Re: [gundam] Gundam Tabletop Game


Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Mon, 22 Mar 1999 15:53:30 -0800


Linwood Foster writes,

>Hate to break it to you, but this has already been done using the Mecha!
>tabletop combat rules.

  But there's more than one way to skin a cat, eh? Now that I have a
minute, let me look at Khyro's outline...

>The game I'm designing is a relatively modifiable mecha tabletop game. Game
>play takes place on a hex map, between units of 5-20 Mobile Suits )as well as
>stuff like Core Fighters, Transport Ships, and other vehicles).

  Cool. I might suggest a Giren's Greed-style option to treat teams of
plebes as single unit - 5 Saberfish, 3 Zakus, 4 GMs, or whatever to a unit.
Ace pilots, of course, would count as individual counters. This makes it a
little weird when you're loading ships - in Giren's Greed, a Musai can
carry anywhere from six plebe Zakus to two ace Zakus - but it actually
doesn't detract much from the simulation.

>The basic game will revolve around Action Points (APs). APs basically
>represent Speed, and how maneuverable that particular Mobile Suit is. These
>points can be spent on movement, shooting, and other actions.

  Fair enough, though you may want to cap the number of APs that can be
spent on movement - otherwise ace pilots automatically get faster mobile
suits.

  Another idea is to have the mobile suit place a limit on the number of
APs the pilot can spend; thus, ace pilots benefit from highly manueverable
mobile suits but find that slower ones cramp their style, while high-end
mobile suits will simply be wasted on plebes. In game systems where the
mobile suit adds to or multiples the pilot's abilities, fancy mobile suits
make the pilots better, which seems kinda un-Gundam-like.

>Taking a shot with a beam rifle or attacking a Mobile Suit with a beam saber
>will take one AP. Attacks will probably be resolved with a simple opposed
>action roll (Attacker rolls attack value vs. Defender's defense value), as I
>said above, it's supposed to be simple.

  Sounds good. You might also allow for the option of spending an AP to
dodge (resulting, perhaps, in a defense bonus). This will give an advantage
to ace pilots with spare APs, and force pilots who are outnumbered or
slower on the initiative to waste all their actions dodging (which seems to
happen a lot in Gundam).

> Since death in Gundam can come from one well placed shot, damage
>will be
>deadly. Most likely a structural value (something like 1-20), and an armor
>value. The armor value is subtracted from all damage inflicted, and any left
>over damage will be subtracted from the structural value.

  Excellent. There's no evidence that Gundam armor degrades when it gets
hit, so the range in armor values will neatly account for the
indestructibility of Luna titanium and Gundarium armor. You might also
consider having bazooka and missile weapons treated as multiple attacks,
giving them the possibility of heavy damage but making them
disproportionately susceptible to armor effects. Meanwhile, piercing
weapons like machine guns and beam rifles would do less damage, but since
all the damage is delivered as a single attack, there's a better chance of
penetrating the armor.

>Victory Points will are gained when winning one turn of combat, this gives
>the winning mecha a speed bonus, which translated into more APs. So for
>example, if Unit 1 attacks Unit 2, and Unit 1 wins that round of combat (not
>defeats Unit 2 mind you, just inflicts more damage to Unit 2 than Unit 2
>inflicts to Unit 1) Victory Points are awarded to Unit 1, so he has a speed
>bonus next turn. Basically showing that he's kicking Unit 2's butt.

  Again, excellent. I've often observed just this kind of cascading
advantage, wherein a mobile suit pilot has a very hard time recovering from
being put on the defensive. The best solution is often to duck out of the
enemy's view or distract him with a decoy manuever, giving you a chance to
recover your equilibrium - in other words, wiping the Victory Point slate
clean.

As you may have guessed, your ideas for game mechanics are along much the
same lines as the ones I've developed myself, and those I've seen used in
Japanese simulation games. I'm impressed with your ideas, and I look
forward to seeing the development of your game system. :-)

-- Mark

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Mark Simmons <mailto:scorpio@best.com>
MacAddict: the magazine! <http://www.macaddict.com/>
Gundam: the Project! <http://gundam.anime.net/>
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