Rules preview: initiative and turns

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Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby lumpley » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:20 am

Hello!

As you'll recall from here, a smaller, weaker company starts the battle with more points than a larger, stronger one. The points are initiative.

Let's say that I'm fielding Captain Hattapon with 4 of her grasher shock marines, J is fielding a 4-frame contingent of Estar's Anvil, and you're fielding a deprivation-trained excursionary cell of 3 Ijad scramblers. With stations, I have 7 assets worth 3 each, J has 6 assets worth 5 each, and you have 5 assets worth 7 each. My initiative is 21, J's is 30, and yours is 35.

At the beginning of the battle, My shock marines are advancing in a relaxed wedge and my point frame has just crossed your perimeter. J's Anvil, more tightly ranked, is approaching your position in parallel with my marines, three strides over and half a stride behind. We're eyeing each other warily. You're badly outgunned but you have an excellent vantage in solid cover overlooking the broad, coverless approach.

In a Round

Each Mobile Frame gets one turn. The round ends when the last mobile frame's taken its turn.

During the round, we switch back and forth between initiative order and combat order, starting in initiative order.

As we destroy each others' mobile frames and seize each others' stations, we keep running initiative totals: Initiative = Assets x Asset Value.

After every Mobile Frame has taken its turn, we end the round.

Initiative order

The round begins in initiative order.

In initiative order, always start with the player with the highest initiative.

When you have the initiative, you can (a) choose one of your available mobile frames and take its turn, or (b) pass to the player with the next-highest initiative. That player then has the same choice, and potentially the next player too, down to the player with the lowest initiative. However:

- Each mobile frame gets only one turn in a round, so if you've already taken all of your frames' turns, you have to pass.

- Every mobile frame has to take a turn in a round, so if there are no frames left to go after yours, you have to take a turn.

Combat order

When one mobile frame attacks a mobile frame that hasn't taken its turn yet, switch to combat order.

In combat order, the attacking and defending mobile frames' turns overlap. The attacker takes the first part of its turn, the defender takes the first part of its turn, the attacker finishes its turn, and then the defender finishes its turn.

This counts as the defending mobile frame's turn for this round, naturally.

As defenders in turn attack targets of their own, combat order can cascade through a series of mobile frames' turns.

Once the cascade is done, return to initiative order to continue the round. Start as always with the player who has the highest initiative.

A mobile frame's turn

I'll go into detail about this later. For now:

1. Name your target.
2. Gather and roll your dice.
3. Defend.
4-5. Attack then move, or move then attack.
6. Spot.

Here's how turn overlap in combat order works.

You have the initiative so you're up first. You decide not to pass, but to take one of your scramblers' turns. You choose the scrambler nearest my point frame.

Your 1. You name your target: my point frame.
Your 2. You gather and roll your dice.
Your 3. You defend.
Your 4. You decide to attack first, then move, so you attack!

In order to resolve the attack - see here - we need to know my frame's defense number. So we put your turn on hold, and:

My 1. I name my target: your frame that's attacking me.
My 2. I gather and roll my dice.
My 3. I defend.

Now we know my defense number. We resolve the attack - I take no damage because I AM AWESOME - and we finish your turn:

Your 5. You move. You fall back to tighten your defense.
Your 6. You spot.

That's the end of your frame's turn, but my frame's turn is still underway. We step back into it:

My 4. I decide to move before I attack, to keep range with you, so I advance.
My 5. I attack! We already know your defense number, so we resolve my attack with no further interruption. Let's say that I blow the snot out of you because I AM AWESOME.
My 6. I spot.

And that's the end of my frame's turn.

There's no frame whose turn is still underway. If I'd chosen to attack a frame who hadn't already taken its turn, there would be, but I didn't, so there isn't. This means that the combat order cascade ends and we go back to initiative order.

Initiative order always startes with the player with the high initiative. That's you, so it's your choice: choose one of your two remaining frames and take its turn, or pass to J?

Running Initiative

The moment that any mobile frame is destroyed, recount that player's initiative.

The moment that any mobile frame seizes a station, recount both players' initiatives.

Initiative = Assets x Asset Value.

Your assets, recall, are your undestroyed Mobile Frames and the stations you control.

Destroying someone else's mobile frame costs them initiative points equal to their asset value. Seizing their station costs them initiative points equal to their asset value, and gains you initiative points equal to your own asset value.

Ending the round

Once every mobile frame's had its turn, we end the round.

To end the round, we tidy the battlefield and count down to doomsday, but I'll explain those another time.

As always, questions welcome!

-Vincent
Last edited by lumpley on Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby Forged » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:23 am

Want to add a slightly longer example of combat initiative that brings a third frame into the combat? I understand, but my brother assumed you had to shoot at the guy who shot you.
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby MittenNinja » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:32 am

Great summary. This pretty much affirms what I thought was going on in the other thread. Time to start playing some skirmishes with myself!
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby lumpley » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:39 am

Forged: Sure thing.

The round starts. You have the initiative. You choose a frame and take its turn.

Your 1. You name your target: my point frame.
Your 2. You gather and roll your dice.
Your 3. You defend.
Your 4. You decide to attack first, then move, so you attack!

We need to know my frame's defense, so, in combat order:

My 1. I name my target: J's frame at his flank nearer me.
My 2. I gather and roll my dice.
My 3. I defend.

We resolve your outstanding attack. I am awesome.

Your 5. You move.
Your 6. You spot.
the end of your frame's turn.

My 4. I move.
My 5. I attack!

We need to know J's frame's defense, so:

J's 1. He names his target: your frame who attacked me.
J's 2. He gathers and rolls his dice.
J's 3. He defends.

We resolve my attack. I am awesome.

My 6. I spot.
The end of my frame's turn.

J's 4. He attacks!

We already know your frame's defense, so we resolve the attack.

J's 5. He moves.
J's 6. He spots.
The end of J's frame's turn.

No outstanding turns, so we return to initiative order. You still have the high initiative, so you're up.

-Vincent
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby calculus » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:46 am

Thanks! Can't wait to try these rules out. Obviously I've been playing a bit "Wrong".

One thing that's going to make a big difference in my games is Move-Attack OR Attack-Move. I'd been playing strict Move-Attack only, which strongly penalizes defense and rearguard actions.
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby CPTPromotable » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:59 am

So, just to be sure, if you hold the initiative you can continue to activate until you have no more frames or you have passed to the next player?
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby goldenmeanie » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:01 pm

Thanks so much Joshua, Vincent, and everyone else for all the time and effort put into these rule preview threads! The Boys and I played a game last week based on my extremely flawed memory of the demo game at PAX East. Boy did I mess it up! We still had a lot of fun though and I can't wait to take it for another spin.

We were just doing some free-form playing with frames and terrain last night and it was hilarious to hear the 5yo using all the lingo while he pew-pewed his way around the table.
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby lumpley » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:19 pm

CPTPromotable: Yes! With some caveats:

1. When you attack someone who hasn't already gone, they get their turn, and they might activate someone else, who might activate someone else, and so on. You can't activate all your frames without anybody else getting a turn, unless you don't attack anybody. (This might happen late in a game, but early in the game, going a whole round without attacking anybody would be catastrophically stupid.)

2. When you pass, initiative order still returns to you next time. Suppose that you pass and J activates one of his frames, shoots at me, I shoot back, and we return to initiative order. Initiative order always returns to the player with the high initiative, so you're up first again, even though you passed last time.

In sum: if you have the initiative, as long as you have available frames, whenever there's a question about which frame goes next, you get first choice.

-Vincent
Last edited by lumpley on Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:20 pm

CPTPromotable wrote:So, just to be sure, if you hold the initiative you can continue to activate until you have no more frames or you have passed to the next player?


Yep! If you wanted to, you could walk every one of your guys around, not shooting at anyone, and no one would be able to interrupt.

On the other hand, if you take a poke at an opposing frame, that frame gets its turn. But once that target frame's gone, then you could still use the whole rest of your company attacking that single frame and no one would be able to interrupt you.

(Of course, then your opposition knows all your company's weaknesses and can act with impunity, knowing you can't shoot back until the end of the round.)
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby Wadmaasi » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:58 pm

lumpley wrote:The moment that any mobile frame is destroyed, recount that player's initiative.

I may be misremembering, but lunch is almost over and I don't have time to go digging through old preview threads at the moment. Isn't a frame's value based at least partly off the number of systems it has? Wouldn't destroying even a single system cause a frame's value to change, which could cause the entire initiative order to change?
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby Ramcat » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:23 pm

The value of your assests is only calculated pre-battle (durring setup). Once the game has begun the value of your assests does not change, even if they take damage. A 7 point asset is always that, throughout the whole game.
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby Wadmaasi » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:29 pm

Ramcat wrote:The value of your assests is only calculated pre-battle (durring setup).

Ah ha! That's far less convoluted than what I'd been thinking.
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:59 pm

Nope. You only lose points for a whole frame going down. Increasing the resolution to per-system is complicated, but might favor very particular types of play. We've discussed it for certain hacks, but in 001 you only lose points per frame (for good reasons: it makes destroying a frame an interesting question. "Do I destroy it to cost you points, or do I move to other, more tactically important frames?")
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby Wadmaasi » Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:26 pm

Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:"Do I destroy it to cost you points, or do I move to other, more tactically important frames?"

This is why I know I'll never be any good at the actual game. I never PTFO, I'm constitutionally incapable of not treating every mission as though it were pure Annihilation. =/
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby RabidCadaver » Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:30 pm

Now wait. So you're rolling all of the frame's dice in one go as step 2?

Also,, so it daisychains out, and then resolves last in first out? Are white dice declared before they're rolled, or can you assign them after?

Like... Let me complicate things further. I have quite the mid table doom going on between 4 players. A, B, C, and D. Each has 4 frames which we'll refer to as a, b, c, and d, and they'll take turns 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. So... A's frame b taking it's third part of it's turn would be Ab3. Woo notation.

A has the initiative and picks a frame, also a, to fire on someone else.

Aa1 > Ba
Aa2 Rolls all the dice (ROLL ALLL THE DIIIICE)
Aa3 Defends (against whom, I wonder...)
Aa4 Attack
Ba1 > Ca (cause I'm contrary.)
Ba2 Rolls them bones
Ba3 Defends (Vs the attack from Aa)
Aa5 Moves out of range of Ba
Aa6 Spots
Ba4 Moves to get better range on Ca
Ba5 Attacks
Ca1 > Da (D said something about his momma. Don't nobody say things about C's momma!)
Ca2 Rolls the dice on the a frame
Ca3 Defends (vs Ba)
Ba6 Spots
Ca4 Attacks
Da1 > Cb (It's caulkblocking an objective. Like C's Momma.)
Da2 Dice are down
Da3 Defends (vs Ca)
Ca5 Moves far far away
Ca6 Spots
Da4 Attacks
Cb1 > Da (Noone, especially not you, D, calls my momma an objective.)
Cb2 Dice get thrown
Cb3 Defends (vs Da)
Da5 Does a jig, moves into cover
Da6 For sake of argument does not spot.
Cb4 Attacks
(Here's where I'm confused. Do we use the same defend dice that Da had before? New dice? What does defending entail?)
Da3 (again, but against Cb, however, he doesn't have any more turn to take...)
Cb5 Decides to not move
Cb6 Spots

That concludes combat order.

Initiative order picks back up. Presuming no one was destroyed, it starts back with A, who picks a different frame that has not yet had a turn, or passes to B. Who has the same choice.

Seem... Right, if a probable bad choice in attacking order?
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby lumpley » Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:46 pm

RabidCadaver: That seems right.

As you can see, it's not last in first out. It's:
Code: Select all
  BBB DDD
AAA CCC EEE

The frames' turns overlap in a queue, they don't stack or nest. A's turn is always over before C's starts, B's turn is always over before D's starts, and so on.

I'll explain about the dice later, but in short:
- Yes, you roll all your dice at once.
- Yes, you get to see your numbers before you decide what to do with your white dice.
- When you defend, you set your defense number for the entire round.

-Vincent
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby RabidCadaver » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:40 pm

Yeahhh, I figured out part way through my exercise where I was going wrong.

I'm excited to hear about the dice. It's one of the parts that I'm not conceptually getting my mind around currently, that and if being near an objective is good enough to capture it, or hold it, and how that counts. If it becomes contested or something and noone has it till someone clears it out.

Also if someone rolls poorly for defense, and then it's "look at the 1 on the defense roll! PILE ON!"
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:00 pm

Wadmaasi wrote:
Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:"Do I destroy it to cost you points, or do I move to other, more tactically important frames?"

This is why I know I'll never be any good at the actual game. I never PTFO, I'm constitutionally incapable of not treating every mission as though it were pure Annihilation. =/


Then I look forward to playing you! I don't think I'ver ever seen a player actually eliminated. But if you're gonna play like that, man, that's awesome. I'll make sure to show up with a good defensive company and watch while you shoot the crap out of my only real opposition.
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby Dukayn » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:05 pm

RabidCadaver wrote:Also if someone rolls poorly for defense, and then it's "look at the 1 on the defense roll! PILE ON!"

That's pretty much how it works in combat. Pick on the guy with his pants down taking a leak, not the guy with his shield up and his spear at the ready ;)
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Re: Rules preview: initiative and turns

Postby Wadmaasi » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:47 pm

Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:Then I look forward to playing you!

The mocking! It stings me so.
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