Rules preview: speccing a frame

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Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby lumpley » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:44 pm

Hello!

A mobile frame consists of a frame and a variety of systems. In action, the mobile frame's systems give you the dice you roll.

Absent systems, a mobile frame can do four things:
Defend itself;
Move, navigating around cover;
Spot a target who is within direct fire range and not in cover;
Attack a target at hand-to-hand range.

The dice:
Blue dice are for defending.
Green dice are for moving.
Yellow dice are for spotting targets for other mobile frames to attack.
Red dice are for attacking.
White dice are wild; use them for any of the above.

Each mobile frame provides 2 white dice (2W).

A mobile frame can carry 0-2 defensive systems: armor, a shield, camoflage, stealth composite surfacing, ECM. The first defense system adds 1 blue die (1B). The second defense system adds a second blue die (2B), and allows the mobile frame to act as cover to other mobile frames without risking damage itself.

A mobile frame can carry 0-2 movement systems: jumpjets, wings, wheels. The first movement system adds 1 green die (1G), and allows the mobile frame to move through cover (otherwise, it has to go around it). The second movement system adds a second green die (2G).

A mobile frame can carry 0-2 surveillance/communications systems: a radio, a targeting laser, spotlights, a rifle scope. The first comms system adds 1 yellow die (1Y). The second comms system adds a second yellow die (2Y). Without any comms systems, the mobile frame can spot targets only within direct fire range and out of cover. With one comms system, the mobile frame can spot targets within direct fire range, but in cover. With two comms systems, the mobile frame can spot targets anywhere on the battlefield.

A mobile frame can carry 0-2 hand-to-hand weapon systems: a shock baton, a combat knife, a repurposed jackhammer. The first adds 2 red dice at hand-to-hand range (2Rh). The second adds 1 red 8-sided die at hand-to-hand range (2+d8Rh).

A mobile frame can carry 0-2 direct fire weapon systems: an assault rifle, a grenade launcher, a flamethrower, a beam weapon. The first adds 2 red dice at direct fire range (2Rd). The second adds 1 red 8-sided die at direct fire range (2+d8Rd).

A mobile frame can carry 0-2 artillery range weapon systems: a mortar, a sniper rifle, a railgun. The first adds 2 red dice at artillery range (2Ra). The second adds 1 red 8-sided die at artillery range (2+d8Ra).

A mobile frame can carry at most four systems.

It doesn't count as a system, but a mobile frame with no direct fire or artillery range weapons systems gets 1 green 8-sided die as well (d8G).

In addition to its frame and systems, a mobile frame can also carry up to 3 1-shot rockets. A 1-shot rocket provides 1 red d8 at direct fire range (d8Rd), once only. Discard it after you use it.

Split-range weapons
An advanced rule says that with everyone's approval, you can declare your weapon systems to be split-range. A split-range pistol, for instance, might add 1 red die at direct fire and 1 red die at hand to hand (1Rd & 1Rh), instead of 2 red dice at either (2Rd or 2Rh). A split-range assault rife with a scope might add 1 red die at direct fire range and 1 red die at artillery range (1Rd & 1Ra).

This is a way to hedge your bets, which will seem appealing at company design time. However, you'll find in play that MFØ is more likely to reward all-in commitment and full followthrough than bet hedging. I recommend splitting your weapons' ranges only when you have a solid strategy that calls for it.

The "soldier" configuration
A soldier-configured frame carries one defensive system, one movement system, one comms system, and one direct fire weapon system. Compared to this configuration, every other mobile frame is a specialist of some sort, to some degree. When you're creating your frames, an easy way to start is to make a soldier configuration and then swap systems in and out to specialize as needed.

Questions welcome!

-Vincent
Last edited by lumpley on Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby potsticker » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:51 pm

Is it possible for a frame to spot for another frame in their unit? Or does each frame need a sensor package individually for shooting into cover?
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby lumpley » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:08 pm

Ah! Good question. I'll explain a bit about spotting. I'll explain precisely how it works when I talk about a frame's turn and its dice, but for now:

First of all, you can always attack into cover, and you can always attack unspotted targets. You never need a spot to attack someone.

Spotting is your dude shining a targeting laser on an enemy or calling in its coordinates so your allies can zero in on it. When you spot a target, it makes a future attack on that target more effective.

In a frame's turn, you spot after you attack. This means that you always spot for future attackers, never for yourself. Spotting represents sharing information within your company (and with your company's allies), it doesn't represent one frame's individual ability to sharpshoot.

-Vincent
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby potsticker » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:12 pm

Thanks! Another question I have is on split weapons. Can you split between two existing systems to get, for example, 3Rd and 3Rh on the same frame?
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby lumpley » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:28 pm

So, for instance, I have an assault rifle (2Rd) and a mortar (2Ra), and I add a grenade launcher (1Rd & 1Ra)? That'd give me 3Rd & 3Ra, yes.

-Vincent
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby Roger » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:42 pm

I am correct in concluding that you can't spot a frame that's right on top of you without 2Y?
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby potsticker » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:51 pm

Interesting. That certainly gives a little to think about-- especially on how viable it is to spend three dice in weapon systems. I guess that leads me to ask, just how effective is a d8 in a weapon system in practice? Or even carrying two separate weapon systems on one frame? Are these too general of questions to be asking at this point?


Crazy Idea:
Peach Truck Convoy 2B.2Y
Weaponpalooza 3Ra.3Rd.1G (alternatively: 2Ra+8.1B.1G)
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby calculus » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:53 pm

Thanks for posting!
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby lumpley » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:35 pm

Roger: I want to say that you can always spot at hand to hand range, but you know, I don't remember for certain. I'll have to look it up.

Potsticker: Doubling up on weapons is a very viable approach. It's just that the more specialized your company, the more committed you are to a particular strategy.

Let's see, maybe I can say it this way. If you field a company of all soldier-configured frames, you aren't in danger of being caught flat-footed, but you are in danger of just falling short. You can adapt to any circumstance on the battlefield, but you may just not be able to bring enough to bear. Specialists in your company CAN get caught flat-footed, but can also follow through more effectively when they get the opportunity. That's the strategic balancing act you always have to do when you create a company.

Calculus: My pleasure. Thanks for reading.

-Vincent
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby lumpley » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:39 pm

Oh, everybody, it's worth noticing the asymmetries built into these rules.

For all systems, additional systems provide number bonuses, in the form of more and sometimes bigger dice. However, the bonuses for attacking outweigh the bonus for defending:
- Weapon systems give 2 dice or an 8-sided die, not one die.
- Comms systems add to attacks, making them more effective.
- Hand-to-hand attacks inflict more damage than others (as you'll see when I talk about attacks and damage).
But:
- For defense, you're limited to 1 or 2 blue dice, with no further number bonuses possible.

For some systems, additional systems provide rule bonuses as well:
- A second defensive system allows you to ignore damage when you're acting as cover.
- Any movement systems allow you to move through cover on the battlefield instead of going around it.
- A first comms system allows you to spot targets in cover, and a second comms system allows you to spot targets at artillery range too.

One set of systems even provides a number bonus in the negative:
- If you're carrying no direct fire or artillery range weapons, you add a green d8 for movement.

Taken all in all, these asymmetries balance the game on the side of fast, aggressive, and destructive. That's why it's "Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack," not "Mobile Frame Zero: Whiff and Grind."

-Vincent
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby potsticker » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:52 pm

The additional breakdown highlighted more questions:

Adding a second green die does not give an additional mechanical benefit, are the ranges granted by green die cumulative?
Does the d8 green die allow movement through cover on it's own, or is the first green system necessary? (I would assume not)
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby lumpley » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:07 pm

1. No, not cumulative.

2. The green d8 does let you move through cover, yes.

Usually it's not a good plan to build many frames with two movement systems. I can see a couple of circumstances where you'd want some in your company, but most of the time, the movement advantages available more cheaply will be good enough.

This is good news! You should breathe a sigh of relief and attach another weapon.

-Vincent
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby potsticker » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:19 pm

Thanks a bunch for answering all my questions. I'm surprised by the d8 ruling, but I guess that means my plan for a 2Rh.2B.1G might be more viable as a 2Rh+8.2B, or it's something to play around with at least.
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby lumpley » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:27 pm

Yes indeed. Both of those configurations are serious business and a terror on the field.

-Vincent
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby MittenNinja » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:29 pm

lumpley wrote:the bonuses for attacking outweigh the bonus for defending


This is why cover is so valuable!
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby Wadmaasi » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:20 pm

Ohhhh...now I understand (well...understand better, at least) what I was doing wrong with those Hi-Legs the other day.

Can someone (re-)explain the weapon exceptions? I'm not sure the circumstances in which they get to break the "only 4 systems, no more than 2 of any given type" rule, but it was posted in another thread in no uncertain terms that it's permissable.
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby lumpley » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:26 pm

They don't!

There used to be a rule that you could carry at most 3 weapons, but it's gone. That might be what that other thread was talking about.

-Vincent
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby lumpley » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:30 pm

Hey, if anybody wants my help speccing a frame, drop a link, picture, or description of it here and I'll be happy to say what I think.

-Vincent
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby potsticker » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:35 pm

One thing that would really help is the difference between Artillery and Direct range. What are the distances? It would really help in determining if certain weapon systems should be marked as Rd or Ra. The one-shot missiles are Rd, correct?
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Re: Rules preview: speccing a frame

Postby Wadmaasi » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:48 pm

lumpley wrote:There used to be a rule that you could carry at most 3 weapons, but it's gone.

OK, I see the distinction between 0-2 systems of a given type, and weapons of each range category now counting as different systems. Nice, these things are going to be awesomely destructive!
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