I just ran my Mutant Future group through a pretty epic playtest of the mech combat rules I have been working on. Running 8 people through a large scale combat with three waves of attackers coming at them took longer than I had anticipated. The one-on-one playtests that I ran the night before with my girlfriend where we each controlled two mechs and duked it out had been pretty fast and furious, but with such a large group I ditched the individual initiatives rolled every round in favor of just going round the circle, with all the players going then all the monsters under my control going. This took one of the more interesting elements of my rules out of play; each mech has at least a 30 HP force field that refreshes at the start of its turn in combat, so when you roll initiative each round there is the possibility of the enemy getting to hit you to end a round, then you losing initiative and the enemy going again before your shields could refresh. It also made movement less important, because you add your current movement to your initiative roll in my rules. In my effort to save time with a larger group by ditching individual initiative each round I think I actually made the combat last longer!
Everyone still had a good time and the battle was a success; the mice turned back the invasion of the Dog Boys and other allies of Julius Corple (Terminator Bots, a War Gorilla, some alien tongue beasts, some alien "dogs" and a terrifying blob of alien acid). We used my new Heroscape tiles and while I was getting some last minute prep work done I had my girlfriend and one of the other players set up the gameboard with instructions to include lots of elevation change, water and swamp tiles. This is what they ended up with:
Here I am, eyeballing line of sight for a Dog Boy sniper as it perched up on a tower picking off PCs:
Mechs in high heels! Why didn't I think of that? She is wielding a vicious hairbrush in one hand and appears to have some terrifying ribbons and a daisy of doom!
The rules worked very well, and I will be posting the beta playtest version that we used tonight up on this blog in the next few days so that I can hopefully get some more feedback on it. Right now it is a complete stand alone game with mech creation rules, a combat system and some pretty detailed tactical mini rules in 9 pages.