For this months update we are excited to start releasing AU series from Gundam starting with New Mobile Report Gundam Wing a very popular series that first came stateside in the year 2000 and drew many people into the Gundam community.
The original Gundam took place in the Universal Century or UC for short. Many years later they applied the Gundam formula to alternate universes or AU for short, starting off with fan favorites like G Gundam and Gundam Wing. Wing stars five different indestructible Gundams produced by scientists in the colonies who wanted to wage a war against the Earth Sphere Alliance who had been taken over by the Organization of the Zodiak or OZ for short.
OZ are the principal bad guys of the show although they are led by a very interesting man, Treize Khushrenada, who is opposed to weapons controlled remotely or by computers instead of by a thinking pilot, a debate that is still very relevant today. We also meet Zechs Merquise, the Lightning Count, as arguably one of the best Char clones out there who opposes the Gundam pilots but holds a strict code of honor and a tragic royal past. Zechs pilots the Tallgeese, a prototype suit deemed unpilotable to fend off against the Gundams. Wing proved very popular with several demographics and it is the first and favorite Gundam series for many fans.
For MechaStellar we wanted to ensure the Gundam’s from this series are extremely hard to take down to coincide with how they are portrayed in the anime. The Gundanium armor trait lets them reroll failed Armor Saves and the majority of them have exceptional HP & Armor Saves from a high Reinforce Level.
We decided to keep them in the early Performance range since while the Gundam’s are overwhelmingly powerful compared to their opponents (Leos, Aries, etc.) they aren’t extraordinarily evasive and often just tank the shots without moving. Compare this with Gundam 00 which uses a similar setup of ultra-powerful Gundams vs the World but shows the principal Gundam’s as exceptionally more maneuverable than the MS from their enemies. Since we often see a named character in a Leo fend off a Gundam we wanted to ensure that none of the units would be completely immune to the common enemies. On the other side all the grunt mobile suits are extremely easy to dispatch, even using Vulcans.
If you are setting up a cross-series game units from Gundam Wing make for good starter armies, each one is worth ~500pts are extremely durable and will lay waste to their opponents. You’ll want to make use of the Fire Vulcans and Tear through the Ranks pilot skills to quickly whittle down a horde army. If you are playing a versus game with Objectives the “Scorched Earth” secondary will be ideal since you lack the forces to sit on objective for 5 rounds. For coop we also have two forthcoming mission packs for Gundam Wing.
As a bonus we are putting out another series for March which aired around the same time frame, Vision of Escaflowne, created by Shoji Kawamori of Macross fame. Escaflowne was a very unique series starring large clockwork mecha (Guymelefs) that duel like medieval knights, what made it particularly unusual for the time was that it starred a female protagonist, Hitomi, who was very different from the mold at the time (mid 90s) as a short haired athlete with an assertive personality. Hitomi is transported to Gaea where she has an otherworldly adventure with Van Fanel, the pilot of Escaflowne as they escape from the war machine of the Zaibach empire who has recently learned to mass produce Guymelefs called Alseides. Not only can they fly but they have invisibility cloaks and liquid metal claws, spears and swords that catch their foes unaware before slaying them.
It features beautiful animation, a nice soundtrack from Yoko Kanno, and a compelling characters and interesting story although it does get a bit out there during the final arc. Still it’s worth a watch.
For MechaStellar we really enjoyed using these units with the Version 8 rules for Melee. The beautifully choreographed duels between Escaflowne and Scherezade and Escaflowne and the Alseides were something we wanted to incorporate with the Melee update that allows for attack, defense, counterattack and counterdefense. For their Knightswords we modified the basic large weapon we see on a unit like Leatherback to instead of being fully offensive are a mix of Offense and Defense while being balanced out with a low PEN characteristic. If you decide to field them you’ll find yourself very easily able to split your dice between offense and defense being a hard target in any melee.
There’s also been a minor update pushed to the Version 8 core rules. After a recent demo game at our FLGS we identified a few typos that needed correcting and clarifications on some working. You can find the new unit profiles for Gundam Wing and Escaflowne on the downloads page here.
Core Rules Update Summary
-Indirect fire should be 18″ vice 12″
-Take the Shot Pilot Skills should be PEN 4+ vice PEN 3+
-The 2nd half of the Resourceful Commander trait was missing which gives +1 Momentum per round
-Adjusted wording on Versus mode scoring so VP conditions round up (i.e. half your models survive)
-Adjusted victory points for Simple Battle and Secondaries
-Clarified wording on Tear through the Ranks pilot skill
-Adjusted wording on Blindside