[MS] – Readjusting Shooting Actions for Gigas Units

In the past we allowed Gigas units to fire as many weapons as they wanted to, as long as they had a big enough reactor to power each weapon.  This lended itself well to any Mecha series where they will be loaded with guns, missiles, lasers, beams etc.  We initially came up with this rule since we wanted units like Big Zam, a mobile fortress, to be able to fire off multiple weapons at once, same for other Mobile Armors like the Dendrobium Orchis or the Neue Ziel. 

While it works great for a unit like Big Zam who is using weapons with a high power draw, we ran into some issues when prototyping units for Neon Genesis Evangelion (NGE), Getter Robo, Pacific Rim and of course other Mobile Armors we found it pretty easy to break the system and have an enormous amount of shots.

Zeruel the 14th Angel from NGE (TV)

Let’s assume a unit has 10 Power, like Big Zam or the 14th angel Zeruel.  In Big Zam’s case his weapons are a Deathray with a power draw of 10, or it’s Anti-Air (AA) Megaparticle Cannons (MPC) which draw 3 power each.  So he’s either firing the Death Ray or the 3x MPCs.  Simple enough.  Now let’s consider Zeruel, he has 10 power in order to feed the “Cross Explosion” the iconic cross shaped blast we see in NGE.  Zeruel also has two arms that fold like paper and cut like they have a monomolecular edge.  Since most weapons have a power draw of 1, including short range attacks like those paper arms there’s a strong incentive to load up on those weapons for Zeruel.  So from a design perspective you are incentivized to use that 10 power, and take up to 10 monoedge arms each with 3 shots.  Even though he only has two arms you could rationalize that as saying each duplicate represents a stronger weapon.  Now we potentially have 30 shots on a single attack action, as you can see things have gotten out of hand pretty quickly.

While designing Pacific Rim units we initially considered duplicate weapons a useful way to represent a weapon that might be 2x or 3x as powerful.  For instance you could give it three plasma caster profiles (and enough energy to power them) but things get a little tricky since there’s nothing to stop you from firing at multiple targets even though it’s meant to represent one very powerful weapon vice three cannons.  We eventually decided on giving Gigas units an upgraded version of a weapon with a higher power draw, for instance a Level II version of a weapon would have +3 Shots but also +3 Power draw.  In the case of Zeruel its arms go from 3 Shots Power 1 to 6 Shots Power 4, when using both of them he’ll be drawing 8 power.  Much more reasonable.

Now that we’ve got a way to represent a stronger weapon with the same profile, we no longer need to keep the rule of “shoot as many weapons as you want” and instead Gigas class units will have the same rules as MS class Mechs where you fire one weapon per action.  This makes things a lot cleaner from a design and a gameplay perspective.

Currently you can get +1 Action from the Gunner role or the Assault special type.  We’ll expand that by allowing the Heavy Arms special type give +1 Action, but in exchange it will have -1 Evade to balance it out.  This allows units like Big Zam to have 3 Actions, and still fire it’s 3 AA MPCs, if it decides to fire the Death Ray then the left over actions can be used to Focus.

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