Saturday, 30 June 2012

Mantis tanks close in

Blight Wheel Miniatures are expecting a batch of 34 mantis tanks to go up at the store a bit later today. There's a list of local posting times here.

It seems to me there are very few unusual vehicle designs in tabletop gaming, and even insectoid walkers like the mantis aren't especially uncommon. In fact, it seems like a good time to ask - can you think of anything weirder?

I've got the urge to stat something that could use this model so here's a possible profile for Rogue Space. I've used the vehicle construction rules from December, but the mech expansion being developed at TheFairlyUnkempt might well be able to do the job better.

Hektid ASW Mk. VII, 'The Creepy Crueller'

The Hektid Armoured Support Walker sees extensive use on the broken ground of the Eternal Fronts, often operating remotely at the whim of its Notwork cranAI. A response to the depth of current craterscapes, the Mk. VII bears a Morder on its thoratic mount.

C       0%     [0]
H     37.5%   [1]   Manipules (1 Attack)   [1]  Head + 1 Light Pulveriser   [1]  1 Big Morder
A     37.5%   [3]   C:H: 1, 1, 1  S: 5
S      25%    [2]   25' (ignores terrain to thorax height and abdomen width; 1D2 Attacks per 1S)
E     100%     8

The profile for the Light Pulveriser is here. The Big Morder is a new Empyric weapon.

Big Morder       H       Shells       as Shell       Indirect fire

I've updated the footer with new blogs working on Rogue Space. If you don't know it yet, you can get the pocketmods free here and the book here or here; my old review is here.



M. Jared Swenson said...

I do like your vehicle system. It works great in that its similar to the spaceship system. The spaceship system i didnt like at first, but the more i analyzed it the more i liked it.

I plan on using it for my upcoming rogue space campaign with some friends. We wont be using any mechs in that game, but will be using vehicles. I dont want to confuse my players with another set of rules thrown into the mix. My mech rules work well if you are using other mechs.

For the mantis tank, the stats i would give it using my mechs rules would be:
Hektid ASW Mk. VII
Head: Medium HP:3
Attach: Manipules (Dmg:M Rng:0)
Torso: Medium HP:6
Attach: Big mortar
Legs: Medium HP:10

No pilot-remote controlled
Medium Armor
4 legged-double leg HP

Targeting(+1) Movement(+1) Power(0)
Speed: 3 spaces (30 meters)

I had to scale the movement down because it's much smaller than the mechs in my rules. This machine would be pretty tough to face for players because its medium armor and having to roll hit location generally means the damage is spread out among the machine, making it tougher to take down.

Porky said...

It always makes me happy to hear the rules posted here are being used by other people. I'd be interested in how you get on, and what improvements you'd suggest. I've already sent off a revised version of the system to Fenway5 for Rogue Transmissions #1, but that needn't be the end of it, and I'm more than willing to keep the development going.

I don't know too much about mechs overall, but I see the attraction for sure. Seeing what you're doing with the expansion has me wanting to follow the subject up in some way, and bring it into a session at some point soon. The fact the mech ruleset can deal with something like the mantis tank so easily is encouraging. Both profiles probably look complex to someone unfamiliar with the generation systems, but the mech approach - and hopefully the vehicle approach too - is comfortably simple, partly for the modularity. It could even be surprisingly simple for the amount it has to offer, especially to gamers used to heavier games. It seems to me to be very true to the RS and rules-light philosophy that less can be more.

Seeing how you've approached the mini, I've gone back to the profile in the post and clarified the location of the head, and built it up a little with the unused points of armour. The bulk of the legs also has me thinking the vehicle system could suggest redundant construction points as an option, to bulk up the system without adding extra speed. That said, one of the advantages of the rules-light approach is the potential for the situation to be clarified in play, and possibly unexpected combinations of results to be interpreted. It's also likely that an RS referee is hands-on and DIY-inclined enough to tinker with the thing before running it, and I'm very wary of overcomplicating. It seems to me Rogue Space encourages players to bring certain expectations to the table, and this probably also encourages the under-the-hood, seat-of-the-pants approach.

Having so much themed fan-made material also helps get everyone on the same page, and it's satisfying to see just how much we've all made in what is a very short time.

M. Jared Swenson said...

I agree with the simplicity aspect you mentioned. My mech profile i just made seems complex when looking at it, but familiarity with the rules helps. The rules will be released within this coming week so stay tuned. I just have to get one more playtest session in.

About simplicity, Rogue Space does cry for a simple approach to anything, and i tried to keep that with mechs. I have several optional rules that will be in the rulebook that sort of bloat the system, but add a sense of realism or immersion, therefor they are completely optional to play. At the core though my 12 year old sister made a mech, and played in my playtest without hitch. The rogue space system is easy to pick up, and it seems like my mechs rules didnt stray too far from that.

Porky said...

Keeping those rules optional seems to me a good idea too. It gives the referee a toolkit to select from as preferred, and offers more of the writer's vision without actually imposing all of it. I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Fenway5 said...

Guys thanks for all your inspiration and creativity in expanding the RS system while insuring the simplicity inherit in the rules remains a guiding principle.

I think it insures more people can get into play RPG's and allows the referee or player more room to experiment, create, and expand the game to make it their own. In my my book that's Mission Accomplished.

Porky said...

Thanks for letting us, and for starting it all of course.