Rules preview: fielding your companies

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Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby lumpley » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:10 am

Hello!

Let's start here, I think:

Timeline
In the days before you play, create your company.
- Rules preview: building your company
- Rules preview: speccing a frame
When you meet to play, compare your companies to determine each player's asset value and tactical position.
- Rules preview: balance & victory
- Initiative Preview
When you meet to play, set up the battlefield.
Field your companies: defense to offense to defense.
Play the battle out over a number of rounds, counting down to doomsday.
- Rules preview: initiative and turns
- Rules preview: your mobile frame's turn
- Rules preview: when you come under attack

So, setting up the battlefield and fielding your companies!

When you meet to play, set up the battlefield.

Terrain
Cover your table with terrain. Give it a good mix of cover and rubble, with some wide avenues, some snipers' nests, some cul-de-sacs, some killing grounds and no-man's-lands.

Any structure on the battlefield counts as cover if it's 3 bricks or more high.

Every player has to approve the layout of the battlefield before you begin fielding your companies. Any player can adjust the battlefield layout until all are satisfied with it.

The Ruler
By default, for typical dining room tables, play with a ruler 8 units long, with each unit being 5cm.

Your table should measure 4-6 rulers' lengths on the diagonal, so if it's bigger or smaller, adjust accordingly:
- If your table is bigger, increase each unit to 6 or 7cm, or else tape off the edges or corners of your table.
- If your table is much smaller, decrease the ruler to 6 units long.

Ranges
- Hand to hand range is 1 ruler unit or less.
- Direct fire range is from 1 ruler unit out to the length of the ruler (typically, 8 units).
- Artillery range is any distance outside the length of the ruler.

Measure the physical space between the mobile frames. If it's 1 unit or less, it's hand to hand range. If it's the length of the ruler or less, down to 1 unit, it's direct fire range. If it's more than the length of the ruler, it's artillery range.

Ranges are exclusive. You can't use a direct fire weapons system at hand to hand range, nor an artillery weapon system at hand to hand or direct fire range.

Field your companies: defense to offense to defense.

Initial Defense
The player with the high initiative starts.

Place your stations on the battlefield. Place them wherever you want, but within direct fire range of one another.

You have a defensive perimeter: only you can place your mobile frames within direct fire range of any of your stations.

Place two of your mobile frames. Place them within your perimeter, but otherwise, wherever you like. It's probably to your advantage to place them at the advance edge of your perimeter, and probably to your advantage to place them in cover.

Initial Offense
The player with the lowest initiative goes second.

Place one of your mobile frames. Place it (a) outside the defensive player's perimeter, (b) at the limit of - but within - direct fire range of one of the defensive player's mobile frames, and (c) out of cover.

This is the point mobile frame.

Continuing Offense
All offensive players alternate, mobile frame by mobile frame, until all the offensive players' mobile frames are on the field.

On each of your turns, place one of your mobile frames. Place it (a) outside the defensive player's perimeter, and (b) outside direct fire range of any of the defensive player's mobile frames, but otherwise, wherever you like.

Once all the offensive players' mobile frames are on the field, alternate again, placing your stations.

On each of your turns, place one of your stations. Try not to place it within direct fire range of any opponents' mobile frames, but this might not always be possible.

Final Defense
The player with the high initiative finishes.

Place your remaining mobile frames on the battlefield. Place them wherever you want, but if you place them outside of your perimeter, place them in cover to any potential enemies.

The battle starts now, at the moment the point mobile frame exposed itself to fire.

Questions welcome!

-Vincent
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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby MittenNinja » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:45 am

lumpley wrote:The Ruler
By default, for typical dining room tables, play with a ruler 8 units long, with each unit being 5cm.

Your table should measure 4-6 rulers' lengths on the diagonal, so if it's bigger or smaller, adjust accordingly:
- If your table is bigger, increase each unit to 6 or 7cm, or else tape off the edges or corners of your table.
- If your table is much smaller, decrease the ruler to 6 units long.


So, if my math is correct, that means each unit is about 2in on a table with a diameter of 64in to 96in?
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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby lumpley » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:30 am

I suppose!

If you're playing on a normal table, make your ruler out of 4-long click hinge bricks.

Image

-Vincent
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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby Wadmaasi » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:13 am

lumpley wrote:The battle starts now, at the moment the point mobile frame exposed itself to fire.

That is fantastic.
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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby David Artman » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:55 am

Wadmaasi wrote:
lumpley wrote:The battle starts now, at the moment the point mobile frame exposed itself to fire.

That is fantastic.
Yep, a truly insightful setup change. Too often, at least a turn or two of Mechaton was taken up closing to engagement range while being HAMMERED by artillery on the way there--no wonder we always though, "Man, gotta roll two arties at least".
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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby Ramcat » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:01 pm

lumpley wrote:Ranges
- Hand to hand range is 1 ruler unit or less.
- Direct fire range is from 1 ruler unit out to the length of the ruler (typically, 8 units).
- Artillery range is any distance outside the length of the ruler.

Measure the physical space between the mobile frames. If it's 1 unit or less, it's hand to hand range. If it's the length of the ruler or less, down to 1 unit, it's direct fire range. If it's more than the length of the ruler, it's artillery range.


The "space between", does that mean 'chest to chest' or 'weapon/arm/greeble tip to weapon/arm/greeble tip''?
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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby randolph » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:41 pm

lumpley wrote:Final Defense
The player with the high initiative finishes.

Place your remaining mobile frames on the battlefield. Place them wherever you want, but if you place them outside of your perimeter, place them in cover to any potential enemies.

The battle starts now, at the moment the point mobile frame exposed itself to fire.

So, as the Defender, I can put my HtH shredders right on top of the enemy artillery? I know it's probably because I've never physically played, but this seems brutal to me.

Ramcat wrote:The "space between", does that mean 'chest to chest' or 'weapon/arm/greeble tip to weapon/arm/greeble tip''?

lumpley wrote:For hand to hand, measure the physical space between the frames, at their closest. If it's 1 ruler unit or less, it's hand to hand range. If it's more, it's direct fire range.

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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby Ramcat » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:44 pm

Wadmaasi wrote:
lumpley wrote:The battle starts now, at the moment the point mobile frame exposed itself to fire.

That is fantastic.


Yeah, I didn't quite get that on first read through, but thinking back to my test game last night, this is a very cool setup technique.

"Everybody was walking along, doing their thing, until Johnson stepped out into the street, and all heck broke loose..."
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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby calculus » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:54 pm

Well, this will certainly stop the dominance of artillery that I'd been seeing in my sim games.
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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby Mantisking » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:55 pm

calculus wrote:Well, this will certainly stop the dominance of artillery that I'd been seeing in my sim games.

I told you set-up was important.
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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby randolph » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:07 pm

lumpley wrote:Final Defense
The player with the high initiative finishes.

Place your remaining mobile frames on the battlefield. Place them wherever you want, but if you place them outside of your perimeter, place them in cover to any potential enemies.

Am I correct in reading this as "Remaining Defender frames outside of the defensive perimeter must be placed in cover from all Attacker forces?"
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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby lumpley » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:17 pm

Randolph: Potentially quite brutal, yes.

Usually the defender can't afford to place defensive units so offensively, but give it a shot, maybe you can make it work.

And yes, correct, defending frames outside of the defensive perimeter must be placed in cover to all attackers. (Otherwise, the battle would have started sooner, when they came into view!)

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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby randolph » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:22 pm

Thanks Vincent!

I'm so hyped!
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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby lumpley » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:30 pm

The technical term for placing your remaining defenders outside of your defensive perimeter is "holy hutch! You grashers AMBUSHED us!"

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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby schoon » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:30 pm

If I'm reading this right, the suggested diagonal table dimension is somewhere between 5ft and 7ft, which is actually considerably larger than I'd envisioned before. (For some reason I had a 3ft diameter circle in my head.)

Am I correct that the "average sized table" would be 3ft radius?

I ask because I'd love to do a MF∅ Tourney at a local con after generating interest with a few FLG store demos.
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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby schoon » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:32 pm

lumpley wrote:If you're playing on a normal table, make your ruler out of 4-long click hinge bricks.

Image

...and may I say that this totally rocks!
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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby timonkey » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:26 pm

Who uses metric? Inches!

For the defender, do all stations have to be within DF of all other stations?

Here's an oddity, what if the defender puts his frame between his stations? You can't place the point frame correctly.

Try not to place it within direct fire range of any opponents' mobile frames, but this might not always be possible.


Is this a rule, or just a tactical suggestion?

(I was going to ask the same thing about defenders outside the perimeter in cover, but that was already addressed).
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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby Dukayn » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:40 pm

timonkey wrote:Who uses metric?

Pretty much everyone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_of_measurement wrote:Metrication is complete or nearly complete in almost all countries of the world. US customary units are heavily used in the United States and to some degree Liberia. Traditional Burmese units of measurement are used in Burma. U.S. units are used in limited contexts in Canada due to a high degree of trade.
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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby Carda » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:54 pm

Dukayn wrote:
timonkey wrote:Who uses metric?

Pretty much everyone.

The day the US tries to shift to the metric system for daily life is the day cops across the country fill their annual quota for speeding tickets as people mistake kph for mph.

I, for one, will most likely be using inches in typical play simply because it's extremely likely I'll mostly be demonstrating the game to wargamers anyway. Knowing that 1 unit equates to 5 centimeters, which in turn equals 2 inches, makes for a good mental shortcut: just double all numbers relating to range or distance and call it good.
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Re: Rules preview: fielding your companies

Postby randolph » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:03 pm

timonkey wrote:For the defender, do all stations have to be within DF of all other stations?

Yes:
lumpley wrote:Place your stations on the battlefield. Place them wherever you want, but within direct fire range of one another.

Or did you mean when you're using 2-player full-scale combat rules with 3 stations a piece?

timonkey wrote:Here's an oddity, what if the defender puts his frame between his stations? You can't place the point frame correctly.

This is only possible if the stations are significantly larger than the frames, or you've wedged everything in a corner. If you have your two stations adjacent to and on opposite sides of a frame (the largest possible defensive perimeter around a frame for 2 stations), the shortest distance to the frame will be along the line perpendicular to the line drawn between the centerpoint of those two stations. The frame and stations will have nonzero dimensions, so that shortest distance will not be equal to the total radius of the defensive perimeter, as the centerpoints of the stations will be pushed out from the centerpoint of the frame. You can get this to happen with large enough stations and a small enough frame, but I assume that falls under the "build to this scale" rules. Not sure about the corner case though ;)
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