Monday, January 4, 2010

Mice in Mech Suits group playtest

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:

The terrain and cover ended up being very important - the trees and some serpent heroscape minis were mutant plants that attacked anyone coming into an adjacent square, which was used to great advantage by the players.  The long range weapons wielded by the Terminator Bots and the Dog Boys more or less pinned down a lot of the players behind cover, but two threw caution to the wind and ran up to engage some alien dogs in melee only to get their arms and legs blasted off in short order.  The combat hung in the balance when the third wave of attackers showed up - the War Gorilla charged into the middle of the battlefield, ready to wreak havoc, when James' mech grabbed it and threw it between two trees which subsequently hit it for a ton of damage, and then the next round Brent scored a critical hit with his mech's massive sword and nearly finished it off.  My big bad 300 HP monster ended up dying without getting to attack a single time because of some extremely lucky rolls on the part of the party, and the tide of battle turned from that moment on.  The alien acid blob did manage to cause some consternation as it melted both legs and one arm off of Danny's mech in one round, and exploded in a huge shower of acid that took out one of Brent's legs when it was finally destroyed a few rounds later.  While none of the party died, there were a lot of missing limbs (a function of the hit chart that is a part of my mech rules) and it definitely was not an easy combat.

Here I am, eyeballing line of sight for a Dog Boy sniper as it perched up on a tower picking off PCs:

Carter chose the Hulk to represent his knightly Mech, and promptly got pinned down in enemy territory and lost a leg and his sword arm - here he is charging across the bridge on his way to danger:

My girlfriend chose a winged Valkyrie to represent Maid Marion, her bandit mech:

She also gussied up the character sheets that I threw together for everyone before the combat started:

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.


  1. Awesome set up! I can see how your game became even more challenging and tacatical with the Heroscape tiles and minis. I also think the character renditions of your girlfriend are inspired. Mechs in high heels!

  2. That looks pretty fun! I look forward to seeing the rules too.

  3. Sounds great; the tiles are nicely arranged; The Misfits rock!; and the illustration is well rendered.

    Mecha-Mice for the Win!

  4. Awesome write-up. Sounds like a blast!
    Looking forward to seeing your mech rules.

  5. I was amazed at how well everything went, yeah it took a while but it seemed pretty well balanced even without the rules you set aside for the group size. I thought it would take forever and that some of the non- paper pen Veterans might be a little intimidated but I could not have been more wrong. Seemed like everyone took right to it and I know I had a lot of fun.

    PS: Misfits Rock Indeed! my NOFX poster is off camera



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...