MechaStellar – Command Update: All-Out Attack

Going off our previous post we debuted a new Command that will allow your Ace Pilot to destroy multiple enemy units. One of the driving factors in this Command was to give units who only use a single weapon a chance to destroy multiple models. For units with multiple weapons that was easy enough thanks to the All-Out Attack Pilot Skill.

The Command System was updated such that the first time you use a Command it is free, while subsequent uses require momentum. We decided to make the pilot skill ‘All-Out Attack’ become a Command instead. This will allow Grunts with several weapons a chance to shine at no Momentum cost (for the first one at least). It will also be adapated to allow Gigas class Mechs to benefit as well. Below are the rules updates.

Unit Command: All-Out Attack (3 MP)

MS: You may fire all of your shooting weapons on a single attack action

Gigas: Treat your power rating as 10 higher when attacking this turn. Roll a d10 if you exceed your Power limit, on a roll of 1-4 your Mech shuts down until your next turn.

Dangerbear (Power 7) alpha strikes the enemy firing 15 Power worth of Weapons  She rolls a d10 and gets a 4 so her Mech shuts down until her next turn

While All-Out Attack was already a great ability for MS, we wanted to make sure it would provide a good benefit to Gigas class Mechs as well. Gigas Mechs are unique in that they may fire as many weapons as they have as long as it doesn’t exceed their Power value. Since they could already fire multiple weapons we wanted to come up with a way to enhance that.

We used Battletech as inspiration here, in Battletech (also known as Mech Warrior for the computer gaming enthusiasts out there) mech’s struggle with heat buildup, if they build up too much heat it interferes with their systems and can also cause the Mech to shutdown. It’s a fun and granular system that works really well in their rules.

Since MechaStellar is aimed at being able to serve large confrontations (10 vs 20 is not unusual) we wanted to avoid having to track something additional per unit. Since there is often a die already next to a model to represent damage taken, adding another die to represent heat can get a bit confusing. It’s also additional book keeping for the player. So instead we decided to wrap the whole thing into a die roll when using this Command.

We considered making it a bit more granular, having it be a d10 roll plus the additional power spent to see if the unit would shutdown. While a perfectly fine system it slowed down the game a bit as players would spend a lot of time weighing how much extra power they were willing to use. In this version you can use as much as you like and it’s a set range (1-4) to see if you shut down. Less granular but much faster in our testing so we kept this version. Using Battletech proxies we had a thrilling match between two Shadow Hawks led by an Atlas and two Centurions led by a Jupiter.

Battletech isn’t the only series to have issues with heat and power. This rule will also be useful for Jaegers from Pacific Rim and Mobile Armors from Gundam such as the Aspalus.

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