more towards abstraction rather than granularity and grouped weapons into distinct profiles.

Here are the current profiles for Kinetic Weapons.

  1. Close-Range Weapon
  2. Rapid Fire Weapon
  3. Rotary Rapid Fire Weapon
  4. Giant Bazooka
  5. Ballistic Cannon
  6. Railgun

The Close-Range weapon is meant to represent shotguns like you’d see on the Kampfer or G-Line Assault Armor as well as dangerous single shot weapons like the Shoulder Magnum on Origin’s version of the Gundam.

Illustration by Tomohiro Kawahira

There are two types of Rapid Fire weapons, the standard one is for Machine Guns, Bullpups and Assault Rifles which are very common weapons both in Gundam’s OYW as well as Armored Core. The Rotary version is meant to represent gatling guns like you’d see on a Gouf Custom, Gundam Alex or Heavy Arms.

The Giant Bazooka as its name suggests is a very large bazooka. This profile represents the bazookas used by the high-speed Dom and the Hyper Bazooka used by the Gundam. It also includes the Doberguns used in the Gundam Wing universe or a shoulder-mounted heavy rocket launcher like you’d see on the original MSV Full Armor Gundam FA78-1.

Ballistic Cannons are the one stop shop for great range, decent firepower cannons that have indirect fire modes. This is for your Guncannons, Gundam Ground Types and Zaku’s holding the top of a Magella tank. Lastly we have the Railgun like the hip-mounted weapons you see on Freedom Gundam or handheld on the Desert GM, it also represents antiship rifles like you’d see on the Zudah.

The profiles are meant to capture many types of weapons into one distinct group and gave a single statline for it. While there are many, many types of machine guns and assault rifles for units in Gundam’s one year war they are all sharing the same stat profile. If you want to have additional granularity in weapons there are two equipment options that can provide that, the “Weapon Upgrade” EQ slot and “Prototype Weapon” EQ slot.

Weapon Upgrade gives a single improvement to a weapon, for instance the Giant Gatling Gun used by the Dom Barrage or Gundam Unit 4 have weapon upgrade applied to give them +100 DMG. The Raketen Bazooka of the Dom Tropen a 880mm warhead compared to the ~360mm warhead standard on other Giant Bazookas also received the weapon upgrade slot, we choose to give it +1 PEN rather than improving it’s already formidable damage.

Prototype weapon provides two improvements at the cost of one disadvantage. For instance it might provide two boosts to a weapon’s range, but in return lower the number of shots the weapon makes or the penetrating factor. You could use this on the unique bullpup of the Act Zaku which is a 4-barrel machinegun to increase it’s number of shots (but in return lower its range) or you can use it to represent the gigantic machine gun of the ground-based ‘The O-II’ “Hauer” seen in Kondo’s Revival of Zeon alternate history manga.

Next post we’ll tackle energy weapons.

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