Mobile Frame Zero: Intercept Orbit.

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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby schoon » Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:47 am

I know that thinking about additions for rules that don't exist yet may be putting the cart before the horse, but sometimes I just can't help myself.

I was thinking about fortifications for MFØ, and thought to myself - why can't that work for Alpha Bandit as well...

Star Forts

These are ships that don't move - they may not have d6G Systems (like normal ships), but neither may they use d6W for movement.

In exchange, they receive a bonus d6B - much in the same way that Frigates receive a bonus d6G .

Thoughts?
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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby gusindor » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:08 pm

An extra defense die really doesn't seem worth giving up the ability to move at all.
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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby schoon » Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:44 pm

gusindor wrote:An extra defense die really doesn't seem worth giving up the ability to move at all.


Good observation - I was conflicted to go with a d6 or a d8. There's also the "cover" benefit to consider.

My gut says that a bonus d6B plus the cover "bonus," as if the station had d6B d6B should be adequate for balance. Movement is not always a blessing in this game!
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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:19 pm

Well, the question is, why would you want one?

Maybe it can come with d6B, so it rolls five dice total, and if you add another d6B gives it the ability to protect others nearby. Then you still have three slots for systems, which means it can take d6Y d6Y and still have a weapon — perhaps a point defense weapon, cuz that thing seems great to capture. Or perhaps you use it for artillery and point defense.
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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby schoon » Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:20 pm

Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:Well, the question is, why would you want one?


Good question - and to be perfectly honest, when I came up with the concept, that really wasn't a consideration.

Static defenses (the Maginot Line in WWII or Sadam's defensive line in the Gulf War) have not weathered the advance of time and technology particularly well, and there's no real reason to think that they're going to stage a comeback anytime in the near future.

However, there will always be static things worth defending, and that's more in line with my thought process - the Hydroponic Peach Dome on Asteroid 225 (read: HVA). Tow a fort up next to it when tensions are high, and then tow it somewhere else when priorities change.

Granted, this is all scenario/background driven as opposed to something that's more competitive game-wise.
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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby Meaker VI » Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:48 pm

schoon wrote:Static defenses (the Maginot Line in WWII or Sadam's defensive line in the Gulf War) have not weathered the advance of time and technology particularly well, and there's no real reason to think that they're going to stage a comeback anytime in the near future.


But in space, where any 'defensive structure' is essentially the same as any fully-mobile attacking spacecraft in its own right, this may break back down. A space-fort with maneuvering thrusters but no main engine would be able to evade incoming fire nearly as well as a spacecraft, and could dump all the extra energy it has from not running a huge engine into weapons/defenses. It could be an asteroid, even in a setting where engine power isn't sufficient to move asteroids around, making it neigh indestructible.
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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby Soren » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:41 pm

Meaker VI wrote:It could be an asteroid, even in a setting where engine power isn't sufficient to move asteroids around, making it neigh indestructible.


Oh, you can go even further than that. Artificial liquid-metal planets with defensive fire envelopes measured in AU, for one.
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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby eatrepeat » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:05 pm

Soren wrote:Oh, you can go even further than that. Artificial liquid-metal planets with defensive fire envelopes measured in AU, for one.


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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:15 am

Dunno if anyone saw the shoutout in the last Alpha Bandit update, but that series is great. Really good characters, lots of tactics and trickery and mis/disinformation.
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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby grafvonbarnez » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:32 pm

So is the next rules document coming out only after the kickstarter is funded? I was hoping to get my hands on it before PAX, at least so I'd know what to bring. Is v3 still relatively compatible? I saw you've changed the ranges and fleet sizes at least, and the third update vaguely implied the stat line for frame companies isn't fixed any more.

Also, it's great that ships can still attack with only whites. That wasn't clear from the playtest (there not being any "melee" with ships), and without it ships without systems only had ramming to attack.
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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby Ramcat » Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:40 pm

Congrats Joshua, Soren (and any others I don't know about). Love the weapon range rename to Point, Assault, and Support. Much better than the .3 rules. Seems like a nice continuation of MFZ. I really need to go back and play MFZ to understand the rule changes for this version.

Edit: spelling.
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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:56 pm

Graf, we'll have to see! I don't think I'll be able to swing a new draft in before PAX. But I'll be able to teach face-to-face!
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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby schoon » Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:37 pm

Ramcat wrote:Congrats Joshua, Soren (and any others I don't know about). Love the weapon range rename to Point, Assault, and Support. Much better than the .3 rules. Seems like a nice continuation of MFZ. I really need to go back and play MFZ to understand the rule changes for this version.


Love Point. Love Support.

Assault doesn't seem very space shippy to me... Perhaps: Combat, Attack, or Battle?
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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby DRevD » Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:33 pm

schoon wrote:
Ramcat wrote:Congrats Joshua, Soren (and any others I don't know about). Love the weapon range rename to Point, Assault, and Support. Much better than the .3 rules. Seems like a nice continuation of MFZ. I really need to go back and play MFZ to understand the rule changes for this version.


Love Point. Love Support.

Assault doesn't seem very space shippy to me... Perhaps: Combat, Attack, or Battle?


"Battle range" has a very age of sail feel to it, which I like.
Assault does have more of a close range and boarding connotation to it.
But yeah, I do like the new range names overall compared to .3.. a good decision
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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby Ramcat » Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:39 pm

"Attack" range is good . So yeah, I'd say that is better than assault. Point, attack, support.
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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby DRevD » Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:51 am

So I started building some ships and I noticed I was making a lot of ships that were simply not big enough to really fit capital ship or frigate size, but not small enough to ever be confused for a frame by any means.

I feel there might be a missed opportunity here to encourage smaller ship size construction. Similar to frigates, create a rule for ships that only have 2 systems that could receive d8G and/or the ability to turn more clicks per movement value. Call them corvettes or something to that effect. Honestly I don't know if this would be balanced or even needed in the game, so perhaps have this as an optional rule towards the back. I think it would be great if the rulebook made a nod towards more ship diversity, but it wouldn't have to be in the core game rules.
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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby Scrape » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:16 pm

I find myself on the fence about the lack of weight- or size- class rules in MFZ. I'm not sure if it's just a legacy mechanic from previous giant-robot-battle games or what. The new Alpha Bandit Capital vs Frigate satisfies that itch for me, while remaining simple. I was surprised at just how few ships you field for a battle, anyway, so having even more decisions about even smaller ships doesn't appeal much to me.

Anyway, ship models can be whatever size, as long as you stick them on the right base. Like, the playtest stuff says specifically that a Capitol ship sits on an 8x8 stud base, but the model can be no larger than 16 studs. That's a big overlap! So I don't think you need to worry too much about the size of your actual ships.

If it's more a weight-class issue, that's an area that's totally begging for good house rules anyway (MFZ and AB both).
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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby Ced23Ric » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:37 am

So, Frame (?), Point, Assault/Attack, Support.

What about Point, Close, Mid, Long? I'd personally like a designation that is absolutely with ambiguity, for the ease of teaching new players. If you need to explain that Assault/Attack is not the "boarding" range and that "support" is not a function, but a range surpassing all others, and that "point" is not the shortest range, but the range longer than where frames fight, I am feeling as if we're arbitrarily adding confusion for new players. It seems as if these range designator words were chosen more to be cool, less to be ... clear. The rule of cool in a wargame that aims at the young and casual gamers should embrace simplicity above coolness, and make entry as easy as possible.

We currently have h for Hand-to-Hand, d for Direct Fire, a for Artillery. And b for Blue, w for White, y for Yellow, g for green. For the sake of having singular letter designators of dice function, a would doubles in MFZ:RA and MFZ:AB, meaning two different increments. We use k for Black, to distinct between blue and black, shouldn't we go for similar distinctions in MFZ:AB aswell?

That'd give us:

d6Rd = d6Rp *
Image = d6Rc *²
Image = d6Rm *²
Image = d6Rl *²
Image = d6K

Whaddaya think?

* Icon for Direct-Fire as a seemingly valid stand-in for "Frame" range.
*² Icons made when the increments were Point Defense Guns, Missiles and Lasers. Had an old PDF version of the rules. Just substitutes, will make better ones once this is set in stone.


Scrape wrote:I find myself on the fence about the lack of weight- or size- class rules in MFZ. If it's more a weight-class issue, that's an area that's totally begging for good house rules anyway (MFZ and AB both).
I remember toying around with the idea of weight classes in MFZ, but we soon realized that a d6W d6W d6W or d6W frame changed the balance a lot - the overabundance or lack of wildcard dice amplifies or subtracts from performance alot. And if you keep the Whites the same, you are really just building frames/ships with less systems anyway. Truth be told, I went in to quite a few games with frames only sporting 2 systems, and they were valueable assets - simply because they allowed me to get below systems to my opponent, getting my points per asset up (which is a fixed number as the game starts), while maintaining activation advantage due to having more frames than my opponent. Essentially, I hade more frames and the same amount of bases, but less systems than my opponent. As a result, I had the same ppa as them, but more assets, so I had both activation advantage and initiative advantage. While it is a gamble, this allowed for some pretty vile tactics - with every asset on the field being the same worth, having more assets meant winning - and if two frames shoot one frame, the combat loss threshold is in your favour, too.

d6W d6W d6B d6Rd d6Rd d8Rr
d6W d6W d6B d6Rd d6Rd d8Rr

vs.

d6W d6W d6B d6Y d6G d6Rd d6Rd d8Rr

Has the two frames usually come out on top for a simple reason. First frame shoots, activates hostile frame, they trade based on their d6Rd rolls, then the second frame shoots, without return fire. Basically, there's now twice the d6W shooting at you, and since d6W can do everything - the two frames are a lot more durable/flexible than they may seem. Underestimating 2 system frames/ships will be the end of any aspiring company/fleet commander. :D
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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby schoon » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:49 am

Ced23Ric wrote:d6Rd = d6Rp *
Image = d6Rc *²
Image = d6Rm *²
Image = d6Rl *²
Image = d6K


Sadly, I don't think we'all really know on these till Joshua let's us know where his creative meme is on it, but thanks for throwing those into the ring!

Ced23Ric wrote:I remember toying around with the idea of weight classes in MFZ, but we soon realized that a d6W d6W d6W or d6W frame changed the balance a lot - the overabundance or lack of wildcard dice amplifies or subtracts from performance alot.


I've been giving this a little thought recently, as I've seen the same results in my experiments with more/less white dice to represent larger/smaller frames. However, as I really do like the idea of power suits and collasus running around the battlefield, I've stubbornly kept at it.

My latest tests, which are coming out much better, involve keeping the dice ratio the same, but changing to a d4 or d8 as the base die type (thus a power suit uses d4s, and d6s for "doubled" systems, and a collasus uses d8 and d10). This changes the power without the wild die imbalance.
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Re: Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit

Postby Ced23Ric » Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:34 am

schoon wrote:Sadly, I don't think we'all really know on these till Joshua let's us know where his creative meme is on it, but thanks for throwing those into the ring!

Less about the icons (which are, for all intents and purposes placeholders until we know for sure), more about the distinctions of the ranges, especially in comparision to MFZ:RA.

Point, Close, Mid, Support. Any cents on that bit?

schoon wrote:My latest tests, which are coming out much better, involve keeping the dice ratio the same, but changing to a d4 or d8 as the base die type (thus a power suit uses d4s, and d6s for "doubled" systems, and a collasus uses d8 and d10). This changes the power without the wild die imbalance.

That ... that actually sounds like it would make sense, until you pit them against each other. A d6B 8 from a Colossus is impenetrable to a d6Rd 4 + d6Y 4 from a maxed shot, maxed spot powersuit. Even 3 or 4 could not crack that beast, because of the dice disparities.
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