In this series of posts we are going to do a Tabletop Gundam Gameplay Example for MechaStellar using units from the 08th MS Team. You can look at the Mecha Unit Profiles for the Federation and Zeon on the downloads page. Click here for Round 1 and Round 2.
Below the break we will cover the 3rd round of a 5 round game of MechaStellar. We will go turn by turn each round and include some insights into the Gundam Tactics.
Starting Momentum – Federation 2 / Zeon 1.
Turn 1 – The Federation is staring down an approaching horde of Zakus with their machine guns trained on them. Fortunately for them they seized initiative and are going first. The Federation player considers her options and opts for Karen to go first hoping to chop the enemy force down to size.
From the opening picture of the article you can see that Karen currently has the high ground which provides a potent [Tactical Advantage], she is also a Seasoned Veteran giving her an edge over the grunt pilots below.
Karen fires her Beam Rifle in Rapid Fire range (+1 shot), 4 shots at Accuracy 9 vs the Zaku’s Evade+3, it needs a 6+ to evade. The Zaku rolls 4d10 and gets [3,4,7,7] = 2 Hits.
Tactical Advantage gives +1 Crit Hit so we’re up to 4 Hits total. She gains a bonus hit from Seasoned Veteran for a total of 5 Hits. The beam pierces straight through the Zaku, destroying it. The Federation gains [M+1] for destroying an enemy.
Karen considers getting behind rocky cover but doesn’t want to leave Shiro hanging, so she drops down from her rocky perch and goes for a melee attack [M+1] just barely making it into range.
Entering melee range allows the Zaku II to make an Overwatch attack with its machine gun making 3 Shots at Accuracy 8 vs Karen’s +2 Evade. Karen rolls 3d10 and gets [4,5,6] = 2 hits, her Shield blocks 1 and she takes 200 DMG.
Now it’s time for Melee, both side take their Melee dice pool and splits it between attack and defense, as the Attacker Karen gets +2 bonus dice. Every 5+ is a Hit for the attacker and a Block for the Defender, a 10 for the Attacker is a Critical Hit which counts for double.
(Typically for grunt battles the Attacker puts all their dice on offense while the Defender then feels inclined to put all of their dice into Defense to survive.
For higher power games using say Nu Gundam, Shining Gundam, Epyon etc. players usually split their dice between attack and defense in anticipation of a deadly counterattack.)
Karen’s melee stat gives her 7 dice, and as the attacker she gets 2 bonus dice. She puts them all into Attack with 0 into Defense.
She rolls [3,3,4,5,5,8,9,10,10] = 4 Hit and 2 Crits for a total of 8 Hits, Seasoned Veteran gives a bonus hit bringing to a mighty 9 Hits.
The Zaku has 5d10 Melee and puts them all on Defense rolling [6,7,9,10,10] = 5 Blocks + 1 Block from its Melee Shield.
This is a phenomenal roll for the Zaku of 5 blocks but it is still overwhelmed by Karen’s attack. The Zaku II is destroyed as the Beam Saber cleaves it in half. The Federation gains [M+1] for destroying a unit.
End of turn Momentum – Fed 5 / Zeon 1.
Turn 2 – The Zeon player activates another of his Zakus next to avenge its comrade. Since Karen is the closest target, it can Rapid Fire its machine gun into her Gundam.
Machine gun makes 10 shots, Accuracy 8 vs Karen’s +2 Evade so she needs a 6+.
Karen rolls 10d10 and gets [1,1,2,2,3,6,6,7,7,8] = 3 Hits + 2 Crits = 7 Hits.
Her Shield blocks 1 and the Federation player loses [M-3] so 3 Hits get through dealing 200 DMG each, at 2300 DMG she’s just barely hanging in there.
The Zaku II then goes in for Melee, he takes his 2 bonus dice and puts them all on Attack (7d10) while Karen in her powerful Gundam puts all her dice into Melee DEF (7d10). Zeon gains [M+1] for making a melee attack.
The Zaku rolls 7d10 and gets [2,3,5,6,6,7,10] = 4 + 1 Crit = 6 hits.
Karen rolls 7d10 and gets [1,5,5,6,6,7,10] = 6 blocks! Whew, just barely made it.
End of turn Momentum – Fed 2 / Zeon 2.
Turn 3 – The Federation player considers her options, then activates Shiro next. Her goal is to take out the Zaku and try to keep Karen in the fight, since losing Karen’s turn each round will be rough in future rounds.
Normally the Ez8 could do a Melee attack and a Shooting attack; however, the Acguy has the Commando trait, so even if Shiro killed the Zaku in Melee, it wouldn’t be able to target the Acguy since Karen’s Gundam would be a closer model. For the narrative, the players describe the Acguy moving quickly on its stubby legs – keeping Karen between him and Shiro, ruining his shot.
With that in mind, Shiro uses his action to Focus which will let him hit on a 4+ instead of a 5+ in Melee. He then charges into melee to skewer the Zaku and gains [M+1]. Since the Zaku II is already engaged it cannot make an Overwatch attack.
Shiro uses his two bonus dice on Attack, the Zaku puts all of their dice into Defense.
Shiro rolls 9d10 and gets [1,1,1,5,7,7,8,8,10] = 5 Hits+ 1 Crit = 7 hits.
The Zaku rolls 5d10 and gets [4,5,5,8,10] 4 blocks + 1 Block from it’s shoulder shield.
The Zeon player elects to save the Zaku and loses [M-2] as its Heat Hawk parries the beam saber. In hindsight it may have been best to let the Zaku fall so the Acguy would have a clear shot.
End of turn Momentum Fed 3 / Zeon 0.
Turn 4 – The spotlight of the battle shifts to the rear as the wounded Zaku Cannon uses focus then indirect fire on Sanders.
The artillery cannon makes 4 shots at Accuracy 8 vs Sanders Evade+2, he needs a 6+ to Evade each shot.
Sanders rolls 4d10 and gets [2,3,7,8] = 2 Hits.
His Shield blocks 1 and he takes 500 DMG. The Federation player could have used [M-1] to negate the last hit but she wanted to save it for her more damaged units.
Turn 5 – Sanders fires back at the injured Zaku Cannon using Gunnery Expert for +1 Accuracy.
The artillery cannon makes 4 Shots at Accuracy 10 (9+1) vs the Zaku Cannon’s Evade+2 so it needs an 8+.
The Zaku Cannon rolls 4d10 and gets [3,6,10,10] = 2 Hits.
Cover blocks 1 but the remaining hit destroys it. The Federation gains [M+1] for destroying a unit. Sanders then uses his remaining movement to fall back to avoid being in Melee range of the Dom.
End of turn Momentum – Fed 4 / Zeon 0.
Turn 6 – The second Zaku Cannon continues shelling Sanders’ position. The cannon makes 4 Shots at Accuracy 8 vs Evade +2, Sanders needs a 6+. He rolls [3,3,6,7] = 2 Hits. His Shield blocks 1 and he takes 500 DMG.
Turn 7 – The Dom moves forward and even gets close enough to use the blinding flash from its chest beam port. This turns the Dom’s attack into a Blindside attack conferring [Tactical Advantage] and prevents Sanders from using his Shield.
The Dom fires 4 shots in Rapid Fire range at Accuracy 9 vs Sanders Evade+2. Sanders needs a 7+.
Sanders rolls 4d10 and gets [3,9,9,10] = 1 Hit.
Sanders’ the Reapers luck continues to hold out with such a lucky roll, Tactical Advantage gives a bonus Crit so we’re up to 3 Hits total. Not wanting to lose Sanders the Federation loses [M-3] to save him. The players describe it as Sanders make a last minute dive to the side as the Bazooka round whizzes past.
End of Turn Momentum – Fed 1 / Zeon 0.
Turn 8 – The Zaku II pushing up the edge of the map uses Full Throttle once again since he cannot get into range to use its weapons. Good positioning and movement of Sanders by the Federation player allowed this unit to avoid another round of fire.
Turn 9 – The Zeon player considers his plan of attack. He doesn’t want to risk the Acguy in Melee combat with the Gundams. Even if the Acguy manages to decapitate Karen’s Gundam it would still be locked in Melee with Shiro next round. Perhaps it would have been better to sacrifice the Zaku II back then, but he didn’t want to lose any more units.
Without a target the Acguy uses the Full Throttle to get behind Karen and Shiro, hoping to perform a Blindside attack next round. At the end of the round each player gains [M+1].
End of Round Momentum – Fed 2 / Zeon 1.
Click here to see Round 4 of the MechaStellar VER 8 Gameplay Example.