We discovered in testing a few edge cases that necessitated a change to how Pilot works. Not a major one, but it is a rollback on the current power. Previously Pilot granted free Hits equal to your Pilot Level, so if you attack in melee, roll 4 Hits and were a Level 2 Pilot you’d have 6 Hits total. We ran into issues when it came to high damage weapons and cheap units.
For the most part MechaStellar does not prohibit what weapons you can take. So for instance a cheap Mech like a Zaku II (Cost 10) armed with a common high damage weapon like a bazooka (DMG 700) with an Ace Pilot was only 50 points, and more importantly had 2 guaranteed hits every time it attacked. This could lead to cases in army building where a horde of Aces flying in weak suits could torch most enemies. While a final banzai charge is pretty standard for many Zeon aces, we weren’t looking to make that the best way to build an army when we created the latest rules for Ace Pilots. As a result we need to tweak the system a bit.
Previously Pilot level 1 gave +1 Hit and Pilot Level 2 gave +2 Hits.
The current system allows a Skilled Pilot to get +1 Hit, while an Ace Pilot can spend 2 Momentum to get +2 Hits. So it gives the same effect but at a cost of requiring Momentum. Your starting Momentum is 3 + your Combined Pilot levels so these Pilots start the battle with enough Momentum to pull off a powerful attack, although as you know by playing over-extending yourself with Momentum leads to a bad time when it comes to defense.
While testing out the revised model we also came up with a new idea to replenish Momentum that we are very happy with. Unofficially it was titled “Turn the Tide”, it’s meant to represent using a Skilled or Ace pilot to change the course of a battle, sometimes single-handedly. It’s a rather simple mechanic, if you have 3 or less Momentum gain Momentum equal to your Pilot Level when you activate a unit.
It adds a bit more strategy since the game has alternating activations, if you know you can activate a good pilot on your next turn you might be more willing to spend Momentum where previously you may have wanted to hoard it. For instance let’s say you’re on the receiving end of a melee clash, you have 4 Momentum and your Ace is piloting a durable Mech with a surplus of HP (7000), you lose the Clash by 2 so your opponent is hitting you for 2x 500 damage. Ordinarily you might just take it rather than spend the momentum, but since you know your Ace is going next, if you dip down to 3 or less Momentum you’re going to gain back 2 on your turn.
Overall it’s been a fun mechanic and not too difficult to remember. We’ve enjoyed it a lot and hope you do as well. As always, thanks for reading. Tomorrow will be the weekly roster update with the release of the Gyan.