• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

[Mechaton] Lego Mech Madness!

Mr_Pleasington

The Iron Tyrant
Validated User
Now why the hell didn't I ever think of something like Mechaton?

This is brilliant, though not complete yet. You've got to dig through the forums to find objectives, spotting dice, and other new rules.

It also sounds like he's added artillery and such.

Mechaton + Heroscape terrain would equal big fun.
 

Shadowjack

Cartoon Poet
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I've only done a quick skimming, but it looks like one of the most playable Lego wargames I've seen. None of that calculating point costs for each individual brick nonsense, for instance.

Downloaded, and will browse.
 

Mr_Pleasington

The Iron Tyrant
Validated User
I didn't know how it was balanced (or even if it was intended to be) until I saw the Objective/Doomsday Clock rules in the forum. Seems to make sense. I'm going to have to play this bad boy soon.
 

Catfish

Abominable Caftan
Validated User
Good yes, but needs more rules for sparkly bits! I like the simplicity of the die system and the advantage of being able to actually rip things off your mech to display damage. I like the rules mod and the note about one-shot missles. But it needs more. Specifically, a larger diversification between weapon and other add-on types. Like, say . . .

A weapon which adds a bonus to your damage rolls. This counts for two (or perhaps three, depending upon how good the effect is) red dice, but only allows you to roll one to attack.

A system like MASC from Battletech which allows you to boost your ground speed, but forces you to make a damage roll each time you use it.

And so on. I need more variables in the design process. Special weapons and more systems, perhaps even expand on the one-shot missle idea and add in limited ammunition for certain types of guns - either ones with a specific bonus, like the penetrator above, or perhaps put a numerical limit on the number of systems a mech can carry and use ammunition for any weapon which allows you to roll two or more dice.
 

Mr_Pleasington

The Iron Tyrant
Validated User
Judging from blog posts over at lumpley games, I'd say that's just the kind of thing they're trying to avoid adding to the rules.

As evidenced by the post here, from one of the playtesters (and gaming buddy of the author).

You have to appreciate the simple elegance or the system.
 

Catfish

Abominable Caftan
Validated User
So long as you keep the dice system, more options will increase design complexity without adversely affecting speed of play. So long as you have the white dice, dodging, and the nifty little "lighter legos have more initiative dice" bit, you'll have the same strategic considerations. As it stands I think I've already run out of different ideas on how to allocate the design dice.

To take the example I'm most familiar with: Battletech is not a clumsy system because of the design options. In fact, for the most part the only important difference between weapons systems is structural: space, weight, heat. Optimizing a 'Mech's payload is mathematical tetris and thus tedious as hell**. Once its on the table though, five damage is five damage regardless of the source. What slows the game down is the number of rolls required to resolve combat - you must roll to-hit with each weapon individually and then again for location, and a third time if a critical hit is scored. Four times if it's a missle system. Plus, the amount of damage a given 'Mech can take before being destroyed is tremendous. Level 2 tech was an attempt at solving this without actually revising the rules, by upping the damage of the weapons and introducing XL engines, which both vastly increased payloads and made 'Mechs easier to destroy. The game takes too long on the tabletop, not in the design phase.

Additional unit abilities don't compromise the core system unless their effects require exceptions to the rules or they're not balanced against other options*. There's a little strategy to the gameplay, sure, but come on . . . the appeal is the chance to make little lego mecha with ridiculous chainsaws and satellite dishes stuck to their backs. I'd like to be able to fiddle with it for more than ten minutes before I've determined all of the viable variations and I'm reduced to whether or not I want a vent on the top of this gun or a red light at the barrel end of that laser.

The ammunition idea might go too far towards the "changing the core rules" problem, I'll admit. I'm just struggling a bit for ideas when the only built-in variable is the number of dice rolled.

*This was the problem designing cars for Car Wars as more and more expansions were put out, so far as I'm aware. But three or four simple additions are far short of an encyclopedic list of options for every possible design variable. And you need point-for-point detail for that kind of degenerate min-maxing. Working within rules this simple and abstract, its much harder to come up with something really unbalancing without noticing it.

**Just throwing something together, however, is both quick and fulfilling.
 
Last edited:

Catfish

Abominable Caftan
Validated User
Hmm. Reading a page on the forums, I'm seeing all sorts of allusions to features not included in the pdf. D8 movement for wings, yellow dice for spotting, tossing enemy mechs, rules for adding half of the red dice to initiative? Along with the objective points and doomsday clock you mentioned. I wonder where all of this is explained.
 
Last edited:

Mr_Pleasington

The Iron Tyrant
Validated User
Top Bottom