[MS] Design Goals – Consistency

One thing we always strive for when working on Units for MechaStellar is to make sure the unit functions as you would expect it would in it’s native universe. We also try to ensure it’s stat make sense and are consistent with its peers. Below we’ll look at some of the units that were tweaked in the last few weeks to align with this design goal.

GM Cold Districts (Reinforce +1, Thrusters -1)

Most GMs and their variants from the OYW will have Reinforce+1, the exceptions of course being those that are specifically called out for being lighter armor like the GM Light Armor or GM Nightseeker or those that have heavy armor like a Desert GM or GM Ground Type. The GM Cold District was developed to deal with Dom’s and in the Blue Destiny manga it was also very capable at defeating the Hy-Gogg mobile suit, a stunning reversal from what you see in the 0080 OVA.

GM Light Armor (Thrusters-1, Weapon Upgrade)

When designing the GM Nightseeker we noticed in our research that the Nightseeker could use the same stripped down custom beam rifle as the Light Armor. Normally we reserve Weapon Upgrade and Prototype Weapon augments for very unique weapons or to differentiate two Mechs that use the same weapon profile, for instance Weapon Upgrade to differentiate the cannons on the Guntank compared to the Guntank. In this case we thought it would be best to use Weapon Upgrade on a Beam Pistol profile to show it still retains the high power of a beam rifle but having a short range. We could reflect this by either PEN+1 or DMG+100. Since both of these units are hit-and-run types we thought PEN+1 would work best here.

GM Intercept Custom (Low Cost-1, Thrusters+1)

All of the GM Sniper Custom and variants were initially the same cost to make it easy to swap in and out in your army. We decided to increase the Intercept Custom’s cost by 10 (by removing a Low Cost) and improve it’s Thrusters to represent the special booster you see attached to it’s head and shoulders.

Efreet Custom (Performance 5 -> 4)

Normally as a rule of thumb we have Zeon unit be slightly higher on Performance across the board while Federation forces have cheap mass produced (GMs) and high frame super prototypes (Gundams). Another rule of thumb is that “Custom” units are typically a higher Performance than what they are based on. In this case when researching up the very limited production of Efreets we noticed that each one was mentioned to be custom made, not surprising since they only made 8 of them. While the Efreet Custom is certainly the most customized we didn’t feel the need to raise it’s performance by 1. Additionally, we wanted to keep all the Blue Destiny units at the same Performance level.

Gouf Series (Low Cost -1, Thrusters+1)

This was an oversight, we had been experimenting with different ways to make the Gouf cheaper and forgot to remove the negative Thrusters from the Gouf. The Gouf has been shown as being considerably more agile than the Zaku II so we opted to have it be a faster unit. The 60 point cost shown in the Campaign Pack is correct, so we fixed that in last week’s release.

Battler Mechs (+1 Movement)

This was also an Oversight we discovered while working on a draft for the GM III. Battler’s and Gunners always have a 2 point movement delta. Prior to release we noticed that a Move-2 on Gunner units was a bit too punishing for some units so it was corrected to Movement -1. As a result Battler should be Movement+1 to maintain that 2 point delta.

Indomitable (Formula Adjustment)

Previously Indomitable was a static bonus, however, the bonus was good enough that you could often take it without ever taking Reinforced. We wanted that stat to scale with the Reinforced equipment option and reward those units who took as many as possible. As a result the HP formula was retooled. The formula gives the same results for a unit with Reinforced 2, provides less HP for Reinforced 1 and more HP for Refinroced 3+. As a result the only two units released so far that were affected were the GM Guard Custom (HP 1200 -> 1000) and the Gundam (HP 6000 -> 7000).

Gundam Ground Type (Reinforce+1, Low Cost-1)

Along a similar line we wanted to the Gundam Ground Type to be remarkably sturdy so with the change to Indomitable we raised their Reinforced Level to 3 thus improving their HP from 2000 -> 2500. The increase in Cost means they will be available after Mission 5 in the Federation Campaign Mission Pack.

Dom Tropen & Dom Cannon (Low Cost+1, Removal of Flash)

While working on the next 5 Missions for the Sandbox Campaign we noticed that Zeon had a dearth of 70 point units and a surplus of 80 point units. We took a look at the Dom series and saw an opportunity to lower two of them by 10 points. If you look closely you may have a hard time finding the beam diffuser on the Dom Tropen or Canon. Neither have used that iconic blinding flash of a Dom unit on screen and it is often omitted from the games they appear in so we felt comfortable removing this equipment option to lower their cost by 10.

Zaku II R1A (Thrusters-1, Performance+1)

This was a tough one but we’re happy with the result. The R1A had movement of 13″, while the R2 and the Dom had movement of 14″, not too big of a difference. Since the R2 and Dom are noted for being remarkably fast we wanted to increase that difference a bit. We decided to lower it’s Thrusters by 1 and raise the Performance to 5, matching the R2 to show that the R2 as a whole meant a speed upgrade only, after all it was described as being an expensive gas guzzler.

It also has the bonus of making the R1A a noted Ace type Zaku as being one of the best in class Zakus, where the R2 was an improvement it didn’t offer enough value to catch on. While previously the R1A occupied the Performance 4 slot in the Zaku series, that will be replaced by the Zaku II FZ (Kai) in the future. While the R1A is better than the Dom in some areas, the Dom is faster and boasts more than double the HP making it a suitable upgrade for the Black Tri-Stars.

Thanks for reading. As you can see even a relatively minor tweak like +/-1 on Reinforce, Thrusters or Performance takes a good deal of careful thought and consideration, not just for how the unit performs on the tabletop but also how it stands in relation to its peers.

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